This is great value set but, despite Tull being one of my favourite bands , it served to remind me how poor some of their mid period records were after their amazing run of four classics at the outset of their career. Aqualung is still magical despite a degree of over-familiarity and Songs from the Wood heralded a triumphant return to form that would endure to the mid 80s. The other three are very ordinary. Passion Play sounds too silly to take seriously and Too Old and Minstrel are very run of the mill rock.
Useless to discuss music - if you're reading this, then you might know almost everything about Jethro Tull. I would like to review the package itself in case anybody is considering to buy this. Outer cardboard box contain 5 original albums in mini-vynil replica covers. But bear in mind all 5 albums inserted in simple cardboard cover - if original was fold out this is not. But front and back original illustrations are retained neatly. No inner sleeves, no booklets, no lyrics. Released in Australia in 2012 but here's a breakdown of each album. A Passion Play and Songs From The Wood are the same remasters as released in regular european jewel cases in 2003 with the same bonus tracks. Minstrel In The Gallery and Too Old To Rock'n'Roll are the same remasters as released in regular european jewel cases in 2002 with the same bonus tracks. The only problem is Aqualung - no bonuses and nothing is said about remastering. And as mentioned above the cover is not folded out. Overall impression is very good - sound quality and vynil replicas are welcome because japanese releases in the same form are many-many times more expensive. But this is a steal! This is highly recommended in case you are neither a die-hard fan, nor you do not own japanese editions. But this is the cheapiest way to obtain 5 originals at the price of one or two CD's.
Following on From Alexander- my co reviewer there's not much to say about these fine albums. Alexander has covered it especially the fact that Aqualung is not remastered.
But Amazon have not listed the tracks so this may be of interest.
If you spot any mistakes or typos just add a comment and before you can say "Heavy Horses" I will alter the list and credit you with your sharp eyes.. Tracklist:
Disc 1. Aqualung 01. "Aqualung" 02. "Cross Eyed Mary" 03. "Cheap Day Return" 04. "Mother Goose" 05. "Wond'ring Aloud" 06. "Up To Me" 07. "My God" 08. "Hymn 43" 09. "Slipstream" 10. "Locomotive Breath" 11. "Wind Up"
Disc 02 A Passion Play 01. "A Passion Play (Part 1) (2003 - Remaster)" 02. "A Passion Play (Part 2) (2003 Digital Remaster)"
Disc 03 Minstrel In The Gallery 01. "Minstrel In The Gallery (2002 Digital Remaster)" 02. "Cold Wind To Valhalla (2002 Digital Remaster)" 03. "Black Satin Dancer (2002 Digital Remaster)" 04. "Requiem (2002 Digital Remaster)" 05. "One White Duck / 010 = Nothing At All (2002 Digital Remaster)" 06. "Baker St Muse (Medley) (2002 Digital Remaster)" 07. "Grace (2002 Digital Remaster)" 08. "Summerday Sands (2002 Digital Remaster)" 09. "March The Mad Scientist (2002 Digital Remaster)" 10. "Pan Dance (2002 Digital Remaster)" 11. "Minstrel In The Gallery (Live) (2002 Digital Remaster)" 12. "Cold Wind To Valhalla (Live) (2002 Digital Remaster)"
Disc 04 Too Old To Rock 'N' Roll 01. "Quizz Kid (2002 Digital Remaster)" 02. "Crazed Institution (2002 Digital Remaster)" 03. "Salamander (2002 Digital Remaster)" 04. "Taxi Grab (2002 Digital Remaster)" 05. "From A Dead Beat To An Old Greaser (2002 Digital Remaster)" 06. "Bad-Eyed And Loveless (2002 Digital Remaster)" 07. "Big Dipper (2002 Digital Remaster)" 08. "Too Old To Rock 'N' Roll (2002 Digital Remaster)" 09. "Pied Piper (2002 Digital Remaster)" 10. "The Chequered Flag (Dead Or Alive) (2002 Digital Remaster)" 11. "A Small Cigar (2002 Digital Remaster)" 12. "Strip Cartoon (2002 Digital Remaster)"
Disc 05 Songs From The Wood 01. "Songs From The Wood (2003 Digital Remaster)" 02. "Jack In The Green (2003 Digital Remaster)" 03. "Cup Of Wonder (2003 Digital Remaster)" 04. "Hunting Girl (2003 Digital Remaster)" 05. "Ring Out Solstice Bells (2003 - Remaster)" 06. "Velvet Green (2003 Digital Remaster)" 07. "The Whistler (2003 Digital Remaster)" 08. "Pibroch (Cap In Hand) (2003 Digital Remaster)" 09. "Fire At Midnight (2003 Digital Remaster)" 10. "Beltane (2003 Digital Remaster)" 11. "Velvet Green (Live)" 12. "I Wish It Could Be Xmas Everyday!"
