I have the 20th and 40th anniversary of Jethro Tull’s Aqualung and the 40th anniversary edition, on CD, is by far the best version that I have ever heard. It shows what can be done if a record company allows really talented recording engineers to work their magic.
There is more to remastering than taking into the studio for a couple of hours and eliminating some background tape noise. When a talented engineer is allowed to use the latest technology to enhance the original master tapes the result can be amazing.
The Aqualung 40th anniversary on CD is worth the price. It comes in a great digipak with a second CD of some alternate mixes. What really knocked me down was the depth of detail on the remastered CD. I heard things that I have never heard before and once I listen to the title track I had to listen to the whole album. Sure, I know, some songs are played way too much on the radio but this album played through a good hi-fi is going to make you sit up and say wow.
Although the quality of this new release is limited by the quality of those original master recordings that were used to remix this album, I can say without hesitation that the result was well worth every hour invested in it by Ian Anderson and Steve Wilson, the audio wiz behind this release. As revealed in the accompanying booklet, Wilson made use of the latest technology to bring out the best of the original recordings and tweak them just enough to finally make these classic tracks come alive.
Originally published at www.richsvinylreview.com on January 19, 2016.