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JETHRO TULL

Prog Folk • United Kingdom


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


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

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

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

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


Stormwatch (The 40th Anniversary Force 10 Edition) (4CD/2DVD)Stormwatch (The 40th Anniversary Force 10 Edition) (4CD/2DVD)
Rhino/Parlophone 2019
$41.49
$43.75 (used)
Aqualung Special EditionAqualung Special Edition
Parlophone 1998
$5.49
$1.92 (used)
Thick As A BrickThick As A Brick
Parlophone 1998
$9.57
$4.94 (used)
The Very Best of Jethro TullThe Very Best of Jethro Tull
Parlophone 2001
$5.86
$1.91 (used)
Heavy Horses (New Shoes Edition)(3CD/2DVD)Heavy Horses (New Shoes Edition)(3CD/2DVD)
Rhino/Parlophone 2018
$34.95
$31.08 (used)
Aqualung (Steven Wilson Mix)Aqualung (Steven Wilson Mix)
Rhino/Parlophone 2015
$7.53
$11.79 (used)
Minstrel In The GalleryMinstrel In The Gallery
Parlophone 2002
$5.84
$2.98 (used)
Living in the PastLiving in the Past
Emi Europe Generic 2003
$5.27
$2.99 (used)
BenefitBenefit
Parlophone 2002
$5.80
$5.58 (used)
Stand Up (Steven Wilson Remix)(180 Gram Vinyl)Stand Up (Steven Wilson Remix)(180 Gram Vinyl)
Rhino/Parlophone 2017
$19.87
$10.86 (used)

More places to buy JETHRO TULL music online Buy JETHRO TULL & Prog Rock Digital Music online:

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 | 823 ratings
This Was
1968
4.04 | 1221 ratings
Stand Up
1969
3.91 | 1023 ratings
Benefit
1970
4.35 | 2582 ratings
Aqualung
1971
4.63 | 3263 ratings
Thick As A Brick
1972
4.03 | 1427 ratings
A Passion Play
1973
3.33 | 815 ratings
War Child
1974
4.03 | 1179 ratings
Minstrel In The Gallery
1975
3.09 | 754 ratings
Too Old To Rock 'n' Roll: Too Young To Die!
1976
4.19 | 1390 ratings
Songs From The Wood
1977
4.04 | 1142 ratings
Heavy Horses
1978
3.46 | 724 ratings
Stormwatch
1979
3.20 | 594 ratings
A
1980
3.28 | 641 ratings
The Broadsword And The Beast
1982
2.24 | 505 ratings
Under Wraps
1984
3.01 | 148 ratings
A Classic Case
1985
3.22 | 565 ratings
Crest Of A Knave
1987
2.69 | 446 ratings
Rock Island
1989
2.60 | 416 ratings
Catfish Rising
1991
3.62 | 502 ratings
Roots To Branches
1995
3.01 | 419 ratings
J-Tull Dot Com
1999
3.49 | 398 ratings
The Jethro Tull Christmas Album
2003
5.00 | 2 ratings
Aqualung - 40th Anniversary Adapted Edition
2016

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

4.18 | 405 ratings
Live - Bursting Out
1978
2.90 | 53 ratings
Live At Hammersmith '84
1990
3.65 | 174 ratings
A Little Light Music
1992
3.06 | 47 ratings
In Concert
1995
3.65 | 120 ratings
Living With The Past
2002
4.16 | 155 ratings
Nothing Is Easy: Live At The Isle Of Wight 1970
2004
3.46 | 97 ratings
Aqualung Live
2005
3.77 | 87 ratings
Live At Montreux 2003
2007
4.14 | 5 ratings
Live at Madison Square Garden 1978
2009
4.44 | 25 ratings
Live At Carnegie Hall 1970
2015

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

3.85 | 52 ratings
Slipstream (DVD)
1981
3.78 | 42 ratings
20 Years of Jethro Tull (VHS)
1988
3.47 | 84 ratings
Living With the Past
2002
3.04 | 51 ratings
A New Day Yesterday - The 25th Anniversary Collection
2003
3.86 | 92 ratings
Nothing Is Easy: Live At The Isle Of Wight 1970
2005
2.95 | 67 ratings
Live At Montreux 2003
2007
4.05 | 22 ratings
Slipstream (9 song version)
2007
4.39 | 28 ratings
Classic Artists Series: Jethro Tull
2008
3.31 | 30 ratings
Jack In The Green - Live In Germany
2008
3.64 | 23 ratings
Songs From Bethlehem
2008
4.36 | 103 ratings
Live At Madison Square Garden 1978 (DVD + CD)
2009
3.79 | 34 ratings
Live at AVO Session Basel 2008
2009
4.53 | 34 ratings
Around the World Live (4DVD)
2013

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

0.00 | 0 ratings
Jethro Tull
1970
0.00 | 0 ratings
Sunday Best
1971
4.12 | 313 ratings
Living In The Past
1972
3.09 | 76 ratings
M.U. - The Best Of Jethro Tull
1976
3.16 | 51 ratings
Repeat - The Best Of Jethro Tull - Vol. II
1977
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Best Of Jethro Tull Vol. III
1981
3.25 | 75 ratings
Original Masters
1985
0.00 | 0 ratings
Masters Of Rock
1986
3.65 | 85 ratings
20 Years Of Jethro Tull Box
1988
4.56 | 84 ratings
20 Years Of Jethro Tull (The Definitive Collection)
1988
3.74 | 52 ratings
20 Years Of Jethro Tull (USA release)
1989
3.64 | 157 ratings
Nightcap
1993
3.82 | 50 ratings
The Best Of Jethro Tull: The Anniversary Collection
1993
4.43 | 78 ratings
25th Anniversary Box Set
1993
2.64 | 27 ratings
A Jethro Tull Collection
1997
1.54 | 31 ratings
Through The Years
1997
3.00 | 70 ratings
The Very Best Of Jethro Tull
2001
2.50 | 15 ratings
Essential Jethro Tull
2007
3.44 | 53 ratings
The Best Of Acoustic Jethro Tull
2007
3.80 | 45 ratings
The Jethro Tull Christmas Album / Live - Christmas At St Bride's 2008
2009
4.71 | 51 ratings
Aqualung - 40th Anniversary Collector's Edition
2011
0.00 | 0 ratings
Essential
2011
4.86 | 78 ratings
Thick As A Brick - 40th Anniversary Special Edition
2012
4.89 | 65 ratings
A Passion Play: An Extended Perfomance
2014
4.67 | 42 ratings
War Child - The 40th Anniversary Theatre Edition
2014
4.87 | 43 ratings
Minstrel In The Gallery - 40th Anniversary: La Grande Edition
2015
4.60 | 20 ratings
Too Old To Rock'n'Roll: Too Young To Die - The TV Special Edition
2015
5.00 | 5 ratings
Stand Up - The Elevated Edition
2016
5.00 | 4 ratings
Aqualung - 40th Anniversary Adapted Edition
2016
0.00 | 0 ratings
An Introduction To Jethro Tull
2017
4.91 | 34 ratings
Songs From The Wood - 40th Anniversary Edition - The Country Set
2017
4.94 | 16 ratings
Heavy Horses (New Shoes Edition)
2018
4.60 | 10 ratings
This Was (50 Anniversary Edition)
2018
3.00 | 5 ratings
50 For 50
2018
1.50 | 2 ratings
50th Anniversary Collection
2018
4.75 | 8 ratings
Stormwatch (The 40th Anniversary Force 10 Edition)
2019

