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Jethro Tull - War Child CD (album) cover

WAR CHILD

Jethro Tull

 

Prog Folk

3.26 | 522 ratings

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febus
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / In Memoriam
4 stars THE ALBUM THAT GOT BETTER WITH TIME!

After the harsh critics, IAN ANDERSON received from the music critics and the mixed reception among fans at the release of PASSION PLAY, it was time to go back to a simple song structure system, surely ''encouraged'' by the recording company CHRYSALIS. Not that the leader of JETHRO TULL didn't have any high creative aspirations anymore back then as he planned to do a movie with Hollywood production about a new concept: WARCHILD.

Nothing materialized for many reasons, and the ''concept'' ended in a normally ordinary release of a 10 songs LP named WARCHILD in 1974. IAN ANDERSON shows that he is JETHRO TULL as he is the only member shown on the front cover as the others are mixed in tha back cover with girlfriends, queen Elizabeth 1, a nun, a girl with a machine gun and other strange caracters.....and IAN ANDERSON again right in the middle top .

When i bought this album back then, i never got into it really!! I didn't find the compositions very outstanding; sometimes you cannot explain. Some albums that are revered by a lot of people are not attractive to me and some that are thrashed, i adore them. And with JETHRO TULL, that's often the case. Some albums they would release later met with a lot of criticism are a constant presence on my CD player when supposedly ''great''CDs like HEAVY HORSES don't do much! but that's just me!

I bought back the remastered WARCHILD one/two years ago with all those bonus tracks that have been added. And what a revelation it has been. the light has appeared in my brain....30 years later!! better late than never, they say!! You bet!

The original album is good, the new 17 songs version is GREAT: You have evrything that makes JETHRO TULL unique. The hard rocking songs like the title track, some typically JT acoustic pieces like SKATING AWAY or ONLY SOLITAIRE, the medieval rocking THE THIRD HOORAH, a lot of string arrangements from DAVID PALMER (future DEE) and BARRE back in business.

On this album, you will find also the very catchy HUGE hit back then BUNGLE IN THE JUNGLE, still played these days on every classic rock station.The ballad SKATING AWAY ON THE THIN ICE is still also a radio fixture as well.

What makes the album great too is the addition of seven bonus tracks; not one downer. They were originally part of this big play IAN ANDERSON intentionally wanted to produce, but were left out due to vinyl restrictions. And after the somewhat nasty welcome of PASSION PLAY, i don't think CHRYSALIS was in a mood to have JETHRO TULL release a double album.

We have wonderful music with these bonus tracks; first, it is all....classical with WARCHILD WALTZ, no MARTIN, no JEFFREY or BARRIEMORE, even no personal contribution from IAN , imagine that! Just an orchestra. Finally, Ian comes back with his sax and flute on QUARTET, a very, vey proggish tune with a lot of over the top organ, a choir, all that in a mediaval athmosphere, a little bit siily, but great anyway . A very creative JETHRO TULL indeed.

Then the real JT sound comes back with the rocking PARADISE STEAKHOUSE and SEALION 2 with good riffs from MARTIN BARRE omnipresent the whole tracks. 2 JT classics!Also SATURATION is quite nice and energetic. Even the blues is back (just a little bit) in RAINBOW BLUES with again nice orchestrations from DAVID PALMER.

WARCHILD is a very nice pleasure to listen to. It shows all the different aspects of JETHRO TULL music, be it rock, classical, blues, folk, jazz at his best; this is JETHRO TULL music.Nobody else sounds close!

3 stars for the regular album; add 1 star for the excellent bonus tracks.

4 STARS.

febus | 4/5 |

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