Steely Dan ‎– Gaucho

MCA Records ‎– MCA-6102
Vinyl, LP, Album

Tracklist Hide Credits

A1 Babylon Sisters
Arranged By [Horns] – Rob MounseyBacking Vocals [Backup] – Diva Grey*, Gordon Grody, Lani Groves, Leslie Miller, Patti Austin, Toni WineBass – Chuck RaineyBass Clarinet – George Marge, Walter Kane*Drums – Bernard PurdieElectric Piano, Clavinet – Don GrolnickGuitar – Steve KhanPercussion – Crusher Bennett*Tenor Saxophone, Alto Saxophone, Clarinet – Tom ScottTrumpet, Flugelhorn – Randy Brecker
A2 Hey Nineteen
Backing Vocals [Backup] – Frank Floyd, Zack Sanders*Bass – Walter BeckerDrums – Rick MarottaElectric Piano, Synthesizer – Donald FagenGuitar – Hugh McCracken, Walter BeckerPercussion – Steve Gadd, Victor Feldman
A3 Glamour Profession
Arranged By [Horns] – Tom ScottBacking Vocals [Backup] – Frank Floyd, Leslie Miller, Valerie Simpson, Zack Sanders*Bass – Anthony JacksonDrums – Steve GaddElectric Piano, Synthesizer – Donald FagenGuitar – Steve KhanPercussion – Ralph McDonald*Piano – Rob MounseyTenor Saxophone – Michael BreckerTenor Saxophone, Lyricon – Tom Scott
B1 Gaucho
Arranged By [Horns] – Tom ScottBacking Vocals [Backup] – Leslie Miller, Patti Austin, Valerie SimpsonBass – Walter BeckerDrums – Jeff PorcaroElectric Piano, Synthesizer – Donald FagenGuitar – Steve KhanLead Guitar – Walter BeckerPercussion – Crusher Bennett*Piano – Rob MounseyTenor Saxophone – Tom ScottTrumpet – Randy Brecker
B2 Time Out Of Mind
Alto Saxophone – David SanbornArranged By [Horns] – Rob MounseyBacking Vocals [Backup] – Leslie Miller, Michael McDonald, Patti Austin, Valerie SimpsonBaritone Saxophone – Ronny Cuber*Bass – Walter BeckerDrums – Rick MarottaElectric Piano, Synthesizer – Donald FagenGuitar – Hugh McCracken, Walter BeckerLead Guitar – Mark KnopflerPiano – Rob MounseyTenor Saxophone – Dave Tofani, Michael BreckerTrumpet – Randy Brecker
B3 My Rival
Arranged By [Horns] – Tom ScottBacking Vocals [Backup] – Frank Floyd, Valerie Simpson, Zack Sanders*Bass – Anthony JacksonDrums – Steve GaddElectric Piano – Patrick Rebillot*Flugelhorn – Randy BreckerGuitar – Hiram Bullock, Rick DerringerLead Guitar – Steve KhanOrgan, Synthesizer – Donald FagenPercussion – Ralph McDonald*Tenor Saxophone – Michael BreckerTenor Saxophone, Lyricon – Tom ScottTimbales – Nicholas Marrero*Trombone – Wayne Andre
B4 Third World Man
Bass – Chuck RaineyDrums – Steve GaddElectric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar – Steve KhanElectric Piano – Joe SampleLead Guitar – Larry CarltonSynthesizer – Rob Mounsey

Companies, etc.



Special thanks to: Scott Luther and Fred Hull c/o Compal Computers
Fabulous vintage electric guitars courtesy of Richard, Steven and Lawrence Friedman.
Photographed for Magnum.

Printed inner sleeve, cardboard quality.

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Matrix / Runout (Label, Side A): MCA 2469
  • Matrix / Runout (Label, Side B): MCA 2470
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout, Variant 1, Side A): MCA-2469-MD-1 MASTERDISK RL (EDP) 05
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout, Variant 1, Side B): MCA-2470-MD-1 MASTERDISK RL (EDP) SM14 05
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout, Variant 2, Side A): MCA-2469-MD-2 MASTERDISK RL (EDP) SF1 SM6 06
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout, Variant 2, Side B): MCA-2470-MD-2 MASTERDISK RL (EDP) SF1 SM10 06
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout, Variant 3, Side A): MCA-2469- MD-1 MASTERDISK RL (EDP) M2 SF 1 SM2 05 12
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout, Variant 3, Side B): MCA-2470- MD 1 MASTERDISK RL (EDP) 05 12
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout, Variant 4, Side A): MCA-2469-MD-2 MASTERDISK RL (EDP) SF1 SM*5 06
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout, Variant 4, Side B): MCA-2470-MD 2 MASTERDISK RL (EDP) SF1 SM11 06
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout, Variant 5, Side A): MCA-2470-MD 2 MASTERDISK RL (EDP) SF1 SM11 06
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout, Variant 5, Side A): MCA-2470-MD 2 MASTERDISK RL (EDP) P11
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout, Variant 6, Side A): MCA-2469-MD-1 MASTERDISK RL (EDP) M2 05
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout, Variant 6, Side B): MCA-2470-MD-1 MASTERDISK RL (EDP) 05
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout, Variant 7, Side A): MCA-2169-MD-1 MASTERDISK RL (EDP) M2 SF 1 SM10 05 20
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout, Variant 7, Side B): MCA-2170-MD-1 MASTERDISK RL (EDP) 05
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout, Variant 8, Side A): MCA-2469-MD-1 MASTERDISK RL (EDP) M2 SF 1 SM9 05 19
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout, Variant 8, Side B): MCA-2470-MD1 MASTERDISK RL (EDP) 05 14

