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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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WarChild (Limited Edition 2xCD+2xDVD)WarChild (Limited Edition 2xCD+2xDVD)
Box set
Rhino 2014
Audio CD$37.98
A Passion Play (2xCD+2xDVD)A Passion Play (2xCD+2xDVD)
Rhino 2014
Audio CD$22.78
$29.81 (used)
AqualungAqualung
Parlophone 1999
Audio CD$4.30
$2.65 (used)
Thick As A BrickThick As A Brick
Parlophone 1997
Audio CD$5.98
$5.68 (used)
Very Best of Jethro TullVery Best of Jethro Tull
Parlophone 2001
Audio CD$4.24
$1.37 (used)
Original Album SeriesOriginal Album Series
Rhino 2014
Audio CD$13.20
$15.85 (used)
Stand UpStand Up
Parlophone 2002
Audio CD$3.91
$2.70 (used)
The Best of Jethro Tull; The Anniversary CollectionThe Best of Jethro Tull; The Anniversary Collection
Parlophone 2008
Audio CD$12.46
$10.68 (used)
BenefitBenefit
Parlophone 2002
Audio CD$4.33
$4.33 (used)
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JETHRO TULL, LP "Heavy Horses", orig 1978 US release, shrink, EX, Ian Anderson US $6.50 [0 bids]
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Living with the Past Jethro Tull CD 21 Complete hits Original Brand New US $6.28 Buy It Now 3h 27m
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Rock Roll Music Record Album ~JETHRO TULL~Vintage Vinyl 33 RPM LP w/BOOKLET 1973 US $22.95 Buy It Now 7h 44m
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JETHRO TULL shows & tickets


  • Martin Barre + Jethro Tull at T Club, Madrid on 15 Nov 2014
  • Jethro Tull's Martin Barre Band on 4 Dec 2014
  • The Best of Jethro Tull on 19 Dec 2014
  • Jethro Tull at Cemal Resit Rey Konser Salonu, Istanbul on 5 Feb 2015

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)

3.32 | 559 ratings
This Was
1968
4.03 | 835 ratings
Stand Up
1969
3.91 | 696 ratings
Benefit
1970
4.32 | 1754 ratings
Aqualung
1971
4.64 | 2304 ratings
Thick As A Brick
1972
4.01 | 998 ratings
A Passion Play
1973
3.27 | 542 ratings
War Child
1974
3.98 | 792 ratings
Minstrel In The Gallery
1975
3.05 | 504 ratings
Too Old To Rock 'n' Roll: Too Young To Die!
1976
4.17 | 961 ratings
Songs From The Wood
1977
4.00 | 788 ratings
Heavy Horses
1978
3.46 | 488 ratings
Stormwatch
1979
3.19 | 395 ratings
A
1980
3.26 | 445 ratings
The Broadsword And The Beast
1982
2.21 | 347 ratings
Under Wraps
1984
3.03 | 84 ratings
A Classic Case
1985
3.22 | 388 ratings
Crest Of A Knave
1987
2.66 | 300 ratings
Rock Island
1989
2.58 | 283 ratings
Catfish Rising
1991
3.64 | 341 ratings
Roots To Branches
1995
3.04 | 296 ratings
J-Tull Dot Com
1999
3.52 | 275 ratings
The Jethro Tull Christmas Album
2003

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

4.17 | 276 ratings
Live - Bursting Out
1978
2.85 | 40 ratings
Live At Hammersmith '84
1990
3.64 | 133 ratings
A Little Light Music
1992
2.98 | 33 ratings
In Concert
1995
3.60 | 87 ratings
Living With The Past
2002
4.14 | 108 ratings
Nothing Is Easy: Live At The Isle Of Wight 1970
2004
3.44 | 80 ratings
Aqualung Live
2005
3.77 | 64 ratings
Live At Montreux 2003
2007