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

3.81 | 16 ratings
Love Story
1968
4.09 | 23 ratings
A Song For Jeffrey
1968
2.71 | 18 ratings
Sunshine Day
1968
4.14 | 28 ratings
Sweet Dream / 17
1969
4.14 | 21 ratings
The Witch's Promise
1969
4.60 | 30 ratings
Living In The Past
1969
3.88 | 17 ratings
Inside
1970
4.58 | 36 ratings
Life Is A Long Song
1971
4.21 | 19 ratings
Hymn 43
1971
4.38 | 26 ratings
Aqualung
1971
3.80 | 5 ratings
Locomotive Breath
1971
4.17 | 30 ratings
Living In The Past
1972
3.56 | 25 ratings
Bungle In The Jungle
1974
4.25 | 4 ratings
Skating Away on the Thin Ice of the New Day
1974
3.67 | 3 ratings
Minstrel in the Gallery / Summerday Sands
1975
3.18 | 27 ratings
Ring Out, Solstice Bells
1976
3.33 | 6 ratings
Too Old To Rock 'N' Roll; Too Young To Die
1976
4.19 | 26 ratings
The Whistler
1977
3.50 | 8 ratings
A Stitch In Time
1978
4.07 | 27 ratings
Moths
1978
3.71 | 7 ratings
Warm Sporran
1979
2.68 | 19 ratings
North Sea Oil
1979
4.53 | 19 ratings
Home E.P.
1979
3.22 | 22 ratings
Working John, Working Joe
1980
3.28 | 21 ratings
Fallen On Hard Times
1982
3.40 | 20 ratings
Broadsword
1982
3.05 | 21 ratings
Lap Of Luxury
1984
3.67 | 3 ratings
Bourrée
1985
3.93 | 14 ratings
Coronach
1986
3.79 | 14 ratings
Said She Was A Dancer 12''
1987
3.63 | 16 ratings
Steel Monkey 12''
1987
4.00 | 4 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
2.71 | 19 ratings
Rare And Precious Chain
1995
3.29 | 17 ratings
Bends Like A Willow
1999
3.20 | 10 ratings
The Christmas EP
2004
4.00 | 3 ratings
Living in the Past
2013

JETHRO TULL Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Songs From The Wood by JETHRO TULL album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.19 | 1390 ratings

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Songs From The Wood
Jethro Tull Prog Folk

Review by thief

5 stars ALBUMS BETTER THAN BREAD, PART I

After seven plus years of signing deals, recording, touring and partying, Ian Anderson decided to settle, and Buckinghamshire became his home. He moved in with his new wife, bought a four centuries old, 500 acre Pophleys Estate, and suddenly found a new source of inspiration - history of British paganism. But there was no malevolent intent behind it, I assure you: the book he read in 1976 made him interested from a cultural and historical, not a spiritual angle. The best way to find out is to actually give "Songs from the Wood" another spin.

Vibes of densely wooded hills and sparsely populated, mystical lands are omnipresent. It's strongly suggested not only by instruments of choice (very prominent acoustic guitars, mandolins, tabors, lutes and whistles), but also stylistic cues, such as frequent use of vocal harmonies ("Songs from the Wood", "Ring Out, Solstice Bells"), clearly Renaissance influenced melodies (especially "Velvet Green", "Pibroch", "Hunting Girl") and David Palmer's input - for the first time as a full member. David took care of portative pipe organs and synthesizers - but I've also seen him singing and playing saxophone on tour! Truly a gifted musician and enhancement of Jethro Tull's already rich sound.

So there is much complexity in this updated formula. I deem the opening track a bona fide progressive rock piece, just have a look and see how much is going on here. Numerous ingredients: sparkling chords, clapping hands, flutes and synths, powerful bass, and it all sounds coherent and logical. The instrumental bridge takes much room, but I think the band truly shines there, especially near the end. Another example, they're so confident in "Pibroch (Cap in Hand)" intro - with Martin's Les Paul wailing and dripping molasses, all those delays and echo effects on flute, creative Barlow's drumming. Jethro Tull were BOLD and pretty much all ideas turned out fine on the record. "Pibroch" goes 'full-minstrel mode' three minutes in, and then again - the part I call 'whistles utopia'. Both instrumentals are terrific, back-to-back touchdowns! Similar stuff happens right in the middle of "Cup of Wonder". The song begins with beautiful blend of rock and folk sensibilities, full of vigor and juicy vocals... and then, two minutes in, we're treated with that hectic, or rather BALLISTIC part of interlocking licks and claps. I'll just say, "Cup of Wonder" is the most fitting title; another gem (emerald?).

Second keyword to this puzzle: enthusiasm. I haven't heard Jethro this excited since "Thick as a Brick" days. You can hear it in shorter songs very well. Despite following simpler patterns, they are nonetheless engaging and full of detail ("Jack-in-the-Green"). "Fire at Midnight" runs for only two minutes, however the band managed to make them count - the unexpected bridge left a good mark. Perhaps my favorite short song here is "The Whistler". The enthusiasm is contagious and all ingredients mesh seamlessly, in spite of high tempos and uncomfortable chord progressions.

Speaking of technical subtleties, I've never heard Ian playing acoustic guitar with such agility. Altering strumming patterns, frequent chord changes, erupting dynamics, lovely arpeggios - this album has it all really. One of Ian's prime moments is the first interlude in "Velvet Green", the one he sings 'Won't you have my company, yes, take it in your hands'. The brightness and swag of guitar tone always make me jealous! I must say that "Velvet Green" in general is superb, marvellous piece of music, and I don't mind those renaissance melodies at all. On the contrary: Jethro Tull isn't recreating the old music note-for-note, but tastefully blends it with progressive rock and, well, folk.

