Header

THIS WAS

Jethro Tull

Prog Folk


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Jethro Tull This Was album cover
3.32 | 564 ratings | 70 reviews | 9% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential


Write a review
Buy JETHRO TULL Music
from Progarchives.com partners
Studio Album, released in 1968

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. My Sunday Feeling (3:42)
2. Some Day The Sun Won't Shine For You (2:49)
3. Beggar's Farm (4:20)
4. Move On Alone (1:59)
5. Serenade To A Cuckoo (6:11)
6. Dharma For One (4:16)
7. It's Breaking Me Up (5:05)
8. Cat's Squirrel (5:44)
9. A Song For Jeffrey (3:23)
10. Round (0:49)

Total Time: 38:18

Bonus tracks on remaster (2001):
11. One For John Gee (2:06)
12. Love Story (3:06)
13. Christmas Song (3:06)

Track listing for 2008 expanded "Deluxe" remaster
Disc: 1
1. My Sunday Feeling
2. Some Day The Sun Won't Shine For You
3. Beggar's Farm
4. Move On Alone
5. Serenade To A Cuckoo (2008 Digital Remaster)
6. Dharma For One (2008 Digital Remaster)
7. It's Breaking Me Up (2008 Digital Remaster)
8. Cat's Squirrel
9. A Song For Jeffrey (2008 Digital Remaster)
10. Round (2008 Digital Remaster)
11. So Much Trouble
12. My Sunday Feeling
13. Serenade To A Cuckoo
14. Cat's Squirrel
15. A Song For Jeffrey
16. Love Story
17. Stormy Monday
18. Beggars Farm
19. Dharma For One

Disc: 2
1. My Sunday Feeling
2. Some Day The Sun Won't Shine
3. Beggars Farm
4. Move On Alone
5. Serenade To A Cuckoo
6. Dharma For One
7. It's Breaking Me Up
8. Cat's Squirrel
9. A Song For Jeffrey
10. Round
11. Love Story
12. Christmas Song
13. Sunshine Day
14. One For John Gee
15. Love Story
16. Christmas Song

Lyrics

Search JETHRO TULL This Was lyrics

Music tabs (tablatures)

Search JETHRO TULL This Was tabs

Line-up / Musicians

- Ian Anderson / flute, mouth organ, claghorn, piano, vocals
- Mick Abrahams / guitar, 9-string guitar, vocals
- Clive Bunker / drums, hooter and charm bracelet
- Glenn Cornick / bass
Guest musicians:
- David Palmer / brass arrangement and conducting on "Move On Alone"

Releases information

LP Chrysalis CHR1041 (1968)
CD Chrysalis Records (2001 remaster)
CD Chrysalis Records (USA) 35459 (2002)
2CD EMI expanded remaster B00166BL6Y (2008)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Easy Livin for the last updates
Edit this entry

JETHRO TULL MP3, Free Download (music stream)


Open extended player in a new pop-up window | Random Playlist (50) | How to submit new MP3s

Buy JETHRO TULL This Was Music


This Was (Collectors Edition) (2CD)This Was (Collectors Edition) (2CD)
Special Edition · Remastered · Extra tracks
EMI 2008
Audio CD$12.22
$17.21 (used)
This Was (180 Gram Vinyl)This Was (180 Gram Vinyl)
Parlophone 2014
Vinyl$18.54
$17.00 (used)
This WasThis Was
Remastered · Import
Wea Japan 2014
Audio CD$11.87
$17.31 (used)
This WasThis Was
EMI Distribution 1989
Audio Cassette$9.90 (used)
This wasThis was
Import
Audio CD$5.98 (used)
this was LPthis was LP
REPRISE
Vinyl$8.00 (used)
THIS WAS(ltd.reissue)THIS WAS(ltd.reissue)
EMIMUSIC JAPAN
Audio CD$24.96
Jethro Tull - This Was - Island Records - 6339 002Jethro Tull - This Was - Island Records - 6339 002
Island Records
Vinyl$47.27 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
JETHRO TULL This Was 33RPM Vinyl Record LP, 1968, CENTER SPINE IN REVERSE USD $99.95 Buy It Now 3h 45m
JETHRO TULL THIS WAS REPRISE 6336 VINYL LP USD $15.00 [0 bids]
4h 35m
JETHRO TULL. THIS WAS. GATEFOLD. REPRISE. RS 6336. 1969. US PRESSING. PROG/ROCK. USD $4.99 [0 bids]
USD $7.00 Buy It Now
11h 41m
Jethro Tull - This Was USD $9.99 [0 bids]
15h 11m
JETHRO TULL THIS WAS REPRISE 1970 USD $9.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Jethro Tull This Was Original 1968 Chrysalis Release 1E 1C Matrix VG-Exc USD $10.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Jethro Tull - This Was lp RS6336 USD $9.99 Buy It Now 1 day
JETHRO TULL - THIS WAS / NO RESERVE - EXTREMELY RARE / OBSCURE COLOMBIA PRESS USD $24.50 [0 bids]
1 day
Jethro Tull; This Was on LP USD $19.99 Buy It Now 1 day
JETHRO TULL This Was LP 1968 UK Original Pink Island ILPS-9085 Top Copy! USD $199.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Jethro Tull This Was Toshiba/Japan Mini LP CD TOCP-65879 USD $25.00 [0 bids]
USD $45.00 Buy It Now
1 day
JETHRO TULL-This was (original 2 color reprise) m-/vg+ USD $39.99 [0 bids]
1 day
1968 Jethro Tull ?This Was LP Re GF VG+/GD Reprise RS 6336 SIGNED Ian Anderson USD $40.25 Buy It Now 1 day
JETHRO TULL - THIS WAS * 2014 VINYL LP 180 gram NEW & SEALED USD $25.90 Buy It Now 2 days
JETHRO TULL This Was LP 10 Track In Single Sleeve UK Chrysalis USD $24.63 Buy It Now 2 days
JETHRO TULL - THIS WAS CHRYSALIS GREEN LABEL GATEFOLD SLEEVE EX+ USD $35.88 Buy It Now 2 days
JETHRO TULL This Was LP 10 Track Stereo Pressing Orange Ball Textured Label In W USD $100.29 Buy It Now 2 days
JETHRO TULL FIRST ALBUM! THIS WAS! RARE 1ST! US PRESSING 1A 1A ON W7 TWO-TONE USD $18.98 [0 bids]
USD $24.68 Buy It Now
2 days
Jethro Tull - This Was - CHR 1041 Vinyl LP 1977 USD $13.29 Buy It Now 2 days
Jethro Tull- This Was USD $5.00 [0 bids]
USD $7.00 Buy It Now
2 days
Jethro Tull This Was Chrysalis German Import Copy NICE COPY LP USD $14.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Jethro Tull: This Was (180GV) LP USD $25.49 Buy It Now 3 days
JETHRO TULL This Was 2014 UK 180g vinyl LP SEALED/NEW 2008 stereo mix USD $26.57 Buy It Now 3 days
JETHRO TULL This Was 2014 180g vinyl LP SEALED/NEW 2008 stereo mix USD $27.04 Buy It Now 3 days
This Was Jethro Tull LP Reprise RS6336 VG+ USD $14.99 Buy It Now 3 days
JETHRO TULL - THIS WAS - US REPRISE 2ND ISSUE 1E/1C - HEAVY COVER - VG++ USD $8.99 Buy It Now 3 days
JETHRO TULL ~ THIS WAS ~UK PINK EYE ISLAND 1ST PRESS STEREO LP 1968 ~ WIDE SPINE USD $461.26 Buy It Now 3 days
Jethro Tull This Was LP Import Island Pink textured First Press Wide spine cover USD $199.99 Buy It Now 3 days
JETHRO TULL This Was LP 10 Track Pink Rimmed Label Design In Gatefold Sleeve Mat USD $57.46 Buy It Now 4 days
Jethro Tull-This Was CD NEW USD $23.20 Buy It Now 4 days
Jethro Tull - 2 LPS - Benefit & This Was - Classic USD $7.95 Buy It Now 4 days
JETHRO TULL**, This Was USA GATEFOLD LP USD $4.99 Buy It Now 4 days
JETHRO TULL THIS WAS 1968 CHRYSALYS GERMANY PRESS LP USD $120.00 Buy It Now 4 days
Jethro Tull (This Was) 1968, First Edition, Rock!, Ian Anderson, LP, Orig Vinyl USD $4.99 [0 bids]
USD $25.00 Buy It Now
5 days
JETHRO TULL-THIS WAS-JAPAN CD C68 USD $17.50 Buy It Now 5 days
This Was [Digipak] by Jethro Tull (CD, Jun-2008, 2 Discs, Capitol/EMI Records) USD $2.25 [2 bids]
5 days
Jethro Tull(Vinyl LP Gatefold 3rd State)This Was-Island-ILPS 9085-UK-VG+/Ex- USD $89.11 Buy It Now 6 days
Jethro Tull This Was Gatefold Green Label, ULTRASONIC CLEANED! A+ SOUND USD $41.00 Buy It Now 6 days
JETHRO TULL This Was LP 1st UK STEREO PRESS - PINK ISLAND BULLS EYE LABELS psych USD $0.95 [1 bids]
6 days
JETHRO TULL THIS WAS RARE ISRAEL PRESSING 1969 EX/EX USD $35.00 Buy It Now 6 days
JETHRO TULL This Was on Cassette Tape USD $6.99 Buy It Now 6 days
JETHRO TULL Mini LP Paper Sleeve 1st Press CD This Was 2001 Japan TOCP-65879 USD $24.51 [0 bids]
6 days
Jethro Tull This Was LP ~ Original 2 tone label ~REPRISE RS- 6336 ~ Ian Anderson USD $9.95 Buy It Now 7 days
JETHRO TULL This Was 180gm Vinyl LP 2014 NEW & SEALED USD $28.07 Buy It Now 7 days
JETHRO TULL - THIS WAS - GATEFOLD ORIGINAL - ARGENTINA - RARE (5pics) USD $53.00 Buy It Now 7 days
JETHRO TULL This Was 1968 LP gate us rs6336 vinyl 1d/1g USD $29.00 Buy It Now 7 days
Jethro Tull - This Was NEW CD USD $16.54 Buy It Now 8 days
Jethro Tull - This Was NEW CD USD $16.60 Buy It Now 8 days
Jethro Tull - This Was 1968 Chrysalis green early 70's Ed. LP USD $12.99 Buy It Now 8 days
This Was [5/19] by Jethro Tull (Vinyl, May-2014, Rhino (Label)) 0245 USD $24.97 Buy It Now 8 days
JETHRO TULL 'This Was' Original (Chrysalis 1941) US LP STILL SEALED! USD $59.99 Buy It Now 8 days
JETHRO TULL This Was 1968 Orig Reprise LP RS 6336 VG+/EXC- w/sleev USD $14.50 Buy It Now 8 days
1968 Peru Vinyl Jethro Tull This Was Reprise REP 6336 Glossy Gatefold Cover USD $30.00 Buy It Now 8 days
JETHRO TULL-THIS WAS-US PRESS-GATEFOLD SLEEVE USD $15.62 [0 bids]
8 days
JETHRO TULL This Was 180g VINYL LP RECORD Brand New! USD $24.98 Buy It Now 9 days
Jethro Tull This Was LP NM RS6336 1968 USD $59.99 Buy It Now 9 days
Jethro Tull- (2CD) This Was 40th Anniversary (Remas&Expand) - 2064972 USD $19.15 Buy It Now 10 days
JETHRO TULL "This Was" LP 1983 Chrysalis PV 41041 REISSUE USD $10.95 Buy It Now 10 days
EU import JETHRO TULL This Was LP 180g GATEFOLD Chrysalis 2014 NEW sealed USD $34.99 Buy It Now 11 days
JETHRO TULL - THIS WAS: VINYL ALBUM IN A GATEFOLD SLEEVE (2014) USD $23.44 Buy It Now 11 days
JETHRO TULL | This Was | LP | German | Island | Pink Rim | 85-683 IT | Gatefold USD $29.99 Buy It Now 11 days
Jethro Tull - This Was - VG+ USD $25.00 Buy It Now 11 days
JETHRO TULL: This Was LP (Italy, unique laminated cover, disc so close to M-!) USD $100.00 Buy It Now 11 days
JETHRO TULL This Was - 40th Anniversary Collector's Edition (EMI 206 4972) 2CD USD $14.06 Buy It Now 12 days
JETHRO TULL COLLECTION AQUALUNG & THICK AS A BRICK SETS + MILLENNIUM THIS WAS USD $319.99 Buy It Now 12 days
JETHRO TULL This Was LP Record RARE USD $14.50 Buy It Now 12 days
JETHRO TULL - This Was LP (2nd US Issue on "tan" REPRISE w/Gatefold Cover) USD $31.99 Buy It Now 12 days
JETHRO TULL ORIGINAL U.S. 1ST PRESSING REPRISE LP THIS WAS W/GATE FOLD COVER VG+ USD $12.95 Buy It Now 12 days
Jethro Tull -This Was LP UK 1968 VG+/VG Mono # Prog USD $273.63 Buy It Now 13 days
JETHRO TULL LOT OF 5 LP'S THIS WAS/STAND UP/BENEFIT/SONGS FROM THE WOOD/R'N'R USD $29.99 Buy It Now 13 days
JETHRO TULL ~ JETHRO TULL THIS WAS ~ CHRYSALIS PV 41041 USD $6.99 Buy It Now 13 days
Jethro Tull THIS WAS (GREEN LABEL) Chrysalis Gatefold 1968 #CHR 1041 AS NEW USD $16.99 Buy It Now 13 days
JETHRO TULL this was LP Record RARE 6336 1968 USD $32.50 Buy It Now 13 days
JETHRO TULL THIS WAS JAPAN MINI LP CD + PROMO OBI NEW OOP RARE TOCP-65879 USD $65.99 Buy It Now 13 days
JETHRO TULL THIS WAS 68' PINK ISLAND LP LAMINATED COVER USD $315.00 Buy It Now 13 days
JETHRO TULL THIS WAS LP VINYL RECORD NEW USD $33.99 Buy It Now 13 days
Jethro Tull ?- This Was Record LP Reissue CHR 1041 USD $8.99 Buy It Now 13 days
JETHRO TULL THIS WAS LP RECORD 12" USD $16.29 Buy It Now 13 days
Jethro Tull - This Was - 2014 Re-issue 180g Vinyl LP - MINT & SEALED USD $19.92 Buy It Now 14 days
Jethro Tull This Was CHR-1041 USD $4.97 Buy It Now 14 days
Jethro Tull-This Was CD NEW USD $25.13 Buy It Now 14 days
Jethro Tull This Was Vinyl LP Promo Reprise 6336 1968 USD $11.99 Buy It Now 14 days
Jethro Tull - This Was LP Vinyl 1999 180g EU reissue 724349946811 USD $124.99 Buy It Now 14 days
Jethro Tull This Was Vintage 8 Track Tape Stereo Music Cartridge Cassette USD $18.99 Buy It Now 14 days
Jethro Tull This Was The Millennium Vinyl Collection USD $65.00 Buy It Now 14 days
JETHRO TULL This Was original 1973 US 8-TR cartridge tape green Ian Anderson USD $20.64 Buy It Now 14 days
Jethro Tull lot of 4 LPs NICE - Aqualung, Benefit, Stand Up, This Was USD $21.95 Buy It Now 14 days
Jethro Tull - This Was NEW LP USD $21.94 Buy It Now 15 days
JETHRO TULL - THIS WAS RARE ISRAELI LP PRESS GATEFOLD USD $24.99 Buy It Now 16 days
Jethro Tull - This Was LP 180g Vinyl RI NEW USD $26.99 Buy It Now 16 days
Jethro Tull/This Was.Australian Reprise LP. USD $31.27 Buy It Now 16 days
JETHRO TULL ORIGINAL 1968 UK LP THIS WAS PINK ISLAND PRESS USD $156.34 Buy It Now 17 days
JETHRO TULL ORIGINAL 1968 UK LP THIS WAS PINK ISLAND MONO PRESS USD $389.34 Buy It Now 17 days
1969 JETHRO TULL debut LP This Was VG+ / VG USD $5.99 Buy It Now 17 days
JETHRO TULL This Was LP Reprise RS 6336 Canada Original Steamboat label RARE USD $49.99 Buy It Now 17 days
VINYL LP Jethro Tull - This Was Chrysalis PV 41041 USD $11.99 Buy It Now 17 days
Jethro Tull - This Was LP Vinyl Record Album RS 6336 USD $14.49 Buy It Now 17 days
Rare Metal CD JETHRO TULL This Was + bonus tracks Chrysalis Records 2001 USD $11.99 Buy It Now 17 days
JETHRO TULL/THIS WAS,RS6336,EX/EX.TWO TONE LABEL USD $39.09 Buy It Now 17 days
Jethro Tull - This Was (Debut Album) - Vinyl LP - VG+++ USD $18.00 Buy It Now 18 days
LP a passion play - an extended performance ~ USD $28.41
LP aqualung ~ USD $173.57
LP benefit ~ USD $24.69
LP this was ~ USD $20.97


