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JETHRO TULL

Prog Folk • United Kingdom


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Jethro Tull picture
Jethro Tull biography
Founded in Blackpool, UK in 1967 - Hiatus from 2012-2016


"I didn`t have to play it all the time, I just had to wave it around and look good" - Ian Anderson 2003.

Eccentric on stage yet rather thoughtful, reserved and even sombre at times when not in the limelight, the Jethro Tull image was the brainchild of flute wielding frontman Ian ANDERSON. Clad in scruffy vagabond apparel, and looking more like an anachronism out of a Charles Dickens tale, Anderson conveyed an old English aura during the band`s formative years in the late 60`s and early 70`s which would persist throughout the band's 40 year career both visually and musically.

Born on August 10, 1947 in Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland, Anderson was augmented by a revolving door of colourful musicians over the years which added to the flamboyance of the Jethro Tull phenomenon. Conceived as a psychedelic blues band in late 1967 the music of Jethro Tull has always been dauntingly intricate embracing many styles including blues, jazz, folk, medieval, classical, hard rock along with forays into electronic music, sometimes referred to as "space age prog". The lyrics were equally as sophisticated and sometimes reached new heights of grandiloquence commenting on depressing world events such as drug abuse, the oil crisis, modernisation, third world troubles and a deteriorating economy.. Other topics included fads, spy novels, environmental and social issues as well as metaphysical musings. With lyrics and music which ran deep Jethro Tull have often been over-analysed by both fans and critics alike and many of their albums have been erroneously interpreted as autobiographical due to the fact that many of their record covers featured artwork which seemed to depict Ian Anderson's likeness, something which he has vehemently denied in numerous interviews.

Jethro Tull can trace their origins back to 1963 when as a young art student in Blackpool, England Anderson formed a band called THE BLADES (after a club in a James Bond novel). By 1965 as a 7-piece they had changed their name to THE JOHN EVAN BAND and subsequently to THE JOHN EVAN SMASH (his mother supplied their tour van) Evan, whose real name was Evans, would eventually become the band's keyboard player for most of the seventies. The band relocated to London in`67, the centre of the British blues movement of the sixties in search of more lucrative gigs. However the band was gradually d...
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JETHRO TULL discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

JETHRO TULL top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.31 | 916 ratings
This Was
1968
4.05 | 1373 ratings
Stand Up
1969
3.92 | 1152 ratings
Benefit
1970
4.36 | 2823 ratings
Aqualung
1971
4.63 | 3565 ratings
Thick as a Brick
1972
4.04 | 1578 ratings
A Passion Play
1973
3.34 | 906 ratings
War Child
1974
4.04 | 1334 ratings
Minstrel in the Gallery
1975
3.10 | 838 ratings
Too Old To Rock 'n' Roll: Too Young To Die!
1976
4.21 | 1552 ratings
Songs from the Wood
1977
4.04 | 1285 ratings
Heavy Horses
1978
3.49 | 826 ratings
Stormwatch
1979
3.24 | 687 ratings
A
1980
3.30 | 711 ratings
The Broadsword And The Beast
1982
2.24 | 565 ratings
Under Wraps
1984
3.01 | 174 ratings
A Classic Case
1985
3.23 | 637 ratings
Crest of a Knave
1987
2.70 | 496 ratings
Rock Island
1989
2.62 | 472 ratings
Catfish Rising
1991
3.60 | 560 ratings
Roots To Branches
1995
3.02 | 468 ratings
J-Tull Dot Com
1999
3.49 | 437 ratings
The Jethro Tull Christmas Album
2003
3.41 | 147 ratings
The Zealot Gene
2022

