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JETHRO TULL

Prog Folk • United Kingdom


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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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This Was (50th Anniversary Edition)(3CD/1DVD)This Was (50th Anniversary Edition)(3CD/1DVD)
Rhino/Parlophone 2018
$49.98
Aqualung (Steven Wilson Mix)Aqualung (Steven Wilson Mix)
Rhino/Parlophone 2015
$6.23
$11.25 (used)
50 For 50 (3CD)50 For 50 (3CD)
Rhino/Parlophone 2018
$16.09
$14.54 (used)
Heavy Horses (New Shoes Edition)(3CD/2DVD)Heavy Horses (New Shoes Edition)(3CD/2DVD)
Rhino/Parlophone 2018
$36.08
$47.83 (used)
Songs From The Wood: The Country Set, 40th Anniversary EditionSongs From The Wood: The Country Set, 40th Anniversary Edition
Box set
Rhino/Parlophone 2017
$520.17
The Very Best of Jethro TullThe Very Best of Jethro Tull
Parlophone 2001
$5.58
$1.99 (used)
Too Old to Rock 'N' Roll: Too Young To Die (2CD/2DVD)Too Old to Rock 'N' Roll: Too Young To Die (2CD/2DVD)
Box set
Rhino/Parlophone 2015
$25.89
$35.16 (used)
Aqualung 40th AnniversaryAqualung 40th Anniversary
Parlophone 2011
$13.21
$19.40 (used)
A Passion Play (2CD/2DVD)A Passion Play (2CD/2DVD)
Rhino/Parlophone 2014
$33.00
$199.97 (used)
The Best of Jethro Tull; The Anniversary CollectionThe Best of Jethro Tull; The Anniversary Collection
Parlophone 2008
$11.28
$7.57 (used)
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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 | 775 ratings
This Was
1968
4.05 | 1151 ratings
Stand Up
1969
3.91 | 972 ratings
Benefit
1970
4.35 | 2421 ratings
Aqualung
1971
4.63 | 3077 ratings
Thick As A Brick
1972
4.02 | 1356 ratings
A Passion Play
1973
3.31 | 765 ratings
War Child
1974
4.03 | 1119 ratings
Minstrel In The Gallery
1975
3.08 | 708 ratings
Too Old To Rock 'n' Roll: Too Young To Die!
1976
4.18 | 1320 ratings
Songs From The Wood
1977
4.03 | 1083 ratings
Heavy Horses
1978
3.47 | 686 ratings
Stormwatch
1979
3.21 | 569 ratings
A
1980
3.28 | 614 ratings
The Broadsword And The Beast
1982
2.23 | 486 ratings
Under Wraps
1984
3.01 | 145 ratings
A Classic Case
1985
3.23 | 546 ratings
Crest Of A Knave
1987
2.70 | 431 ratings
Rock Island
1989
2.61 | 401 ratings
Catfish Rising
1991
3.63 | 482 ratings
Roots To Branches
1995
3.03 | 403 ratings
J-Tull Dot Com
1999
3.50 | 380 ratings
The Jethro Tull Christmas Album
2003

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

4.18 | 389 ratings
Live - Bursting Out
1978
2.89 | 53 ratings
Live At Hammersmith '84
1990
3.65 | 173 ratings
A Little Light Music
1992
3.05 | 46 ratings
In Concert
1995
3.64 | 117 ratings
Living With The Past
2002
4.15 | 154 ratings
Nothing Is Easy: Live At The Isle Of Wight 1970
2004
3.46 | 97 ratings
Aqualung Live
2005
3.76 | 85 ratings
Live At Montreux 2003
2007
4.29 | 21 ratings
Live At Carnegie Hall 1970
2015

