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Jethro Tull

Prog Folk

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Jethro Tull Ring Out, Solstice Bells album cover
3.25 | 33 ratings | 3 reviews | 18% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, released in 1976

Songs / Tracks Listing

A1 Ring Out, Solstice Bells (3:40)
A2 March, the Mad Scientist (1:40)
B1 Christmas Song (3:04)
B2 Pan Dance (3:24)

Total Time: 11:48

Line-up / Musicians

- Ian Anderson / flute, acoustic guitar, harmonica, electric guitar, percussion, vocals
- Martin Barre / electric guitar
- Barriemore Barlow / drums, percussion
- John Glascock / bass, vocals
- John Evans / piano

Releases information

7"-EP Chrysalis CXP2 (1976 UK)
LP Chrysalis CHS 3 PDJ, CHS-3-PDJ (1976 US) (promo)
7"-EP Chrysalis 6285 004 (1976 Germany)
7"-EP Chrysalis CXP 2 (1976 Ireland)
7"-EP Chrysalis CHN 2128 (1976 Italy)
7"-EP Chrysalis X-11808 (1976 Australia)
7"-EP Chrysalis CX 40, 0190295947972 (2016 UK, Europe & US) (limited Edition)

Thanks to mogorva for the addition
and to The Bearded Bard for the last updates
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Buy JETHRO TULL Ring Out, Solstice Bells Music

JETHRO TULL Ring Out, Solstice Bells ratings distribution

(33 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(18%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(39%)
Good, but non-essential (30%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (6%)

JETHRO TULL Ring Out, Solstice Bells reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Matti
4 stars Frankly, the sole preceding review with one star cannot be taken seriously. What bad is in releasing a single for Christmas season if it avoids the commercialism of typical Christmas pop songs or the awful kitchiness of Paul McCartney's horrible orrible Wonderful Christmas Time? Ian Anderson with his band has much more original and TIMELESS to offer. In fact this is an excellent four-track release in any standard.

'Ring Out Solstice Bells' was included in the superb album Songs From The Wood. This personal, lively song with odd time signatures and merry playing gives me a happy feeling at any time of year. Elegant non-album track 'March, the Mad Scientist' is a brief, acoustic song, comparable to e.g. 'Cheap Day Return' on Aqualung, and I like it even more than that. A pity that it ends so soon, so suddenly.

'Christmas Song' is an earlier, well known Tull song with a Christmas theme. "The Christmas spirit is not what you drink." :) It was included in Living in the Past double album. 'Pan Dance' is another non-album track (later included in the expanded edition of Minstrel in the Gallery). A great, classically oriented instrumental with the flute in a lead role. Definitely four stars!

PS. I have lots of Finnish albums to write about, but now I'll have a week's break in reviewing. It's summmeeeer!!!! (and it's raining...)

Review by siLLy puPPy
3 stars While JETHRO TULL fans are almost certain to know of their final release as group titled "The Jethro Tull Christmas Album" in 2003 which unofficially saw the band brand turn into Ian Anderson solo projects, many including myself have not been aware of this other Christmas album that came out as a small little four song EP that emerged in 1976 in between the "Too Old To Rock 'n' Roll: Too Young To Die!" and "Songs From The Wood" albums. This is possibly because the short 11 minute and 55 second EP was only released once as a 7" Vinyl once in 1976 and yet again in 1979 but unbeknownst to fans across the globe, it did find a modern day pressing once again as the 40th anniversary 7" Vinyl format on the Rhino label in 2016 which even includes two unreleased Steven Wilson remixes titled "Magic Bells (Solstice Bells)" as well as the title track.

The two longest tracks on the EP, "Ring Out, Solstice Bells" and "Christmas Song" were recycled for the 2003 "JT Xmas Album" leaving only the short "March, The Mad Scientist" and more regularly timed "Pan Dance" to exist exclusively on this release. Musically speaking this is the typical progressive folk rock style that JETHRO TULL has implemented since their origins but as with the 2003 Christmas album, this one is rooted more on the folk side of the equation existing closest to the sounds heard on the "Songs From The Wood" album that followed the original release. While the titles may indicate more of a Pagan celebration rather than Christmas, it is more of a celebration of how the two are intimately intermingled with holiday traditions emerging in the former and shapeshifting to fit into the latter.

While the first three tracks are vocal oriented with Ian Anderson dishing out his baritone magic, the closer "Pan Dance" is an instrumental flute dominated track that makes me think of classics such as Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker." Since the inclusion of two of the tracks (which are the superior of the four) have been included on the 2003 Christmas album, it renders this little under the radar release as somewhat unessential for all except the completists of the world despite the other four minutes plus of music being quite pleasant tracks. While the album has been reissued it still hasn't made the impact of the fully developed album that came out in 2003. It's worth a quick spin on YouTube to experience the two tracks that lag behind in the 70s but overall i wouldn't go out of my way to track this down. Still though, not a bad way to say MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

BTW?. this exists with two covers. One with the beautiful artwork with what looks like Jesus Christ next to a live tree and a Christmas tree to the side and another that has no cover at all and merely shows the vinyl peeking through plain paper. By all means, if you do choose to seek this out, get the artwork edition!

3.5 but rounded down

Latest members reviews

1 stars Really? REALLY?!? A christmas single? Was Ian Anderson on drugs when he made this decision, or mistake, should I say? Not to mention the fact that these are classic christmas songs, this is also a JETHRO TULL SINGLE! Before 1976, you wouldn't expect old Anderson to play Ring Out Solstice ... (read more)

Report this review (#240863) | Posted by The Runaway | Tuesday, September 22, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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