Because folk, if you haven't figured it out already, is the strongest undercurrent on "Songs from the Wood". But not the folk of New York's bars or Appalachian slopes - it's much more primordial, joyful, festive in nature. Its complexity is a symbol, for me, a testament to all nature in its various forms. The trees, flowers, all ravines and brooks, each and every animal under the sun, men included.

I haven't said much about "Hunting Girl" and "Ring Out, Solstice Bells" yet, but I find it hard to heap so much praise in one hour. Certainly they're both worth your attention and belong in upper echelon of Jethro Tull songs. I just wanted to mention that the latter would be a great addition to your Christmas collection, it's so cheerful, good-spirited and bucolic.

Honestly, most of the songs are. There is just a huge, HUGE number of delicious moments on "Songs from the Wood"; it may take many listens to get them all. I find it one of my "go-to" Jethro Tull records, perhaps revisited more often (more eagerly?) than any other album. I'm definitely aware of small shortcomings - "Pibroch" being a tad too long, synthesizers & electric guitars too distracting at times - but they mean nothing in the Grand Scheme of Things. "Songs from the Wood" is the mightiest of Jethro Tull "comebacks", a perfect response to classic rock implosion of late 1970s.

And I'm very proud to have it as my first maximum rating album on Progarchives. Well deserved, you vicious scoundrels!

 Stormwatch by JETHRO TULL album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.46 | 724 ratings

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Stormwatch
Jethro Tull Prog Folk

Review by thief

4 stars Have you ever heard about Jethro Tull's "folk trilogy"? I stumbled upon this term some years ago and was quite amazed to see these three consecutive albums - "Songs from the Wood", "Heavy Horses" and "Stormwatch" lumped together. There surely was a deep-rooted connection between the first two - but the latter seemed like a different animal to my ears. Thematic similarities between all three - or their absence - will be a recurring theme in this (and subsequent) reviews.

Jethro Tull was definitely a song-oriented band at that point. Translation: tracks are 4 minutes long on average. Is it a bad thing though? Not really, as long as they manage to make their point in a shorter span. "Stormwatch" features a whole bunch of slim-but-efficient compositions, opening with uptempo "North Sea Oil" and intense "Orion". The band once again proves its wide ranging abilities, effortlessly moving between lavish orchestral arrangements ("Old Ghosts"), overwhelmingly Scottish folk tunes ("Dun Ringill", "Warm Sporran") and edgier hard rocking detours ("Something's on the Move"). We've seen that aptitude before, but staying true to this well-tested formula commands respect, especially when we consider the musical landscape of 1979. The outlook was pretty grim, wasn't it?

I sense all these tensions - both real and perceived by reviewer's imagination - took a toll on band's members and pushed "Stormwatch" to a relatively darker tone. You'll be hard pressed to find anything as theatrically dramatic as "Orion" on previous releases, unless you go back as far as Minstrel era. It may sound overly emotional to present listeners, yet I don't find it jarring or naive. Stark contrast between hard-hitting riffs and wistful vocal melodies work very well due to Ian's charisma and not-so-obvious lyrics. Conclusion: if you'll ever come up with a sorrowful tune, make sure the words are mature and meaningful. The "Orion" way.

The other way is to have no lyrics at all. This is how "Elegy" gets away with heartbreaking melody AND stealing ideas from Bach - they don't go over the top, keep it trim and let Martin Barre do the talking. Weeping lead guitar and conservative rhythm section are elegant and thought-provoking, a rare trait indeed. The result is a powerful, soul-cleansing composition, a proper closing track for the album, or even for the era.

In my opinion, "Stormwatch" is a tale of nostalgia, but the woody, rural background of its predecessors is largely gone, now replaced with seafaring motifs. The album cover, oil rigs, sailors dreams of home, even Dun Ringill's location - they all have strong maritime undercurrent. Penultimate song, "The Flying Dutchman", is the obvious one. Majestic, spacious grand piano leads the way, soon joined by common suspects - mandolins, acoustic guitars, flute and powerful drums. You can sense buoyancy, high winds and candle lights trembling in the storm; the song feels very poetic and nocturnal. "Dark Ages" also shoots for the epic feel, yet takes a very different route - highly energetic, fast paced and bombastic - and it largely succeeds. I see these two as backbone of the album, where all ideas come together.

What's the root of "Stormwatch" nostalgia then? There are many sources, if you ask me. Ruined castles, age of sails and long gone Scottish ways are its fuel, but I always interpreted it as uncertainty of changing times. The last album of Barlow-Evan-Glascock crew, the last one without synthesizers, the final display of trademark Jethro Tull sound. These claims might seem overblown, but even staunchest supporters of "Broadsword" or "Crest" wouldn't mistake them for 70s classics of "Minstrel" or "Horses" mold. I suppose the band had a gut feeling it's all coming to an end in some way, back in 1979. While "Stormwatch" wasn't their most progressive or adventurous effort, it was recorded with the same mindset and breathed the same air.

The greatest sin of "Stormwatch" is being 'good' across the board - good, but not ingenious. Jethro Tull have many reasons to be proud, their genius transpired in mighty 15+ minutes suites as well as 3-4 minutes wonders, such as "Mother Goose", "Cup of Wonder" or "Moths". The brilliancy could wake up the dead from eternal sleep and change people's hearts in the blink of an eye. "Stormwatch" does have such moments, especially if you're willing to give it a chance... but it's not brimming with 'awesome' the way "Aqualung" does. We shouldn't expect perfection around every corner though. I can settle for a bit less, and I vouch "Stormwatch" delivers the goods. It's superbly arranged, poignant, rocking - refined experience full of variety.

So if you're up for a reflective blend of baroque, distorted riffs and nautical folk, look no further. In a gloomy musical landscape of 1979, "Stormwatch" will light your way.

 Living In The Past  by JETHRO TULL album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1972
4.12 | 313 ratings

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Living In The Past
Jethro Tull Prog Folk

Review by thief

3 stars "Living in the Past", what a strange album to review. The band certainly felt strong at the time: few months removed from "Thick as a Brick", showered with critical acclaim, touring all year long (bar summer break), selling tickets in New Zealand, United States and Japan... What better opportunity to come up with compilation album and make sure fans don't forget? The difference between "Living in the Past" and your run of the mill box sets is obvious though: instead of repackaging same ol' songs, Jethro Tull decided to put together a dozen of singles and previously unreleased tracks (read: rarities), with a sprinkle of live recordings on top.