JETHRO TULL Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.19 | 445 ratings
Live - Bursting Out
1978
2.93 | 57 ratings
Live At Hammersmith '84
1990
3.65 | 185 ratings
A Little Light Music
1992
3.07 | 52 ratings
In Concert
1995
3.67 | 128 ratings
Living With The Past
2002
4.19 | 171 ratings
Nothing Is Easy: Live At The Isle Of Wight 1970
2004
3.46 | 101 ratings
Aqualung Live
2005
3.49 | 91 ratings
Live At Montreux 2003
2007
4.44 | 18 ratings
Live at Madison Square Garden 1978
2009
4.44 | 32 ratings
Live At Carnegie Hall 1970
2015

JETHRO TULL Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.86 | 55 ratings
Slipstream (DVD)
1981
3.77 | 44 ratings
20 Years of Jethro Tull (VHS)
1988
3.48 | 86 ratings
Living With the Past
2002
3.03 | 53 ratings
A New Day Yesterday - The 25th Anniversary Collection
2003
3.87 | 96 ratings
Nothing Is Easy: Live At The Isle Of Wight 1970
2005
2.97 | 69 ratings
Live At Montreux 2003
2007
4.00 | 23 ratings
Slipstream (9 song version)
2007
4.32 | 28 ratings
Classic Artists Series: Jethro Tull
2008
3.33 | 33 ratings
Jack In The Green - Live In Germany
2008
3.63 | 24 ratings
Songs From Bethlehem
2008
4.37 | 105 ratings
Live At Madison Square Garden 1978 (DVD + CD)
2009
3.77 | 35 ratings
Live at AVO Session Basel 2008
2009
4.57 | 37 ratings
Around the World Live (4DVD)
2013

JETHRO TULL Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.10 | 2 ratings
Jethro Tull
1970
3.10 | 2 ratings
Sunday Best
1971
4.12 | 340 ratings
Living In The Past
1972
3.03 | 85 ratings
M.U. - The Best of Jethro Tull
1976
2.97 | 56 ratings
Repeat - The Best Of Jethro Tull - Vol. II
1977
1.95 | 3 ratings
The Best Of Jethro Tull Vol. III
1981
3.17 | 82 ratings
Original Masters
1985
2.05 | 2 ratings
Masters of Rock
1986
3.63 | 86 ratings
20 Years Of Jethro Tull Box
1988
4.46 | 88 ratings
20 Years Of Jethro Tull (The Definitive Collection)
1988
3.75 | 56 ratings
20 Years Of Jethro Tull (USA release)
1989
3.66 | 172 ratings
Nightcap
1993
3.80 | 54 ratings
The Best Of Jethro Tull: The Anniversary Collection
1993
4.44 | 81 ratings
25th Anniversary Box Set
1993
2.58 | 27 ratings
A Jethro Tull Collection
1997
1.55 | 33 ratings
Through The Years
1997
3.00 | 76 ratings
The Very Best Of Jethro Tull
2001
2.26 | 16 ratings
Essential Jethro Tull
2007
3.45 | 54 ratings
The Best Of Acoustic Jethro Tull
2007
3.80 | 47 ratings
The Jethro Tull Christmas Album / Live - Christmas At St Bride's 2008
2009
4.67 | 55 ratings
Aqualung - 40th Anniversary Collector's Edition
2011
2.09 | 3 ratings
Essential
2011
4.84 | 90 ratings
Thick as a Brick - 40th Anniversary Special Edition
2012
4.89 | 81 ratings
A Passion Play: An Extended Perfomance
2014
4.73 | 53 ratings
War Child - The 40th Anniversary Theatre Edition
2014
4.66 | 60 ratings
Minstrel In The Gallery - 40th Anniversary: La Grande Edition
2015
4.69 | 33 ratings
Too Old To Rock'n'Roll: Too Young To Die - The TV Special Edition
2015
4.85 | 26 ratings
Stand Up - The Elevated Edition
2016
4.97 | 23 ratings
Aqualung - 40th Anniversary Adapted Edition
2016
2.00 | 2 ratings
An Introduction to Jethro Tull
2017
4.94 | 45 ratings
Songs From The Wood - 40th Anniversary Edition - The Country Set
2017
4.60 | 35 ratings
Heavy Horses (New Shoes Edition)
2018
4.57 | 23 ratings
This Was (50 Anniversary Edition)
2018
3.04 | 7 ratings
50 for 50
2018
2.00 | 4 ratings
50th Anniversary Collection
2018
4.51 | 31 ratings
Stormwatch (The 40th Anniversary Force 10 Edition)
2019
4.31 | 31 ratings
A (La Mode) - The 40th Anniversary Edition
2021
4.39 | 22 ratings
Benefit - 50th Anniversary Enhanced Edition
2021

