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Thread: Jethro Tull's "Thick as a Brick" 40th Anniversary Collector's Edition next year

  1. #26
    Masters of Fine Listening rtbluray's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jethro Tull's "Thick as a Brick" 40th Anniversary Collector's Edition next year

    Quote Originally Posted by doppelbock View Post
    Well it seems we are getting the sequel - TaaB2....in surround too!
    I'll have to listen to some samples before I decide whether to get this album or not. IA's voice has not sounded very good at all for the past few years so the material would have to be on par with the original in order for me to get this.

    I'd much rather them release the original album's 5.1 mix in April than this new album...

  2. #27
    formerly "quadwreck" too
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    Default Re: Jethro Tull's "Thick as a Brick" 40th Anniversary Collector's Edition next year

    Ian said something about TAAB coming out in the fall, now I see why, so as to not compete with this new release.

  3. #28
    1K Club - QQ Shooting Star doppelbock's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jethro Tull's "Thick as a Brick" 40th Anniversary Collector's Edition next year

    Steven Wilson has confirmed on his FB page that he did the mix for the new TaaB2 as well as the original:

    I recently had the pleasure of mixing the new Ian Anderson / Jethro Tull album, which is a follow up to the classic Thick as a Brick album from 1972. TAAB2 is very much in the tradition of the first album, a continuous 54 minute concept piece with a similar musical palette and style. It's just been officially announced for release in April as a CD/DVD (including a 5.1 mix and stereo in high res), more details on the Tull website. I also completed mixes for a 40th anniversary surround sound edition of the original Thick as a Brick, though not sure when that is coming out.

  4. #29
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    Default Re: Jethro Tull's "Thick as a Brick" 40th Anniversary Collector's Edition next year

    I'd like to unbox the non-boxed copies of both of them

  5. #30
    Surroundaholic Moderator Bob Romano's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jethro Tull's "Thick as a Brick" 40th Anniversary Collector's Edition next year

    Quote Originally Posted by doppelbock View Post
    Steven Wilson has confirmed on his FB page that he did the mix for the new TaaB2 as well as the original:
    http://www.vintagevinylnews.com/2012...-whatever.html

    Preview: Thick as a Brick 2: Whatever Happened To Gerald Bostock? - Ian Anderson


    Artist: Ian Anderson
    Title: Thick as a Brick 2: Whatever Happened To Gerald Bostock?
    Release Date:
    • April 2, 2012
    • April 3, 2012 (North America)
    Label:
    Format(s): CD, CD/DVD, DD

    In 1972, Jethro Tull released a landmark concept album, Thick as a Brick, that contained only one almost 34 minute song spread over the two sides of the record. The album was supposedly written by a boy by the name of Gerald Bostock whose parents lied to him about his true age. The album was a major hit and cemented the group's progressive rock reputation (hello, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame).

    Ian Anderson is updating the story on April 2 (April 2 in North America) with Thick as a Brick 2: Whatever Happened To Gerald Bostock? The character would now be 50 and the album will examine the possible different paths that he might have taken later in life through alter-ego characters with song-section identities illustrating the hugely varied potential twists and turns of fate and opportunity. Not just for Gerald but to echo how our own lives develop, change direction and ultimately conclude through chance encounters and interventions, however tiny and insignificant they might seem at the time.

    Ian Anderson said "As we baby-boomers look back on our own lives, we must often feel an occasional 'what-if' moment. Might we, like Gerald, have become instead preacher, soldier, down-and-out, shopkeeper or finance tycoon?" Adding, "And those of more tender years - the social media and internet generation - may choose to ponder well the myriad of chance possibilities ahead of them at every turn ....."

    The album will be released as a single CD with eight-page booklet and a CD/DVD combo with sixteen-page book. The DVD will have 5.1 surround mixes, 24-bit stereo mix, videos covering the making of the album, interviews with the musicians and the lyric reading where ian Anderson reads the lyrics in various settings.

    In addition, Anderson will be on the road with his band and some guest musicians to not only perform the original album in its entirety but also the new composition.