In other words, "Living in the Past" was NOT redundant.

Personally, I've always seen it as a full-fledged studio album, perhaps a bit diluted with well-known material (few songs picked from "This Was", "Stand Up" etc.). In this case they could be treated as bonuses, I guess... I'll do my best to review this album in few words, side-by-side. Depending on your version, there is up to 90 minutes worth of music, so it's easy to get lost!

SIDE ONE (1968-69) Four UK singles and two re-releases. "A Christmas Song" and "Living in the Past" are especially yummy. The former would be a highlight on "Stand Up", string arrangements and mandolins sound adorable and successfully evoke times of Dickens and Tennyson, but in a light-hearted manner. The latter is instantly recognizable for pounding rhythm and characteristic flute melodies. The band sounds young and all instruments click together. "Love Story" is also invigorating, although fuzzed guitars and wah-wahs usually leave me cold. You feel sixties here, for better or worse. The only subpar offering is "Driving Song" - it sounds empty-ish even for blues rock standards. On a sidenote: I like how it all kicks off with "A Song for Jeffrey". Great opening track, makes sense to start there. "Bourree" is nice too, but you all know that.

SIDE TWO (1969-70) Things get really interesting here. Not everyone got to know "Teacher" since UK and US pressings of "Benefit" differed a bit. It just might be the best mid-paced rocker from that period, really a perfect blend of prominent basslines, crunchy arpeggios and exciting flute ornaments. "Sweet Dreams" will also grab your attention with marching rhythms and orchestral arrangements, tastefully intersecting with rockier choruses. And that galloping break in the middle! Side two is mighty strong folks... Of course there are small hiccups, such as "Singing All Day" (bit monotonous) or 90 seconds long "Just Trying to Be", but it's nitpicking. Actually, the latter is a fine piece - it sounds like a nucleus of "Benefit" era ballad - but it's sadly underdeveloped. Not the first time when Jethro Tull left us wanting with a sweet little morsel. The clear highlight must be "The Witch's Promise". Captivating since the very beginning, dancing smoothly on a thin line between good and evil, light and dark - the lyrics certainly remind me of traditional/retro doom metal bands i.e. Blood Ceremony, although sound is very tender and... peculiar. I thoroughly enjoy the moment when mellotron kicks in; rarely used by Jethro Tull, but here the legendary instrument is perfectly applied. The atmosphere and Ian's singing - so young and yearning, reminiscent of "With You There to Help Me" - is burnt onto my mind. Very underrated track!

SIDE THREE (November 1970) Twenty minutes worth of live material, late 1970, John Evan finally on board. "Dharma for One" is yet another take on established classic from Mick Abrahams days, easily recognizable by lengthy drum solo of "Moby Dick" or "Toad" proportions. It's basically Clive Bunker's playground, nice to hear from time to time, but is it essential? I find "By Kind Permission Of" a tad more interesting, although the buildup is disproportionately long. There is some admiration for bringing up Beethovens and Rachmaninoffs in me, but it sounds odd here. John Evan is a crafty pianist, no doubt about that, but the juicy part only comes at 6:30, when Ian joins him in the most touching melody. It dissipates quickly, but I adore this moment - go check it out now. The ending is also decent, though brief. "By Kind Permission Of" loses focus a bit too often.

SIDE FOUR (1971 EP & Aqualung) This is where "Living in the Past" comes back strong. I really need to check Jethro biography on this one, I'm not sure if 1971 EP songs were "Aqualung" outtakes or completely separate material, but let me tell you: it doesn't change zilch. These ~5 songs definitely live up to Jethro's lofty heights of early 70s, beautifully produced, brimming with ideas, full of life and juicy bits. Especially "Life is a Long Song" and "Dr. Bogenbroom", they belong with "Skating Away", "A Time for Everything" and other top tier three-minute pieces. I think Bogenbroom even references the latter in the melody... no difference really, it's good and honest. One caveat though: I don't know why it took so many years to put together "Wond'ring Aloud, Again" - the seven minutes version circling around the internet. Don't get me wrong - what we get here is a PRIME material, all "Aqualung" fans surely fell in love with LITP edit; I just wish both songs were merged together at this point.

SUMMARY I'm not quite pleased with this review, it took me much time to get through "Living in the Past" twice this week and to pen down some of my impressions... and yet, I feel like I haven't told you the important stuff. And to me, "Living in the Past" is usually an opener for December Jethro Season. The first day of snow, the day I bring winter clothing from the cellar, the day I start decorating the tree or looking for gifts - that's when "Living in the Past" works best, for me, as a kind reminder that there is so much Jethro Tull's stuff to hear in upcoming weeks. I genuinely believe the "original material" here (sort of original) looks as good as the bulk of "Stand Up" or "Benefit" albums, both highly acclaimed and praiseworthy. In the same time I feel the record would work much better if they got rid of "Locomotive Breath", "Inside" and other core JT songs, as well as a bit dull "Dharma for One". I even made such compilation for myself - all the goodsies bunched together (sweet dreams, witches, bogenbrooms & xmas) with the other live song in between - it flows much better and allows to appreciate "Living in the Past" for what it truly is, a collection of overlooked gems.

3.5 stars, rounded down.

 Stormwatch by JETHRO TULL album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.46 | 724 ratings

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Stormwatch
Jethro Tull Prog Folk

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Review Nº 293

Jethro Tull is after Genesis, Yes and Pink Floyd, and with Gentle Giant, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, King Crimson, Van Der Graaf Generator, Camel and Rush, one of the ten best bands of the 70's and one of the bands that most influenced the progressive rock movement. Beyond that, it's the best progressive folk-rock band that has created, in my humble opinion, one of the four best progressive rock albums ever. The album is 'Thick As A Brick', and the other three are 'Selling England By The Pound' of Genesis, 'Close To The Edge' of Yes and 'Which You Were Here' of Pink Floyd.

