Jethro Tull's 11th studio album, Heavy Horses, is one of their prettier records, a veritable celebration of English folk music chock-full of gorgeous melodies, briskly played acoustic guitars and mandolins, and Ian Anderson's lilting flute backed by the group in top form. 2018's 40th Anniversary "New Shoes Edition" is a three-CD/two-DVD box packaged similarly to the anniversary versions of Aqualung, Thick as a Brick, Minstrel in the Gallery and Songs from the Wood. It includes a Steven Wilson stereo remix of the album and nine "associated studio recordings" – seven on the first disc are previously unreleased – and a 1978 concert from Berne, Switzerland spread across discs two and three, remixed by King Crimson's Jakko M. Jakszyk. The two DVDs feature 97 audio and video tracks, with studio work (including bonus tracks) remixed to 5.1 (and stereo) by Wilson, with the live material handled by Jakszyk. The latter two discs also include a flat transfer of the original album's mix, some promotional video footage, and two period television ads.
Like any patchy but promising debut from a classic rock group, it's often easy to underrate Queen's eponymous 1973 debut, since it has no more than one well-known anthem and plays more like a collection of ideas than a cohesive album. But what ideas! Almost every one of Queen's signatures are already present, from Freddie Mercury's operatic harmonies to Brian May's rich, orchestral guitar overdubs and the suite-like structures of "Great King Rat." That rich, florid feel could be characterized as glam, but even in these early days that appellation didn't quite fit Queen, since they were at once too heavy and arty to be glam and – ironically enough, considering their legendary excess – they were hardly trashy enough to be glam.
This is an oddity: a Christmas album incognito. Save a red and green stripe on the back cover, the outside packaging is conspicuously devoid of the usual holiday trappings, leaving the astute person to deduce from the track listing Three Ships' true intent. Further complicating matters is the fact that half of the songs are new compositions from Jon Anderson, none of which have holiday-related titles (unless "Forest of Fire" warms your holiday chestnuts). On listening to this, the songs themselves do little to clear up the confusion; while the traditional tunes ("Three Ships," "The Holly and the Ivy") are obviously Christmas songs, the new compositions are spiritual in Anderson's typically general sense and rarely address Christmastime directly…
The first opus of Solar Project pictures the fears, dreams and desires of a single person living with the threat of the nuclear apocalypse. Complex art rock, sometimes heavy, sometimes floydian-style filigrane, sometimes psychedelic.