Minstrel in the Gallery
|Minstrel in the Gallery|
|Studio album by Jethro Tull|
|Released||5 September 1975 (UK)
8 September 1975 (US)
|Recorded||April 1975 in the Masion Rouge Mobile (Europe)|
|Genre||Progressive rock, hard rock|
|Jethro Tull chronology|
Minstrel in the Gallery
Minstrel in the Gallery is the eighth studio album by British band Jethro Tull, recored in April and released in September 1975. The album go on a different direction from their previous work War Child (1974), with the orchestration being replaced by a string quartet conducted by David Palmer. The band also return to the blend of electric and acoustic pieces, in a manner more closely to Aqualung (1971) and Thick as a Brick (1972).
The band recorded in a studio in Monte Carlo. Anderson thought that the band was unfocused. Minstrel in the Gallery's lyrics and subject matter show an introspective and cynical air, possibly the byproduct of Anderson's recent divorce from first wife Jennie Franks and the pressures of touring, coupled with the frustrations of writing for and recording the album in Monaco.
Musical styles and themes
The album' title refers to the use of a minstrel's gallery in the great hall of castles or manor houses. This analogy was used thematically in the opening spoken words of the title track, "Cold Wind to Valhalla" and "Baker St. Muse" and also in the songs lyrics.
Stylistically the album is varied, exemplary of Jethro Tull's best hard rock performances, with long instrumental passages, invested with elements of British folk and archaic, pre-Elizabethan sounds.
Minstrel in the Gallery was remastered with five additional bonus tracks in November 2002, including incomplete live-in-the-studio renditions of "Minstrel in the Gallery" and "Cold Wind to Valhalla", some tracks that appeared only on maxi-singles ("Pan Dance", "March the Mad Scientist") and "Summerday Sands" which was the B-side of the "Minstrel in the Gallery" single.
In 2015, commemorating the 40th anniversary of Minstrel in the Gallery, it was released a box set with two CDs and two DVDs, named La Grande Edition. The box contains rare and previously unreleased tracks (such as alternate takes from "Requiem", "Grace" and "One White Duck") including new stereo mixes by Steven Wilson and a live presentation, from 1975 in Palais des Sports, remixed by Jakko Jakszyk. Also, a 80-page booklet featuring track-by-track annotations by Ian Anderson, a history of the group and recollections of life on tour by road crew member Kenny Wylie, maintenance engineer Pete Smith and string section musician Liz Edwards. Heavyweight vinyl and standard CD editions of the album were also annouced.
|Sputnik Music||4.5/5 |
Rolling Stone contemporary review have a negative aproach towards Minstrel in the Gallery, stating that "The fact that Ian Anderson and the lads have once again plundered the British secular music tradition signifies little and delivers less." The review recalls the music in terms as "a wash of lugubrious string passages", the "anachronisms of Jeffrey Hammond-Hammond's mechanical bass lines" and "Martin Barre's hysterical electric guitar montages". The lyrics are considered "contrary to the LP's basic concept [...] instantly forgettable".
AllMusic gave a favourable review, stating that the album is the "most artistically successful and elaborately produced album since Thick as a Brick". Analysing the music, it said: "Martin Barre's attack on the guitar is as ferocious as anything in the band's history, and John Evan's organ matches him amp for amp, while Barriemore Barlow and Jeffrey Hammond-Hammond hold things together in a furious performance. Anderson's flair for drama and melody come to the fore in "Cold Wind to Valhalla," and "Requiem" is the loveliest acoustic number in Tull's repertory, featuring nothing but Anderson's singing and acoustic guitar, Hammond-Hammond's bass, and a small string orchestra backing them".
Minstrel in the Gallery received Gold Certification in both the United States and the UK and is the eighth best selling Jethro Tull album. The album peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard album chart, and at No. 20 in the UK Albums Chart - Songs from the Wood would sell better two years later in the UK. It also charted in Norway, reaching No. 13, and Austria, where it reached also No. 7, and in Sweden where it reached the No. 50 spot.
|1.||"Minstrel in the Gallery" (Anderson, Martin Barre)||8:13|
|2.||"Cold Wind to Valhalla"||4:19|
|3.||"Black Satin Dancer"||6:52|
|1.||"One White Duck / 010 = Nothing at All"||4:37|
|2.||"Baker St. Muse"
|2002 remaster bonus tracks|
|9.||"March the Mad Scientist"||1:49|
|11.||"Minstrel in the Gallery" (Live)||2:12|
|12.||"Cold Wind to Valhalla" (Live)||1:31|
- All five bonus tracks originally appeared on the 20 Years of Jethro Tull box-set.
Credits are adapted from Minstrel in the Gallery liner notes.
- Jethro Tull
- Ian Anderson – flute, acoustic guitar, vocals
- Martin Barre – electric guitars
- John Evan – piano and organ
- Jeffrey Hammond – bass guitar and string bass
- Barriemore Barlow – drums, percussion
- Additional personnel
- David Palmer – orchestral arrangements and conduction
- Rita Eddowes, Elizabeth Edwards, Patrick Halling and Bridget Procter - violins
- Katharine Tullborn - cello
- Brian Ward - photographs
- Ron Kriss and J.E. Garnett - front cover, based on a print by Joseph Nash
- Robin Black - sound engineering
- Eder, Bruce. Album review Jethro Tull Minstrel in the Gallery at AllMusic. Retrieved 14 December 2011.
- Costa, Jean-Charles (6 November 1975). "Album review Jethro Tull Minstrel in the Gallery". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 14 December 2011.
- "UK Chart history of Jethro Tull Minstrel in the Gallery". www.chartstats.com. Archived from the original on 23 July 2012. Retrieved 14 December 2011.
- (1975). "Ministrel in the Gallery liner notes". In Ministrel in the Gallery [Album cover]. Chrysalis.
- Minstrel in the Gallery (1975) at AllMusic
- Minstrel in the Gallery (2002) at AllMusic (bonus tracks)
- Minstrel In The Gallery at Progressive World