In the tradition of my other threads for Deep Purple and Black Sabbath, I fell like I am about ready to share my personal view on the various CD versions of Jethro Tull albums. You won't find any recommendations for the latest remastered CD versions in this thread, since I don't like them very much. Most of them are too bright for my taste, and some also have quite heavy noise reduction. Not all of the Jethro Tull remasters are totally bad in my opinion (This Was for example is quite decent), but in all cases I found other CD versions I prefer. Of course, we all now that preferences are a very subjective issue, so feel free to disagree with my assessment. 1. This Was My favorite version is the German Chrysalis CD with catalog number 252 656-222 (Sonopress). I also heard the UK Chrysalis (CDP 32 1041 2) as well as the Japan for UK Chrysalis (CCD 1041), but I find the German Chrysalis significantly better. I never heard the original US Chrysalis, but from what other people have reported, it is apparently also nothing to write home about. 2. Stand Up I like the MFSL Ultradisc version best, but the original US Chrysalis is also very nice in my opinion and a good alternative. The tracks from side 1 of the original vinyl sound a little veiled on the US Chrysalis, but the tracks from side 2 of the original vinyl sounds pretty much as good on the US Chrysalis as on the MFSL (almost anyway). I didn't care for the German Chrysalis or the UK Chrysalis. 3. Benefit My favorite version is the US Chrysalis (which has the track Teacher on it). The tracks Teacher does not sound so great on the US Chrysalis, but the other tracks are the best sounding versions I have heard so far. The UK Chrysalis sounds really weird in comparison, running significantly slower and sounding way off. The remaster is heavily no-noised in some areas. 4. Aqualung O.k., we have a great sounding DCC version mastered by our dear host Steve. Of course it sounds very nice, and it was the very first time this actual master tapes were used. What could you want more? Well, I personally think the Japan for Europe Chrysalis CD with catalog number 610 016-217 sounds more laid back and natural, and this version is actually my preferred version right now. O.k., I said it, now I need to go hiding... Careful, there is also a Sonopress version with the same catalog number 610 016-217, which also sounds nice but has a different mastering from the Japan for Europe Chrysalis CD. The latter has MANUFACTURED BY SANYO JAPAN in the matrix code, and that's the one you want to look for. It is hard to find in my experience. 5. Living In The Past I really like the MFSL version of this one. It also has all the tracks from the UK and US versions, which is nice. The MFSL sounds very nice to me and I find it sounds very similar to the tracks of this album which were mastered by Steve for Aqualung and Original Masters. I haven't done any detailed comparisons with the early UK and US Chrysalis CD's, and I know there are at least two different UK Chrysalis versions out there, since this CD has been secretly remastered in the late 80's. I heard some good things about the US Chrysalis, so I might buy it used if I can find, just to do a comparison. 6. Thick As A Brick The MFSL Ultradisc is my preferred version. Period. 7. A Passion Play Again, the MFSL is the best in my opinion. I also have the UK Chrysalis (CCD 1040 - a little on the bright side) and the German Chrysalis (252 655-217 - a little on the muddy side), and the MFSL is just right. 8. War Child I have never heard the MFSL so far. People say good things about it. I have the UK Chrysalis (CCD 1067) and the US Chrysalis (F2 21067, same mastering as the VK 41067). Both sound very good to me, and when I compare these with the two tracks on the DCC of Original Masters, the original Chrysalis CD's hold up really well. The US Chrysalis and UK Chrysalis are not the same mastering, although they sound quite similar. I slightly prefer the US Chrysalis over the UK Chrysalis. I will have to listen to the MFSL to see whether I like it better or not. If someone would be so kind to post a sample of the MFSL, that would be great. 9. Minstrel In The Gallery This album is a tough one to choose the favorite CD version. People praise the Japan for UK Chrysalis (CCD 1082), but it was stated in another thread that this version is the same as the UK Chrysalis (CDP 32 1082 2), but without the pre-emphasis flag set. I have to say that I find the UK Chrysalis with de-emphasis applied already on the bright side, and the same mastering without de-emphasis applied is just way too bright for me. Some people have noted that the UK Chrysalis (CDP 32 1082 2) sounds almost a little no-noised in some areas. I personally don't think it is, but it does sound a little weird, and maybe it has to do with the messed up pre-emphasis. All in all, my preferred version at the moment is the German Chrysalis with catalog number 252 662. It sounds most natural to me. Also, there is a difference from song to song between the various versions. I also once compared the US Chrysalis, and I think it sounds quite similar to the German Chrysalis, but I have to compare it again. 10. Too Old To Rock 'N' Roll: Too Young To Die I like the German Chrysalis CD (252 663-222) very much, it sounds very warm to me. The UK Chrysalis sounds very cold and sterile to me in comparison. Also, when I compare the title track to Steve's version on Original Masters, the German Chrysalis sounds very nice in comparison. 11. Songs From The Wood The MFSL is probably overall the best, it sounds warm and not too bright. As far as the stereo image goes, I prefer the UK or US Chrysalis though (UK and US Chrysalis are identical for this album by the way). 12. Heavy Horses I prefer the German Chrysalis (252 666-222) over the UK Chrysalis (CDP 32 1175 2), it sounds fuller without being over the top. Never heard the US Chrysalis of this album. 13. Live - Bursting Out The UK Chrysalis 2-CD (CDP 32 1201 2) is the winner here in my opinion, the German Chrysalis (351 275-222) sounds a little bit over the top as far as EQ goes. The US Chrysalis is only a single CD and incomplete. Never heard the US Chrysalis of this album. 14. Stormwatch At first I preferred the German Chrysalis CD (252 667-219) for this album, but then Owais (progmog) pointed out in another thread that he found the UK Chrysalis (CDP 32 1238 2) to sound more natural, and after some more careful listening, I have to agree with him. The UK Chrysalis sounds natural and warm, the German Chrysalis is a little hotter sounding. Some might prefer the German Chrysalis, but for me it is now the UK Chrysalis. Never heard the US Chrysalis of this album. 15. "A" I only have the German Chrysalis CD (252 838-222) for this album, and I think it sounds nice. I only compared it to the remastered version and much prefer the original version. Never heard the UK or US Chrysalis of this album. 16. Broadsword And The Beast I compared the first West Germany pressing of this CD (CCD 1380 - which has pre-emphasis) to the slightly later German Chrysalis CD (610 018-217), and I prefer the latter. The WG Chrysalis just sounded too sterile and clinical to me. Owais (progmog) told me he preferred the WG Chrysalis and he thought the German Chrysalis was beefed up, but to me the German Chrysalis still sounds nice and natural, but has more body and breath compared to the first WG Chrysalis. I think I will stop here for the moment. This covers the main period, and I think many of the CD's after that album are digitally identical between various international versions anyhow. Feel free to discuss and share your own opinions and points of view. It's a matter of taste after all.