    For a bit of fun, take a look at the latest edition of the St. Cleve Chronicle, the publication pictured on the front of the original album.

    Track List:
    • From A Pebble Thrown
    • Pebbles Instrumental
    • Might-have-beens
    • Upper Sixth Loan Shark
    • Banker Bets, Banker Wins
    • Swing It Far
    • Adrift And Dumfounded
    • Old School Song
    • Wootton Bassett Town
    • Power And Spirit
    • Give Till It Hurts
    • Cosy Corner
    • Shunt And Shuffle
    • A Change Of Horses
    • Confessional
    • Kismet In Suburbia
    • What-ifs, Maybes And Might-have-beens


  6. #31
    Senior Member bayards's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jethro Tull's "Thick as a Brick" 40th Anniversary Collector's Edition next year

    St Cleve - to be twinned with Irthlingborough soon I hope.....
    Silver Greyhound....see you in the air...

  7. #32
    tootull JohnN's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jethro Tull's "Thick as a Brick" 40th Anniversary Collector's Edition next year

    Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson On Thick As A Brick 2, The Grammys And More
    By Evan Schlansky February 2nd, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    http://www.americansongwriter.com/20...mmys-and-more/

    On April 3, Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson will release Thick As A Brick 2, the followup to 1972′s beloved prog opus Thick As A Brick (an album comprised of two long, interconnected songs). In this extensive interview, rock’s most famous flautist talks to American Songwriter about the sequel’s genesis, its parallels to the original, his distinctive vocal style, and whether or not he believes he can win another Grammy.

    With the recent Aqualung reissue and now Thick As A Brick 2, this a pretty exciting time to be a Jethro Tull fan.

    It’s a really exciting time for me too. Aqualung and Thick As A Brick are two of my favorite records for the simple reason that from an artistic and a personal songwriting point of view, they’re very different in terms of their musical and lyrical content. They both represent a period when I got brave enough to take a few risks with different topics, different subjects, and different ways of writing music.

    So the two albums are very dear to me in sort of artistic sense. I have studiously avoided, over the years, to recreate Thick As A Brick, either in terms of playing it all on stage, or venturing down that slightly more prog-rock course of musical endeavor.

    And I was pretty much maintaining that position until sometime late in 2010, when I met up with an old acquaintance by the name of Derek Shulman. He used to be the singer of the band Gentle Giant, a prog-rock band that had quite a bit of success in the late ’70s. He then went on to be a successful record producer in the USA, signing bands like Nickelback and others.

    When I met him, he strongly suggested his idea of doing a sequel to Thick As A Brick, which I reacted to with my usual disdain and negative thoughts, but we had another conversation probably later on that year. Somehow the idea just popped up in a conversation about, “I wonder what the eight-year-old Gerald Bostock [Thick As A Brick's fictional protagonist] would be doing today. Would the fabled newspaper [seen in the album art] still exist?

    It was the thought of bringing that idea into the current context. First of all, how do our lives develop? What chance encounters, what interventions shape our lives? It’s what we go through from childhood onwards. That, in itself, began to pose some interesting parallels with my own thinking about my own background, my development in school, my early career, my choice of doing things along the way.

    So it suddenly coalesced, in a period of hours rather than days, into a full-blown concept for writing a new album. Once I had that, the whole picture changed. I thought, “I think I can do this.” I just kept it in the back of my mind until the end of January last year and started to try to evolve it as more of a detailed picture – just laying out the bones of it on a piece of paper. Then I started writing some lyrics and I already had one or two pieces of music by then that I thought I could bring into play and so I just kind of got on with it. Within about two weeks, I had the album pretty much done in the sense of the lyrics and the music.

    I went off to Munich and spent the day with my guitar player friend. We made some demos of the whole thing in a few hours. Then I came back and spent another day in the studio home of our keyboard player and we started to work on the scores of that. We put it all into the software program called Sibelius, created a huge musical score of the whole album which was given out to the other band members in March last year.

    Then we went on the road for six months and didn’t give it too much thought, other than we played two or three of the songs live on stage to try them out. The lyrics were changed a little bit and titles and things to avoid giving the game away to the public. We then went back to it at the end of November. We finished the Scandinavian tour, came back, took a few days off, and then convened for rehearsals. We did about a week or so of rehearsal and ten days in the studio and then a few days of mixing.

