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Jethro Tull - Crest Of A Knave CD (album) cover

CREST OF A KNAVE

Jethro Tull

 

Prog Folk

3.22 | 374 ratings

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febus
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / In Memoriam
4 stars A FINE RETURN TO FORM!

After the disappointing UNDER WRAPS and the side project of A CLASSIC CASE, 3 years went by without a new JETHRO TULL release. IAN ANDERSON retired in his scottish estate and converted into some kind of gentleman farmer.More importantly,it was the necessary time he needed to rest his voice and hopefully get it back later.

It was now 1987 and CREST OF A KNAVE was released with a nice medieval art cover design! Was it a ''back to the roots'' album with a madrigal at King Henry's court? Not really as CREST OF A KNAVE is in some kind a very hard rocking album, finally giving MARTIN BARRE the opportunity to shine since the great BROADSWORD. I won't say it's a return to the source because there is still some typically 80s sound here and there like a drum machine on the fast opener , the hard rockerSTEEL MONKEY.

But the old TULL can be heard with all the nice fluting, time changes and heavy riffs like on the great FARM ON THE FREEWAY . Another difference from the past is also the way the voice of IAN ANDERSON has evolved; Yes, it got better since tha abysmal days of UNDERWRAPS- just listen to JUMP START; sounds like a STAND UP time song. But the delivery of his vocals is somewhat also more introspective than before sounding like MARK KNOPFLER from DIRE STRaITS. I don't now if this band had some influence on IAN ANDERSON as they were big back then, but it sounds quite similar on tracks such as FARM ON THE FREEWAY, SHE SAID SHE WAS A DANCER or even BUDAPEST.

Anyway, all these new additions to the JT sound mix well with the old one. CREST OF A KNAVE can be seen like a logical evolution of JETHRO TULL.....getting forward without forgetting the bases like they did so badly with UNDER WRAPS. This is JETHRO TULL, a good JETHRO TULL, a group that evolved nicely with this album. AQUALUNG part 2 doesn't exist; there is only one AQUALUNG, so just appreciate this album as a very good JT new album.

There are no weak tracks, even STEEL MONKEY is very catchy, could have used real drums of course, but there are..2 real drummers for the other tracks. IAN ANDERSON always considered the 10mns BUDAPEST as his number one all time masterpiece, not that i agree but that's a very nice suite well arranged with a great build up and nice melody. I told you, an excellent JETHRO TULL addition.

There is only one bonus track but one of the best song ever recorded;PART OF THE MACHINE that was only released in 1988 on the 20 years anniversary 5 LPs-3 CDs excellent boxset. Everybody knows also that CREST OF A KNAVE won the best ''Heavy metal'' Grammy award and finally put an end to the reign of long time HM king Metallica; at least, it helped JETHRO TULL as this album did well on the 2 sides of the atlantic.

I can't think of a good JETHRO TULL collection without CREST OF A KNAVE; Just enjoy the MOUNTAIN MEN!

4 STARS.

febus | 4/5 |

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