Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography


Jethro Tull

Prog Folk

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Jethro Tull M.U. - The Best Of Jethro Tull  album cover
3.09 | 76 ratings | 10 reviews | 16% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

Write a review
from partners
Boxset/Compilation, released in 1976

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Teacher (3:54)
2. Aqualung (6:38)
3. Thick As A Brick Edit #1 (3:00)
4. Bungle In The Jungle (3:40)
5. Locomotive Breath (4:38)
6. Fat Man (2:52)
7. Living In The Past (3:25)
8. A Passion Play Edit #8 (3:30)
9. Skating Away (On The Thin Ice Of The New Day) (4:01)
10. Rainbow Blues (3:39)
11. Nothing Is Easy (4:24)

Total Time: 43:41

Line-up / Musicians

- Ian Anderson / flute, vocals, soprano saxophone (plays on all tracks)
- Martin Barre / electric guitar (plays on all tracks)
- Glenn Cornick / bass (plays on tracks 1, 7 and 11)
- Clive Bunker / drums, precussion (plays on tracks 1 - 2, 5 - 7 and 11)
- John Evans / Hammond organ, piano, organ, synthesizer, keyboard (plays on tracks 1 - 5 and 8 - 10)
- Jeffrey Hammond-Hammond / bass (plays on tracks 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10)
- Barriemore Barlow / drums, percussion, glockenspiel (plays on tracks 3 - 4 and 8 - 10)

Guest musician:
- David Palmer / orchestral arrangements and conducting

Releases information

Repackaged by EMI in 2003 as "Essential."

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

Buy JETHRO TULL M.U. - The Best Of Jethro Tull Music

More places to buy JETHRO TULL music online Buy JETHRO TULL & Prog Rock Digital Music online:

JETHRO TULL M.U. - The Best Of Jethro Tull ratings distribution

(76 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(16%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(36%)
Good, but non-essential (38%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

JETHRO TULL M.U. - The Best Of Jethro Tull reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Menswear
3 stars A quite pleasant compilation of good songs and some very good ones. A plus, you get a bonus one called "Rainbow Blues". A catchy tune with good flute solo from our favorite excentric hobo. You want introduce yourself to the TULL? Start here. This album is also easy to find and you can enjoy well-know hits while still enjoying the rest of the original albums. "Teacher", "Bungle in the Jungle" and "Locomotive Breath" must be played LOUD for maximum enjoyment. Told you so, the flute is THE instrument that makes progressive rock your own little secret garden, and what makes Anderson our favorite 'homeless' looking artist! (wonder if he smells like what he seems? Let's hope for the best.)
Review by daveconn
4 stars The first and still the best summation of TULL's precious musical gifts. Not to suggest that the band didn't continue to release great music, but the subsequent Repeat drew from a depleted well and future compilations (save for "Original Masters") seemed to serve some hidden agenda by selecting personal favorites or catalog samplers over the universally established "hits". In fact, M.U. (the abbreviation is said to stand for Musician's Union) ranks as one of the most effective, delightful compilations I own. My love for the music of TULL notwithstanding, this collection goes straight for the band's most popular music and displays it in a radiant array as these jewels deserve. There are several things that good compilations should do: put an artist's best musical foot forward, provide some sense of history, choose evenly from the existing catalog, and throw a bone to the fans who already own the previous works. "M.U." does this while departing from chronological order, a potential danger except that here the scattered placement of tracks is an equitable gesture toward TULL's genius. It's likely that some thought went into track placement. Opening with "Teacher", closing with "Nothing Is Easy", interspersing old and new material in between,

"M.U." underscored a point that TULL fans already knew: it's all good. For neophytes, however, it was a point worth making. Start at the beginning, begin at the end, dive cautiously for the middle, there is no wrong move. All greatest hits should aspire to be a celebration of the artist's work, which this is. As for the bone I mentioned earlier, the unreleased "Rainbow Blues" might be the best thing on here. In 2003, the same songs (in the same order) were released as Essential JETHRO TULL, inheriting "M.U."'s mantle it would seem.

