Jethro Tull Sets Thick as a Brick 50th Anniversary 1LP Half-Speed Master in Original Newspaper Packaging for July 29

Extra, extra, read all about it: Jethro Tull's seminal March 1972 album Thick as a Brick is soon coming our way in a 50th anniversary 1LP half-speed master in its original newspaper packaging on July 29, via Parlophone.

According to the official press release, Thick as a Brick has been reproduced in its original format, the "legendary" (their word) 12-page newspaper. The vinyl is a half-speed master of Steven Wilson’s 2012 remix —one I happen to own, and quite enjoyed at the time. Analog Planet will investigate the pressing plant and mastering details for this first-time half-speed master, and will update this story once we confirm the specifics about it, and we will review this edition accordingly upon its release.

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To the remaining facts, then: The Thick as a Brick album is set inside a broadsheet newspaper, The St. Cleve Chronicle & Linwell Advertiser. The newspaper includes many news articles packed full of continuing jokes, a crossword, connect-the-dots, and much more. It was originally written by Ian Anderson, Jeffrey Hammond, and John Evan, with the newspaper taking longer to put together compared to the music.

As reported in the paper, the lyrics were credited at the time to the fictitious child character, Gerald Bostock, whose parents supposedly lied about his age. Amongst the many articles is a frank review of the album itself. Thick as a Brick was also the first Tull album to feature drummer Barrie Barlow, who featured alongside Ian Anderson, Martin Barre, John Evan, and Jeffrey Hammond.

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Jethro Tull: Thick as a Brick

Track Listing

Side A
Thick as a Brick

Side B
Thick as a Brick

COMMENTS
volvic's picture

Many fond memories listening to this record over and over again. Might have to dig deep and get a copy.

viridian's picture

Saw Tull many times, and IMHO, this was the high water mark.

CG's picture

We have several different versions of TAAB, as the fan peeps like to call it.

In order of preference:

1. MFSL vinyl

2. The original vinyl from Chrysalis, vintage 1972

3. 40th Anniversary Special Edition digital (96/24) Flat original Mix

4. 25th Anniversary Special Edition digital (44/16)

5. 40th Anniversary Special Edition digital (96/24) 2012 Remix

That last one is what this new release is apparently based upon. Of those five, it's the only one I don't like listening to. Not because of nostalgia for the original, but because the vocals don't sound very realistic. The instruments aren't great either.

But, that's just one person's opinion. Others apparently love it.

BTW, early 1970's live performances of this album were simply fantastic. Later on, maybe not as much. The live version included in the 25th Anniversary set isn't the raw Jethro Tull music that I really liked from before. (Full disclosure: No drugs involved...)

Obviously, we can't go back in time, but Disc 2 from the 25th Anniversary Jethro Tull Box Set has several pieces from a Carnegie Hall concert from 1970. This is more like it.

Mike Mettler's picture
When's the last time you got to see Ian and/or Tull live? And what's your take on TAAB2?
CG's picture

I haven't seen either him or them for some time. I lost my zeal for their live performances back in the late 70's. Plus, the sound systems in almost all rock venues is so wretched in many cases that going to many concerts just isn't that much fun.

Should I try again?

As for TAAB2, I like the music. I very much like the concept. The recording is over-produced for my own tastes. But, that seems to often be the case these days. To each their own, I guess.

My recording budget is going more toward older jazz stuff now that hasn't been overly remastered. Again, my own taste. I don't need perfection - I prefer actual human interaction between musicians.

Mike Mettler's picture
Thanks for the thoughtful reply. I'm curious to see how Anderson/Tull 2022 will perform selections from the new Tull album, The Zealot Gene, alongside whatever vintage material makes it into their sets-to-come, so I have to reserve any judgment until I see them on the planks again myself.

Good to know re your current jazz-listening proclivities too. We'll make sure jazz is well-represented in the Album Reviews section.

OldschoolE's picture

I have two OPs of this album intact. Unfortunately, finding the media in good condition is a real challenge. I have been trying to restore these copies and best I got is G++ to VG-. That said, the opportunity to have a good media copy in this sense is of no interest to me. First, there is no doubt this thing will be at least $150. I'm sorry, but in my opinion no record or medium is worth that. Or course, I'm not a collector, everything I buy is for playing. I also prefer OPs especially for the music I grew up with. I won't even consider a digital to analog pressing as I do not trust the provenance or lack thereof as is the usual case.
I also find it odd that all the other JT records I have (pretty much everything up thru Beast and Broadsword) are all OP and sound spectacular. TAAB is the exception right now. I have stopped trying to find a good copy. Makes me crazy as I have fully intact original packaging, but the media is questionable. It is like trying to find even a playable copy of In-A-Gadda-Davida by Iron Butterfly. I actually did somehow get lucky after 3 years of looking on that one and believe me, it was pure dumb luck.

ivansbacon's picture

"According to the official press release"

Maybe i am Thick as Brick, Who is providing this official press release?
Press release from Whom?
Parlophone?
Jethro Tull?

When i search Parlophone i find no website, when go to the Wikipedia page for Parlophone and click the official web site link i get an Instagram page. What?

Perhaps if you are going to inform us of an upcoming release you could also inform us as to where or how we can obtain said release.

Or did you?
Yours truly "Thick"
So, How does one purchase said release?

Tom L's picture

https://store.rhino.com/thick-as-a-brick-50th-anniversary-edition-lp.html
Contrary to some guesses here, the price is $24.98 plus shipping. Quite a deal.

patrice.g.dubois@gmail.com's picture

Very difficult to find an original pressing where the dotted drawing game remain untouched in the paper, always filled by ink to reveal the naked character!

R Wade's picture

I have a first U.S. pressing which I bought when it came out. It is a great sounding album. I find it hard to believe it can be done better.

johnnythunder2's picture

the sound of a well recorded bass guitar.

otaku2's picture

...and looking forward to receiving this as a late Fathers Day gift to myself.
But slightly OT: Does anyone here have the 40th Anniversary War Child? I bought it new but there is so much noise it seems like the noisiest album in my collection. I have cleaned it, destatic'd it, everything I have seen recommended but it still sounds like a dirty 78.

rich d's picture

I have a 50-year-old UK pressing and I would recommend tracking one down (if you like the music) as it sounds great. Having said that, I may get the new one to save myself the white-glove-handling shakes I always get when handling original pressings.

If the price were higher it would have been a case of "really don't mind if you sit this one out". You'd have to be thick as, well, you know, to pay some of the prices we're seeing these days.

swimming1's picture

Saw them then,three times, have the original,miss Mikey and analog planet RIP. Bye,bye birdie. Chet

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