Jethro Tull - Minstrel In The Gallery

Year of Release: 2002
Label: Chrsalis/Capitol
Catalog Number: 7243 5 41572 2 6
Format: CD
Total Time: 57:01:00

I always loved the thumping bass lines to the title track of the Jethro Tull classic rocker Minstrel In The Gallery (1975). Now it sounds like the entire band is playing right on top of me thanks to the remastering process that all of this superb classic rock has gone through. As Ian Anderson explains with his insightful liner notes, the five-part "Baker Street Muse" is an amalgamation of delicate strings with a hard rocking foundation. No doubt none of this is easy to pull off on a primarily acoustic album with the concern of maintaining your rock-oriented audience. Somehow, these creative chaps were able to do it with their typical style and class and keep everyone happy. The amazing bass player Jeffrey Hammond-Hammond went out with bang on this album, exiting never to return nor pick up a bass again, instead he would go back to picking up the paintbrush.

The band continued their momentum and put out yet another stunning album, riding the wake of the runaway success Warchild, and still creating some waves on the merits of their present achievement. By making a surprise right turn musically and giving their audience an acoustically based album with an Elizabethan flair, the faithful were caught off guard, but pleased. Their core audience was accustomed to rocking out and changing direction was risqué for a band that had built their following on solid consistency. This would prove that they knew exactly what they were doing though as it was a success regardless of the risk involved. They were the progenitors of prog-rock and the anointed court jester himself, Ian Anderson, spun his web and cast his spell with some mystical and medieval satirical lyrics tainted with cynicism, fantastic flute playing, and his own unique vocal style. How do you polarize the pumpkin eaters? Who else could come up with lyrics like that? Better yet, what does it all mean? That was the beauty and mystery of their music and it still is.

I loved hearing this album basking in the glory of this pristine sound. There is one thing that really pissed me off though, why include bonus tracks with just snippets of live songs? On "Minstrel In The Gallery" and "Cold Wind To Vahalla," you just start getting into it and it fades out. I just do not get it; why bother? It ended this experience on a negative note but just the same, there was too much to like about this CD and it is still well worth getting.

On Deck: To Old To Rock 'n' Roll: Too Young Too Die

First released in 1975 by Chrysalis (CHR 1082)

Minstrel In The Gallery (8:13) / Cold Wind To Valhalla (4:21) / Black Satin Dancer (6:53) / Requiem (3:45) / One White Duck/010=Nothing At All (4:39) / Baker St Muse (16:42) / Grace (0:37) / Bonus Tracks: Summerday Sands (3:44) / March The Mad Scientist (1:48) / Pan Dance (3:25) / Minstrel In The Gallery (live) (2:11) / Cold Wind To Valhalla (live) (1:32)

Ian Anderson - acoustic guitar, flute, vocals, producer
Martin Barre - guitars
Barriemore Barlow - percussion, drums
John Evan - organ, piano, keyboards
Patrick Halling - violin
Jeffrey Hammond-Hammond - bass, string bass
David Palmer - synthesizer, conductor, keyboards, saxophone
Rita Eddowes - violin
Elizabeth Edwards - violin
Bridget Procter - violin
Katharine Thulborn - cello

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: December 2nd 2002
Reviewer: Keith "Muzikman" Hannaleck
Artist website:
Hits: 3299
Language: english


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