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Jethro Tull - This Was CD (album) cover


Jethro Tull


Prog Folk

3.30 | 971 ratings

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Hector Enrique
Prog Reviewer
3 stars With a meagre production budget (£1,200 at the time, which at today's values would be equivalent to £19,000 or US$ 25,000 approx), Jethro Tull began their musical adventure in October 1968 with Ian Anderson and Mick Abrahams as leading figures, with their seminal album "This Was". A work with a frugal aroma based on a combination of blues influences, with touches of jazz and folk elements, and incorporating the musical instrument that would be the band's characteristic and definitive hallmark from then on: Anderson's transverse flute.

"This Was" is made up of short and direct songs, whose pretensions seem to a large extent to pay homage to Jethro Tull's musical references rather than to define the path they would be taking, as with the blues roots pieces "My Sunday Feeling", Some Day the Sun Won't Shine for You (with harmonica included) and "It's Breaking Me Up", where the band is very sober and compact in its posture, or with the instrumental "Serenade to a Cuckoo", an idea adapted from the blind American flautist and saxophonist of the second half of the last century Roland Kirk, from whom Anderson would take such a determined and leading way of playing the flute, or the instrumental version of "Cat's Squirrel", a 1961 composition by the Americans Doctor Ross and the Orbits, also played by Cream in 1966, and which serves to show off Abrahams' guitar playing, as well as that of drummer Clive Bunker in the jazzy "Dharma for One". And if there is one piece that stands out in particular, it is "A Song for Jeffrey", with a wonderful rhythm guitar and Glenn Cornick's bass setting the pace for Anderson's flutes and harmonica, one of the best on the album.

The direction Anderson wanted the band to take differed from the expectations of Abrahams, who hoped to stay in the blues backwater, parting ways once "This Was" was released. As a curiosity, it is worth mentioning that Tony Iommi (yes, the future member of Black Sabbath) appears as guitarist playing (in playback apparently) with Jethro Tull the piece "A Song for Jeffrey" in the event "The Rolling Stones Rock 'n' Roll Circus" recorded in December 1968 (released only in 1996), before finally Martin Barré is the definitive replacement of Abrahams.

3/3,5 stars

Hector Enrique | 3/5 |


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