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Jethro Tull - Aqualung CD (album) cover


Jethro Tull


Prog Folk

4.36 | 2782 ratings

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Andrea Cortese
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Waiting for the promised new 2005 Aqualung-Live CD, I've decided now it's time to write about this MEMORABLE MASTERPIECE (oh!, don't worry, I'm not intending to suggest a special 6 stars rating cathegory or similar.). The fact is that truly this is an immortal opus. The greatness is both in the electric guitar of Martin Barre and in the (predominant) acoustic guitar of Ian Anderson. This is the last album for the drummer Clive Bunker (the next year replaced by Barriemore Barlow, my Tull's preferite drummer of all time!!) and the first album for the bass player Jeffrey Hammond-Hammond, who was well known by the JT's fans because of the three songs that Ian had dedicated to him before (in order: 1968-A Song For Jeffrey; 1969-Jeffrey Goes To Leicester Square; 1970-For Micheal Collins, Jeffrey And Me).

Cover Art: long bearded tramp painted in predominating green tempera colour.Ian Anderson, of course!! This is his legendary long coat I've seen him with, performing A Song For Jeffrey in the Rolling Stone Rock'n'Roll Circus (1968).

Aqualung: nothing to say in particular. All is just completely said! But what about the highest pleasure to listen to auch acclaimed and equilibrated song? P.S. Ironically, the best known song from Jethro Tull is one of the fews which are not flute-played!! I hope this is nothing more than a coincidence.(I like flute' sound very much). Ah! Words of the song by Jennie, the first Ian's wife.

Cross-Eyed-Mary: And what could be the better thing that the Good Lord would reserve to that tramp..? This is a classic Tull piece in a strong rock strong and classic rock that the iron Maiden played a famous cover of it changing the fluted-part into their baroque (and remarkable) running electric guitar!

Cheap Day Return: a nice short acoustic one in which Ian narrates when he went to visit his old father into hospital and the title track is derived from the name of the train ticket.

Mother Goose: beautiful acoustic oriented song with some enchanting electric guitar by "Monsieur Le Barre" in the second part. These last two pieces are findable in the recent live JT 2002 album Living With The Past (very good album!). It was also performed live in their splendid italian concert in Mantua (in the garden of the Gonzaga's "Palazzo Te" - Gonzaga was an important and rich dukes' family) the 16 july.

Wond'ring Aloud: another splendid track in acoustic guitar and piano (great John Evan!). In the Living In The Past album (1972) you can find another longer version of this one moderately and differently arranged (with also different lyrics) named Wond'ring Again.

Up To Me: mythic piece with that famous laughed-intro (rarely played in the live concerts, but played in the last Italian concert in Mantua.

My God: the real sure progressive piece in this album, with a great increasing acoustic arpeggio in the first part, great electric guitar parts and a memorable choral intermezzo. This song opens the second half of the album wich was concepted to be the summa of the Ian's opinions in God and religion.

Hymn 43: stunning electric played track which was also released as a single (also this was rarely live played!).

Slipstream: within Cheap Day Return this is the second of the two little (short) acoustic gems of the shivers me each time I listen to it!

Locomotive Breath: the second historic immortal song after Aqualung! Great piano introduction by Mr. John Evan and sudden start of an explosive Barre's guitar!

Wind-Up: the third forgotten song in the live shows. "When I Was Young." so starts the filtered voice of Ian. The song is divided in two symmetrical parts of which the first begins in an acoustic slow guitar, the second in similarly slow piano.what an incredible song!!!

Final rating: 5 stars? of course!!!!

Andrea Cortese | 5/5 |


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