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Jethro Tull - Stand Up CD (album) cover

STAND UP

Jethro Tull

 

Prog Folk

4.04 | 1294 ratings

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mr.cub
5 stars Stand Up 5/5 Well let us start things off by saying that this album is equal to Thick as a Brick IMHO. On his band's second full length LP, Ian decided to write material for 9 of the 10 songs and give us one of the greatest covers and arrangement of a classical piece the rock genre has seen (no not Pictures at an Exhibition). The bonus tracks on this remastered are excellent, with the exception of '17'. Ultimately I can listen from tracks 1-13 without skipping a tune, meaning the original album is perfect in its arrangement, progression and songwriting all the way from the opening riff of 'A New Day Yesterday' to Ian's coda solo in 'For a Thousand Mothers.'

This album features Tull venturing into a wide range of styles, essentially creating the basis for their progressive rock masterpieces to come. The catch here is that this album is presented as a traditional rock album, with 10 songs ranging from 2 to 4 minutes apiece, meaning it is quite similar to Aqualung in its structure but similar to Thick as a Brick in its depth and eclectic explorations.

'A New Day Yesterday' begins the album in true blues style, akin to Led Zeppelin or Ten Years After; what is amazing is how Tull masters the blues form with greater skill than the aforementioned groups. However, Ian was never content with playing just that style of music, the liner notes shed light on his desire to incorporate genres that he admires- from classical, jazz, eastern and folk music. 'Jeffrey Goes to Leicester Square' is a fine example of the fusion of these multiple styles, notice the percussion and overall experimentation in instrumentation.

Then we move on to the classic that is 'Bouree', an adaptation of Bach's in E Minor. And is this song not the greatest thing to ones ears, with Ian going wild behind one the tightest jazz breakdowns. The tempo transition from the opening section into this instrumental jam into Cornick's bass solo back to the original theme is very dynamic for such a sort piece of music. Essential to any prog lover.

'Back to the Family' is another strong song, featuring an incredible Martin Barre solo to end the piece, sort of reminds me of the work Tony Iommi would do with Sabbath shortly thereafter (Rock and Roll Circus anyone?). The first side ends with 'Look into the Sun', one of Ian's finest acoustic folk tunes, Barre's versatile guitar work stands out again in this track- a very sublime and meditative piece of music.

'Nothing is Easy' features fine drumming by Clive Bunker, again the interaction between flute and guitar is predominant with a very powerful closing to the piece, notice the balance between Tull's strength and elegance in this piece. 'Fat Man' contains some very eclectic features to it, balalaika from Ian gives the piece a very unique sound; in terms of lyrics it is quite hilarious and classic Ian.

'We Used To Know' contains extraordinary guitar playing from Barre, here fusing a Hendrix-like solo in a manner that seems like something Terry Kath did with quite frequency in the late 1960's with Chicago. Awesome contrast between the acoustic verse and chorus and Barre's electric solo with my favorite section being Cornick's bass work towards the close of the piece. 'Reason for Waiting' provides another nice shift and gives us beautiful orchestration, similar to what we will see on the shorter acoustic numbers on Aqualung. The bridge with Ian on flute and the same riff on organ gives the piece needed tension.

Finally, we have 'For a Thousand Mothers', one of Tull's hardest rocking pieces and merging all the musical styles that Ian and company mastered on this album. Barre provides a strong riff and again, they finish the song off with an inspired jam- the music ending before Ian enters with a malicious flute solo (just pure aggression in this section) and he trades leads with Barre. 'Living in the Past', 'Driving Song' and 'Sweet Dream' are essential bonus tracks and to me necessary in listening to this album. I highly recommend this work and the music is among Tull's best. Enjoy!

mr.cub | 5/5 |

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