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Jethro Tull - Nightcap CD (album) cover


Jethro Tull


Prog Folk

3.66 | 173 ratings

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Andrea Cortese
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars ".so here we have it! Not a cup of tea for everyone, but a slightly dizzy night cap for old friends."

First CD: The embryonic state of what'll be A Passion Play. Jethro Tull went to France to record a follow-up to Thick As a Brick. This one is the most important and it caused great excitement among Tull-fans since it contained the previously unreleased tapes from the Château D'Hérouville sessions of 1972. These tapes were believed to be missing, but Ian found them back after working his way through a large amount of old studio tapes. Most of the material was (re) mastered, but a few pieces were left out however, since Ian judged them being "simply wretched".

Solitaire and Skating Away On the Thin Ice of the New Day, appeared two years later on the Warchild album. One of the songs that were never released is a three minute segment of a take that was never finished and is by Jethro Tull die-hard-fans called SAILOR. Sadly there's no trace of it in some official release.I only had it downloading some bootleg tracks!! (another unreleased is Hard Hearted English General).

The animals cycle

The first song is First Post. Animelée follows and then Tiger Toon. The first 3 songs are good soft/folk/disneyesque instrumental pieces suggesting a FIGHT between animals. Tiger Toon, in particular brings in that specific animal known as a predator and makes reference to the cartoon suggesting a sort of caricature. The first song with lyrics is Look at the Animals. It lays out the order of the food-chain in Anderson's world. Great idea this personification in the song: the animals wait in line on a stairwell to use the bathroom. The animals put chewing gum in each other's hair and swing from chandeliers. At one point the animals are playing with their tools. The analogy with people is emphasized when the narrator asks alternatively, " would you like to be one? , would you like to free one" and " would you like to queer one?" Law of the Bungle (I and II), is a song that was never completed, follows and reintroduces the tiger. He is king of the jungle and forces the other animals to submit to his will. The tiger in this case wears a suit and has business sense. Why not jungle? The reason is the cartoonish, caricaturish nature of the lyrics but I didn't manage to understand the message between the lines! (P.S. see that in the War Child album one of the greatest tracks was Bungle In The Jungle!).

After this first six tracks animals tracks it's the turn of Left Right, one of my JT favourites ever, with that irritating crying babies intro. Critique Oblique is that famous part of you can listen to part of its guitar's riff in an acoustic temper and some different lyrics. That famous verses of APP sang by Jeffrey Hammond-Hammond are here sang by Ian: ".and your little sister's immaculate virginity wings away on the bony shoulders of a young horse named George who stole surreptitiously into her geography revision.". Another APP faithful is Post Last. Scenario, Audition and No Rehersal are all good songs in a more soft and sad temper with dominant acoustic guitar and great deep voice from Ian!

The second disc is completely different, containing material from different years, from 1974 to 1991: Paradise Steakhouse (one of the best tracks by JT), Sealion II (vocals by Jeffrey Hammond-Hammond with only few words spoken by Ian), Quartet (instrumental and the most prog one: a must have in your collection!), A Small Cigar and Broadfoard Bazaar (great acoustic gem!). All these tracks above are now findable on the new remastered editions of War Child, Too Old.and Heavy Horses. Then there's a lot of 80s material, interesting in particular Rosa On The Factory Floor, Commons Brawl, Drive On The Young Side Of Life (title reminds me of Skating Away.) and I Don't Want To Be Me.

Evaluation: First Disc is for all you lovers of's essential and I'll rate it with 5 stars! (agree with GW). The Second Disc although being good it seem to lacks in importance for the JT fans because of those latest remastered (and more complete than this) albums with tons of beautiful bonus tracks!

Final rating: 4 stars! P.S. The first disc is highly recommendable!

Andrea Cortese | 4/5 |


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