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Jethro Tull - Stand Up CD (album) cover

STAND UP

Jethro Tull

 

Prog Folk

4.05 | 1204 ratings

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VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Review Nš 258

'Stand Up' is the second studio album of Jethro Tull and was released in 1969. 'Stand Up' was the album that marked the first change in the line up of the group. The original guitarist Mick Abrahams departed due to musical differences with Ian Anderson. He wanted to stay with the blues based rock sound of the previous album 'This Was', while Ian Anderson wants to depart to more varied musical influences such as jazz, rock, folk, classical and ethnic music.

So, 'Stand Up' became a very important album in the musical career of Jethro Tull, because it represents a radical musical change into the music of the band and where Ian Anderson takes the full control of the music and lyrics. It also marks the beginning of the new guitarist Martin Barre, which had a less restricted guitar style than Mick Abrahams, and that from that point, he would became the only band member to appear on all albums of the group, apart Ian Anderson.

The line up on the album is Ian Anderson (vocals, flute, acoustic guitar, Hammond organ, piano, balalaika and mouth organ), Martin Barre (electric guitar and flute), Glenn Cornick (bass guitar) and Clive Bunker (drums and percussion). As on 'This Was', 'Stand Up' had also the participation of David Palmer. He conducted and arranged the strings.

'Stand Up' has ten tracks. All songs were written and composed by Ian Anderson. The first track 'A New Day Yesterday' is a classic song of the band with a heavy blues influence. It isn't a song with a very complex arrangement, but it results so well that it became a great track. It has a fantastic instrumental performance, especially the Glen Cornick's aggressive bass line. The second track 'Jeffrey Goes To Leicester Square' is a fantastic and nice song on the album. The use of a mandolin gives to the song a more folk style and because of that it would became the first song of the group more oriented to the folk. This is also the shortest song on the album. The third track 'Bour'e' is one of the most recognisable Jethro Tull's tracks and it's based on a piece of music of J. S. Bach. This is an instrumental very interesting piece of music with some jazz influence with a great solo of flute and a fantastic bass line. This Jethro Tull's adaptation of the classical Bach's musical piece perhaps became as one of the most popular adaptations of classical pieces for the masses. The fourth track 'Back To The Family' is a strange song with diverse instrumentation and with rock and folk chords, and several elements at the same time. It seems to be a bit boring on its beginning but it turns progressively in a fast song and remains as one of best musical moments on the album. The fifth track 'Look Into The Sun' is a very simple, but it's also at the same time a very beautiful song. The performance of Ian Anderson's acoustic guitar and Martin Barre's electric guitar is perfect and the interplay between both is fantastic and results beautifully. It also should still be noticed the soft flute and the sweet vocals on the song. The sixth track 'Nothing Is Easy' is another classic Jethro Tull's song. This is a fantastic biting rock track with several musical sections and with incredible musical performance. It has fine drumming and once more the interaction between the flute and the guitar is predominant and perfect. The balance between the power and elegance in this music is wonderful. The seventh track 'Fat Man' is the second smallest track on the album. It's a very happy and fast song where the use of the balalaika gives to it a very special musical atmosphere. This is typically a classic Jethro Tull's folk rock song with a very unique sound. The eighth track 'We Used To Know' is a very beautiful song performed in a rock ballad style. It has also a superb and fantastic blues/rock guitar solo performed by Martin Barre that reminds me strongly the Jimi Hendrix's style, and it has also an important Clive Bunker drumming work. The ninth track 'Reasons For Waiting' is a beautiful and very calm ballad performed more in the acoustic style. The flute and the vocals on the song are nice and the addition of the strings and the beautiful arrangement of David Palmer are absolutely delightful and give to the song a perfect musical balance and ambience. The tenth and last track 'For A Thousand Mothers' is the song that closes magnificently the album. It's, in reality, an extraordinary song with a diverse and a perfect mix of folk, blues, jazz and rock. These are basically all the main elements that makes of Jethro Tull as one of the biggest bands of the history of the progressive rock music.

Conclusion: 'Stand Up' is a great step into Jethro Tull's music and a giant step from their previous debut studio album 'This Was'. As with Genesis with their debut studio album 'From Genesis To Revelation', we may say that 'Stand Up' is the first Jethro Tull's album and 'This Was' was their zero album. 'Stand Up' represents almost what the band wanted to do in the near future. So, 'Stand Up' is a much better album than 'This Was' is, a better album than 'Benefit' is and is very close to 'Aqualung' in its musical quality. It's perfectly clear to me why 'Stand Up' is one of all-time favourite Jethro Tull's albums to Ian Anderson. I have no doubt in saying that 'Stand Up' is one of the best Jethro Tull's studio albums. It's true that it isn't as good as some other Jethro Tull's albums, but it remains an amazing album.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

VianaProghead | 4/5 |

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