    We finished my part of it all right about the 3rd or 4th of December. Then we spent a few days working with Stephen Wilson, the man behind the band Porcupine Tree who remixed the Aqualung album last year and he remixed the Thick As A Brick album too, ready for release, or re-release later this year. It was all wrapped up and done well before Christmas. That’s the story.

    How does that compare to the amount of time it took you to come up with the music and lyrics for the original album?

    It’s all identical. I think the only difference is that with Thick As A Brick 2, I wrote it all and then there was a period of six months before we recorded it. With Thick As A Brick 1, I was kind of writing it and rehearsing it pretty much on the same day. I would write the music in the morning, go to the rehearsal room in the afternoon, work with the guys into the evening, and then we did that every day for about ten days. Then we went and recorded it in Morgan Studios in London in a period of about ten days. We spent a few days mixing it and that was done. It was pretty much the same amount of intense work that’s involved in this one.

    So yeah, remarkable similarities really, in terms of the band being in the studio working together playing it together almost like a live experience. It was extensively all-together, not fragmented because it’s a big piece of music with a lot of joins, sections, reiterations, developments, and utilizing themes that crop up a few times in different ways on the album. It was the kind of work that, as musicians, you can get your teeth into. You can sort of tackle it in a bigger way. You’re not just learning a four-minute song. It’s 50 odd minutes of music.

    It was quite an intense time for all the musicians just as it was back in 1972. Just like in 1972, I think a lot more time was spent doing the artwork, marketing, and promotional blends. The newspaper is now online. It’s a community Internet magazine really for the imaginary small town communities.

    So are all the songs connected? Are there breaks in between on the new record?

    Well, there are ID points. I wrote the music very much for the idea that there could be ID points where you were able to listen to it in separate pieces, so in this day in age of iTunes and digital retailers, you can find it. So there are ID points. I don’t really like to call them songs or tracks but I decided I would treat it kind of like songs.

    But in reality, things repeat and develop so it’s not really a collection of songs. It is more of a continuous flow piece of music. One thing leads to another. But you can group areas into certain subjects and topics, where two or three pieces kind of hold together on the same idea for a while. I don’t really like to talk about them being songs or tracks, but I recognize the fact that other people do. I kind of constructed it in order to put these ID points on so when you hit the forward button on your player or computer or CD player or iPod, you can at least go forward or backward to the section that you want to hear. Of course, you can buy them on iTunes as separate pieces – you don’t have to buy the whole album.

    That would be kind of ridiculous though.

    Tell that to Pink Floyd. They somewhat famously recently refused to let Dark Side Of The Moon be unbundled for iTunes and said it could only be sold as a full piece. You have to buy the whole album or nothing at all. It seems to me not realistic. I think if you go and look at the majority of great classical works, you’ll find them unbundled in one form or another on iTunes or another provider. So I don’t see why we shouldn’t be doing that now with contemporary pop music, even if it is a bigger work. I think you’ve got to make it accessible, practically speaking, to people who listen to it in terms of today’s equipment.

    I mean anything is better than the awful noisy empty grooves between tracks – lifting the needle and trying to find the track again, only to hear those awful noises and realize you’ve just taken another 20 plays off the life of your vinyl record by dropping the needle in the wrong place, or too clumsily. So we should be grateful for the digital age.

    The original Thick As A Brick was meant as a parody of prog-rock, right?

    It remains as a parody of the concept prog-rock album of its day. Because at that point, there were several bands producing rather elaborate and sometimes pompous, overblown productions of music, which were sometimes a mixture of great ideas and too much showing off. Those were bands like Yes and King Crimson and the early Genesis. it wasn’t my favorite kind of music, but I enjoyed quite a lot of it. They were great musicians and did some great stuff, but it just seemed a convenient time to create a bit of a spoof of that grandiose concept album.

