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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 | 700 ratings

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Queen By-Tor
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars That rock opera that didn't really work

And I'm sure the title didn't help. Although we all know how unfortunate the title was, given the times and the punk bands calling all the old prog greats ''dinosaur bands''. But the title has nothing to do with the music, of course. Well, maybe not, but it does seem to describe the music pretty well. The album is often described as the most acoustic Tull album and that isn't far from wrong, but it does have a lot of electrics on it still. This is a much heavier album than I expected when I first picked it up after reading a lot of reviews for it, somewhat lighter than Tull would become in later years, but fairly familiar to WarChild in terms of sound and general heaviness.

Unfortunately it's the Too Old... part of the title which shines through the most. Don't call shenanigans on me just yet though! I'm very much aware that the boys were still quite young at the time of recording this album, but it seems like they were much older. Maybe it was pressure from the surrounding music industry but the album, on the whole, sounds like the band is rather tired and worn out. Not to say that the album is 'lackluster' but it does sound a lot less energetic than the Tull we're used to in this era of their music. Not much of the songs standout among each other because they're not wildly different from one song to the next. I suppose this may have been the intention a bit since it is a rock opera dealing with one story. Not that I care to get into that in this review, but I'll say that the story does add a bit to the enjoyment of the album rather than detracting from it.

However, all bad things said, this is still a good album. A couple of the songs that do really stand out are a couple of very good Tull tunes indeed. Take for example the strong acoustic Salamander which smells quite strongly of Cold Wind To Valhalla in it's delivery. Not a bad thing of course, since that was a fantastic song and following it loosely is quite nice. The opening Quiz Kid is also quite strong and heavy with a lot of bombast left to boot. The title track, Too Old To Rock 'N Roll: Too Young To Die, is a great tune from the band exemplifying why a soft chorus can work well in a more hard rocking song.

Other songs on the album are alright as well, ranging from hard rock to soft acoustic. A nice bit of harmonica on the often unappreciated Taxi Grab makes for some fun times and a hard rocker. The softer songs unfortunately don't have quite as good a fit on here with songs like From A Deadbeat To An Old Greaser and Bad-Eyed And Loveless acting as more emotional moments that perhaps don't play out quite as effectively as they could have. A touch on the quiet and melancholic side than seems to suit the mood of the album - which judging by the comic on the inner sleeve and the manly fist pump on the outer should play off as more of a fun and album ridiculous concept. Which it is, in a good way - most of the time.

This album is good. It's fun at times and slow at others but that really shouldn't stop the die hard Tull fans who will enjoy this on quite a bit. As for everyone else, it's not essential, but it's worth the listen. If you liked WarChild you'll likely enjoy this one, but if you're looking for another Thick As A Brick then you should look elsewhere. Luckily Tull would really pick up their game after this one, and this one is going to walk away with 2.5 taxis grabbed out of 5. Not bad, but not as amazing as the other stuff we know from this group.

Queen By-Tor | 2/5 |


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