"I must reiterate what others have pointed out - this recording is from the exact same master as the original CD release, and the distributors in Holland are still intentionally deceiving retailers and consumers alike by trying to make a buck. The peak on the CD is at -3.46 DB and the dull mastering job is, unfortunately, exactly the same.
That being said, there is no specific date for a remaster, and some sources report that the next three remasters that are due(A Passion Play, Songs from the Wood, and Heavy Horses) may be the last. So if you don't have this album, don't wait for a "possible" remaster. It may not happen.
This is and has always been a great album, on a par with all of the best classic Tull albums. Ian's songwriting is fantastic, the famous instrumental part writing could not be better, and the band's use of polyrhythms and odd meters are brought to the fore in a way that has no equal on any other Tull album. The use of complex parts and meters never distracts or alienates; these factors only serve the songs and contribute to the overall impressiveness of the album.
Anyone who thinks that "Ian's muse was just about shot by this time" really needs to give this album another listen and let it sink in. I know of no band that could produce an album that's half the feat this one is. Again - do not buy this "remaster" if you already have it on CD. Our friend who owns a popular record store in Atlanta was deliberately lied to over the phone by the distributors. I and all of my gadgets can assure you that this is NOT a remaster. The album rates five stars, but I can't rate the CD as such because of this discrepancy."
Excellent Tull Work Ruined By Lousy Remaster
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I have been a Tull fan since their first vinyl LP (This Was) back in the late 1960's and own every Tull album in their original LP format when originally issued and have purchased every reissue on CD...this was my latest purchase of a CD reissue, and it is among the two worst remasters I have been burned by(Benefit and A). This is the worst...not for the same reasons Benefit [is weak](reordered, missing tracks, illogical "bonus tracks" in realtion to the original USA LP release- but at keast the recording quality is listenable)..."A" has just about the worst sound quality I have ever heard on a CD. Dynamic range compression, sever bass rolloff and honky midrange....YECCCHHH....I have both a kilelr car system and killer home audio system and making this thing listenable is almost beyond the range of my equalizers! The only CD in my entire collection which can make the 500 watt RMS system in my car sound like an 8 track taple player from an old Dodge Dart. "Made in Holland" indeed...where? ... Speaking of getting burned...."
A little surprised at other ratings??
Graboidz | Westminster, Maryland | 05/10/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I am looking at some of these other ratings, and while mine may fit right in at 3 stars, I am shocked. My 3 stars is going for the musical content on "A", not the sound of the disk. I see people slamming the re-master (whether it is or not) and giving glowing reviews of the music. As a huge Tull fan I feel "A" ranks as one of the two worst Tull albums. I see the under-rated "Under Wraps" getting slammed for the same things present on "A"?? And "Under Wraps" at least featured some classic-like Tull songs. Outside of Fylingdale Flyer, this just doesn't have a Tull feel. Again the flute is present, but hardly dominant, and it seems to me an afterthought on most of the cuts. This is so synth / keyboard heavy that it gets in the way of what might have been a good album. I would love to hear an acoustic version of "A". Batteries Not Included & 4WD (Low Ratio)?? I really can't see Ian Anderson writing these songs. I had also heard this was supposed to be an Anderson solo project but ended up a Tull album. I think even a passing Tull fan can tell this is the case. "A" just doesn't have a Tull vibe. I would recommend "A" only to die-hard fans who want everything in the Tull catalog. I will still give this 3 stars though, because even though this doesn't rate well against other Tull albums, compared with anything put out by today's made-for-tv music scene, any Tull album is great!"
Underated Tull Release
JOHN SPOKUS | BALTIMORE, MARYLAND United States | 02/11/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I own the US CD version which I believe is out of print so I can't comment on the sound quality of this import "re-master".However I can say this is a fine album that was dissed by many Tull fans over the years for "too much synthesizer". Remember though, this is Eddie Jobson playing keys and his only recorded appearance with Tull. Eddie did a fine job as usual, just fresh from the supergroup UK, probably his finest hour as a musician. UK and Tull toured together just before UK disolved and Eddie joined up with Ian and company. Tull attempted to carry on in this direction unsuccessfully on the next couple releases,Broadsword and The Beast, Under Wraps and on Ian's first solo outting. The problem there was Eddie was inadequately replaced by the inferior Peter John Vetesse, once voted worst member in Tull history, making those albums sound like bad 80's robot music ala Styx(Kilroy),and Rush(Grace Under Pressure). 'A' is full of musical gems where Eddie shows off his fast digits. Check out the great piano intro that starts the album on "Crossfire", or the fast synths on "Batteries Not Included".I think of this album in tandem with Yes' Drama album since they both came out at the same time,had radical changes in membership, and were fine albums that were misjudged by many hardcore fans."