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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 An album reflecting the conflicted character of the band at the time, This Was is a strange little Jethro Tull album and the only one to feature Mick Abrahams as a full member of the band - and the tension between him and Ian Anderson over the direction of the band is fully apparent. How else to explain tracks such as Cat's Squirrel, an instrumental cover of a traditional blues number, and the other blues influences popping up here and there throughout the album? Not that they aren't welcome - although prog was born out of the incorporation of non-blues/RnB influences into rock music, I think adding a bit of blues to prog can lead to a very interesting mix - but it doesn't yet quite sound like Jethro Tull on some tracks, though it never sounds boring. Other reviewers have mentioned the raw and dirty guitar sound which made Tony Iommi seem like a natural fit for the group before he opted to devote himself to making Black Sabbath a success, and later Tull albums wouldn't quite have that same sound.

Not that the roots of later Tull aren't apparent here too - Dharma For One and Song for Jeffrey would both eventually have prominent places on the classic Living In the Past compilation and feature Anderson's wonderful flute-playing. But there's a mixture on here that isn't around on later Tull albums. It's an interesting mix - and the album was good enough to win the boys a spot on the Rolling Stones' Rock and Roll Circus extravaganza - but I think the band couldn't have sustained it in the long term. Those interested to see what Mick Abrahams got up to after leaving might be interested in listening to some Blodwyn Pig, but for my part I think the right man remained in command of Tull.

Warthur | 3/5 |


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