More places to buy JETHRO TULL music online Buy JETHRO TULL & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
  • AmazonMP3: Search for JETHRO TULL DRM-Free MP3 Downloads @ AmazonMP3 (USA Only) | AmazonMP3 (UK Only)

JETHRO TULL This Was ratings distribution


3.32
(564 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(9%)
9%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(27%)
27%
Good, but non-essential (51%)
51%
Collectors/fans only (12%)
12%
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)
1%

JETHRO TULL This Was reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
4 stars 4.5 stars really!!!

One of the first pop/rock records to feature a flute, (but Jefferson Airplane had been using them sporadically since spring 67, when this one is from October 68), this album is the start of a long and successful string of excellent albums, always daring if sometimes flawed. And as you might guess this debut is hardly perfect, but still a must for progheads. While strongly bluesy but with a very present folk influence, the album boasts an unusual four instrumental (a record for the group) and a real tightness for such a young group.

Get a load of Serenade To A Cuckoo (where the Tramp/Mad Flauter learned and lived on Jazzman Roland Kirk's stuff) and tell me this is not worth four stars at least. Listen to the guitar solo of Cat's Squirrel and then to War Pigs of Black Sabbath and you will hear what Iommi learned from J T as he replaced Abrahams for four weeks, as Mr Barre is still to come. Get a whiff of Beggar's farm and tell me that this better than anything from Minstrel (tension between the guitars and the superb flute interventions). Listen to the claghorn on Dharma For One, and every other track is a minor gem in its own right, especially the My Sunday Feeling and A Song For Jeffrey.

Mick Abrahams will leave JT after this one and create another fine outfit called Blodwyn Pig in the honour of the Tramp with whom he was having disagreements about musical directions. If you listen well to those two albums from BP, you will see that although bluesier, this should also be on this site, and one really wonders if it was musical differences they disagreed upon. Two very much underrated albums as well as this one from Tull.

Back to This Was, the remastered version comes with a few bonus tracks including a lovely jazzy instrumental One For John Gee (yet never available elsewhere), the Love Story (sounding a bit like Song For Jeffrey) and Christmas Song (the first Tull track to feature strings), both available as non-album singles and on the compilation Living In The Past. Great added value to this debut and making it even more essential to have.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#16165) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, February 05, 2004

Review by daveconn
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars JETHRO TULL hit the scene in 1968 as a blues rock band that fit stylistically between CREAM and TRAFFIC, not exactly a rock and a hard place. Their debut -- and we'll get back to that title -- is softer than CREAM, harder than TRAFFIC, and remarkably confident for a band of unknowns. Despite all turning in fine performances, the band's success clearly rests on the shoulders of frontman IAN ANDERSON -- his wildly expressive flute playing, influenced by Roland KIRK, and wise-beyond-his-years voice clearly distanced TULL from a host of colorless wannabes. When ANDERSON wasn't drawing attention to himself like a man on fire, listeners could groove to the soulful guitar of Mick ABRAHAMS or crack a smile as Clive BUNKER gave his drum kit (and anything else that didn't get out of the way in time) a sound thrashing. Although the band spends about half their time on blues rock, it's clearly not where their fortunes lie -- even when ABRAHAMS takes the lead on a track like "Cat's Squirrel" and burns the place up, it draws the inevitable comparison to other guitar-led acts that simply do this sort of thing better (JIMI HENDRIX, CREAM). Better by far are the songs that allow ANDERSON's songwriting to find a unique voice for the band: "A Song for Jeffrey", "Beggar's Farm", "My Sunday Feeling". The mix of blues and hearty folk music is clearly a winning combination; TRAFFIC and CS&N were both purveyors of a delicate folk influenced by psychedelia -- leave it to a flute player to kick their paisleyed posteriors with some good, gritty folk/blues rock. As "Serenade to a Cuckoo" and "Dharma for One" prove, the flute can be every bit as sweaty and sexual as a guitar. And so JETHRO TULL was plucked from the crowd by the critic's picky fingers and anointed as "Band Most Likely To.", even as fans were snatching up their debut and flocking to live appearances. But there's still the prickly problem of that album title, "This Was". Turns out this TULL character is a restless and unpredictable prankster, not the sort that'll oblige audiences by playing the same old songs. And so what is soon was, with ABRAHAMS leaving the group to form BLODWYN PIG and ANDERSON assuming the reins to ride off to a different destiny.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Send comments to daveconn (BETA) | Report this review (#16167) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, April 29, 2004

Review by Proghead
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Not as bad as some people say it is. This was the original TULL, when they were a blues- rock band, and they performed as a band, rather than Ian ANDERSON with musicians backing him up, still calling themselves JETHRO TULL (nothing against that, as TULL continued to make great albums until the late '70s). Martin Barre wasn't here, instead it was Mick Abrahams, who was big on the likes of Clapton and Peter Green (of the early FLEETWOOD MAC, way before they became the slick, multi-platinum band most people associate them with). The rest of the band was rounded out with Clive Bunker on drums and Glenn Cornick on bass. And unlike following TULL albums, other band members got to write some of their material too, like Bunker and Abrahams.

"My Sunday Feeling", "Someday the Sun Won't Shine For You" and "A Song For Jeffrey" all demonstrate the most bluesy side of the band. Jeffrey, in this case, refers to Jeffrey Hammond-Hammond, who was in one of ANDERSON's previous bands, and later a member of JETHRO TULL from "Aqualung" to "Minstrel in the Gallery". "Dharma For One" is a more rocking number with an extended drum solo from Bunker. For some reason this inspired other bands to do their version, like from EKSEPTION (from their 1969 self-entitled debut) and by Pesky Gee (the pre-BLACK WIDOW band that released "Exclamation Mark"). "Beggars Farm" points more to the next couple of TULL albums. "Round" is a nice, short jazzy number, while "Serenade to a Cuckoo" is a cover of the Roland Kirk song. Roland Kirk was obviously a big inspiration for ANDERSON's flute playing. "Cats Squirrel", another cover (I think it was some old blues or folk song, not sure), is a lengthy guitar venture for Mick Abrahams, I remembered how much this song blew me away with its intensity. These songs are the rare time TULL ever covered material that wasn't from TULL themselves (the next time I know for sure TULL did a non-TULL song was a version of the traditional "John Barleycorn" for their 1992 live album A Little Light Music). "Move On Alone" features Abrahams on vocals instead, and was the very first time David PALMER used his orchestrations on a TULL song, the orchestrations here were strictly horns (no strings).

