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Jethro Tull - The Broadsword And The Beast CD (album) cover


Jethro Tull


Prog Folk

3.27 | 601 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars Now this is just too sad for words, and the sorry tale begins with the cover art. While Jethro Tull albums had featured humorous drawings of the band from the word go, and TOO OLD TO ROCK 'N' ROLL had even depicted Ian Anderson as a cartoon character, BROADSWORD was the first time the band got the look of trashy fantasy fiction or second-rate heavy metal. (STORMWATCH had looked cheap as well, but BROADSWORD takes us to a new level of cheesiness.) And to make things worse, the music sounds horrible too. None of the tunes stand up to scrutiny, except for 'Fallen on Hard Times' (subtle but depressing) and 'Watching You Watching Me', which was criticised (unfairly, if you ask me) for sounding un-Tull-like, as the accompaniment consists mainly of synthesizers.

Apart from Ian, Martin Barre was the only member left from the 1970s band, but his contributions to BROADSWORD are simply painful to hear, especially if you consider the marvellous solos he contributed to AQUALUNG, WARCHILD, MINSTREL etc. (Fortunately, Barre would regain his strength a few years later, on CREST OF A KNAVE.) And what's all this poppycock about pirates and Vikings - were Jethro Tull really turning into Spinal Tap?

So what is the poor listener left with? Yes, you're right: this is the one Jethro Tull album where the bonus tracks are much better than the original material. At least five of them I usually enjoy, although some go on too long. 'Jack Frost' and 'Mayhem Maybe' sound particularly lovely, and 'Jack A Lynn' comes close to being superb. As a consequence, I find myself wavering between two and three stars.

fuxi | 2/5 |


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