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

3.85 | 51 ratings
Slipstream (DVD)
1981
3.78 | 40 ratings
20 Years of Jethro Tull (VHS)
1988
3.45 | 81 ratings
Living With the Past
2002
3.04 | 51 ratings
A New Day Yesterday - The 25th Anniversary Collection
2003
3.85 | 91 ratings
Nothing Is Easy: Live At The Isle Of Wight 1970
2005
2.94 | 66 ratings
Live At Montreux 2003
2007
4.00 | 21 ratings
Slipstream (9 song version)
2007
4.37 | 27 ratings
Classic Artists Series: Jethro Tull
2008
3.30 | 29 ratings
Jack In The Green - Live In Germany
2008
3.64 | 23 ratings
Songs From Bethlehem
2008
4.45 | 100 ratings
Live At Madison Square Garden 1978 (DVD + CD)
2009
3.79 | 34 ratings
Live at AVO Session Basel 2008
2009
4.55 | 31 ratings
Around the World Live (4DVD)
2013

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

4.13 | 302 ratings
Living In The Past
1972
3.09 | 74 ratings
M.U. - The Best Of Jethro Tull
1976
3.16 | 51 ratings
Repeat - The Best Of Jethro Tull - Vol. II
1977
3.25 | 74 ratings
Original Masters
1985
3.61 | 81 ratings
20 Years Of Jethro Tull Box
1988
4.54 | 80 ratings
20 Years Of Jethro Tull (The Definitive Collection)
1988
3.73 | 51 ratings
20 Years Of Jethro Tull (USA release)
1989
3.64 | 156 ratings
Nightcap
1993
3.81 | 49 ratings
The Best Of Jethro Tull: The Anniversary Collection
1993
4.42 | 77 ratings
25th Anniversary Box Set
1993
2.60 | 25 ratings
A Jethro Tull Collection
1997
1.51 | 30 ratings
Through The Years
1997
3.00 | 70 ratings
The Very Best Of Jethro Tull
2001
2.50 | 15 ratings
Essential Jethro Tull
2007
3.39 | 52 ratings
The Best Of Acoustic Jethro Tull
2007
3.79 | 44 ratings
The Jethro Tull Christmas Album / Live - Christmas At St Bride's 2008
2009
4.70 | 50 ratings
Aqualung - 40th Anniversary Collector's Edition
2011
4.85 | 73 ratings
Thick As A Brick - 40th Anniversary Special Edition
2012
4.90 | 61 ratings
A Passion Play: An Extended Perfomance
2014
4.61 | 41 ratings
War Child - The 40th Anniversary Theatre Edition
2014
4.84 | 41 ratings
Minstrel In The Gallery - 40th Anniversary: La Grande Edition
2015
4.69 | 16 ratings
Too Old To Rock'n'Roll: Too Young To Die - The TV Special Edition
2015
4.97 | 28 ratings
Songs From The Wood - 40th Anniversary Edition - The Country Set
2017
3.00 | 3 ratings
50 For 50
2018
1.00 | 1 ratings
50th Anniversary Collection
2018

