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Jethro Tull - Masters of Rock CD (album) cover


Jethro Tull


Prog Folk

2.05 | 2 ratings

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2 stars Review Nš 372

"Masters Of Rock" is a compilation of Jethro Tull and was released in 1986. This is a compilation album that comprises tracks from five original studio albums of Jethro Tull plus an unreleased track. This compilation covers the years between 1968 till 1972, which means that it has tracks from the first five studio albums of Jethro Tull. So, here we have two tracks from "This Was", two tracks from "Stand Up", two tracks from "Benefit" and two tracks from "Aqualung". Besides, it has also one track that was never released on any of their original studio albums before. And here we can also see a very small extract of the suite "Thick As A Brick" that belongs to their fifth studio album "Thick As A Brick".

"Masters Of Rock" has ten tracks. The first track "Locomotive Breath" is from "Aqualung". It has a beautiful jazz pianistic start, really remarkable, and then it develops too predictably and ends in a kind of a decline. It has dark guitar chords, slow soft acoustic parts alternated with heavy fast rock and great rhythms. It's a Jethro Tull's legendary track with great piano, guitar and excellent flute work. The second track "Aqualung" is from "Aqualung". It's one of the most complex songs to be found here. This is one of the best Jethro Tull's songs. It's a very well known song, very heavy and dark with many acoustic elements. This is a great track that is almost plays out as a mini suite with several different parts. It's a timeless composition where changes in time and signature are great. Everything functions perfectly here. The third track "Thick As A Brick" is from "Thick As A Brick". The version on this compilation is a very short edited version of the theme. "Thick As A Brick" is simply their magnum opus with more than 40 minutes. So, is absolutely ridiculous and indesculpable to reduce this suite so shortly. The fourth track "Inside" is from "Benefit". It's a short, but fantastic tune, with great doses of happiness. This is an intimate and soft song with some intricate rhythms, a sweet flute playing and a nice and warm voice. It's really a cool, very relaxing and a truly pleasant nice song to hear. That's what Jethro Tull does to you with flowery arrangements and catchy melodies. The fifth track "A Song For Jeffrey" is from "This Was". It's one of the best known tracks of "This Was". This is a very good song and represents one of the best musical moments on that album. It's an upbeat jazz inspired instrumental with some killer flute work and nice bass breaks. We may say this is one of the first standard songs from the group that better represents the first musical period of Jethro Tull. The sixth track "Life Is A Long Song" was never released on any of their studio albums. It was first released on "Life Is A Long Song" EP. It later appeared on the 1972 compilation album "Living In The Past". "Life Is A Long Song" is a beautiful acoustic symphonic track. The song is centred on Anderson's acoustic guitar playing and the lyrics talking about everyday life. It represents one of the nicest things that Ian Anderson ever composed. The seventh track "My Sunday Feeling" is from "This Was". This is clearly a song with some influence of blues and a clear influence of jazz with a pleasant groove and inspired approach. It's a song with good and energetic drumming very well followed by the flute and also by the voice of Anderson used in a very unique style. The eighth track "Nothing Is Easy" is from "Stand Up". It's another classic Jethro Tull's song. This is a fantastic rock track with several musical sections and with incredible musical performance. It has fine drumming and the interaction between the flute and the guitar is perfect. The balance between the power and elegance is great. The ninth track "Bouree" is from "Stand Up". It's one of the most recognisable Jethro Tull's tracks and it's based on a piece of music of J. S. Bach. This is a very interesting instrumental piece with some jazz influence, with a great flute solo and a great bass line. This Jethro Tull's adaptation of the classical Bach's piece perhaps became as one of the most popular adaptations of classical pieces for the masses. The tenth track "For Michael Collins, Jeffrey And Me" is from "Benefit". It's a song with great piano, nice acoustic guitar, good bass, beautiful chorus and great singing. This is a song that starts as a mellow folk song, but that suddenly rocks. So, this is a song that is balanced between the folk and the rock, which is probably the main characteristic on "Benefit".

Conclusion: So, here we are in presence of another compilation of Jethro Tull that this time covers tracks that belong to their debut musical career, the years in which their first five studio albums were made. Those were great times to Jethro Tull, really. Of those five albums only one can be considered a minor album, "This Was", despite be a good album. But, those were also the times of the two greatest masterpieces of the band, "Aqualung" and "Thick As A Brick". Anyway, "Stand Up" and "Benefit", are also two excellent albums, two of their best, really. So, once all those five albums are present and the albums are so good, all in all, we can say that, apparently, all was combined to have here a great compilation album. However and unfortunately, as happened with many compilations of the band, there is a problem. The unjustifiable reduce of the suite "Thick As A Brick" to a very short version. So, I can only rate it with 2 stars. This is a compilation for collectors and fans only. I advise you to check the original albums, instead of this, really.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

VianaProghead | 2/5 |


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