    So I wrote something that was designed to be just that, from the starting premise of an 8-year-old boy writing this piece of rather impenetrable and surreal poetry. I mean if you buy into that, then you buy into the whole thing. I thought the joke was kind of obvious, but I guess for a lot of people it wasn’t so obvious. If it was, they didn’t really care. They just liked the idea of it anyways. So it didn’t really have to be explained unduly and in some countries, I suppose people still think of Thick As A Brick as being literally what it says on the packaging. But that was always going to happen to some little degree.

    I would imagine most people understand that it is a spoof. It’s a fabricated and observed notion. But the follow up album is based on an extrapolation of that idea, not just Gerald Bostock but anyone – you know, what happens to you in life. It’s perhaps a rather more somber and serious, sometimes more dark, follow up to the original Thick As A Brick. It is what you expect 40 years down the line. It’s a grown-up piece of work. It has some dark and unhappy moments in there. It’s not all fun and games.

    Online at StCleve.com, it’s more lighthearted and definitely the spoof every bit as it was back then of parochial country life. In fact, I will be inviting our fans to participate in a couple weeks time of writing their own stories for StCleve.com as correspondents We’re going to let some people appear online and they can write their own stories. We’ll pick a few of those each week and put them on our website to join in the fantasy of parochial country life in England. We’ll have to edit out the bad words and inappropriate photographs. We have to remember our responsibilities and we won’t let it overstep the mark of tastefulness.

    This album is not an official Jethro Tull release. Is that correct?

    Well, you can call it what you want really. I don’t mind. I’m happily not in the position where I have to label things too carefully. It is what it is, what it says. It’s my album and that’s indeed the original Thick As A Brick, something I wrote – nobody else did, it was only me. So I guess I’m just having a slightly Roger Waters selfish moment and making people realize I am the author of this, not the members of the band that were there in 1972. Three of them don’t play music anymore. It was never an option to rekindle the musical flames of having the actual musicians that played on it 40 years ago play on this. That was never going to be an option. So I felt this was something that probably deserved to feature my own name rather more prominently, and so it does.

    Did the idea of ever doing a sequel to Aqualung occur to you? That almost seems like an easier choice.

    Well Aqualung is a collection of songs, and I work in that genre all the time. Indeed, we’ll be working on some more individual songs this year. So Aqualung is just a collection of stuff. It’s some good songs, many of which we continue to play today. That’s a different sort an album. But if you’re talking about a single, more conceptual piece that offers a much bigger, more tangible challenge that I avoided like the plague for a long time and finally succumbed to the challenge of it during the last year. Aqualung is a different kettle of fish all together.

    In a sense, you’re messing with your own legacy by creating a sequel to a beloved album. Do you feel any trepidation about how it will be received?

    I’m pretty realistic about it. I think it’s going to result in a deafening response of silent disapproval from the majority of people, who just frankly couldn’t care less. That’s my expectation. I’d be very happy if it meets with approval, not only of hardcore Jethro Tull friends, but a broader audience. I’d be delighted, but I’m not expecting it. This is 2012 and as far as we’re aware, concept progressive rock albums are not the flavor of this decade.

    But having said that, I have felt in the last couple years when I’ve been out and about in different parts of the world that there is a new audience for so called prog-rock. It’s an audience that’s basically in their teens and early twenties. Many of them seem to be in the Latin countries – in South and Central America, and Spain, and Italy – not the places I imagined. I would have imagined in prog-rock was still alive and well, it would be in the USA or UK or Germany. But I would have to say; in USA, UK, and Germany I think it’s less appreciated than it is in many other countries of the world. Perhaps in the three major territories record sales wise, I think it’ll be a hard slog for us. But this will probably sell a lot of copies in Brazil. Well, it won’t actually sell because people will just rip it off the Internet and not pay me a dime. So I’m gonna lose money on it, but there you go.

    I’m excited to hear it.

    Well, it really does sound good. I’m very pleased with it. I think it’s one of those things that when you elect to do something, not because it’s easy, but because it’s hard, as one of your presidents famously suggested, there is a huge sense of achievement when you think you’ve actually pulled it off. So for me and the other musicians, there is a definite feeling of “we did it.”

