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1-19-13 ~ A sorry to say update for my original title: "Well...the packaging is nice."
on November 6, 2012
This was just delivered to my door. Got 2 of them: one's to be a Christmas present. The packaging looks great. The original newspaper is reproduced and there's tons of good new stuff in the "Colour Supplement". Should make for a nice fun gift for the TAAB/Jethro Tull fan. I've only given it a quick listen to parts here and there. So far I've noticed a few differences from the original in the Steven Wilson 2012 re-mix. Whether I end up liking the tampering with my favorite Tull album remains to be seen. (5 Stars just because it's Thick as a Brick!). I'll try to update the review eventually. I didn't notice any strong indications of the nasty loudness war super compression yet.
I did notice that at the very end of the album, the "Yeah" that Ian Anderson quietly says, after the final "to be thick as a brick" is sung, IS MISSING! I mean c'mon. With such a big deal re-mix 40th Anniversary Deluxe Package of this classic, done I would assume, for the rabid fan (who would notice these things), and not the casual listener, you'd think all possible homework would have been done. It makes me wonder what else is missing or drastically changed. Does anyone remember the earliest releases of Aqualung on CD which faded out Wind-up after the hard rocking part, forgetting that the song hadn't quite ended yet. There's almost a half minute left with the song finishing up with a quiet acoustic verse! At least Chrysalis Records did the right thing back then by fixing the error for future discs and replacing existing copies with the new one free of charge.
Ah well. I'll probably enjoy hearing something new in this anyway, but in the end, continue to listen to my old versions.
P.S. I hope no one gives this a lower rating because the DVD is not a video. It's for audio and says so on the package.
--Update 11/24/12: Some good news regarding the audio glitches on the DVD 5.1 mix. I haven't listened to mine yet, but according to other reviewers, there are definitely audible problems there. Well I just noticed (as others already have, in the comments), the official Jethro Tull website [...] acknowledges an error occurred during the final stage of mastering. With apologies from EMI music, Ian Anderson and Steven Wilson, plans are to ship corrected versions to stores and replace defective discs for fans who have already made the purchase. Good for them! Thanks for doing the right thing. Check the Tull site for more information to follow.
-- 1-19-13 -- UPDATE WORTHY OF CAPS AND TOO MANY EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!!!: As I've previously stated, this is my favorite Tull album. Spin me back down the years and the days of my youth, and you'll see I've known this music better than the back of my hand for too long. Other than the not so important to me glitches on the DVD, which I haven't even listened to yet, I've been listening to the cd in the car on the long commutes. I've found a horrible, non-glitch mistake! (Maybe it will be blamed on an innocent glitch!) A mistake which changes the music as I know and love it. And now that I've discovered it, I really don't care if there are any others on the disc. It doesn't matter because I won't be listening to this remix anymore, other than to use it as a tool with which I'll try to discover previously hidden subtleties in the music for curiosities sake. I KNEW there was something wrong with it! Something about the timing. I knew it, I KNEW IT! This is one reason why I don't like change!
OK, listen to the first couple of minutes of Tr. 2 which was originally side two of the vinyl album. Right after the first Barriemore Barlow drum solo break which starts at approximately 1:32, there's that cheerful, little melody (beginning at 1:41), being played on flute and chimes I believe, whilst Barriemore keeps pounding away at the kit. (Cool thing: Listen to the high hat keeping the constant tst-ts, ts-tst, ts-ts, through all the wild drumming abandon.) You'll notice that the short theme is immediately repeated without a break, beginning at approx. 1:48 and continues until the entire band rejoins the music at approx. 1:54. But they rejoin before the repeated theme is finished. The little flute/chime melody and the return of the whole band playing, don't match up.
I believe that my brain was uncomfortable for the first couple of listens, during the ride to work in rush hour, knowing there was something "off" before I did. Then I started hitting the rewind a little bit to check on something that didn't sound right. "Yes, that's not how it goes. Is it?" Was it possible I missed this and had it wrong all these years??!! My suspicions were confirmed after listening to my earlier cd releases at home: THE WHOLE SECTION WAS WRONG!! On the originals, the little flute melody begins at approx. 1:41, continues to approx. 1:48, pauses, then picks up again at approx. 1:52 with ONLY the first five notes! They don't repeat the whole thing! This allows a split second or so for the drum solo break to just wrap things up on its own, before the band comes back in, leaving the whole piece sounding perfectly timed and placed... Like it's supposed to be... Oy!
Is anybody with me on this? I feel I'm rambling and maybe not making myself clear. Or maybe no one cares. "Is it warmer in the summer than it is in the country?...Or who cares?" : Curly Howard. Or as Ed Norton might say: "Am I coming through out there in television land?"
Well, I would normally be fuming mad, but I'm comforted in knowing that I already have numerous copies of Thick as a Brick in multiple formats, in its previous original state, just the way I like it. Steve Wilson does not have my permission to touch them.
...Alright, I am fuming! Just a little. For the sake of future listeners......and me. I HATE IT!
I regret I must drop the star rating down from 5 to at least 3. I hope Amazon restricts the rating to just this version.