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Jethro Tull

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Jethro Tull Slipstream (DVD) album cover
3.86 | 58 ratings | 6 reviews | 31% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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DVD/Video, released in 1981

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Introduction (3:27)
2. Black Sunday (6:23)
3. Dun Ringill (2:37) (music video)
4. Fylingdale Flyer (4:03) (music video)
5. Songs From the Wood (3:35)
6. Heavy Horses (7:25)
7. Sweet Dream (4:04) (music video)
8. Too Old to Rock 'n' Roll (5:37) (music video)
9. Skating Away (3:36)
10. Aqualung (8:57)
11. Locomotive Breath (6:25)
12. Credits (1:05)

Total Time: 57:14

Line-up / Musicians

- Ian Anderson / flute, vocals
- Martin Barre / electric guitar
- Mark Craney / drums
- Dave Pegg / bass
- Eddie Jobson / keyboards, electric violin

Releases information

VHS 1981
Also released on DVD as a bonus disc on the 2004 remaster of CD album A

Thanks to Joolz for the addition
and to SouthSideoftheSky for the last updates
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Buy JETHRO TULL Slipstream (DVD) Music

JETHRO TULL Slipstream (DVD) ratings distribution

(58 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(31%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(52%)
Good, but non-essential (16%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

JETHRO TULL Slipstream (DVD) reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by The Whistler
4 stars Who is the most loveable figure in all of English literature? Oliver Twist, professional loveable orphan? Jim Hawkins...uh, other professional loveable orphan? No! It's Aqualung! Old man with a lung disorder and lack of house! Whose endearing antics include waking up one morning in the middle of nowhere (note the newspaper), only to be pursued by giant balloons, before seeking refuge in a theater. And some drinking.

Thus opens the ingenious rock video/concert footage-fusion that is Slipstream. The plot is as follows: Aqualung, as I said, escapes the giant balloons to a movie theater, that just so happens to be showing a live Jethro Tull concert. From there, we get some performances from the A tour and an eclectic collection of music videos which occasionally advance the Aqualung "plot." The track listing is, at face value, flawless. The only number in the show I'm not crazy about is Too Old to Rock and Roll, and it's not like I hate it or anything.

We open with the above mentioned introduction, and after our hero creeps into his seat, the stage lights up with one of the A album's better numbers, Black Sunday. In fact, this Black Sunday beats out the original by a long shot (better than anything on the album too; I always said that Tull live shows can make up for the stylisitic failures of the studio material). It's brimming with energy, packed to the bursting point for Martin's second guitar solo, followed by an equally energetic flute solo from Ian.

Skip to Dun Ringill, which is one of my favorites off Stormwatch. It's just the album version played over Ian strumming at the beach, but that doesn't stop Dave Pegg and Martin Barre from popping up magically. Then, we're transported to Fylingdale Flyer, my absolute favorite off A. This is also my favorite music video of the lot, with Ian and the lads storming about a missile control center or something. Ian's best face mugging on "They checked the system through, and it rests, a-okay!" Heh. The video also contains one of the best blunders in the show; one of the kids stares directly into the camera...

Back to the live show for a quick round of Songs From the Wood. It, of course, pales in comparison to the studio version, but that was so lush and over the top that it can't really be recreated on stage. In fact, I prefer this live version to the one on Bursting Out, mainly because instead of trying to copy the original, the Tullers just try to make it rock. Which is what they do best.

Speaking of rock, the next number, Heavy Horses, does just that. Oh boy does it do just that. THAT is the way to geld a song. It also pairs Eddie Jobson's violin with Ian's flute to creative effect. Of course, there was a violin in the studio version, but Eddie is just better.

Cut to: Sweet Dream. Another video, this time with Aqualung battling a vampire, some vampire nurses, a giant spider, a demonic film projectionist, and a nun. It's generally regarded as a highlight of the show, and it is indeed one. It includes such classic moments as Aqualung rejecting the ballerina's aid...and many more. It is also NOT, by the way, the studio version; no, it's a live version. From Bursting Out. Which explains why the drum intro sounds like No Lullaby (is that why the drum intro on 4WD off A also sounds like No Lullaby?).