Nice album, and if you don't mind TULL doing the blues, then you should like this album.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Send comments to Proghead (BETA) | Report this review (#16171) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, July 10, 2004

Review by Jimbo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars It should be pretty obvious by now, but in case you still haven't figured it out, I'll make it clear for you. This album has absolutely nothing to do with prog. Jethro Tull's debut still sees them as a band - Ian Anderson hadn't taken complete control yet. For that reason, this is a fairly unique effort in JT's catalogue. Martin Barre is completely absent from the album, as Mick Abrahams was still in the band at this point - and he's one of the main figures here as well. The music, while fairly professionally done, brings nothing new to the blues/folk-rock scene, which was extremely popular those days. You can hear traces of what was to come of Anderson later on, as his songwriting style was already quite daring and unconventional. That said, don't go expecting to hear anything too intricate, This Was is a very straightforward blues album - they get to the point quickly and effectively. Not that that's a bad thing per se, I like my blues-rock just as much as the next guy, but it does not have the sophistication (I hate that word in music, aarrggh!) many prog fans expect from their music. This Was is a good effort from the lads surely, but better things were yet to come.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Send comments to Jimbo (BETA) | Report this review (#16175) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Review by Philrod
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Tull's first album, the band was still heavily under the influence of bluesy lead guitarist Mick Abrahams. The band is still not really progressive, but more of a british blues one. The musicianship is great, especially from drummer Clive Bunker who demonstrates his talent on songs like ''My sunday feeling'' and ''Dharma for one''. ''Serenade to a cuckoo'' is also known as the first song Ian Anderson learned on the flute. This is definitely not a classic Tull album, but still a very pleasant one, with a nice happy side to it. Anderson and co. seems to have fun playing it. 3.5/5

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Send comments to Philrod (BETA) | Report this review (#37159) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Review by Andrea Cortese
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The first album from Jethro Tull is quiet different to the the remaining first prog/rock/blues' albums (the superb Stand Up and the great Benefit). In these days the group is returned performing live many tracks from this work, expecially the jazz-rock Serenade To A Cuckoo (the Roland Kirk's song Ian has learned play flute) and the dark-bluesy Beggar's Farm. I saw them the 16 july in Matua (Italy) and the performance was very good (even if Ian's voice has had some diffulties in the first half). This album was also digitally remastered in 2001 with some interesting piece from the group early singles: the interesting Love Story (wich represents the last contribution from the first JT guitarist Mick Abrahams, then passed to form the blues-inspired goup Blodwin' Pig), the mithic A Christmas Song (of wich there's a revisited version in the Jethro Tull Christmas Album -2003-) and another jazzy played named One For John Gee (is a sort of tribute song to the Marquee Club manager).

"THIS WAS HOW WE WERE PLAYING THEN, BUT THINGS CHANGE. DON'T THEY (JT)........."

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Send comments to Andrea Cortese (BETA) | Report this review (#43458) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, August 19, 2005

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I don't know why for some reason I listen to old albums recently. It's probably I'm heavily influenced by the program in our new radio: The Jakarta Alternative Station which broadcasts music of the seventies, including late sixties as well. To me it creates a childhood period with classic rock nuance - or I call it in my locality with "nuansamatik". So I listen to old albums like Bloodrock, Led Zeppelin, Golden Earring, Ten Years After, Colosseum, Mott The Hopple, Humble Pie, Trapeze, James Gang, Johny Heartsman, John Mayall and also Jethro Tull. Oh man . what a beautiful experience enjoying these bands / artists, especially when I find that the sound quality are most of them not truly "hi-fi" but they represent and characterize the era of early rock music. On some albums I even played both formats: CD and cassette because at the time the cassette was the only format that I could afford to buy. How could I afford an LP while I was just 12 years old? I was not from a rich family, financially, even though I felt rich musically (because I could enjoy beautiful music at that age). Music rulez!

Talking about Tull, it's very clear that the band was originally a blues influenced band. Their first line-up included Mick Abrahams, Glenn Cornick, Clive Bunker, and Ian Anderson. I only knew the band through their "War Child" album so I knew "This Was" was very late - six years after its release date. I was quite surprise knowing that "This Was" had different style than the medieval "War Child". But it's very clear that if I draw a line between 1968 to 1974 each album of Tull has a unique sound that has made the true Tull sound. Blues with flute? That was something that reminded me to a multi- instrumentalist gentleman Johny Heartsman (born February 9, 1937 in califormia) who played guitar, bass, piano, organ (Hammond!), flute and also arranged & composed his music. Many of his blues compositions contain flute as main instrument as also the case with "This Was" of Tull. The only difference was that while Heartsman played the music in R & B style, Tull's "This Was" was more on jazz style. But it's interesting to compare the music of Heartsman and Tull's debut album "This Was".

In June, just before this album was recorded, Jethro Tull began a residency at London's famed Marquee Club (where the 'Stones and The Who also launched their careers). Band advisers failed to get Ian to give up the flute and let Mick do all the singing. The album was recorded without any record company contract presuming, correctly, that a deal could be made afterwards. - quoted from the band's website. What a daring musician they were!

As for my personal taste, this album has really satisfied me as each song is an excellent one. - there is no such thing as mediocre or good song, all of them are excellent. It's very rewarding experience listening to this album in its entirety - especially when I enjoy it during midnight waiting for my sahur (it's a very early morning breakfast - around 3:30-4:00 AM during fasting month which is due this time until 3 Nov 2005) while sipping a cup of coffee and have some reading. What a life man! The album kicks off with dynamic drumming followed with obvious flute in "My Sunday Feeling" (3:42) which really a Tull music with "some" influence of blues and a more influence of jazz with unique singing style . The combination of guitar and flute during interlude augmented with inventive drum and jazzy walking bass notes is truly awesome. The band moves the music to a heavier blues style with "Some Day The Sun Won't Shine For You" (2:49) where guitar fills, bass and harmonica and duet vocal give a very strong texture of the music. Oh .. it reminds me to John Mayall's music. Really cool .

"Beggar's Farm" (4:20) has an aggressive flute with more upbeat music combined with great combination of bass and guitar fills that form as major rhythm section. Again, the band offers a really wonderful interlude with guitar and flute play together. The flute sounds much aggressive in the second interlude. Great music. The short track "Move On Alone" (1:59) provides musical break with light jazz-blues fusion. "Serenade To A Cuckoo" (6:11) is really a wonderful instrumental track that starts off with an ambient jazzy opening through a soft sound of flute with jazzy rhythm sec tion. Having done with relatively long flute solo, the guitar fills with jazz style bring the music with more jazz music than blues. Flute provides great inserts during guitar solo. I cannot deny that this is a very enjoyable track.

"Dharma For One" (4:16) is an excellent instrumental track with flute as lead melody in fast tempo music with great inventive drum solo by Clive Bunker. It's so cool and so uplifting! "It's Breaking Me Up" (5:05) is a purely blues track with harmonica and great guitar fills which feature duet vocals. "Cat's Squirrel" (5:44) is a heavy rock music with some jazz-blues influence through guitar, drum beats and dynamic bass lines. This instrumental track has neither flute nor harmonica - it's like a trio rock band. Who does not know the famous "A Song For Jeffrey" (3:23) ? It's a great track with aggressive flute / harmonica and bass guitar. The album concludes with a nice and short "Round" (0:49). In summary, it's a great album!!!!

As we look at history, "This Was" peaked #10 in the British charts which according to the band's website it was partly due to great airplay from BBC Radio DJ John Peel. Just before the release in the U.S., guitarist Abrahams left to form "Blodwyn Pig," primarily due to Anderson's preference for a less blues-orientated future. Tull began their first US tour in January 1969, immediately after securing the services of guitarist Martin Barre. The album had little commercial impact in the US charts (#62) but the U.S. tour did earn the band a strong cult following. "This Was" was recorded for around just $1200 pounds (roughly $1800 dollars)!

Even though it's not truly prog rock / folk, but this album is a masterpiece. Highly recommended!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Send comments to Gatot (BETA) | Report this review (#50806) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, October 09, 2005

Review by Eetu Pellonpää
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This debut album by this classic band is totally awesome. It continues the process of molding art music from the standards of British 1960's blues revival movement. Year 1968 saw the end of the hugely successful trio Cream, which I believe had given Jethro Tull guidelines for this work. A hint of their influence can be found from the album song list, which has the "Cat's Squirrel" among them, as this was also played and recorded by the super group mentioned before. But unlike Jack, Bruce and Ginger, these youthful looking guys didn't wander very far to the straits of psychedelics, but they mixed the basic rhythm blues instead with jazzy elements. The jazzier side of the band is presented best in tracks like "Move On Alone", which has nice brass arrangements, and the mellow "Serenade To A Cuckoo", which reminds me the music heard on the background of the 1960's Pink Panther cartoons. "Dharma for One" is also a great fast instrumental track, and this number was also played and recorded by the British band Pesky Gee.

All of the players are great instrumentalists, but it's the drummer Clive Bunker who really shines on this record in my opinion. He's truly in the same category with his opposite numbers Ginger Baker and Mitch Mitchell. The opener "My Sunday Feeling" is a very dynamic song driven by his great rhythm and Ian's sharp flute verses. "A Song for Jeffrey" is a quite similar track, and these two pearls from this album made it to many of the compilations, and they were also long in their concert repertoire. There are also some more basic blues tunes here, like "Some Day The Sun Won't Shine for You" and "It's Breaking Me Up", both great but more traditional performances. "Beggar's Farm" has a 20's blues oriented hypnotic guitar melody running in the background, upon which Ian sings and plays some furious flute runs. The album is closed by a short tune called "Round", but this is not an end but merely beginning of a wonderful career, which continues still this day. Have though not yet found record with so solid quality content as this one from the band's release catalogue.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Send comments to Eetu Pellonpää (BETA) | Report this review (#84732) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Review by clarke2001
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars JETHRO TULL's debut was not really helpful to flair the band's style in years to come. Album is witnessing the fact that Ian Anderson didn't took the control in the band, he was sharing it with guitarist Mick Abrahams. Abrahams' fascination with blues is obvious.

Everything would be alright if this was only one more blues-oriented proto-prog album, but the problem lays in the fact that this album is reminding a listener of "Fresh Cream" (CREAM's debut), that we can use the term "plagiarism" without hesitation. Indeed, every tune from "This Was" is got it's competitor on "Fresh Cream" - "Someday The Sun Won't Shine For You" is leaning on "Rollin' & Tumblin'", "Move On Alone" is comparable with blues easy listening ballads like "Wrapping Paper" or "Four Until Late". "It's Breaking Me Up" is the shameless copy of "Sleepy Time Time".

Drum solo "Toad" is reincarnated in "Dharma For One", and this is the only case where copying effort is better than it's exemplar.

The only track that is standing out of the crowd is "A Song For Jeffrey", the only one that survived the test of time.

Needless to say, blues standard "Cat's Cradle" is almost a carbon-copy of the CREAM's interpretation, lost in Abrahams' unnecessary guitar bravurosities to whom the only remaining value is the historical one.

Do not give this album a try unless you are a blues fan, blues-based-proto-prog fan (ugh!) or Jethro Tull fan. Actually, this album contains of one component above the mere completionists' value: it's an introduction to Tull's roots and it's showing the evolution line of the band's creativity, meriting half a star on that account.

But to be very honest with you, I'd rather like the JOHN EVAN BAND's material seeing the light of the day. This one should be left for the fans of the BLODWYN PIG, COLOSSEUM, John Mayall and the like.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Send comments to clarke2001 (BETA) | Report this review (#98826) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Review by hdfisch
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Actually it's very hard for me to rate any album by this great seminal band (which is one of my all-time favs) starting from their very first one, here in review, until let's say 1975 (or "Too old.." which had been their first true flaw IMHO) lower than four stars since they all have been just excellent and moreover they passed the test of time very well and don't sound any dated if listened to nowadays. Though being still strongly blues-oriented their debut revealed nonetheless already significant progressive leanings and covered different music genres like folk, jazz and folk. Surely the even better and more sophisticated things are still to come from them later on but there are already many amazing tracks on here like the bluesy and flute-drenched ones "My Sunday Feeling" and "Beggar's Farm", the jazzy Kirk-inspired "Serenade To A Cuckoo", "Dharma For One" (with awesome flute and drums), the foot-stomping "Cat's Squirrel" (featuring a great guitar and drum solo) and the all-time classic "A Song For Jeffrey". Although the remaining four songs are less exciting without being bad at all there's just too much brilliant stuff on here to give less than 4 stars if you ask me!

