Skip to main content

Jethro Tull announce 40th anniversary box set of 1980 album A

Jethro Tull
(Image credit: Jethro Tull)

Jethro Tull's 1980 album A is the latest to receive the 40th Anniversary deluxe treatment, with a new three-disc version. The A (A La Mode) 40th Anniversary Edition will be released through Rhino Records on April 16.

Following Tull's acclaimed folk-rock trilogy in Songs From The Wood (1977), Heavy Horses (1978) and Stormwatch (1979),  the band returned a year later with A, an album that introduced a different sound and a new line-up. Originally intended as a solo record by the band’s founder Ian Anderson, the album’s single-letter title refers to the studio tapes, which were marked “A” for Anderson.

When the album was finished, the group’s label Chrysalis insisted that it be credited to Jethro Tull, even though only two members from the band’s previous incarnation were featured: Anderson and guitarist Martin Barre, with new Tull musicians Dave Pegg (bass, mandolin), Mark Craney (drums), and guest performer Eddie Jobson on keyboard, synthesiser and electric violin. Despite that, the album and subsequent tour were well-received by fans around the world.

Highlights of the new collection include:

* Original album and associated recordings newly remixed by Steven Wilson

* Original album and five associated recordings mixed in DTS and Dolby AC 3, 5.1 Surround, and stereo 96/24 LPCM 

* Full concert from the LA Sports Arena recorded in August 1980

* Full LA Sports Arena concert mixed by Steven Wilson in DTS and Dolby AC 3, 5.1 Surround, and stereo 96/24 LPCM

* Flat transfer of the original LP master at 96/24 LPCM stereo

* DVD of Slipstream video remixed by Steven Wilson in DTS and Dolby AC 3, 5.1 Surround, and stereo 96/24 LPCM

* Presented in a case-bound DVD book filled with an extensive history of the album, track-by-track annotations by Ian Anderson, rare photographs and much more

The original album has been expanded with five unreleased tracks from the recording sessions, including a different take of the single Working John, Working Joe, an extended version of Crossfire and the outtake Coruisk.  

A (A La Mode) 40th Anniversary Edition also includes a live recording from November 1980 of the band’s full concert at the LA Sports Arena. The performance mixed new A tracks (Black Sunday, Batteries Not Included and Uniform) with older hits, like Aqualung, Heavy Horses and Songs From The Wood. A few of these live tracks first appeared in 1981 on Slipstream, a video collection originally released on VHS and Laserdisc. The full Slipstream video, which made its DVD debut in 2004, is also included in this anniversary edition and has been newly remixed by Steven Wilson.

Jethro Tull

(Image credit: Rhino)

Jethro Tull: A (A La Mode) 40th Anniversary Edition

Disc One: Original Album and Associated Tracks
(Steven Wilson Stereo Remix)
1. Crossfire
2. Fylingdale Flyer
3. Working John, Working Joe
4. Black Sunday
5. Protect And Survive
6. Batteries Not Included
7. Uniform
8. 4.W.D. (Low Ratio)
9. The Pine Marten’s Jig
10. And Further On

Associated Tracks
I. Crossfire (Extended Version)
2. Working John, Working Joe (Take 4)
3. Cheerio (Early Version)
4. Coruisk
5. Slipstream Intro

Disc Two: Live at the LA Sports Arena 1980 (Part 1)
(Steven Wilson Stereo Remix)
1. Slipstream Intro
2. Black Sunday
3. Crossfire
4. Songs From The Wood
5. Hunting Girl
6. The Pine Marten’s Jig
7. Working John, Working Joe
8. Heavy Horses
9. Band Instrumental Intro
10. Skating Away On The Thin Ice Of The New Day
11. Instrumental (including flute solo)

Disc Three: Live at the LA Sports Arena 1980 (Part 2)
(Steven Wilson Stereo Remix)
1. Trio Instrumental
2. Keyboard solo
3. Batteries Not Included
4. Uniform” (including drum solo instrumental)
5. Protect and Survive (including violin solo)
6. Bungle In The Jungle
7. Guitar Solo/Bass solo intro to encore
8. Aqualung
9. Locomotive Breath”/Instrumental/”Black Sunday” (reprise)

DVD One: Original Album and Associated Tracks
(Audio Only)

Contains Steven Wilson’s 2020 remix of the album and 5 associated tracks in DTS and Dolby AC 3, 5.1 surround, and stereo 96/24 LPCM. Flat transfers of the original LP master in 96/24 LPCM

DVD Two: Live At The LA Sports Arena November 1980
(Audio Only)

Contains Steven Wilson’s 2020 mix of the concert in DTS and Dolby AC 3, 5.1 surround and stereo 96/24 LPCM

DVD Three: Slipstream Video

With audio tracks remixed by Steven Wilson in DTS and Dolby AC 3, 5.1 surround and stereo 96/24 LPCM

Jerry Ewing
Jerry Ewing

Writer and broadcaster Jerry Ewing is the Editor of Prog Magazine which he founded for Future Publishing in 2009. He grew up in Sydney and began his writing career in London for Metal Forces magazine in 1989. He has since written for Metal Hammer, Maxim, Vox, Stuff and Bizarre magazines, among others. He created and edited Classic Rock Magazine for Dennis Publishing in 1998 and is the author of a variety of books on both music and sport, including Wonderous Stories; A Journey Through The Landscape Of Progressive Rock, as well as sleevenotes for many major record labels. He lives in North London and happily indulges a passion for AC/DC, Chelsea Football Club and Sydney Roosters.