Wednesday, November 16, 2011

JETHRO TULL Celebrates AQUALUNG's 40th Anniversary

Remember when albums ruled? They were true works of art - both the cover and the music - and we would spend hours listening to each side of the LP. There was no scatter brained downloading of one or two tracks. One of my early favorite LPs was Jethro Tull's Aqualung - didn't understand the social commentary at the time  - but appreciated the music. Hard to believe that Ian Anderson and his mates were only in their early twenties when composing this classic. Well now, 40 years later the band is celebrating its anniversary with a newly digitized version for the modern age.There are two versions, the full scale Collector's Edition which includes:

• 180g heavyweight LP, 2CD, DVD, and Blu-Ray including various unreleased materials, a new stereo mix, the original Quad mix, and 5.1 DTS and Dolby Digital Surround. The "special edition" includes just the two CDs.
• 12"x12" 48-page hardback book featuring liner notes and an interview with Ian, Q&A with engineer John Burns, Don Lawson (initially written for 'Classic Rock Presents Prog' in March 2011), memoirs from band members (Jeffrey Hammond-Hammond (Bass Guitar), Martin Barre (Guitar), Clive Bunker (Drums), Barrie Barlow (Drummer following Clive Bunker’s departure), Glenn Cornick (Original Bassist on early recordings), Terry Ellis (Manager)) and Jennie Franks (Ian's first wife who wrote the lyrics for the title track), rare photos, notes on the new mixes by producer Steven Wilson, and Billie Ritchie (from 60s rock band & label mate ‘Clouds’), rare photos, album lyrics, and more.

Or you can settle for the special edition two CD version.Yea, like you don't have a preference.

And here are Ian Anderson's comments:  "Well - it's finally here! The superb remixes by Porcupine Tree's Steven Wilson in both stereo and 5.1 Surround. Plus the re-mastered original mixes, bonus tracks, alternative versions and takes of the classic Aqualung material from 40 years ago.

When I wrote and recorded these songs and slaved over a hot audio-mixer in Island Records' Basing Street Studios, I never thought we we would be celebrating this 40th Anniversary release, soon to be released in October. But you can't keep a good song down. Many of these are still favorites on stage today in our concerts throughout the world.

I hope you enjoy this splendid EMI release and, if there's someone out there you really love, then why not treat them to the Collector's Edition in all its glory. Or, come to think of it, if there's someone out there you really dislike, then the same might apply. Each to his own. Me - I kinda like it.....

For those of you easily confused about such things, a 'remix' is not the same as a 're-master.' Remixing involves going back to the original studio multi-track masters and balancing and perfecting the sound on all the individual instrumental and vocal tracks and creating from them a new stereo or 5.1 surround master.

'Re-mastering' is just the cleaning up and making a new copy of the original stereo master - which usually results in a clearer and more sparkling listening experience than the original, when CDs were usually just the vinyl master copied straight to the then new CD medium. These days, with digital audio, we can afford to get more dynamic range and frequency response compared to the vinyl album and (God forbid) cassette versions of old.

Many thanks to Tim Chacksfield and Steve Davis at EMI for all their hard work and initiative in making this happen. And to the enthusiastic and respectful Steven Wilson. Who has just sent me the remixes of another album to listen to, which he has been working on. But, another year, another story....
Ian Anderson, Jethro Tull

No comments: