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PostSubject: Re: Jethro Tull *official*   Tue Sep 02, 2014 5:15 pm

Wilson is one of the best engineers currently working...easily.

P.S. - His recent solo releases are brilliant.... Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Jethro Tull *official*   Wed Sep 03, 2014 9:18 am

I don't DISLIKE his solo stuff, but it...

Ok, I'll try to explain it this way: there were interviews included in the last batch of Genesis reissues and, in the interviews talking about the Calling All Stations album, one of the guys was talking about differences in writing style. Phil was the very direct, no b.s. writer. Everything was very immediately connecting with him. Tony is very subtle with his writing and you end up with these very dense compositions that need attention to unfold and reveal their depth/meaning. Then, you have Mike who is a combination of the two. The point being made is that, when you combine those three approaches, you get this sort of layered approach: something immediate to draw you in, something to bridge the gap and then a lot of depth if you care to do any digging. It can be enjoyed on any or all of those levels.

With Porcupine Tree, I felt like he worked an arc and developed from "On the Sunday..." through to "In Absentia," developing depth to music that was already immediately captivating... And then he kind of lost the plot a bit and got into Dream Theater syndrome: very technically adept music that did nothing at all for me - and that's speaking as a Zappa and Gentle Giant fan, so polyrhythms and weird harmonics don't turn me away. I just need somewhere to hang my hat with a composition.

That said, I think his solo stuff was colored through the lens of not caring much for the last two or three PT albums, so I really should give them a pass and see what they have to offer on their own.

Hey, if the guy can make King Crimson's Lizard a favorite of mine (the original mix was a sensory barrage it was difficult to enjoy), I think the little guy deserves a chance. Laughing
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PostSubject: Re: Jethro Tull *official*   Wed Sep 03, 2014 1:22 pm

PT sounds nothing like Dream Theater, not nearly as wanky-complex-gee whiz look what I learned at Berklee! and in Steven Wilson they had a songwriter of a much higher caliber...MUCH higher caliber.

Since you don't like the recent direction of Opeth I have a feeling you won't like Wilson's solo albums either.  Raven features "mostly vintage instrumentation", the difference is that Wilson's band improvises a lot, the songs are structured and written, but there are open sections left for improv and if you hear them live they aren't playing the same solos over and over, they morph and change from performance to performance.  Steven has loaded his band with jazz/fusion instrumentalists for just that purpose.  Raven was recorded live-in-the-studio with Alan Parsons engineering, only vocals and orchestration were recorded separately.

For the record, I'm not really a fan of the first couple Porcupine Tree albums (aside from a few songs here and there), I get on board with The Sky Moves Sideways.
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PostSubject: Re: Jethro Tull *official*   Wed Sep 03, 2014 1:41 pm

That's probably where we diverge. I tend to prefer prog that has songs first and then messes them up. The more free-form bands are hit and miss for me.

I've heard the first two SW solo albums and I think two tracks from the first stuck with me ("Only Child" and the opening track) at all. Like I said, I didn't dislike the second, but nothing in it really gripped me either - kind of the same vibe I had with the last two Opeth's. I think I've said it before with Opeth and I'll definitely say it now, it's entirely possible that a few more spins will really reward on all fronts. It just hasn't happened yet.

And yes, I'll definitely agree that SW is a much stronger songwriter than anyone in DT. With DT though, I insist that they're always fighting a battle with themselves. They either sound like composers who can play very well, or they sound like very gifted players who need a composer to reign in their excesses. Smile

This point is actually rather well illustrated with Tull. I grudgingly have to admit that my least favorite album hands down is "A Passion Play." I'm sure a music theory/composition major could tell me all sorts of stories about the neat stuff going on in the composition, but it's like a really powerful engine that hasn't been installed in a car to me. It doesn't move me.