JETHRO TULL Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.78 | 18 ratings
Love Story
1968
4.00 | 25 ratings
A Song For Jeffrey
1968
2.73 | 21 ratings
Sunshine Day
1968
4.05 | 32 ratings
Sweet Dream / 17
1969
4.00 | 23 ratings
The Witch's Promise
1969
4.49 | 33 ratings
Living In The Past
1969
3.84 | 19 ratings
Inside
1970
4.38 | 44 ratings
Life Is a Long Song
1971
4.14 | 22 ratings
Hymn 43
1971
4.40 | 31 ratings
Aqualung
1971
4.00 | 8 ratings
Locomotive Breath
1971
4.12 | 33 ratings
Living In The Past
1972
3.48 | 27 ratings
Bungle In The Jungle
1974
4.29 | 7 ratings
Skating Away on the Thin Ice of the New Day
1974
4.00 | 7 ratings
Minstrel in the Gallery / Summerday Sands
1975
3.25 | 33 ratings
Ring Out, Solstice Bells
1976
3.11 | 9 ratings
Too Old To Rock 'N' Roll; Too Young To Die
1976
3.66 | 31 ratings
The Whistler
1977
3.73 | 11 ratings
A Stitch In Time
1978
4.04 | 29 ratings
Moths
1978
3.89 | 10 ratings
Warm Sporran
1979
2.78 | 21 ratings
North Sea Oil
1979
4.36 | 22 ratings
Home E.P.
1979
3.23 | 24 ratings
Working John, Working Joe
1980
3.27 | 25 ratings
Fallen On Hard Times
1982
3.38 | 24 ratings
Broadsword
1982
2.92 | 24 ratings
Lap Of Luxury
1984
3.17 | 6 ratings
Bourrée
1985
3.88 | 17 ratings
Coronach
1986
3.63 | 16 ratings
Said She Was A Dancer 12''
1987
3.58 | 19 ratings
Steel Monkey 12''
1987
3.71 | 7 ratings
Part Of The Machine
1988
3.70 | 21 ratings
Another Christmas Song
1989
3.46 | 19 ratings
This Is Not Love
1991
3.70 | 18 ratings
Rocks On The Road
1991
2.96 | 15 ratings
Living in the (Slightly More Recent) Past / Living in the Past
1993
2.73 | 21 ratings
Rare And Precious Chain
1995
3.26 | 19 ratings
Bends Like A Willow
1999
3.17 | 12 ratings
The Christmas EP
2004
3.40 | 5 ratings
Living in the Past
2013

JETHRO TULL Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Benefit - 50th Anniversary Enhanced Edition by JETHRO TULL album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2021
4.39 | 22 ratings

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Benefit - 50th Anniversary Enhanced Edition
Jethro Tull Prog Folk

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Presenting the Steven Wilson remix of the studio album, plus associated songs from the era, plus the usual host of extras we've come to expect from these deluxe editions, this anniversary release of Benefit includes not one but two live performances, both from the US. First there's the Live In Tanglewood set from July 1970; Tull were opening for The Who on this one, so deliver a boisterous and energetic rendition of their material, perhaps playing up to the expectations of Who fans; it ends up working a treat.

A month or so later sees Tull in Chicago, playing a similar setlist. This one's sourced from the soundboard; somewhat suffering from tape his, it perhaps is emerging as a "beat the bootlegs" measure, but it does at least show that the storied Tanglewood performance was no fluke - the band really were on fire at this time.

