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Various Artists (Tributes) - To Cry You a Song: A Collection of Tull Tales (Jethro Tull tribute) CD (album) cover


Various Artists (Tributes)


Various Genres

3.28 | 31 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars Living in the past

I am not a big fan of tribute albums, but the series of such albums released by the Magna Carta label in the 1990's is interesting enough for me to sit up and take notice. As I have mentioned in previous reviews of other entries in the same series (which includes tributes to Yes, Genesis, Pink Floyd, Rush, and Emerson Lake & Palmer), these tributes are special in that they do not only include a bunch of younger generation bands and artists paying tribute to their childhood heroes, but also involve some contemporaries and peers of the celebrated bands, and in some cases even former band members themselves! Examples from the series include Annie Haslam of Renaissance singing a Yes song, Peter Bardens of Camel doing Genesis, and on the present album we have such luminaries as John Wetton and Ian McDonald of King Crimson (among other bands), Keith Emerson, Roy Harper, and Robbie Steinhardt of Kansas, interpreting Jethro Tull! We even have several members of Jethro Tull itself contributing, including no less than three of the original members of the band! This adds a legitimacy to the proceedings unusual of tribute projects.

From the younger generation artists we have Tempest and their main man Lief Sorbye contributing to several songs. Sorbye sounds quite a lot like Ian Anderson! Tempest was singed to Magna Carta at the time and their masterpiece album Turn Of The Wheel (featuring a guest performance by Keith Emerson) was released in the same year as this tribute album. Also appearing is Tempest collaborator Robert Berry who also was part of all the other tribute albums in the series. Magellan is another band present and that band's Trent Gardner even contributes some original material on the opener A Tull Tale.

In my review of the Genesis tribute Supper's Ready, I complained that the song selection was slanted towards albums from past that band's peak. To Cry You A Song actually suffers from the very opposite; this song selection is heavily slanted towards the very earliest period(s) of Jethro Tull's long career. The focus is almost exclusively on the Blues Rock/Folk Rock/Hard Rock that characterised Jethro Tull in the late 60's and very early 70's before they became a fully progressive Rock band. With the exception of the title track from 1975's Minstrel In The Gallery and One Brown Mouse from 1978's Heavy Horses all of the songs covered here are from the band's very early days: from 1968 to 1971. (My personal favourite period of Jethro Tull is from 1971 to 1982.) Having this said, however, some of these old songs are "updated" to sound a bit more like later Jethro Tull, and to be honest I actually enjoy this tribute album more than I do Jethro Tull's first couple of albums!

Overall, To Cry You A Song is better than the Genesis tribute Supper's Ready, but not quite as good as the Yes tribute Tales From Yesterday.

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |


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