- Apr 21, 2002
- Toronto, ON
By the way:
For you and for Joni Mitchell: "I never understood why 'Gaucho' didn’t receive the critical acclaim of 'Aja'. I’m convinced that if 'Gaucho' had come first and then 'Aja', the same thing would have happened in reverse."
A selection of Joni Mitchell's favourite songs (faroutmagazine.co.uk)
Glad to hear I'm in good company!
I remember one of the first reviews of Gaucho I ever read described it as "an album where all the seams show", or words to that effect. I think there's a bias against it because of the stories about how long and tortured the recording was, and that somehow the quality of the album has to suffer as a result, when I don't think that's the case with this album.
I remember when I first got it, I didn't really like most of it, except for Hey 19 and Time Out of Mind. I found the rest to be really rigid and uninviting, but it only grew on my over time, like many of the albums I now love the most. I think Gaucho's biggest sin for those that don't love it is that it isn't Aja, Part II (which is probably the same kind of heat Led Zeppelin took for their 3rd album being such a departure from the 2nd one) which I think is entirely by design on Becker and Fagen's part - it seemed like they were deliberate about not repeating themselves. Take the middle section of this early version of Time Out of Mind, which has a rhythm guitar figure that's very similar to the rhythm part on Peg - it's entirely absent on the released version.
I recently found this short video about Roger Nichols' Wendel drum machine, which played a large part in the "rigid" sound of Gaucho that I originally hated but now love - it's worth a watch if you're interested in the creation of this album.