47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
on 27 April 2003
This collection has two distinct phases - CD1 "Chateau D'Isaster" is from 1973 and was recorded in France prior to the band's decision to return to the UK from self-imposed exile. The music was the fore-runner of Passion Play and there are clearly strong elements of that work included here. The original recordings were never completed, but I, for one, struggle to recognise the missing pieces from what is another epic concept piece.
As someone who thinks Passion Play remains a key highlight of Jethro Tull's career, I find Chateau an absolute delight. While you will find many parts of Passion Play represented here, the piece stands in its own right. Perhaps a necomer to Tull would be better starting elsewhere, but for a fan, this is a worthy addition to the collection.
CD2 titled "Unreleased & Rare" is much more a grab-bag of songs of a wide variety. Some of the songs are typical Tull ballads while others such as "Crew Nights" are thumping rock and roll. In all conscience I couldn't recommend this collection to a new-comer but again a fan will find these interesting and far from mere out-takes.
Overall there is whole bunch of great music in these two disks and you'd have to ask yourself why the pieces didn't make it out originally. Tull answers that question itself in the liner notes - many of the pieces were either too similar to other Tull songs or else too different! I for one think this is a terrific collection and am glad that they finally surfaced.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 30 April 2012
For Tull fans this release is an absolute treasure trove of otherwise unreleased gems.
The First Cd is titled "Chateau D'Isaster", I will not go over the history of these tapes, but in musical terms this is far from a disaster but rather a work in progress. It appears that a Passion play would have been a double LP and the concept likely about animals. There is some absolutely brilliant music on this side, some of which will be familiar to those who know Passion play. Of course this isn't a fully polished set, but never the less there is more than a little magic here. Like many LPs of the period it will take more than one listening to get into...but when you do!
I could go through each track but I think you should buy a copy and get to know it without my prejudicialness becoming a factor. All I can really add is that I consider these tapes to be as important as anything released between Aqualung and Warchild, which really was Jethro Tull's most creative period.
Side 2 also contains many gems, but many of these have turned up on the remastered CD's from which they dropped, most as a result of the limited time available on an the old vinyl format. They are not as essential as the "Chateau D'Isaster" side, but still worth listening to.
If you are a Jethro Tull fan, why don't you already have a copy of this set?
If you are just starting to listen to Tull, then this is not the best place to start. I recommend Aqualung to start follwed quickly by most, if not all, of the back catalogue.
CD 1 =5 stars
CD 2 =3 satrs.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 30 March 2009
I really am a Tull fan and thought I had all their albums, but after reading Raymond Benson Essential Music book about Jethro Tull learnt about tis compilation of previously unreleased tracks. It is excellent and although a few are a 'bit silly' most are really great versions of the songs from their excellent LP Passion Play. Highly recommended
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 16 June 2011
To use an overused cliche, this is an album of 2 halves.
The Chateau d'Isaster CD is possibly my favourite Tull album. Full of excellent musicianship, interesting tunes and beautifully bizarre lyrics.
A joy I never grow tired of hearing.
The Rare and Unreleased CD, however, is the to-be-expected mixed bag of weak tracks which would count as 'filler' on an album and real gems of creativity, in roughly equal measure.
Overall, well worth the money.