'Stormwatch' is the twelfth studio album of Jethro Tull and was released in 1979. 'Stormwatch' makes with 'Songs From The Wood' and 'Heavy Horses' part of a Jethro Tull's trilogy of progressive folk-rock albums. They represent the fulfillment of an ideal, to bring to rock songs subjects, until then untouched, such as, ecological and regional themes. However, change was in the air. While 'Stormwatch' has many similarities with 'Songs From The Wood' and 'Heavy Horses', the music had begun to travel in other directions. The sound was heavier and the lyrics were much darker as they explored a number of environmental themes. 'Stormwatch' touches the problems relating to the environment and deals with the deterioration of it, the 'Global Cooling', predicting an apocalyptic future where mankind doesn't cease its drive for economic development and don't pay much attention to nature. Today, given all the worry about 'Global Warming', if this wasn't a very serious and dramatic subject, I would be amused by the concern for a new ice age.

'Stormwatch' would be the final album for Jethro Tull's longest lasting and arguably with the best group of musicians. It would serve as the final hurrah for drummer Barriemore Barlow, keyboardist John Evan, arranger/keyboardist David Palmer, and bassist John Glascock. Only band's leader Ian Anderson and guitarist Martin Barre would be around for the next album. As I said before, this was the last album for Glascock too. Unfortunately, he would die of a heart condition and would only play on three of the ten tracks of this one. Anderson would play the bass parts on the rest of the album.

'Stormwatch' has ten tracks. All tracks were written and composed by Ian Anderson, except the last track 'Elegy' which was written and composed by David Palmer. The first track 'North Sea Oil' is a good song to open the album. It's a typical and solid Jethro Tull's rocker song built around guitar and flute sounds. The second track 'Orion' is another good song by the group in the same vein of the previous one. However, it's a song more dark and aggressive but it has also good acoustic moments and is very well orchestrated. The third track 'Home' is a very nice and warm song built around acoustic guitar and orchestra. It's a song with a catchy and nice melody but I can't see anything more special on it. The fourth track 'Dark Ages' is the lengthiest song on the album and is also one of the lengthiest Jethro Tull's studio tracks and it's a good rocking song too. This is also one of the epic songs of the album and it's their heaviest song. The fifth track 'Warm Sporran' is a nice folkie instrumental song with a simple but good chorus. It's a very simple song, which reminds me the military marches. But it's still very nice to hear. The sixth track 'Something's On The Move' is another rock song. It represents the returning of the band to their classic style songs that delights the traditional Jethro Tull's fans. The seventh track 'Old Ghosts' is another good and a very pleasant song with simple acoustic guitars and nice vocals. This is another very good track with another David Palmer's superior orchestration. The eighth track 'Dun Ringill' is the smallest song on the album. This is a wonderful little acoustic piece of music. It swings with the undulations of windblown wild grasses. Despite be a short track, this is a good example that can show how good Anderson is when he picks up his acoustic guitar and add to it his great vocal work. The ninth track 'Flying Dutchman' is the second lengthiest song on the album and is also the second epic of the album. It's an interesting track with some good musical changes creating a very special atmosphere. This is a nice and much elaborated track. The tenth and last track 'Elegy' is a shorter instrumental track but is the most beautiful song on the album too. It's a classical piece of music fantastically interpreted by Martin Barry with his guitars. It's a great tribute in the memoriam of John Glascock. This track is, without any doubt, the most beautiful, nice and perfect end this album could ever have.

Conclusion: 'Stormwatch' is for Jethro Tull, the end of an era. It marks the end of their prog folk trilogy, the end of the 70's and the end of a historical line up. After that, and as I wrote before, only Anderson and Barre remain in the group. But unfortunately, it isn't a masterpiece. Despite 'Stormwatch' be, in my humble opinion, a very uniform and cohesive album, lacks to it some originality and brightness to be a truly masterpiece or even an excellent album. However, it's a good album and it's also probably one the last greatest studio album released by them. 'Stormwatch' is perhaps the last essential Jethro Tull's album, a cohesive curtain call for the band's trademark prog- folk style. But it's also, perhaps, the black sheep of their catalogue overshadowed by 1977's 'Songs From The Wood' and 1978's 'Heavy Horses'.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Heavy Horses by JETHRO TULL album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.04 | 1142 ratings

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Heavy Horses
Jethro Tull Prog Folk

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Review Nº 292

Jethro Tull is a British progressive rock band formed in 1963 in Blackpool with an extensive career. The band's image is the front man Ian Anderson, who is the brain and the eccentric figure of the group. One day, he confessed that he ever was a great guitar player and suspected that he would never be. So, if he would never be a great guitarist, then he thought if he learned to play an instrument that almost nobody else was playing in rock, he could be a great performer. So, he learned to play flute searching to be a great flute player. The most original thing about Jethro Tull is that the band's leader plays flute, among other instruments, and the music is somehow dominated by this musical instrument.

"Heavy Horses" is the eleventh studio album of Jethro Tull and was released in 1978. Although the folk music influence is evident on a great number of Jethro Tull's albums, "Heavy Horses", "Songs From The Wood" and "Stormwatch" is considered a trilogy of prog folk-rock albums. "Heavy Horses" is one of their last albums that bring the mix of acoustic, Celtic and rock styles. The album also abandons much of the folk lyrical message of their previous work "Songs From The Wood", for a more realistic and direct message in the perspective of changing the World, so typical in the 70's.

The band's line up remained intact. Flutist/songwriter/vocalist Ian Anderson, guitarist Martin Barrie, drummer Barriemore Barlow, keyboardist John Evan, keyboardist/arranger David Palmer, and bassist John Glascock had been together for a number of years and the musicianship was tight and excellent throughout. But, unfortunately, this would be also John Glascock's last full album with the group as his health had begun to deteriorate and that would shortly cost him his own life. However, his playing on this album is fantastic and would allow him to go out in a great style.

