Firstly let me say that I'm not going to review the music - this is a Tull classic, and I'm assuming anyone who has come to this page knows it well enough (if not, just buy this anyway). Instead I want to talk about the package itself, here released in a "40th Anniversary" edition.
I have bought Thick as a Brick many times - on vinyl, Mini LP, several CD versions etc. I hesitated to buy it again, but boy am I glad I pre-ordered this. The music comes in a hard cover book format (roughly the size of a paperback book). The newspaper from the original vinyl release is reproduced in a large format (so it's readable!) In this format the newspaper is 40 pages long (that's a page for every year of release). They used the original textured paper for this section, which is a nice addition.
Next up is the "Colour Supplement". This is printed on high-quality glossy paper stock, and is full of pictures I've certainly never seen before. It has various sections including: 11 page article by Dom Lawson; 6 page article with Robin Black (producer); 6 page article with Eric Brooks (tour manager); 8 page interview with Ian Anderson, Jeffrey Hammond, and Martin Barre from 1997; 18 page section of pictures "On Tour", and the lyrics in Italian and German (no English though).
There are two discs - the first is the newly remixed version in stereo. Then we have a DVD that includes a 5.1 DTS and Dolby Digital Surround mix. Also we get the new stereo mix in 96/24 PCM, along with the original 1972 stereo mix also in 96/24 PCM. As a bonus (!) we get a 1972 radio ad.
Steve Wilson - who did a fantastic job of Aqualung recently - is back to do this new remix. The quality is just - well the only word I can think of is "obscene". Someone pay this guy to revisit the entire Tull catalog. I'd gladly buy every one all over again.
My final thought here is this release is such a credit to all involved. Talk about being put together with love, care, and attention. This is worth ten stars, let alone five. I expected a lot, and got even more. What a release. Thanks to all that had a hand in putting this out. Fantastic!
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