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JETHRO TULL

Prog Folk • United Kingdom


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Jethro Tull biography
" 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 dissolved after which Anderson and bass player Glen Cornick joined up with guitarist Mick Abrahms and drummer Clive...
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A Passion Play (2xCD+2xDVD)A Passion Play (2xCD+2xDVD)
Rhino 2014
Audio CD$22.54
$29.81 (used)
AqualungAqualung
Parlophone 1999
Audio CD$4.30
$1.87 (used)
Benefit (Deluxe 2xCD+DVD)Benefit (Deluxe 2xCD+DVD)
WEA 2013
Audio CD$19.01
$22.70 (used)
Thick As A BrickThick As A Brick
Parlophone 1997
Audio CD$6.74
$3.77 (used)
Very Best of Jethro TullVery Best of Jethro Tull
Parlophone 2001
Audio CD$3.92
$2.45 (used)
Stand UpStand Up
Parlophone 2002
Audio CD$4.27
$3.11 (used)
The Best of Jethro Tull; The Anniversary CollectionThe Best of Jethro Tull; The Anniversary Collection
Parlophone 2008
Audio CD$7.25
$6.99 (used)
Thick As a Brick, 40th Anniversary Special EditionThick As a Brick, 40th Anniversary Special Edition
Capitol 2013
Audio CD$33.99
$30.49 (used)
This WasThis Was
Parlophone 2002
Audio CD$7.77
$7.00 (used)
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1h 2m
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JETHRO TULL Thick as a Brick LP 1972 Reprise Records Canada Gatefold w/Newspaper US $8.95 Buy It Now 3h 3m
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8h 3m
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War Child [Remaster] by Jethro Tull (CD, Oct-2002, Chrysalis Records) US $7.99 Buy It Now 10h 31m
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JETHRO TULL shows & tickets


  • Jethro Tull on 22 Aug 2014
  • Jethro Tull at Budapesti Kongresszusi Központ (Budapest Congress and World Trade Center), Budapest on 23 Aug 2014
  • Tohu-Bohu Festival on 5 Sep 2014
  • Jethro Tull's Martin Barre Band on 4 Dec 2014
  • The Best of Jethro Tull on 19 Dec 2014

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 | 541 ratings
This Was
1968
4.03 | 820 ratings
Stand Up
1969
3.90 | 685 ratings
Benefit
1970
4.32 | 1711 ratings
Aqualung
1971
4.64 | 2248 ratings
Thick As A Brick
1972
4.00 | 973 ratings
A Passion Play
1973
3.26 | 524 ratings
War Child
1974
3.98 | 776 ratings
Minstrel In The Gallery
1975
3.05 | 488 ratings
Too Old To Rock 'n' Roll: Too Young To Die!
1976
4.16 | 937 ratings
Songs From The Wood
1977
3.99 | 765 ratings
Heavy Horses
1978
3.45 | 478 ratings
Stormwatch
1979
3.19 | 384 ratings
A
1980
3.27 | 429 ratings
The Broadsword And The Beast
1982
2.21 | 336 ratings
Under Wraps
1984
3.02 | 77 ratings
A Classic Case
1985
3.22 | 374 ratings
Crest Of A Knave
1987
2.66 | 286 ratings
Rock Island
1989
2.57 | 271 ratings
Catfish Rising
1991
3.63 | 330 ratings
Roots To Branches
1995
3.04 | 287 ratings
J-Tull Dot Com
1999
3.52 | 270 ratings
The Jethro Tull Christmas Album
2003

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

4.16 | 273 ratings
Live - Bursting Out
1978
2.85 | 38 ratings
Live At Hammersmith '84
1990
3.64 | 129 ratings
A Little Light Music
1992
2.97 | 31 ratings
In Concert
1995
3.60 | 88 ratings
Living With The Past
2002
4.12 | 108 ratings
Nothing Is Easy: Live At The Isle Of Wight 1970
2004
3.44 | 76 ratings
Aqualung Live
2005
3.75 | 61 ratings
Live At Montreux 2003
2007

