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Jethro Tull - Nothing Is Easy: Live At The Isle Of Wight 1970 CD (album) cover


Jethro Tull


Prog Folk

4.15 | 154 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars The Isle of Wight festival was held in late August, 1970 with plenty of heavyweights taking the stage including JIMI HENDRIX, MILES DAVIS, THE WHO, THE DOORS, ELP and many more. Hundreds of thousands of people flooded this island no doubt wanting to experience what they had heard about the year before in America at Woodstock. JETHRO TULL at this point had released three albums and were a hard rocking Blues band on the cusp of being known world- wide the following year with the 1971 release of "Aqualung" that many including myself believe would be their best album when it is all said and done.

The band here come across as being very confident and relaxed, no doubt a seasoned live band who could "rock" with the best of them. Ian Anderson is very engaging, charming and humerous as he talks to the audience between songs. Some feel 1978's "Bursting Out" is their best live album but I prefer the rougher, edgier in your face TULL where it's anything but smooth or without it's warts. It's hard to believe this wasn't released until 2004, this is a real find for me. I have to quote some of Anderson's words as the band prepares to play in front of this massive crowd. He says "We're going to do some old songs, some new songs and one or two we've never played before it seems. The first one is a really old one, i've forgotten this one I think." "They're really excited" he exclaims to his band-mates(haha).

"My Sunday Feeling" is an older track from their debut album "This Was". This is a hard rocking tune with the flute and drums standing out. Check out the guitar before 3 minutes. Barre really impresses throughout this show. "My God" was from the forth-coming record "Aqualung" so this was new to even TULL fans here. It opens with intricate guitar and part way through Anderson says "This is actually the beginning". Funny stuff. This along with "Dharma For One" are my two favourite tracks on here. It kicks into gear hard at 2 minutes and the contrasts between the beauty and angst is priceless. Ripping guitar followed by flute and some killer drum work. A flute solo follows including some avant flute and vocal sounds. An incredible performance. "With You There To Help Me" from the "Benefit" record is up next. Beautiful piano and flute melodies to start as the vocals join in. It turns fuller before 2 minutes as contrasts continue. A change 4 minutes in as we get a calm with piano only. Flute joins in around 5 1/2 minutes as they seem to improvise until it kicks back in at 9 minutes.

"To Cry You A Song" from "Benefit" has a very cool guitar melody throughout. Vocals come and go as does the ripping guitar. Great tune. "Bouree" from "Stand Up" is the most laid back tune overall i'd say but check out the bass solo after 2 minutes. The flute and bass work so well together on this one. "Dharma For One" from "This Was" like most of these tracks surpasses the studio versions. Hey we get some organ in this one to start and it turns heavy before a minute as the vocals join in. The vocals and heaviness are the highlights for me. More organ after 3 minutes and a drum solo after 6 minutes to almost the 9 minute mark. "Nothing Is Easy" from "Stand Up" is a good hard rocking song with vocals. Organ as well and man these guys could make some noise. It ends with a medley of "We Used To Know" and "For A Thousand Mothers" both from "Stand Up". The first starts off with a feel-good mood including vocals and then we get a heavy instrumental section 2 minutes in. Barre is almost Iommi-like before 3 minutes to end the first part of the medley. The second section is drum and guitar driven for the most part and both impress big time.

What a show these guys put on! No doubt they gained a lot of fans that day who would eat up their next album "Aqualung". A must-have live album for TULL fans.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |


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