Other Versions (5 of 141) View All

Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
088 112 055-2 Steely Dan Gaucho(CD, Album, Club, RE, RM) MCA Records 088 112 055-2 US 2000 Sell This Version
UIGY-9039 Steely Dan Gaucho(SACD, Album, RE, RM) Geffen Records UIGY-9039 Japan 2010 Sell This Version
203 192-320, 203.192 Steely Dan Gaucho(LP, Album) MCA Records, MCA Records 203 192-320, 203.192 Netherlands 1980 Sell This Version
MCD 01814, DMCL 1814 Steely Dan Gaucho(CD, Album, M/Print, RE) MCA Records, MCA Records MCD 01814, DMCL 1814 Europe Unknown Sell This Version
MCA-1693 Steely Dan Gaucho(LP, Album, RE, RP) MCA Records MCA-1693 US Unknown Sell This Version


Reviews Show All 17 Reviews

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July 21, 2019
Found a copy of this with the gold promo stamp but can't seem to find a specific listing for that variation. Anyone have an idea of general range for a VG copy of that with the promo stamp?


April 15, 2019
edited about 1 year ago

No album was a product of the 70's crashing down on the band that made it more than Goucho. SD imploded during production and suffered irreputable damage. The question remains: How did this thing turn out so good??...coupled with: Wow this thing is bad...(not excluding the worst song they ever wrote: "Hey 19", blazing up the charts) Goucho polarized their fans more than any SD album...but with Babylon Sisters & Third World Man??...It's my 3rd fave SD LP. Knowing that the devastating lost track: "The 2nd Arrangement" was to be the 1st track adds to the legend of a Steely Dan masterpiece of Katy Lied proportions. Hey19 was the deathnell and a precursor to thing to come 12 years later w/ their solo CD's & more: - the dreaded blues. N


August 30, 2018
One of my favorite Dan albums. Although they borrowed a few motifs from Jarrett for the title song, it's my favorite one on the album, and some of Porcaro's most tasteful drumming on record.


November 23, 2017
edited 2 months ago

Forever the eminent hipsters and major dudes, Steely Dan have always created music for those like themselves ... the self absorbed dissociative paranoid name droppers, aficionados of the absurd, those who delight in sentence structure that is laced with syllables that are tastable, and those who perpetually leave unanswered unresolvable questions hanging in the air just as the front door is closing behind them.

With a length of only 37 minutes, Gaucho took nearly two years to record, and was the most expensive record ever made when it found its way onto my turntable in 1980, and like The Beatles, after Gaucho, Steely Dan retired to the studio, their apartments, and their own heads, where they lived full time, often among the characters and substances referenced in their songs, with lives that played out as if they been drawn from the stories of their own verse.

It was Roger Nichols who during the recording of Gaucho was solely responsible for Donald Fagen’s wishes for ultra human perfection, even going so far as to hand build a percussion sequencer (named Wendel, while saying, “Wendel can play exactly what any drummer can play.”), along with other delicate and dedicated hardware that met the demands of this enigmatic duo, though there were few walking the planet who were privileged enough to own an audiophile stereo system worthy of appreciating this perfection.

The band would take their famous perfectionism to new levels during the Gaucho recording sessions, as they’d grown accustomed to the dedicated mercenary approach of the session musicians they worked with in Los Angeles on Aja. On returning to their home of New York City, they found the musicians they worked with to be less professional, which was a major headache for both Becker and Fagen. They would often force their hired guns to do forty or more takes of the same song in search of the perfect snippet to use in the final recording. The result was a sort of building block approach that caused an inordinate amount of time to go into the recording process. For example, Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits was hired to play lead guitar on the song “Time Out Of Mind,” as Fagen and Becker had enjoyed his work on “Sultans of Swing” tremendously. He was brought into the studio for hours and hours of recording, and his final contribution to the record clocks in at a mere few seconds. All and all, everyone was amazed that the record ever got finished at all.

Gaucho was miles beyond what Steely Dan had delivered on the long awaited Aja album, and even further from their first release in 1972 of Can’t Buy A Thrill, where the band became so much more than they ever imagined, and in so doing, saw their fan base dwindle down to the hardcore, loved by critics, DJ’s and those who rarely saw the light of day, along with new ears who now heard an emancipation in what The Dan were laying down. That being said, the truth is the boys had taken two turns on a highway that demanded hit singles, and Gaucho majorly delivered only one, “Hey Nineteen,” with most of the world rating the album rather lowly, and dismissed it nearly as offhandedly as they had done with Aja, wanting more of the unpolished more raw and quirky atmosphere that had been laid down in their earlier outings, though time would prove that Steely Dan were on a path laden with unique ideas, emotion that had to be searched for, and a jazz presentation that would prove over time not to be as boring as so many suggested it was.