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

3.81 | 39 ratings
Slipstream (DVD)
1981
3.74 | 34 ratings
20 Years of Jethro Tull (VHS)
1988
3.39 | 62 ratings
Living With the Past
2002
2.99 | 38 ratings
A New Day Yesterday - The 25th Anniversary Collection
2003
3.82 | 79 ratings
Nothing Is Easy: Live At The Isle Of Wight 1970
2005
3.02 | 48 ratings
Live At Montreux 2003
2007
3.80 | 20 ratings
Slipstream (9 song version)
2007
4.04 | 28 ratings
Classic Artists Series: Jethro Tull
2008
3.21 | 24 ratings
Jack In The Green - Live In Germany
2008
3.67 | 17 ratings
Songs From Bethlehem (DVD)
2008
4.36 | 81 ratings
Live At Madison Square Garden 1978 (DVD + CD)
2009
3.77 | 35 ratings
Live at AVO Session Basel 2008
2009
4.33 | 21 ratings
Around the World Live (4DVD)
2013
4.50 | 2 ratings
Thick As A Brick - Live In Iceland
2014

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

4.11 | 233 ratings
Living In The Past
1972
2.88 | 60 ratings
M.U. - The Best Of Jethro Tull
1976
3.09 | 37 ratings
Repeat - The Best Of Jethro Tull - Vol. II
1977
3.15 | 49 ratings
Original Masters
1985
3.51 | 63 ratings
20 Years Of Jethro Tull Box
1988
4.48 | 58 ratings
20 Years Of Jethro Tull (The Definitive Collection)
1988
3.69 | 32 ratings
20 Years Of Jethro Tull (USA release)
1989
3.61 | 120 ratings
Nightcap
1993
3.77 | 41 ratings
The Best Of Jethro Tull: The Anniversary Collection
1993
4.36 | 58 ratings
25th Anniversary Box Set
1993
2.47 | 17 ratings
A Jethro Tull Collection
1997
1.33 | 22 ratings
Through The Years
1997
2.83 | 57 ratings
The Very Best Of Jethro Tull
2001
2.25 | 9 ratings
Essential Jethro Tull
2007
3.32 | 36 ratings
The Best Of Acoustic Jethro Tull
2007
3.61 | 37 ratings
The Jethro Tull Christmas Album / Live - Christmas at St Bride's 2008
2009
4.39 | 31 ratings
Aqualung - 40th Anniversary Collector's Edition
2011
4.92 | 27 ratings
Thick As A Brick - 40th Anniversary Special Edition
2012

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

3.60 | 10 ratings
Love Story
1968
3.73 | 15 ratings
A Song For Jeffrey
1968
3.04 | 8 ratings
Sunshine Day
1968
3.96 | 19 ratings
Sweet Dream / 17
1969
3.87 | 15 ratings
The Witch's Promise
1969
4.43 | 21 ratings
Living In The Past
1969
3.73 | 11 ratings
Inside
1970
4.48 | 22 ratings
Life Is A Long Song E.P.
1971
3.75 | 12 ratings
Hymn 43
1971
4.09 | 22 ratings
Living In The Past
1972
3.42 | 19 ratings
Bungle In The Jungle
1974
3.11 | 17 ratings
Ring Out Solstice Bells
1976
4.05 | 21 ratings
The Whistler
1977
3.93 | 22 ratings
Moths
1978
2.48 | 14 ratings
North Sea Oil
1979
3.92 | 13 ratings
Home E.P.
1979
3.29 | 14 ratings
Working John, Working Joe
1980
3.09 | 16 ratings
Fallen On Hard Times
1982
3.00 | 15 ratings
Broadsword
1982
2.75 | 16 ratings
Lap Of Luxury
1984
3.70 | 10 ratings
Coronach
1986
3.50 | 10 ratings
Said She Was A Dancer 12''
1987
3.40 | 10 ratings
Steel Monkey 12''
1987
3.68 | 16 ratings
Another Christmas Song
1989
3.55 | 13 ratings
This Is Not Love
1991
3.73 | 13 ratings
Rocks On The Road
1991
2.81 | 12 ratings
Living in the (Slightly More Recent) Past / Living in the Past
1993
2.52 | 16 ratings
Rare And Precious Chain
1995
2.92 | 13 ratings
Bends Like A Willow
1999
3.13 | 8 ratings
The Christmas EP
2004

