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Jethro Tull - Too Old To Rock 'n' Roll: Too Young To Die! CD (album) cover


Jethro Tull


Prog Folk

3.09 | 722 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars The initial project was to set up a musical out of this work. Ray's story (the main character) is the one of a retired rock star who wins in a quiz show. His perception of the world is such though that he decides to commit suicide, but fails. Instead, he enters into a coma for quite some time. Finally, he recovers and by then it seemed that the the enviornment had changed : people loved his music again and younsters dressed like him.

It is of course absolutely not autobiographical (since Ian was only thirty-one at that time). About "Too Old" Ian will say, I quote : "It was to illustrate how the style of music may go out of popularity with every other fashion, but he (Ray) is determined that if he sticks to it, everything comes back around and the style will rise again".

"Quizz Kid" opens the album very nicely. Like in most concept albums, there will be a theme that will come back later on in the album (in this particular case in the title track). This intro lasts for about one minute then the song starts little by little to accelerate and to rock quite frankly. It is one of the best song : I quite like this mix of acoustic and electric, almost hard rocking tune.

"Crazed Institution" is a folk accoustic ballad : not worse than several other ones the Tull has produced in its early days. "Join the crazed institution of the stars. Be the man that you think (know) you really are".

The accoustic intro for "Salamander" is very nice, (it reminds me at time "Bron-Y-Aur Stomp" from Led Zep (III) but less powerful. A very good track, definitely. "Taxi Grab" is a heavy blues oriented song. Quite dispensible.

"From a Dead Beat to an Old Greaser" is a very slow paced accoustic song full of emotion and very melodious. A romantic piece of moment to bring you relaxation and tranquility. I really like this song a lot.

"Bad-Eyed 'N' Loveless" is the second bluesy song of the album, and like the first one it would have been better to skip this one from the track list (but I guess they had nothing else to propose). It is very similar to what the Tull produced in their debut album "This Was". Below average, really. "Big Dipper" is a more classic Tull song : good rythm, tempo changes. A bit more complex than most of the other numbers. One of the best as well.

Generally, this whole work lacks in great moments (those ones will be very scarce on this effort). This was a deception for me.

The title track is the best of the album. The video clip for it was quite fun. The orchestra, though, is a bit too invading (useless I would say). "Pied Piper" is a fresh, countryside (?) track (whatever this may mean) but again, strings are toooooo much (this feeling was already noticed on the album "War Child").

The closing number "The Chequered Flag (Dead or Alive)" is another very nice folk- accoustic song. Beautiful melody, good violin : it is a bit similar to the previous "From a Dead Beat...". Very good way to close the album.

The remastered version contains two bonus tracks of which "A Small Cigar" highlights Ian 's crystal clear voice. A great vocal effort and a very pleasant song (this shows that they wanted indeed to make a musical out of it. It is very typical of these types of projects). "Strip Cartoon" is a bit similar to "Pied Piper" and could have fit on the original album.

"Too Old ..." is definitely not a Tull masterpice (I would say five out of ten). I will round it up to three stars for the remastered version.

ZowieZiggy | 3/5 |


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