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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: PLEASE READ ENTIRE DESCRIPTION. This is a used CD. It is rated as good. The original case is included along with the documents and artwork. The case may be cracked or worn. There may be minor scratches on the CD, but they have been tested and play fine. All CD's have been donated to us and are being sold to raise money for library improvements and literacy programs around Richmond, VA.
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Minstrel in the Gallery

4.5 out of 5 stars 171 customer reviews

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Audio CD, November 5, 2002
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Editorial Reviews

The hit title track; Cold Wind to Valhalla; Black Satin Dancer; Grace ; the bonus track Pan Dance ; two live BBC sessions, and more! 1975 release.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 5, 2002)
  • Original Release Date: 1975
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Parlophone
  • ASIN: B00006JKOL
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (171 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,265 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I said in my 7 January review (below) that I planned to buy the remastered version of this release even though I already had the older CD version. Well, I bought it, and I'm just submitting this follow-up review to say that I'm very, very glad I did.

It's not just for the extra tracks, although those are nice. The two live tracks are no big deal; they're just the introductory acoustic portions of the two songs. Of the three studio tracks, two have been previously released and are of course good to have; "Pan Dance," previously unreleased [or is it? see comments], is an instrumental featuring Ian Anderson's flute and a fine orchestral arrangement by David Palmer. All well worth having, at any rate.

But the album itself is so good that it's worth having the remastered version just for the improved sound quality. I thought it was fine before, but compared to this one, the old one sounds like it was recorded through a bucket of mud. The remastering is so crisp, clean, and clear that you can hear every single sonic detail, from Anderson's acoustic guitar to Barrie Barlow's subtle percussion. And Martin Barre's electric guitar, which was penetrating enough on the older release, is now so sharp it's like an ice pick in your mind.

There's also (as in all these recent remasterings) a short set of liner notes by Ian Anderson himself. The lyrics are included twice -- once in a copy of the old album insert, and once in a set of new pages. (It's good that they're both included, as the new pages inadvertently omit a verse here and there.)

If you're a Tull fan, it's well worth picking up even if you already have the old one. Just thought you'd like to know.
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Format: Audio CD
Minstrel In The Gallery is a great hard rocking slice of progressive music. Back in 1979, when I was first exposed to this release, I wasn't too keen on it. But past experience with all things Tull had taught me that my patience and persistence would be rewarded. And so they were--more than with any other Tull recording.
For the progressive ROCK connosieur, Minstrel In The Gallery has everything. Great vocals with witty over-the-top lyrics, stinging guitars, inventive drumwork, solid bass playing, and some of the best string arrangements ever to grace a rock 'n' roll recording. Yep, Minstrel is my favorite from Tull. I'd take it over Thick As A Brick or Aqualung anyday.
As for the sound of this remaster, it is wonderful. Both of the previous versions (one on vinyl and one on CD) of Minstrel I've owned were lacking in some way. My old vinyl was almost completely devoid of treble frequencies, and the bass was rather flat. My old import CD version I purchased back in 1987 was way too bright with the same flat bass as the vinyl. The new remaster addresses all of these problems and more. I almost feel like I'm hearing Minstrel In The Gallery for the first time. Also, in direct contrast to recent general mastering practice, very little--if any--compression was applied to the music. The full scope of the dynamics are there to behold--not squashed for the sake of a louder CD. You just need to turn it up folks. What rock 'n' roller has a problem with that?
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Format: Audio CD
An album which is a favorite of hard-core Tull fans. It is an album that is very unique in the Tull catalogue, practically without exception the music on Minstrel would not fit well on any other Tull album. The most apt descriptions are simple, hard hitting adjectives: Raw, acerbic, harsh, grating, crass, self-absorbed -- even self-obsessed. The emotions run wild and uncontrolled, a gamut encompassing guilt, anger, cynicism, bitterness, self-deprecation, and lust all the way to sadness, humor, altruism, and at last, optimism. The end result is utterly magnificent.
Mr. Anderson has been quoted as saying that he thought Minstrel was "too autobiographical," expressing a feeling that this was damaging to the album. For many long-time Tull fans it is precisely this feature that is so attractive. For those not amongst the hard-core of fans, if you like power in your music, there is more than enough here to satisfy the most testosterone-laden circulatory system. But be prepared for a great deal of subtlety as well, as most of the works here appear to be written in a manic-depressive style, yielding rapid-fire insights into the many conflicts raging within the artist at what appears to be a difficult time in his life.
The title track starts out simply and accoustically, as everything on this album does. But as is also commonplace here, it quickly moves to a faster pace and a harsher demeanor. (Pay a little attention to the extra percussion effects early on, for the semi-joke at the end of Baker St. Muse relies on them). Early on, Martin Barre takes complete control of the massive opening track with his seering guitar, never really relinquishing the song. The overpowering sensation that one takes away from this album is of Mr.
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Format: Audio CD
After "Aqualung" and "War Child" were such huge successes, I was worried that Jethro Tull had, as Frank Zappa phrased it, gone commercial. "Minstrel in the Gallery" corrected that notion. "Minstrel in the Gallery" returns Tull to their original self-defined genre.

I always get a kick out of people trying to fit Jethro Tull into any particular type of music, because they are just plain not anything. While they have elements of hard rock/metal, elements of pop, elements of progressive, elements of folk, elements of renaissance, and even a bit of classical here and there, they are all of the above and none of the above. They just are.

The opening track, "Minstrel in the Gallery", begins with hammering and noises that make it sound as though the group is on a stage that is being prepared for a play. The song then transitions into a bard-like minstrel song, and then takes off into a hard rock song. An excellent opening song that sets you up for the things to come.

"Cold Wind to Valhalla" won't fool you. There are some violins and flavor of folk/renaissance, but at around 1 minute and 45 seconds into the song it switches into overdrive and you realize you are listening to a solidly rock song. Excellent use of violins in this song to help the orchestration. Hard to believe that violins can be a hard-rock instrument.

You hear classic Jethro Tull in the beginning of "Black Satin Dancer", then some hard rock riffs, and you suspect what will come next in this song. And you would be right and wrong. This song is a sensual song with allusions of sexual foreplay and intense longing, perhaps even lust. Sometimes I felt some occasional elements of King Crimson, and then not. The hard rock elements intertwine with classic Tull and some occasional progressive flashes.
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