Both live shows are notable for early appearances of My God, which would feature on the coming Aqualung - more evidence that Tull's creativity was really coming to the boil here, with classic new material coalescing rapidly.

 Stand Up by JETHRO TULL album cover Studio Album, 1969
4.05 | 1373 ratings

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Stand Up
Jethro Tull Prog Folk

Review by Progexile

5 stars This was (no pun intended) my first Tull album, bought soon after its release. Whereas their debut LP "This Was" was bluesy this follow-up is a showcase for Ian Anderson's songwriting and goes beyond the bluesy feel on many songs. Martin Barre makes his debut as lead guitar because Mick Abrahams didn't like the less bluesy approach.

The album opens with "A New Day Yesterday" a bass-driven tune that is followed by "Jeffrey Goes to Leicester Square" a short ditty on which Barre plays flute.

Both nice songs but the first gem comes next as they play "Bouree", an instrumental (apart from Anderson's breathy flute style) that's Bach-inspired and was originally my fave. A concert staple for years and needs no intro to Tull fans.

"Back to the Family" follows and the side ended with, for my money, its best song "Look Into the Sun", a lovely ballad.

But side 2 has come to the fore in time as its subtleties grew on me. It opens with "Nothing is Easy" an up-tempo tune that's followed by "Fat Man" originally my fave on this side. Anderson, a natural multi-instrumentist, plays a lively tune on balalaika here.

Now we come to the two real gems - "We Used to Know" a song about nostalgia giving Barre a chance to wah-wah a tasty solo and "Reasons For Waiting" a love song which starts with a lightly strummed acoustic guitar but develops with a string arrangement behind Anderson's voice. Two great tunes beautifully arranged and performed.

The faster "For a Thousand Mothers" closes the original album with style.

The 2001 remaster includes bonus tracks including Tull's 2 early singles "Living in the Past"and "Sweet Dream". They have completely different sounds to them as the first is jazzy, the second feels "big".

All in all, a great set of songs but not really prog as we know it. Nothing longer than 4 minutes(ish) but rather some proto-prog moments. The album is class rock through and through.

Tull's great epic "Thick as a Brick" was just a few years away and tops this one but "Stand Up" is still my second favourite in Tull's discographhy and deserves 5 stars (as does "TAAB").

 Stand Up by JETHRO TULL album cover Studio Album, 1969
4.05 | 1373 ratings

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Stand Up
Jethro Tull Prog Folk

Review by octopus-4
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams

4 stars My mind follows strange paths: this morning I woke up with "A New Day Yesterday" in my mind, from an album that I've likely listened to 30years ago for the last time if not more. So it urged me to go back to it trying to understand why. I'm back to my original vinyl copy, so no bonus tracks, remixes and their likes.

Of course, the main riff of "A New Day YesterdaY" is catchy and being it repeated so many times it's like it has been designed to find its place inside my few neurons, but I don't know if it would have had the same effect without Ian Anderson's voice and harmonica. Bluesy, some may say, but even if this a progressive rock site, I love the blues.

Said so, let's see what else this album has to offer. First of all, Jethro Tull in 1969 are still a sort of blues revival band with strong British folk influences. Later folk will put the blues out of focus, but the path is already clear: the medieval atmosphere of "Jeffrey Goes To Leicester Square", with bongos instead of drums and the flute marks the beginning of a trademark.

J.S. Bach "Bouree" arrangement combines baroque with a jazzy reinterpretation. It will become a constant presence in the live gigs as it gives Ian the possibility of improvising his flute performance. Anyway, it's mainly Glenn Cornick's bass line that makes the job.

"Back To The Family" is on the bluesy side but with a vibe that reminds a bit to Van Morrison and Donovan. The fact is that we are all very familiar with Ian's voice and flute, so he could even play the qua-qua dance and be still recognizable as Jethro Tull. Well, relistening to it after all those years I don't hear so much blues as I was remembering. Great instrumental riffs but, I would dongrade the rating for the fade-out. Something that was going on so well, truncated in that way. I hope an integral version has been published on the various re-release/remixes, but as I have said I'm basing on the original vynil only.

