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Ian Anderson

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Ian Anderson Thick As A Brick Live In Iceland album cover
3.30 | 25 ratings | 2 reviews | 20% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Live, released in 2014

Songs / Tracks Listing

CD 1
1. Thick As A Brick (51:44)

Total time 51:44

CD 2 - Thick As A Brick 2: Whatever Happened To Gerald Bostock?
1. From A Pebble Thrown (2:57)
2. Pebbles Instrumental (3:44)
3. Might Have Beens (0:56)
4. Upper Sixth Loan Shark (1:21)
5. Banker Bets, Banker Wins (4:34)
6. Swing It Far (3:33)
7. Adrift And Dumbfounded (4:25)
8. Old School Song (3:24)
9. Wootton Bassett Town (3:43)
10. Power And Spirit (2:00)
11. Give Til It Hurts (1:13)
12. Cosy Corner (1:24)
13. Shunt And Shuffle (2:13)
14. A Change Of Horses (8:03)
15. Confessional (3:08)
16. Kismet In Surburbia (4:19)
17. What-ifs, Maybes And Might-Have-Beens (5:25)

Total time 56:22

Line-up / Musicians

- Ian Anderson / vocals, flute, guitar, bouzouki, mandolin, harmonica
- Florian Opahle / electric guitar
- John O'Hara / piano, keyboards, accordion
- David Goodier / bass guitar, glockenspiel
- Scott Hammond / drums, percussion
- Ryan O'Donnell / additional vocals

Releases information

Recorded in Iceland in 2012

2CD Eagle Rock Entertainement (2014)

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to NotAProghead for the last updates
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IAN ANDERSON Thick As A Brick Live In Iceland ratings distribution

(25 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(20%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(52%)
Good, but non-essential (16%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)

IAN ANDERSON Thick As A Brick Live In Iceland reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars In the movie "The Other Guys", there is a running gag where Mark Wahlburg's character, a New York detective, shows off all sorts of "unmanly" skills, and explains each having been learned as a child to tease other kids. One incident has him showing off ballet moves to impress his ex-wife. The following dialogue occurs:

Allen Gamble: Hey, I didn't know you can dance. Terry Hoitz: We used to do those dance moves to make fun of guys when we were kids to show them how queer they were, okay. Allen Gamble: You learned to dance like that sarcastically? Terry Hoitz: Yeah, I guess.

It's fairly well known and documented that Ian Anderson wrote Thick As A Brick as a deliberate parody of prog rock epics, because he was annoyed by critics calling "Aqualung" a concept album. Lyrically, he takes some obvious shots at said critics, where the title comes into play, and also sends joking barbs at his own band, as well as his fans.

Ironically, Anderson's joke became one of the most loved prog tracks of all time. The lyrics, as tongue-in-cheek as they are, are fun, and although they change focus more than a little throughout the song, manage to convey an interesting trip through a family's power struggle. Musically, Anderson created memorable melodies, and a wonderfully complex symphonic piece that used recurring and evolving themes that build to one of the most satisfying climaxes of any musical genre. (excuse me while I have a cigarette)

Four decades later, Anderson decided to honor the piece with a sequel album and a world tour featuring complete performances of both albums. I'm sorry to say that circumstances prevented me from attending any of the shows in my part of the world. But at least this album serves as an historical record of the event.

The performance of Thick As A Brick 1 (as it now must be known) is spectacular. Despite the band not being Jethro Tull, which really means that Martin Barre is not there, the sound is unmistakably Tull. Florian Opahle's guitar comes close enough to Barre's performance style and tone to satisfy the nostalgic listener.

The piece itself is stretch out to over fifty minutes, mostly by extending solos, all of which are exceptional, and some rearrangements and expansions of other passages. If anything, the difficult sections are faster, tighter, and more impressive than the original.

My only complaint is a seven minute interlude in the center of the piece, I presume to give Anderson some rest, where the song stops, and Anderson extols the male members of the audience to get prostrate exams, and even coerces one member of the audience to (faked, I hope) examine another behind a screen on the stage. While (very) slightly amusing, it is not something I want to hear frequently, and edited it out of the track for my MP3 player.

The performance of the sequel is strong as well, but since the album is still new, there is little variation, other than solos on the performance.

My rating, 4.5 stars for 1, 4 stars for 2. If you love the original, and want to hear a new version, this album is a must. If you do not have TAAB2, you might want this disk instead of the studio version, as it comes with that great version of 1.

Review by Neu!mann
2 stars By now an old pro like Ian Anderson can probably perform the whole of his (second) most famous album (after "Aqualung", arguably) in his sleep. Which is precisely what happened in Reykjavik in June of 2012, where the former Jethro Tull figurehead and his new band presented the unabridged "Thick as a Brick", Parts One and Two together in mismatched tandem (with intermission).

It's hard not to think of the album as an attempt by Anderson to legitimize an inferior sequel by hitching it in concert alongside the classic 1972 original. But playing them back-to-back only reinforces the shortcomings of the latter Brick, while undermining the legacy of the former. Instead of a dynamic update of a timeless Progressive Rock masterpiece, Anderson offers only an awkward karaoke rendering, with supporting music literally phoned in (via Skype) from North London, and with extensive pre-recorded overdubs killing any sense of a genuine live performance.

Worse yet, he seems to regard the use of taped music (including the famous opening flute motif, impossible to play if you're also singing) as an acceptable part of the concert experience. "Thick as a Brick: Semi-Live in Iceland" would have been a more honest title, but he wasn't going to sell too many albums that way.

And, after being lured into hearing the much-thinner Second Brick by the dangled carrot of its more esteemed forefather on the same set-list, older fans might find themselves missing not only Jethro Tull, but all-too often Anderson himself. The new arrangements of the older music were adapted to ease the obvious strain on his aging vocal chords, with a sound-alike ringer (Ryan O'Donnell, credited with "additional vocals, dance, and mime") brought in to hit the higher notes. I applaud Anderson's willing spirit to mount a show when his flesh is no longer cooperating. But it's sad to hear a once-vigorous performer reduced to playing occasional flute in his own cover band, and hoarsely speaking his lyrics instead of singing them.

In his seventh decade Anderson clearly isn't ready to admit he's finally Too Old to Rock 'n' Roll. But poking fun at his own infirmities only calls attention to them, and needlessly fractures the otherwise seamless original Brick with silly vaudeville interruptions: a mock weather report; a psychiatric appointment for the album's fictional author, Gerald Bostock; a pre-rehearsed (or pre- recorded) telephone call to cue the Skype relay with violinist Anna Phoebe. And, at the nadir of the evening's entertainment: an onstage prostate examination for a lucky volunteer from the audience (I'd much rather hear a drum solo, thank you very much...)

Brick II on the second CD actually works a little better, maybe because the music itself is ideally suited to the hired skills of Anderson's B-team Tull backing band. But it's still a 56-minute anticlimax, and always will be when juxtaposed like this against the 1972 opus.

Quoting the man himself: Really don't mind if I sit this one out...

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