"Heavy Horses" has nine tracks. All tracks were written and composed by Ian Anderson. The first track "?And The Mouse Police Never Sleeps" opens the album with a great style. It's a short song but is at the same time very complex. This is clearly a progressive rock song. However, I don't like the end of the song because, for me, is a little bit irritating. The second track "Acres Wild" is a spectacular folkie song in the vein and at the same level of the songs on "Songs From The Wood". It gives us the medieval atmosphere of the old Albion. This is a fantastic track. The third track "No Lullaby" is another great piece of music. It's a very complex and progressive track. With this song Jethro Tull leaves the folk and return to heavy rock, showing that they're a multifaceted group. The fourth track "Moths" is another song in the line of "Songs From the Wood". It's a very beautiful folk ballad also with medieval features, a fantastic acoustic guitar and a nice flute work. This is another great track. The fifth track "Journeyman" is a good song, but isn't at the same level of the other songs and is, in my humble opinion, the weakest song on the whole album. The sixth track "Rover" is another great Jethro Tull's song. Here we have all band's members in a very high style. This is another folk rock song with great individual performing. It has also very good string arrangements, courtesy of Mr. Palmer. The seventh track "One Brown Mouse" is probably the best known song of the album and is also a song usually performed live by the group. Personally, I have no problem with this song and contrary to several opinions expressed here, I love this track very much and it's also one my favourite songs from them. Luckily I'm not alone. I invite you now to listening to a fantastic version of this song by Echolyn, released by Magna Carta and included in the tribute album to Jethro Tull, "To Cry You A Song ? A Collection Of Tull Tales", already reviewed by me on Progarchives. The eighth track "Heavy Horses" is the title track. This is the lengthiest song on the album and is also one of its highest points. It's probably the best track on the album. It's very well orchestrated and has also a superb choral work. This is a fantastic progressive song with a perfect mix between the rock and folk styles. The ninth and last track "Weathercock" is a classic song and has clearly some medieval influences. It's a simple and nice song who closes very well this great album in a great style, which reminds me the end of their previous album "Songs From The Wood". This is the song which tells us goodnight in the pastoral atmosphere of the countryside and represents the perfect moment to complete and close the final scene.

Conclusion: As many of we know, Jethro Tull would make a number of very different stops during their musical career but perhaps none are as satisfying as their folk/rock prog period. "Heavy Horses" is a fine example of that style as it's earthy, rustic, and above all enjoyable, even almost four decades after its release. It remains, even today, as Jethro Tull at their finest. "Heavy Horses" is also probably the last great album made by this superb band. However, I'm not going to rate it as a masterpiece because I think it hasn't the same brilliance and cohesion of "Songs From The Wood". Still, I think it remains very close of that. Whether are you or not a Jethro Tull's fan, you must have a copy of "Heavy Horses" and I'm sure that you will not regret of that purchase. So, buy it, sit down, relax and enjoy it such as it really deserves.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Under Wraps by JETHRO TULL album cover Studio Album, 1984
2.24 | 505 ratings

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Under Wraps
Jethro Tull Prog Folk

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

3 stars Despite being corralled into the descriptive genre prison of progressive folk rock or even hard rock, JETHRO TULL was never one to shy aware from experimentation even if the fanbase of one of prog's greatest success stories didn't go along for the ride. For every chart topper like "Aqualung," JT seemed to crank out the antithesis such as "A Passion Play" which still remains a divisive wedge between those who found the band taking things substantially too far and ultimately the overweening pomp which found a backlash in the form of punk rock which would strike like lightning in the mid-70s. However the ever restless Ian Anderson always seemed to find the perfect way to bounce back and pacify the fans with another excellent album.

While TULL continued doing what they did best, namely crank out excellent tunes crafted into folk inspired rock compositions with proggy touches strewn about, by the 80s the band was sort of stagnating with most of the 70s lineup calling it quits and leaving band leader Ian Anderson along with guitarist Martin Barre to fend for themselves in the brave new world of heavy metal, new wave and post-punk. Anderson needed a break from the scene as well and engaged in some interesting collaborations as a solo artist which began with the album "A," originally was designated to be a solo effort but for some reason released under the JETHRO TULL moniker.

After yet another backlash from fans, Anderson continued his contemporary music upgrade by releasing his first solo album "Walk Into Light" which found him sharing songwriting duties with keyboardist Peter-John Vettese who had joined JT for "The Broadsword And The Beast" album. This is where Anderson jumped into the world of synthpop and new wave as he was trying to join the rest of the once prog turned pop bands like Yes, Genesis and even Franco Battiato to stake a claim in the new game that making instinct rock stars from MTV music videos. Anderson was so pleased with his new infatuation with 80s synthesizers and electronic drum kits that he decided to release another album of the same style as a JETHRO TULL work.

After all, Yes and related band Asia had scored huge hits in 1982 and even King Crimson was finding traction with their Talking Heads inspired sounds on "Discipline," so Ian Anderson must've asked the obvious question, why the heck not? And so it was. JETHRO TULL released the band's 15th studio album UNDER WRAPS right at the end of the dominant new wave scene when the 80s was getting all weird with pop styles splintering in myriad directions. Perhaps the strangest album in the entire JETHRO TULL discography, UNDER WRAPS truly sounds like two distinct timelines that collided and the result was some splinter reality where the early prog folk sounds of "Aqualung" got tangled up with A Flock Of Seagulls or some other similar synth-pop styled bands of the era.

This was perhaps JT's most collaborative effort as Anderson loosened his total control and allowed both Barre and Vettese to craft a number of the tunes. This version of the band featured only four members but with completely different instrumental duties. Anderson handled his usual vocals, flute and acoustic guitar but also become the electronic drum programmer as well as master of the Fairlight CMI synthesizer. Vettese played even more keys and even more electronic programming whereas Barre stuck to his comfort zone of only playing guitar. The band was rounded out with bassist Dave Pegg who is best known for playing with Fairport Convention. The mix of the folk rock elements of prior alongside the new wave synthpop sounds of the era have been the nightmare of prog purist's and an example of eclectic fascination by others.

Needless to say, prog rock stalwarts and new wave fans rarely cross over however i'm one of the exceptions. I love both styles of music and i love the bold brash experiments that some of the 70s prog bands undertook as they tried to forge a second coming in the unfamiliar arenas alongside Duran Duran, Depeche Mode, New Order and Orchestral Manoevres In The Dark. While many deem UNDER WRAPS as the absolute worst thing ever to emerge from the vile stank of the shallow 80s, personally i don't find UNDER WRAPS to be offensive in the least bit. In fact it's perhaps one of the most surreal listening experiences you can ever undertake. Infused with all those familiar Anderson teased out melodies with the same vocal intonations, the short poppy quirks of new wave are infused with electronic drumbeats, heavy synth stabs and that happy-go-lucky spirit of 80s new wave all despite the subject matter of the album revolves around Anderson's fascination with Cold War espionage fiction!

"Lap Of Luxury" starts the album off with the typical tinny and admittedly cheesy drum sounds of the 80s along with thick keyboard sounds including gimmicky new fangled synth sounds. This was the only single to be released and even managed to crack the top 30 however the album was a dismal failure by TULL standards and only reached #76 on the Billboard Top 200 but did better in the UK. The opener is a bit corny and my least favorite track on the album. The title track, well the first version is my favorite track as it is the most catchy. It captures the essence of a great new wave song. It has a steady electro-beat, a variety of synth riffs doing a jittery dance and actually finds Anderson's vocal style adapting quite spectacularly. The synth runs not only capture that herky jerky zolo sound that Devo made their own but also encapsulates the new romantic atmospheric elements as well. Barre's guitar parts are stripped down but he cranks out the chords like a pro!

