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STEELY DAN
The Lost Gaucho [no label 1CD]

The following is taken from Steely Dan’s website:

"While recording "Gaucho", Becker and Fagen had to endure various misfortunes which delay the release date: Becker is hit by a car, one of their favorite new tracks "The Second Arrangement" is accidentally erased by an assistant recording engineer, and there is a dispute over which record company has the rights to their forthcoming album.

"Becker and Fagen had already signed a new contract with Warner Brothers, but ABC (now owned by MCA) claims that they are still owed one more album. MCA wins the contract dispute and then decides to increase the album's list price to US$9.98, one dollar more than all the other albums. Donald and Walter continue to hold back the album while they unsuccessfully fight the price increase. Finally, Gaucho is released in November, 1980."

Aja came out in 1977 and Steely Dan took three years fighting with their record company before they released Gaucho in 1980. Unknown to most fans was the "lost" Gaucho, a complete album vastly different to what was released. Of the songs that appeared on Gaucho only three appeared on this lost version in different form.

Were You Blind That Day was an early rendition of a song with different lyrics that finally appeared as Third World Man on Gaucho. Time Out Of Mind on the lost version is simpler missing the embellishments added on the Gaucho version. And the title track here is just an instrumental.

But the lost Gaucho had original songs that never appeared before. Kind Spirit, The Bear, The Second Arrangement, Talkin’ About My Home and Kulee Baba have never been released as far as we know in any form.

For the longest time, the only source of info on this lost album was from Brian Sweet’s Steely Dan biography, Reelin’ In The Years, which told the story of how at least one track from the early Gaucho sessions was accidentally erased by a careless engineer. The track was identified as The Second Arrangement. Sweet said Becker and Fagen decided it was too difficult to get the feel of that song and abandoned it in favor of Third World Man.

These early sessions supposedly originate from 1979 and earlier versions of these songs circulated in poorer quality until 2002 when high quality copies of the sessions emerged. A copy was recently torrented and shared among the trading community. We’ve heard the earlier Gaucho Outtakes and can vouch that this new source is superior with a clean sound and wide stereo.

As to why so many songs were dropped from the final lineup of Gaucho, a case can be made that this early version was too close in style to 1977’s Aja - shorter songs, sweeter melodies and more accessible lyrics. The finally released Gaucho seemed purposely obscure, deep and complex. Was it to spite their record company MCA? Is it possible that The Second Arrangement was never erased but that Becker and Fagen concocted the story to avoid releasing what they thought was the better version of Gaucho? Listen and decide for yourself.

- The Little Chicken

Here are the tracks on the officially released album

GAUCHO (1980)

Babylon Sisters
Hey Nineteen
Glamour Profession
Gaucho
Time Out Of Mind
My Rival
Third World Man

Click here to order the official Gaucho album.

Here is the lost album.

THE LOST GAUCHO
These tracks are no longer available for download.

 
Track 01 Kind Spirit (5.4MB)
Track 02 Were You Blind That Day [early version of Third World Man] (6.7MB)
Track 03 The Bear (7.2MB)
Track 04 The Second Arrangement (7.6MB)  
Track 05 Talkin’ About My Home (6.6MB)  
Track 06 Time Out Of Mind (6.2MB)  
Track 07 Kulee Baba (6.8MB)  
Track 08 Gaucho [instrumental] (7.7MB)  

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