Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography


Jethro Tull

Prog Folk

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Jethro Tull Living In The Past  album cover
4.12 | 351 ratings | 40 reviews | 38% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

Write a review

from partners
Boxset/Compilation, released in 1972

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Song For Jeffrey (3:24)
2. Love Story (3:07)
3. Christmas Song (3:09)
4. Living In The Past (3:23)
5. Driving Song (2:44)
6. Bourée (3:47)
7. Sweet Dream (4:06)
8. Singing All Day (3:07)
9. Teacher (3:59)
10. Witch's Promise (3:49)
11. Alive And Well And Living In (2:48)
12. Just Trying To Be (1:36)
13. By Kind Permission Of (live) (10:10)
14. Dharma For One (live) (9:58)
15. Wond'ring Again (4:16)
16. Hymn 43 (3:19)
17. Life Is A Long Song (3:22)
18. Up The 'Pool (3:15)
19. Dr. Bogenbroom (3:01)
20. For Later (2:08)
21. Nursie (1:36)

Total Time: 79:54

Line-up / Musicians

- Ian Anderson / flute, balalaika, mandolin, Hammond organ, acoustic guitar, vocals
- Mick Abrahams / electric guitar (plays on tracks 1 - 3)
- Martin Barre / electric guitar (plays on tracks 4 - 21)
- Clive Bunker / drums, glockenspiel, percussion (plays on tracks 1 - 11 and 13 - 16)
- Glenn Cornick / bass, Hammond organ (plays on tracks 1 - 11 and 13 - 15)
- John Evans / celeste, piano (plays on tracks 9 - 21)
- Jeffrey Hammond-Hammond / bass, backing vocals (plays on tracks 16 - 21)
- Barriemore Barlow / drums (plays on tracks 17 - 21)
- David Palmer / orchestral arrangement and conducting (plays on track 7)

Releases information

2 x LP: Chrysalis CJT 2 (UK),2CH1035(US/Canada), Ariola 301 272-415 (Germany),Sonet SLPX 3012 D (Sweden), Chrysalis 6499 520-521 (Germany), Island Records 85 751 XT (Germany), Chrysalis 64 3210354 (Italy),

CD: Chrysalis CDP 32 1575 2 (Europe, 19 songs,1990), Chrysalis F2 21035 (US, 20 songs, 1994), Toshiba EMI Ltd TOCP-67369?70 (Japan, 21 songs, 2 x CD, 2004)

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

Buy JETHRO TULL Living In The Past Music

JETHRO TULL Living In The Past ratings distribution

(351 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(38%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(50%)
Good, but non-essential (10%)
Collectors/fans only (1%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

JETHRO TULL Living In The Past reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Peter
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars An earlier reviewer notes that this album is a "collection of previously released music.... Kind of like Tulls (sic) Physical Graffiti." (For the record, that excellent Led Zeppelin album was original, new material.) While this album is a compilation of sorts, it was cobbled together mostly from British-only singles, so most of the material (apart from the terrific "A Song for Jeffrey," "Inside," and "Hymn 43") won't be on any of your other Tull discs (not counting M.U. and Repeat). There is also a longer, re-worked and re-worded version of Aqualung's lovely "Wond'ring Aloud," (here called "Wond'ring Again") that I actually prefer to the original.

That being said, this is one of my favourite classic Tull albums. The disc has 19 tracks, and while I can't claim to love them all (the two live songs, "By Kind Permission of" and "Dharma for One" don't do much for me), I find the rest of them to be essential listening for this long-time fan, and thus give this release a four-star rating. My particular favourites include "Love Story," "Christmas Song," the indispensable title track, "Driving Song," "Witches Promise," "Life is a Long Song" and "Nursie." There, that's at least eight really good Jethro Tull songs that I wouldn't otherwise have!

A must-have for fans of the older Jethro Tull (the band, that is, not the 19th Century agriculturalist!)

Review by Sean Trane
5 stars How a band could make a single and still not sell-out. Although this is a compilation (of all the singles they put out in the early years , and believe they knew how to make a good sounding single) , this is an absolute must-have for all fans. The title track is a quirky 5/4 tune, Christmas Song is probably the best song on that album, etc..... The first disc is clearly the better one with Tull pumping/churning out superb hits with all the exciting enthusiasm the crazy mad flauter/Tramp could inject in his songs!

Side 3 is of some interest as it is live (there were no live Tull albums available until the much later Bursting Out, but this is with a totally different line-up) but too bad one of those two tracks is an excuse for a drum solo and the other for a lengthy piano solo.

The luxurious looking package was as delightful as ThickAAB was. There is also one track from each studio album up to Aqualung. I must say the stuff on side 4 is less captivating (the songwriting is maybe not as vibrant) but still very worthy.

Review by daveconn
4 stars A collection of nonalbum B sides, A sides that differed from their elpee counterparts, live tracks and unreleased gems. Not odds and sods by any means, "Living In The Past" returned to what some felt were the band's glory days, before Ian started to lay things on a little Thick. Me, I could have lived without the live "By Kind Permission Of", but the remaining songs make this a more rewarding purchase than TULL's first three records (which were themselves no slouches). The only knock on this compilation is that the sense of discovery, which each new TULL album seemed to promise, is here replaced by a sense of rediscovery. With "Aqualung" and Thick As A Brick, Ian and the band had vaunted past the technical accomplishments present here, and a certain measure of recycling ("Wond'ring Again", "Up The 'Pool") tempers the wonder these songs might have originally inspired. I won't give you a song-by-song breakdown (where would the fun be in that?), but I will pull out a few diamonds for inspection. There are, first, the classics you might have missed: "Living In The Past", "Life Is A Long Song", "Witches Promise" and "Sweet Dream". Easier to obtain but always welcome are "Teacher" (one of two tracks deleted from the single CD reissue), "Hymn 43" and "Inside" (which didn't appear on the original Reprise double elpee, go figure). Next are what for many will be new discoveries: that sober antidote to the Christmas spirit, "Christmas Song", "Love Story" (the last single with Mick ABRAHAMS), and a radical live treatment of "Dharma For One" that now included lyrics. The remaining tracks are often pleasant acoustic throwaways, not unlike the little bits that Ian slipped into "Aqualung".

