This album ranks right up there with Stand Up, Benefit and Aqualung as releases that are classics from Mr. Anderson and friends.
If you thought they had lost it forever after the prog excursions of Thick As A Brick and Passion Play you would be justified in that viewpoint. They showed hints of a comeback with the sporadic brilliance of Songs From The Wood. Crest Of A Knave proves that writing them off for good was a mistake. There is not a clunker on the whole CD. Enjoy Ian's 'tongue in cheek' liner notes - they won the Heavy Metal Grammy for this release :-) While he may chuckle at this turn of events and sneer at his record company for not paying their airfare to attend the festivities (Alice Cooper endured the wrath of Metallica fans to accept the award on J.T.'s behalf), it is only fitting that, for someone who was so pompous in the aftermath of Aqualung, that the recognition be late AND also well deserved artistically. Yes, while it is a long way from Heavy Metal, excuse my laughter, it was classic Classic Rock! So, forget the Grammy trash-talk and focus on superlative music. Farm On The Freeway, Jump Start, Dogs In the Midwinter and Budapest rank up there with To Cry You a Song, Nothing Is Easy, Cross Eyed Mary, and, well, go on to name your personal favourites. My only crititcism is his new found affiliation for Mark Knopfler style vocals, most taxing in The Waking Edge and, no doubt, a result of a loss of vocal range. Nonetheless, this is more than compensated for by Martin Barre's outstanding guitar (he receives dedication from his boss in the notes) and the signature flute playing of Himself throughout.
Sound quality on the remaster is outstanding and the bonus track 'Part Of The Machine' works too! Like the best of the bonus track lot, there is no reason for this to have been left out in the first place, especially considering this was the first Tull digital release. Guess someone knew the value of keeping an ace up your sleeve. So, enjoy and raise a final glass of whatever, to one of the true original, and best, Classic Rock (NOT heavy metal) bands of the late 60's/early 70's. The music still stands up in the 21st century. Can't say that for too many bands before OR after Jethro Tull.