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Jethro Tull - The Best Of Acoustic Jethro Tull CD (album) cover


Jethro Tull


Prog Folk

3.44 | 53 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Past times with good company

This new release for 2007 has Ian Anderson's personal stamp of approval since it was he who selected the tracks for inclusion. As he declares in the opening sleeve notes, "Having been for some 39 years the unplugged guy in what is generally perceived as a classic rock band, it seemed only natural to finally focus on some of that body of work representing the acoustic side of Jethro Tull".

Anderson has deliberately opted for a cross section of familiar songs such as "Life is a long song" and the opening part of "Thick as a brick", to sit alongside less familiar works such as "Jack-a Lynn" and "Someday the sun won't shine" from the 25th anniversary collection, and "Broadford Bazaar" from the "Night cap" sessions. Also included are a couple of tracks from Anderson's solo works indicating perhaps that in his own mind, he does not separate his solo albums from the rest of the Tull catalogue. The songs are presented chronologically starting with "Fat man" from "Stand up", through to 2003's "Rupi's dance" and the "Christmas album" from the same year.

With such a large collection of material to choose from, some albums lend themselves to the concept better than others. Consequently, albums such as "A passion play" and "This was" are overlooked completely, while "Minstrel in the gallery and "Songs from the wood" are afforded space for a couple of songs.

While one of the strengths of a Tull album is the diversity of moods incorporated in them, this collection offers a highly appealing continuity of sound. The tracks blend together seamlessly, the ever present acoustic guitar acting as the canvas on which the entire album is presented. The absence of significant instrumentation offers the opportunity to enjoy Anderson's distinctive vocals delivering strong melodies on what proves to be a strong selection of Jethro Tull songs. One perhaps unexpected consequence of the album's concept and the tracks selected is the relative absence of flute. It is still present of course, but is far less dominant than might be expected.

The album closes with a couple of previously unreleased tracks; an alternative version of "One brown mouse" and the only non-Anderson composition, a live version of "Pastime (sic) with good company" (a piece also included in Blackmore's Night's catalogue).

For those who appreciate the lighter side of Jethro Tull, this is an essential collection. It is also recommended for those less familiar with their music who seek a taste of what the band offer, away from their frequently compiled singles collections.

Easy Livin | 4/5 |


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