JETHRO TULL Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Songs From The Wood by JETHRO TULL album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.16 | 937 ratings

BUY
Songs From The Wood
Jethro Tull Prog Folk

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

5 stars "Songs from the Wood" is the last of the 70s Jethro Tull albums for me to hear so I was hoping for something very special. Admittedly I knew of the album's reputation from reading many reviews and overall it was receiving rave reviews so this is how I approached the album; with some high expectations. The only way was up for JT after that failed rock opera the previous year.

The moment it cranked into the opening tracks I was startled at the intricate progressive folk soundscape generated. It is a killer track and features all that makes Tull so unique; flute, nasal vocals, technical guitar and keyboard finesse. This is followed by another gem 'Jack- In-The-Green' with Anderson playing everything, such a tour de force performance from the master. 'Cup Of Wonder; is nothing special and slowed the pace somewhat but thankfully 'Hunting Girl' is an excellent return to form with highly unusual structure and folk pastoral passages.

'Ring Out, Solstice Bells' is another treasure with medieval atmospherics along with the acoustic and flute interplay on 'Velvet Green'. This track is so well executed musically it shines like a beacon on the album. The extended break is gloriously laced with flute, pipe, fractured time sigs and angular guitar; very progressive on every level.

I was now under the impression that I was listening to one of the Jethro Tull classics, but it wasn't until the next track that I was certain of it. 'The Whistler' is utterly brilliant, with such a melodic hook and beautiful lyrics that have an emotional edge; "Deep red are the sun-sets in mystical places, Black are the nights on summer-day sands, We'll find the speck of truth in each riddle, Hold the first grain of love in our hands." The flute work is masterful and caps this off as a jewel in Tull's catalogue.

'Pibroch (Cap In Hand)' is blessed with a dynamic lead solo intro by Martin Barre. It locks into a slow pace but is never dull thanks to some scintillating flute and guitar interplay. It is a complex song with some extended instrumental breaks bookended by blues driven verses and emotional flute. One of the better longer Tull songs and the icing on the cake is the Barre lead break at the end. 'Fire At Midnight' concludes the album with more prog folk, the softer side of Anderson, and the lead break is well executed along with dreamy flute closing the album with a nice atmosphere.

Overall "Songs From The Wood" lives up to the hype and is one of the greatest Jethro Tull albums along with other masterpieces "Thick as a Brick" and "Aqualung". I would rate it as their third best followed closely by "Benefit" and "Minstrel in the Gallery" as the definitive top 5 must have Tull albums.

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 Too Old To Rock 'n' Roll: Too Young To Die! by JETHRO TULL album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.05 | 488 ratings

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Too Old To Rock 'n' Roll: Too Young To Die!
Jethro Tull Prog Folk

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

2 stars Adorned with a dreadful album cover and sporting one successful single that has been played too often on the radio, Jethro Tull sunk to some depths with "Too Old To Rock 'n' Roll: Too Young To Die". It was based on a failed stage musical about a greaser who wanted to be a rock star and Anderson swears its not supposed to be him yet the cover art is definitely in his likeness. This fictitious failed 50s teen hearththrob is Ray Lomas, who wins a fortune on a quiz show but finds that money can't buy happiness. After a failed suicide attempt he awakens from a coma and indulges in extreme plastic surgery to be reborn into the rockstar lifestyle; a never ending cycle.

The title track spells this storyline out and is well known but is not enough to give this album any real credibility. The concept is muddled and hard to decipher unless you read up in it. The best songs are found early, namely the rollicking catchy 'Quizz Kid', 'Crazed Institution', acoustic driven 'Salamander' and blues guitar heaviness on 'Taxi Grab'.