Now, give me a song like "Budapest," and we're talking! It's fudamentally a pop song, but it moves through all of these different little moods and "rooms" within the composition (scenes in a story?) before it concludes and none of them are really obvious, but all fit. THAT to me is gifted, progressive music. You couldn't fake that and it still messes with your expectations. Going fully off the rails into free-form music may take talent, but I suspect it's usually more fun for the players than the audience. To each their own though. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Jethro Tull *official*   Wed Sep 03, 2014 2:01 pm

I've been listening to progressive rock for over 30 years, jazz fusion for 25 years and jazz for over 20 years. I don't require stuff to be song-based, what I love about progressive rock is that it's closer to classical music in structure, while borrowing some of the improvisation from jazz. To me, that's the perfect musical combination.

I love A Passion Play, it's not quite as effective as the two albums that bookend it, but I still find it a great listen. The only Tull albums I don't really like are the more straight-ahead pop/rock albums like Under Wraps, Rock Island, Catfish Rising, etc. Nothing really *wrong* with those records, but I didn't become a Tull fan for meat and potatoes rock, I became a fan because of how deftly they combined myriad styles together into something completely unique.

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PostSubject: Re: Jethro Tull *official*   Wed Sep 03, 2014 2:47 pm

S.D. wrote:
I love A Passion Play, it's not quite as effective as the two albums that bookend it, but I still find it a great listen.  The only Tull albums I don't really like are the more straight-ahead pop/rock albums like Under Wraps, Rock Island, Catfish Rising, etc.  Nothing really *wrong* with those records, but I didn't become a Tull fan for meat and potatoes rock, I became a fan because of how deftly they combined myriad styles together into something completely unique.

I'd agree with you completely with regard to what makes Tull music great, even if some of those albums you tend to pass on are some of my favorites. Very Happy

With Tull and King Crimson as well, I find that their music goes through "moments," like the Tull "folk" phase at the end of the 70s or their world music 90s. Each "moment" gives you a taste of another flavor of music that they've incorporated into their work, which you can check out on your own. I think the King Crimson "ProjeKcts" box set was my first real introduction to mostly improvised music in my late teens, so it was a really sweet gateway drug. Likewise, some of the sounds Ian Anderson used on "Broadsword & The Beast" or his solo "Walk Into Light" album gave me an appreciation for some of the weird electronic sounds synthesizers could be used for. To this day, it influences my approach to synthesizers as an element in music.
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PostSubject: Re: Jethro Tull *official*   Wed Sep 03, 2014 2:52 pm

I have owned 'A Passion Play' for several years and I could never get into it. Maybe because it is bookended by two of their most well known albums, and albums I played to death as a kid. I do keep listening to the album hoping one day it will click. Not a terrible album, but no one that is easily accessible to me, personally.

I never cared for 'Under Wraps' when it was first released. Finally bought it a few years ago, still did not care for it. It seems Ian Anderson became interested in synths and used them a bit on 'Under Wraps' and his first solo album, released around that same time.
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PostSubject: Re: Jethro Tull *official*   Wed Sep 03, 2014 3:38 pm

Walk Into Light has much stronger songs than Under Wraps, but UW has grown on me considerably since I first heard it.

WIL still sounds like nothing else going. It also sounds like nothing in the synthpop world from around the same time - at least to my ears.

Sometimes the real fun is when you have an artist take a stab at a sound that isn't natural to them. They don't quite hit the mark, but end up creating something else entirely in the process. I still really enjoy the Ian Gillan Band albums for this reason, by way of example.
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PostSubject: Re: Jethro Tull *official*   Wed Sep 03, 2014 8:41 pm

Runicen wrote:
Walk Into Light has much stronger songs than Under Wraps, but UW has grown on me considerably since I first heard it.  

WIL still sounds like nothing else going.  It also sounds like nothing in the synthpop world from around the same time - at least to my ears.  

Sometimes the real fun is when you have an artist take a stab at a sound that isn't natural to them.  They don't quite hit the mark, but end up creating something else entirely in the process.  I still really enjoy the Ian Gillan Band albums for this reason, by way of example.

I agree that Ian Anderson solo material does not sound like the Thompson Twins or anyone else. I finally bought 'Walk Into the Light' a couple of years ago, and it took a few spins for it to grow on me. Still not a major fan of the album but it was an interesting detour.
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PostSubject: Re: Jethro Tull *official*   Thu Sep 04, 2014 8:30 pm

I think the latest solo album from Anderson is great. It gets lots of listens from me.

