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


Jethro Tull


Prog Folk

4.63 | 3173 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars It's not too hard to see why Jethro Tull's 'Thick As A Brick' is at the top of the ProgArchives top albums list, if not lingering thereabouts. This is an album of such high calibre that most progheads can agree that it is worthy of 5 stars. I am certainly of this opinion too. An album like this doesn't come around very often, and when it does, it deserves all the praise it gets.

First things first: the music. The album consists of one single track, Thick As A Brick, lasting just under 44 minutes. The music is continuous, except near the middle, where you would have had to flip the vinyl over. For my money, this is one of the best ways you can spend 44 minutes. The music is so interesting and exciting and intricate, that you can quite easily listen all the way through and not get bored. You can ponder over the curious lyrics, marvel at the virtuosity of the group, and simply rock out throughout this ambitious album. Some people have tried to fit their own meanings to the song, and it's very interesting to read their line-by-line analysis of the lyrics. It's true that the second side is not quite as good as the first, but the difference in quality is quite negligible really, and doesn't take away from the album too much. On the whole, the music is happy and uplifting, with just a few negative sections thrown in for good measure. The best thing about the music is that it never becomes cheesy or uninspired; the magic continues for the duration of the record. The band really get the best of all worlds onto this record; complicated time signatures, awesome singing, weird lyrics, brilliant solos and wonderful recurring themes abound! One of my favourite moments is near the beginning of the second side where drummer Barriemore Barlow launches into a breakneck drum solo, a first class drum solo at that!

The music by itself is enough to warrant this album 5 stars, but if you want to have the proper album experience, BUY THE VINYL EDITION! Scour eBay and all other vinyl selling websites for this album. Beg, borrow and steal until you have it! Even if the vinyl itself is scratched when you find it, you can always get the CD to listen to the music. It's not the LP that's important, but the lavish sleeve which folds out as a full 12-page newspaper, complete with fictional news stories, TV tracklistings, a crossword and even a dot-to-dot section (a naughty one at that!). Moreover, the stories on the newspaper give a completely different story not told by the lyrics: eight-year old Gerald Bostock has written a poem (Thick As A Brick) for a competition, and is disqualified from a competition for using the word G__r. The newspaper then goes on to explain how beat group Jethro Tull have decided to work with Bostock and put his words to music, making the album itself a concept within a concept. There's even a review of the album itself on page 7! The newspaper basically satirises the kind of small newspapers you'd expect to find in towns with a small population. With 12 large pages of tiny writing, you can be sure to get hours of entertainment out of this wonderful intricate sleeve design. Quite simply, it's my favourite sleeve of any album, because so much time and effort has gone into making it. If only so much effort were put into other albums, we could hear brilliant music everywhere.

While I've never been a huge fan of Jethro Tull, there can be no doubt that this album is an absolute masterpiece. A lot of hard work, musicianship, and ingenuity was put into this album, and the results show. This is a perfect album and, quite frankly, you'd be thick as a brick not to add it to your collection.

baz91 | 5/5 |


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