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Jethro Tull - Thick As A Brick CD (album) cover


Jethro Tull


Prog Folk

4.63 | 3047 ratings

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5 stars This is another Progressive Rock album that, in my opinion, every fan of the genre should own. Up to 1975 I listened to all JETHRO TULL releases and, although I enjoyed them all, this album is my favourite of the TULL albums I know.

If it had not been for the limitations of the vinyl media of the time, the music would have been one long track. As the LP had to be turned over there is an enforced hiatus in the music, but it's hardly noticeable with the CD.

The 1998 EMI/Chrysalis CD release with digitally remastered music has, apart from the original two LP sides, a 12-minute live performance of (part of) the piece at Madison Square Garden in 1978 plus an interesting 17-minute interview with Ian Anderson, Martin Barre and Jeffrey Hammond. (Count how many times they manage to mention Bermondsey in the interview!) Anderson mentions that this album was a tongue-in-cheek concept album as his reaction to "Aqualung" being labelled a concept album in the music press, when it was not. He wanted to create a complex, confusing send-up of the band, music critics and the audience, and not necessarily in that order. Apparently Anderson took about 2 weeks to write and rehearse the music with the band (!) and they then took around 8 to 10 days to record the album (!), and the band spent more time writing and completing the album cover artwork than writing, rehearsing and recording the album!

The booklet that comes with the 1998 EMI/Chrysalis CD release duplicates the original spoof newspaper (The St. Cleve Chronicle) that served as the LP cover and insert, plus a centre spread with Melody Maker clippings etc. Given the CD format, the font is very small, but you can just about read it! One of the 'articles' contains the lyrics of the music.

All I need to say about the music itself is that it is extremely good, with an amazingly simple yet incredibly effective riff that appears regularly throughout the piece. The musicianship is of the highest order and the instruments - both acoustic and electric - very pleasing. Without doubt 5 stars.

Fitzcarraldo | 5/5 |


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