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Jethro Tull - Stand Up CD (album) cover

STAND UP

Jethro Tull

 

Prog Folk

4.03 | 816 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

npjnpj
4 stars The Blues from the first album is gone, and along comes this unexpected collection of gems.

Ian Anderson stated in an interview once that this is probably his favourite Jethro Tull album, but he only composed the thing, so what does he know? Meaning: I don't really agree with his assessment. Sure all the songs are great, but personally I think there were far better things to come.

I don't want to go into line-ups, but in this case I do find it relevant that Martin Barre joined the band for this album and all subsequent recordings. Barre has left his distinct mark on Jethro Tull's sound ever since, but I can't quite see that the influence attributed to him is quite justified. He is a fine guitarist, but to my mind, nothing more (sorry!). What I mean to say is that I think that the change of Jethro Tull's sound and songs had much more to do with Mick Abraham's leaving and Anderson taking the helm, than to Barre's joining. Just had to get that off my chest.

Anyway, I don't intend to go into the individual songs, I'm sure that's been done somewhere else on ProgArchives, and I'd like to concentrate on what I perceive as the essence of the atmosphere on this album.

Diversity seems to be the word I'm looking for in describing this album. The compositions here are as far apart in style as any record of the era I know of ever attempted (except for Frank Zappa, of course, but his music and 'angle of attack' were completely different). They (the compositions) range from soft fragile songs (Jeffrey Goes To Leicester Square) to all out ear-attacks (For A Thousand Mothers), but never does anything turn to mush.

It's amazing that a group of musicians (and their main composer) were able to turn out such a collection of incredible tunes at such a young age, refining them with unusual instruments, exquisite arrangements, and still never convey at any point at all, that there was ever any effort involved.

Seriously, the detail involved here is phenomenal, but it all blends into the structure of the individual songs so that it actually takes several listens before you start to wonder about the complexity of it all. After all, the year was 1969.

On the other hand, although I do rank this album higher than 'This Was', I find that sometimes it does sound a bit as if it could have done with more of the light-heartedness that was present on its predecessor.

A full four stars is very justified, I find.

npjnpj | 4/5 |

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