REVIEW: Jethro Tull – Thick As A Brick (1972, 50th Anniversary remixed, cut 1/2 speed vinyl edition)

Thanks to Aaron of the KMA for sending this record for my 50th birthday!  50th anniversary edition for my 50th trip around the sun.

 

JETHRO TULL – Thick As A Brick (Originally 1972, 50th Anniversary Chrysalis Steven Wilson remix, cut 1/2 speed vinyl edition)

This review is focused on the remix and packaging of the 50th anniversary edition.  For a more music-focused analysis, read our 25th Anniversary CD review.  That CD came out in 1997.  How does that make you feel?  Here we are on the 50th anniversary of this great album already.

Even those who dislike remixes often approve of those done by Steven Wilson.  In 2012, for Thick As A Brick‘s 40th anniversary, Wilson created new stereo and 5.1 mixes for the album.  Such remixes work best when you play the album and can’t quite tell exactly what has changed.  Such is the case for Thick As A Brick.  The bass sounds deeper and the album sounds bigger.  You may notice musical elements you didn’t pick up on before, but the remix was clearly done with respect and never deviates too far from what you know.

The 5.1 remix is scheduled for a reissue in the fall, as even the 40th anniversary edition will get a reprint after nearly a decade out of print.

This vinyl LP was cut at 1/2 speed at AIR Studios.  According to the front sticker, this was performed on “a fully customized Neumann VMS80 lathe with fully recapped electronics”.  According to the same sticker, the 1/2 speed cutting allows better recreation of high frequencies.  I probably can’t hear them anyway, but in short:  the record sounds amazing!  The nuances of the flute, the organ, the acoustics…all here.  All thick as a brick!  Punchy.  More three-dimensional.  Because everything is so clear and in your face, this is my preferred way to listen to Thick As A Brick.  There is no struggling to hear any of the parts.  It’s all there, with good separation too.

For this reissue, the newspaper packaging has been reproduced full size.  The actual sleeve of the album is a 12 page newspaper.  This was, of course, discontinued for most reissues over the past decades.  Like a real newspaper, this packaging include crosswords and advertisements, all fake and meticulously assembled to entertain and baffle those who stumbled upon it.  The outer page, which becomes the front cover, is of harder paper stock than the inner pages.  There have been complaints of bent and damaged pages inside the shrink wrap, but this copy was perfect upon opening.

In case you need to be told, Thick As A Brick is one song, split over two sides of vinyl.  “Thick As A Brick” sides one and two; there’s your complete tracklisting!  It must be said that though side two tends to get less appreciation, the last 10 minutes are pure progressive rock delight.  The album just gallops on side two.

Get your newspaper and a coffee, and sit down to enjoy the Steven Wilson remix of Thick As A Brick.  It’s a lovely way to spend your day.

5/5 stars

 

 

13 comments

  1. For the record (pun intended), when Mike messaged me to find out if I was aware this was a special 1/2 speed edition, I honestly did not. That it arrived at his house all fancy-pants and cool makes it all the better! Happy birthday Mike! Half Century Man! Community!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I should mention that not only did it arrive fancy pants and cool, but safely and securely! This is not always the case with vinyl but Amazon did well this time.

      Following that I ordered a teeny tiny electronics item from them and they packaged it in a box big enough to ship a pair of Doc Marten boots! LOL

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      1. I am pleased it was safe and secure. It’s true they don’t always pay attention to details like that. Worse is delivery guys – my Boss Waza Craft BD-2w Blues Driver pedal sat in a shipping bag (not even a box) in the pouring rain because our numbnuts delivery person left it on the front step. It was well-packed inside and ended up OK but yeesh.

        As for packaging size yeah, we’ve had that here sometimes too, and it’s always that moment of ‘whut.’ Personally, I think it’s just the person packing the order grabbing the nearest box to hand and throwing the small thing in. Or maybe it costs more for Amazon to ship bigger boxes so this is a minor staff revolution, using the bigger boxes for small items as a way to get back at them for the fact that staff are (reportedly) so poorly treated there.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Absolutely. True story: One time, I needed a packet of guitar picks. I went on the Amazons, found a pack of the right type, 50/pack, and ordered it. It was silly low price. I waited and they arrived in relatively good time. It occurred to me only afterwards that I’d clicked Order on something half a world away. It cost more than $4 to deliver them here, let alone produce them for next to nothing. All the time and fuel wasted for 50 wee pieces of shaped plastic. I could have grabbed some at my local L&M next time I was in. Didn’t even think.

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