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Send comments to hdfisch (BETA) | Report this review (#102242) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, December 09, 2006

Review by ClemofNazareth
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk Researcher
3 stars I’m probably in the minority of Tull fans who feel the band would have developed a more interesting character had Mick Abrahams stayed with the band after this debut, or at least have come back some time before 1980. Ian Anderson’s overpowering influence and unmistakable flute playing were present even here in the beginning. But the harmonica would largely disappear in later years, and Abraham’s heavy blues-rock influence would take a decidedly more jazz orientation with Martin Barre. Too bad, because I think that the versatility of the blues guitar would have given a greater sense of variety and life to most of the rather bland eighties album the band released. Probably wouldn’t have done much for ‘Aqualung’ or ‘Thick as a Brick’ though, but in my opinion the band went rather steadily downhill after these albums anyway.

This isn’t on par with the best Tull albums, a bit uneven frankly with a couple tunes that don’t sound at all like classic Tull (“Some Day The Sun Won't Shine For You”, “It's Breaking Me Up”). But the rest are all strong, cleverly blending folk, blues and rock into a unique and engaging sound. “My Sunday Feeling” and “Beggar’s Farm” have the most recognizable Tull sound, while Abrahams rips off some tasty and dirty blues riffs on “Cat’s Squirrel”.

The two extremes are probably “It's Breaking Me Up”, all blues, all the time; and “Serenade To A Cuckoo”, which marked the first time I’d ever heard a flute solo on what was supposed to be a rock album.

Not my favorite Jethro Tull album by a long shot, although for years I only collected Tull albums out of habit and not really for any strong liking for the band anyway, so my threshold of tolerance is rather high for what I can listen to from these guys. This is a three star album, although on the lower range of three. ‘Stand Up’ the following year was better, and the band would rip off three or four more before sinking into that period of dullness I mentioned earlier. You know, the one where Abrahams might have been of some help.

Not a bad album for your collection, probably considered essential for Tull fans (but not for anyone else). Three stars.

peace

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Send comments to ClemofNazareth (BETA) | Report this review (#105214) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, January 01, 2007

Review by Atkingani
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Good stuff, considering it's the first band album. The guys show a certain experience thanks to some years 'on the road' and the active presence in that swinging era that hit exceedingly the UK. Sound is basically jazzy or bluesy, a bit folky - progressive moments may be heard only in some flute passages, an announcement of things to happen years later.

Musically, this production is pleasant to listen to: agreeable, even catchy, here and there; nice to be felt in a lazy Sunday afternoon. Seeing the progressive side, it's poor, but for God's sake, This Was 1968, and the real prog scene was far from taking shape.

'My Sunday feelings' is a fine opener, aggressive in the appropriate dosing, just like waking the hearer for the rest of the tracks. 'Someday the Sun won't shine for you' is a bit dull, there's a feeling of hearing this kind of tune hundreds of times before. 'Beggar's farm' has good flute segments; Anderson's voice has that drunken touch one should hear extensively in the years to come. 'Move on alone' is short and tasty, a nice segue-like song.

'Serenade to a cuckoo' is real good, as a Brazilian I see touches of bossa-nova amid the general jazz atmosphere. 'Dharma for one' shows a kind of proggy intro, followed by some rock parts, very hearable; excessive drumming however spoiled the song. 'It's breaking me up' brings some R&B vocals that make a lovely counterpoint to previous track. The harmonica solo is pleasant.

'Cat's squirrel' is an instrumental blues- rock piece, dated as observed from today's ears but still more than audible. Guitars here do a great job. 'A song for Jeffrey', probably the best-known track here is doubtless a good song, a JETHRO TULL's standard among many others released lately. Playing action is really fine. 'Round', the ender, is just a catchy filler.

Evaluating the general progressiveness (none), this album could be a collectors/fan only, however once we consider all JT output I'll raise the rating by one extra star, hence good, but non essential . Total: 3

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Send comments to Atkingani (BETA) | Report this review (#107404) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, January 13, 2007

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars First work of a giant and one of my beloved band. Like most of those first albums (Genesis, Purple, Tramp, Camel ...), I am not convinced by this one. Of course, the Tull style is already present here and there but this one lacks in true memorable moments. The album is quite bluesy and jazzy (this is the influence of Mick Abrahams who will write a few songs here). There won't be lots of albums in which other band members will be involved in the songwritting. So, the Tull that I like so much is not yet this one. It is very hard for me to give such high ratings (4 to 5 ? stars) as lots of reviewers have done.

Don't get me wrong, Tull is one of my favorite bands : I got to know them in 1971 with "Aqualung" and owe almost their whole official catalog (plus some thirty boots). For me the Tull starts with "Benefit", but that's another story. Let's go back to "This Was".

"My Sunday Feeling" is a good opener with an "airspacey" Ian's voice. "Some Day the Sun Won't Shine for You" is a short bluesy song with no interest. "Beggar's Farm" ends up in a good instrumental flute solo (so typical of what they will deliver later on). One of the best track. Skip "Move On Alone", a short jazzy track from another age.

Since jazz is not my cup of tea, I can hardly rate the instrumental "Serenade To A Cuckoo" as being a gem. It appears that this was Ian first attempt to play flute. "Dharma for One" is another instrumental which will be often celebrated live (the format being seriously expanded to more than ten minutes like in their Isle of Wight show). The drum solo is quite unusual on a studio album to be mentioned (Led Zep will also do that on "Moby Dick" in 1969), but this is a rather average track (not "Moby Dick" but "Dharma").

Same applies to " It's Breaking Me Up" : again 100% blues number. "Cat's Squirrel" starts like "Caroline" from Status Quo (actually it is "Caroline" that sounds like "Cat's" since it was released in 1973), then you think : oh good, a rocky track at last ! Not quite though : this almost six minute long intrumental track (another one) sounds like a jam.

"A Song For Jeffrey" is a good track with an excellent riff, but Ian's voice is quite bizzarre and a bit lost amongst the instruments (which is quite unusual). "Round" closes the original LP and is another instrumental piece of ...1'03" ! Quite dispensable. There are three bonus tracks one the remastered edition : "One for John Gee" is in the vein of the rest. "Love Story" is the best track : good rock song like Tull can produce.

Globally this album might be a good jazz or blues album. Two stars really because I am so found of this band, but I almost never spin "This Was".

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#107618) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, January 15, 2007

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars An album steeped in the sounds of traditional blues. Great flute work that is so reminiscent of Gravy Train it is painstakingly obvious that the latter band were hugely influenced by this great band called Jethro Tull. It is hard to believe JT had started thgeir studio albums now almost 40 years ago. This Was is a flawed album as most were for debut albums at this time or era however the album as a whole is steadfastedly engaging, intriguing and deliciously listenable. Inoffensive but most of all incredible to think that This Was was such a good album and yet the band had much more to evolve into with later studio releases showing subtle movement in styles. Highlights would have to be ' My Sunday Feeling' and the ever so popular ' Song For Jeffrey'. Three and a half stars.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Send comments to Chris S (BETA) | Report this review (#122944) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, May 21, 2007

Review by The Whistler
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars (This was...a 3.5)

This was...a decent album. It's generally disregarded in lieu of later, proggier albums. Which is a sin. We shouldn't over look This Was simply because it's a particularly bloozy record (and, it's not like Tull doesn't have at least one blues inspired track on every other record anyway).

We should, however, keep in mind that it's not the greatest blooz record ever recorded. In fact, compared to the debuts of some other innovative blues acts (namely Led Zep and Cream), it comes off as a bit light. This Was lacks the consistency of Fresh Cream and the sheer song power of Led Zeppelin I. It even lacks the near perfection God gave to Whiter Shade of Pale (Procol Harum, the OTHER forgotten progressive blues record). This Was, however, not without its merit.

We start off with "My Sunday Feeling," a rough and tumble little blues rocker. It's pretty energetic, and I love the bassline that closes it. "Some Day the Sun Won't Shine For You" is a much slower number, with the Ian on harmonica instead of flute. "Beggar's Farm" a pretty good number with a haunting, stuttering flute line, thick guitar and a start and stop format that points the way for things to come.

My two favorite numbers come next. "Move On Along," a pure Abrahams number, is a bouncy little pop rocker with some strings snuck in. It's short, sweet and very sixties. First thing on the album I instantly loved. But my favorite number is the instrumental "Serenade to a Cuckoo." Of course, it's not quite as good as the Roland Kirk original, but it is arguably the catchiest thing on the album, and shows you the roots of the "Bouree."

Up to this point everything's been fine. Unfortunately, we're about to kick all that down the drain. "Dharma for One" is an instrumental excuse for a drum solo, the most attractive aspect of which is the use of the "claghorn" (Jeffrey made it) by Ian. The instrumental part was later improved on stage, but it's still a drum solo.

"It's Breaking Me Up" is another straight blues number. It's inoffensive enough, but not particularly amazing (I like the opening harmonica riff though). "Cat's Squirrel" is, however, dreadful. It wasn't particularly good when Cream did it either, but for some reason here, it sucks more. Lesser musicians perhaps? I dunno.

If the second side has any reason to exist, it's the psycho blues number "Song For Jeffrey." This was, at one point, my favorite song on the album, and it's possibly the track that has survived the best from the Abrahams era. Bouncy guitar, driving harmonica, blazing flute, encoded vocal effects. Yep. This is totally what King Crimson ripped off when they did "21st Century Schizoid Man," further proving that Tull created progressive rock.

I might be kinder to the album, for "Jeffrey's" sake, but instead we close with "Round," a silly, and utterly useless, sixty second album closer. It's just sort of some instruments tuning around. Oh well, it paves the way for "Grace" I guess.

So This Was an album that could have been great. As it stands, it's harmless, occasionally innovative, occasionally annoying, blues. The songs could have been stronger, and the musicians could have been better. Oh well, this is all cleaned up by Stand Up. Naturally fans of Tull should get this, as should anyone in the market for some proto-progressive blues. This Was an overused joke, but don't look at me; Ian started it.

(The remaster comes complete with three, count 'em, three, xtra numberz!!! Sorry. "One For John Gee" is a jazzy little instrumental dedicated to...someone, I forget. "Love Story" is a catchy blues rocker, the last thing Abrahams did with the band. Oh well. He was a nice chap and all, but the sooner we get Tony Iomi, er, Martin Barre, the better. "Christmas Song" is the first thing recorded without Abrahams, and the only survivor from the period. It's also probably my favorite of the three. It's the whole flute/mandolin/string quartet number with the clever build and allusions to drinking. You know. Play on you Tullers. All in all, three enjoyable, if not amazingly ingenious, numbers. No change in the rating.)

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Send comments to The Whistler (BETA) | Report this review (#123695) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Review by febus
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / In Memoriam
4 stars THIS WAS A GOOD ALBUM,INDEED

THIS WAS was the first album relesed by one of my all time favorite bands JETHRO TULL back then in 1968 ( almost 40 years old..scary!!). JETHRO TULL has build a monumental catalogue of wonderful music through the ages, wonderful albums for the ages!! There is only one JETHRO TULL, there have never been clones of JETHRO TULL, because the music, their sound, their voice , ...and their flute were so unique , it' impossible to copy.

This is not blues, this is not Jazz, this is not folk, this is not hard rock,this is not britsh country, this is not prog, this is JETHRO TULL, the only band that has assimiliated every kind of music, only to produce something unique; the JT sound.