In effect, there are those who claim, and go on to insist that the perfection found on Gaucho lead to the band’s demise, as they’d nowhere else to go, that they’d painted themselves into a corner by painting their masterpiece. Those same people will say that the album is so clean that it lacks any emotion, though if one takes this release in context of the times and the lives of Becker and Fagen, yes, it’s not bubbling with warmth, though it is filled with delicious emotions that are not handed to listeners on a spoon, they must be teased out and appreciated. And if that weren’t enough, those same critics cite that the band sounds tired and under pressure, and while the pressure part may be true and was self inflicted, Steely Dan hardly sound tired, they’re just older, reflecting new visions and aspirations.

And of course, as always, and to my delight, Becker and Fagen proved their critics and complainers wrong, with the album overcoming all of it’s challenges and went platinum, delivering two top 10 singles.

*** The Fun Facts: Hands down the best compact disc recording is the MCA Records issue MCAD-37220 DIDX-56 released in 1984, it's rich, bright and warm just where things need to be. You won't find anything to complain about.

While recording the album, the group’s record company was involved in a merger, which caused some legal static and prevented Becker and Fagen from changing labels. Also during this time, Becker was hit by a car and broke his leg, resulting in extensive hospitalization. Becker was battling substance abuse and his girlfriend tragically died of a drug overdose in early 1980. Gaucho was finally released in November 1980, over three years after Aja.

Over 40 musicians were required for this bit of intensity, and still Fagen and Becker were not satisfied, and would go on to spend an additional $100,000 on the drum beats alone.

Only discovered at a later date, and adding salt to the wounds, three quarters of the song “The Second Arrangement” was accidentally erased in 1979. Of course they tried to re-record the number, but eventually gave up and had to replace the track by another song late into the process.

And then of course, Keith Jarrett threatened the band with legal action revolving around song writing credits for the title track, claiming that the boys paid him a million dollars to keep his name off said credits.

The cover art is based upon a wall plaque entitled "Guardia Vieja – Tango" (Old Guard – Tango), located in a southside Buenos Aires promenade known as Caminito, by Argentine artist Israel Hoffmann.

As to the historical meaning of the song "Time Out Of Mind", Time Out of Mind references TIME IMMEMORIAL. Strictly speaking, 'time immemorial' is any time before 1199, this being the date set in 1275 as the time before which no one could remember, and therefore no legal cases could deal with events before that date. 'Time out of mind,' recorded from the fifteenth century, is just the plain English version of the same thing. Since the eighteenth century at least, 'time immemorial' has been used in much the same way as the 'Mists of time' and both expressions are now often used vaguely to mean little more than 'in the past.’

Review by Jenell Kesler


October 10, 2017
What's the best press and best souding LP from this list?


June 9, 2015

Steely Dan rocked the 80's with this album, particularly **Babylon Sister


October 29, 2014
Mine says
In the bottom right corner of the back of the sleeve.
Identical otherwise.


August 23, 2011

This was the first Steely Dan album I heard. And for the longest time, I thought aja was their best, but these days I don't know. I played that hundreds of times, so maybe I just wore it out. Gaucho might be better, but it's tough to say. All I know is, Glamour Profession is probably among my top five favourite songs. The rhythm, the mood, the melody, the lyrics -- they're all just perfect. A musical portrait of the drug trade in Los Angeles circa 1980. There's simply no other band that could create such an amazing atmosphere.

It's not hard to see why some critics would be unsatisfied with this album. It is an absolute, clinical, clean production. There isn't a single note out-of-place. Becker and Fagen distilled their sound to one that is too flawless for some. I don't care. They used the studio as another instrument and created a work that sounds totally fresh more than three decades later.


April 16, 2011

"Gaucho" was already challenged by the fact that it was the follow up to "Aja," as perfect a studio album as Steely Dan could ever expect to have. However it's two-year gestation period was further fraught with problems; a track erased accidentally by a second engineer, a lawsuit from Keith Jarrett and Steely Dan's label changing hands -- resulting in further confusion/litigation -- all served to strain this project. But you can't hear that in the final edit; it's all of a piece, with the first side representing perhaps the pinnacle of their achievement, though as a whole it still falls slightly short of "Aja." While there are many sad and poignant moments in "Gaucho," the saddest thing about the album is that the group was not able to survive the process of making it.


July 26, 2007
edited over 13 years ago

Yes. Steely Dan. Babylon Sisters is perhaps their crowning achievement. Followed closely by Hey Nineteen. Yeah, this music is "cheesey" but seriously, you cannot get any better for over-produced jazz rock fusion that has pop hooks a plenty AND Steve Gadd on drums. In addition, aside from their "clean sound", these guys have some pretty dirty ideas of what is fun. This album rocks out.