|CD Cover||CD Back||CD Tray|
|CD Inside Cover||Booklet Pages 3 & 6||Booklet Pages 4 & 5|
|CD 1 Label||CD 2 Label|
A Hush In The Play
July 23rd 1973
Colliseum Arena, Oakland, CA
|Ian Anderson||Vocals, Guitar, Flute & Saxophone|
|Barriemore Barlow||Drums & Percussion|
|Martin Barre||Lead Guitars|
|Jeffrey Hammond-Hammond||Bass Guitars|
The year was 1972 and Jethro Tull was on a roll. “Aqualung” and “Thick As A Brick” had been very successful albums and the band was receiving the praise and attention that they deserved. The music press of England had been kind in their reviews and noted music journalist Chris Welch was even considered a good friend. So what was next? The Tull website describes it well.
This new album was tracked only as “part one” and “part two”, each taking up a full side of the original LP record. It was not until the 1998 release of the Gold Remaster version of 'A Passion Play” that the originally intended tracking of the show was known and used. From that listing, one can see that the only track to survive from the Chateau d'Herouville sessions and make it onto this album was the song “Critique Oblique”, though “Tiger Toon” was re-worked to produce the Passion Play's “Prelude”. The album was to rise to number one in the United States and number 13 in England, but not without a few bumps along the way.
The new tour with “A Passion Play” was supposed to begin on April 28th, 1973 at the Wembley Empire Pool but this two-night booking was cancelled, despite sold out shows. Tull fans then looked to the start of the US tour for the first performance of the new material. On May 4th, the performance began in Evansville, Indiana with the opening “lifebeats” but the accompanying film was not shown. Later in the show, the “Hare” film was shown out of context but broke down, as it did on May 30th in Toronto. The next night in Clemson, SC the equipment truck arrived late and so the soundcheck was performed in front of the audience. Since the show did not start until 10pm, “A Passion Play” was omitted from the set. The next night's show in Maryland was cancelled because the equipment truck broke down. Great confusion exists regarding the next 10 days in Tull history. Some claim that the band spent 4 days in Knoxville, TN rehearsing the new material, while others claim (with inconsistency) that Jethro Tull concerts were performed and attended. Finally, according to written account, “A Passion Play” was definitely performed in Hampton, VA on May 17th and Richmond, VA on May 18th.
After finishing the first leg of the American Tour, and in a move that defies logistical sanity, the band returned to England in June to play the two previously cancelled shows at the Empire Pool, June 22nd and 23rd, the only English shows of the tour. As reported in Melody Maker on June 23rd, Tull's manager Terry Ellis admitted that all the proceeds from the two gigs would likely be used just to cover the cost of returning the equipment from the US, and then flying it all back out again for the second leg of the American tour.
Once familiar with the material in the live setting, the band expected smooth sailing. “A Passion Play” was released in England on July 6th and was then released in the US on July 23rd, the day of this Oakland show. Audiences, who had understandably never heard the new material, seemed to receive it warmly. Sadly, the critics had other ideas. After playing three nights in Inglewood, CA (July 20-22), the Los Angeles Times printed these comments from Robert Hilburn:
Chris Welch, attending the Empire Pool shows, describes other aspects of the show and adds his own commentary:
Ian Anderson was not too pleased with the reviews of the new Tull material. There were even rumors of a plan to halt the tour and disband Jethro Tull permanently. Fortunately for Tull fans the band has continued well into the 21st century. Most serious Jethro Tull fans have a strong opinion of “A Passion Play”, either positive or negative but all will agree that it was a unique experience in the history of the band.
Now let's move on to this recording; July 23rd, 1973 in Oakland, California. The show is from the master tape and is almost complete. Sadly, only a segment of the song “No Rehearsal” was present and was tracked separately. This is a song created during the Chateau d'Herouville sessions which was played during live performances in 1973. The drum solo is also cut at the beginning and we chose not to patch it. At the beginning of the recording we have tracked the entire Passion Play using the originally intended listing provided by the band. Towards the end, if you listen closely to the extended instrumental section of “Wind-up” you will hear segments that clearly become “Minstrel in the Gallery” later on in 1975. Finally, Anderson ends the show with the ringing telephone which was a metaphor for the time.
We began with a FLAC encoded, digitized copy of the master tape. With the first listen it was clear that the hiss level was excessive and reduced appreciation of the subtle aspects of the show. There were also many microphone bumps that needed to be removed or reduced as much as possible along with other clicks and pops. The complete show is here except for a truncated “No Rehearsal” and the incomplete beginning of the drum solo. We chose to leave those segments un-altered rather than patching them from another source. For a 1973 audience recording this is quite good quality. Still, the frequency response drops significantly above 7,500Hz. Tonality needed adjustment given midrange excesses and excessive high-bass frequencies. Because auto-record-level circuits were in play, there were a number of partial dropouts found requiring repair. There were other single channel partial dropouts that also needed repair.
The original master tracked the Passion Play section as a single track. We added tracking to reflect the full tracking intended by Jethro Tull at the time. We also adjusted other track points. Finally, analysis showed that speed correction was needed and was applied to the whole show.
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