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

3.81 | 40 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 | 80 ratings
Nothing Is Easy: Live At The Isle Of Wight 1970
2005
3.03 | 51 ratings
Live At Montreux 2003
2007
3.76 | 21 ratings
Slipstream (9 song version)
2007
4.00 | 29 ratings
Classic Artists Series: Jethro Tull
2008
3.23 | 25 ratings
Jack In The Green - Live In Germany
2008
3.68 | 18 ratings
Songs From Bethlehem
2008
4.35 | 84 ratings
Live At Madison Square Garden 1978 (DVD + CD)
2009
3.76 | 36 ratings
Live at AVO Session Basel 2008
2009
4.61 | 18 ratings
Around the World Live (4DVD)
2013

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

4.11 | 234 ratings
Living In The Past
1972
3.05 | 60 ratings
M.U. - The Best Of Jethro Tull
1976
3.09 | 37 ratings
Repeat - The Best Of Jethro Tull - Vol. II
1977
3.16 | 50 ratings
Original Masters
1985
3.50 | 61 ratings
20 Years Of Jethro Tull Box
1988
4.50 | 56 ratings
20 Years Of Jethro Tull (The Definitive Collection)
1988
3.69 | 32 ratings
20 Years Of Jethro Tull (USA release)
1989
3.61 | 122 ratings
Nightcap
1993
3.77 | 42 ratings
The Best Of Jethro Tull: The Anniversary Collection
1993
4.41 | 57 ratings
25th Anniversary Box Set
1993
2.47 | 17 ratings
A Jethro Tull Collection
1997
1.35 | 23 ratings
Through The Years
1997
2.97 | 58 ratings
The Very Best Of Jethro Tull
2001
2.25 | 9 ratings
Essential Jethro Tull
2007
3.34 | 39 ratings
The Best Of Acoustic Jethro Tull
2007
3.76 | 35 ratings
The Jethro Tull Christmas Album / Live - Christmas at St Bride's 2008
2009
4.57 | 28 ratings
Aqualung - 40th Anniversary Collector's Edition
2011
4.92 | 30 ratings
Thick As A Brick - 40th Anniversary Special Edition
2012
4.82 | 11 ratings
A Passion Play: An Extended Perfomance
2014

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

3.60 | 10 ratings
Love Story
1968
3.94 | 16 ratings
A Song For Jeffrey
1968
2.96 | 9 ratings
Sunshine Day
1968
4.10 | 20 ratings
Sweet Dream / 17
1969
4.13 | 16 ratings
The Witch's Promise
1969
4.53 | 23 ratings
Living In The Past
1969
3.69 | 13 ratings
Inside
1970
4.58 | 22 ratings
Life Is A Long Song E.P.
1971
4.08 | 12 ratings
Hymn 43
1971
5.00 | 1 ratings
Aqualung
1971
4.21 | 24 ratings
Living In The Past
1972
3.50 | 20 ratings
Bungle In The Jungle
1974
3.13 | 19 ratings
Ring Out Solstice Bells
1976
4.18 | 22 ratings
The Whistler
1977
0.00 | 0 ratings
A Stitch In Time
1978
4.00 | 22 ratings
Moths
1978
0.00 | 0 ratings
Warm Sporran
1979
2.56 | 15 ratings
North Sea Oil
1979
4.23 | 13 ratings
Home E.P.
1979
3.27 | 15 ratings
Working John, Working Joe
1980
3.16 | 18 ratings
Fallen On Hard Times
1982
3.13 | 16 ratings
Broadsword
1982
2.82 | 17 ratings
Lap Of Luxury
1984
3.90 | 10 ratings
Coronach
1986
3.50 | 10 ratings
Said She Was A Dancer 12''
1987
3.36 | 11 ratings
Steel Monkey 12''
1987
3.68 | 16 ratings
Another Christmas Song
1989
3.52 | 14 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
 A Passion Play  by JETHRO TULL album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.01 | 998 ratings

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A Passion Play
Jethro Tull Prog Folk

Review by branchranch

4 stars So here it is. The Jethro Tull album everybody loves to hate.

It's a shame this album followed the ground-breaking Thick As A Brick. I think everyone knew at the time that TAAB was a great record, but I don't think they realized what a masterpiece it was. It takes time for that sort of thing to sink in.