    But it would be wrong of me to assume that the rest of the world is gonna love it. I’m sure lots of people are gonna think it’s terrific, but it’s not the easiest ride and I think if anybody was gonna try and make a concept prog-rock album come alive in 2012 in a conspicuous way, then I’d be one of the people who could possibly step up to the plate and deliver. I like to think that I have, but I’ll let you and everybody else be the judge of that.

    Your singing style is very distinctive in the way that you chain notes together. Where does that come from?

    I have no idea. What I do know, from the occasion that I work with other people who have sung some of my songs, is that people do find it quite hard to get the phrasing and even to get some of the melodies I use. They’re not so typical of the genre pop and rock music. So it’s not easy stuff. As a guitar player – and I’m not a great guitar player – but what I play apparently seems to be quite difficult for a lot of other musicians to copy.

    I mean, “Thick As A Brick” being a case in point. It’s actually quite hard to play that line. A lot of people give it a go, but they don’t really quite manage to make it work. I remember the guitar player of Red Hot Chili Peppers telling me how long he’d had to struggle to play the intro to “Thick As A Brick” and how he was so impressed with Martin Barre’s guitar playing skills. He was determined he would master it. I told him it wasn’t Martin Barre playing it. It was me.

    These things that you can do – there are probably some things you can do that I would think, “wow, how does he do that?” I could never get close to it. We all have our little talents and skills and quirks and things that we somehow manage to master. Most of us, at some level, manage to do that and we confound other people because they can’t figure it out. But it doesn’t make us better or worse than them. We just have our little idiosyncratic specialties. Yours might be washing up. You might be a whiz in the kitchen at washing up and putting the dishes away after a meal. I’m sure you’d be much better than I am. The chances are you’re probably better at football or tennis or swimming.

    This year’s Grammy Awards are coming up. Will you be watching?

    I never quite followed what the Grammys are. I know what it’s supposed to be about. It’s another one of those award ceremonies that I’m afraid I pay little attention to.

    Jethro Tull is famous for winning in the hard rock category.

    We were nominated in the category of best hard rock/metal performance. Nobody paid a blind bit of notice, because basically they thought, “Well, there’s no way they’re gonna win. It’s gonna be Metallica.” So no one actually paid any attention when we were nominated. I scarcely did myself because I was told by the record company, “you’re never gonna win it, because Metallica is the super new hot band and they are heavy metal.” So we didn’t give it too much thought. It was only when we actually won it that I thought, “wait a minute. We aren’t heavy metal at all.”

    We got given the Grammy for being a bunch of nice guys who had never won a Grammy before and the 6,000 voting members of the National Academy of Recording Artists and sciences decided on their infinite wisdom that they should give us a little nod and a wink for being not eligible in the best male vocalist category or the sexy female with the longest legs category. Since they didn’t have a category for the best one-legged flute player, we kind of just got voted into something, however improbable, and that was the end of it.

    Well, that wasn’t the end of it. Poor old Alice Cooper had to go on stage and collect it on our behalf. He got booed off the stage, I think, by fans of Metallica and members of the media, who possibly quite rightly thought we shouldn’t have been there.

    Maybe they’ll create a category for Thick As A Brick 2 next year, like best sequel record.

    [Laughs] Yeah, I think they’ll have to invent a new category for it. I’m not quite sure what the categories for the Grammys are these days, but I doubt that Thick As A Brick would qualify for any.

  8. #33
    1K Club - QQ Shooting Star winopener's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jethro Tull's "Thick as a Brick" 40th Anniversary Collector's Edition next year

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Romano View Post
    For a bit of fun, take a look at the latest edition of the St. Cleve Chronicle, the publication pictured on the front of the original album.
    "Unauthorised users of text and images will be prosecuted really quite seriously, without delay or remorse. Extradition, a distinct possibility. No non-rabbits were injured in site production."


    BTW, check out the last entry on the "Community" section...