Although it fills in most of the gaps between "This Was" and "Aqualung", "Living In The Past" is rightfully a repast on its own. If you haven't heard it, I envy you the discoveries that lie ahead in this tome of wonder. (And speaking of discoveries, it seems that some people took Ian's joke about smoking fingernail clippings to heart. Trust me, you do not want to try this at home unless you've got an air freshener handy.)

Review by Fitzcarraldo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Until a couple of months ago I had not listened to this album since 1972. Although I had good memories of the music on this double-LP, which was released a few months after "Thick As A Brick", I had forgotten just how good an album it is. Although technically a compilation of non-album singles and other recordings from 1968 to 1971, there are only four tracks from previous studio albums so it was effectively a new release.

I happened to see the CD going for a pittance in a sale and bought it. Unfortunately it's a single CD and the track list is slightly different to the double-LP release: the four tracks 'Bourée', 'Teacher', 'Alive And Well And Living In' and 'Hymn 43' are missing, and the two tracks 'Inside' and 'Locomotive Breath' have been added. That still leaves over 74 minutes of great music on the CD, though. And the two latter tracks are crackers.

It's much more accessible than "Thick As A Brick" but, hey, each song is damn good. 'By Kind Permission Of' and 'Dharma For One' are live tracks from a 1970 concert at Carnegie Hall. As the name of the first of these might suggest, it's primarily a medley of classical pieces and jazz played by Evans on the piano (see if you can pick out the Debussy, Beethoven and Chopin), with flute accompaniment from Anderson. I suppose some might consider the track as filler (barroom piano), but I like this 10-minute track nevertheless.

I started writing this review thinking that I would rate this as a 4-star album (Excellent addition to any progressive music collection) but the music sounds so good to me that I just can't bring myself to give it anything less than 5 stars. When one has a TULL album with twenty-one excellent tracks (nineteen in the case of the CD) then how on Earth can I give it anything else? Glad I rediscovered this classic after all these years.

Review by Andrea Cortese
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars " can you laugh when your own mother is hungry and how can you smile when your reasons for smiling are wrong?..."

After the huge success of the 'Aqualung' and the 'Thick As A Brick' albums the world demanded for other Jethro Tull-material. Chrysalis decided it was time for an EXTRA release: a compilation double album containing songs from the previous years, packed in a beautiful cover with photographs and details on the included songs. Named 'Living In The Past' after their 1969 successful single, new fans now got access to older material, while the long time fans finally found the singles they bought assembled on one album.

The following songs all were released as a single, some of them becoming hits in Europe and the US:

- "A Song For Jeffrey"; - "Love Story". Findable now in the This Was 2001 remastered edition as a bonus track; - "Living In The Past". This one is on the 2001 remastered edition of Stand Up; - "Sweet Dream". Stand Up remastered. - "Witches Promise". Benefit 2001 remastered edition; - "Teacher". Benefit remaster; - "Driving Song". Stand Up remaster; - "A Christmas Song" (first original work after the departure of Mick Abrahams). This piece is important for a number of reasons: first, it clearly establishes his view on alcohol, Anderson remaining a strong spokesman against drugs and alcohol for the duration of his career. He explained many times that he avoids intoxication because he feels it interferes with his creative process. Now you can find it, as a bonus track, on the This Was 2001 remastered edition; - "Singing All Day". Benefit remaster; - "Inside"; - "Just Trying To Be". Benefit Remaster; - "Alive And Well And Living In"; - "Hymn 43"; - "Bourée".

The album also contains five songs that were released in the EP format in 1971 (which featured the firs contribution from the great Barriemore Barlow):

- "Life Is A Long Song" - "Up The 'Pool" - "Dr. Bogenbroom" - "For Later" - "Nursie". Like the Aqualung's song "Cheap Day Return", Ian drew the inspiration for this personal song from a visit to his father in a hospital in Blackpool. Both songs were written in the train back to London.

There's also a new tune:

- "Wond'ring Again", revisited version of "Wond'ring Aloud", from Aqualung (longer edited version with different lyrics).

The album offers the first live recording of Jethro Tull to appear on record, two tracks from their benefit-gig in Carnegie Hall, New York, November 1970:

- "By Kind Permission Of", inspired by a well known piece of classical music: the piano part in Sonate nr. 8 in C-flat (C mol), Opus 13 by Ludwig von Beethoven (1770-1827). Sonate nr. 8 is better known as 'Pathétique'. Another part is inspired by Rachmaninov (so the information sources) and taken from Prelude in G Sharp Minor, Opus 3 nr. 2. The piece became known as "By Kind permission Of" because significant sections were borrowed from classical composers, all of whom were deceased and not in a position to give Evans permission to perform them. Apart from Beethoven and Rachmaninov, parts were included from Claude Debussy's "Golliwog's Cakewalk". - "Dharma For One". An instrumental with a vaguely "Eastern" feel, which features a Clive Bunker's stunning drum solo. The title is something taken from that hippy / eastern philosophy which was a fad at the time. Originally on the This Was 1968 album, the song was an instrumental one. Two years later Anderson wrote some lyrics for the live shows.

Evaluation: abstractly 5 stars:


1) Until 1978 these two tracks will be the only live performances released. Now there's the 2005 live album Nothing Is Easy: 1970 Isle Of Wight Festival (also on DVD). 2) Living In The Past is the faster place to find the Life Is A Long Song-Maxi Single (EP). 3) Only here you can listen to Wond'ring Again.


1) big part of the song now are findable on the respective year released album. 2) CD version doesn't include all the 2-LP material: Teacher, Bourée, Alive And Well And Living In and Hymn 43 couldn't fit in it, for CD's known time limits. You have to buy Benefit remastered edition!

.and so.(I) aloudly proclaim: 4 stars!! (3.5-4, really!).