So here comes A Passion Play. Unquestionably weaker than TAAB, and with a very similar structure. Plus it had that "stupid" story right in the middle. It was even split between sides of the LP, so you couldn't avoid it very easily. So, the critics lambasted the record, and it became the laughing stock of the Tull catalog.

What a shame. The record is really quite good.

It's not as good as Thick as a Brick. But, come on, people, look at the ProgArchives chart of the all-time greatest prog recordings. Nothing is.

Here are the arguments against A Passion Play: No direction - I agree, but only partially. The music is pieced together and doesn't flow well - Agreed, but much of the music is excellent. And there are plenty of prog albums with poor transitions. The Hare Who Lost His Spectacles is a detraction - Strongly agree.

But I find a lot to like in this album. The concept is unassailable, even if it was only partially realized. Even if the album has more than its share of filler, the remaining tunes are outstanding! There is some of the best stuff Jethro Tull ever recorded on this album. And you get Ian Anderson's lyrics.

If this album was released by anyone else other than JT after TAAB, it would have been received much more warmly. It's no masterpiece, but IMHO a very fine example of early 70s prog.

Rating: 4.15, rounded down to 4.

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 The Broadsword And The Beast by JETHRO TULL album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.26 | 445 ratings

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The Broadsword And The Beast
Jethro Tull Prog Folk

Review by aglasshouse

3 stars It was obvious after 'A', that Jethro Tull was going to take their music in a different direction. In my opinion, 'A' was their definite weakest album along with 'Under Wraps' with that electronic/art rock sound to both of them. It is pretty enjoyable to know that they changed their mind at least a little after 'A' with 'Broadsword and the Beast'.

This is a definite comeback after the largely electronic sound they had started to develop. In fact, this is sort of a heavy mix of both prog rock and electronic rock with songs like "Beastie", "Broadsword", and "Watching You Watching Me" are all great Tull classics. Progressive riffs accompany softer electronic beats and make a blend that is no doubt interesting. It is disappointing to know that 'Under Wraps' pretty much ruined the potential effect this album could have had on the band in the future, but I do still think that in the end, Jethro Tull took the right direction and went out with a bang.

If you prefer the later Tull period over the early, this is a definite purchase for you.

Go give it a listen.

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 The Broadsword And The Beast by JETHRO TULL album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.26 | 445 ratings

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The Broadsword And The Beast
Jethro Tull Prog Folk

Review by Dark Nazgul

3 stars Ha Ha! Ian dress like an elf (or a fairy or what???) emerges from the sea wawes with a long sword!!!!!

"The Broadsword And The Beast" is a special record for me because it is the first album by Jethro Tull that I have heard, many years ago. It is certainly an album of his time, characterized by an electronic sound dominated by the keyboards of Peter Vettese, and stylistically very different from other works of the band: indeed Ian Anderson has often changed the style of the band, sometimes to satisfy their own musical taste and other times based on the trends and fashions of the moment. The electronic turning point (which began with the previous album "A") is nothing more than yet another change in the style of a band in perpetual transformation.

There are great songs in this work, even if you do not reach the heights of quality of other masterpieces of the band. Beastie is a pleasant pop-rock of great impact, as well as the most delicate Pussy Willow. Clasp is a strange mixture of folk and electronics: the result could have been a disaster and instead, all in all, the song is strangely pleasant.

Fallen On Hard Times, Broadsword and Slow Marching Band are probably the most successful songs of the album, where it emerges the typical folk soul of Anderson. I really love the beautiful harmonies of Slow Marching Band, it's really a good song.

Flying Colours and Seal Driver are definitely a step lower, and in particular "Flying Colours", despite some beautiful harmonies, is full of excess of obvious self- indulgence. Watching Me Watching You is purely electronic, covered with a carpet of synthy sounds, and is not my taste. In my opinion the weakest song of the album.

Cheerio is the closer, a short but pleasant song.

It is difficult to recommend to anyone buying this album, as even the fans of Jethro Tull might not like. Anyway I do not mind because ultimately it is full of good songs and good ideas, and this in itself is an indisputable merit. Three solid stars for me.

