Jethro Tull’s ‘The Château d’Hérouville Sessions’ Set To Make Vinyl Debut
Prior to the release of their A Passion Play album in 1973, Jethro Tull recorded three sides of a double album at the Château d’Hérouville studio near Paris, France. Things did not go well, and the project was aborted.
In the summer of 1972, the band were riding high on the crest of a popularity wave, as they sold out huge arenas on the back of their critically acclaimed, chart-topping fifth album Thick As A Brick. They went into the renowned studio, where the likes of David Bowie, Elton John, Pink Floyd and Cat Stevens had previously recorded at. The band quickly nicknamed it ‘Chateau D’isaster’ after a series of equipment failures, bed bugs and food poisoning.
After a band meeting where the decision was made to return to the UK, they part-recorded a treasure trove of quirky material on master tapes which were ferried back to continue work on in London – only to decide to start over with a whole new album project, which was to become A Passion Play, released in 1973.
And so the Château tapes became the great lost album of Tull mythology until twenty years later when Ian Anderson reworked and completed most of the original material to release on the Nightcap album as the Chateau d’Isaster Tapes. Then in 2013, they received a make-over by Steven Wilson, for inclusion on the A Passion Play: An Extended Performance book-set. Now, for the first time, these recordings will be available on vinyl. The Château D’Hérouville Sessions will be released as a 2LP set on 15 March.
About the album, Ian Anderson says “There are some good things going on there, and I really quite like the songs which had lyrics, lots of theatrical references such as the bomb in the dressing room. I was trying to create this idea of the world of theatre somehow mirroring the real life outside on the streets and in society.”