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

3.80 | 15 ratings
Love Story
1968
4.09 | 22 ratings
A Song For Jeffrey
1968
2.71 | 18 ratings
Sunshine Day
1968
4.11 | 26 ratings
Sweet Dream / 17
1969
4.11 | 19 ratings
The Witch's Promise
1969
4.63 | 28 ratings
Living In The Past
1969
3.81 | 16 ratings
Inside
1970
4.65 | 34 ratings
Life Is A Long Song
1971
4.13 | 16 ratings
Hymn 43
1971
4.41 | 22 ratings
Aqualung
1971
4.00 | 2 ratings
Locomotive Breath
1971
4.18 | 28 ratings
Living In The Past
1972
3.54 | 24 ratings
Bungle In The Jungle
1974
3.17 | 25 ratings
Ring Out, Solstice Bells
1976
3.50 | 4 ratings
Too Old To Rock 'N' Roll; Too Young To Die
1976
4.24 | 25 ratings
The Whistler
1977
3.67 | 6 ratings
A Stitch In Time
1978
4.07 | 26 ratings
Moths
1978
3.67 | 6 ratings
Warm Sporran
1979
2.70 | 18 ratings
North Sea Oil
1979
4.50 | 18 ratings
Home E.P.
1979
3.20 | 21 ratings
Working John, Working Joe
1980
3.28 | 21 ratings
Fallen On Hard Times
1982
3.40 | 20 ratings
Broadsword
1982
3.05 | 20 ratings
Lap Of Luxury
1984
4.50 | 2 ratings
Bourrée
1985
3.92 | 13 ratings
Coronach
1986
3.77 | 13 ratings
Said She Was A Dancer 12''
1987
3.60 | 15 ratings
Steel Monkey 12''
1987
5.00 | 2 ratings
Part Of The Machine
1988
3.74 | 18 ratings
Another Christmas Song
1989
3.58 | 17 ratings
This Is Not Love
1991
3.84 | 16 ratings
Rocks On The Road
1991
3.00 | 14 ratings
Living in the (Slightly More Recent) Past / Living in the Past
1993
2.67 | 18 ratings
Rare And Precious Chain
1995
3.29 | 17 ratings
Bends Like A Willow
1999
3.22 | 9 ratings
The Christmas EP
2004
5.00 | 2 ratings
Living in the Past
2013

JETHRO TULL Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Thick As A Brick by JETHRO TULL album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.63 | 3077 ratings

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Thick As A Brick
Jethro Tull Prog Folk

Review by Foxprog

5 stars Really don't mind if you sit this one out...

"Thick as a Brick" is an album that only has two songs on it. Part one and part two. In my opinion this is truly Jethro Tull at their peak. My god I love this album.

Thick as a Brick (part one) 10/10, The style is progressive rock/folk or what you wanna call it. It's just simply amazing, flowing melodies, great singing and a damn hard song to play with so many rhytmn changes. Really keeps your attention for the whole 20 minutes. Btw, you should checkout the live from -78 (Madison Square Garden). There aren't many people as talented as Ian Anderson. A great frontman for the band! The whole first part is a pure joy for the ears.

Thick as a Brick (part two) 10-/10, As good as the first part minus the drum solo, which is the only part in the whole two songs when I get little bit "bored". Varied song with so many different parts but everything is made perfectly for together with smooth transitions. The ending is pretty legendary too.

A masterpiece that goes to my top 10 of all time. I've never been a big fan of Tull's other albums. But this one, it's just out of this world. 1972 was quite a good year for prog (Close to the Edge, Foxtrot). If you haven't listened it yet, please do.

 Nothing Is Easy: Live At The Isle Of Wight 1970 by JETHRO TULL album cover Live, 2004
4.15 | 154 ratings

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Nothing Is Easy: Live At The Isle Of Wight 1970
Jethro Tull Prog Folk

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Review Nº 199

'Nothing Is Easy: Live At The Isle Of Wight 1970' is the sixth live album of Jethro Tull and was released in 2004. The line up on the album is Ian Anderson, Martin Barre, John Evan, Glenn Cornick and Clive Bunker.

In the summer of 1970 held The Isle Of Wight Festival for five days, between 26 and 30 August, at East Afton Farm, in the Isle Of Wight, a small island of the south coast of England. It was the last of three consecutive festivals to take place on the island between 1968 and 1970. It was widely acknowledged as the biggest musical event of its time, bigger than Woodstock. Possibly, 600.000 or 700.000 people attended. It soon became known as the English Woodstock. Jethro Tull performed in the fifth and last day of the Festival. They were second, between The Moody Blues and Jimi Hendrix.