Judging by Ian Anderson's most recent comments on radio interviews, his current mission is to make the Tull back catalogue available to a new generation of music fans, by means of high-value box sets. That's good news for everyone, even those of us who have stuck with the band through thick and thin from the beginning and simply want to add one or two CDs to complete the collection.
I bought this set primarily for Aqualung, as the previous 25th anniversary remaster edition had been hugely disappointing - a crucial step in the digitising process, normalisation, had been skipped and the release sounded thin and watery. Not an uncommon occurance and i can rattle off any number of other famous remasters which appear to have the same fault, but an annoyance when they don't correct it for the next 15 years. A joy therefore to discover this high-value box set is based around the new 2112 stereo remaster, which has made all sorts of improvements on the 25th remaster.
Additionally, Minstrel in the Gallery should be of huge appeal to new generation listeners as it has a timeless progressive quality often missing in the more popular short-song based releases, like Too Old To Rock And Roll and Songs from the Wood, products of their time and closely adhering to compositional conventions of the mid-70s. Passion Play is the odd one out here as it was one of their original duff albums, didn't appeal to the long-track progressive audience of its time and sure as anything won't attract new fans in this day and age, being a soupy slop of half-laughed half-muttered pseudo-poetry and some incredibly bad musical arrangements. They should have put Heavy Horses or Stormwatch in this selection instead.
Others have rightly discussed the excellentvalue of this set. The packaging has been talked about, the remaster or otherwise status of each disc. Nobody is disputing Tull's music. What a fine band.
A few reviewers here have queried the inclusion of "A Passion Play". Read the reviews of that album elsewhere on Amazon, it's highly regarded by many. Passion play is for me Tull's finest work, dark and rich. A treatise on life, death, god and the devil, geography revision, misplaced spectacles and the foot of our stairs. It's lyrically sceptical, enigmatic, witty and possibly wise.
Tull's next best album "Minstrel in the Gallery" is here too.
Treat yourself: "A little of what you fancy does you good (or so it should)"
Great stuff from the early days of Tull. I had originally given up on them after Thick as a Brick so decided to catch up. Only fly in the ointment is Passion Play. I agree with the other reviewers and would sum that particular Anderson outing as unmitigated tripe. Hence the 4 stars overall. But if you're a fan from days gone by and like this particular brand of 'prog rock' in Anderson's folky style, buy it, it's a bargain.
Jethro Tull are an acquired taste, but are well worth persevering with. I first got into Tull with their singles, Witch's Promise, Living In The Past and Life Is A Long Song, all featured on the Living In The Past album, which is a must have as an introduction to Jethro Tull's music. This set includes 5 excellent albums starting in the same period. A bargain buy that I thoroughly recommend.
I liked Tull back in the day but could not resist this mix of albums I had on vinyl and those I did not have. Well, I met up with old friends and made new ones because I love the albums I did not have before. I love the mix of folk and rock in particular nowadays- perhaps it's my age. Highly recommended to renew old acquaintances or to discover some great music for the first time.