Review by Australian
2 stars "MU: The Best of Jethro Tull" was released at a time when Jethro Tull and progressive rock in general was at the peak of its popularity. The album encompasses all Jethro Tull's greatest songs from the period leading up to the album's release. It features a version of "Aqualung" with an alternative acoustic section which follows the introduction. This version is better than the original "Aqualung " version in my opinion as it gives greater diction to the words and blends with the mood of the section better. Other than that the album features greatly edited versions of both "Thick As A Brick" and "A Passion Play", these four minute versions do absolutely no justice to the four original 20 minute-a-piece songs. Never the less "MU: The Best of Jethro Tul"l includes most the best stuff from Jethro Tull in a 40 minute long album, including "Bungle in the Jungle" (which I'm happy about.) The only thing missing from "MU:" (from the band's 70's period) is "Cross Eyed-Mary" which is one of the band's more successful songs, although "MU" already has two songs from "Aqualung."

There are no songs from the band's debut album 'This Was' and the addition of 'Beggar's Farm' or something would been good for a best of album. Apart from that " MU: The Best of Jethro Tull offers up all the best Jethro Tull songs from the 70's. Its difficult to rate "MU: The Best of Jethro Tull" because, although it features such great epics and T"hick As A Brick" and "A Passion Play", they only give a small sample of what they actually are. For this reason it's difficult to decide whether to recommend "MU:" to people new to Jethro Tull, the true meaning of these epics can only be encompassed in their full length. I can really only recommend MU: to collectors as it includes the alternative version of "Aqualung", so sadly I'm gonna have to give MU two stars. To all Jethro Tull newbies you're much better off getting the remastered version of 'Aqualung' as it includes some of the band's best stuff and several bonus tracks which, really makes "MU: "obsolete. Collectors/fans only

Review by ZowieZiggy
2 stars In 1972, the Tull released a compilation album with some rare tracks and unreleased album material. They are doing so again with this one.

I am not quite convinced by the selection of tracks though.

Some left overs from studio sessions : Rainbow Blues" are completely out of purpose in a "Best Of" effort. They are quite boring songs (in the meantime one can discover these "lost jewels" on some remastered versions). Pointless. "Teacher" is a bit better (released on remaster of "Benefit"). "Living In The Past" is of course a great song (single release but available now on remastered "Stand Up". It was already present on the previous compilation ...

Some average tracks from studio albums like "Nothing Is Easy" and "Skating Away". But "Fat Man" is pretty useless.

Two ridiculous edited versions for "Thick" and "A Passion" : three minutes or so each. That's about 7 % of the original song ("Thick peaking at 43'48" and "A Passion" reaching 45'05").

The best song from "War Child" : "Bungle" (finally).

OK, there are two alternate takes for "Aqualung" and "Locomotive". Since I do not owe this album as such, I can not judge these versions. Since they belong to the best Tull repertoire I can only say that these are the two that fully deserve (together with "Bungle") to be featured in a "Best Of" effort.

I would highly recommend the newcomer to the Tull repertoire to stay away from this compilation. Actually, my feeling is the same than for "Living In The Past" one. Get the remastered Tull's albums and forget about these "Best Of" or whatever they are called.

Even at the time of release, I am not quite sure that this one was relevant.

For completionists only. Two stars.

Review by 1800iareyay
2 stars I'm not a big fan of greatest hits compilations. It hepls when you're getting into an artist or if an artist has a lot of hit singles that never made it onto studio albums or you get a lot of rarities. My friend lent me a copy of this disc that he got while visiting his family in Germany. He gave me his, Orginal Masters, and Aqualung. I really liked Aqualung, and some of the songs on the greatest hits were good, but as I got into Tull, I hated this album. It doesn't have a lot of key early songs (Dharma For One?) and the most egregious crimes are that Thick as a Brick and Passion Play are cut to a few minutes in length. These are album long songs! My advice, get Aqualung (TaaB is a hard place to start). If you like it, get the other classics. Avoid this album, they don't even put very good songs on it (Fat Man, Skating).