The preceding two Festivals had already gained excellent reputations, featuring performances of Jefferson Airplane, T. Rex, Pretty Things, Joe Cocker and Bob Dylan. In the 1970 festival, following Woodstock in the previous year, took part names like Kris Kristofferson, Supertramp, Gilberto Gil, Kaleidoscope/Fairfield Parlour, Chicago, Family, Procol Harum, Shawn Phillips, Joni Mitchell, Miles Davis, Ten Years After, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, The Doors, The Who, Melanie, Donovan, Pentangle, The Moody Blues, Jethro Tull, Jimi Hendrix, Joan Baez, Leonard Cohen and Richie Evans.

This Isle Of Wight Festival of 1970, represents also a sad mark to the rock music. It marked the last UK appearance of Jimi Hendrix. Unfortunately, three weeks later he was dead. So, it was due to that sad fact that Ian Anderson decided to dedicate this record to the memory of one of the greatest musicians and gifted guitarists of all time. RIP hard Jimi.

This live album of Jethro Tull shows the recording sessions of their live performance on that musical event. Some other bands did the same thing. For instance, Emerson, Lake & Palmer and The Who released live albums, both with the same name too. Curiously, all the three recordings waited many years to be released. Emerson, Lake & Palmer's album was released 28 years later, in 1998, The Who's album was only released 26 years later, in 1996, and Jethro Tull's album was released 34 years later, in 2004. It's worth asking, what did take so long for these albums saw the light of the day.

When Jethro Tull participated in the Festival, the band hadn't yet an extensive repertoire to perform live. At the time, they had only released their first three studio albums. Those albums correspond to their first musical period, which isn't properly their best and where their music can't be considered totally progressive. Another thing, for instance John Evan only joins the band at the Isle Of Wight Festival, and the set reaches back into Jethro Tull's first album.

The concert opens with 'My Sunday Feeling', showing the band rocking and rolling from the start. Heavy instrumentals include stinging guitar work and entrancing flute. Anderson's vocals are distinctive and his deliver is powerful. This is a truly charismatic live performance. The music comes alive with blending blues, jazz and rock. 'My God' has some ambivalence about religion. You can hear the early roots here of the more conceptual progressive rock that was to come for them. 'With You There To Help Me', shows that Anderson is an impassioned rock minstrel leading a jamming band that travels through a classical piano interlude into flute encircled, jazz-influenced riffs. 'To Cry You A Song' plays with a swirling jazz rock abandon. It's interesting to hear the band before the mega selling albums 'Aqualung' and 'Thick As A Brick' that would soon follow. 'Bour'e' is a classic instantly recognizable by its bass line. I always loved band's effort at jazzing up the blues riffs. The live rendition doesn't deviate too much from the studio versions. 'Dharma For One' quickly builds to a fever pitch. While at moments band's performance seems a bit uneven, there is an appealing innocence here as well as a sense of true blues and jazz rock innovation. 'Nothing Is Easy' is the highlight of the set. The band is in synch, charging on all cylinders with hypnotic organ and powerhouse drumming. The focus nevertheless remains Anderson, a spirited and dancing figure using his flute as both instrument and mystical weapon. 'We Used To Know/For A Thousand Mothers' is a medley that closes the album. This is really a nice inclusion. There's a little impromptu jam separating the two tunes. It's raw and rough and Martin shows off his skills very well.

Conclusion: This is a great historical live document of the beginning of the band, when their music was more rock directed and simple and has a heavier sound. The energy of the music on this album is incredible, and reflects and improves the quality of their music making it a really classic album. All the live performances are excellent, including 'My Sunday Feeling' which isn't one of my favourite songs of this period. My favourite tracks are 'My God', 'With You There To Help Me', 'To Cry You A Song', 'Dharma For One' and especially the medley, which has a brilliant and unforgettable performance. For me the album holds a significant nostalgic appeal. So, this is an album that shouldn't be missed by anyone who is used to love great music. And it can't be missed by all fans of the band and of that era, too.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Aqualung by JETHRO TULL album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.35 | 2421 ratings

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Aqualung
Jethro Tull Prog Folk

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Jethro Tull's 4th album was, at the time, a departure from their previous sound, or, at least a good part of it was. There are several acoustic songs on this album, and the band previously only did electric blues-rock for the most part. These acoustic songs however would become a great indication of the band's future sound, that mostly of Prog folk. For now, about half of the songs on this album are electric and half are acoustic. This, to me, makes for a great mix.