Review by Atkingani
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars This double output was released in Brazil, in 1974, after the releasing of two great JT's epics ("Thick As A Brick" and "A Passion Play") and this chronology, different from other countries, resulted very interesting, maybe adequate - a relaxing bonanza time following the stormy and grandiose previous movements. Also "Living In The Past" listed a bunch of songs that weren't previously known by tupinikin* fans and so the Tull's aficionados treated this album as a recollection rather than a mere compilation. Good, but being double it doubled the price too and for teenager students the only way to get it was to make a consortium where every moment had to be enjoyed heavenly.

Being an album that contains works from different periods it's nice to observe that all principal band members form the line-up, all captained by the omnipresent Ian Anderson and all showing great skilful in a way that the listener is always feeling like gifted. "Living In The Past" could be more enjoyable if some weak tracks were replaced by others much more meaningful, although it's clear that this release was produced with the intention of not being a 'greatest hits' stuff. We didn't know at the time but this double album included mainly single releases (certainly in the UK).

'Song for Jeffrey', the opening track, is a typical JT's folky tune, proto-prog par excellence and also a great opener; flute playing is a registered mark. 'Love story' and 'Christmas song' do a good preparation for the title-track, a very catchy and pleasant one that got the dubious distinction of being a fairly radio broadcasted song, a real top-chart hit. 'Bouree', an adaptation of a Bach's theme is one of the highlights of the album - the jazzy mood is awesome and funny. 'Sweet dream' bears that mesmerizing Tull rhythm, splendid, probably the best song of this recollection.

Also great moments are: 'Teacher', a soft blues-rock, very agreeable; 'Alive and well and living in', with a great piano intro followed by a rarely heard smooth Anderson's voice; middle section of the song shows some interesting post-bossa-nova touches; 'Wond'ring again', a kind of ballad in accordance with JT's lexicon, also catchy and tasteful; 'Hymn 43', another highlight of the album; there's a perceptible pride in the way they play - yes, they're really proud of being progressive; 'Life's a long song', closes greatly the set of great tracks with a good smell of Donovan's stuff. Other songs are hearable but not necessarily unforgettable.

That's it: a great work, not a masterpiece but essential for any music collection. Total: 4.

*tupinikin, a nickname for Brazilian - pronounce toopeeneekeen.

Review by Tom Ozric
4 stars Tull's 'Living In The Past' is a semi-compilation album featuring a host of non-album tracks and singles, one track off each of the first 4 studio albums, and one side of Live material. It serves as a wonderful introduction to a really great band, and the selection of songs all display the versatility of the musicians involved. This covers their early years with their, somewhat 'simpler' approach to bluesy/folky rock music, although the Live tracks hint at what was to come....

.........'By Kind Permission Of' is composed by Keyboardist John Evan, and is mainly a fine performance on piano along with Anderson's virtuosic flute playing, demonstrating Evan's ability at tackling classical runs, with the rest of the band coming in at the end for a really exciting bash, albeit very brief. 'Dharma For One', originally a superb instrumental track of their debut 'This Was', is now twice as long, features vocals from Anderson and heavy- handed Hammond Organ playing from Evan, plus Clive Bunker's Drum solo, showing off 'double kick' with two bass drums, something that Cream's Ginger Baker revolutionised a couple of years earlier and wasn't heard too often at the time. The track 'Living In The Past' is a playful, jazzy tune in 5/4, showing Anderson's penchant for being clever AND catchy. The original double LP comes in a hard-cover Gatefold with a leather-like finish, and features a 20 page booklet full of colourful and amusing photo's of the band throughout their first few years of existence. An excellent addition for any music lover.

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars This compilation might have been interesting at the time of release. It provided an opportunity to discover some single tracks not available on albums as well as live tracks from the Tull (which will be very scarce till much, much later). I have purchased the CD version for this in ... 2004. That year, I almost purchased their entire remastered CD catalogue which makes this compilation far less interesting since several tracks were available as bonus tracks. Today, live rendition for "Dharma for One" is available (on the "Live At The Ilse Of Wight"). The original was a bit over four minutes, but the Tull will quite expand this song in their live sets (regularly over ten minutes).

The other live track is "By Kind Permission Of" : the most interesting part of this long tune (over 10 minutes) are IMO the funny words from Ian to introduce it and the intro which sounds like the start of "Locomotive" (this should tell you enough...). The rest of the song is a loooong piano impro (quite jazzy at times, classical at others). During very (too) brief moments, nice flute playing as well.

Both live tracks were recorded at the Carnegie Hall (NYC) in 1970 (I never could find the exact date though). Only the last five songs are more difficult to find elsewhere and were new to me. "Life Is A Long Song", "Up The Pool" and specially "Dr. Bogenbroom" are really worthy. I am not too positive about "For Later" which is a short jam intrumental nor about "Nursie".

My advice is the following : if, like me, you have the remastered versions of their first four albums, it is not really worth to buy this one. On the contrary, if you don't, this is a good introduction to their early work.

Pay attention though :

1. The remastered CD version contains only 19 tracks : Bourée, Teacher, Hymn '43 and Alive & Well & Living are missing while Inside and Locomotive Break are included and were not on the original double album.

2. There are not enough jewels on this compilation.

Interseting for die-hard fans (like me). Still, three stars.

Review by The Whistler
4 stars (Think of it as a 4.5; I know you want to!)

Let me start out by saying something that is a cornerstone, if not the whole damn stone, of my musicological philosophy. Compilations...suck. They are, in fact, for suck- ers, or people too lazy to actually research a band, and would rather stay with the safe radio hits (the same goes for people who just buy a band's "quintessential" album outright, but that's another review). Compilations rob the listener of the perhaps harder, but ultimately more rewarding experience of listening to REAL albums. No one ever actually needs to own any compilations whatsoever.

Now that that's out of the way, Living in the Past is a really, really, really good album. In fact, it's damn near essential. And not only is it a compilation, it's the king of all compilations. It contains everything a good compilation (since there are such things, despite my totalitarian attitude) should have: cuts off of concurrent albums, singles, A sides, B sides, outtakes and live numbers.

