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Jethro Tull - M.U. - The Best Of Jethro Tull  CD (album) cover


Jethro Tull


Prog Folk

3.09 | 76 ratings

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The Whistler
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Alright, here's the deal. Ole "Mr. I Hate Compilations" finally gets a chance to shine. M.U. was released in 1975, or thereabouts, and it screams "best of." It does not replace Living in the Past by a long shot. It contains all the well known studio cuts, and just one unreleased "Rainbow Blues," the singles "Teacher" and "Living in the Past," and an alternative "Aqualung" to tickle your fancy.

We open with "Teacher," a pop rocker of a single if I ever heard one! I am not a huge fan of this song, as it goes on a little too long for my tastes. Not that there's anything wrong with it. The version of "Aqualung" here is a little different, with the acoustic section being a little...I don't know exactly. It's sort of like the quad version of "Wind Up," if you've heard it. Either way, I don't radically prefer one over the other.

The opening movement to "Thick as a Brick" is here, as is "Bungle in the Jungle," "Locomotive Breath," "Fat Man" and "Living in the Past." All are great songs, to be sure, but there's nothing too special about them. "Thick," "Bungle" and "Locomotive" are to be expected, and, while a single, "Living" is already famous enough. The only surprise here is the vastly undervalued "Fat Man."

The representative from Passion Play is "Edit 8," a.k.a., "The Overseer Overture," which was arguably the best movement from the whole damn thing. "Skating Away" is a great song, but it's just "Skating Away," and shall probably remain until the end of time. For sake of argument, the best song on the album is "Rainbow Blues," a fantastic orchestral rocker with equally good guitar, flute and organ parts. Dig the brilliant layering of said parts under the vocals. It might even be better than "Bungle." Might.

We close with "Nothing is Easy," another nice song, and in itself not a bad closer. But you've heard it all before. All in all, a bunch of good songs, but not a fantastic representation of the band (there ARE other Tull albums than Stand Up and Warchild). Besides that, I'm not a fantastic fan of the overall flow of the album. It's a nice enough listen, but I'd hardly consider it a great introduction to the band. Or maybe I mean that the other way around...?

(This thing was re-released under the guise of Essential Jethro Tull, which is no more essential than the first one; instead of the cool outline drawing of minstrel Ian, you get a creepy photo of modern Ian. The only plus to the album is that it's readily more available than M.U., so points for completionists there. Still, hardly essential, especially considering that this is the band that released the ultimate compilation album.)

The Whistler | 3/5 |


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