"Looking To The Sun" has again that late 60s feeling: acoustic, with folk influences with a touch of psychedelia enhanced by Martin Barre's guitar. Unfortunately this fades out, too.

Side B now... "Nothing Is Easy" opens it and is a full Jethro Tull track: signature changes, Ian's flute and a very interesting chord progression. Ok, there's a sort of chain of 5th, but it ahs also a jazzy bass, drums solos, and of course Ian's flute plus a very good but short (bluesy) guitar solo before the coda.

Percussion open "Fat Man". This is not too far from what Pentangle where actually doing. The bongos give it a hippy feeling.

"We Used To Know" has by coincidence the same chord progression of Hotel California and to my years sounds like the grandpa or the father of Aqualung. It also came out 7 years before the Eagles. Curiously, it may be the chord progression but some guitar passages seems to have been reused by the Eagles. In the 80s a similar progression will be used by Andy Latimer on Stationary Traveller.

Clean flute on "Reasons for Waiting". An acoustic song with just some organ in the background. The easiest way to describ it is "a british folk song". Not a traditional one, but in that vein.

A rock track closes the album. "For A Thousand Mothers" wouldn't be misplaced on Aqualung and the 5/4 signature will become typical of this kind of Jethro Tull songs. Heavy with some blues influence.

Is this an excellent addition? Yes, it is. Not yet a masterpiece but an excellent album, and two years after it we'll have Aqualung.

 The Zealot Gene by JETHRO TULL album cover Studio Album, 2022
3.41 | 147 ratings

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The Zealot Gene
Jethro Tull Prog Folk

Review by admireArt
Prog Reviewer

3 stars As long as it takes. Jethro Tull - The Zealot Gene (2022)

A fine record,. a continuaton of Ian Anderson´s carreer. enjoyable but he sticks to his J.T. rules.

Explosive yet controlled, kind of what was left.............A good output but don´t expect anything new. Iti´s great to hear his music, but that´s coming from a fan, but a big but.. I did somewhat expected something more... Good record but not even close as to be essential. He still holds on to his flute, but he is kind of missing an extra more powerful environment to force him out of his nutshell! Anyway he is still there.

 Live - Bursting Out by JETHRO TULL album cover Live, 1978
4.19 | 445 ratings

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Live - Bursting Out
Jethro Tull Prog Folk

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

4 stars This first live album for Jethro Tull is incredibly heavy which surprised me and delighted me as Martin Barre is as dynamic as ever with killer riffing and extended lead breaks. Anderson is hilarious in his stage banter, toilet humour abounds, and he indulges in some incredible flute playing. On top of this Barriemores drums are thunderous including a hyper solo, and there are very powerful keyboards from Evan and Glascocks rumbling bass lines.

This is a high quality live document with a great setlist including Aqualung, Locomotive Breath, Minstrel in the Gallery, Songs from the Wood, No Lullaby, Skating Away, and a lengthy piece from Thick as a Brick. There are some other nice surprises too. Overall this is a wonderful album capturing the band at their very best.

 Live At Montreux 2003 by JETHRO TULL album cover Live, 2007
3.49 | 91 ratings

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Live At Montreux 2003
Jethro Tull Prog Folk

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

2 stars Jethro Tull Live in Montreux has been released on DVD which is a marginally better experience but the CD release captures excellent sound quality and that distinctive live atmosphere. 

The Live in Montreux concert is a good way to fill in an afternoon but it is certainly not a prime example of Tull by any measure. The setlist is not the problem as there is enough here to satiate the appetite; Bouree proves Anderson still has flute chops and knows how to warble with the best of them. Living In The Past is always a crowd pleaser and one of the best Tull tunes proving Anderson can still stand on one leg. Nothing Is Easy is one of the rockers that gets the feet tapping. My God is one of the "Aqualung" tracks that stands the test of time. Aqualung is always a definitive classic with that Martin Barre riff that haunted me since the 70s. Locomotive Breath closes the show with a killer track that never disappoints.

