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Jethro Tull’s ‘A Passion Play’ Getting Deluxe Reissue Treatment

Jethro Tull, 'A Passion Play'
Chrysalis

Jethro Tull‘s 1973 album ‘A Passion Play’ is returning to stores this summer, with a fresh remastering job and loads of bonus material in tow.

Originally released in July 1973, ‘Passion’ served as the proper follow-up to 1972′s smash hit ‘Thick as a Brick,’ and found the band working overtime to come up with new material before a scheduled tour. The pressure was on after initial attempts to record a double LP at the Chateau d’Herouville in France ended in ruin.

“Our original plan was not to make another concept album,” explained frontman Ian Anderson. “The project started off as a collection of songs, including two that ended up going onto our next album ‘War Child’: ‘Bungle in the Jungle’ and ‘Skating Away (On the Thin Ice of the New Day).’ A certain theme had begun to emerge among the songs — how the animal life is mirrored in the dog-eat-dog world of human society — but the project just wasn’t working out. So we abandoned what we’d done and went back to England.”

After “almost completely rewriting” that material, Anderson sensed a unifying theme. “The concept grew out of wondering about the possible choices one might face after death. It was a dark album, just as we had intended, but it was missing some of the fun and variety that was in ‘Thick as a Brick,’” he admitted. “The critics savaged us. … We got a fair old pasting for that one. On reflection, the album is a bit one-dimensional. It’s certainly not one of my favorites, although it has become something of a cult album with some fans.”

Those fans will be well served with ‘A Passion Play: An Extended Performance,’ a 2-CD/2-DVD package that offers Steven Wilson stereo mixes of the original album as well as the Chateau d’Herouville sessions, plus 5.1 DTS and AC3 Dolby Digital surround sound and PCM 96/24 PCM stereo mixes of all the tracks and video footage from the era. The package is presented as a case-bound book, which includes an extensive article by Martin Webb on the preparation and recording of the album and the Château sessions that preceded it, in addition to an assortment of other essays and recollections. For listeners who prefer an analog experience, the stereo mix will also be available on 180-gram vinyl.

Jethro Tull, ‘A Passion Play: An Extended Performance’ Track Listing
CD 1 – A Passion Play (Steven Wilson stereo mix):
‘Lifebeats/Prelude’
‘The Silver Cord’
‘Re-Assuring Tune’
‘Memory Bank’
‘Best Friends’
‘Critique Oblique’
‘Forest Dance #1′
‘The Story Of The Hare Who Lost His Spectacles’
‘Forest Dance #2′
‘The Foot Of Our Stairs’ (with 2 extra verses found on end of multi-track reel)
‘Overseer Overture’
‘Flight From Lucifer’
’10.08 to Paddington’
‘Magus Perde’
‘Epilogue’

CD 2 – The Chateau d’Herouville Sessions (Steven Wilson stereo mix):
‘The Big Top’
‘Scenario’
‘Audition’
‘Skating Away’
‘Sailor’
‘No Rehearsal’
‘Left Right’
‘Solitaire’
‘Critique Oblique (Part I)’
‘Critique Oblique (Part II)’
‘Animelee (1st Dance) [Instrumental]‘
‘Animelee (2nd Dance) [Instrumental]‘
‘Law Of The Bungle (Part I)’
‘Tiger’
‘Law Of The Bungle (Part II)’

Next: Top 10 Jethro Tull Songs

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