There are about twenty numbers, so it might be a bit difficult to go into all of them (oh, but don't let that stop me!). Suffice to say that Living has the most variety of almost any record in the Tull cannon (save for Thick, Stand Up and Horses perhaps); in fact, more variety than some bands are capable of producing in a lifetime (crappy bands of course, but crappy bands are people too!).

We start out with "Song For Jeffrey," one of my favorite songs off This Was. But it's all about the singles, man, the singles. "Love Story" is an innocent little blues rocker, the last number from the Abrahams days. "A Christmas Song" has its immortal final line, but the song itself is brilliant, sort of like a folksy version of some later bombastic symphonic progsters (Renaissance with a mandolin instead of a piano?).

"Living in the Past" is, for lack of a better candidate (in a good way, not a bad way), the best song of the album. It's a title track, right? Can't be that bad. It's got an infectious bassline, haunting flute, and cool lyrics.

Anyone who wants to really compare Tuller guitarists need only compare the relentless blues rocker "Driving Song" to its lighter predecessor "Love Story." Not that "Story" was a bad song, but Barre really leads the band with his fuzzy, aggressive riffage. "Sweet Dream" is an over the top orchestral rocker, with terrifying vocal delivery ala Ian; I love the descending coda.

"Singing All Day" is oftentimes miscalled by me "Swingin' All Day," since it out- grooves "Living," with its bloozy bass and mantra like, uh, singing. "Witch's Promise" is a gorgeous symphonic/folk song, the best early example of build that Ian hands us. "Inside" is the fast paced ballad off Benefit, so it's cool. "Just Trying to Be" is an almost lullaby like piece, much warmer than most the short, acoustic work Ian gives us.

So you're probably thinking to yourself, "Wow self. This Whistler chap really is a genius." Well, yes I am. But you might ALSO be thinking to yourself, "Wow self. This Living in the Past album appears to be immaculate. Can it do no wrong?" Well...of course it can. No album's one hundred percent perfect, and sadly, Living is about to do us wrong.

There are, as I alluded to earlier, two live tracks on the album, both recorded at Carnegie Hall. Wonder how Tull got in there...anyway, "By Kind Permission Of" is essentially an excuse for John Evan to show off. And he's good throughout, of course, and when the rest of the band joins in, it's great, they're a good live act. But it's just so LONG. "Dharma For One" wasn't that great of a number to begin with (This Was). The organ is a nice addition to the song, but I think I see why it was an instrumental to start with, and it's still just an excuse for Clive Bunker's boring drum solo...besides, I miss the claghorn.

The only real saving grace of the above live tracks is Ian's dialogue. Which is, for whatever reason, all over place (as in, confused, confusing, and seemingly pulled from two different shows). Still, the "This might contain contraband" speech at the start of "Permission" is classic. If only it were attached to better music...

The post Benefit stuff is a little colder. "Wond'ring Again" is a somewhat longer, more built up earlier version of Aqualung's "Wond'ring Aloud," with somewhat more political lyrics. Speaking of Aqualung, it's represented by "Locomotive Breath," which is an all time classic, of course.

"Life is a Long Song" is another build-over-time acoustic/symphonic piece, sort of like "Witch's Promise," only the flute overtones are traded for more orchestral heroics, so it loses the folksy edge. Still, the bridge towards the end of the song might be the nicest thing David Palmer ever composed.

"Up the 'Pool" is an enjoyable folksy, goofy pop rocker about Blackpool, Ian and the lads' ole stompin' ground. Nice choral section there. "Dr. Brogenbroom" is a forgotten classic, an organ opened psycho-rocker with sneering vocals, wah-wah guitar and manic, lyrical basslines from Jeffrey. "For Later" is a short instrumental of the loud and fast variety. Finally, the record closes with "Nurise," a beautiful, painful acoustic piece along the lines of "Cheap Day Return." No orchestra though.

So, Living in the Past is itself a beautiful, painful acoustic...and sometimes bloozy, sometimes folksy, sometimes rockin' album. The singles are all good, sometimes great. The album pieces are nothing you haven't heard before, but, oh darn, you just HAVE to listen to "Locomotive Breath" and "Song For Jeffrey" one more time, right? And, what the cheese, even the live stuff is...well, it's part of the album, damn it! You couldn't have Living in the Past without the crappy live tracks!

In the end, Living functions equally well as a compilation AND a "new material" album. It can also function as a kind of archive document, and I also consider it to be one of the best introductions to the band available. You know, aside from the fact that it's over an hour of music. Still, don't hesitate to pick it up! It's a compilation you can own absolutely guilt free.

(There is no remaster of Living in the Past, but there are some eighty different versions floating around, so what you hold in your hands might not be what I hold in mine. Other songs that may (or may not) find their way onto Living include: the "Bouree," the brilliant Bach-fusion off of Stand Up, "Teacher," a slow moving rocker with a nice chorus, "Alive and Well and Living In" a decent loud/soft rocker from Benefit, and "Hymn 43," a jumpin' piano rocker from Aqualung. All in all, whatever edition of Living in the Past you have will be good, even if it will still have those live tracks.)

Review by fuxi
3 stars Most of the tracks originally included in LIVING IN THE PAST are now freely available in the Jethro Tull Remasters series, either in their original album context or as bonus tracks. However, this does not apply to the two live performances you will find here, but their interest is limited: "Dharma for One" mainly consists of a forgettable drum solo, and "By Kind Permission Of" shows us John Evan's desperate attempt to entertain a rock audience with snippets of Beethoven and Rachmaninov - always a disconcerting idea.

As far as I can tell, though, the lovely "Life's a Long Song" has not been re-released, except as part of a number of compilations, and four other songs (roughly contemporary with AQUALUNG) have never even appeared in remastered form: "Wond'ring again" (a mischievous re-write of "Wond'ring Aloud"), "Nursie", "Dr. Bogenbroom" and "Up the Pool". It puzzles me that Ian Anderson didn't include these in the 25th anniversary edition of AQUALUNG. (Instead he offered us, among other things, a 14-minute interview!) I find them all totally delightful, and they certainly seem reason to recommend LIVING IN THE PAST to all Tull aficionados.