After this the album becomes a mediocre affair, outside of the title single. 'From A Dead Beat To An Old Greaser' is interminably dull and morbid. 'Bad-Eyed and Loveless' is okay, as is 'Big Dipper' but 'Pied Piper' is forgettable and tries too hard to capture old Tull magic of the whimsical pastoral years, yet fails in its attempt. 'The Chequered Flag (Dead or Alive)' is a terrible closing track and sends me to sleep.

So there you have it, some decent tracks and some not worth hearing, but that's the fault of the record producers who wanted an album out quickly to house the mega title single that rocketed up the charts. It was released in a rush and sounds like it, with enough filler material to sink a battleship. This is the non-progressive Tull album we didn't want to hear, but its salvageable thanks to a few good songs amidst the mediocrity.

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 This Was by JETHRO TULL album cover Studio Album, 1968
3.31 | 541 ratings

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This Was
Jethro Tull Prog Folk

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars Jethro Tull crawled into prog legend status gradually and it happened way after their 1968 debut. The Tull sound on the first release is indeed miles away from "Thick as a Brick" and far removed from "Benefit" for that matter. "This Was" is a blues driven beast with some hard driving guitar riffs thrown in the mix. The classy heavy riff on opener 'My Sunday Feeling' is typical of the late 60s progressive sound, all guitars locked into a riff and allowing some flute augmentation.

'Beggar's Farm' is a trippy hippy thing with glorious flute soloing and a cool guitar phrase driving it, played by Mick Abrahams. A definitive highlight found on many compilations, this song along shows what the band are capable of and where they will head in the future. Some tracks are pure blues such as 'Someday the sun won't shine for you', and odd jazz brass blues on 'Move On Along'. 'Serenade to a Cuckoo' is all 12 bar blues with beautiful flute warbling drifting across. Anderson shines as usual on flute even in these early recordings, and his vocal groanings are heard as he plays which became a trademark of his playing style over the years.

'Dharma For One' follows, a more well known song and heavier pumping along with grinding guitar and fast flute flutters. The vocals disappeared on this and the previous track but the musicianship is excellent so no matter. The drums feature on this one with killer solos crashing in by Clive Bunker. Abrahams guitar solo also features in this proverbial jam session.

'It's Breaking Me Up' is 4 on the floor slow Blues with harmonica, sounding like Canned Heat or Ten Years After and I don't mind that at all, though I didn't expect this sound from Tull. 'Cat's Squirrel' is a heavier song with great guitar soloing and improvised sections along a driving beat with a psychedelic vibe, not unlike early Led Zeppelin.

'A Song For Jeffrey' is the other good song that is better known in the Tull catalogue. It crashes through as a shining beacon with elements of Tull as we will know them on subsequent albums. The flute is blazing, along with harmonica, fiery slide guitar and estranged vocals. "This Was" is Tull in their earliest phase so tread gently. It may not be prog but it's got some cracking blues rock and is the beginning of their journey into greatness. This was where it began? though we "don't see, see, see where they are goin'!"

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 Heavy Horses by JETHRO TULL album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.99 | 765 ratings

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Heavy Horses
Jethro Tull Prog Folk

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars Jethro Tull have released so many albums over the years that it is easy to take it for granted that some albums become overrated or even maligned by music reviewers. "Heavy Horses" is one such album, receiving some scathing reviews and being critiqued as focussing too much on a pastoral woodland atmosphere, treated like a crop that has failed. I had heard the album years ago and let it rest not having made my mind up what to make of this approach. Tull moved into mainstream pop sounds in the 80s with oddball tracks such as 'Lap of Luxury' or 'Steel Monkey' so at least 1978's "Heavy Horses" has a progressive feel and some killer tracks such as the title track.

