Question about Aja: “Are these all original issue from September 1977 when the album was first released?”

More Steely Dan

Reviews and Commentaries for Aja

Got this letter a while back:

  Hey Tom,   

I’m very interested in purchasing one of your copies of Steely Dan’s Aja. Are the catalog numbers the same for all 3 albums? Are these all original issue from September 1977 when the album was first released?

I’m new to your website (and vinyl collecting in general) so any commentary you have would be appreciated. $200 is probably the most I can afford for this album.


Joe, yes, only the early pressings of the album are any good and we would not sell anything else. They would not have all come out in September but they look as original as any others would. You will get a lot of sound and music for your money on this album, and you should hear a world of difference between our copy and any other you may own.

Best, TP

Got it – Can you just confirm the catalog number is AB 1006? I’m specifically looking at the version that’s $199 on your site.


Dear Joe,

Keep in mind that we’re the guys who are all about sound, not originality.

We discussed it in our FAQ as a matter of fact: Are Hot Stampers Just Original Pressings?

This listing gets to the point: Original Is Better? Sez Who?

These are all records that sound better on the right reissue pressing, not the original:

Records that Sound Best on the Right Reissue Pressing

Best, TP

By the way, he ended up not buying our Hot Stamper pressing. When you have to have an original, you have to have an original and that’s all there is to it.

If Joe was of a more scientific or skeptical bent — in other words, if he were more like me — he would have acquired an original, and then ordered our Hot Stamper in order to compare the two.

We also operate under the assumption that the best available sound is the single most important quality to look for when choosing a copy to go into a record collection, ours and everybody else’s too. This, of course, is not always the case, and may not be the case in this instance.

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