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PostSubject: Re: Jethro Tull *official*   Fri Sep 05, 2014 8:28 am

I thought Homo Erraticus was good, but I would like to get another solo album that is a collection of songs without the big concepts. It's cool that he can still pull them off convincingly, but Tull concepts always worked best when it was a bundle of varied material pulling the whole thing (loosely) together rather than a unified musical suite.

Just my taste anyway. In any event, I'm glad he's still making music, even if I wish his voice was a bit stronger these days.
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PostSubject: Re: Jethro Tull *official*   Tue Sep 09, 2014 2:29 am

S.D. wrote:
R.I.P. Glenn Cornick, original bassist for Jethro Tull who played on This Was, Stand Up and Benefit, in addition to some tracks on the Living In The Past compilation.  He can also be seen in the live concert DVD - Live At The Isle of Wight 1970.  


I never saw Glenn with Tull but I did see him sit in with a Tull tribute band that opened for Graham Bonnet 10 years ago in Reseda, Ca. Very cool.. R.I.P Glenn..
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PostSubject: Re: Jethro Tull *official*   Wed Sep 10, 2014 8:35 am

For anyone who was on the fence about the Passion Play reissue, I have to say - it's worth it. Wilson is deifinitely doing for this album what he did for King Crimson's Lizard. Both albums by bands I loved that I could never quite get in to. These new mixes really take a few layers of crud off the top and reveal some amazing writing.

Oh, and the sound quality is pretty stupendous as well.
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PostSubject: Re: Jethro Tull *official*   Sun Oct 26, 2014 1:01 pm

I am getting into this band.

picked up the broadsword and the beast yesterday afternoon in a tiny record shop.

great music. will be checking the rest of their catalogue for sure.
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PostSubject: Re: Jethro Tull *official*   Sun Oct 26, 2014 5:36 pm

Jethro Tull is one of my top five bands. Songs From The Wood is simply brilliant and Thick As A Brick is impeccable. I love the lyrics and the complexity of some of the albums. I also really like the acoustic songs they have done throughout the years.
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PostSubject: Re: Jethro Tull *official*   Mon Oct 27, 2014 2:56 pm

I was fortunate to score some free tickets to the Ian Anderson concert in Bethlehem, PA last night. Check out this set list:

1. Doggerland
2. Enter the Uninvited
3. Puer Ferox Adventus
4. The Engineer
5. Tripudium Ad Bellum
6. The Browning of the Green
7. Cold Dead Reckoning
8. Bourée
9. Thick as a Brick (About 75% of the album)
10. Living in the Past
11. With You There to Help Me
12. Sweet Dream
13. Teacher
14. Critique Oblique
15. Too Old to Rock 'n' Roll: Too Young to Die
16. Songs from the Wood
17. Farm on the Freeway
18. Aqualung
Encore:
19. Locomotive Breath

I could have done with different show closers and I was a little disappointed by only getting one encore (the band was on fire), but it was a great show and I really can't complain as the seats were free and about halfway back in the room, which was nice.

An odd note, I'd read that Ian had another vocalist on stage handling some of the trickier passages and I was prepared for it, but didn't know what to expect. It was a nice touch and lifted the performance since Anderson's voice isn't even a shadow of itself these days. A nice side-effect is that, where there was flute playing under the vocal on the record, he was able to reintroduce that live. It was interesting to watch the guy too as he clearly came from a musical theater background based on the way he moved and gesticulated while he sang. Someone had sat him down to watch old videos of Anderson as well because he broke out a few of "the moves" and even shadowed Ian during the flute solos with a prop. All good fun and pretty funny at points.

Highlight for me was the duo of Songs from the Wood followed by Farm on the Freeway, which are both all-time favorites of mine.

