Jethro Tull - Stand Up(The Elevated Edition) [Crysalis - 2016]Stand Up is the next in the series of deluxe & hardback book reissues of Jethro Tull albums on the Crysalis label. The album was the bands second album originally released in 1969, and it saw them expanding their sound from its original blues-rock setting, to add in elements of folk-rock, early metal, & jazz. Along with slight hints at their future more playful prog rock sound, though this is in very embryonic stages here, and is no way as fully formed & realized as on albums like Aqualung & Thick As A Brick.
This reissue of the album is subtitled ‘Elevated Edition’- and really is a wonderful thorough, full & totally definitive edition of the album. The release takes in three discs- two CD’s & one DVD. A hardback DVD cased sized book, which features a 112 glossy full colour book. You also get inside the front cover a recreation of the albums original & neat artwork , which is a mini cardboard pop-up of the band featuring a blend cartoon like bodies & photo heads.
The first disc features the original album, associated recordings, original stereo single remixes, and mono recordings of BBC sessions. As with the other reissues in this series of deluxe editions, we get an all new stereo mix of the album by Steven Wilson. As we’ve come to expect from Mr Wilson's remastering jobs, you get a nice crisp & layered mix- that’s both authentic in its retro glow, yet balanced & nicely definved in its instrumental & vocal layers. The whole first disc has a impressive run-time of seventy one minutes, with a total of nineteen tracks
The original album took in eight tracks, and these are fairly varied, though not as distinctive/original as bands later work. We move from the really very heavy blues rock of “A New Day Yesterday”- which gives early Sabbath a run for it’s money with tolling & churning central riff. It’s very proto metal & early mid-pace doom like feel, with lead singer Ian Anderson almost sounding a bit Glen Danzig like in his dark rock croon.
Later we have the jazzy-yet-groovy & playful rock-jazz instrumental “Bouree”, with the bands trade mark flute playing taking centre stage over the pared guitar & bass backing. Though to the strumming & crisp folk rock blues of "Look into The Sun". Onto the building & later string lined folk-rock ballad of “Reason For Waiting”.
Also lyrically the album is a bit more standard & run-of-the-mill rock like, compared to bands later more cutting, clever & wordy lyrics. Though there are once again hints at what is to come in some of the word play, and their growing confidence as wordsmiths. On the whole the album is a great nod towards what is to come, varied enough, though lacking enough really identity of it’s own.
The second CD in the set mostly takes in a full live show of the band in Stockholm in January 1969. The set takes in eight tracks, and on the whole it finds the band in raucous & buoyant form- with a few longer jam type work-out. On the whole it’s an interesting snapshot of the bands developing live sound, with some rewarding moments along the way- though on the whole, as with many bands early live shows, the pacing & execution is more than a little mixed.
The third & final disc is a DVD, and this main feature is the 5.1 surround sound version of the album. Added you get a flat transfer of the albums original stereo master tapes. And filmed footage of two tracks from the January 1969 Stockholm show.
The other big & main bonus here is of course the plush, full colour & glossy 112 page book that comes in the middle of the release hardback packaging. This takes in a nearing fifty page piece about the bands evolution, the album it’s self, and that period in the bands history. Also a six page write-up from Ian Anderson discussing the writing & recording of each of the albums original eight tracks. Full lyrics & credits. A reprint of NME article from 1969 discussing the bands US tour. Full listing of dates just before, in & around albums release. And a selection of other interesting & informative texts relating to the album & it’s players.
In summing this is another very nicely presented & wholly definitive edition of this Jethro Tull album- so one can only readily praise both the band & Crysalis for all the time & effort put into this release. As mentioned above sonically Stand Up it’s self is very much capturing a band in development & finding it's own distinctive sonic identity- so it’s not as vital or important as what was to come next. But for those interested in hearing & reading about this important British bands development- this is really worth hunting down. And us of writing you can pick up this ‘Elevated Edition’ for just over £20.00, which is a bargain! Roger Batty