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Jethro Tull - This Was CD (album) cover


Jethro Tull


Prog Folk

3.32 | 858 ratings

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Symphonic Team
3 stars Jethro Tull crawled into prog legend status gradually and it happened way after their 1968 debut. The Tull sound on the first release is indeed miles away from "Thick as a Brick" and far removed from "Benefit" for that matter. "This Was" is a blues driven beast with some hard driving guitar riffs thrown in the mix. The classy heavy riff on opener 'My Sunday Feeling' is typical of the late 60s progressive sound, all guitars locked into a riff and allowing some flute augmentation.

'Beggar's Farm' is a trippy hippy thing with glorious flute soloing and a cool guitar phrase driving it, played by Mick Abrahams. A definitive highlight found on many compilations, this song along shows what the band are capable of and where they will head in the future. Some tracks are pure blues such as 'Someday the sun won't shine for you', and odd jazz brass blues on 'Move On Along'. 'Serenade to a Cuckoo' is all 12 bar blues with beautiful flute warbling drifting across. Anderson shines as usual on flute even in these early recordings, and his vocal groanings are heard as he plays which became a trademark of his playing style over the years.

'Dharma For One' follows, a more well known song and heavier pumping along with grinding guitar and fast flute flutters. The vocals disappeared on this and the previous track but the musicianship is excellent so no matter. The drums feature on this one with killer solos crashing in by Clive Bunker. Abrahams guitar solo also features in this proverbial jam session.

'It's Breaking Me Up' is 4 on the floor slow Blues with harmonica, sounding like Canned Heat or Ten Years After and I don't mind that at all, though I didn't expect this sound from Tull. 'Cat's Squirrel' is a heavier song with great guitar soloing and improvised sections along a driving beat with a psychedelic vibe, not unlike early Led Zeppelin.

'A Song For Jeffrey' is the other good song that is better known in the Tull catalogue. It crashes through as a shining beacon with elements of Tull as we will know them on subsequent albums. The flute is blazing, along with harmonica, fiery slide guitar and estranged vocals. "This Was" is Tull in their earliest phase so tread gently. It may not be prog but it's got some cracking blues rock and is the beginning of their journey into greatness. This was where it began? though we "don't see, see, see where they are goin'!"

AtomicCrimsonRush | 3/5 |


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