The problem is that Andersons voice is as dry as sandpaper and the band at times seem disinterested. A more enthusiastic approach would have sufficed, but it reminded me of when I saw Bob Dylan live at the Casino in Australia, and the thing that stood out was that he didn't seem to notice the crowd, almost totally oblivious that we were even there and stuck to playing tunes from his latest album rather than any of the classics. At least Tull here do play classic Tull tunes but it is not enough for the average fan and seems to be more for the die hard fans. This is why on his more recent live albums or concerts he sticks to a very solid classic album setlist as the songs cover up the fact he is an ageing musician. I know when I saw him playing in Saint Kilda some years ago, he had other singers to help him sing the songs that are too high for his range now, and that is a good move. You can still enjoy the show, because the songs are the real stars. And he came across as very energetic and full of enthusiasm on that show too. The Montreux concert seems like an after thought and it is disappointing to hear the band like this. Bursting Out is way more exciting if you want a live treat.

Grab this if you are a completist as the sound is very good but make sure you pay a low price as I did

 The Zealot Gene by JETHRO TULL album cover Studio Album, 2022
3.41 | 147 ratings

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The Zealot Gene
Jethro Tull Prog Folk

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

4 stars As a mad Jethro Tull addict I had to eventually succumb my ears to the latest Tull album and number 23 is a sheer delight. Ian Anderson has quoted in Prog mag,  "you have a box that says Ian Anderson and another box that says Jethro Tull but inside both boxes it's the same old corn flakes.... my whole belief is that as a musician there's always something you can learn every time you pick up your instruments". On this latest album I would have to agree as I had no expectations whatsoever with The Zealot Gene so this won't be a harsh comparison to Thick as a brick or Aqualung as that would be pointless,  that ship has sailed and a new ship has come in.  This latest release is definitely a great Jethro Tull sound and is the perfect album for me to fill in my days of isolation from this dreaded Covid desolation.

Track 1 is Mrs Tibbets and begins the album with a flourish. I was pleasantly surprised to know that Ian Andersons trilling merrily away on his flute and his dry vocals have returned with his musing on the weird and wonderful. The time sig changes are evident and the  prancing flute is music to my ears. The lead Breaks are  heavenly and add so much power to the sound and there is a wintery Christmas theme, though this is streets ahead of  the disappointing Christmas album.

There have been five decades, 36 band members and more than 20 albums but Jethro Tull are definitely not ready to pack up the cod piece and flute yet. The album shines on every track telling tales of intriguing characters  such as Jacob's Tales powered by harmonica embellishments with Andersons vocals in the foreground. There is another Christmas theme with a strange Melody that tells a Jagged tale of drudgery during Winter preparing for the big day.

Mine is the Mountain has the return of the Glorious flute trills, telling of a tramp in the cold who may or may not have an aqualung. I like the sound of the piano counterbalanced by Andersons raspy dry vocals. The flute is absolutely mesmerising throughout making this the best track so far.

The Zealot Gene does has a great metal riff and  rocks heavy for Tull. I really like the tune and how the music changes and keeps developing. Yes, the album really delivers.

Shoshana Sleeping is a fun romp with heavy drums and a very cool guitar riff and a ton of flute.  The lyrics  are relentless and as oddball as Tull can be. The flute is in full flight here.

Sad City Sisters has an Elizabethan mediaeval feel with bouzouki and upbeat sound augmented by accordion. Andersons Goggling word play us a joy and the flutists Pied Piper is swinging merrily throughout.

Barren Beth, Wild Desert John has a proggy feel and  flute takes Centre Stage before a great guitar lick crunches in. Anderson rants with energy about fanciful characters such as cousin Mary who may be cross-eyed Mary's long lost cousin.

Theme Betrayal of Joshua Kynde continues the album with swathes of flute and piano over a layer of guitar distortion. It locks into a nice melody with Anderson singing softer with melancholy reflection.

