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53 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Minstrel Plays On
This is the album that launched a new era for Jethro Tull. After the excesses of Thick As A Brick and A Passion Play, Ian Anderson embraces the softer side of his lyric writing. The title track, a self-effacing and down-to-Earth laugh at the idea of rock stardom, shines better than ever in its crystal-clear remaster, but it is just an opener to a string of beautifully...
Published on 17 Sept. 2002

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars take it in your gallery
good album, to be bought together with Stand Up, Aqualung, A Passion Play and Thick as a Brick
and you may say you have all the Jethro's best
Published on 28 Nov. 2009 by Santi


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53 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Minstrel Plays On, 17 Sept. 2002
By A Customer
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Minstrel in the Gallery (Audio CD)
This is the album that launched a new era for Jethro Tull. After the excesses of Thick As A Brick and A Passion Play, Ian Anderson embraces the softer side of his lyric writing. The title track, a self-effacing and down-to-Earth laugh at the idea of rock stardom, shines better than ever in its crystal-clear remaster, but it is just an opener to a string of beautifully crafted songs. The epic Baker Street Muse has been broken down into its constituent parts and they can all stand alone, as well as together, perfectly well.
Martin Barre gets to rock with his guitar on Black Satin Dancer which twists, fades and climaxes with the triumphant orchestral work of David Palmer.
Summerday Sands - originally the B-side of the Minstrel In The Gallery single, and held by many to be one of Tull's finest, is a rare love song from Anderson with a wry and slightly bitter ending.
Another notable bonus track is Pan Dance, an enchanting flute piece with a background of strings that can carry you away on its melody.
This CD will be on every Jethro Tull fan's shopping list, but it also serves as an introduction to the band in that it encapsulates many of their multi-faceted styles in one collection. Beauty with an edge.
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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The cat's whiskers, 14 Oct. 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Minstrel in the Gallery (Audio CD)
Have to admit, this was never one of my favourite Tull albums, and, never having upgraded to a CD version, this remaster was the first time I'd heard it in its entirety for almost 15 years.
And what a great album it is! Never mind the codpiece, here's the dog's bollocks: the interplay of acoustic guitar, flute and string quartet is delicate and dramatic by turns, melodies twist and turn and return in the most alluring fashion, and Ian Anderson never wrote a better set of love-twisted, postmodern, inventively fractured lyrics. Perhaps only when they 'rock out' do the band sound slightly rigid, with Martin Barre still in his 70s-style guitar mode of triplets-a-go-go topped with a grimacing squeal on the high fret. But when 'Summerday Sands' swings in after the original album's 'end', you know why this was such a unique band, and why, in the spectrum of what passes for 'rock' music, this is an astoundingly brave record for its time. Anderson has said it sounds like 'Roy Harper in love.' What more could you want?!
Grumbles: the two final 'live' tracks are the pointlessly edited versions which appeared on the 20 Years box set, and not the full versions. What a wasted opportunity. And whoever put the lyric booklet together (strangely) never bothered to proof-read the results: they're sourced from a Word document which doesn't recognize the apostrophe! i.e. "the old men[]s cackle" . . .
"there[]s nobody left for tennis" . . . Shoddy work.
Buy it for the sounds.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intense acoustic rock, 21 Feb. 2007
This review is from: Minstrel in the Gallery (Audio CD)
Recorded in Monte Carlo during 1975, Minstrel is arguably Tull's heaviest album, featuring some of the band's tightest arrangements (check out the instrumental sections of the title track, Black Satin Dancer and many sections of Baker St. Muse). Ironically, this album also featured Ian Anderson's finest collection of acoustic songs. These tracks are lyrically very beautiful, yet avoid the syrupy sentimentality that is prevailent in numerous other songs of this nature. Elsewhere, the lyrics appear very biting, personal and slightly sarcastic, particularly on Baker St. Muse. Is Anderson writing about himself or his experiences? There are references to aspects of his life at the time of Minstrel in Baker St. Muse. 'I have no house in the country, I have no motor car' (Anderson, at the time, was living on Baker St. Mews(get it!)in London and he did not have a car because he has never possessed a driving licence). Martin Barre's electric guitar work is powerful and very much at the forefront of the band's sound and Barrie Barlow's drumming is almost like an intricate arrangement in itself. It was reported that John Evans was playing a lot of Beethoven's piano music during the recording of this album and this finds its way into his playing on the record. There is a very classical, mournful approach to some bits and pieces, notably Black Satin Dancer. More direct and hard hitting than Warchild and more accessible and succinct than A Passion Play, Minstrel is a strangely dark album that showed Tull could rock and blend it successfully with the acoustic elements for which they have become recognised. Some may need time to become comfortable with the intense lyrics, but this remains an essential component of the Jethro Tull back catalogue.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, 3 Mar. 2010
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This review is from: Minstrel in the Gallery (Audio CD)
When I first bought this album some 35 years ago I thought that side 2 was the best side 2 of any album I'd ever heard. Over the years the side 2 of my album had got a bit worn out so I decided to get it on CD. I'm so pleased I did.