Interesting bit of irony, I was meeting a friend at the venue and she was running late. Fortunately, I'd been listening to Homo Erraticus on the way up, so missing chunks of the first three songs didn't really leave me at a loss. We got seated for the best parts of the show and it was one where the time flew by. I could hardly believe they played for more than two hours when all was said and done!
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PostSubject: Re: Jethro Tull *official*   Mon Oct 27, 2014 6:45 pm

So those first 7 tracks are from Ian's last solo outing?  I don't recognize any of those.  I'd have been disappointed because there are no tracks from Heavy Horses in that set list and that's my favorite Tull album.  But I guess when your catalog is as extensive as Tull's someone is always going to feel left out.

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PostSubject: Re: Jethro Tull *official*   Tue Oct 28, 2014 9:19 am

It was sort of a mini-suite of the newest album. Not a bad chunk of work, but definitely not an EASY listen. Like Thick as a Brick, you either listen to all of it, or you don't bother. Smile

I'm with you on Heavy Horses, but you're right - there's no way to really fit all the good stuff in. I'd say they fit in a lot of music for a two hour plus show, but I could have done without hearing Aqualung and Locomotive Breath again - even if some people would have been disappointed to not hear them, it would have been nice to free up that space for some lesser-played tracks.

On the flip-side, when I saw him solo for the first time in '02, he played Dun Ringill off of Stormwatch and I just about lost my mind. I was NOT expecting that. Just goes to show he is willing to do some digging in the catalog.
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PostSubject: Re: Jethro Tull *official*   Tue Oct 28, 2014 5:20 pm

I love Dun Ringill but that album was a real "grower" for me. The only song that hit me right away was Something's On The Move

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PostSubject: Re: Jethro Tull *official*   Fri Nov 21, 2014 9:37 am

I'm assuming S.D. (if I haven't torqued him off with my whining about portable audio Laughing ) is the only other person on the board who is going to care, but is anyone else stoked for the new Warchild reissue? I had no idea there was leftover music from these sessions - much less David Palmer orchestral pieces, so this release was a huge surprise to me.

Scored it on a sweet pre-order from Amazon UK, so now it's all over but the waiting. Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Jethro Tull *official*   Fri Nov 21, 2014 11:47 am

Yeah. the War Child reissue is the one I've looked most forward to. The last CD reissue had 6 bonus tracks, nice to see even more come to light. It was originally planned as a double-album but at some point during production they shaved it down to a single LP release. Can't wait to hear what Steven Wilson has done with the mix. It's one of my favorite Tull albums and seems to be generally underrated, I'm hoping the expanded release gets it some critical reevaluation.

Now...I want Minstrel In The Gallery next.
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PostSubject: Re: Jethro Tull *official*   Fri Nov 21, 2014 11:54 am

I'm really curious to see what Wilson did with the mix as Warchild was already a pretty straight-ahead and clean production. The extra material it just giving me a few extra slices of cake to go with my ice cream.

Minstrel would be a tremendous reissue - especially with Wilson doing the mix.

Personally, my wish list would be to see a comprehensive set for Broadsword & The Beast. There was apparently a metric #$%#-ton of material recorded in the lead-up to that album and I wouldn't be shocked to learn that we haven't seen all of it officially released. Having a proper remix and release of EVERYTHING would just set me to drooling. Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Jethro Tull *official*   Fri Nov 21, 2014 1:13 pm

I'd buy a Wilson mix of Minstrel for sure.  I'd also like to see him remix Songs From The Wood, Heavy Horses and Stormwatch.

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PostSubject: Re: Jethro Tull *official*   Fri Nov 21, 2014 1:23 pm

I'm sure more Wilson reissues will be forthcoming. However, I know he's also starting work on the entire 1970s Camel catalog, he just finished recording a new album (he's mixing now) and will be embarking on a tour in January...so not sure how long we'll have to wait.
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PostSubject: Re: Jethro Tull *official*   Fri Nov 21, 2014 1:54 pm

S.D. wrote:
I'm sure more Wilson reissues will be forthcoming.  However, I know he's also starting work on the entire 1970s Camel catalog, he just finished recording a new album (he's mixing now) and will be embarking on a tour in January...so not sure how long we'll have to wait.  

I'm just curious if Steven Wilson sleeps... Laughing very hard
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