- An excellent sounding UK copy with Double Plus (A++) sound from the first note to the last
- Both sides are super big and full with wonderfully breathy vocals and a deep punchy bass
- Very quiet for this title — Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus
- “Minstrel in the Gallery was Tull’s most artistically successful and elaborately produced album since Thick As a Brick…” – All Music=
This original British Chrysalis copy has two excellent sides, with ROCK ENERGY and power that few other copies could compete with. This copy gets BIG when it needs to (the proggy parts), and that makes it fun.
Plenty of Tubey Magic is on offer as well, with rich, sweet acoustic guitars and a lovely freedom from hi-fi-ishness on the vocals. As you probably know, Ian Anderson can get a little carried away with the processing on his voice, but the best copies make that processing sound right within the context of the overall sound. Most copies have added distortion and grit on the vocal effects, making them much less pleasing to the ear than the engineers envisioned.
What amazing sides such as these have to offer is not hard to hear:
- The biggest, most immediate staging in the largest acoustic space
- The most Tubey Magic, without which you have almost nothing. CDs give you clean and clear. Only the best vintage vinyl pressings offer the kind of Tubey Magic that was on the tapes in 1975
- Tight, note-like, rich, full-bodied bass, with the correct amount of weight down low
- Natural tonality in the midrange — with all the instruments (and effects!) having the correct timbre
- Transparency and resolution, critical to hearing into the three-dimensional studio space
No doubt there’s more but we hope that should do for now. Playing the record is of course the only way to hear all of the above.
What to Listen for
Space is critical to the success of the dense mixes employed in the proggy parts of the recording. The best copies have room for all the instruments to separate themselves out. Just to take one example: the drums are everywhere: higher, lower, in the front, in the back; in short, all over the place, and there’s no doubt in our minds that they were meant to be heard that way, not congested, blurred and smeared together on a single plane as they were on many of the copies we played.
And not thinned out either, which is not so much about space but sure is important on a rock record.
Minstrel in the Gallery
Cold Wind to Valhalla
Black Satin Dancer
One White Duck/0=Nothing at All
Baker St. Muse
Minstrel in the Gallery was Tull’s most artistically successful and elaborately produced album since Thick As a Brick and harkened back to that album with the inclusion of a 17-minute extended piece (“Baker Street Muse”). Although English folk elements abound, this is really a hard rock showcase on a par with — and perhaps even more aggressive than — anything on Aqualung.
In 1975, the band released Minstrel in the Gallery, an album which resembled Aqualung in that it contrasted softer, acoustic-guitar-based pieces with lengthier, more bombastic works headlined by Barre’s electric guitar. Written and recorded during Anderson’s divorce from his first wife Jennie Franks, the album is characterised by introspective, cynical, and sometimes bitter lyrics. Critics gave it mixed reviews, but the album came to be acknowledged as one of the band’s best by longtime Jethro Tull fans, even as it generally fell under the radar to listeners familiar only with Aqualung.
This Was (1968)
Stand Up (1969)
Aqualung (1971) (Top 100)
Thick as a Brick (1972) (Top 100)
A Passion Play (1973)
War Child (1974)
Minstrel in the Gallery (1975)
Too Old to Rock ‘n’ Roll: Too Young to Die! (1976)
Songs from the Wood (1977)