While the rest of the album isn't as good as the title track, none of the tracks are overtly bad either. While more steeped in the folk elements with new wave supplemental sonic textures, the album more or less strikes that perfect middle ground for what you would expect for the convergence of the two disparate musical genres. Despite the nasty words that this album has generated over the decades, it's actually not that bad, however it's also not that great. Unlike bands like Yes and Genesis who completely reinvented themselves to fit in the 80s era, JT was too stuck in the past and instead of abandoning the familiar folky aspects altogether, only succeeded in haphazardly forcing them together. This album unfortunately lacked the dynamic drama heard on Yes' "90125" and likewise failed to craft the perfect pop hooks that Genesis so perfectly crafted.

While the album works at certain points, it sounds off at others. My main complaint about the album is that Anderson's vocal style just doesn't gel with the synthpop sensibilities. Given that this was a one off curiosity, i am enamored to throwing this on every once in a while but despite my appreciation for UNDER WRAPS it would be a disservice to call this album essential in any way shape or form even from an 80s new wave perspective. In other words, give me 70s TULL any day over this but also when i'm in a new wave mood, this doesn't cut it either. The original album only had 11 songs but the CD added four more tracks and are now officially part of the album (not considered bonus tracks.) The last song "General Crossing" is perhaps the most convincing new wave song on the album with the perfect keyboards and vocal adaptations. If only the rest of the album worked so well, but hey, you can't blame JT for trying!

 Too Old To Rock 'n' Roll: Too Young To Die! by JETHRO TULL album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.09 | 754 ratings

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

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

3 stars JETHRO TULL had sailed through the 70s as one of the top progressive folk rock bands of the entire scene with one of the most consistent outputs of high quality albums that began with "Benefit" and included the blockbuster top selling "Aqualung" and "Thick As A Brick." Existing as more than a mere rock band, the adventurous leader at the helm, Ian Anderson boldly steered his popular band into increasingly more experimental musical expressions that culminated with "A Passion Play" and "War Child," however the fans weren't quite savvy enough to follow him to the weirder pastures where he set up camp. So doing the wise thing, he retreated back into the band's comfort zone.

"Minstrel In The Gallery" found the band hitting a high note by returning to the classic folk rock sound that made albums like "Aqualung" so popular, but as the 70s churned on, musical tastes were changing and turning more towards the simpler constructs of hard rock, punk and new wave. While many prog bands were calling it quits or simply adapting by adopting a more commercial slickness of their former selves, JETHRO TULL sallied forth by sticking to its guns. For the band's 9th album TOO OLD TO ROCK 'N' ROLL: TOO YOUNG TO DIE! the band continued business as usual with the familiar progressive rock mixed with folk, blues and hard rock.

This album pretty much symbolizes the turning of the tides for JT. First change was that bassist Jeffrey Hammond left the band. Actually he left the music business altogether and stopped playing and devoted his life to his first passion of being a painter. John Glascock who played with various bands such as The Gods, Head Machine and Chicken Shack joined the team who ventured back into Maison Rouge Mobile Studios to record the last of the great JT concept albums.TOO OLD was originally intended to be an ambitious rock musical that would recount the story of an aging rock star named Ray Lomas and all the trials and tribulations of reaching the point where you still have all that rock'n'roll energy flowing but have suddenly fallen out of fashion and rendered yesterday's news.

The grandiose musical plans were scrapped but the theme remained as the concept of this album. While speculation from reviewers of the days was that Anderson was feeling a little expired as the punk and new wave scenes were quickly usurping the prog scene, Anderson has claimed that the album was supposed to represent the cyclical nature of the music industry and that if a band sticks around long enough, its style will become en vogue once again. Well, that may be true but that only works if the quality of the albums remains consistent and that is where TOO OLD falls short and not unnoticed by critics and fans alike. TOO OLD remains the absolute nadir of 70s JT and the only album not reaching the gold status in the US.

To be fair, JT wasn't capable of making a bad album per se, only albums that weren't as awesome as the best they poured out. TOO OLD is chock full of excellent musicianship and catchy tunes much in the same vein as pseudo-prog albums like "Aqualung" delivered. The problem with this album is that for the first time in JT's history, the band follows the trajectory of many self-deprecating album titles and delivers a stale set of performances that reek of "been there, done that." Saved by strong songwriting skills, TOO OLD TO ROCK 'N' ROLL: TOO YOUNG TO DIE! is indeed a decent album with no tracks really bad or offensive, however as many times as i've listened to this one trying to understand its potential secrets, i'm left with the same impressions time and time again. This album is simply forgettable.

Despite the "Aqualung' playbook in action, TOO OLD fails to yield the high quality and catchy melodic flows of yore. While criticized for a convoluted storyline, i personally feel the album suffers more from pure burn out. The band had incessantly cranked out an album every single year with a tour to support them. This album sounds like JT had simply exhausted its creative spin on taking their folk rock sound into new fresh arenas. While most tracks are decent and inoffensive, some such as "Bad-Eyed and Loveless" and "Big Dipper" are rather bad actually. The only song that really leaves me wanting to hear it again is the excellent title track which features without doubt the most catchy riffs on the album with excellent orchestration and is so good that it leaves the rest of the album seem even blander than it would otherwise.

Inconsistent and feeling rather scattered, TOO OLD TO ROCK 'N' ROLL: TOO YOUNG TO DIE! simply comes off as the bottom of the barrel for the great JETHRO TULL especially when compared even to the albums that sandwich it as the following "Songs From The Wood" would find a much needed invigoration of creative juices and forget a bona fide comeback. As already stated, TOO OLD is not a bad album by any means and any lesser band would be glad to have an album of this quality in its unimpressive canon, however for JT this really was the lowest point of its career up to this point. It just seems unfocused, random and scattered. While a few tracks like "Quizz Kid" and "Pied Piper" stand out, even those are fairly forgettable compared to the instantly addictive tunes of the past. Nice try, guys. Thankfully you regained your music mojo on the next album. Of course this is a mandatory album addition for fans but for everyone else, this is the most skippable album of the entire early years of JETHRO TULL.