Did i mention the name of IAN ANDERSON yet? this is the genial scot architect behind this venture and should be remembered as one of the best composer of the second part of the 20th century: he had everything, a voice, an ability to play many instruments, and canny creativity to come up with wonderful music year after year.Just imagine the world of ROCK without JT!

At the time of the release of TIME WAS, Great Britain music scene was under the blues boom.This was the time of CREAM, FLEETWOOD MAC (Peter Green version), JOHN MAYALL. Even the Beatles were recording some kind of blues (YER BLUES remember!) Of course, if you wanted to make it as a successfull band back then, it was a wise idea to play blues; you know, follow the trend! Unless your name was SYD BARETT or KEVIN AYERS, it was the recommendable thing to do!

And among many new bands coming out in 1968, JETHRO TULL came out with a --relatively--blues album! the best way to succeed,i guess. Also it is worth noticing that at this time JETHRO TULL was a band with 2 heads!! Yes, IAN ANDERSON is well present, singing, playing his flute and composing but he had to share the spotlight with no slouch guitarist MICK ABRAHAMS, the bluesman of the band. This is the first time-and last time- that IAN ANDERSON would share writing credits with someone else. To give you an idea, there are 4-no less- instrumentals like CATS SQUIRELL giving ABRAHAMS plenty of room to show his skills.

So what do we have here? a very interesting album, with a lot of blues of course, but also with a lot of signs that tell us which way JETHRO TULL would go in the future. Just listen to A SONG FOR JEFFREY , the JT sound is there already. There are ABSOLUTELY no bad tracks on this album; each one of them is pleasure to listen to such as the jazzy cover of SERENADE TO A CUCKOO from R. KIRK to the energetic MY SUNDAY FEELING.

TIME WAS a blues album?? yes, of course but it was already more than that!! that was already JETHRO TULL, a lot of Andersoneries, a lot of flute, a lot of what will makr JT great!!

One more thing: JETHRO TULL is the only band that have all their albums released in remastered CDs with WORTHY ''bonus'' tracks. Almost each one! and TIME WAS in no exception ; THE 3 additional tracks are wonderful music, especially CHRISTMAS SONG! This is one of the JT album i listen to often, and still with a great deal of pleasure!

Don't you wish someone would release in 2007 music like that? let's be honest! TIME WAS and it was great!

3 STARS for original labum i would give 3.5 to 4 stars because of the bonus tracks , so will be..

4 STARS!

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Send comments to febus (BETA) | Report this review (#133210) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Review by fuxi
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Can't think of any other classic prog band with a debut as fine as this. THIS WAS may be old-fashioned blues-rock, but even so it contains many of the elements of Jethro Tull's mature style, albeit in embryonic state. 'Beggar's Farm', for example, is based on a bluesy Mick Abrahams riff, but it also has a thoughtful vocal line that would fit right on to any of the band's later albums. And then there's Ian Anderson's flute, of course. Right from the start, Ian acknowledges his debt to the jazz-player Rahsaan Roland Kirk, one of whose compositions he covers in the delightful 'Serenade to a Cuckoo', a clear precursor to the better-know 'Bourree'.

I think I can imagine Ian's face when guitarist Mick Abrahams announced he wanted to do a five-and-half-minute instrumental number on his own, simply accompanied by bass and drums ("What? You mean without... without FLUTE?") but 'Cat's Squirrel' sounds totally delightful, even though I have no idea what blues specialists will make of it. All the other numbers are just as much fun - including the bonus tracks. Tull freaks need not hesitate!

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Send comments to fuxi (BETA) | Report this review (#133387) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, August 16, 2007

Review by Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars OK, This Was the first JT album and it was also my first LP record that I obtained "from abroad" via mail order, so I am emotional about it.

Prog or not, this is the early work of a band which already established main ingredients of their sound, namely the unique flute playing. Album is largely based in blues-rock and British blues scene influence is evident. But, unlikely THE ANIMALS or JOHN MAYALL, JT already pushed further the blues structures, incorporating folk and traditional elements, as well as jazz.

"Serenade to a Cuckoo" is a wonderful marriage between Baroque and jazz with amazing flute. "My Sunday Feeling" is powerful and heavy blues number that rock starts hard, while "Beggar's Farm" is already a Tull classic. Frequently neglected, even among the Tull fans, "This Was" is a powerful debut that, when re-listening today after almost 40 years, shows how strong the ideas and musical innovation were present at the very beginning. Kudos to Anderson, Bunker, Cornick and Abrahams (his single affair with Tull, unfortunately).

PERSONAL RATING: 4,5/5

P.A. RATING: 4/5

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Send comments to Seyo (BETA) | Report this review (#136001) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, September 03, 2007

Review by Atavachron
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "From the ashes of the John Evan Band had risen, staggering uneasily to its feet, the bluesy and hopeful young quartet of Anderson, Abrahams, Cornick and Bunker" recalls Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull's first album, a session put to tape without a recording deal. "I pushed for the name 'This Was' to make some kind of statement regarding the temporary nature of the band's then musical style, and in the hope that we might move on from the musically blues-based tunes to incorporate the other influences which I was assimilating from various sources". In other words, Tull were becoming a progressive rock band but hadn't arrived yet and though that is quite evident on This Was, it makes it a very interesting snapshot of a band that would become one of a tiny number of highly influential groups. Groups that would take from the best of what the Western world's music had to offer, attach some wit, solid musical dynamics and a bit of fun... and continue expanding on that idea, album after album.

Make no mistake, Tull's debut is mostly a blues record and not a particularly great one. If you were down at the Crossroads in 1968 you'd better have some fire; Hendrix was peaking, Cream had few rivals and Zeppelin were just getting started. But scattered throughout the slightly soggy 12-bar beats of 'Someday the Sun Won't Shine for You', 'Move On Alone', and 'Its Breaking Me Up' are 'Beggar's Farm', still blues-based but starting to slip away into a warm amalgam of jazz and folk rock, and the cool adult swing of 'Serenade to a Cuckoo'. Blustery classic 'Dharma For One' exudes just the kind of liberated energy the band would increasingly show, while 'A Song For Jeffery' features Mick Abrahams' slide guitar and Anderson channeling some ambiguous American bluesman. And as with many of the Tull remasters, the bonus tracks are not to be dismissed, some worthy of actual reinstatement as official cuts. The energetic pre-progressive single 'Love Story' sports a burgeoning trademark Tull sound with Baroque melodies and folkie tendencies, plus the delicate dulcimer-rock of 'Chistmas Song', the last cut on this re-release and ironically the most Tull-like song here. Good but non-essential? Yeah, that's just about right.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Send comments to Atavachron (BETA) | Report this review (#151043) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, November 16, 2007

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The debut album from Jethro Tull This Was is basically a collection of blues rock songs and the trademark sound of Jethro Tull was only hinted at on this release. Songs like Some Day The Sun Won´t Shine and It´s Breaking Me up is even real blues songs.

There are more exciting things on display though, like the flute solo track Serenade to a Cuckoo and the song Beggar´s Farm which could have been on Benefit a few years later. It has the same mood as that album. Move on Alone is pretty special too with a trumpet arrangement and a mellow mood. The most known song from This Was is A Song for Jeffrey, but this one is really nothing special in my book. Blues rock like most of the songs on This Was. There is a drum solo in Dharma for One which should also be noted as it is pretty cool.

The sound quality is ok for 1968 but nothing special.

This is a decent debut album from this legendary band, but don´t expect too much, and if I was new to the band I´d skip this one and go straight for Jethro Tull´s second album Stand Up which is much more exciting and groundbreaking. This is pretty average but still good album. 3 stars.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Send comments to UMUR (BETA) | Report this review (#159946) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, January 27, 2008

Review by Jim Garten
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Retired Admin & Razor Guru
3 stars Firstly, I'd like to extend my thanks to the Senior Press Officer at EMI for providing a promotional copy of the 40th anniversary re-issue of 'This Was' ahead if its official release date on 28th April 2008 - many thanks, Sarah!

In early 1968, at the tail end of the British blues boom, the John Evan band imploded & Jethro Tull, as they became known started to make a name for themselves in the blues clubs of London and the south of England (John Evan would later return to the fold & make a huge contribution during Tull's 1970s progressive rock heyday); ostensibly guitarist Mick Abraham's band, they became known more for their charismatic front man (vocalist & flautist Ian Anderson) and their sometimes curious mix of blues, jazz and folk influences.

Recorded between June and August 1968 (during which period they opened for The Pink Floyd at Hyde Park in London) 'This Was' is not what you would call your typical Jethro Tull album; centred around Abraham's playing, this was a straight blues album with an occasional twist. Most tracks on the album follow a fairly well travelled road for the late 60's, being standard, albeit well played, 12 bar blues, but there are distinct exceptions, which showed occasional flashes of what was in store for later years - 'Beggars Farm' 'A Song For Jeffrey' and 'Serenade To A Cuckoo' particularly breaking away from the standard blues format, as does 'Move On Alone' with its brass arrangements by David Palmer - another name to feature large in later lineups of the band (which makes you wonder if the Anderson-less instrumental 'Cats Squirrel' is Abraham trying to bring the band back into a more traditional furrow), and 'Dharma For One' being an instantly recogniseable (even 40 years later) Tull classic: Bunkers solo a distinct precursor to the percussion section of the later 'Thick As A Brick'.

2008's re-issue includes recordings taken from the late lamented John Peel's 'Top Gear' radio programme (Peel had long supported the band) & it's these which show the 1968 Tull Model at their best; a blistering 'My Sunday Feeling' and a version of 'Cats Squirrel' (which you could be forgiven in thinking was an early Led Zeppelin out-take...) showing the blues boom was far from over, but brought back into line by Anderson on 'Song For Jeffrey' & 'Beggars Farm', between which there's a wonderful version of the Delta blues classic 'Stormy Monday', given a completely new twist by a moody flute solo & finishing on 'Dharma For One' with Bunker in fine form.

The re-issue also includes a new stereo re-master of the original album; although the original was only recorded on 4 track, the sound was remarkably good for its time - the stereo version brings little to the table in its own right, but I'll leave it to the audiophiles to argue ad infinitum as to whether the original was a 'warmer' sound or if the stereo version is too 'clinical' - it's certainly a 'clearer' sound, but I'm unsure whether this is relevant in the context of a 40 year old album.

With the different directions the band was pulling in from its inception, this lineup was never going to be stable, and the remastered singles at the end of the second disc of this collection includes 'Love Story', the final recorded contribution by Mick Abrahams, who was to leave less than a month later to be replaced by one Martin Lancelot Barre...

There's no doubt this is a good British blues album with a twist, but it's not a Jethro Tull album to compare with the later greats of their catalogue; having said that, given the creative tensions within the band & its low budget (£1000 borrowed by Manager Terry Ellis's father), it's a bloody good first effort.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Send comments to Jim Garten (BETA) | Report this review (#168476) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Review by LiquidEternity
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars This album is a bit of an odd duck in the Jethro Tull discography, but then, debut releases often are.

I went into listening to This Was with something of a closed mind, mostly because I was a big fan of Thick as a Brick and, and because both Stand Up and Benefit, the two albums after this one, did almost nothing for me. I did not expect it to be all that great of an album. And, truth told, it's mostly only average. However, it hits a level that Tull does not hit again till Aqualung. There is a spirit here, a creative energy that drives the songs. This energy seems to be the hit or miss mark for the band, as albums like Aqualung, Thick as a Brick, and Songs from the Wood all draw heavily from it, while many of the less popular ones seem to lack it entirely. I tell you all this to say that, even for a casual Jethro Tull fan, This Was is a good album to get ahold of.

True, we may not see the genius masterwork that Tull would soon be seen performing, but the songs here are tightly constructed and well played. Dharma for One, for example, showcases long, fast, and difficult drum solos similar to those seen in the beginning of the second side of Thick as a Brick. Cat's Squirrel is a roaring instrumental featuring some absolutely divine guitar work. A Song for Jeffrey and Beggar's Farm are both classic Tull tracks, and both ones I have heard on the radio. There may not be an abundance of flute on this album, which turns many off to it, I understand, but the music is solid and well written. Each song can hold its own, and though there is no absolutely amazing track, neither is there any absolutely terrible one.

