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

THICK AS A BRICK

Jethro Tull

 

Prog Folk

4.64 | 2302 ratings

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Warthur
Prog Reviewer
5 stars As far as parodies of progressive/underground rock go, Thick As a Brick is miles away from Zappa's classic We're Only In It For the Money. Whereas Zappa's album is bold and upfront about the comedy, Tull showed a more subtle sense of humour by producing an album consisting of just one really long, epic song - and like the best Swiftian, deadpan works of satire, it looks like an earnest attempt at prog rock rather than a parody of the genre's excesses!

Truth be told, I rather suspect that the band took a thoroughly prog direction after this album simply because they had so much fun making it. From the fake newspaper stories in the packaging, which must have been great fun to dream up, to the enormous range of instruments the group bring to bear on the album, the gang seem to have taken this as a chance to indulge themselves - but in doing so, they do make a really great composition, with top-notch instrumental work breaking up the refrain of the chorus throughout.

Of the two albums Tull made in this vein, this might be the less serious one, but I also think it's superior; the Story of the Hare Who Lost His Spectacles might be an accurate reflection of the structure of actual medieval passion plays, but it also sucks all the momentum out of A Passion Play, which also ends up feeling rather forced - as though the band didn't really want to make another album in the same vein as Thick As a Brick, but felt that they had to following its runaway success. On Thick as a Brick, meanwhile, the joke is still a joke, and it's this playfulness which sets the album apart. The first five-star Tull studio album.

Warthur | 5/5 |

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