  9. #34
    1K Club - QQ Shooting Star winopener's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jethro Tull's "Thick as a Brick" 40th Anniversary Collector's Edition next year

    But having said that, I have felt in the last couple years when I’ve been out and about in different parts of the world that there is a new audience for so called prog-rock. It’s an audience that’s basically in their teens and early twenties. Many of them seem to be in the Latin countries – in South and Central America, and Spain, and Italy – not the places I imagined.
    Maybe South America and Spain can be seen as "new entries" on the Prog, Italy... decisely not. It's 40 years that Prog has been alive and more or less well thru the ages, however it never went down, both as reissuing old stuff and producing new ones, many times on small and/or indie labels (Mellow and Akarma).
    Heck, you had to see the facial expression of my 21-year old nephew when i gave him my entire vinyl discography of Le Orme.

  10. #35
    tootull JohnN's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jethro Tull's "Thick as a Brick" 40th Anniversary Collector's Edition next year

    A vinyl release of TAAB2 is planned for the anniversary edition of the original Brick.

    IA interviews IA 1 edit.m4v
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dSuI-_Xj3Bg
    IA interviews IA 2 edit
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-Xj3AJUdQU
    IA interviews IA 3 edit
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AdQCpiu_Sfo
    IA interviews IA 4 edit
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XFO6Z0HqMaA
    Credit - thickasabricktwo

    Jethro Tull - Total Rock HD
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHtaW...layer_embedded

  11. #36
    formerly "quadwreck" too
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    Default Re: Jethro Tull's "Thick as a Brick" 40th Anniversary Collector's Edition next year

    Maybe the cover will be a Kindle.

  12. #37
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    Default Re: Jethro Tull's "Thick as a Brick" 40th Anniversary Collector's Edition next year

    Quote Originally Posted by winopener View Post
    Maybe South America and Spain can be seen as "new entries" on the Prog, Italy... decisely not. It's 40 years that Prog has been alive and more or less well thru the ages, however it never went down, both as reissuing old stuff and producing new ones, many times on small and/or indie labels (Mellow and Akarma).
    Heck, you had to see the facial expression of my 21-year old nephew when i gave him my entire vinyl discography of Le Orme.
    Spanish progressive rock can actually be traced at least back to the early 1970's and bands like "Bloque". I have to admire those guys for daring to differ from the crowd. Their country was still a dictatorship back then.


    Quote Originally Posted by Quadwreck View Post
    Maybe the cover will be a Kindle.
    LOL, anything to score a 200 $ profit on each bundle...

  13. #38
    formerly "quadwreck" too
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    Default Re: Jethro Tull's "Thick as a Brick" 40th Anniversary Collector's Edition next year

    One Spanish prog band i like is Lone Star.

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    tootull JohnN's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jethro Tull's "Thick as a Brick" 40th Anniversary Collector's Edition next year

    Now on the official site: New CD Release by Ian Anderson Revives the Prog Genre
    http://www.jethrotull.com/discograph...sonreview.html
    Coming Soon
    Streaming samples of the new album song sections.

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    tootull JohnN's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jethro Tull's "Thick as a Brick" 40th Anniversary Collector's Edition next year

    Good old fashion thick as a brick joke. Above & below. Dig! haha Tell me more about Adrian Stone-Mason?

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    tootull JohnN's Avatar
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    tootull JohnN's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jethro Tull's "Thick as a Brick" 40th Anniversary Collector's Edition next year


  18. Likes Quad Linda liked this post
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    Default Re: Jethro Tull's "Thick as a Brick" 40th Anniversary Collector's Edition next year

    I love I.A. and Tull, and it's awesome we're getting a TAAB2 (and the original in surround) but man does the art design for this album project look chintzy. It looks like someone got ahold of Photoshop Elements and went to town with a bunch of cheap clipart files.

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    Quad Goddess & Moderator Quad Linda's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jethro Tull's "Thick as a Brick" 40th Anniversary Collector's Edition next year

    Perhaps it was done by Gerald Bostock. I doubt he's a graphics pro.