Basically, this is a wonderful debut, and not as highly regarded as it probably should be. Not as progressive, not as complicated as peak Tull, but still one of their stronger albums. I'd recommend it to any fan of the band.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Send comments to LiquidEternity (BETA) | Report this review (#184354) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
2 stars This was... a historical document

Jethro Tull's somewhat immature debut album is a very long shot from Aqualung and Thick As A Brick (and indeed from almost everything the band did after that). Ian Anderson's flute and vocals are already recognizable here, but apart from that there is very little here to relate this music to what came later. This is basically a straightforward Blues Rock album and it would be stretching it quite a bit to even call this proto-Prog.

This Was sounds very dated to me and, unlike on the next album, none of the tracks stand out here. Prog fans should begin with Aqualung and ignore the band's three first albums at least until they have acquired most or all of the band's post-Aqualung output, most of which is better than these early albums. Still, this is not bad music as such, and for me as a big fan of the band this can certainly be interesting for historical reasons and even moderately enjoyable in its own right.

Recommended for fans and collectors, but absolutely not the place to begin

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Send comments to SouthSideoftheSky (BETA) | Report this review (#200476) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, January 24, 2009

Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Errors and Omissions Team
4 stars They basically covered most of blues melodies. And by covered I mean performed, not stolen from somewhere else. So first song where true form of Jethro Tull (crazy flutter Ian) can be seen is Beggar's Farm. With flute's work, which we all love (raise your hand who does not), same thing happening again in Serenade For Cuckoo shows his great ability to give his feelings into performance. It's not just that we hear crazy whistler, we also know that he's standing on his right foot for sure. And Dharma's For One drums solo in the end (which other songs also partially contains) is bad ? I don't think so. Yes, there's big blues influence, but rock, jazz and blues always worked closely. This is nothing to be worried about, let alone in 1968. And A Song For Jeffrey and band's + band's frontman eccentricity was reason why they made it to Lennon/Jagger's Rock'n'Roll Circus. That's it, band's style was evolving and I can blame them that they was more blues than folk in these times, just because they're classified as prog folk.

4(-), great blues prog (it works, really) with medieval lyrics, stage setting, topics and behaviour. OK, they had a long road before them, but hell, this album isn't bad.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Send comments to Marty McFly (BETA) | Report this review (#240484) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, September 20, 2009

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Ian Anderson really pushed to have this album called "This Was" because he knew their style would be different on the next record. Mick Abraham's wanted to keep playing this Blues styled music and left when Anderson wouldn't give in. I thought i'd like this album better because I do like heavy Blues rock in the style of LED ZEPPELIN and CREAM, but there is really a lack of heaviness and guitar for my tastes.

"My Sunday Feelings" is uptempo with flute and drums leading the way. Vocals join in.The guitar is laid back 1 1/2 minutes in. "Some Day The Sun Won't Shine For You" features harmonica and guitar with dual vocals. "Beggar's Farm" is my second favourite song on here. The focus is on Anderson's vocals.The flute is soft after a minute. The tempo picks up as the guitar comes in. They're going full out 3 1/2 minutes in. "Move On Alone" is kind of a catchy mid-paced tune.

"Serinade To A Cuckoo" is an instrumental led by flute, drums and guitar. "Dharma For One" is uptempo with a drum solo. "It's Breaking Me Up" is very Bluesy with harmonica and vocals. "Cat's Squirrel" is my favourite. Heavy like ZEPPELIN to open with some nice guitar. "A Song For Jeffrey" opens with bass and flute as guitar and drums join in. The tempo picks up and the vocals arrive. "Round" is a short laid back tune with flute.

It's interesting to see TULL's evolution from this Blues flavoured debut to the second album in which Anderson incorporated many styles, to the third ("Benefit") where we hear that classic TULL sound. They had arrived.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#243020) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, October 05, 2009

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Prog Specialist
4 stars When checking my albums after having moved fr0om my old house, discovered that some CD's were missing and "This Was" is one of this albums, so being one of my favourite albums, went to the store and couldn't find anything except the "2008 Expanded "Deluxe" Remastered" version for which I don't care, being that I wanted the old simple version of "This Was in the way JETHRO TULL recorded it originally, not a box set with songs repeated two or three times, but nothing more was available so I went for it, after the owner took it to 50% it's price because he had it for several months with no interest.

With my new acquisition, went to my house and read the reviews of Prog Archives, and really surprised me the low ratings, seems that people don't understand that this JETHRO TULL is not the same Folksy one of "Thick as a Brick", but an excellent Blues band that deserves to be listened.

The album starts with "A Sunday Feeling", a fantastic Blues in which the peculiar sound of Ian's voice is obvious, the guy seems born for the this genre rather than for Folk (something that would change with the pass of time), and the use of the flute makes a good innovation for the era.

But the song wouldn't be complete without the outstanding guitar of Mick Abrahams, who really provides the Blues atmosphere to the track, fantastic opener if you don't expect a pastoral song.

"Some Day the Sun won't Shine for You" is an exceptional Southern Blues by a British band, with Ian Anderson demonstrating his versatility with a nostalgic harmonica performance, even the vocals are simply delightful, if I didn't knew this is JETHRO TULL; I would believe we're talking about a Mississippi band.

"Beggar's Farm" is an early transitional song, the first steps that JETHRO TULL gave towards their definitive sound, but still ascribed to Blues. Again the guitar of Abrahams really rocks, creating the perfect atmosphere, and the final flute section is breathtaking.

"Move on Alone" is a nice rack but not among the best in the album, some sort of light Blues with poppy orientation, so lets move to the jazzy "Serenade to a Cuckoo", a song in which they play some sort of ambient Jazz with a fantastic flute performance that finds a point of encounter with Classical music. another interesting performance.

"Dharma for One" is some sort of Psyche song in which all the members are allowed to jam a bit, and of course Clive Bunker plays one of his most memorable drum solos, JETHRO TULL was still in an internal fight between Ian Anderson and Mick Abrahams to decide what road they should take, and this eclectic material is a prove of this situation.

"It's Breaking me Up" and "Cat Squirrel" are two more excellent Blues, the first one more paused in the line of Classical Blues with harmonica and the second one closer to Blues based Rock with another impeccable guitar work by Abrahams.

"Song for Jeffrey" is pure aggression, with everything the recently born band had in the armoury, but now you can see the seeds of later TULL blended with Southern Blues, simply

The album ends with the short soft and jazzy "Round", nice ,music but only 1 minute long, works as a coda for the album and for the first Bluesy phase of JRTHRO TULL.

As usual, will ignore the bonus material, despite there are real masterpieces like "Teacher", but I like to review an album the way the artist released it originally. Of course I enjoy all the album, but my concern is to review the albums in the way I heard them back in the 70's.

Even when this is not what TULL fans will expect, I love this album from start to end, a good and well elaborate Prog Blues album with excellent moments that deserves 4 stars.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Send comments to Ivan_Melgar_M (BETA) | Report this review (#243363) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
3 stars Jethro Tull is a versatile band that went through many incarnations and style changes. Next to their big progressive albums TaaB and Passion Play, I mainly enjoy their initial bluesy side. It made this debut very enjoyable and it really flourished on the outstanding Stand Up and, to a lesser degree, it persisted through Benefit.

When it comes to proggyness, this album scores low of course, but the song quality is strong throughout and Ian Anderson still has real passion in his voice. Besides, the band regularly adds some folk and slight jazz influences into their sound and of course it introduces the flute into rock music.

This is a unique venture in the Jethro Tull catalog and simply a very strong blues rock album in its own right. 3.5 stars

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Send comments to Bonnek (BETA) | Report this review (#253459) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, November 29, 2009

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JazzRock/Fusion Teams
2 stars It's not surprising that in three short years, by the time Aqualung was released, only Ian Anderson and Clive Bunker (and technically, David Palmer) were left from this lineup of Jethro Tull. And by the next album, Bunker had left. This group was primarily a blues band. And compared to many other British blues bands of the time, nothing special.

However, there are some very slight hints of what Anderson would accomplish in the coming years. My Sunday Feeling and A Song For Jeffrey heve been played in concert by the band for years. But Roland Kirk's Serenade To A Cuckoo, a jazzy number that hints of Bouree highlight's Abrahams' shortcomings as anything but a blues guitarist, and makes you long for Martin Barre.

2.5 stars.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Send comments to Evolver (BETA) | Report this review (#275346) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, March 29, 2010

Review by Sinusoid
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Jethro Tull's debut effort sounds like nothing else before it or since, not even some of the band's later efforts. This crazy hybrid of blues and jazz is certainly an eye-opener when it works, but it's a laughable experiment when it doesn't. The thing to remember is that Ian loads the album with tons of lead flute passages.

''Beggar's Farm'' is the one song where every positive aspect of THIS WAS culminates into one beautiful package. With a hypnotic, haunting riff from Mick Abrahams and stellar flute playing from Ian Anderson, this track is sure to please. Also here are four instrumental tracks eager to please the ears with intensity. The rendition of ''Serenade to a Cuckoo'' is the strongest of these, but the guitar work of ''Cat's Squirrel'' and the riff and drum solo of ''Dharma for One'' are hard to ignore.

Unfortunately, the band decided to include two straight-out slow blues numbers in ''Someday...'' and ''It's Breaking Me Up''; I absolutely loathe slow blues tunes (all the ones I've heard are very boring), but Tull isn't the only group to annoy me like this as Led Zeppelin did this on their debut the following year as well. And would you believe me if I told you ''Song for Jeffrey'' is rather bland?

Make sure you're a real fan of Jethro Tull before you pick this one up, but it's a nice find. While it doesn't sound much like later efforts from this group, it does have the roots of that distinct Jethro Tull sound. Rather overlooked even if not that essential.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Send comments to Sinusoid (BETA) | Report this review (#280137) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, May 01, 2010

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars An album reflecting the conflicted character of the band at the time, This Was is a strange little Jethro Tull album and the only one to feature Mick Abrahams as a full member of the band - and the tension between him and Ian Anderson over the direction of the band is fully apparent. How else to explain tracks such as Cat's Squirrel, an instrumental cover of a traditional blues number, and the other blues influences popping up here and there throughout the album? Not that they aren't welcome - although prog was born out of the incorporation of non-blues/RnB influences into rock music, I think adding a bit of blues to prog can lead to a very interesting mix - but it doesn't yet quite sound like Jethro Tull on some tracks, though it never sounds boring. Other reviewers have mentioned the raw and dirty guitar sound which made Tony Iommi seem like a natural fit for the group before he opted to devote himself to making Black Sabbath a success, and later Tull albums wouldn't quite have that same sound.

Not that the roots of later Tull aren't apparent here too - Dharma For One and Song for Jeffrey would both eventually have prominent places on the classic Living In the Past compilation and feature Anderson's wonderful flute-playing. But there's a mixture on here that isn't around on later Tull albums. It's an interesting mix - and the album was good enough to win the boys a spot on the Rolling Stones' Rock and Roll Circus extravaganza - but I think the band couldn't have sustained it in the long term. Those interested to see what Mick Abrahams got up to after leaving might be interested in listening to some Blodwyn Pig, but for my part I think the right man remained in command of Tull.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#450295) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, May 20, 2011

Review by Anthony H.
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Jethro Tull: This Was [1968]

Rating: 7/10

Jethro Tull's criminally underrated 1968 debut is a gem from the enormous blues-rock/proto-prog scene of the period. This is a unique entry in Tull's discography. Unlike any other of the band's releases, This Was is primarily a blues album; blues progressions and Claptonesque guitar soloing dominate much of the music here. This stylistic focus is primarily a product of guitarist Mick Abrahams, with whom Anderson shared songwriting duties on this recording. This is the only Tull album on which Abrahams appeared, as well as the only one on which Anderson lacked total creative control. These facts explain why This Was fails to completely display the signature sound that the band later developed. This doesn't stop this debut from being excellent, however. This Was is blues-rock at its finest, and the complex flute passages and jazz influences hint at the progressive giant Tull would become.

