Do you have a multi-channel system? If so, I can recommend some DTS versions of their most popular albums that sound pretty good: Thick As A Brick, Standup, Benefit, and A Passion Play. Auqalung doesn't sound so good. Contact me offlist if you are interested...
The only ones I don't really care for are Too Old to Rock"n"Roll Too Young To Die, and perhaps Under Wraps even though there are a few good songs on it. Some of the later ones I find really good are Crest of A Knave, J-Tull Dot Com, The Christmas album etc.
Most of the early Jethro Tull albums were masterpieces (IMHO), including THIS WAS, BENEFIT, AQUALUNG, THICK AS A BRICK, LIVING IN THE PAST, TOO OLD TO ROCK AND ROLL-TOO YOUNG TO DIE. You will realize this after the first 100
listenings. I can't recall a bad CD. Save youself some expense and try one of the many greatest hits/compilation
My early issue Aqualung CD is the worst sounding I own.
I think they used the master that was equalized for LPs.
A real stinker.
Among the earlier Tull Remastered CDs, IMHO SOUND-WISE only:
Stand Up is great; Benefit not so good, LPs are better; Aqualung never has sounded good in any format I've ever heard, Thick as a Brick is quite good, Passion Play is much better than the original LP; Minstrel is quite good, War Child is OK, SFT Wood is good, Heavy Horses is very good. The rest are pretty much all good from there, with Broadsword and the Beast a standout sonically (but perhaps not musically).
Personally I think Heavy Horses is an absolute Tull masterpiece.
Haven't seen any of the concert DVDs, although the "A" CD/DVD set is worth having if only for the live versions of Black Sunday and Aqualung, which just flat out rocks!
Aqualung was a bad recording from the beginning. Even Ian Anderson has mentioned how bad it sounds due to the recording venue.
No decent Aqualung huh?....bummer! Maybe it's time for them to revisit the studio on this one...afterall, it's a great piece of work. We are a bit giddy here after seeing that Tull will be performing at a Music Festival we go to each year!
the japnese mini lp cd is the best of whats out there, including the classic records vinyl re-issue
You asked which ones to stay away from, but we state which ones we like. Guess we don't listen very well....
Mr. Anderson & the boys came out with a live Agualung CD a couple of years back. They did the whole album live for XM radio or some such. It is quite good to me. Some of the songs are identical and some are spruced up a smidgeon. Sound wise it is a great improvement. The Xmas album is one of my favorites sonically. I also agree on the Heavy Horses being a Tull masterpiece.
Good luck, John
Regarding the Aqualung cd.....I have read that a Capitol-EMI release was of decent sound quality(as compared to Chrysalis). I found 2 related to EMI...one is EMI UK and the other is Toshiba EMI from Japan. Are these 3 related/the same? Or maybe I guess I should probably just get my turntable fixed and play my old albums.
Ian stated Tull recorded Aqualung at the same place and time Led Zep recorded their fourth album and they had the large studio and Zep had the small cramped studio in an old converted church. The rest is history.
The Live Aqualung sounds pretty good. it was done for a benefit. pretty easy to find.
After reading this thread, will have to get out my Heavy Horses LP for a listen...have Aqualung on cassette that was recorded off the radio and it sounds pretty good, probably recorded from a cd...
I agree with Rwwear- aside from Too Old For R'n R and Under Wraps, maybe "A", they all excellent.
The last 40 year Anniv. Tour this summer was unbelievable.
Try progarchives.com for lots of info on Tull and other progressive rock bands.
Now that most everyone trashed "Aqualung", you might try the 40th Anniversary CD version, available in 2012. You will hear what a masterpiece it really is!
Tony, picked it up a few weeks ago and luvin' it!
to me anything after heavy horses may have some good songs on them but also have a lot of filler as well where as many of their works up to and including heavy horses are excellent listens beginning to end.
Thanks for the website Mapman. I've been looking for a guide to prog. I'm getting old and I'm out of touch in the music scene.
The new (2011) issue of Aqualung is stunning. The bonus tracks are worthy of purchase alone but the real revelation is the remastered original album. It is about the best modern remaster of any album I have heard, and that includes many from the well known gold CD labels.
The DVDs are poor in terms of presentation. You get a live track then some chat, then a live track and so on, which was not what I either expected or wanted.
The earlier CD issues were a real hotch-potch of audio quality, none of them being very good. Even the later album "Roots to Branches" was a complete sonic mess, with some tracks mixed well and some wading through mud.
One of my favorite bands. For me, Stand Up is the masterpiece, which is saying a lot for them. I just bought a deluxe edition about 6 months ago with a concert CD etc. All of the three versions I have are great sounding. "Look into the Sun" must be one of the most beautiful songs in the rock genre.
the song "we used to know" from stand up is in my top 10 rock songs.
I'm listening to the 24 bit re master of Songs from the Woods right now and it sounds grand,really great. It has no digititis in the vocals which for me is what I can't stand in digital. I have it @ moderate volume and it is not giving up the ghost. Running it through a Sony 999ES Modwright modified Cd player with the tube analog out.
Got to plug Hoffman's DCC gold cd from the original master tapes version of Aqualung. It isn't Warchild clarity for certain but it is quite good. May have to get the newest remaster mentioned above and compare the two.