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Jethro Tull - Aqualung CD (album) cover


Jethro Tull


Prog Folk

4.36 | 2707 ratings

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4 stars Tull's best selling album, going to #4 in the UK and #7 in the US. The last album with drummer Clive Bunker and the first with bassist Jeffrey Hammond-Hammond and keyboardist John Evan. Dave (later Dee) Palmer does the orchestrations here as he (later she) would do on other Tull albums before joining as a keyboardist in 1976. The orchestra parts are most noticeable on "Slipstream".

The title track is now a classic and features a fantastic riff. I like the effect on the vocals during the acoustic section. Nice contrast between the hard rock and the more folky and jazzy middle section. Great guitar solo from Martin Barre. "Cross-Eyed Mary" is my favourite Tull song. Some Mellotron here. Great instrumental build up at the beginning. Always loved how the flute solo gets followed by a short guitar solo. Great ending. "Mother Goose" is a good folky song. Nice subtle use of electric guitar over halfway. "Up To Me" is a good folky blues-rocker.

Aqualung was not a concept album. It being labeled such lead Ian Anderson to come up with TAAB. But the original side two seems to be about religion, specifically criticism of religion. After an opening section with acoustic guitar, piano and vocals, "My God" has later the full band coming in a slow-paced hard rock vein. Flute solo in the middle with some choir-like vocals. "Hymn 43" is a good early 1970s style rock song. Not very proggy though.

"Locomotive Breath" is another highlight and after the title track, is the most well known song from the album. Great opening with piano. Love what the bass is doing during the main part of the song; it's mixed in a way that makes it stand out for some reason. "Wind Up" starts out folky and poppy but then turns into a rocker. Goes back to the folk-pop part at the end.

This is a great classic rock album from the 1970s, but Tull made at least three more proggy albums. It would be hard to imagine that the group who made this album would come up with Thick As A Brick next. Aqualung was recorded at the same studios where Led Zeppelin did their popular fourth album. For whatever reason, Tull couldn't make this sound as good. One of the biggest problems with this album is the sound which could have been a lot better. Not extremely proggy but extremely good. I give this 3.5 rounded it up to 4 stars.

zravkapt | 4/5 |


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