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Jethro Tull - Nightcap CD (album) cover


Jethro Tull


Prog Folk

3.66 | 173 ratings

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4 stars I remember vividly that it took me about a month to finally decide buying this double CD since I saw it displayed in one of local record stores in Jakarta, sometime in 1997. I was in doubt looking at the title that it comprised unreleased masters of the band's previous works 1973 - 1991. It's basically due to my experience with very bad audio quality of what so called "bonus tracks" of other bands that re-mastered their classic works. Usually I am dissatisfied with these bonus tracks especially with the sonic quality as well as weird composition due to unfinished work. But I love the band and how come I don't have this one? So, I played dice and purchased this CD. I spun this CD right away in my car while driving home. To my surprise, the sonic quality sounded really excellent in my car stereo except that the bass that needs to add some more. But, overall it's very satisfactory because the treble and mid range are excellent and beyond other bands' bonus tracks standards.

Disc One

Disc One contains "Chateau D'issaster Tapes" that's being called this way by Ian Anderson due to the process by which this record was made. The infamous 1973 recording sessions at The Chateau D'Herouville, near Paris, were never completed due to ill-health, technical and production problems, and the sudden decision of the band to return to the UK from temporary and ill-advised tax exile. Rather than continue with the Chateau Tapes, the band decided to begin with a virtually new work which quickly became the more down-beat and controversial "A Passion Play".

The collection of songs in Disc One is really excellent and I never expected that they're as fine as this. From the classical music influence "First Post" that opened the collection beautifully with a combination of almost all acoustic instruments like guitar, alto sax, flute the collection moves smoothly to second track "Animelee" which still explores classical vein. Beautiful opening! It than moves into more attractive outfits with a strong nuance of "A Passion Play" album. Yes, for those who love "A Passion Play" album, including myself, would love to hear some catchy parts of the concept album through this collection with songs like "Tiger Toon", "Critique Oblique" and "Post Last". Because "A Passion Play" was released way before this collection, for me is like another treat listening to nice parts of the album in different arrangement here with different version.

The best parts that really satisfy me is when this collection reaches track 9 and 10 "Critique Oblique" - "Post Last". Yes, it truly sounds like "A Passion Play", i.e. approximately at minutes 15 of A Passion Play. The version featured here is different especially in Ian Anderson's vocal melody and flutes - it has more flute improvisation in this collection. Additionally, Ian inserts a nice narration in the middle of "Critique Oblique". WOW! Oh my God .. This is truly a masterpiece work! This track has a wonderful composition featuring inventive flute work and relatively complex structure with weird but nice rhythm section. It's truly a progressive act, my friend! For practicality, when I'm too lazy to spin "A Passion Play" CD that contains one long track (40 minutes plus), I'd rather play this "Critique Oblique" because it's shorter (9 minutes) played with different style and different ending part. "Post Last" (track 10) continues the "A Passion Play" nuance with great flute and complex rhythm section reflecting the original album version.

Other tracks in Disc One are also excellent. "Law of the Bungle" and "Law of The Bungle Part II" are excellent tracks with great narration by Ian Anderson. Structurally, it reminds me to the band's "War Child" album as well as "A Passion Play". "Look At The Animal" combines the works of piano, acoustic guitar and flute with unique voice of Ian. "Left Right" is a rocking track with excellent electric guitar work. "Solitaire" of course it's an outfit from "War Child" with great acoustic guitar work.

Well, I'm not exaggerating to give Disc one as masterpiece work with 5 stars rating.

Disc Two

Disc Two contains the band's unreleased and rare tracks from 1974 until 1994. Those that were made in seventies: "Paradise Steakhouse", "Sealion II" , "A Small Cigar", "Broadford Bazaar" and "Quartet". "Sealion II" is of course stemming "War Child" album. From the 70s tracks I can sense the classic Tull nuance with heavy dominance of flute and acoustic guitar.

From the eighties there are :"Crew Nights", "The Curse", "A Man of Principle", "Commons Brawl", "No Step", "Drive on The Young Side of Life", "Lights Out, and "Hard Liner". "A Man of Principle" is an excellent track in the vein of "Rock Island" album. I can see the move from seventies JT to the eighties whereby organ / keyboard was becoming obviously used. This also similar with the nineties with song like "Rosa On The Factory Floor".

I still consider Disc Two as a good collection even though it's not as good as Disc One. Rating for Disc Two is 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Highly recommended, especially for Disc One. Keep on proggin' .!!!!

Progressively yours,


Gatot | 4/5 |


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