Top critical review
10 people found this helpful
Not an essential purchase for Tull fans
on 2 April 2015
This won't be a verified Amazon purchase, as I am boycotting Amazon until they reverse their ridiculous new policy of requiring a customer to sign for receipt of every item delivered - something that is extremely inconvenient for anyone who works for a living and is out of the house all day.
However, I still believe my comments to be valid and of interest to potential purchasers. I am assuming that the only people who would consider buying this expanded, deluxe collection of the Warchild sessions, newly re-mixed by Steve Wilson, are those who loved the original album, like me. This was the first progressive rock album I purchased when it was released, in October 1974. So dedicated Tull fans will want to know whether it's worth forking out the extravagant price of this 40th anniversary release. Sadly, I think the honest answer is 'No'. The best outtakes from the Warchild sessions were already included on the previous re-mastered version released in 2002. There is some additional music here which is worth having - notably the excellent acoustic guitar piece by Martin Barre from the orchestral sessions. However, the studio re-mix of the original album is virtually indistinguishable from the original, which sounded very good to begin with. More importantly, the whole enterprise is let down by the liner notes and Ian Anderson's increasingly noticeable tendency to re-write history. For example, he says 'Skating Away', one of his best loved songs, is about climate change. Really? Could have had me fooled, as for the past 40 years I've confidently believed that it was about man's fight for survival and participation in the daily rat race, as this is what the lyrics clearly indicate. There is no reference whatsoever to climate change in the song apart from isolated references to 'ice' and 'the ice wall'. Also, if he genuinely thinks that Warchild is not one of his best albums, as he says in the liner notes, why go to all the bother of wrapping up this re-mix in expensive packaging? This is something I just don't understand. This sort of treatment is usually only reserved for the very best albums in a band's repertoire. Presumably now we can expect it for all the albums Tull released in the 1970s? Perhaps I am being unfair, but it doesn't sound as though the motivation for this is artistic. I would prefer it if Ian Anderson would stop dismissing his best work from the past with the sort of written commentary accompanying this boxed set.