Where did Saturday go? The lyrics try to answer it but there is none as Anderson is regretting where his day's have gone. It's a nice detour from the heavy sounds and I love the guitar Acoustics.

Three loves, Three has more flute and another sparse arrangement with guitars and soft vocals. The tambourine helps as the drummer is absent for these next tracks, this being the case because Anderson was in isolation suffering from Covid. I know how he feels.

This Segues directly into In Brief Visitation with seamless clarity. Anderson still needs someone to love, he sings, with dangerous affections sublime. There are allegories to a boat on the rough Waters making this a sad reflective song.

The final piece is The Fisherman of Ephesus which sounds Biblical and is, closing the album with the welcome return of drums. It is a tale of fisherman looking for an answer not just fish. Jethro Tull are wonderful when everything gels as it does here with flying flutes, odd time signatures, fanciful lyrics and guitars.

This album is absolutely wonderful. I believe it's a definitive pleasure to listen to Tull who have had their ups and downs in their lengthy career, but you can count this as a highlight right at the end of their career. It is a pure delight from the masters of Prog Folk

 Thick as a Brick by JETHRO TULL album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.63 | 3565 ratings

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Thick as a Brick
Jethro Tull Prog Folk

Review by Hesedingking

5 stars Review Nr. 1

2012... Not a very memorable year. I was still going to school, the end of the world came closer(remember that?), and a little 12 year old german boy began his neverending musical journey.

I still remember, how my father picked me up at school one day. It was pretty hot, I think, and it was one of these longer schooldays (the only reason my father drove me home in the first place). I got into the car, not knowing what was about to happen. I heard something, that was about to change my life. Everything about these sounds was so exciting. The stellar guitar playing, that roaring Hammond organ, and oh my god, that flute... For the first time in my life I asked my father, what the group playing there is called. "Jethro Tull" he replied.

So, here I am. 21 years old, working full time, about to marry next year, still listening to Thick As A Brick. The album, that kickstarted my love for music, one of the albums that got me into drumming and the album that eventually got me into Tull and finally into Prog. What is it, that makes this 40 minute suite so special to me? Is it just pure nostalgia, or is there something else to it?

To me it's both. The amazing musicianship, all the little details, the composition itself, the tension building up throughout the whole album, the lyrics, the newspaper, Barrymore Barlow... The list is pretty much endless. There is so much in this album I haven't discovered, and every listen adds a new discovery to the list. This album is not that easy to get into for a prog newbie, but in the long run this is one of the most rewarding recordings ever. To me it is the best album of all time.

There isn't much more to say. Listen to the music, it speaks for itself.

Final Score: 5 Stars

 Aqualung by JETHRO TULL album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.36 | 2823 ratings

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Aqualung
Jethro Tull Prog Folk

Review by ElChanclas

5 stars "Do you still remember December's foggy freeze, when the ice that clings on to your beard was screaming agony?" Every time I listen to that tempo-switch frenetic acoustic line in the title song it just brings be back to 1994, when I first played this album at age 17, a total epiphany.

Aqualung is the 4th studio album by symphonic prog and classic hard rock legends Jethro Tull, most probably my favorite classic band of them all. It's pretty difficult and even unfair to come and review an album that's 50 plus years old, when so many many words have been said about it, but this album really changed a lot in my taste in music and placed the bar quite high. It is hard rocking, progressive, pastoral and folky, somehow symphonic at spots, a masterpiece that deserves a top shell place in anybody's music collection.

There are none real highlights here, at least for me, I adore and praise the whole 42 plus minutes and have since the first listen. Here we find a handful of classic songs and hits from the early stage of the band plus another handful of amazing deep cuts (if the adjective deep applies here anyhow) that show the immense variety and quality not only of Ian Anderson's songwriting ability (and how outstanding his flute playing had become in such a short time) but also what the other members of the band were allow to do and inject into the final product.