The album is considered by critics and scholars as a concept album that mostly addresses the distinction between religion and God. Side one of the album is entitled 'Aqualung' and side two is 'My God'. Even with the naming of album sides, the band has always maintained that it is not a concept album, and at the time, decided that if the world wanted to hear a concept album from Jethro Tull, then they would give them one, and so 'Thick as a Brick' was born, which was their next album. But we are getting ahead of ourselves here.

Of course, this is JT's most popular album. And it has a good reason to be. It has also been reviewed many times on this site. Up to this point, it is the band's best written album with the most impactful lyrics and musicality along with being a huge inspiration to other musicians.

We start off with the popular 'Aqualung' track which is about homeless people. Ian Anderson and his wife were looking at pictures that she had taken of homeless people and were interested in one individual in particular, and together they wrote the lyrics to this huge rock anthem. 'Cross Eyed Mary' is a continuation of this song, also written in a rock style. It deals with a child prostitute and the impression she has on Aqualung. 'Cheap Day Return' is an acoustic song about Ian's visit to his father. Following this is 'Mother Goose' which is a combination acoustic and rock song, and a particular favorite of mine. Another short and beautiful acoustic song follows called 'Wond'ring Aloud', then another acoustic/electric song follows in 'Up To Me'. This one has a great lilt to it and plenty of the signature flute. I find this one gives us a great example of where JT's sound that the band would become famous for.

The first two tracks on the 2nd side are connected through the religion vs. God theme and both are mostly electric, with a crazy choir interlude on 'My God'. 'Slipstream' is another quick acoustic number, 'Locomotive Breath' is the very popular song with a heavy rock sound and the final track is the acoustic/electric combo called 'Wind-Up', again with the religion theme.

Most prog fans are intimately familiar with this album and will agree that it is a very influential album. There is no doubt to me that this excellent album is essential to any prog fan, especially to Prog Folk fans. You should have this album in your collection. I consider it a perfect 6-star album that never wears itself out in my mind.

 Original Masters  by JETHRO TULL album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1985
3.25 | 74 ratings

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Original Masters
Jethro Tull Prog Folk

Review by Lupton

5 stars Jethro Tull Original Masters

I remember when this album was released in 1985 there was some criticism that it did not include any recordings after 1976. This means nothing from Heavy Horses,Storm Watch A,Broadsword and the Beasts or Under Wraps.Instead Chrysalis decided to concentrate on the "Classic" years from 1969 to 1976 also ignoring the Blues based albums altogether.In respect this was a good idea because although I miss some of the Blues tracks like Teacher and New Day Yesterday, much of the post Songs From The Wood albums marked a general decline in quality. The tracks included represent the cream of their output or at least as much as could be included on 2 sides on vinyl.The album also salvages superior tracks from generally fairly patchy albums. Thus we have the two best or at least most memorable songs from the somewhat lightweight "War Child" album, Too Old To Rock and Roll-the brilliant title track from the absolutely dire album of the same name and best of all the unedited title track from "Minstrel In The Gallery".I say "best of all" because I absolutely love the title track but am one of the few Tull fans who really dislikes the album as a whole.

Not surprisingly some of the best known tracks like Aqualung,Locomotive Breath, Living in the Past and the opening few minutes of Thick as A Brick are present as well as some lesser known but still Classic Songs like Sweet Dreams and Life's a Long Song originally only available on the "Living in the Past" compilation. My personal favorite though would have to be the title track off "Songs From The Wood"- for me the definitive folk-rock era Tull song -in fact possibly the definitive Tull song period!

