Schingle's Blog

August 8, 2017

JT Rankings #8

Filed under: Folk tales and songs — Tags: , , , , , , , , — schingle @ 2:00 pm

#8  Minstrel in the Gallery


Now we’re getting to the really good stuff.  This one doesn’t even make the top third of the listing and it’s a fantastic album.  Acoustic at times, and rocking at others, Minstrel in the Gallery (1975) captures the listener and doesn’t let go.  Ian Anderson always resisted the idea that Tull was a progressive band (a la Yes; Emerson, Lake & Palmer, etc.).  However, this album only has seven songs and the last one (“Grace”) is only 37 seconds long.  So, essentially, six songs comprise a 45 minute disc.  The title and opening song runs over eight minutes long.  “Baker St. Muse” is over 16 minutes long and is divided into four parts (a la Yes; Emerson, Lake & Palmer, etc.).   The first song on side two (One White Duck/0 (10)= Nothing at All) is a sad, yet pretty piece, as a sort of love lost song.  As stated before, there are a lot of acoustic moments, but labeling this disc as “folk” would be unfair and inaccurate.  Labels often impede one’s listening pleasure anyway.  Regardless of genre, this is just good, strong, intelligent music and lyrics.  The band was comprised of the same lineup as the previous effort (“Warchild”).  Ian Anderson (flute, acoustic guitar, front man), Martin Barre (electric guitars), John Evan (Keyboards), Barrie Barlow (Drums) and playing bass for the last album as a Tull member was Jeffrey Hammond.  Some mention should be made of David Palmer who arranged the strings and conducted the string quintet that played throughout, as Palmer would become a regular member of the band by 1976’s “Too Old to Rock n Roll…”  Good, solid musicians, amazing lyrics and fantastic tune writing and arrangements make it difficult to find anything wrong with the disc.  A first time Tull listener would not be disappointed hearing this one front to back, then back to front again.  Just good music.


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