Steely Dan - Katy Lied 2LP (Analogue Productions UHQR Box Set, 45rpm Clarity Vinyl, Preorder: Ships TBA)
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Definitive UHQR 200g 45rpm Clarity Vinyl 2LP Reissue Mastered Directly from the Original Master Tape by Bernie Grundman and Pressed at Quality Record Pressings
Led by the songwriting and virtuoso musical duo of Walter Becker and Donald Fagen, Steely Dan released an extraordinary run of seven albums on ABC Records and MCA Records from 1972 through 1980. Filled with topline musicianship, clever and subversive wordplay, ironic humor, genius arrangements, and pop hits that outshone the Top 40 of its day, their records, which were as sophisticated and cerebral as they were inscrutable, were stylistically diverse, melding their love of jazz with rock, blues, and impeccable pop songcraft.
Now at long last, Steely Dan's classic ABC and MCA Records catalog will return to vinyl with an extensive yearlong reissue program of the band's first seven records, which is being personally overseen by founding member Donald Fagen. The LPs, most of which haven't been widely available since their original release, will be available on 33 1/3 RPM 180-gram black vinyl via Geffen/UMe, and as a premium 45 RPM version on Ultra High-Quality Vinyl (UHQR) from Analogue Productions. AP will also release this series of titles on Super Audio CD.
All albums are being meticulously remastered by Bernie Grundman from the original analog tapes except for Aja, which will be mastered from an analog, non-EQ'd, tape copy, and Gaucho, which will be sourced from a 1980 analog tape copy originally EQ'd by Bob Ludwig. There's no evidence the original tapes containing the flat mixes of Aja and Gaucho were delivered to the record label and it's presumed the tapes no longer exist. The 45 RPM UHQR version will be pressed at Quality Record Pressings on 200-gram Clarity Vinyl, packaged in a deluxe box, and will include a booklet detailing the entire process of making a UHQR along with a certificate of inspection. Each UHQR is pressed, using hand-selected vinyl, with attention paid to every single detail of every single record. All of the innovations introduced by QRP that have been generating such incredible critical acclaim are applied to each UHQR. The 200-gram records feature the same flat profile that helped to make the original UHQR so desirable.
1975's swing-pop perfection Katy Lied, Steely Dan's fourth studio album, was certified gold and peaked at No. 13 on the U.S. charts. Highlights include the signature cuts "Black Friday," "Bad Sneakers" and "Doctor Wu," and it marked the first appearance of singer Michael McDonald on a Steely Dan album. Pitchfork notes, "(Katy Lied) captures Steely Dan in the thick of it all, still hungry and energized by their early burst of creativity but not taking anything for granted. Before Katy Lied, Steely Dan was a rock band, but this is the record where they became something else."