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Jethro Tull - Thick as a Brick CD (album) cover


Jethro Tull


Prog Folk

4.64 | 3726 ratings

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Jim Garten
Special Collaborator
Retired Admin & Razor Guru
5 stars Having read the reviews thus far, there is very little I can add - however, I do feel moved to put forward yet another 5 star review for this album; I do not give 5 stars lightly (if at all), but this is one of those very few albums which fully and truly deserves the accolade.

Thick As A Brick is not only Jethro Tull's finest hour, but also one of the greatest progressive rock albums ever recorded - this is not merely praise from a huge Tull fan, but plain fact.

The evidence - TAAB is effectively a single track in which the texture and mood of the music constantly change, as do the time signatures, but without ever sounding contrived or forced. Throughout the album the musicianship of what most consider to be the 'classic' Tull lineup is exemplary; John Evan's Hammond work is especially stunning here, but neither Barre, Barlow or Hammond-Hammond (what a name!) put a foot wrong throughout the album (even during the oft criticised freeform section at the beginning of part 2) - all this ably supported by David Palmer's (or Mrs Dee Palmer as she is now known...) subtle but effective orchestrations .

All the above is topped off by Ian Anderson's incisive lyrics - a non-stop truly inspired stream of conciousness he has never quite matched before or since - "take me back down the years, to the days of my youth, draw the lace and black curtains, and shut out, the whole truth".

In short - this is an album which I consider to be utterly flawless and would recommend anyone who appreciates good music/writing (whatever the genre) should own. This is especially true if you get hold of the re-mastered issue, with reproductions of all the original artwork, a live version of the abridged TAAB from Madison Square Garden in 1978 (the last tour to feature this lineup, with the exception of Hammond, who had already been replaced by John Glascock - a year later, it was just Anderson/Barre), and a very entertaining 16 minute interview with the chaps about the making of the album.

Jim Garten | 5/5 |


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