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Jethro Tull - Stand Up CD (album) cover


Jethro Tull


Prog Folk

4.04 | 996 ratings

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Anthony H.
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Jethro Tull: Stand Up [1969]

Rating: 8/10

Stand Up is Jethro Tull's near-masterpiece of a second album. Mick Abrahams left the band shortly after the release of This Was due to irresolvable creative conflict with Ian Anderson and was replaced by Martin Barre, who remains in the band today. Anderson now had creative control, and it is uncanny how quickly the classic Jethro Tull sound developed as a result. This is not to say that the band's roots are not present here; blues is still a major component of the music on Stand Up. However, elements of folk, hard-rock, and even classical are added into the mix in order to create a true progressive album. Combine all of these factors with the impressive fact that it was released in the early year of 1969, and Stand Up receives the prestigious title of "Aqualung Jr."

The opening track "A New Day Yesterday" is a blues-rock song in the vein of Tull's earlier work. A catchy main riff and great vocals/lyrics make it a winner. "Jeffery Goes to Leicester Square" is a short folky piece with flute and tuned percussion. "Bouree" is an absolutely sublime classical adaptation. Anderon's flute is at the top of its game here, and the rhythm section is impressive as well. A hard-rock sound begins to develop on "Back to the Family"; the electric guitar interacts magnificently with the flute. The folky blues of "Welcome to the Sun" features some of my favorite vocal work from Anderson. "Nothing Is Easy" is another slightly-bluesy hard-rock track with more great instrumental interplay. "Fat Man" is one of my favorites. It's a whimsical folk song with strong influences from Indian music. "We Used to Know" is Tull's first masterpiece. This is a compelling, passionate, and memorable track with a flawless guitar solo."Reasons For Waiting" is pure folk, and is quite a pretty track overall. The album closes with the energetic "For a Thousand Mothers", powered by super-charged flute and heavy guitar.

Although Stand Up isn't quite a full-fledged masterpiece, it manages to encapsulate a large portion of what made Tull such an influential and creative band. Be it the classically-influenced virtuosity of "Bouree", the gritty blues of "A New Day Yesterday", the eclectic glory of "We Used to Know", or the whimsy of "Fat Man", every song on this album manages to be an island of imaginative musical thinking. This is quite a diverse album, but this is both a strength and a weakness. It manages to keep the album interesting and constantly engaging, but some songs end up rising above others. There's little to criticize here, however. This is a classic album. There is essential Jethro Tull material here, and the whole album is a must-have for anybody even slightly interested in late-60s rock.

Anthony H. | 4/5 |


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