"My Sunday Feeling" is an upbeat blues-rock song with catchy flute and soulful guitar playing. Clive Bunker's drumming is impressive here, as well as on many other points on the album. "Someday the Sun Won't Shine For You" is pure blues. Harmonica, subdued guitar strumming, and vocal harmonies create a true "sitting in the dark corner of a bedraggled saloon" atmosphere. "Beggar's Farm" features one of the greatest flute riffs in any Tull song, as well as superb guitar work. The pure blues continues on "Move On Alone." Horn arrangements complement the vocals from Abrahams (this is the only Tull song to feature vocals from someone other than Anderson). "Serenade to a Cuckoo", a cover of Roland Kirk's jazz classic, is an absolutely brilliant combination of blues and traditional jazz. Anderson fully displays the creativity of his flute playing here. "Dharma For One" is an energetic instrumental that focuses primarily on the rhythm section; most of this track consists of an excellent lengthy drum solo from Bunker. Anderson opts for harmonica rather than flute on "It's Breaking Me Up", yet another excellent blues track. "Cat's Squirrel" is a traditional blues instrumental that mostly focuses on guitar soloing. This is probably the weakest of the full-length tracks here, but it is still quite strong. "A Song For Jeffery" features another killer flute riff, and "Round" is a brief piano instrumental that closes the album.

This Was may not feature the same level of progressive songwriting that Jethro Tull eventually became famous for, but there certainly are elements of sophistication present here. The use of a flute on a rock album was a quite an innovative idea in 1968, considering that auxiliary instrumentation was rather uncommon for this type of music. The songs' arrangements all feature elements of nonlinear composition, and the musicianship is generally complex. Even discounting these factors, however, This Was is a spectacular, engaging, and fun blues-rock album that should be overlooked neither by Tull aficionados nor general fans of this type of music.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Send comments to Anthony H. (BETA) | Report this review (#494459) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Review by J-Man
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Before rising into progressive rock stardom, Jethro Tull released this humble debut in 1968. Drawing more heavily from blues than any of their succeeding efforts, This Was is very much an odd album in this British band's discography. On this debut you'll find plenty of bluesy guitar licks, psychedelic overtones, and an (at the time) nearly unheard of use of flute on a rock album. The extended song structures and progressive sound on their later albums is nowhere to be found here, but for what it is, This Was is a fairly decent debut from Jethro Tull. Fans of late sixties' blues rock will want to check this out, even if it's nothing too spectacular.

This Was has a stronger influence from blues and jazz than we would ever hear again from Jethro Tull. The pure blues of "Some Day The Sun Won't Shine For You", the jazzy flute in "Serenada to a Cuckoo", and the blues rock sound of "It's Breaking Me Up" will probably surprise those only acquainted with Jethro Tull's later offerings. There are some psych-influenced rock tunes too like "My Sunday Feeling", "Dharma For One", "Cat's Squirrel", and "A Song For Jeffrey" - while all of these tunes also have heavy blues leanings, they should also appeal to those who enjoy sixties' proto-prog music. While the songs may not be nearly as intricate as they would be on later albums, Jethro Tull were clearly gifted musicians from the beginning. All of the musicians are pretty impressive, and Clive Bunker's drumming is particularly interesting - just listen to his drum solo in "Dharma For One"! The production is also pretty good, and while it's not spectacular, it's decent considering when the album was recorded.

This Was is certainly a competent debut from Jethro Tull, but it's fairly unremarkable when all is said and done. The songwriting just doesn't have the power that their later efforts would achieve, and thankfully the band would mature greatly as composers over the next few years. Though this isn't one of the first Tull albums I'd recommend, it should impress fans of sixties' blues rock with a few twists and turns. This Was is a pretty good example of a 3 star album. While this is definitely a solid effort from Jethro Tull, it is not essential within the context of their discography.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Send comments to J-Man (BETA) | Report this review (#585843) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, December 10, 2011

Review by Chicapah
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Usually you can tell something about an album's contents by its cover. Usually. There are exceptions to that notion and Jethro Tull's debut is one of them. The same drummer friend that turned me and my fellow hoodlums onto Yes and King Crimson in the summer of 1970 when he joined our band also introduced us to Jethro Tull via "This Was." The staged, macabre photograph on the front still kinda freaks me out to this day because it looks so weird and for the fact that it doesn't have anything to do with music at all. Looks like four gnome-ish, backwoods ne'er-do-wells slyly gloating with their canines over the spoils resulting from bagging their pelt limit to me. But despite the strange visuals dear old Tommy Cline insisted that this was a definite "You gotta hear this" record and, after he played a few selected cuts for us, we had to agree. It was most decidedly a different sound and, in those days, that's all the qualifier we needed to fully embrace it. Not only did I and my cohorts instinctively gravitate towards the group's eclectic attitude, we even worked up a few of their tunes to see if we could play them at our gigs and get away with it. They confused and frustrated the prom crowd no end but the partiers at the frat throw-downs didn't give a flip as long as it was loud so we sorta broke even when it came to covering early Jethro Tull material. We were happy and that's all that counted.

The album opens with front man Ian Anderson's "My Sunday Feeling," a strong dose of progressive blues/rock that caught us unawares because we didn't know that anyone was even dabbling in that territory. Ian's breathy flute literally blew in like a gust of fresh ocean air and instantly set the band apart from the herd. Anderson's voice was quite distinctive and their short excursion into the outskirts of jazz toward the end of the song was nothing less than tantalizing. Ian's "Someday the Sun Won't Shine" is next. It consists of just Mick Abraham's guitar and Anderson's harmonica subtly accompanying Ian's vocal but we could still tell that these guys were intent on presenting a novel slant on standard folk fare. One of the tunes our combo rushed to work up as soon as humanly possible was "Beggar's Farm." Co-written by Ian and Mick, this intriguing number confirmed that Jethro Tull wasn't destined to be your run-of-the-mill group but one that marched to the beat of a rebel, off-the-reservation beat-keeper. This song's delightful mix of jazz, blues and rock was a revelation to us that we wanted to share with the world whether they were ready for it or not. (Most weren't) Abraham wrote and sung "Move on Alone." It owns a swinging jazz groove punctuated by an unadorned horn section and is a precursor to the direction he'd take with Blodwyn Pig, the outfit he formed after leaving Jethro Tull. It's a short number but highly entertaining.

The story goes that, realizing he'd never be as influential on guitar as Eric Clapton (duh), Anderson gave up on mastering the electric guitar and picked up the flute a mere six months before recording this LP. If that's the case then he was born to play it because he performs Rahssan Roland Kirk's classic "Serenade to a Cuckoo" like a seasoned pro. This is a splendid rendition of a fine jazz instrumental and it demonstrated to the citizens of planet Earth that the incorporation of the flute into a rock & roll setting was no fluke nor was it a slick gimmick. An honorable mention is due to Mick for his guitar solo that incorporates an unmistakable Wes Montgomery vibe. Ian and drummer Clive Bunker teamed up to compose "Dharma for One," an aggressive jazz/rock fusion instrumental wherein Clive shines brightly throughout his tasteful solo. Anderson's "It's Breaking Me Up" follows, a number possessing a rather typical blues pattern and structure. His harmonica playing is spirited yet it's nothing I haven't heard before. The nadir of the album is their version of "Cat's Squirrel." I'm not sure why they felt compelled to include this since Cream had already been there and done that in arresting fashion but perhaps Abraham selfishly demanded his moment in the spotlight come hell or high water. A little guitar noodling goes a very long way with me so this track grows tiresome in a hurry. Ian's "A Song for Jeffrey" is a return to a more inventive melding of jazz and blues with his flute and harp along with Mick's slide guitar emphasizing the band's cool eccentricity. The false ending is a nice touch, too. "Round" ends things with a jazzy waltz moment of bliss but, at only 48 seconds in duration, blink and you'll miss it.

Released in America in February of 1969, this record (spread mostly by word-of-mouth) was one of a host of pivotal records that heralded the start of a new decade of unbelievable creativity and helped to pour the foundation for what would become the heyday of prog rock. Abraham jumped ship soon after and was replaced with the more adventurous Martin Barre who assisted greatly in making the group's sophomore effort, "Stand Up," a true masterpiece. Yet Mick's bluesy presence on "This Was" distinguishes it from everything else in the Jethro Tull catalog and gives it an odd hue that I find somewhat quaint and curious. Especially in retrospect. 3.2 stars.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Send comments to Chicapah (BETA) | Report this review (#671274) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Review by Neu!mann
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Whatever else it may or may not be, their 1968 debut will always provide a welcome reminder that at one time Jethro Tull was an actual band, and not just a convenient vehicle for the musical advancement of Ian Anderson. Subsequent changes in style and personnel have left the album sadly orphaned in the greater Tull discography, except to those few blues-rock purists who dismiss later efforts as mercenary sell-outs (Syd Barrett partisans hold a similar grudge against every Pink Floyd album after 'The Piper at the Gates of Dawn').

But I've always enjoyed the first Jethro Tull album precisely because of its relative simplicity, at least when stacked against ambitious classics like 'A Passion Play' or 'Thick as a Brick'. What it offers is a rare glimpse of an alternative Tull, from an innocent age when few people even knew what a concept album could be. Even (or maybe especially) with forty years of hindsight, it's still refreshing to hear Ian Anderson navigating the more or less straightforward blues of 'It's Breaking Me Up', 'Beggar's Farm', and 'Someday the Sun Won't Shine For You', leaning on his mouth organ more than his trademark flute.

Unlike original guitarist Mick Abrahams, Ian Anderson wasn't, in retrospect, a dedicated bluesman...in much the same way that he wasn't a genuine folk-rocker or heavy metal head in later incarnations. The Blues was just one more stylistic seed taking root in his always fertile imagination, or another piece of what would soon become a very eclectic musical puzzle.

As a slice of late '60s cultural nostalgia, and a textbook example of British Blues-Rock, the album merits four-plus stars, easily. But from a Prog Rock perspective it's strictly a three-star novelty at best, with only a few recognizable signposts pointing toward the later, superstar Tull. The groovy 'Serenade to a Cuckoo' is one, anticipating the upcoming classic cover of 'Bour'e', and the furious 'Cat's Squirrel' is another, proving that an old blues hound like Mick Abrahams could shred his guitar as effectively as any rock star.

But because the album pre-dates anything we now recognize as true Progressive Rock, four stars it is...with enthusiasm.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Send comments to Neu!mann (BETA) | Report this review (#807739) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, August 20, 2012

Review by Guillermo
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars This first album by Jethro Tull really shows the differences in musical direction that Ian Anderson and Mick Abrahams had for the band and which by the time the recording of the album was finished led Abrahams to leave the band. Anderson wanted a musical style more influenced by Folk, Jazz and Rock, while Abrahams wanted a musical style more influenced by Blues. So, both musical directions are shown in this first album. But despite this, the very original musical style of Jethro Tull (more inlfuenced by Anderson than by Abrahams) is very present in this album. So, maybe the best songs in this album are the songs which were composed by Anderson. "Dharma for One" was composed by Anderson and drummer Clive Bunker, and in this song there are some influences from Jazz, including a very good drums solo by Bunker. In contrast, "Move On Alone" (sung by Abrahams) and "Cat`s Squirrel" show Abrahams` Blues influences. Even with all these Blues influences (with even Anderson playing some Harmonica) this album was a very good debut album by this band. Anderson`s flute playing (and his humour while playing it and singing in some parts) in a Rock band really defined the musical style for the band better than the Blues influences. The recording and mixing are not very good for my taste. It seems that the album was recorded using a low budget, so maybe that is the reason this album doesn`t sound verry well for my taste. With a new guitarist for their next albums (Martin Barre) who was more compatible with Anderson`s musical vision, the band was going to record better albums than this first album.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Send comments to Guillermo (BETA) | Report this review (#1086475) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, December 06, 2013

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
3 stars Jethro Tull crawled into prog legend status gradually and it happened way after their 1968 debut. The Tull sound on the first release is indeed miles away from "Thick as a Brick" and far removed from "Benefit" for that matter. "This Was" is a blues driven beast with some hard driving guitar riffs thrown in the mix. The classy heavy riff on opener 'My Sunday Feeling' is typical of the late 60s progressive sound, all guitars locked into a riff and allowing some flute augmentation.