One more video, this time, Too Old to Rock 'n Roll. I'm not really a big fan of this song, a little slow and repetitive for me, but the video brings out the hidden goonery in the song. To quote...someone, "WATCH OUT FOR WOODEN DUCKS!"

This turns into Skating Away which might as well be the best song in the whole show. Everyone trades instruments: Dave Pegg picks up a lute, Jobson picks up a mandolin and Mark Craney picks up a bass; Ian keeps his guitar. Martin goes offstage to take a leak or something. And you know what? It's flawless. The build through the three verses is perfect. It even takes down the original in terms of pure emotion. Jobson's mandolin is, literally, beautiful. Sniff. In fact, I feel no shame whatsoever in calling this the best song in the show and declaring it THE version of Skating Away. Feedback and all.

Anyway, sometime during the aforementioned Skating Away, Aqualung is kicked out of the theater, so clearly it's time for Aqualung my friend! And quite an Aqualung it is. Awesome guitar solo, one of the best that song has fit around. But then, can that number be screwed up? I don't know...however, it IS possible to screw up Locomotive Breath.

Locomotive Breath, which is the encore performance, is...sloppy. Messy. Crumby. Hate to say it, but it's true. I really hate to say though, because it had a goofy intro where the stage lights up again with Jobson banging the synths (considering the crew they got, this is probably the best they could do), but it twists and turns from that, changing tempos and overstaying its welcome until it's become a reprise of Black Sunday, and it's not exactly the best part of that song.

But the ending is saved from utter destruction by one last appearance of our man Aqualung, leaving such questions as, why did the theater fly into space? Was this, the show, the balloons, the Nazi theater ushers, real, or an alcohol induced illusion? And why did the shopping cart explode? We may never know...and I'm not sure we'd want to...

There are, of course, some problems, other than Songs and Locomotive Breath that is. The sound, for example, doesn't always sync up with the image onscreen, resulting in Ian's hellspawn ability to play the flute without putting it to his lips during Black Sunday. Also, some of the video effects are...okay, most of the video effects during the live numbers are stoopid at worst (the weird closeups during Heavy Horses), and laughable at best (the slo-mo of Martin during Aqualung).

However, if you're a true Tull fan, there's no way you won't enjoy this. And there is one really good reason for this: it's fun! Sure, the lads can still rock (Aqualung, and more importantly, Heavy Horses prove this), and they can transpose the studio version to the stage beautifully (Horses again, but let's not forget Skating Away). But it's all just so fun! Even the cheezy effects are, once you get used to 'em. That's what A is all about, right? A-cceptance?

And the show is loaded with great stage moments (sadly, no real stage banter from Ian; we just get the funny pronunciation of "heavy HOR-ses"). For instance, Ian throws his trademark air-guitar-on-the-crotch-flute in during Martin's solo from Black Sunday. But I just love Dave Pegg's little additions here and there. Like on Songs from the Wood, where he sings along on the line, "To make you feel much better than you could know." And on that second YOU, he points into the audience, as if he could see someone who REALLY needed a Song from the Wood. Or two. Or three. "God, you look pretty bad...maybe we need to sing you some Songs from the Wood, and say, half of Heavy Horses too."

Yes, you can analyze the videos all you want, be it the white jumpsuits of Fylingdale or the pinball machine of Too Old, but you need look no further than Dave Pegg. He's just having a blast on stage. I mean, Ian's happy, but Ian's always happy in front of an audience. Martin's happy, but of course he's happy; he's our big, goofy guitar hero. He's just happy that Ian's still signing his paycheck. Even the unflappable Jobson cracks a smile during his one-legged solo for Locomotive Breath. But Dave...gosh. He's just bouncing along throughout the whole damn show. As should we all. As should...we all.

Review by Chris H
4 stars This absolutely blew my mind. From the opening introduction until the last credits rolled I was hooked to the TV waiting for what was going to happen next. More than your standard music video, this is similar to Pink Floyd's "The Wall" in the sense that it is actually a regular motion picture based on the music of Jethro Tull. The introduction stars off with an aerial view of an ocean/cliff setting, and the settles into everyone's favorite man: Aqualung. Tearing the cliché "Thick As A Brick" newspaper off of his face, he realizes he is being chased by 3 red balloons. He runs to take shelter in an old opera house on the hill, and realizes that Jethro Tull is performing there! Then the actual music stars off.