Review by febus
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / In Memoriam

This is not a recording easy to review for diffeernt reasons:

1) The CD track list is not the same than on the original 2 LPS album. The LPs feature 21 tracks to the 19 you may find of the CD. Also, the LIVING IN THE PAST CD is the only one from the JETHRO TULL catalogue that has not been remastered. I thought, it would have been re-issued as a 2 CD set copying the original album. It hasn't happened yet!

2)there are NUMEROUS different versions of the original 2 LPs album; For example ,the tracklist from the PA review is different than mine. I do have LOCOMOTIVE BREATH on my version and the one here doesn't!

3) This was not considered a new original album when it came out,it was not a best-of or compilation either. You will find - almost all singles side 1 and 2 released back then -depending the different versions of the LPs - mostly absolute gems like the wonderful CHRISTMAS SONG, LOVE STORY or WITCH'S PROMISE. Also present are the hits SWEET DREAM and the title track, the sublime LIVING IN THE PAST and more. None of those songs were featured before on the original albums. - 2 live tracks BY KIND OF PERMISSION OF and DHARMA ONE taking a full LP side showing some kind of self indulgence well in the spirit of the time with a over-long JOHN EVAN piano solo on the first track and a good extended CLIVE BUNKER drums solo on DHARMA. I just hope you like extended drums solo!!! - 5 songs only released on an EP like the beautiful acoustic LIFE IS A LONG SONG , UP THE POOL or the hidden gem DR BROGENBROOM. - Some LPS hits to cover every angle of the JT production like BOURREE , LOCOMOTIVE BREATH and SONG FOR JEFFREY. -You even have a reworked version of WOND'RING ALOUD from AQUALUNG which become WOND'RING ALOUD on this album!

So i guess you find everything on LIVING IN THE PAST to please any TULL fan, especially early JETHRO TULL as the music covers the period 1968-1971 from TIME WAS to AQUALUNG. It gives you a perfect understanding of the multi-faceted sides of IAN ANDERSON and mates, and talent there is plenty of it galore!

Also it is worth adding that the original packaging of the 2 LPs set may have been one of the nicest ever made in the history of rock. It was more like a chic, very styled hard cover book than a simple LP cover, with its own gold lettering and a LP size very nice booklet inside: very classy indeed! People like to show off their coffee table books for decoration; LIVING IN THE PAST might be the first and only coffee table LPs i know.

With the releases of the new remastered JETHRO TULL , the importance of LIVING IN THE PAST is dwindling as most of tracks of this album, mostly the singles side A and B has been added to the original albums. Nevertheless, this is is great recording and wish it comes out one day in one of those japanese LPs reproduction CD!



Review by clarke2001
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Greatest compilation in a history of rock.

Because it's not a compilation. At least I don't see it as one. Twenty-one track , and 15 of them previously unreleased (if I am right). Excuse me that looks like a more-or-less regular album to me. If we throw away the previously released tracks (for the sake of experiment), we got approximately one hour of previously unheard material!

Alright, I understand that all these songs were "compiled" from different JETHRO TULL periods. But what matters is: all those songs are great!!!!! And none of them is "jumping out" of the concept, content-wise or sound quality-wise. Indeed, this is great record that captured the best of that essential "Tullnes" and it stands tall among the other Tull's records of their golden era. I won't go into any details, because these songs need to be experienced. "Gorgeous" is the first word that springs to mind, I'm sure everyone will have lots of enjoyable moments while listening to these semi-acoustic, introspective gems.

Get it now. It's essential.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This large compilation is made up of singles and songs that were left off the official albums of Jethro Tull's beginnings. Though it doesn't hold together as consistently as their official albums, it gives a nice run-through of the evolution in their first 4 years.

Though it is an entirely strong and enjoyable album, it shows a gradual slide from superb 1968 and 1969 singles towards more generic and less involved songwriting in the year 1971. For me it's another sign that their Aqualung period wasn't the peak of their beginnings but rather its nadir.

The best songs of this album feature on the 2001 re-issues of This Was, Stand Up and Benefit. This makes the 1971 songs the only remaining reason to purchase this album for. But as a collection of early Tull material this is still a sure 4 stars.

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars This was originally a collection of B-sides from singles, live tracks and a few previously released songs. The album came in a nice book style sleeve. And it was, and is a great album. It encompasses the history of Tull up to that point, and contains much for the casual and serious Tull fan.

First and formost is the now classic title track. Anderson has since declared that he never liked the arrangement, but still, it's a great song. Sweet Dream, Singing All Day and For Later all bring up fine memories of the early seventies for me. And the live tracks, mostly jams, demonstate the wildness of Tull at that time.

An easy 4 stars.

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars What a great time it was! This compilation contains B-sides, few live songs and few unreleased Jethro Tull compositions, recorded during 1969 and 1971.Besides of band's 5 strong albums, this collection is their six release with materials from three years period.

And now, listening to this collection of what was a second class material at the time of release, one can understand how great the music and atmosphere was at that time! In fact, music released on this compilation could be excellent raw material for some albums from late 70-s, 80-s or 90. And in early 70-s it was B-sides and outtakes!

I don't like compilations as many of music fans, but this one is different. If you have the collection of early (and the best IMO) Jethro Tull studio albums, you don't have bigger part of songs, presented on this compilation at all. And believe me ,these songs are such strong you need to have them if you like Jethro Tull music!

The only unpleasant moment of this release is there are around 20 short songs presented, but they are really short. I mean - average song's timing is less then 4 minutes, and the mix production is still "old fashioned ", with fast cutting the end of each song.

P.S. There are three slightly different CD re-releases versions with 19,20 songs on one CD and 21 songs (as on double original vinyl LP) on 2 CD (Japanese re-release).

