Jethro Tull - A

Year of Release: 2004
Label: EMI
Catalog Number: 7243 596899 0 6
Format: CD
Total Time: 42:53:00

Spread over a couple of years, a great deal of Jethro Tull's output (the ones released through Chrysalis) got the remastered treatment, adding a nice selection of bonus tracks to the whole. One of the most interesting ones in this selection most certainly has to be A. Not only is this the only one that also boasts the inclusion of the wonderful Eddie Jobson, who also adds a nice dash of electric violin to Jethro's music. "Fylingdale Flyer," although a rock 'n' roll structure, also contains some hidden Celtic elements that deliver kind of an acceptable folk/rock composition, with flute and synths alternating nicely. In fact, all of A was in fact destined to become Ian Anderson's first solo album, hence the rather different line-up. So although Ian's voice is very recognizable, the minimal use of flute and the addition of more keyboards and violin results in a slightly "different" album alltogether. As happens a lot with this kind of album, the fans didn't particulary like it, although critics went on to hail A as one of Jethro Tull's best albums of all time! Although the contents of this album remain close to the folk idea of Jethro's musical spectrum, the addition of a bigger slice of electronics makes this indeed quite a change.

No doubt the standout track here has to be "Black Sunday," which sounds like a leftover from a UK session, including once again some outstanding work by Eddie Jobson. Although Eddie clearly stated that his inclusion on this album and the subsequent tour would be a one-off before returning to his own solo activities, it surely would have been great to see how Anderson and Jobson would fuse together their musical ideas in order to create something compeletely new. Sadly it didn't happen and A (which stands for "Anderson" of course!) is all we can muster right now. The final track "And Further On" is a nice piece of great orchestration though. So who knows, maybe if Jobson had stayed on, Anderson might have added a real orchestra to the whole. And then who knows what might have happened?

As a bonus, this re-issue contains all of the Slipstream video released with stereo sound on DVD. Released previously on VHS, Slipstream shows some live footage from the A tour combined with several videos such as "Sweet Dream" showing Ian Anderson disguised as Aqualung and Dracula. Interesting for the Jobson fans are the video clip for "Too Old To Rock N Roll, Too Young To Die" and the live rendition of "Locomotive Breath," which probably is the only time this Jethro classic was performed including an electric violin solo. Most certainly a very welcome surprise for all Tull diehards and I wouldn't be at all surprised if this "new" version of A didn't outsell all of the other titles. Well done to everyone involved!

Crossfire / Fylingdale Flyer / Working John, Working Joe / Black Sunday / Protect And Survive / Batteries Not Included / Uniform / 4.W.D. (Low Ratio) / The Pine Marten's Jig / And Further On

Bonus DVD Slipstream: Introduction / Black Sunday (live) / Dun Ringill (video clip) / Fylingdale Flyer (video clip) / Songs From The Wood (live) / Heavy Horses (live) / Sweet Dream (video clip) / Too Old To Rock N Roll (video clip) / Skating Away On The Thin Ice Of The New Day (live) / Aqualung (live) / Locomotive breath (live) (total time: 57:34)

Ian Anderson - flutes, vocals
Martin Barre - guitar
Dave Pegg - bass
Mark Craney - drums
Eddie Jobson - keyboards, electric violin

This Was (1968)
Stand Up (1969)
Benefit (1970)
Aqualung (1971)
Thick As A Brick (1972)
Living In The Past (1972)
A Passion Play (1973)
War Child (1974)
Minstrel In The Gallery (1975)
M.U. The Best Of (1976)
Too Old To Rock 'N' Roll: Too Young To Die (1976)
Songs From The Wood (1977)
Repeat - The Best Of Jethro Tull Vol 2 (1977)
Heavy Horses (1978)
Bursting Out - Live (1978)
Stormwatch (1979/2004)
'A' (1980)
The Broadsword And The Beast (1982/2005)
Under Wraps (1984)
Original Masters (1985)
Crest Of A Knave (1987/2005)
20 Years Of Jethro Tull (1988)
Rock Island (1988)
Catfish Rising (1991)
A Little Light Music (1992)
The Anniversary Collection (1993)
25th Anniversary Box Set (1993)
Nightcap (1995)
Roots To Branches (1995)
J-Tull Dot Com (1999)
The Very Best Of (2001)
Living With The Past (2002)
The Jethro Tull Christmas Album (2003)
Classic Masters (2003)
Stand Up/This Was (2003)
Essential (2003)
Nothing Is Easy: Live At The Isle Of Wight 1970 (2004)
Aqualung Live (2005)
Jethro Tull/Ian Anderson (2005)
Extended Versions (2006)
Live At Montreux 2003 (2007)
The Best Of Acoustic Jethro Tull (2007)
Living With The Past/Nothing Is Easy (2008)
This Was (expanded) (2008)
Nothing Is Easy - Live At The Isle Of Wight 1970 (2004/2008)
The Anniversary Collection/A New Day Yesterday (2008)
Live At Montreux 2003 (2008)
Live At Madison Square Garden (2009)
Christmas Album (2009)
Live In Switzerland 2003 (LP) (2014)
A Passion Play - An Extended Performance (2014)
War Child - 40th Anniversary Theatre Edition (2014)
Minstrel In The Gallery - 40th Anniversary La Grande Edition (2015)

Living With The Past (DVD) (2002)
A New Day Yesterday: 1969-1994 - The 25th Anniversary Collection (VID/DVD) (1994/2003/4)
Nothing Is Easy - Live At The Isle Of Wight 1970 (DVD) (2005) Live At Montreux 2003 (DVD) (2008)
Jack In The Green - Live In Germany (DVD) (2008)
Live In Bethlehem, PA, 2003 (DVD) (2008)
Their Full Authorized Story (DVD) (2009)
Live At AVO Session 2008 (DVD) (2009)
Live At Madison Square Garden (DVD) (rec 1978, rel 2009)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin UK

Added: June 7th 2004
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website:
Hits: 1067
Language: english


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