There are many great moments on the album although overall it does not meet a consistent standard of excellence. 'Heavy Horses' is undoubtedly the showstopper with enough melodic hooks that saw it gain some success on the music charts. It opens with a classic riff that is well known. It moves into a verse sung with feeling; "Iron-clad feather-feet pounding the dust, An October's day, towards evening, Sweat embossed veins standing proud to the plough, Salt on a deep chest seasoning, Last of the line at an honest day's toil, Turning the deep sod under, Flint at the fetlock, chasing the bone, Flies at the nostrils plunder." The mid section builds into a canter and encapsulates a joyous spirit augmented by exuberant violin.

'One Brown Mouse' is another highlight worth attention, along with the other rodent track '...And The Mouse Police Never Sleeps', a title reminding me of a Frank Zappa song. On the opening track the flute warbles and twitters from the outset, and Anderson's vocals are often multi layered to good effect. He incorporates an acoustic touch and there are some glorious Hammond organ flourishes. I am not a fan of the ending mantra though. 'One Brown Mouse' has acoustic vibrations and beautiful woodwind along with a nice melody. The lyrics are sweet natured; "Puff warm breath on your tiny hands, You wish you were a man, who every day can turn another page, Behind your glass you sit and look at my ever-open book, One brown mouse sitting in a cage."

Not everything works as some songs feel mediocre and are all but forgotten outside of the Tull fanatic fanbase. However Martin Barre's awesome guitar work is always a delight and he shines here with extended lead breaks on 'No Lullaby' and 'Heavy Horses'. The violin appearances are welcome too, but there is not enough excitement and it meanders along in some songs such as 'Weathercock'.

'Acres Wild' is acoustics and flute pastoral nuances with some banjo and Daryl Way's violin thrown in creating folk atmospheres. The album has its fair share of complex mini epics such as 'No Lullaby' with odd time signatures and some song within a song sections. John Glascock and Barriemore Barlow have a field day and the band certainly adopt a progressive approach.

'Moths' moves into lighter territory, medieval guitars, floating flute and raspy Anderson vox, but it goes on too long and is lyrically uninspiring. 'Journeyman' has a few Barre riffs over a cool funky bassline. The sig is very off kilter and the flute twitters elegantly as an embellishment to Anderson's storytelling vocals. 'Rover' has some nice acoustic and flute interplay. Anderson's vocals are again multi tracked and raspy so it kind of grates on the nerves.

The album is inconsistent but houses some gems so is worth a listen though I have heard way better from this legendary band.

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 Ring Out Solstice Bells by JETHRO TULL album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1976
3.11 | 17 ratings

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Ring Out Solstice Bells
Jethro Tull Prog Folk

Review by Matti
Collaborator Neo-Prog Team

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...)

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 Benefit by JETHRO TULL album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.90 | 685 ratings

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Benefit
Jethro Tull Prog Folk

Review by GruvanDahlman
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Jethro Tull, eh? The band that rose from blues origins and went through rapid change and progression, heading straight into legend with a string of mostly genial albums in the 70's? Yes, that's the one. Jethro Tull's debut was anything but classic blues, displaying a wide variety of influences and progression. What they created on This was was in fact an outstanding display of vision. A great album, really. Then the progression went even further on Stand up, in order to reach a sort of pre-progressive/proto-progressive zenith on Benefit.

For a long time I thought Benefit was the best of the lot, even surpassing Aqualung. This was before I discovered A passion play and Thick as a brick. Both of those surpassing Aqualung in quality. My stab at being controversial ends there. I think Aqualung comes in as number three in the ranking of Tull's albums. Anyway, I am rambling as usual. I thought Benefit was the greatest, yes. That's it. My mind has changed since then. Benefit is a marvellous album, really it is. It still is and probably always will. At least I hope so.

When i listen to it nowadays i think I am, in part, struck by nostalgia but foremost I find that this album displays a lot of what Tull stands for. Their standpoint is one of blues, hard rock, folk and classical elements, all poured into that great musical blender and served as a cocktail of unspeakable originality. However, I think that Benefit for the most part lingers back in the progressive blues territory, albeit with several feet in their progressive future. The songs are folky, hard rocking at times and we are served a slice or two of classical cake. That is all very well and the result is very nice. I do think, however, that the album is slightly less genial than I once perceived. If I was to suggest an album to start off with I would, most likely, recommend some later album. Aqualung, I guess.