There are more comprehensive CD compilations available but they all seem to make the same mistake of trying to cram too much music often from non-essential albums or worse still heavily edit Classics like Minstrel In The Gallery and Heavy Horses and so end up pleasing no one. Original Masters is a perfect primer and a great album in its own right. A solid 5 stars

 50 For 50 by JETHRO TULL album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2018
3.00 | 3 ratings

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50 For 50
Jethro Tull Prog Folk

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

3 stars - The first review for this compilation - As the title suggests, this 3-disc set celebrates the 50 years of Jethro Tull with 50 songs chosen by Ian Anderson himself. Each of 21 studio albums are represented. Anderson has written a one-page introduction to the set, and the 24-page booklet includes "A Tull Story" written by Martin Webb (adapted and updated from the 40th anniversary tour programme). The lay-out is very good and the track infos contain the source album, length and even the line-up. Things are really looking good. The track selection is not strictly chronological, but fortunately not wildly switching between the decades either. I'm not going to listen to all three discs for this review, since the majority of the material is familiar to me, only the third disc with an emphasis on the material from the 80's and onwards, as I haven't listened to several albums of the latter-day Tull.

CD 1 focuses on the the timeline 1968 - 1971, with solitary pickings from the albums A Passion Play, Minstrel in the Gallery and Heavy Horses too. I don't much care for some songs, e.g. 'Sweet Dream', 'Cross-Eyed Mary' and 'Weathercock', but (if we don't mind the inclusion of mid- and late 70's material here) the disc gives a nice overview of the early years. 'Living in the Past' and 'Aqualung' are there, of course. 'Bourée' (1969) starts the second CD, which as a whole is emphasizing on the timeline 1974 - 1978, again with some exceptions ('Dun Ringill' from Stormwatch and 'Pussy Willow' from The Broadsword and The Beast). War Child (1974) happens to be among the albums I haven't completely listened to, and therefor it's disappointing to see those boring songs 'Bungle in the Jungle' and 'Skating Away...' representing it, as always. 'Salamander' is a nice choice from Too Old to Rock'n'Roll, while the heavily overplayed title track definitely isn't. 'Ring Out Solstice Bells' and 'A Christmas Song' are The Jethro Tull Christmas Album versions (2003).

CD 3 is playing now as I write. The leaps in chronology are getting wider. For example Heavy Horses track 'One Brown Mouse' is followed by 'Rare and Precious Chain' from 1995. The maligned 1984 album Under Wraps is represented by 'Paparazzi' and 'European Legacy'. I am familiar with songs such as 'Steel Monkey', 'Budapest' (which I like a lot) and 'This Is Not Love' even if not with the source albums, which may indicate that they are rather uninteresting. 'Dot.com' (1999) is brand new to me, quite a pleasant song. 'Farm on the Freeway' is a highlight. However, this set hardly changes my half-prejudiced opinion that the latter- day Tull is often quite dull. But all in all Anderson has done a decent job in representing all 21 studio albums. With the well-done booklet this is pretty recommendable as a Jethro Tull compilation, but as Anderson points out, it's "less for the die-hard fan and more for the new and curious listener". On a rock magazine I'd give four stars, on a prog site perhaps three will do... concidering how much better, and more unpredictably, the space of three full-length CD's could be used.

 Aqualung by JETHRO TULL album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.35 | 2421 ratings

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Aqualung
Jethro Tull Prog Folk

Review by Lupton

4 stars I have always had somewhat mixed feelings about Jethro Tull's forth album.Although it is home to some classic rock tracks and has very thought provoking lyrics, it also includes some rather weak spots which for me, undermine its status as a masterpiece.

