JETHRO TULL - Aqualung (40th Anniversary Special Edition) Chrysalis Records

Publish Notes: 

Goldmine Magazine April, 2012

JETHRO TULL - Aqualung (40th Anniversary Special Edition) Chrysalis Records

Aqualung is arguably Jethro Tull's signature release, a rock classic which produced some of the band's most recognizable songs including "Locomotive Breath," "Cross Eyed Mary,"Hymn 43" and of course, the iconic title track.

And now, 40 years after its release, Chrysalis Records has gone all-out to produce not only an Anniversary Special Edition CD package, but also a Limited Collector's Edition package featuring a 180-gram heavy LP, two CDs, a 48-page hard cover book, a DVD and Blu-Ray including unreleased material, the original Quad mix, a new stereo mix and a 5.1 DTS and Dolby Digital Surround.

Having experienced Aqualung through the years on LP, cassette and the original CD release, hearing these songs through this new stereo mix absolutely breathes new life into these classic rock tracks, including every spastic, breathy snort escaping from the merry minstrel Ian Anderson's flute.

The amazing stereo and 5.1 Surround re-mixes are the work of Porcupine Tree's Steven Wilson, which involved going back to the original studio masters and perfecting the sound of each instrument and vocal track, then creating a new stereo and surround master. The results seem to create entirely new identities for these songs. In fact, upon just the first listen, there were several instances where I heard sounds and textures within the depths of the songs that I had never heard before, and considering the countless times I have enjoyed Aqualung, that is certainly saying something.

The second, bonus CD is equally impressive, featuring 14 tracks of bonus songs, early versions, alternative takes (and even an old radio spot) from 1970-71. However, for those Tull aficionados out there who already know some of these bonus songs from the ole' bootleg tapes, to hear them in such pristine clarity, again, breathes new life into the tracks.

The CD booklet is yet another treat, 32-pages of wonderful photos, extensive liner notes packed with facts, stories and a exclusive interview with the master himself, Ian Anderson. An informative, colorful addition to round out a package which is certainly worthy of the classic rock album it represents.