As a Tull-head, and having been one for over 20 years, I find a lot to love on Benefit and I still think it is one of my favorite albums. Not because I think it is the best work they made, simply because it is a wonderfully charming album, conquering musical territory back in the day. If you are into Tull, this is a great album. If you are about to discover them, go for Aqualung or Thick as a brick.

Conclusion: 3 stars, given with love and affection.

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 Stand Up by JETHRO TULL album cover Studio Album, 1969
4.03 | 820 ratings

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Stand Up
Jethro Tull Prog Folk

Review by MJAben

3 stars Leaps and Bounds ahead of their debut but nowhere near the mammoth that would be Aqualung.

At this point, Tull seemed to be in a transitional period in many ways, not only was the lineup fragile with the inclusion of new guitarist Martin Barre (and soon to change even more with the inclusion of John Evan and the departure of Clive Bunker and Glenn Cornick). What is the most striking change between the last album and this one is the gradual departure of blues for something that I can only vaguely call "else".

This change wasn't an intentional one but a gradual shift of interest with the loss Mick Abrahams who was (to a large degree) much of the blues influence on the debut album. I don't think at this point you could justifiably call the band "Ian Anderson and co." but Ian's image for the band began to change and (lo and behold) so did the music. We see here a much larger progressive (though not fully implemented yet) and folky influence that we come to associate with later albums and, in many ways, the band.

As has been stated by many a reviewer this is a transitional album bridging the gap from what they were to what they would come to be. I don't want to go into individual songs, mainly because it's hard with such a varied and diverse album to rate each song fairly. I think it's right to say that there isn't a weak track on the album, not that I enjoy every track but that no track feels as though it's filler. My problem with the album however lies in this variety and in the fact that the album is so unfocused. It's a good album, at times a great album, but compositionally a mere shadow of albums such as Aqualung and TaaB which are soon to come.

This is an important album for Tull, an important album for those who want to understand and document and collect Tull but this is in no way a high point of their career (though it was what lead into it).

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 The Broadsword And The Beast by JETHRO TULL album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.27 | 429 ratings

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The Broadsword And The Beast
Jethro Tull Prog Folk

Review by Prog 74

2 stars 80s Tull. They go together like chocolate & asparagus. The production on this album is naturally very 80s sounding which is fine if you are Rush in 1982, but Jethro Tull did not come into the new decade gracefully. 'A' was like a bad omen which along with this album and especially it's follow up, the dreadful 'Under Wraps', just showed just how fast Tull was sinking. A shame since 'Stormwatch' from 1979 was not really that bad at all. It at least gave one hope that good things were in store for this legendary prog band. But, alas it was not meant to be. The synthesisers throughout the album are just a sad reminder that the good days were over and the tastleless 80s were upon us. Still, the cool album cover saves this album from the dreaded one star rating. For Tull completionists only.

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 Aqualung by JETHRO TULL album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.32 | 1711 ratings

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Aqualung
Jethro Tull Prog Folk

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars The legendary British Hard/Folk Rock band was formed in Luton in 1967, although its leader Ian Anderson (vocals, flute) originated from Blackpool.Guitarist Mick Abrahams, bassist Glenn Cornick and drummer Clive Bunker completed the original line-up, which was signed by Chrysallis.Abrahams left after the first album ''This was'' (1968), replaced by Martin Barre and this line-up recorded ''Stand up'' in 1969.Cornick was forced to exit Jethro Tull in 1970 after the release of the ''Benefit'' album due to his distant relationship with the rest of the members, Jeffrey Hammond enters the picture and keyboardist John Evan was promoted to a full-time member.Fourth album ''Aqualunq'' was recorded at Island Studios between December 70'-February 71' and was released in March, more or less a thematic work around faith and the relation between man and God.