The opening title track, built around one of the greatest rock riffs ever created really is a cracker. Even as the track shifts gear and the acoustics take over, the song loses none of its momentum.An absolute classic song - truly among the top few songs they produced. The second track, "Cross-eyed Mary" is another excellent rocker and has a particularly atmospheric opening with mellotron and flute. It is interesting how this track refers to the character Aqualung portrayed in the previous track suggesting that despite Ian Anderson's protestation to the contrary, there was at least originally intended to be some sort of "concept" linking the songs.I say "originally" because the remaining tracks on Side A make no further references to either character. Side B of course is home to another couple of great Tull songs- Locomotive Breath based around a particularly ferocious combination of hard riffing and frenetic strumming and Hymn 43 with its Gospel like piano backing. Mother Goose is another superior Side A track played primarily by Anderson on acoustic guitar with a recorder (!) riff between the verses driving the song along.It is slightly reminiscent of "Fat Man" from Stand Up" and as with that song, hints at the sort of Prog-Folk he would develop with "Songs From The Wood" a few years later.

Unfortunately, scattered seemingly arbitrarily across Side A and B are a few rather inconsequential acoustic tracks featuring Ian Anderson alone which seem to end before they really get started and which for me simply comes across as padding. However, it is the track "My God" which opens Side B which I find particularly frustrating. It starts off so well with just acoustic guitar and voicewith the whole band crashing in with another great heavy riff from Martin Barre just as the second verse begins.The flute'n'rock guitar workout which follows is also highly dynamic in true Tull style.However just as things get really exciting, the band stops playing completely and all we are left with is Ian Anderson soloing accompanied only by some quasi-Gregorian chanting which I simply find irritating and which completely robs the song of its momentum.

My other problem is with the production itself. The recording is so dry and lifeless compared to the follow up- TAAB, it is hard to believe it is the same band.It seems that no amount of re-mastering or re-mixing (Sorry Mr Wilson) can stop this album sounding horribly dated. I actually heard this album after I bought the Bursting Out live album where the Aqualung tracks sound fantastic especially the title track which is why hearing the originals for the first time was a bit of a let down.

Overall, I would say that this album marked a definite move forward at least in terms of performance and I give it a solid 3.5 stars

 The Broadsword And The Beast by JETHRO TULL album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.28 | 614 ratings

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The Broadsword And The Beast
Jethro Tull Prog Folk

Review by sgtpepper

3 stars Not a bad album at all but it doesn't offer much to the progressive rock fans. The quality within is more for the pop and rock fans as Ian Anderson remains a solid composer and singer. The album starts with a memorable and hard hitting rocker. The Clasp features good singing and changes in the time signatures, has the flute trademarks and good keyboard work so it resembles a progressive rock structure. The third track rocks hard but it is not very memorable and thankfully only 3 minutes long. Flying colours starts off as a ballad and turns after one minute into a fast typical 80's rock with few progressive rock signs. I like the keyboard line though. As the title says, Slow Marching Band is mellower, contemplative track featuring love theme.

The track Broadsword is the highlight on the flip side. Clear melody, progressive rock arrangements. Pussy Willow continues with the slightly experimental mood between a folky mood and rocking second part. Watching me Watching you is a rhythmically complex track featuring flute but not very well developed though. Seal driver ends the album on a positive note with a distinct melody and dramatic spirit. Cheerio is a throwaway track but good to calm down and get ready for another piece of music ;-)

 Thick As A Brick by JETHRO TULL album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.63 | 3077 ratings

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Thick As A Brick
Jethro Tull Prog Folk

Review by sgtpepper

5 stars This together with Passion's play are Jethro Tull's crowning achievements in the progressive rock catalogue. How does this piece of music fare against other progressive rock masterpieces? First of all, the notion of concept is taken into extreme as there are only two suites, which no other major progressive rock act would dare at the time. The compositional skills are fantastic and the suites very intricate with plenty of changes in rhythm patterns and motives. The guitar and Anderson's voice are omnipresent and trademarks and both unique. I never liked Anderson's voice and singing too much though.

