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


Jethro Tull


Prog Folk

4.64 | 2610 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Prog Canon, Yes ? Masterpiece, No

Enough has been written about THICK AS A BRICK that certainly no one needs background information at this point. But I do want to render an opinion and throw my vote into the rating average. I picked this album up early in my PA career, as it was then and is now the highest rated album on the site. And I must say, that on first listen and now 50th, my opinion is pretty much the same. This is a very good album, but it's not a masterpiece and I don't even think it's Tull's best work.

I've had a Tull greatest hits album for decades and I must admit that the first piece of the the 40 minute composition that is the single version is brilliant. At 3:0 0 the electric guitars come in and from there we're on a roller coaster ride which takes us to excellent highs and lows that are still pretty darn good. But it wears me out and it doesn't hold my attention. It doesn't have an overall dramatic contour that a concept album needs. Like Ian Anderson's melodic sense, the initial movement is good but he only has so many tricks up his sleeve. Further, he shows his cards relatively early.

All the usual Tull strengths are here, great flute work, sharp lyrics, some nice classic rock jamming, and even occasionally some composed interweaving lines. There are a few sections that are prog heaven with swinging organ supporting soaring flute. But there are also guitar and drum section that are simply classic 70's rock n roll that would have been a nice part of a concert but don't do much for me in the middle of a prog concept album. I know that in fact TAAB is a parody of a concept album, but there a few Spinal Tap (parody of themselves) moments. Thud thud drum solos have no place in good music for me, and there are several thud thud moments in TAAB.

The real problem for me is that in the midst of a great song is too much filler and I get bored. The 12 minute live version that now accompanies the album is much better, and gets everything accomplished that the 40 minute version does.

I'm not silly enough to deny that this should be part of every prog fan's library. And I'm not vindictive enough to give a very strong piece of prog a 3/5 because I think so many other albums are better. But I prefer the first half of Passion Play and Aqualung to TAAB and would probably never listen to the full version if I hadn't kept thinking to myself "What am I missing?" Well after many many listens, I think I can say this album just doesn't do for me what it does for others.

Negoba | 4/5 |


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