The concert opens up with a live version of A's best song, "Black Sunday". Much better than the original, Ian is one of the most energetic performers I have ever watched and seeing his movements really help to push this song to new musical heights. "Dun Ringill" is next, and instead of live footage the cut to a music video. Personally, this is not a favorite song of mine, but the visual imagery and effects that accompany it are incredible. Another music video follows, this time it is the spacey and futuristic "Flyingdale Flyer". This is another of the best tracks off of "A", and the music video is pretty average. Ian proves to be a great actor, although the kids in the A suits kind of screw the video up by looking into the cameras during some of the shooting.

Head back to the stage and another live performance, this time it is "Songs From The Wood". The music is kind of bland here, as they try to re-create the studio version and don't necessarily succeed. The visual effects are nothing short of amazing however, as they are on the whole of the video. "Heavy Horses" follows up as another live performance. This version beats the studio album version about 25 times over. When Eddie Jobson and Ian start play the violin/flute combination my jaw just hit the floor because it was so amazing. Of course, Martin Barre never fails to amaze me as he is one of my favorite guitarists of all time, and just by watching his playing here you should understand what I mean.

Back to the music video songs, and these are two rather bland music pieces. Not my favorites, but once again the visuals and the video itself saves these two tracks and turns them into enjoyable pieces. The band is shown again up on the stage to play their last songs, and the concert will end live. "Skating Away" starts off with a massive instrument swap, and we see Barre exit the stage in the corner, but it is still an excellent piece. One of the best live songs the Tull has ever done. "Aqualung" is next, and this is the closer of the regular show. What to say about their most famous song? It was sloppy, Ian's vocals were intensely strained and the band was kind of off at different points throughout the whole show. After about 5 minutes of Ian waving goodbye and saluting, Jobson starts blasting the synths and the encore, "Locomotive Breath" starts off. Terrible rendition, but hey it's an encore.

All in all, this is an exceptional live concert/music video performance. great background story for the videos, but I feel that the live versions are untouchable. Martin Barre is on fire from start to finish, and Jobson does what he needs to do without even breaking a sweat. The visual effects really bring out the energy of Ian Anderson as when he jumps around and pirouettes and whatnot, you can see it in slow-motion and freeze-frame as well. Dave Pegg just plugs along the whole show, and produces a really good sound while underrated Mark Craney slams out some good solos.

Excellent DVD, even though some of the live versions get a tad sloppy and some of the music videos have errors in them. 4 stars, nonetheless.

Review by b_olariu
4 stars Being a big Jethro Tull fan, I said I have to aquire something visualy not only audio. So, my eyes was poped on when I saw this concert on video cattes, bought from Musea records two years ago. Also the A album is one of my top 5 releases of them and was easy for me to enjoy to the max this concert. Maybe to others this is like a tipycal '80's concert with synthesisers and all that plastic atmosphere, but is not the case here, at least in my book. The concert is also mixt up with some video clips of the band, making even more enjoyble than a usual concert. The playing list features pieces from their latest (then) album A, but the main repertoire is made from classical tunes, already know by everybody intresten in their music. The atmosphere is not necesarly overblowing but as a whole is a quite pleasent and shows that in the 1980 Jethro Tull is still in bussines. My fav track is Black sunday, superb played and full of good interplays between legendary Martin Barre on guitar and the unmatched talent of Eddi Jobson on keys and ocasionaly violin. Also a good job is made by the drumer Mark Craney , who besides the two pieces from A album, where alredy was involved in studio, he plays very strong the older stuff with a plus on Locomotiv Breath (excellent). All in all an excellent addition to my collection and for sure needs a better view by others, 4 stars easely.
Review by SouthSideoftheSky
4 stars Bursting out... visually!