'Beggar's Farm' is a trippy hippy thing with glorious flute soloing and a cool guitar phrase driving it, played by Mick Abrahams. A definitive highlight found on many compilations, this song along shows what the band are capable of and where they will head in the future. Some tracks are pure blues such as 'Someday the sun won't shine for you', and odd jazz brass blues on 'Move On Along'. 'Serenade to a Cuckoo' is all 12 bar blues with beautiful flute warbling drifting across. Anderson shines as usual on flute even in these early recordings, and his vocal groanings are heard as he plays which became a trademark of his playing style over the years.

'Dharma For One' follows, a more well known song and heavier pumping along with grinding guitar and fast flute flutters. The vocals disappeared on this and the previous track but the musicianship is excellent so no matter. The drums feature on this one with killer solos crashing in by Clive Bunker. Abrahams guitar solo also features in this proverbial jam session.

'It's Breaking Me Up' is 4 on the floor slow Blues with harmonica, sounding like Canned Heat or Ten Years After and I don't mind that at all, though I didn't expect this sound from Tull. 'Cat's Squirrel' is a heavier song with great guitar soloing and improvised sections along a driving beat with a psychedelic vibe, not unlike early Led Zeppelin.

'A Song For Jeffrey' is the other good song that is better known in the Tull catalogue. It crashes through as a shining beacon with elements of Tull as we will know them on subsequent albums. The flute is blazing, along with harmonica, fiery slide guitar and estranged vocals. "This Was" is Tull in their earliest phase so tread gently. It may not be prog but it's got some cracking blues rock and is the beginning of their journey into greatness. This was where it began? though we "don't see, see, see where they are goin'!"

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Send comments to AtomicCrimsonRush (BETA) | Report this review (#1203097) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Review by siLLy puPPy
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars The debut album THIS WAS by one of progressive rocks most celebrated bands JETHRO TULL is a strange little album when you come to this after hearing all the music that came after. THIS WAS the last holdout for me in the JT canon. What we get here is a democratic JETHRO TULL where instruments vie for the limelight, various members contribute to the songwriting and musical styles change at the drop of a hat offering one of the most diverse sounding JT albums in their entire discography. After the band took the name of the famous agriculturist after their formation in 1967, they didn't waste any time putting together a bunch of material for their first album. This is the one album to feature Mick Abrahams as the guitarist and his love of the blues is stamped on each and every track which is, of course, the main reason he and Ian Anderson butted heads over musical direction.

The album starts out with "My Sunday Feeling" sounding almost like a regular JT song from the "Stand Up" or "Benefit" albums upon first listen but then not too far into it, it's clear that this sounds like Ian Anderson joined Peter Green's version of Fleetwood Mac as the flautist. It sounds rather strange but actually works. I do believe JT was the first band to incorporate flute into a rock sound as a full-time instrument. The album has other quirks too like the instrumental "Serenade To A Cuckoo" which has a swanky jazzy exotica feel to it. "Dharma For One" incorporates perhaps the only extended drum solo on any JT album and "Cat's Squirrel" is a heavy hard rock blues track that could possibly be adopted by Cream. Perhaps the most recognizable cut on THIS WAS is that of "A Song For Jeffrey" as it seems to be the song that sounds most like early 70s TULL. It has a beautiful melody that has both flute and harmonica, a nice bluesy slide guitar and Anderson's vocals reminding me of the sound effects he utilizes on "Aqualung."

All in all not a bad debut. I actually find myself liking this one. Although a little inconsistent in its sound and layout it has enough good quality material to make a good listen and the surreality effect is worth the price of admission alone. Although I prefer the democratic approach to songwriting and band efforts, it is clear that once in a while a strong personality like Anderson has more than enough talent to warrant the role of musical dictator and in the case of JETHRO TULL I think it all worked out for the better by his taking the helm and steering the band into the progressive seas that spawned all those classic gems that would come later. Abrahams would go on to continue his blues guitar playing in Blodwyn Pig and we all know that Martin Barre's entry would cement a new sound that would carry the band to great heights. THIS WAS and IS a recommended album.

I have the 40th anniversary remastered edition and it's chock full of all kinds of goodies including John Peel BBC Session recordings, unreleased tracks, different versions of tracks in mono and stereo and cool extensive packaging and liner notes as well. 3.5 rounded up

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Send comments to siLLy puPPy (BETA) | Report this review (#1234851) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, August 04, 2014

Latest members reviews

4 stars "...really surprised me the low ratings, seems that people don't understand that this JETHRO TULL is not the same Folksy one of "Thick as a Brick", but an excellent Blues band that deserves to be listened". Quoted from the reviewer Ivan Melgar M It can be said for other Tull releases n ... (read more)

Report this review (#987193) | Posted by VOTOMS | Thursday, June 27, 2013 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Have had to put on a 1968 hat in order to review this album. The album that I'm reviewing is the original one - not any of the remastered or expanded editions. It strikes me that this is essentially blues rock with a psychadelic twist as well as jazz / fusion here and there - for its time it i ... (read more)

Report this review (#941986) | Posted by sukmytoe | Wednesday, April 10, 2013 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I saw this version of the band (as far as I'm concerned, the only real version of the band) on stage several times, and they were great. Sure, the music wasn't as well developed and convoluted as later Anderson albums would soon be, but there was a warmth and full blooded excellence about it, and mo ... (read more)

Report this review (#445706) | Posted by giselle | Wednesday, May 11, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This Was ? 1968 (3.4/5) 11 ? Best Song: My Sunday Feeling/Song For Jeffrey Isn't it every man's right to work for the toil of his earth, the fruits of his inevitable labors? If so, then This Was is a fine example of what man has toiled for. Better I should say, what white man has toiled for ? ... (read more)

Report this review (#441641) | Posted by Alitare | Monday, May 02, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars First Jethro Tull album, and yet very distant of the sound that would become band´s mark. I think it happened not because they had a long road to walk and consolidate their music, it was already consolidated on their second work Stand Up, but because Ian Anderson was not in total control of t ... (read more)

Report this review (#436168) | Posted by Antonio Giacomin | Wednesday, April 20, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Wow... what a great debut album by JT! I've been a huge fan of JT since I saw them live at the Rosemont Horizon (Chicago area) on their Underwraps Tour and realized that they were the best live band I had ever seen. By that time I had most of their albums good ones and some bad ones as w ... (read more)

Report this review (#400604) | Posted by By--Tor | Monday, February 14, 2011 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Out of the ashes of the John Evans Smash, Ian Anderson and Glen Cornick join up with Mick Abrams and Clive Bunker to form the band that would become known as Jethro Tull. This Was is aptly titled for there is no other Tull album quite like it. The style is more akin to that of John Mayall's ... (read more)

Report this review (#372340) | Posted by Progosopher | Monday, January 03, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is the real Jethro Tull, never mind Stand Up and all that. There's a contradiction here too though, for the creations (Ian never wrote songs, he created structures) aren't fully formed, they're like children not yet walking, it all had some way to go to reach maturity. Yet in this album you ... (read more)

Report this review (#362247) | Posted by JeanFrame | Thursday, December 23, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Review #3 Jethro Tull's 1968 album This Was Being an enormous Tull fan for the past 38 years I thought I had better review Thick As A Brick first as this was my first encounter with Tull and then review the rest of the Tull catalogue in the ensuing weeks, months......years! This Was has a fe ... (read more)

Report this review (#349671) | Posted by BarryGlibb | Saturday, December 11, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This Was is an old classic and it's very enjoyable. This great band's first line up from 1968 were already playing an interesting fusion of blues, rock and jazz. They were yet to develop what I consider the best of the typical early JT sound which would come by the next album. However, what they cam ... (read more)

Report this review (#329417) | Posted by Frankie Flowers | Monday, November 22, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This is the original Tull sound- blues rock with a flute. It's not bad, but it is not prog really in any way. However, this is a good blues-rock album and a product of it's time (a year after the summer of love). It seems very dated to me now, and I rarely pull it out to listen to it, but it IS ... (read more)

Report this review (#295147) | Posted by mohaveman | Wednesday, August 18, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Jethro Tull's first album, This Was, gives us a band on the verge of breaking down barriers within the rock community. While this album is much more bluesy than its follow up Stand Up, This Was nonetheless contains a wonderful blend of Jethro Tull's unique style and flair. Within the first track ... (read more)

Report this review (#293030) | Posted by mr.cub | Sunday, August 01, 2010 | Review Permanlink

2 stars We all start somewhere. In Jethro Tull's case, they started as a blues band. But they did it their own way. Ian Anderson's rather special vocals always induce some folk rock into the mix. His flute too makes this album a mix of blues and folk rock. I am not sure if this was the intention or it ... (read more)

Report this review (#245492) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Wednesday, October 21, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars My musical home base was 1982 so it took me awhile as I was exploring the pop and rock of my time to trace back through recent musical history and find the first efforts of those bands that I have come to appreciate. Here is my take on Jethro Tull's first album "This Was": My Sunday Feeli ... (read more)

Report this review (#239951) | Posted by sealchan | Friday, September 18, 2009 | Review Permanlink

2 stars This is a very weak,non-progressive album(if you have a very good will you may even think of this as proto-prog...).It's a mixture of folk and blues,completely lost at most parts.It actually leaves me stubbed that a year later this exact formula worked out just fine with the band in Stand Up. I ... (read more)

Report this review (#202212) | Posted by Gustavo Froes | Monday, February 09, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars A Song for JT Ok we got flutes on a rock (almost) album for one of the first time, we got nice music and a drums solo, a jazz album covered by a progrock cloud... in 68 even if we can find some nice works I don't thing there is a good choice in prog music (not compared to today), so I'll rate t ... (read more)

Report this review (#187313) | Posted by Erik Nymas | Wednesday, October 29, 2008 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This is my very first review, and as I don't really like trashing stuff that's probably taken a lot of time and effort, I'll concentrate on my favourites, starting off with my favourite artist: Jethro Tull. In 1972, I bought Thick as a Brick and because of the enormous impact it had on me, I ju ... (read more)

Report this review (#168585) | Posted by npjnpj | Thursday, April 24, 2008 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This Was, Jethro Tull's first studio release, chronicles the story of the early Jethro Tull before it finds its progressive rock voice and while it was essentially a blues rock band. Though it is a first album release, and the band was still in its infancy, it serves to highlight the creative po ... (read more)

Report this review (#152437) | Posted by LARKSTONGUE | Friday, November 23, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is a truly great album,if your a Tull fan dont look here to expect aqualung or thick as a brick this is the first album,where it started.Many fans may look at this as an average album for Tull,which maybe true but this album isnt trying to be progressive,its a bluess/rock record and can com ... (read more)

Report this review (#134880) | Posted by mrcozdude | Sunday, August 26, 2007 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I have been a Tull fan for long years, in fact they were the band that introduced me to rock music at the age of 10! So it is strange that I never listened to this one much at all, save for some tunes that were available on best ofs (Song for Jeffrey and the live version of Dharma for One). Althou ... (read more)

Report this review (#128543) | Posted by Salviaal | Sunday, July 15, 2007 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of JETHRO TULL "This Was"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — the ultimate jazz music virtual community | MetalMusicArchives.com — the ultimate metal music virtual community


Server processing time: 1.63 seconds