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Jethro Tull - Thick As A Brick CD (album) cover

THICK AS A BRICK

Jethro Tull

 

Prog Folk

4.64 | 2304 ratings

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floflo79
5 stars Is Ian Anderson really one of this dictatorial progressive rock bands leader ? The fact remains that the paranoiac sight is here, as he seems persecuted by the criticism, this criticism of which he can't bear to hear, for example, that Aqualung is a concept album. So, Ian decide logically to counter-attack, but not like any paranoiac pettifogging. Non, because we know it, Ian's got talent. But Ian also have humour ! A little bit special humour, but really delicious. So he begins with his friends a concept album project totally spoofy of the progressive excessiveness of the time.

The music lovers will have see that the lyrics are credited by Gerald Bostock. But who is Gerald Bostock ? For know it, the best solution is to read the story on the first page of the album cover who unveiled the tenor of the famous concept. Gerald Bostock is in fact a 8 years old kid,likely brainac, premature or just talented, who just won a poetry competition but finally disqualified. The reason, it's his poem : Thick As A Brick, very critical toward the english society, so much so the first place is given at Mary Whiteyard, 12 years old, for her christian poem : He Died To Save The Little Children. Isn't scandalous ?

Of course, this is just an invention of Ian Anderson who is given him however the pain with John Evan and Jeffrey Hammond to create a real replica of a newspaper for album cover, who could have been, but that's a rumour, much longer to create than the music herself. That huge joke hides a extraordinary, and probably spoofy of the prog, musical work .

The 1972 year, is the quitessential prog year, with Close To The Edge and Foxtrot principally, but also Thick As A Brick who is a progressive spoof of prog (uh?). To ally the musical excessiveness with the conceptual excessiveness, Anderson write just one song of 40 minutes cut in two parts for the vinyl. Ian would have might cut the song in little parts but Ian wanted to piss of the world, and he success ! But Thick As A Brick is also a musical masterpiece. The music is still based on folk/hard rock style but if Aqualung was an guitar dominated album, this is not the case here. The bassist Jeffrey Hammond and the keyboardist John Evan are really important. The tunes, so laughables and simplistic, makes me wants to go in a ballroom in the depths of the UK. In this album, the musicians don't put their virtuosity in the foreground, aside the drum solo who is the only boring part of the piece. There's no long and boring interludes, no, it's moving just at the first second with baroque arpeggios of Anderson (Really don't mind if you sit this one out) when echoes his flute until the last setence (so you ride yourselves over the fields...) who closes this huge loop. Between this two times, there's moments by and by violents and hard rock (See there ! a son is born and we pronouce him fit to fight) round about three minutes, by and by heavy and symphonic (The poet and the paint casting shadows on the water) round about five minutes, by and by folk and festive (I've come down from the upper class) round about 12 minutes, by and by mystic and bewitching (The Dawn Creation of the Kings has begun) round about 8 minutes of the second part, by and by childish and fairylike (You curl your toes in fun) round about 16 minutes of the first part, just to name few... The different solos (except the drum solo) are shorts, digestibles and delicious. The best solo of Martin Barre is round about the 8 minutes (forget the overdubs). The flute of Ian Anderson are potent all the time.

There's callbacks, like any concept album, but not too much. There's an absolute coherence , from start to finish. But the essential point of the album, it's the rock ! And it's one of the best prog albums ever. Thick As A Brick is maybe not so virtuoso than Close To The Edge is, but he is also delicious. The prog is really good when he not takes himself too seriously !

floflo79 | 5/5 |

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