Slipstream was Jethro Tull's first official live video release, released in 1981 following the A album. It features only 10 songs altogether, mainly representing the band's most recent handful of studio albums at the time plus some older classics. It is not strictly speaking a live video as several tracks features pre-recorded visuals that are more music video- like. As such, one could easily think that this would be a horrible experience, but it is actually very good. The visuals are sometimes cheesy, yes. But oh so charming! And the audio is fantastic! Slipstream cannot be compared with the live masterpiece that was the Bursting Out double live album from a few years earlier, but it is indeed a very nice companion and a visual counterpart to that great live album. They may have looked ridiculous in the early 80's, but they sure could still play their music live with amazing passion and power!

Interestingly, the line-up includes Eddie Jobson of UK fame on keyboards and electric violin. His violin in particular brings a whole new and very nice touch to some of the songs. Two numbers, Black Sunday and Fylingdale Flyer, were taken from the A album. The haunting Dun Ringill represents 1979's dark Stormwatch, and the respective title tracks from 1978's Heavy Horses, 1977's Songs From The Wood, and 1976's Too Old To Rock 'n' Roll, To Young To Die represent these albums. 1975's Minstrel In The Gallery is sadly overlooked, but 1974's War Child is represented by its best track Skating Away On The Thin Ice Of A New Day. The live standards Aqualung and Locomotive Breath are not surprisingly closing the set, but Sweet Dream is the oldest song and one of the best from the band's early days.

Slipstream has since been released on DVD included as a bonus disc to the CD reissue of the A album. This is a great way to get this video and almost needless to say it is better than the A album itself.

Highly recommended even if a bit on the short side

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Interesting to see this finally as I think I heard it at least 30 times, as back in the 80s the supervisor I worked with at a video store kept playing this every day and I took no noticeof the visuals as I was not into Tull back then and thought Anderson was just a nutter. Well I still think he is a nutter but now I like him. The video clips on this compilation confirm that he is a nutter but a loveable one.

The video promos for Too Old to Rock and Roll are weirdly charming though I used to cringe when he vomits green out of the funnel of the boat. Admittedly the ending is excellent especially the purple haired sax player in cat suit. The clip to Dun Ringill is like Bowie's Ashes to Ashes with the beach looking like an alien scape with 80s colourisations. Flyingdale Flyer is a clip with Anderson trying to look serious at an air traffic console, and then some Ultravox black ad white scenes with a few moments of people walking ominously in white with A emblazoned on the front to promote "A". There is a mannequin dressed in cat suit leather, and lots of painted eyelids on the extras.

Sweet Dream is also here, another weird clip with black and white Dr Caligari silent film style clips and then Anderson rises Vampirically out of a coffin, and stalks some weirdo in a theatre, which is himself as the Tramp who later runs ito vampire nurses. There are clips from all sorts of classic black and white movies, such as Tarantula, The Thing, The tramp runs down stairs chased by red balloons, and the Passion Play ballet dancer makes an appearance, a nun blesses the A which the tramp is able to use to stave off the vampire's attack. Rather silly really.

Of more interest are the live concert footage clips featuring Anderson decked out in white jumpsuit with the A all over it, and the A appears in lights above him, shameless promotion but it needed it as the album was a flop. When Tull perform Songs from The Wood it shows how great they can be, and it features silly 80s video Doppler effects but it is better than some of the 80s effects available back then. This is followed by Heavy Horses, with Anderson on acoustic and Jobson's beautiful violin and looking resplendent in purple jumpsuit. Skating Away is another favourite and also good to see the opener Black Sunday where Anderson has fun prancing around the stage.

The video ends on a high note with live performances of Aqualung, Barre has a brilliant lead break here and his riffin is incredible, and Locomotive Breath featuring the awesome violinist Jobson and Barre trading off and Anderson on one leg and flute, and he gets right into the crowd, even pushing red balloons into the crowd. The video is a great piece of nostalgia and I am glad I was able to hear it back in the 80s and now wish I had taken more notice of this innovative legendary band.

Latest members reviews

3 stars Not bad Jethro Tull dvd here. Songs are all played good, but I do not like the performance show much, because it is somehow in typical style of eighties. In some songs, we do not get images from performers, there are some videos put here. Videos are somehow ugly, those animations look much unpro ... (read more)

Report this review (#131046) | Posted by nisandzic | Wednesday, August 1, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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