Jethro Tull's musical roots can be found in a Heavy/Blues Rock style, which the band never actually abandoned, but through the sands of time they developed their own style combining Folk, Rock and Classical Music elements, leading to the first trully refined album of the group.''Aqualung'' stands for many as a classic of the Prog Rock genre, having a devastating power, performed through the hard guitar riffing, a nostalgic attitude due to the instant bluesy tunes, but also a strong progressive and British-styled content, characterized by Evan's interesting keyboard parts, Anderson's fiery solos and the addition of more complex themes in their music.More impressively the band did develop their new style in short but rich pieces without feeling to execute long or stretched compositions.The music on ''Aqualung'' contains balanced textures with laid-back passages, based on Anderson's poetic voice and the changing flute/acoustic guitar sections, and more emphatic moments with dense instrumental parts and a raw power, delivered via dynamic electric tunes, complicated tempo changes and in-your-face flute interventions.Still Evan is there to offer the appropriate elaborate touch with nice Hammond organ parts, pleasant piano lines and even some orchestral Mellotrons.As a result ''Aqualung'' starts its journey from the rural fields of UK, passes through the Blues Rock of the 60's and ends up in the upcoming wave of British Prog Rock, combining different levels of energy in a well-composed and nicely performed album.

Not a masterpiece in my opinion, but certainly an excellent album of energetic Prog Rock from the early-70's with great vocals and plenty of instrumental diversity.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

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 Live - Bursting Out by JETHRO TULL album cover Live, 1978
4.16 | 273 ratings

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Live - Bursting Out
Jethro Tull Prog Folk

Review by Chicapah
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I've had a love/hate relationship with Jethro Tull since my friend Tommy Cline turned me on to the curious aura that inhabited their debut album, 'This Was,' early in 1970. Some of their records make me happy as a turkey the day after Thanksgiving and some of them infuriate me no end. Rarely is there anything in the middle. This live double disc LP that featured performances culled from the European leg of their tour in support of their remarkable 'Heavy Horses' album in '78 is par for the course. The first half of the recording shows conclusively why this band is a genuine and very deserving titan in Progland while the second half only confirms to me how they can be frustratingly patronizing when it comes to exploiting the hard rock side of their collective personality. Having said that, I must admit 'Bursting Out' is what I expected considering my rocky relationship with this eclectic group. Frontman Ian Anderson's snarky but inoffensive you-bought-the-ticket-so-take-it-or-leave-it attitude speaks directly to the prog snob me and I accept his grinning ain't-life-a-surreal-trip countenance willingly. I'm a fan because the upside of Jethro Tull trumps the downside every time. I had the privilege of seeing them live sometime later the same year I discovered them whilst they were on their 'Stand Up' tour so I already knew how incredible they could be when they were feeling their oats. It was really just a matter of finding out how well their onstage presence and musical acumen was captured on tape.

They opened the show the way I would've anticipated them to with something extremely progressive. These guys had no intention of taking the formulaic route by starting things off with one of their familiar hits. On the contrary, they came out and smacked the audience upside the head with a song that was foreign to at least ninety percent of those in attendance. 'No Lullaby' is a highly complex number off of 'Heavy Horses' that emphasizes their uniqueness rather than their accessibility. The band is incredibly tight and precise in every area, fostering a satisfied smile that creases my aging mug. One of my all-time favorite JT tunes, 'Skating Away on the Thin Ice of the New Day,' is next and they don't disappoint. They have an uncanny ability to make difficult songs like this one sound like child's play. The sound quality is impeccable in that every delicate nuance from the glockenspiel to the accordion comes through clear as a bell. 'Jack in the Green' follows and I get the feeling that their set list was developed with the material they preferred in mind and not in an effort to kowtow to those who came to hear 'Bungle in the Jungle.' Because of that emphasis their delivery is spirited and energetic throughout, especially in the early stages of the program. On 'One Brown Mouse' I'm reminded that no one, and I mean no one sounds like Jethro Tull. They're totally off the reservation most of the time and usually creative and progressive-minded without apology. Kudos to the keyboard duo of John Evan and David Palmer for their tactful work on this particular selection. 'A New Day Yesterday' (from the masterpiece that is 'Stand Up') gets an updated treatment that takes advantage of the tune's inherent dynamics. Guitarist Martin Barre slays his solo and the unison riffs at the end are very cool. I prefer their addicting studio version but this ain't anything to sneer at. After that they jump right into an extended flute flurry wherein showman Ian gets his prancing ya-yas out while putting on a clinic of how to astound a crowd with his slender instrument of choice. The group playfully joins in when he veers into a verse of 'God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen' and again later on when he takes a too-short detour into the brilliant 'Bouree' that's a treat to my ears every time I hear it.

