Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Jethro Tull Collector's Edition Stands Up And Takes Notice

Ian AndersonJethro Tull might have recorded Stand Up in 1969, but its influence is still being felt today. It broke away from the bluesy sound of 1968 (This Was) and set off in a different direction with an earthy, folksy vibe. For much of the world, it was their introduction to the band. It's also among my top 20 albums of all time.

The reason it matters today is that Capitol/EMI has released Stand Up as an expanded collector’s edition. It includes 2 CDs and a DVD audio with the remastered original album, three tracks recorded during Tull’s first U.S. tour, and two singles that would later appear on the Benefit album, Sweet Dream and Living In the Past. They were even smart to feature four songs from sessions for John Peel’s BBC Radio show and two U. S. radio spots.

The Expanded Collector's Edition Of Stand Up Changes Everything Again.

Some say the band’s more folksy sound was due in large part to Martin Barre replacing Mick Abrahams, who had played guitar on This Was. It's an easy case to make, because it created the strongest lineup in the band's lengthy history.

With Ian Anderson on vocals, 12-string guitar, and his ever-present flute; Clive Bunker on drums; the affable Glenn Cornick on bass; and Barre on guitar, Jethro Tull immediately soared from slowly getting noticed to the top 20 charts in the U. S. and the UK.

“In rehearsal and recording, we all tried different approaches to the songs. Clive and Glenn formed the basic backbone of the group, leaving Martin and me to experiment a bit more with different sounds and, for the time, some radical techniques in sound recording,” Anderson writes. “We often plugged instruments into the rotating Leslie speaker cabinet to treat the sound with the typical Hammond organ-like tones. Martin’s guitar in A New Day Yesterday was recorded with me standing on the guitar speaker cabinet, swinging a microphone, Roger Daltry-fashion around the outside to get a phasing, swirling sound for the main riff."

This isn't just another reissue. What puts this collector’s edition over the top for me is the inclusion of a second disc featuring Tull’s Live At Carnegie Hall concert, which was recorded in 1970. This is an edited version of the show, which the band played as a benefit for a drug rehab facility in New York City.

The Carnegie Hall concert is made even better by the presence of classical pianist John Evan. Songs include: Nothing Is Easy, My God, With You There To Help Me/By Kind Permission Of, A Song For Jeffrey, To Cry You A Song, Sossity You’re A Woman/Reasons For Waiting/Sossity, Dharma For One, We Used To Know, guitar solo, and For a Thousand Mothers. It’s a fantastic live set and one that deserves introduction to a new legion of fans today.

Yes, this is an edited version of the show, featuring a nice new mix. But as all diehard Tull fans know, the concert has never been released in its entirety. However, the expanded collector’s edition DVD does feature the unedited show in 5.1 surround sound. Add in a 2010 interview with Anderson, and the best word to describe the package might be sublime.

Jethro Tull’s Stand Up Expanded Collector's Edition Takes Notice At 9.5 On The Liquid Hip Richter Scale.

There really is only one way to make this collector's edition even better. Imagine what might happen if the Stand Up lineup got together for a tour to support the release. Still, it was great to see Anderson going solo in North America. And while I wish his wrap-up in the States wasn't taking place this month, the collector's edition will still see plenty of decades of work. For the rest of the world, visit Jethro Tull for tour dates.

You can find a remastered edition of Stand Up on iTunes, but you might want to look on Amazon for the full Stand Up experience. It was issued on vinyl too.
blog comments powered by Disqus