JETHRO TULL – Living With The Past (CD&DVD Collector’s Edition Gatefold Digipac)
EarMUSIC/Edel [Release date 20.03.20]
Germany’s Edel/Ear Music continue their ambitious “Classics Range” with a double Jethro Tull whammy. These two boxsets add up to several hours of high quality audio and video. Fans of the band will already be convinced, and novices will find much to enjoy as the music unfolds.
The songs here were born in the seventies. These recordings capture them all grown up, being performed live, thirty years later, at the start of the new millenium.
The sweaty clamour and clang of live performance is not always easy for a producer (and indeed director, as much of the success of these reissues lies with the quality of the DVD/ video) to capture, but here, they succeed in merging past with present. It’s music with an indelible imprint, one that marches to the beat of its own drum.
The “Living With The Past” live CD package reaches across Europe. It includes material spanning Tull’s decades long career, recorded at gigs in the UK, France, The Netherlands and Switzerland. The DVD is not strictly a mirror image. Yes, it includes many of the same tracks, but it frequently plucks them from different gigs, different venues – occasionally from US tours – in order to ensure video/audio integrity.
Two live versions of songs from Ian Anderson’s late nineties’ solo albums are particular highlights.The spicy ‘Habanero Reel’ from the “Secret Language Of Birds”, and the rootsy, Celtic flavoured ‘In the Grip Of Stronger Stuff’ from “Twelve Dances With God”.
There are numerous value for money extras here, including several out takes and a secret bonus track. ****
IAN ANDERSON – Thick As A Brick Live In Iceland (2CD&DVD Collector’s Edition Gatefold Digipack)
EarMUSIC/Edel [Release date 20.03.20]
Many music insiders considered Tull’s 1972 parody concept album, “Thick As A Brick”, their fifth, to be the first ever “Progressive Rock” album. That accolade stayed with Anderson down through the years, and subsequently the recording’s enduring and widespread popularity inspired him to write and record “Thick As A Brick 2” in 2012, as a continuation of the original story.
That same year, Anderson took his band on the road to perform the complete “Thick As A Brick” saga. The touring version combined music, video and mime to bring the characters created by Anderson to life. This gig, recorded at The Harpa Concert Hall, Reykjavik, Iceland in its entirety, spans 2 CDs and a DVD.
Fans will know that the original album was only two long tracks, each filling a side of a vinyl LP. The belated follow-up deploys the more conventional 3 to 4 minute multi track formula, depicting 5 different outcomes for the story’s original, now grown up protagonist.
Anderson trades vocal licks with new boy, Ryan O’Donnell to great effect, essentially promoting the the onstage spectacle as something of a rock’n'roll stage show, not simply as a band performing live. It’s a fine example of great music passing through the generations.
Bonus material includes an always interesting interview with Anderson, and a couple of tracks from the band’s Montreux gig that same year. ***1/2
Review by Brian McGowan
The latest Facebook Live session from Canadian singer-songwriter Josh Taerk was streamed on Sunday 22 November.
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Featured Albums w/c 23 November (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 JEFF SCOTT SOTO Wide Awake (In My Dreamland) (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 LAZARUS DREAM Alive (Pride & Joy Music)
14:00-16:00 RONAN FURLONG The King Of Leaves (Thoroughbred Music)
Power Plays w/c 23 November (Mon-Fri)
L.A. GUNS All That You Are (Golden Robot Records)
THE DUST CODA Limbo Man (Earache)
EBBA BERGKVIST & THE FLAT TIRE BAND 68 Twin (indie)
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