Jethro Tull - Minstrel In The Gallery: La Grande Edition [LP] (40th Anniversary, 180 Gram)

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40th Anniversary La Grande Edition 180g Vinyl! Remixed to Stereo by Steven Wilson!

“Aqualung” and “Thick As A Brick” tend to be cited as defining the 1970s’ Jethro Tull – but arguably “Minstrel in the Gallery” is the quintessential 1970’s Tull album.

The album contained a liberal sprinkling of the type of personal acoustic ditties which had graced the “Aqualung” album, with the string-adorned “Requiem” being possibly the most romantic song Ian had ever written, and the closing “Grace” – more whimsical in its romanticism – clocking in at a whole thirty seven seconds. And after the forty-plus minute “Thick As A Brick" and “A Passion Play” epics, Ian once again dabbled with an extended suite of music with “Baker Street Muse,” a seventeen minute four-part observation of the seedier side of his then home town of London.

The acoustic guitar and strings are to the fore in most of the other songs, but the likes of “Cold Wind To Valhalla” and “Black Satin Dancer” then explode into full-blown rockers, with Martin Barre’s electric guitar taking the spotlight as the band thunders along behind him in an adventurous exploration of unpredictable key-changes and time-signatures. That juxtaposition of acoustic and electric has been a feature of Jethro Tull’s music throughout their career, but is perhaps never better exemplified than on “Minstrel In The Gallery” which, after earlier albums’ tags of ‘blues’ and ‘prog,’ is unequivocally a ‘rock’ album, albeit with a maturity and sophistication both lyrically and harmonically which highlighted Tull’s originality.

Though “Minstrel” is heavily acoustic, songs from the album rarely appeared in concert set lists. Partly, this could very well be due to “Minstrel’s” rather dark, often very personal subject matter and tone for many of the acoustical tunes. Ian was just coming off a divorce and “One White Duck/0¹º = Nothing At All” addresses the end of his marriage. “One White Duck” is related to a common British concept (and even wall ornament) that a married couple have their “ducks in a row.” A sole duck, hence, represents separation.

• 40th Anniversary La Grande Edition
• 180g Vinyl
• The original Minstrel in the Gallery album remixed to stereo by Steven Wilson

Ian Anderson, vocals, flute, acoustic guitar

Martin Barre, electric guitar
John Evan, piano, organ
Jeffrey Hammond, bass guitar, string bass
Barriemore Barlow, drums, percussion

Side One:

1. Minstrel in The Gallery
2. Cold Wind to Valhalla
3. Black Satin Dancer
4. Requiem
Side Two:
1. One White Duck / 010 = Nothing at All
2. Baker St. Muse
    a. Pig-Me and the Whore
    b. Nice Little Tune
    c. Crash Barrier Waltzer
    d. Mother England Reverie
3. Grace