    Love your handle. As all Tull fans know, everyone needs a pibroch.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pibroch View Post
    I love I.A. and Tull, and it's awesome we're getting a TAAB2 (and the original in surround) but man does the art design for this album project look chintzy. It looks like someone got ahold of Photoshop Elements and went to town with a bunch of cheap clipart files.
    KWAD KITTY

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    tootull JohnN's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jethro Tull's "Thick as a Brick" 40th Anniversary Collector's Edition next year

    Ian Anderson - Thick As A Brick 2 (Album Review) Thursday, 08 March 2012 Written by David Owen
    http://www.stereoboard.com/content/view/171154/9

    There’s been something of a second-coming for the concept album in recent years. The excesses of progressive-rock led to the form being derided as esoteric musical snobbery only enjoyed by men with beards and glasses thicker than milk bottles. Yet the proceeding decades have seen the concept album crawl back up from the underground and gain newfound notoriety after several mainstream successes from the likes of Green Day (American Idiot is now a popular Broadway musical), My Chemical Romance, and Coldplay, to name but a few. If there’s something prog-rock cannot stand, it is to be outdone. There is only one thing more indulgent than a concept album: a sequel to a concept album. And to mark the 40th anniversary of the quintessential conceptual specimen, Jethro Tull’s Thick As A Brick, front man Ian Anderson has taken it upon himself to show the young pretenders how it’s done.

    The original casts a long shadow, and news of a belated follow-up has been met with understandable apprehension from fans. Thick As A Brick was Tull’s middle finger to the very pomp and hyperbole that defined and eventually destroyed concept albums, the sprawling pretension of the band’s contemporaries pushed to the outer limits of decency. It was a one-track continuous piece of music, presented under the conceit that all lyrics were derived from an epic poem composed by precocious schoolboy Gerald Bostock. Smartly, Ian Anderson has not tried to imitate past achievements, and instead presents a work worthy of consideration on its own merits.

    TAAB2 asks the deceptively complex question – whatever happened to Gerald Bostock? It isn’t as clear-cut as you might think. The poetic ‘Might Have Beens’ establishes the concept in Anderson’s inimitably verbose style, positing any number of possible futures for his fictional protagonist. ‘Upper Sixth Loan Shark’ and ‘Banker Bets Banker Wins’ see Gerald dabbling in the shadier side of finances. Elsewhere he is a corrupt Christian Evangelist (the tongue-in-cheek ‘Give ‘till It Hurts’) or a casualty of war (‘Wooten Bassett Town’). Although his eye for British stereotype is as keen as ever, Anderson has deliberately shied away from the knockabout humour of the original TAAB. The result is lyrics that are surprisingly relevant and intelligent, although largely bereft of Anderson’s trademark verbal acrobatics and bite, instead often delivered near-spoken word. Still, there’s a warmth to his delivery that lifts the concept above an aging musician looking back over his life and asking, what if? This could have been any of our lives, and Anderson’s observations capture the uncertainty of modern life with all its highs and lows, indecisions and injustices. There may not be many lines that stay with you after listening, but it’s an impressive feat nevertheless.

    So how will diehard Tull fans feel about TAAB2? It is sadly lacking the infectious energy of the original. ‘Shunt & Shuffle’ comes close with an irresistible groove that ends before it can hit full stride, and ‘Old School Song’ lives up to its name with brisk drums and a Hammond organ bounce straight out of 1972. Yet for the most part the music is straight-forward, with perhaps more owed to Tull’s folk-rock heritage, particularly the bucolic approach of Songs From The Wood. Acoustic guitar and piano are often the driving force. Pleasingly there are plenty of opportunities to salute Anderson’s virtuosic flute playing, ‘Pebbles Instrumental’ springing to life whenever the woodwind prances through. The real surprise is ‘A Change of Horses,’ 8-minutes of melancholic drift reminiscent of latter-day Marillion that crescendos in a simply mesmeric flute workout.

    There is a handful of forgettable pieces. TAAB2, like its predecessor, is conceived as a single piece of music, though this time split into 17 sections for the benefit of iTunes. It’s inevitable with albums of this nature that some tracks feel underdeveloped or uninspired, ‘Swing It Far’ and ‘Power & Spirit’ being little more than stepping stones in the overall concept. Otherwise, recurring themes, both nods to Tull classics and bespoke melodies, effectively tie the entire sequence together and move it forward to a satisfying conclusion likely to raise a smile from even the most cynical of prog fans.

