What does it sound like?:
It’s the turn of Tull’s 1968 debut album to get a 50th anniversary makeover, again performed in exemplary fashion by Steven Wilson. I have to say this isn’t one of my favourite Tull works, indeed it’s one that only gets a very occasional play. There’s none of the prog influences that would surface in their classic seventies albums, this being a more conventional sixties bluesy sound with jazz influences thrown in. It is of course the only album to feature Mick Abrahams on guitar before his departure to form Blodwyn Pig, and features his vocals on Move On Alone, the only Tull song not to have Ian Anderson taking the lead. A Song For Jeffrey is perhaps the most enduring piece, one that featured in their live shows for many years. The three cd plus dvd set also rounds up various associated recordings and B sides from that era, some of which are previously unreleased, plus two Top Gear Sessions from 1968. For completists, the third cd also has both the original 1968 stereo and mono mixes of the album. The DVD features all of the above mixed, due to limitations with the original source tapes, in 4.1 by Mr Wilson, with just two songs given the full 5.1 treatment. This set comes in the now traditional hardback book style, with an excellent 96-page book, which tells you everything you needed to know about the recording of the original album and the work done by Steven Wilson in the creating this set.
What does it all *mean*?
As I said at the outset, this isn’t a set I’ll play regularly, but as usual it’s been put together with the great care and attention to detail that we’ve come to associate with this series of reissues. They set the bar high initially, and they’ve never let the standards slip since.
Goes well with…
Eager anticipation of Stormwatch getting the same treatment next year – the last of the truly great Tull albums.
Might suit people who like…