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars To quote our very own Febus,this is a very odd Jethro Tull treasure! Made up of mostly non album releases this very quickley became a firm favourite amongst Jethro Tull fans. When you consider this was a 1972 boxset compilation, you realise that even in the early days the band had a raft of surplus material which showed just how prolific and creative they were.

There are many great songs on this compilation like " Drving Song", " Living In The Past" and the Aqualung take on " Wondring Again". Contrubutions and credits from all the great members of JT. A unique compilation as most tracks were previously unreleased, typical Ian Anderson humoristic style. But it is an excellent release and comes highly recommended. Four stars.

Review by Tarcisio Moura
4 stars When It was originally released Living In The Past was a great treat for JT fans. For the first time all their singles were compiled into a double album. it was very welcomed in places like Brazil, my homecountry, where JT singles were rarely available. Besides, most of the material were not included on their LPs and the addtion of two previous unreleased live tracks only made things even more atractive, to say the least! For some reason, however (maybe a teenager´s chronical lack of money in the 70´s) I didn´t hear that album until recently,. A good friend of ine gave me a bunch of Jethro Tull´s CDs that belonged originally to his brother some years before. I was more than happy to get them, even if those were not the new remasteres.

Living In The Past was among them, whch meant that this is the single CD version, that has four songs missing from the original collection: Boureé, Teacher, Alive And Well And Living In and Hymn 43. On the other hand tunes like Inside and Locomotive Breath that were not in the original package are included on the Cd, for reasons I do not know.

Is this colletion still worth? Well, since I don´t have the new remasters of the first albums (that now have much of these songs added as bonus tracks), it was a pleasure to have all those precious tunes in one single CD. The quality of the material is very high, proving that Ian Anderson was indeed one of the best songwriters to appear in the late 60´s. And Jethro Tull was also one hell of a great band, in its various incarnations. The live tracks are another story: incredibly they were the only official live recordings of a band famous for their stage perfomances. And even then they leave much to be desired: By Kind Permission Of is a solo piano piece done by John Evans, whcih is a meddley of several classical pieces put together, with the occasional flute intervention and the whole band appearing only in the final segment. Dharma For One is much better, with Ian Anderson writing lyrics for this original instrumental piece. But the perfomance is somewhat marred by a long drum solo. Still, until 1978´s Bursting Out, those were the only live samples the fans had from JT.

I still think that this CD is very well worth it´s price. If you don´t plan to buy every single remastered CD from their early days up to Aqualung, this is an excellent collection of JT´s singles up to that point. And they were many and very good. I was surprised by the high quality of the songs, even if the my CD edition has missing tracks, the booklet is poor, a joke compared to the original vinyl release, and the fact that those tunes were not yet remastered.

Conclusion: with all its faults, this record is still an excellent addition to any prog music collection. Hence, it deserves a 4 star rating.

Review by Warthur
5 stars An excellent grab-bag of early Jethro Tull tracks, including enough non-album tracks (including the entire Life is a Long Song EP!) and alternate versions of album tracks (like a blistering live Dharma For One, and the wonderful full version of Wond'ring Again, of which only extracts appeared on Aqualung under the title Wond'ring Aloud) to make it worth exploring even if you already own all the albums from This Was to Aqualung, which is the period the compilation covers.

In fact, you could argue that Living In the Past is key to getting the whole picture of this period of Tull, a time when - like many bands - they split their efforts between singles and albums. (Of course, the release of Thick as a Brick was a bold declaration that Tull would be an albums band from there on in, so similar compilations from later in their career would be less revealing.) I think it's also a lot more consistent than many of the band's early albums; compiled, as it was, after the band found their future direction on Aqualung, the discord and the indecision that slightly undermined the first few albums is brushed over, and a more coherent picture of the band's sound is put together. And the fact that the group grew so much over those few short years mean that it's a more diverse album than any they released in the same period.

In short, if you want to meet the real Jethro Tull, you need to be Living In the Past.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Legends in the past...

This collection of old and 15 unreleased tracks is not a bad example of the greatness of Jethro Tull featuring some of their greatest treasures. This was one of the First Tull's I obtained before moving onto the classics of the 70s so I was delighted with the overall package. If these are the outcasts, the actual albums must certainly be excellent.

It begins with a great pomp romp in Song For Jeffrey, and moves onto the very infectious Christmas Song. Living In The Past is quintessential of course and remains one of my favourite songs. The way Ian Anderson's flute just floats along on a whimsical chord structure is a phenomenal original touch. Another awesome song is Bourée and the wonderful Teacher.

Witch's Promise is a firm fan favourite and it was a surprise to hear a live version of By Kind Permission Of and Dharma For One that clocks about 10 minutes with lengthy flute solos and some scintillating guitar riffs from Martin Barre.

Wond'ring Again is a genuine delight as well as Hymn 43 and Life Is A Long Song, that sound weird outside the context of their classic album material, but are still as welcome. Overall this is certainly one way to be introduced to the master of theatrical whimsy. Indulge and enjoy!

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
2 stars A compilation celebrating Jethro Tull's pre-Prog past

When listening to this compilation, it is hard to believe that it was released in the same year as the mind-bogglingly brilliant Thick As A Brick. You can of course clearly hear that it is the same band, but at a decidedly earlier stage in their rapid musical evolution. 1971's Aqualung had already constituted a major leap forward for the band, and then with Thick As A Brick in the year after they took yet another gigantic leap from an already very high standard. In sharp contrast, this compilation draws heavily on material from the band's pre-Aqualung days and as such inevitably sounds dated. It seems to have been aimed primarily at those fans who were - already at that point in time - living in the past. "Living In The Past" is therefore a perfect title.

This is a nice little time capsule, capturing the band's early evolution from a straightforward Blues Rock band towards Prog, but it never sees them through to full bloom. The material gathered on Living In The Past fits right in with the bulk of This Was, Stand Up, and Benefit (none of which are favourites of mine), and as such constitutes a nice complement to those early Jethro Tull albums. There are even a rare few timeless Tull tunes to be found here (notably the title track, Life Is A Long Song, and Sweet Dream), but most if not all of these are available elsewhere on official live albums (often in improved versions) and none of these represent the progressive side of the band. With the exception of the two live tracks, all of the songs here are in the two to four minute range.