    Special mention must be made of the production. In recent years Steven Wilson, front man of Porcupine Tree and prog rock aficionado, has become the go-to man for taking the helm of remix projects (including Jethro Tull). His appreciation and understanding of classic prog shines throughout TAAB2, capturing a sound that is at once vintage and thoroughly modern.

    Undoubtedly there will be those unable to overcome their cynicism about the need for a sequel to such an undisputed genre classic. TAAB2 will underwhelm those expecting a retread of hallowed ground. These might be the very same naysayers that believed the concept album was dead. For those willing to embrace the intelligence and craftsmanship on offer here, Ian Anderson proves that conceptual rock is very much alive, and that no one does it better than the old guard.

    Thick As A Brick 2 is released March 30th.

  22. #46
    tootull JohnN's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jethro Tull's "Thick as a Brick" 40th Anniversary Collector's Edition next year

    Review: Ian Anderson - Thick as a Brick 2
    http://jonnyabrams.blogspot.com/2012...s-brick-2.html
    ...two features that might repel any new listeners are set in stone, namely the medieval vibe conjured by Anderson's bard-like delivery, and the authentic but not entirely welcome chugs of '80s metal power chords. Suffice it to say, such a combination might bring the vehemently anti-prog out in some kind of rash, but accepting these stylistic concessions pays off handsomely with a collection of songs that hang together like those on Tommy or Arthur.

  23. #47
    tootull JohnN's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jethro Tull's "Thick as a Brick" 40th Anniversary Collector's Edition next year

    Ian Anderson Rocksucker ("It's a kind of fish, for crying out loud.") interview
    http://jethrotull.proboards.com/inde...ad=1894&page=1
    http://jonnyabrams.blogspot.co.uk/20...thro-tull.html
    Are those guitar/piano stabs at the very beginning of the record sampled from the original? Or were they performed/recorded anew?

    They were performed anew as opposed to the half-speed tape replay version used on the original. We thought about sampling but playing live was more fun.
    And do you know yet when the 40th anniversary surround sound edition of the original TAAB will be released?

    September some time in both the digital and stereo vinyl versions. I cut the new TAAB in vinyl at Abbey Road last week and it was really great. Best cut ever and the longest playing time. So no mean feat in engineering terms. It compared very favourably with the 24-bit digital master. Amazing.
    http://jethrotull.proboards.com/inde...&page=13#26374
    TAAB2 - some production notes on the new album:
    additional vocals from Ryan O'Donnell
    Trumpet, flugelhorn, tenor horn and e-flat tuba played by Pete Judge

    Mike Downs - recording engineer
    Florian Opahale - digital editor
    Steven Wilson - mixing engineer
    Peter Mew - mastering

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    Default Re: Jethro Tull's "Thick as a Brick" 40th Anniversary Collector's Edition next year

    Nice, thanks.

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    tootull JohnN's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jethro Tull's "Thick as a Brick" 40th Anniversary Collector's Edition next year

    You're welcome.


    TAAB2 STRUCTURE AND LYRICS
    http://www.j-tull.com/discography/ta...icsenglish.pdf

  26. #50
    tootull JohnN's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jethro Tull's "Thick as a Brick" 40th Anniversary Collector's Edition next year

    Thanks to the Jethro Tull Forum - maddogfagin/bunkerfan
    http://jethrotull.proboards.com/inde...e=1#1332440316
    'Banker bets, Banker wins' Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PxsHo...layer_embedded

    "For those who own a Sirius-XM radio, our hero will be on Deep Tracks, channel 27 on both services, at 2:00 Eastern on Friday afternoon!
    They will play Brick 1 with comments from IA then play TAAB 2 in its entirety afterwards"
    http://jethrotull.proboards.com/inde...6&page=5#26380
    Exciting news! Next Monday (26th March) we will be streaming Ian Anderson's ‘Thick As A Brick 2’ in its entirety right here on the Jethro Tull Facebook page for 24 hours! Stay tuned for more info...
    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fb...type=1&theater

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