OUT NOW: Jethro Tull, A
A is a unique record in the band's 50-plus year history: intended as a solo album by frontman and flautist Ian Anderson (the title comes from how the tapes were initially labeled, for "Anderson"), it instead showed off a new four-piece line-up including guitarist Martin Barre plus former Fairport Convention bassist Dave Pegg and drummer Mark Craney. Fans were stunned to hear a more synthesizer-oriented album with A, with former Roxy Music keyboardist guesting throughout the whole album.
For the expanded 40th anniversary edition of A , acclaimed engineer Steven Wilson again brings his remixing magic to the original album as well as five unreleased tracks, a 1980 concert from the Los Angeles Sports Arena (which takes up two of the set's three discs) and even the video release Slipstream. Issued in 1981, Slipstream combined live footage with music videos to four tracks from the band's discography - including A's "Flyingdale Flyer." The set's three DVDs will feature all the audio from the CDs as well as Slipstream remixed in stereo, DTS and Dolby AC3, and in 5.1 surround sound, with a bonus hi-res transfer of the original album mix in stereo.
"He knows the way I work, or worked, and I know the way he works," Ian Anderson told The Progressive Aspect. "It's pretty much a well-worn procedure of dealing with the nuances because Steven stays fairly faithful to the original stereo placement and balance of things. It's really just cleaning up and picking out the detail. The big job is to take these original analogue masters and make them sound pristine and clear and, in many ways, to improve upon the sound quality with the technical wizardry of the digital domain."