Finally, look at the amazing cover! Another good reason to get this album. Cheerio!

Final rating: 6/10.

Best song: Slow Marching Band

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 Thick As A Brick by JETHRO TULL album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.64 | 2304 ratings

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Thick As A Brick
Jethro Tull Prog Folk

Review by Jordan677778

5 stars This is my first experience with Jethro Tull since hearing the track "Aqualung" long ago. I previously was not aware he produced such masterful pieces of work. This song/album represents absolute creativity and beauty in songwriting. The song takes unexpected twists and turns, yet flows nicely; interlaces previously used pieces later on in a different context; and explores the bounds of how far you can take a "single song". Bravo to Ian Anderson, and to all who were involved in producing it. I've had about a dozen listens through it by now (one month since I first discovered it), and I'm sure I'll probably listen to it another hundred at least. I've read the song (or maybe it's just the lyrics) are satirical, however the song does not come across this way to me. Just a well written epic.

This review is purely about this music, not the lyrics. While I do care about "vocals" - as in the persons voice, and how they manipulate it - I don't particularly care as much about lyrics (in any type of music.)

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 This Was by JETHRO TULL album cover Studio Album, 1968
3.32 | 559 ratings

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This Was
Jethro Tull Prog Folk

Review by siLLy puPPy
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The debut album THIS WAS by one of progressive rocks most celebrated bands JETHRO TULL is a strange little album when you come to this after hearing all the music that came after. THIS WAS the last holdout for me in the JT canon. What we get here is a democratic JETHRO TULL where instruments vie for the limelight, various members contribute to the songwriting and musical styles change at the drop of a hat offering one of the most diverse sounding JT albums in their entire discography. After the band took the name of the famous agriculturist after their formation in 1967, they didn't waste any time putting together a bunch of material for their first album. This is the one album to feature Mick Abrahams as the guitarist and his love of the blues is stamped on each and every track which is, of course, the main reason he and Ian Anderson butted heads over musical direction.

The album starts out with "My Sunday Feeling" sounding almost like a regular JT song from the "Stand Up" or "Benefit" albums upon first listen but then not too far into it, it's clear that this sounds like Ian Anderson joined Peter Green's version of Fleetwood Mac as the flautist. It sounds rather strange but actually works. I do believe JT was the first band to incorporate flute into a rock sound as a full-time instrument. The album has other quirks too like the instrumental "Serenade To A Cuckoo" which has a swanky jazzy exotica feel to it. "Dharma For One" incorporates perhaps the only extended drum solo on any JT album and "Cat's Squirrel" is a heavy hard rock blues track that could possibly be adopted by Cream. Perhaps the most recognizable cut on THIS WAS is that of "A Song For Jeffrey" as it seems to be the song that sounds most like early 70s TULL. It has a beautiful melody that has both flute and harmonica, a nice bluesy slide guitar and Anderson's vocals reminding me of the sound effects he utilizes on "Aqualung."

All in all not a bad debut. I actually find myself liking this one. Although a little inconsistent in its sound and layout it has enough good quality material to make a good listen and the surreality effect is worth the price of admission alone. Although I prefer the democratic approach to songwriting and band efforts, it is clear that once in a while a strong personality like Anderson has more than enough talent to warrant the role of musical dictator and in the case of JETHRO TULL I think it all worked out for the better by his taking the helm and steering the band into the progressive seas that spawned all those classic gems that would come later. Abrahams would go on to continue his blues guitar playing in Blodwyn Pig and we all know that Martin Barre's entry would cement a new sound that would carry the band to great heights. THIS WAS and IS a recommended album.

I have the 40th anniversary remastered edition and it's chock full of all kinds of goodies including John Peel BBC Session recordings, unreleased tracks, different versions of tracks in mono and stereo and cool extensive packaging and liner notes as well. 3.5 rounded up

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 Songs From The Wood by JETHRO TULL album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.17 | 961 ratings

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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 | 504 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
3.32 | 559 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
4.00 | 788 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
3.13 | 19 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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