"Walked down by the bathing pond to try and catch some sun, saw at least a hundred schoolgirls sobbing into handkerchiefs as one, I don't believe they knew I was a schoolboy", I've always been a hardcore fan of Ian's lyrics, the tell so much and I'm such a perfect narrative way, simply memorable.

The guitar solos and riffs my Martin Barre are powerful and melodic making his presence mandatory in Tull's music, to me he represents the other face of the band, the less playful and more dramatic face, that face that tells you that the work must get done!

Jeffrey Hammond and Clive Bunker (his last album with the band) got along so well maintaining the wizard's craziness so into place and with the perfect flow, one of a pair! And the John Evan's jazzy, rocky, proggy and psychedelic piano and organ playing (and of course Mellotron!) balances everything rounding up to what for many would be the classic lineup for the band.

"When I was young and they packed me off to school and taught me how not to play the game, I didn't mind if they groomed me for success or if they said that I was just a fool. So I led there in the morning with their god tucked underneath my arm, their half-assed smiles and the book of rules". Masterpiece

 The Zealot Gene by JETHRO TULL album cover Studio Album, 2022
3.41 | 147 ratings

BUY
The Zealot Gene
Jethro Tull Prog Folk

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

4 stars I first saw Jethro Tull on the 'Under Wraps' tour, spent thousands of pounds on collecting rare releases, and my first ever piece of published writing was in the 'A New Day' fanzine some time in another life. The last time I saw them play was back in 2004, but even though I then left the country not long after and there has been no opportunity to see them play in NZ, I vowed never to go and see them again as it no longer felt like Tull and Ian had lost his voice. Tull kept going until 2012, and then went on hiatus, reforming in 2017. The current line-up features John O'Hara (keyboards, backing vocals) and David Goodier (bass, double bass) who both joined the band in 2007, plus new boys Scott Hammond (drums, percussion, joined 2017) and Joe Parrish (lead guitar, who joined in 2020).

Tull have always had an issue with retaining members, but at one point Ian said that he could not imagine there being a Tull without Martin and Peggy, but here we are. Martin is away touring with his own band playing Jethro Tull music while Peggy is of course folking around as always. That being said, Ian has written all the material and controlled the band ever since he and Mick Abrahams had a falling out more than half a century ago. Is it a surprise then to see a new Tull album? Well, the band have been touring and apart from Ian no-one has actually played on any releases as the last album was all the way back in 1999 (no, I am not including 'The Christmas Album'), so perhaps it is fair. Also, a Tull album is way more commercially acceptable than a solo album, and that is exactly how 'A' came about along with the sacking of John Evan, Dee (David) Palmer and Barriemore Barlow.

It would be wrong to compare Jethro Tull of 2022 to the band of 50 years ago as we are not in the same world whatsoever, but how does it compare to 'Rock Island' or 'Catfish Rising'? Surprisingly well it must be said. Actually, I found that as a complete album this had more in common with 'Crest of a Knave' than either of them, perhaps down to Ian recording much of it in his own studio with everyone else also working that way due to COVID. Opener "Mrs. Tibbets" could well have come from that album and would sit well alongside the likes of "Mountain Men". While his vocals are noticeably not as strong as they used to be, particularly in the upper registers, overall his singing was far better than I expected it to be given his issues in the past while his flute playing is still as sharp and dynamic as it has ever been.

We get a mix of rockers and acoustic numbers, with some nice harmonica on "Jacob's Tales" which takes us back in time, and while they are longer than the mouthwash material Ian was keen on in the early days to provide quick breaks, it has the same impact in providing strong contrast and dynamics. This was an album I approached with dread, as I was convinced it just was not going to be as good as I could ever hope, yet it exceeded all my expectations and reminded me why I used to spend silly amounts of money on the band. It has also made me want to go back and revisit my rather extensive collection, something I have not done in quite some time. I have even revisited my previous promise of never seeing them again. They may not be the Tull I grew up with, but this is a thoroughly enjoyable release which deserves to be viewed well within the overall canon.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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