Much of the rest sound just like the leftovers they are. Some of these tracks (notably the two live tracks and the ones from the Aqualung period) can be of great interest to fans and collectors like myself, but for the average Prog fan the interest is probably quite limited. Jethro Tull has got a vast discography to discover, so there is little need to dig as deep as this unless you are a fan.

Living In The Past is a compilation the bulk of which covers a relatively weak period in Jethro Tull history. A new and much more interesting chapter in the band's long career had already begun at this point. It remains a fine historical document and a nice addition for fans and collectors, but its relevance for Prog is minor at best.

Review by VianaProghead
4 stars Review Nº 327

"Living In The Past" is a compilation of Jethro Tull and was released in 1972. It's a collection of Jethro Tull's songs that brings to us some new tracks, some previous released tracks and two live tracks, all combined on a double album.

Still, there are several versions of this compilation. From what I know there are five versions. So, we have the UK CD version with nineteen tracks, the US CD version with twenty tracks, the Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab version with twenty three tracks, and the UK vinyl version and the US vinyl version, both with twenty one tracks. Besides the different number of the tracks, all the compilations have some changes about the tracks which were chosen to be part of them.

My version is the UK CD version. The tracks on my version are: "Song For Jeffrey", "Love Story", "Christmas Song", "Living In The Past", "Driving Song", "Sweet Dream", "Singing All Day", "Witch's Promise", "Inside", "Just Trying To Be", "By Kind Permission Of" (Live at Carnegie Hall), "Dharma For One" (Live at Carnegie Hall), "Wond'ring Again", "Locomotive Breath", "Life Is A Long Song", "Up The 'Pool", "Dr. Bogenbroom", "For Later" and "Nursie". All tracks were written by Ian Anderson, except "Living In The Past" which was written by Ian Anderson and Terry Ellis, "By Kind Permission Of" writtern by John Evan and "Dharma For One" written by Ian Anderson and Clive Bunker.

So, it's the UK version that will be the subject of this review. About the tracks which were previously originally released on their first four studio albums we have: "A Song For Jeffrey" and "Dharma For One" from "This Was", "Inside" from "Benefit" and "Locomotive Breath" from "Aqualung". So, on my version there's no track representative of "Stand Up". "A Song For Jeffrey" is a great track and is one of the best representatives of the first musical period of Jethro Tull. "Dharma For One" is an instrumental track with a rock feeling and is one of the most known Jethro Tull's songs. "Inside" is an intimate and soft song with some intricate rhythms, very relaxing and pleasant to hear. "Locomotive Breath" is truly a Jethro Tull's legendary track, one of the favourites by their fans and it's one of my favourites too.

About the remaining tracks previously unreleased, "Love Story" is a nice catchy blues rock track with Baroque melodies and folkie tendencies and represents the last song that Mick Abrahams did with the band. "Christmas Song" is a very beautiful track, the first track recorded without Abrahams and already with Martin Barre on board. "Living In The Past" is one of the highlights of Jethro Tull's career and it was a bit revolutionary at the time, especially for a single, one of the best prog rock singles ever. "Driving Song" is a quiet bluesy rock a track with a good rhythm section and because of that it would actually probably have been more fitting on "This Was". "Sweet Dream" is a heavy and somewhat experimental tune, a dizzying blend of a hard rock track, a bit pompous on the brass part, but I like it quite a lot. "Singing All Day" is a great song with very good keys and bass, one of the grooviest numbers that Jethro Tull ever made, a classic from the early days. "Witches Promise" is a ghostly orchestral folk number with a fantastic build and creepy flute that comes from everywhere and that could have easily fit on "Benefit". "Just Trying To Be" is a short, sweet and charming folk number with some little acoustic lullaby effects, one of the most beautiful short songs I've heard. "By Kind Permission Of" is a beautiful lengthy piano improvisation by John Evan of Johann Sebastian Bach, and it seems that the track is actually cobbled together from several different excerpts. "Wond'ring Again" is a nice folksy tune somewhat a longer reprise and more built up of the earlier version "Wond'ring Aloud" of "Aqualung", with somewhat more political lyrics. "Life Is A Long Song" is a beautiful acoustic symphonic track and represents one of the nicest things Ian Anderson ever composed. "Up The 'Pool" is an enjoyable folksy and goofy pop rocker with a nice choral section, about Blackpool, the place where Ian's lived. "Dr. Bogenbroom" is a forgotten classic track with some nice vocals, an organ psycho rocker, nice guitar work and great bass line. "For Later" is a short instrumental track with some nice and interesting moments. "Nursie" is a beautiful and painful acoustic piece, a mixture of folk and blues which became to be very typical of Jethro Tull's music style. This is a nice track to close this magnificent compilation.

Conclusion: Probably, like me, many of us have only the original studio versions of the first four Jethro Tull's studio albums, missing so the most of these songs. By the other hand this compilation has also two fantastic live songs, with a very good sound quality which is really remarkable in those times. Finally, it has also some songs unable to be found in any studio album of the group. So, "Living In The Past" is a seminal compilation and a must have for all Jethro Tull's fans, because is a fantastic completion to their first four studio albums, which belong to their first period. "Living In The Past" is the only compilation of the band that is a must own album and is also probably the only Jethro Tull's compilation that we can consider essential in the band's discography. So, I really recommend it to all prog rock fans.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Latest members reviews

4 stars In mid-1972, Jethro Tull released their quasi-compilation album, Living in the Past. This double album consists of a mix of non-album singles, live recordings, and album cuts. Most of the songs here were later released as bonus tracks on the CD remasters of Tull's first three albums. When consumed a ... (read more)

Report this review (#2903217) | Posted by TheEliteExtremophile | Friday, March 31, 2023 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Although essentially a compilation album featuring non-album singles and B-sides, EPs, and previously unreleased tracks from their earlier days, along with a few selected album and live tracks, released to capitalize on the newfound success of the band (post-Aqualung and TAAB), this album still dese ... (read more)

