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Jethro Tull - War Child CD (album) cover


Jethro Tull


Prog Folk

3.30 | 750 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars Bitterly disappointing.

So what do you do when your previous album is lambasted by the critics for being overblown and devoid of musical content? (I disagreed with them then and still do now - 'A Passion Play' is fantastic.) You retreat to the success of 'Living in the Past' and refine the formula, right?

No. Not these lads. They have a crack at a third concept album; or, more properly, tried to pull together a concept that had been lying around in the shadowed darkness of IAN ANDERSON'S mind since 'Aqualung'. If this one had come off it would have been bigger than Ben-Hur (a double album and a film). But even JETHRO TULL couldn't always get what they wanted, and they had to abandon the project. This album is the leavings.

There is one shining gem in the midst of this folk-rock fragment: 'Skating Away' is just marvellous. I first heard it as the B-side of 'Bungle in the Jungle', and it prompted me to purchase the album unlistened-to. Big mistake. That 45rpm single I'd purchased contained everything good about 'War Child'. Dear oh dear. Even the opening sound effects of the album are cheesy beyond belief, with none of the sophistication one would expect from the authors of the St Cleve Chronicle. There are some pleasant sounds: 'Back Door Angel', for example, sounds like an outtake from 'A Passion Play', but apart from 'Bungle' and 'Skating Away' nothing is worth repeated listens.

russellk | 2/5 |


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