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Jethro Tull - Too Old To Rock 'n' Roll: Too Young To Die! CD (album) cover


Jethro Tull


Prog Folk

3.08 | 703 ratings

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4 stars "Too Old To Rock 'n' Roll: Too Young To Die!" is a horrible title. The cover is awful, too. The concept (the story line, if there's any) could be fine, but it smells a little bit pathetic.

And the music is great.

Not as good as Tull's finest moments,though. That places "Too Old..." in the crowd with 95% of music of this planet, which is not as good as Tull's finest moments.

Okay, it's obvious: I like Tull a lot. Therefore, may expectations were set v e r y high for an album from the 70's by The Tramp. And I was not disappointed at all. Which makes this album - great.

This is not the sweetest cake for an average Tull listener; the majority of JETHRO TULL fans are (I might be very wrong here) progressive rock fans and therefore they were probably disappointed with this one to some extent - there are no musical bravurosities or some hand-scratching complexities. On the other hand, who else is fan of Tull? A now gray-haired rockers, the crowd who loved (and still loves) basic rock 'n' roll, THE ROLLING STONES, mainstream rock of the seventies, THE EAGLES, AMERICA, you name it. For that kind of crowd this album is too soft and introspective. (Please note that these, very much improvised observations of mine are very limited, formulaic, and I dare say narrow-minded, but perhaps I'm not wrong in the overall picture.) I remember my best friend's father saying that his generation and him (born in the early 50's) never like DAVID BOWIE too much because he was too "soft"..oh well.

Who could appreciate this album then? A fans of NICK DRAKE perhaps? But I am generalising too much now; every individual taste is a very complex thing, as we all know.

What I'm trying to figure out is - why this album is so maligned? It contains that essential "tullness" that all Tull fans love (I guess). It's quite folky, not in a vein of some other Tull albums, there's no Bert Jansch or John Renbourn, nor jigs. No. But Ian's voice is here, still untouched, witty lyrics, and some great guitar moments. And much more.

There is not a single weak song that I can point out. All right, the title song, but not because the song itself is bad, it's simply overplayed (in my history of musical listening) with various compilations and live records. I still think this studio version is the best so far. And the promo video is funny.

This is a MATURE album. The sound inclines towards mainstream rock/AOR (of the seventies) which is not bad thing at all, and yet all the songs are carrying that instantly recognisable Anderson's signature (I'm not talking about his voic and flute here).

Melodies are gorgeous. "Salamander" contains the same acoustic guitar background as "Cold Wind To Valhalla" and you know what? It doesn't bother me at all. This one works great. In a different way, but great. Haters will probably accuse "Taxi Grab" and "Quizz Kid" as being hermetic - but they're excellent songs, just not adventurous as we are get used to expect from Tull. "Pied Pipier" is brilliant, with a touch of Celtic. "The Chequered Flag" is probably one of the most beautiful songs from the band's catalogue, and that's something. For orientation, try to imagine LED ZEPPELIN's "The Rain Song" that is even more dreamy and autumny.

This is not a prog album. To the hell with that. This is simply music, music filled with emotions, and music that evokes emotions in me while I'm singing along my crappy stereo cassette player in my car. It deserves very high rating; it's only curse is that we know better from Tull. Everything, as I stated on the beginning, the cover, the horrible title implies that this is a sub-par product from the band. Well, it is not.

Four star from this sentimental fool.

clarke2001 | 4/5 |


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