 Songs From The Wood by JETHRO TULL album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.19 | 1390 ratings

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Songs From The Wood
Jethro Tull Prog Folk

Review by TCat
Collaborator Eclectic Team

5 stars Following the tour that was produced to support 'Too Old to Rock 'n' Roll, Too Young to Die', Ian Anderson started to settle down a bit. He got married and he bought a house. He started listening to the old English style folk rock as performed by groups like 'Steeleye Span' and decided to add a more folkish element to the band's sound. Being able to add this organic sound in with the electric sounds of Martin Barre's guitar was going to be the trick, and keyboardist David Palmer was brought in as an official band member, who brought along with him, his classical-trained musicianship. The music ended up becoming more variant and light-hearted, a bit more spacious with the backing of the electric guitar. Smoother dynamics also became a result of the pairing of Barre and Palmer ended up giving them credit on the album for contributing material.

Inspiration for the music on this album would come from British pagen folklore and county life. The music moves from excellent harmonies, warmth and comforting tones mixed with harsh and dark styles. There is still a nice level of progressiveness to it all to with Anderson adding in tricky rhythms and quirkiness. Thus, Tull's 10th studio album 'Songs from the Wood' was born, and it would become the first of a trilogy of albums that centered more around folk styles, the other two albums being 'Heavy Horses' and 'Stormwatch'. The advertisement for the album encouraged prospective buyers to '[f]ind a quiet spot and listen to it soon.'. The album cover looks very inviting as Anderson is sitting next to a camp fire in the woods that entices you to sit down with him while he presents this excellent variety of tunes inspired by old England's folklore.

This album is one of my personal favorites of the Jethro Tull discography, and it is the one that has the sound that I have truly associated with the band's music, complex to a degree, but with an amount of warmth that still needs to be approached with caution. The line up at this time was Tull at its best: of course we have Anderson and Barre, the two main staples of the band. The remainder of the band consists of the same line-up as 'Too Old'.' except for the addition of David Palmer, thus making two keyboardists with John Evan, along with John Glascock on bass and Barriemore Barlow on drums, 6 members total. This line-up would continue until 1980 with the exception of bassist Glascock who would leave the band in 1979.

The album begins with the obvious change as the title track leads it all off and a cappela vocals announce the first track. When the band comes in, the complexity in the instrumental backing recalls the Jethro Tull that everyone was familiar with, but the cleaner and folk sound is very apparent. The idea for the song came from a book called 'Folklore, Myths and Legends of Britain' that Anderson received for a Christmas present.. The balancing of traditional and electronics is perfect, the music has just that right amount of progressiveness to make it interesting, and the music is as inviting as the album cover. 'Jack-in- the-Green' is more traditional sounding and quite pastoral with all of the instruments in this case played by Anderson, while 'Cup of Wonder' is playful and has a more direct rhythmic quality to it.

'Hunting Girl' brings back a higher level of complexity and heavier electric guitars from Barre and the excellent flute work of Anderson. The synths also are front and center on this one, everyone gets to have their say somewhere in this quirky track. Next is one of my all time Tull favorites 'Ring Out Solstice Bells' which features some of the best harmonic work in Tull's discography, not to mention the catchy and difficult-to-follow hand claps and the excellent and original melody. 'Velvet Green' features obvious folk ornamentation with an alternating meter, making it more authentic sounding with the glockenspiel played by Barlow and the use of acoustic guitars from Anderson. This song is a masterpiece of progressive folk. 'The Whistler', the most popular track on the album, has the infectious chorus which is cool and quirky, and the famous flute melody that bridges the chorus back to the verses.

'Pibroch (Cap in Hand)' is the longest track at over 8 minutes and has a more experimental tone to it, featuring Barre's guitar creating effects that mimic bagpipes. This track centers more around the guitar, but still takes time to tie it all back to the folkish style and adding in the majestic pipe organ during the instrumental break, but the mixing of the old world with the new world is excellent in this track, the most complicated of the tracks on the album. 'Fire at Midnight' closes off the album with a return to the more traditional folk sound, similar in tone to the previous Velvet Green, a perfect ending.

There have been a few re-issues of the album, including a 2003 re-issue that added 2 bonus tracks, 'Beltane' and a live version of 'Velvet Green'. There was also a Steven Wilson stereo remix box set that includes two previously unreleased tracks; 'Old Aces Die Hard' and 'Working John, Working Joe'; along with different versions of tracks from the album and an early version of 'One Brown Mouse'.

This album remains one of my favorites from the Jethro Tull studio albums. This is the sound I associate the most with the band's style. The songs are warm and friendly but still have the usual doses of complexity and darkness, with plenty of excellent surprises and hooks that keeps the listener coming back. Of the most folk sounding Tull albums, it is my favorite with 'Heavy Horses' coming close behind it. It is a definite masterpiece of folk and progressive rock mixed.

 The Best Of Acoustic Jethro Tull by JETHRO TULL album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2007
3.44 | 53 ratings

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The Best Of Acoustic Jethro Tull
Jethro Tull Prog Folk

Review by SteveG

4 stars Baring a couple of missteps, this is an absolute treasure trove of Jethro Tull acoustic based songs culled from their respective studio albums. From Life's A Long Song to Wond' Ring Aloud to Skating Away to One White Duck/0 To The Tenth Power = Nothing At All to the mesmerizing Broardford Bazaar, nearly all are stellar. Included is the best song on the much maligned Under Wraps album, namely the sublime Under Wraps 2. What I find strange about this compilation is that I find myself wanting to immediately pull out whatever album that's just been sampled (save Under Wraps) and give it a proper spin. So, I'm not sure how beneficial this compilation would be to other Tull fanatics. However, just based on the quality of the songs the album is worthy of 4 stars. How necessary it is will be totally up to you.
 The Jethro Tull Christmas Album by JETHRO TULL album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.49 | 398 ratings

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The Jethro Tull Christmas Album
Jethro Tull Prog Folk

Review by SteveG

3 stars I guess I'll be visited by three spirits for saying this but Tull's Christmas Album does little for me. Sure the songs are well played and sung but I feel that old Ian has stuck too closely to his old ways. Namely upbeat traditional instrumentals and a handful of original songs with his own (cynical?) take on the holiday and season. Perhaps if Ian and company had ventured into more traditional vocal based fair, like a Tull version of Little Drummer Boy, things might have been different. Sorry Ian but skirting on the outside fringes of the holiday doesn't do it for me. Now, bring on the spirits, it's going to be a long night.
Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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