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Jethro Tull - A Passion Play: An Extended Perfomance CD (album) cover

A PASSION PLAY: AN EXTENDED PERFOMANCE

Jethro Tull

 

Prog Folk

4.90 | 58 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Tapfret
5 stars Issue #100

A Passion Play on the P-Word
An Extended Performance?

Now Pretentiousser!

Ah, here we are. The prized prey of 1973's pompous and paradoxically pedantic pundits of pop critique, A Passion Play. The preeminent work in the prog paradigm of conceptual long-plays, it was poked, prodded and universally panned as prohibitively ponderous. These professional persecutors of pastoral pursuits, with egos as pumped up as Pink Floyd's inflated prop pigs, snuffled their protuberant probosces in paraphrase:
'Who is this pipe-playing pranceabout with a proclivity toward perplexity? A pox on he! HE IS PRETENTIOUS! PRETENTIOUS, I SAY! ....oh praise be my vocabulary, I should procure an augmented percentage payment for my perspicacity. *tsk tsk*'

Poppycock!

Even if belated, the positive prospects of the play's fans would not be put out. Here, and now, a palliative presentation on four pristine plastic platters of digitized programmes. Packaged with the fabled Chateau d'Herouville sessions, the precursor to A Passion Play, the re-mastered source is propagated with improvements. Shall we dispense with the preamble and proceed?

Who could possibly protest the pronouncement that A Passion Play, this prosaic conceptual picture of a poor young souls demise presented in thespian parlance, stands as a pinnacle of progressive rock? As prefaced, many would. But let us not ponder further the failed placation of the pop plutocracy. Let us instead plow forward to how perfection could be further polished. Enter the patriarch of Porcupine: prog's prodigal prince of post- production, one Steven Wilson. Mixing to the standard pentangle of sonic projection ...point one. The encompassing sounds paint the play in hues of polychromasia that create additional pyretic layers of character to the seemingly polydactyl pressing of keys and strings. This plussing is no more evident than in the bounding bookend parts to the play's intermission, Forest Dance #1 and #2. Additionally, it has come to light that we were pinched of 50 some-odd seconds of verse on Foot of Our Stairs, until now.

The package also contains a peak into the band's pragmatic fiscal pilgrimage as potential ex-patriots to the palace proximal to Paris, Chateau d'Herouville. Was this possibly a peaceful place to practice and record? Alas, our players would be plagued with problems. First their place of sleep was infested with parasitic pests. But most problematic was the pabulum induced peristaltic pathology that progressed to peritoneal rumbling to the party's participants. Nonetheless the band plugged away at their project, their perseverance punished by having it hidden away from posterity. The product has familiarity, no doubt. Many passages ported to the eventual final A Passion Play release, while Skating Away on the Thin Ice of a New Day would later be a pop-chart resident. Like the title discs, The Chateau d'Herouville Sessions are presented on both re-mastered CD and DVD featuring DTS 5.1 mix.

The parade continues with a booklet with pages of paragraphs on the history and pre-history of this profoundly wondrous work. The story of the previously summarized Chateau sessions is contained within along with discussion of the remix process by Steven Wilson, interviews past and present, and tour photos.

And if that was not enough, a live ballet performance of the greatest moment in progressive rock history, The Hare Who Lost His Spectacles!

The purveyors of enhanced media have properly palpated the pulse of this progger. This was no passive undertaking. 5 stars before. Now, 5 stars more.

Perfection.

Tapfret | 5/5 |

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