Report this review (#2873000) | Posted by BBKron | Wednesday, January 4, 2023 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Review # 72 "Living in the past" is a compilation of JETHRO TULL's singles from 1968 to 1972, most of these singles didn't make part of any of the studio albums of the band and that gives it a very original profile. The CD that I own in my collection has a slightly different track-list than ... (read more)

Report this review (#2486509) | Posted by Uruk_hai | Monday, December 21, 2020 | Review Permanlink

3 stars "Living in the Past", what a strange album to review. The band certainly felt strong at the time: few months removed from "Thick as a Brick", showered with critical acclaim, touring all year long (bar summer break), selling tickets in New Zealand, United States and Japan... What better opportunity t ... (read more)

Report this review (#2284104) | Posted by thief | Tuesday, November 26, 2019 | Review Permanlink

5 stars There is a reason why this was a huge commercial succes right before A Passion Play would atracted every aspect there was to people who didnt exactly liked Tull and wanted a opportunity to show it of. I wouldnt made a review of this album until seeing it in a vynil store. The album is absolutely ... (read more)

Report this review (#897495) | Posted by GKR | Tuesday, January 22, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Living in the Past "Life's a long song, but the tune ends too soon for us all" This superb collection of songs sees itself dimished in quality by someone's crazy idea of including some live material which spoilts the route taken from the early days to the glorious days of present in 1972 in wh ... (read more)

Report this review (#618987) | Posted by ibnacio | Wednesday, January 25, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars No Jethro Tull collection is complete without this. It is a compliation but many songs didn't actually appear on the band's studio albums. It is full of the traditional elements which make early Jethro Tull music so great, combining upbeat folk guitar styles, with Anderson's exquisite, and som ... (read more)

Report this review (#483509) | Posted by Frankie Flowers | Saturday, July 16, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars LIVING IN THE PAST Any album by Jethro Tull is worth looking at, listening to. The invention in the playing and imaginative use of riffs makes anything they do at least interesting. However, there's also a case for saying that without all that, plus the emblematic flute, folksy guitars, and t ... (read more)

Report this review (#293758) | Posted by resurrection | Sunday, August 8, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This actually was my first Jethro Tull album, and as such it remains my favourite. Unlike "Through the Years" this is an awesome compliation. The best tracks for me were the acoustic guitar dominated ones like "Nursie", "Just Trying to be" and "Life is a long SOng" - truly amazing tracks. It ... (read more)

Report this review (#151307) | Posted by PinkPangolin | Saturday, November 17, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This album (my second) was the ONE that pulled me into the magical world created by Ian Anderson and his group, Jethro Tull (my first Tull album was War Child). The coolest thing about the original LP was that it was designed like the hard-bound 78s albums of the day, and complete with pages of c ... (read more)

Report this review (#139899) | Posted by progwzrd | Saturday, September 22, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars 'Livin' in the Past' is a double-CD compilation, full of unreleased and b-side songs. Every fan of early Jethro Tull will find a huge bunch of jewels here, a lot of tracks in the vein of Stand Up & Benefit. Since it is a compilation, there are a few songs repeated, and if you got their early album ... (read more)

Report this review (#132885) | Posted by sircosick | Sunday, August 12, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Excellent cd of singles and album left overs. But strangely this cd has Tulls best songs from 1968, 1969, 1970 and 1971 even though most of them didn't even make the first 4 albums. But now the first 3 remastered albums contain all the 1968-1970 songs, but the 1971 gems such as Up the pool, Dr B ... (read more)

Report this review (#114882) | Posted by raindance2007 | Monday, March 12, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This LP is one of those classic early compilations that you just have to love. With it's beautiful booklet, 12 pages of magnificent early photos of the band, and two LP gatefold with it's hardback like cover, it's a treasure. ' It contains all of those excellent early singles Tull had released i ... (read more)

Report this review (#110490) | Posted by OGTL | Friday, February 2, 2007 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This 1972 Tull album is a compilation of the unreleased songs and some of the more significant songs of the previously recorded albums. From my point of view it can be compared to the '68-'69 Tull albums: This Was and Stand Up. The songs are still lacking the JT's power brought by the best lin ... (read more)

Report this review (#107280) | Posted by lacria | Friday, January 12, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Excellent album. I say this because all the tracks are excellent, there's no a weak one. You can't get bored with this. I mean...... this is the "experimental" Jethro Tull because it has different genres: jazz, blues, classical music and stuff but without losing the sound that made them famous ... (read more)

Report this review (#71144) | Posted by Fede | Saturday, March 4, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I still have the audio cassette of this album which I bought off another schoolmate around 1974. Its on its last legs but I gave it a play today after a gap of 10 years or more. What an album! Unlike the greatest hits albums which can seem a little uneven the track sequence of the studio stuf ... (read more)

Report this review (#50259) | Posted by Tonbridge Man | Thursday, October 6, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars A compelation of music Tull has produced in the period from This Was untill Aqualung, containing some alternative versions of album songs, singles, b-sides and some live songs. When listening to this compilation you can hear the different styles of music they played over the years, and how they ... (read more)

Report this review (#36425) | Posted by tuxon | Monday, June 13, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars If you have the CD version of this album you will read that some songs are missing...but if you have all the late 60's and the whole 70's JT albums, you are not missing something essential. I know most of the compilation albums don't deserve a rating, but every "rule" has an exception, this on ... (read more)

Report this review (#16396) | Posted by Carlos | Saturday, September 4, 2004 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is, pardon me to all over groups, one of the most outstanding 2 record sets to ever come out; before the advent of the internet, I might not have been in the loop to understand, it was comprised of singles sides mainly alluded too. With only a handful of albums under the belt, it is diff ... (read more)

Report this review (#16394) | Posted by | Sunday, May 30, 2004 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of JETHRO TULL "Living In The Past "

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


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

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

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.