JETHRO TULL – ” A “

Posted: February 20, 2021 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Jethro Tull’s entrance into the ’80s, simply titled A, is getting a reboot four decades after its original release. The album introduced a new sound and a new line-up, including Dave Pegg and Eddie Jobson (who features prominently on keyboards and violin). To celebrate, a new six-disc version of the album,A (A La Mode) 40th Anniversary Edition, will be released on April 16th. After their successful and eclectic trilogy of albums in the late ’70s – Songs From the Wood (1977), Heavy Horses (1978) and Stormwatch (1979) – Jethro Tull returned at the start of the new decades with not only a different mindset, but a different line up as well. 

A was originally recorded solely by the band’s founder Ian Anderson. (The album’s title is derived from the initial tapes, labeled A for Anderson.) But after hearing the more modern, synthesizer-based sound, the group’s label, Chrysalis, decided to release the LP under the Jethro Tull name, noting that this was the direction it wanted the band to head in.

Only two Jethro Tull members play on the album: Anderson and guitarist Martin Barre. Keyboardist John Evan, organist David Palmer and drummer Barrie Barlow had already left the band following bassist John Glascock’s death. For A, the new lineup recruited Dave Pegg as the replacement bassist, Mark Craney on drums and guest performer Eddie Jobson (Roxy Music, Frank Zappa). Even though the album wasn’t a hit, the subsequent tour fared well with fans.

In addition to a relaunch of the original album, newly mixed by esteemed producer Steven Wilson, the three-CD, three-DVD anniversary collection will also feature previously unheard studio renditions, a remixed version of the 1981 Slipstream video collection and unreleased live recordings, including a full concert from the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena recorded in August 1980. The original album has been expanded with five unreleased tracks from the recording sessions, including a different take of the single “Working John, Working Joe”, an extended version of “Crossfire” and the outtake “Coruisk”

A (A La Mode) 40th Anniversary Edition also includes a live recording from November 1980 of the band’s full concert at the LA Sports Arena. The performance mixed new A tracks (“Black Sunday, Batteries Not Included” and “Uniform”) with older hits, like “Aqualung, Heavy Horses” and “Songs From The Wood”. A few of these live tracks first appeared in 1981 on Slipstream, a video collection originally released on VHS and Laserdisc. The full Slipstream video, which made its DVD debut in 2004, is also included in this anniversary edition and has been newly remixed by Steven Wilson.

 

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of one of Jethro Tull’s most radical musical departures, a 3CD/3DVD casebound book deluxe edition of A
Contents:
– The original album and associated recordings remixed in DTS and Dolby AC 3, 5.1 Surround, and stereo 96/24 LPCM  by Steven Wilson
– A full concert from the LA Sports Arena recorded in August 1980 mixed by Steven Wilson in DTS and Dolby AC 3, 5.1 Surround, and stereo 96/24 LPCM
–  A flat transfer of the original 1980 master at 96/24 LPCM stereo
–  Five unreleased tracks from the recording sessions (including the unreleased track Coruisk)
– A DVD of the Slipstream video remixed by Steven Wilson in DTS and Dolby AC 3, 5.1 Surround, and stereo 96/24 LPCM
– A book filled with an extensive history of the album, track-by-track annotations by Ian Anderson, rare photographs and more.

Jethro Tull, ‘A’ (A La Mode) The 40th Anniversary Edition Track Listing
Disc One: Original Album and Associated Tracks (Steven Wilson Stereo Remix)
Disc Two: Live at the LA Sports Arena 1980 (Part 1) (Steven Wilson Stereo Remix)
Disc Three: Live at the LA Sports Arena 1980 (Part 2) (Steven Wilson Stereo Remix)

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