For 'Songs from the Wood' their boys club chorale vocalizing impresses before they slip right into the number as effortlessly as putting on a pair of warm, fuzzy slippers. Next they present their gift to the prog world known as 'Thick as a Brick.' To say they do this icon of our esteemed and honorable genre full justice is an understatement. Hearing it performed in a live setting gives the listener a fresh perspective on how great this piece of music is. Yes, it's been trimmed down considerably for time's sake but, all in all, it's a stellar rendition of a multi-faceted treasure that never fails to fascinate. It would be hard for any of their compositions to match that gem so they ease their enraptured multitude down a bit with 'Hunting Girl,' one of their intricately-arranged electrically-charged prog folk ditties that sets them apart from all others who dare to enter their end of the prog field. While 'Too Old to Rock 'n Roll, Too Young to Die' is far from being the best track from that surprisingly fine album of the same name, it's the most identifiable to the folks out front and they do it well. However, it also marks a turning point in this particular extravaganza as they go in a direction I wish they wouldn't go in. Their overrated disc, 'Minstrel in the Gallery,' has never done much for me and their presentation of the title cut here doesn't change my opinion although I do admire Barre's enthusiasm as he punches it hard with his edgy guitar attack.

At this juncture the band descends into outright pandering to the throng by playing three numbers in a row from their popular sellout album, 'Aqualung.' Thankfully, 'Cross-Eyed Mary' comes off less shrilly than the original but I can't say the same for the overexposed tune that bears that dubious record's moniker. That lumbering number always conjures up bad memories for me because it was that LP that figuratively threw a bucket of water on my white-hot obsession with the band when it came out in late '71 and estranged me from their work for a very long time. I understand that it's a bonafide crowd-pleaser (the gathered mass of humanity croons like they're at a soccer match when it's over) but I don't have to like it. It's much too plodding and coarse for my taste. 'Locomotive Breath' follows and I'm tempted to simply say 'ditto' but I'll try to be unbiased as I assess it. At least the piano intro is engaging but once they jump into the 'rawkin'' meat of the song they ham it up for all it's worth and milk this stale staple of classic rock radio dry. The ending is purposely pompous and noisy and it leads to something labeled 'The Dambusters March' which is some kind of raucous, intense instrumental sequence that suddenly ebbs down to a cheeky acoustic guitar and vocal as Anderson reprises the famous line from 'Aqualung' before the lights go out.

The US release left off three obscure tracks ('Quatrain,' 'Sweet Dreams' and 'Conundrum') probably for cost-effective reasons and perhaps someday I'll get a chance to hear them because they're most likely unorthodox. After reading my therapeutic get-it-off-my-chest rant concerning the inclusion of what I call the dregs of their catalog one might think I didn't care for this concert album but you'd be wrong. I deem it excellent because it's a fair representation of the band's approach to entertaining and I certainly can't cast dispersions on the engineering involved. It's top shelf on the technical side from start to finish. Special mention must go out to the rhythm section of Barriemore Barlow on drums and John Glascock on bass because they do a superb job of holding it all together while establishing a solid groove under every selection. A dedicated follower probably has this album already. If you're a Jethro Tull novice you'll get a good dose of the twisted genius that makes this group so special. But be forewarned. They just might drive you nuts, too. 3.6 stars.

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