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Jethro Tull - Minstrel In The Gallery CD (album) cover


Jethro Tull


Prog Folk

4.03 | 1103 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / In Memoriam

This is 1975. JETHRO TULL is one of the biggest names at the time. Concerts are sold out, LPs sales garnish the bank accounts of our 5 musicians plenty ,especially the one from the man who has all the writing credits. Even if WARCHILD was not a masterpiece, even if the rock journalists liked to put the band down back then, JETHRO TULL was on top of the -rock-world.

MINSTREL IN THE GALLERY is considered generally as one of the main achievements of IAN and friends...and rightly so.All the elements that make JETHRO TULL are here: a lot of nice acoustic guitar and flute, heavy BARRE guitar breaks, lush classical string arrangements...and of course the strong and distinct voice of its leader.

Often considered as an acoustic or folk album, there is more than that to describe MINSTREL. You will definitely find 2 distinct sides of JT music on this album:

-the hard rocking side with the first 3 tracks of the album. The title track, even starting falsely as an acoustic ballad,transforms itself into one of the most violent songs JETHRO TULL would record. A lot of energetic guitar breaks from MARTIN who is given freedom of expression by master IAN, and believe me, our guitarist is taking advantage of it. No way of stopping him.He fully unleash mean riffs after each other like a possessed demon.

COLD WIND TO VALHALLA follows the same pattern starting as gentle scottish country ballad in the typical JT vein until MARTIN BARRE and the rythm section of BARLOW and HAMMOND-HAMMOND appear again to make this song a nice rocker. BARRE add some tastefully licks and sound like he is having some really good time with his -almost steel sounding-guitar .Great vocal performance from IAN ANDERSON as well

BLACK SATIN DANCER is my favorite track of the album. Great melody, great string arrangements in the back and of course the king is once again MARTIN BARRE performing one of his most magnificent solo ever before throwing again some breaking riffs like a hungry man. I just i love the groove of this song.

-the acoustic side of the band with the rest of the album: REQUIEM is one of those typical ANDERSONERIES with only IAN, his acoustic guitar and the lush violin arrangements from DAVID PALMER who was quite omnipresent at this time .A very pleasnt smooth song. No BARRE guitar to break the song as surely, he has been given the day off by IAN.

ONE WHITE DUCK/NOTHING AT ALL comes after in the same spirit than its predecessor. Another great melody only with acoustic guitar and the string quartet. Once again ,the rest of the band is not going to get a paycheck with this song as they are missing in action or maybe they were at the beach as the album was recorded in MONACO.

Then follows the ''epic'' of the album: the 16 mns BAKER ST MUSE; That's quite an interesting piece of music with some very good parts, but also some other parts are dragging the song a little bit. MARTIN BARRE and the rest of the band are back and bring some energy well needed to keep the song interesting throughout the 16 mns.BAKER is a pleasant song to listen to, complete with all the TULL caracteristics that make the band great- nice acoustic parts, a nice rocking side, some medieval influence, this old Britain feel- but i think it would have sounded better with a shortened version as there is a feeling of sameness at the end, at least for me. The album ends with another short acoustic/string number GRACE.

The bonus tracks are OK, but not great enough to add another star! MINSTREL IN THE GALLERY would have been a total masterpiece if not for the over-extended BAKER ST MUSE. Would have this song been shortened and the missing space replaced by another great track, i'd give 5 stars.So.......wil be.


febus | 4/5 |


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