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Jethro Tull - This Was CD (album) cover


Jethro Tull


Prog Folk

3.32 | 858 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars This album is a bit of an odd duck in the Jethro Tull discography, but then, debut releases often are.

I went into listening to This Was with something of a closed mind, mostly because I was a big fan of Thick as a Brick and, and because both Stand Up and Benefit, the two albums after this one, did almost nothing for me. I did not expect it to be all that great of an album. And, truth told, it's mostly only average. However, it hits a level that Tull does not hit again till Aqualung. There is a spirit here, a creative energy that drives the songs. This energy seems to be the hit or miss mark for the band, as albums like Aqualung, Thick as a Brick, and Songs from the Wood all draw heavily from it, while many of the less popular ones seem to lack it entirely. I tell you all this to say that, even for a casual Jethro Tull fan, This Was is a good album to get ahold of.

True, we may not see the genius masterwork that Tull would soon be seen performing, but the songs here are tightly constructed and well played. Dharma for One, for example, showcases long, fast, and difficult drum solos similar to those seen in the beginning of the second side of Thick as a Brick. Cat's Squirrel is a roaring instrumental featuring some absolutely divine guitar work. A Song for Jeffrey and Beggar's Farm are both classic Tull tracks, and both ones I have heard on the radio. There may not be an abundance of flute on this album, which turns many off to it, I understand, but the music is solid and well written. Each song can hold its own, and though there is no absolutely amazing track, neither is there any absolutely terrible one.

Basically, this is a wonderful debut, and not as highly regarded as it probably should be. Not as progressive, not as complicated as peak Tull, but still one of their stronger albums. I'd recommend it to any fan of the band.

LiquidEternity | 3/5 |


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