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Jethro Tull - A Classic Case CD (album) cover

A CLASSIC CASE

Jethro Tull

 

Prog Folk

3.01 | 84 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Shakespeare
2 stars This is a very poor first try at rendering the stellar compositions of Tull's music to a lusher, orchestral sound. If you're looking for a proper stab at this, where there's a more diverse track list, and much better arrangements, then look no further than the Ian Anderson double live album "Ian Anderson Plays the Orchestral Jethro Tull". There, we are overwhelmed by the beautiful original string compositions, the changes made to classics that give an unexpected variation, the power and emotion brought forth by the gorgeous sounding instruments. But here, the orchestra rarely works as well. This is caused by the disappointingly dull dynamics, the songs structure being virtually unchanged, and the instruments carrying much less power than on the other record. However, the album isn't an entire waste of money, and some of the songs found here: Elegy, for example, cannot be found in classical version anywhere else, and don't do a bad job at stirring the listener. But generally, the album fails to please.

Perhaps I'm being slightly unfair to this album, because sometimes a very spacious string sections fills empty spaces that conventional rock instruments simply cannot fill: the haunting introduction to Locomotive Breathe was certainly meant for the full orchestra, and carries that spice that piano alone cannot always generate. But, unfortunately, it isn't much more touching than the original recording, nor is it dark and intriguing as some classical versions of rock music can be, and mildly short. Another smaller complain of mine is the presence of Ian's flute, drums bass guitar and electric guitar - because the music is less distinct from the original with these instruments: furthermore, this collection is a little superfluous. Electronic effects effect momentarily appear, something that is absolutely unneeded in such an environment. Also, the song selection does not give enough room for the earlier Tull (with the exception of a few songs), and it all but ignores the newer music Tull was putting out at the time this was released - much of which sounds suitable for such an experiment.

Especially with tracks such as Too Old To Rock N' Roll; Too Young To Die, (but many others as well) where orchestra and/or brass instruments were already integrated into the music, it seems a pointless choice for this collection. Moreover, not only do most of the songs sound the same, but some are absolutely lacking the spice, the dynamic force that Jethro Tull had poured originally into the songs. Sound quality is not perfect - and it is without question poor on drums and guitar, and overall production is satisfactory, maybe only a little better. Tull fans may seem appalled at the distortion of the Tull sound, and perhaps it's best to simply check out "Ian Anderson Plays the Orchestral Jethro Tull" for you. In fact, this may actually be a better listen for non-Tull fans. Who knows?

Shakespeare | 2/5 |

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