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Jethro Tull - A Passion Play CD (album) cover

A PASSION PLAY

Jethro Tull

 

Prog Folk

4.05 | 1663 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars D'Isaster!

I know this album is constantly slated, but it is entirely justified. It really is astonishing how a band can follow up such a wonderful album as "Thick as a brick" with something as lacking in direction as "A Passion Play".

The ingredients which made "TAAB" so good appear to be here. The long single track, the storybook lyrics and the good sleeve are all present and correct, but the music is sadly lacking in inspiration. Whereas "TAAB" had witty lyrics, strong melodies, and a general coherence, "A Passion play" is lacking in all these areas. The lyrics are dull, the music wanders aimlessly, and there's little to distinguish one section from another. There's more of a jazz tinge to APP than any other Tull album, the trademark folk influences being only present in fleeting glimpses.

Even the supposedly humorous "The hare who lost his spectacles", fails to hit the mark. For some bizarre reason, this track within a track is split in half on the LP by forming the end of side one and the beginning of side two. The tale however is tedious and far from amusing, being a rather pointless shaggy dog story.

The "Chateau D'Isaster tapes" showed that Tull were well on their way to creating a worthy follow up to "TABB" before they abandoned that project and returned to the UK. Had they persisted with what they were creating then, the course of history could well have been different, and "A passion play" (or whatever it might have been called) could have become another magnificent album.

My abiding recollection of this album is of sitting down to listen to it with a friend who had just bought it on its day of release. We were full of anticipation having been swept away by TAAB. Halfway through side 2, he'd had enough, removed the stylus from the LP, and declared, "crap isn't it!". Sums it all up really.

Easy Livin | 2/5 |

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