March 24th, 2014
Ian Anderson’s new solo album, Homo Erraticus, will be out on 14 April. It will be another concept album and sees Anderson working with Gerald Bostock again>
For Homo Erraticus, Anderson is reunited with Bostock, using lyrics written by Gerald based on an old historical manuscript. The manuscript examines key events from throughout British history before going on to offer a number of prophecies for the future.
And here’s the tracklisting:
PART ONE: CHRONICLES
2. Heavy Metals
3. Enter The Uninvited
4. Puer Ferox Adventus
5. Meliora Sequamur
6. The Turnpike Inn
7. The Engineer
8. The Pax Britannica
PART TWO: PROPHECIES
9. Tripudium Ad Bellum
10. After These Wars
11. New Blood, Old Veins
PART THREE: REVELATIONS
12. In For A Pound
13. The Browning of the Green
14. Per Errationes Ad Astra
15. Cold Dead Reckoning
A trio of songs were recently played on Polish radio and then posted to YouTube. This is “The Pax Britannia”:
Here we have “The Engineer” and “After These Wars”:
I like what I hear so far. The songs sound very much in the vein of Thick as a Brick 2. A lot of what I have read about this album concerns Ian’s voice and the split or break he is taking from Martin Barre. It’s been 30 years since Ian had his voice problems. I wish some people would just move on from the fact that he is never going to sound like he did when he was 25 and he hasn’t for a long, long time. His voice sounds pretty good here. I’m not interested in getting into any argument over whether Floran Opahle is as good as Martin Barre, but I will say that he does share something in common with Tull’s longest serving guitarist – Opahle plays the right notes for the song. I like his guitar tone but wish his parts were mixed a bit higher at times.
Anderson and company will be touring behind Homo Erraticus with shows featuring the new album in its entirety plus classic Tull. It’s nice to see him have such confidence in the new material instead of just recycling “Aqualung”, “Locomotive Breath”, etc. While not all tour dates have been made yet, it seems likely that the closest stop for fans here in the Madison area will be a stop in Milwaukee at the Pabst Theatre.
In other Tull news, Steve Wilson’s long-awaited remix of A Passion Play is due on 13 June. The 2CD/2DVD configuration will contain the original mix of the album in 24-bit glory, a new stereo mix by Wilson, and a 5.1 surround mix. Wilson apparently found a couple verses from “The Foot of Our Stairs” on the master which weren’t on the original album and he’s put those in.
The really big news is that the entirety of the Château d’Isaster sessions are here. (In stereo and 5.1.) The tracklisting:
The Big Top
Critique Oblique (Part I)
Critique Oblique (Part II)
Animelee (1st Dance) [Instrumental]
Animelee (2nd Dance) [Instrumental]
Law Of The Bungle (Part I)
Law Of The Bungle (Part II)
I’m looking forward to reading the liner notes on this release to find out what, if any, of the fan speculation surrounding this material is true.
As I know it, the band went off to Paris in August 1972 to record the follow-up to Thick as a Brick at the Chateau D’Herouville. Technical problems, food poisoning, and homesickness all led to the recording sessions being halted in September after having gotten about three sides of a double album down on tape.
Tull began a U.S. tour in October of that year and “Left Right”, “Audition”, and “No Rehearsal” became regulars in the set list. Bits and pieces of songs from these sessions were carried over into A Passion Play while “Skating Away” and “Solitaire” ended up on 1974’s War Child.
“Scenario”, “Audition”, and “No Rehearsal” were released on Tull 20th anniversary box set with the explanation that these were the only songs to have survived. The material from “Left Right” onwards was eventually found and released on Nightcap in 1993. A bootleg of the first six songs here has been in circulation for many years and in that order which leads me to believe that that was, in fact, the intended order of the album’s first side. (This may explain why “Skating Away” starts off “Meanwhile back in the Year One…”) Some of the songs from Nightcap, “First Post”, “Look at the Animals”, and “Post Last” aren’t mentioned here and I am hoping that they’ve been subsumed by the second part of “Critique Oblique” or “Animelee (2nd Dance)”.
Not every song from these sessions was finished. Some are only backing tracks and would have had vocals added later had the sessions not been called off. For release in 1993, Anderson added flute to fill out the tunes and I wonder if that flute will remain here.
I am really excited about this as I adore the Château d’Isaster sessions. It’s fun to hear elements that would emerge over the band’s next couple albums and these songs have a certain playfulness and sense of humor that A Passion Play lacked. Hopefully the live show later this year will feature something from APP. I’m not expecting to hear Anderson attempt to sing any of it but it’d be hoopy if “Passion Jig” got pulled out of retirement.