There is less space for soloing than on other peers albums, the instruments are here to add to the atmosphere, colour the concept, show the potential of music complexity and not necessarily to show off. Keyboards are less prominent than on Yes, Genesis, Kansas or Pink Floyd records, mostly serving in the background. Synthesizers would only be used from the next album onwards. The bass and the drums is very decent in the mix and hearable.

Out of the two suites, I slightly prefer the second one, since I like the instrumental sections better. After the first couple of minutes, there is even a doom-metal/rock atmosphere characterized by menacing chords - the sequence will be easily recognized by any My Dying Bride fan ;-).

Overall, it is masterpiece of progressive rock, although I have yet need time to fully appreciate this album and understand it in full details.

 Sunshine Day by JETHRO TULL album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1968
2.71 | 18 ratings

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Sunshine Day
Jethro Tull Prog Folk

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

2 stars This is a very hard to get single, the debut single by the band. Unfortunately, this was accidentally credited to Jethro Toe and printed on the single as such. The A Side of the single was "Sunshine Day" which is a poppy song with Ian Anderson singing lead vocals and Mick Abrahams, who was Tull's original guitarist, singing background vocals. It was Abrahams that actually wrote the track. It's easy to tell that it is Ian's distinctive voice, but other than that, there isn't much semblance to the sound that Jethro Tull would later be famous for. No flute whatsoever. The same holds true for the B side called "Aeroplane". This is a slightly more interesting song, and it leans more towards a folksy-bluesy sound, but still remains on the pop side of things. Both songs are underwhelming and not memorable.

This is before JT had become well known and I don't believe the single did very well. Both songs are available on "20 Years of Jethro Tull" collection on Disc 1 as the last two tracks. Unless you are a collector, and probably want to spend a lot of money, you would be better off getting the collection which has many other rare gems on it. This single remains as only a curiosity or a collector's item, but the songs really aren't worth the time and expense unless you collect rare recordings and are willing to pay upwards to $900.00 for it. 2 stars....collector's only.

 Aqualung by JETHRO TULL album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.35 | 2421 ratings

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Aqualung
Jethro Tull Prog Folk

Review by The Jester

5 stars Aqualung was Jethro Tull's 4rth studio album and most successful one by far. It is considered as a concept album, featuring a central theme of 'the distinction between religion and God'. Aqualung was a turning point in the band's career, that went on to become a major radio and touring act.

After the release of their first 2 albums (Stand Up & This Was) which seemed to be influenced mostly by the Blues, the band tried to change their sound with the release of Benefit in 1970; and with the release of Aqualung the transformation was completed.

Aqualung was the first album including John Evan as a full-time member, and also Jeffrey Hammond as the band's new bass player. It was also the last album including Clive Bunker on drums.

The painting on the cover was inspired from pictures of homeless people that were living around Thames, and were taken by Ian Anderson's wife. Aqualung, the main character, is one of those people, and on the first side of the album we listen to his story.

The music style is Rock (in Jethro Tull's point of view), which is "flirting" with Progressive Rock. Also, many influences from Blues and Folk can be found here.

It is Jethro Tull's best selling album with more than 7.000.000 copies sold worldwide. In the years to come it would inspire many artists and bands, such as Iron Maiden for example, who recorded a cover version of Cross-Eyed Mary in 1993 and released it as a B-side on the single Trooper.

Upon it's release, it received very good critics, climbed at the charts both in USA and UK, but failed to reach at the top. (Best chart position was No.4 in UK). The first single that was came out from this album, was Hymn 43, but it failed to reach to the high positions of the charts. With the passing years two songs that became the trademarks of Jethro Tull, both included in this album: Aqualung and Locomotive Breath.

Aqualung was re-released on 2011 at the album's 40th anniversary. This release contains a new stereo and a surround 5.1 mix, made by Steve Wilson of Porcupine Tree. Speaking for myself, I bought the vinyl edition when I was still a teenager, later on I bought it on Cd and then the special edition (again on cd) followed. Definitely a 'must have' for any Rock music collection. 5.0 Stars

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

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