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Jethro Tull - Live - Bursting Out CD (album) cover


Jethro Tull


Prog Folk

4.19 | 416 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars Review Nš 43

Jethro Tull always was a very curious, typical and different band. They were formed in Luton, Bedfordshire, England, in 1967. Despite they had released their first album 'This Was' in 1968, for unknown and extremely inexplicable reasons Ian Anderson decided not to record or issue an official live album of the band during the early heyday of the group. That meant that the post "Aqualung" tour, the much lauded "Thick As A Brick" tour, and basically everything from 1967 to 1978 went completely undocumented in terms of live material. And we are talking about nothing less than ten studio albums of the band. Well, at least officially, although there are nice live snippets here and there.

The definitive Jethro Tull's sextet of Anderson, Barre, Glascock, Barlow, Evan and Palmer, finally unleashed a real live album to their fans in 1978. After a decade of existence, a large back catalogue of songs has mushroomed from which the band presented a hugely varied set list, night after night. As one of the finest live recordings ever, "Bursting Out" radiates a sonorous trapezoidal portrait of a different era, accurately capturing a zenith blip in the Jethro Tull's annals.

'Bursting Out' is a double live album of Jethro Tull, it was released in 1978 and it was the first live album released by the group. It was recorded at several locations, during the European tour between May and June 1978, when they presented their eleventh and last studio album, at time, 'Heavy Horses' released in the same year. As the specific recording dates and locations aren't credited, there isn't a certainty where each track was recorded. However, the linear notes and stage introduction indicate that at least some tracks were recorded at the Bern Festhalle in Switzerland, in 25 May 1978. Originally, the CD was released in a single disc version with three tracks deleted, 'Quatrain', 'Sweet Dream' and 'Conundrum', because they couldn't fit in only one CD. In 2004, the full original record was re-released as a digitally remastered 2-CD set. This is my CD version, and so, this is the version that I'll review.

So, my version of 'Bursting Out' has eighteen tracks and is divided in two discs. Each disc has nine tracks. About the tracks, all we can say is that Jethro Tull made a very diversified, great and interesting repertoire choice to the album. Of 'Heavy Horses' we have 'No Lullaby' and 'One Brown Mouse'. Of 'War Child' we have 'Skating Away On The Thin Ice Of The New Day'. Of 'Songs From The Wood' we have 'Jack In The Green', 'Hunting Girl' and the title track 'Songs From The Wood'. However, the version of the title track is only a small live version of the original title track. Of 'Stand Up' we have 'Bour'e' and 'A New Day Yesterday'. But these two tracks are only two live shorter versions of the original tracks. Of 'Too Old To Rock'n'Roll: Too Young To Die' we have the title track. Of 'Aqualung' we have 'Cross-Eyed Mary', 'Locomotive Breath' and the title track 'Aqualung'. Of 'Thick As A Brick' we have a short but a very good live version from their amazing and memorable studio album. Of 'Minstrel In The Gallery' we have a small live version, but with a very attractive performance, of the first track of the album.

Beyond those tracks, Jethro Tull performed some other very interesting tracks. 'Sweet Dream', is a live version of the 1969 UK's single hit and that was included only on the remastered version of 'Stand Up', as a bonus track. 'Flute Improvisation/God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/Bour'e', is typically a virtuoso and astonishing flute improvisation by Anderson, incorporating small samples from 'God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen' and 'Bour'e'. 'God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen', is the rendition of the classic English traditional Christmas carol song that was recorded on 'The Jethro Tull Christmas Album'. 'Conundrum', is an excellent instrumental interlude with a Barriemore Barlow's drum solo, so typical on the live albums of the 70's. 'Quatrain', is another excellent instrumental interlude and is the smallest track on the album. 'The Dambusters March/Medley', is a very interesting form to close the album. It's a Jethro Tull's typical way, to transform a serious piece of music, playing it in a very comic way, and getting a good final effect with it.

Conclusion: 'Bursting Out' features a very dynamic live performance from the line up that many Jethro Tull's fans consider comprising the golden musical era of the group. The sound of 'Bursting Out' is remarkably good, and the repertoire included on it, is very solid and very representative of the group's history until that time, which gave to the band a certain arena rock status among other bands. The tendency on this album is to play it very loud and very hard, which is a way of making the original studio themes sounding very different and in a very nice way. 'Bursting Out' is a great live album from the 70's with all the ingredients that a live album must have. It includes a good, solid and representative musical repertoire from the band, and most of all, the live versions of the songs are played very well and in some cases they're completely brilliant. So, 'Bursting Out' is a great Jethro Tull's live masterpiece.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

VianaProghead | 5/5 |


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