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Jethro Tull - Live At Hammersmith '84 CD (album) cover


Jethro Tull

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4 stars Only reviewing because no-one else has, actually don't own the CD but it was taken from something that had been broadcast on the radio in 84, and shows well the conundrum that is Jethro Tull. On the heels of arguably their worst record I am left to wonder what the remastering, coming shortly of Under Wraps, will do for it because these songs, a couple of which are on this, worked out very well live. Saw this show 4 times in the US and a couple would rank in the upper 10 of roughly 80 Tull shows I've been witness to since 1972. Going out on a limb that may be surprising to some, but along with Living With The Past I'd rank this as the top Tull live recording, whereas Bursting Out, ,most folks favorite and indeed improved by remastering I'd have near the bottom. But remember you proggies this is from someone who considers A Passion Play to at best be an average Tull record, and Minstrel, Crest, and Benefit to be at or near the bottom with Under Wraps. As well as placing Rock Island and the XMAS album right near the top. Maybe I need a new head.
Report this review (#84864)
Posted Wednesday, July 26, 2006 | Review Permalink
2 stars This live album starts quite bizarrely : we can hear the end of "Under Wraps" which will be featured later on (and should have better not ...). This track is called "Locomotive Breath" and gets about one minute of it. This is not really a good start I'm afraid.

If you doubt about the hard rock capabilities of the Tull, just listen to this version of "Hunting Girl" to be convinced. It is a wild version, full of violence. This is rockin' man !

"Later That Same Evening" also from the album "Under Wraps" (one of their weakest ever) is not any better than the original : synth/pop at its low. The good news is that the worse is over.

Next comes a nice rendition of "Pussy Willow" (even delicate at times). Follows a track out the ancient times : "Living In The Past". There are far too much orchestration in the first part but the finale is quite grandiose and rocky.

"Locomotive Breath" is very (too much) aggressive. Forget all the subtlety of the studio work in the intro. When the song really starts, there are some reaaaaaaally heavy keyboards that change its nature. The finale of the song is also very extended and I am not sure this was all really needed.

This live effort really shows how powerful the Tull could be on stage (just a pity that they choose this time of their career - 1984 - to record a live album). The closing number "Too Old To Rock'n'Roll" is way too long. The last section (about three minutes here is pure crap and has nothing to do with the original).

I appreciate at times that live versions differ from the studio one, but then their deviation should bring a plus to it (which is absolutely not the case here). At the very end, the listener gets about twenty seconds of "Thick"...

This is for die-hard Tull fans only. Two stars.

Report this review (#108755)
Posted Wednesday, January 24, 2007 | Review Permalink

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