Grade: D-

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars At first, I bought this version of compilation in cassette format even though I had already got all albums that the songs in this compilation are taken from. I just want to enjoy the songs in different setting with different setlist. It satisfied my needs. When this compilation was available in CD format, I bought again the CD. This compilation is a good introduction to the music of Jethro Tull especially for those who have never knew the band. The compilation has a right balance of folk acoustic based composition with some rocker. It opens beautifully with "Teacher" which has good melody and composition. "Aqualung" is the band's legendary track. "Thick As A Brick" is not the one that I like because it's cut from the original song with a long duration (45 minutes in total). This applies the same to "A Passion Play" which endures 45 minutes of the original version. "Bungle In The Jungle" was in fact my first experience with the music of Jethro Tull from "War Child" album. Another favorite of mine is "Locomotive Breath". "Nothing Is Easy" is a blues rock song that characterizes the music of early Jethro Tull.

This is a very good introduction compilation for those of you who are new to the band.

Review by The Whistler
3 stars Alright, here's the deal. Ole "Mr. I Hate Compilations" finally gets a chance to shine. M.U. was released in 1975, or thereabouts, and it screams "best of." It does not replace Living in the Past by a long shot. It contains all the well known studio cuts, and just one unreleased "Rainbow Blues," the singles "Teacher" and "Living in the Past," and an alternative "Aqualung" to tickle your fancy.

We open with "Teacher," a pop rocker of a single if I ever heard one! I am not a huge fan of this song, as it goes on a little too long for my tastes. Not that there's anything wrong with it. The version of "Aqualung" here is a little different, with the acoustic section being a little...I don't know exactly. It's sort of like the quad version of "Wind Up," if you've heard it. Either way, I don't radically prefer one over the other.

The opening movement to "Thick as a Brick" is here, as is "Bungle in the Jungle," "Locomotive Breath," "Fat Man" and "Living in the Past." All are great songs, to be sure, but there's nothing too special about them. "Thick," "Bungle" and "Locomotive" are to be expected, and, while a single, "Living" is already famous enough. The only surprise here is the vastly undervalued "Fat Man."

The representative from Passion Play is "Edit 8," a.k.a., "The Overseer Overture," which was arguably the best movement from the whole damn thing. "Skating Away" is a great song, but it's just "Skating Away," and shall probably remain until the end of time. For sake of argument, the best song on the album is "Rainbow Blues," a fantastic orchestral rocker with equally good guitar, flute and organ parts. Dig the brilliant layering of said parts under the vocals. It might even be better than "Bungle." Might.

We close with "Nothing is Easy," another nice song, and in itself not a bad closer. But you've heard it all before. All in all, a bunch of good songs, but not a fantastic representation of the band (there ARE other Tull albums than Stand Up and Warchild). Besides that, I'm not a fantastic fan of the overall flow of the album. It's a nice enough listen, but I'd hardly consider it a great introduction to the band. Or maybe I mean that the other way around...?

(This thing was re-released under the guise of Essential Jethro Tull, which is no more essential than the first one; instead of the cool outline drawing of minstrel Ian, you get a creepy photo of modern Ian. The only plus to the album is that it's readily more available than M.U., so points for completionists there. Still, hardly essential, especially considering that this is the band that released the ultimate compilation album.)

Latest members reviews

3 stars A good little collection of some of the earlier work of Tull, up to the 1976 period. It is not even close to being complete, however, yet with only 1 disc to work with, how could it be? Has an interesting version of Aqualung as well as "Rainbow Blues". Editing "Thick as a Brick" to 3 minutes i ... (read more)

Report this review (#443676) | Posted by mohaveman | Friday, May 6, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This a great CD for TULL completists as it contains different mixes of both "Aqualung" and "Locomotive Breath". It also contains the wonderful previously unreleased "Rainbow Blues" which was taken from the "Warchild" sessions and has recently been released as a bonus track on the "Warchild" remast ... (read more)

Report this review (#16518) | Posted by platform | Sunday, March 28, 2004 | Review Permanlink

4 stars A very good review of those years, if i were them, i'd be waited until heavy horese appear, but it doesn´t matter, a very nice record for a very good band, no looses or flaws, pure Jethro Tull classics ... (read more)

Report this review (#16516) | Posted by | Wednesday, February 11, 2004 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of JETHRO TULL "M.U. - The Best Of Jethro Tull "

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