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Jethro Tull - Live - Bursting Out CD (album) cover

LIVE - BURSTING OUT

Jethro Tull

 

Prog Folk

4.16 | 271 ratings

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fuxi
Prog Reviewer
3 stars TULL AS A WELL-OILED ENTERTAINMENT MACHINE

(N.B. This review is based on the 2004 reissue, which reproduces the original two-record set.)

As far as good-humoured entertainment goes, this set could not be bettered. Jethro Tull open their live set with a dynamic performance of 'No Lullaby', far more convincing than the original studio version, and never lose momentum until the end of this album. Tracks like "Skating Away" and "Hunting Girl" are performed with all the verve you can expect. Best of all are the many little extras the band inserted into old and familiar tunes. Towards the end of "Sweet Dream" there's a delightful little moment where David Palmer's pipe organ plays some baroque variations on the main riff, after which the rest of the band join in. "Cross-eyed Mary" is introduced by Ian playing "Pop goes the Weasel", and "Aqualung", apparently the first of the encores, is preceded by a jaunty little dance entitled "Quatrain". And so on. The trio of (semi-)acoustic numbers towards the beginning (particularly "One Brown Mouse") gives the impression that Jethro Tull must have made the largest crowds feel warm and happy inside. And the twelve-minute digested version of "Thick as a Brick" is superb - easily my favourite recording of this piece.

Still, it would never occur to me to call this one of the world's great live albums. The band performances lack the "now or never, life or death" urgency that characterises true masterpieces such as THE WHO LIVE AT LEEDS or King Crimson's FOR ABSENT LOVERS. Those acoustic songs are cute, but they never reveal Ian Anderson's soul. Obviously, he didn't want to regale huge stadiums with "Wond'ring Aloud" or "One White Duck". Such tracks would only put a stop to all that innocent fun...

Verdict: Three stars and a half.

fuxi | 3/5 |

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