This is probably the most acoustic Tull album, but occasionally Martin Barre is given licence to play a bit as well.

Ian Anderson used to say he took up the flute because he felt he would never make it as a guitarist, and it was more portable as well. I would beg to differ (or I've fallen in to a big trap). The acoustic playing is gorgeous: the plectrum slides across the strings and lands perfectly on the individual notes to be picked out, and follows or counterpoints the melody beautifully (think of "Wond'ring Aloud", "Life's a Long Song").

With a capo on the third fret, he can't do anything wrong.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Valhalla and the BAND, 24 Nov. 2008
By 
Rev. Kevin P. Robinson (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Minstrel in the Gallery (Audio CD)
The most energetic and creative Tull album equally balanced between all the creative members of the band with a live tension between the respective personalities and contributors. Ian's controlling ego has not quite overruled the other ingredients and as a result here is the most rewarding and memorable album actually recorded by an authentic band. Or was it simply that I was turning 18?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Electric, acoustic, with strings... Pure Tull!, 11 Jan. 2010
This review is from: Minstrel In The Gallery (MP3 Download)
Istmi

Rocking and romantic... "Minstrel in the Gallery" is inspired and inspirational: Acoustic, sad, tender -- sometimes bluesy, other times folkish -- ballads and electric lively rocking pieces -- and a song which is slow and then fast, acoustic and electric, and above all truly passionate, such as Black Satin Dancer -- with a little help from David Palmer's arrangements for strings...
This album reaches the heights of "Aqualung", in my view, without being too similar. There's even a not-too-long suite, somewhat reminiscent of the more "prog" Tull periods, but with more "natural" sounds, perfectly in line with the rest of the album.
Pure Jethro Tull!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece, 5 Oct. 2011
By 
Mark Shackelford "mark shackelford" (Worthing, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Minstrel in the Gallery (Audio CD)
One of the (many) excellent, unique, masterful albums from the legendary Jethro Tull.
Their musicianship (even though the line-up changed over the years) is never less than stunning, the songs range from gentle ballads to all out heavy rock, via folk, jazz and classical.
I have been listening to Tull albums over the years (ever since "This Was") and (apart from a couple of synthesier oddities in the '80s) have been delighted, amazed and awe-inspired by them.
I saw Ian Anderson's tour last year (with most of Tull) and they are still wonderful...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Minstrel has arrived., 16 April 2012
This review is from: Minstrel in the Gallery (Audio CD)
"Minstrel in the Gallery" is another one of the classic Jethro Tull albums that will divide reviewers as it is quite a bombastic little treasure, and not everyone is into Anderson's egotistic flights into fantasy. It is one of the first albums I heard from Tull and always enchanted me with it's humour and unique presence. On the title track there are inspirational guitars by the great Martin Barre.

"Cold Wind to Valhalla" brings the flute into play but this instrument is surprisingly left off most of the other tracks although it is Anderson's signature instrument. The bassline is wonderful on this too by Jeffrey Hammond-Hammond.

"Black Satin Dancer" is piano driven, with an excellent lead guitar solo. The flute makes another appearance and there is a full blown orchestra to enjoy.

"Requiem" is a trademark acoustic arrangement, Anderson loved to put at least one acoustic treasure on an album. Anderson's vocals are gentle and it is a peaceful atmosphere generated here.

"One White Duck/0^10 = Nothing At All" is a real curio that merges from light release prog to tense rock with soaring guitars.

"Baker St. Muse" is the epic of the album beginning with an 'outtake' and then Anderson launches into it headlong as the orchestra draws out a sweet melody. Barre once again has a chance to shine on guitar and he is given full reign as he literally explodes with an unrelenting force.

The bonus tracks are as good as bonus tracks can be, pleasant to hear but forgettable.

Thus an excellent album draws to a conclusion and it is definitely one of Tull's best though not to the standard of TAAB, Benefit or Aqualung. 4 shining stars.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars take it in your gallery, 28 Nov. 2009
By 
Santi "rss" (Italy) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Minstrel in the Gallery (Audio CD)
good album, to be bought together with Stand Up, Aqualung, A Passion Play and Thick as a Brick
and you may say you have all the Jethro's best
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tull, 5 May 2013
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This review is from: Minstrel in the Gallery (Audio CD)
what can I say absolutely brill Tull at his best two ducks on the wall what a track masterful don't make groups like this anymore
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