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Jethro Tull - Live At Madison Square Garden 1978 (DVD + CD) CD (album) cover


Jethro Tull


Prog Folk

4.38 | 108 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars This DVD/CD package is an absolute must have for any Jethro Tull fan; finally a concert DVD from the classic 1970s period and the closest thing possible to having a video version of Tull's seminal live album `Bursting Out.'

The set comes in a fantastic shiny Digipak containing a booklet with photos and linear notes from Jethro Tull frontman Ian Anderson himself as well as manager Terry Ellis. Now for the interesting part; the original broadcast only features 50 minutes of recorded footage, but Jethro Tull played an hour and a half long concert so the cd contains a 78 minute long version of the concert (with all the dead air and segments without music edited out) while the DVD contains the full video concert, plus seven audio only bonus tracks and you can choose to either `play all,' or `play video only.' Perhaps this was an inelegant solution but considering the fact that the rest of the concert wasn't filmed it seems to me the best solution available given the circumstances.

It also seems pertinent to mention that there are a few visual hiccups and one audio problem owing to the nature of the very old satellite broadcast from which the concert is taken but this are few and far between, easily forgivable and do not hamper your overall enjoyment of the show. The people putting the DVD together took every care to restore as much of the concert to as high a standard as possible without damaging the music and it shows.

Now with all that out of the way, it seems about time to discuss the concert. And what a concert it is, `On Fire,' scarcely describes just how energetic and captivating the Tull performance is, bringing the songs to life in ways the album versions hint at, adding proggy intros (Including a bit of Pibroch (Cap In Hand)) to `Sweet Dream,' and `Songs From The Wood,' and sticking extended jam sessions to the end of 'No Lullaby,' and `Locomotive Breath,' and adding a flair and energy to every single piece that justifies why fans have been crying out for live material from this era for so long. The band even have two uncredited jam sessions including a `Conundrum,' style piece with full Drum solo after the first performance of `Locomotive Breath,' and `God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,' with a full band jam session after `No Lullaby.'

Ian's voice is magnificent and he rips through different styles from the soft `One Brown Mouse,' to the deep `My God,' with no trouble at all, and special mention must go to the absolutely storming rendition of `Thick as a Brick,' which is absolutely gigantic, if you had your doubts about the DVD they'll have been erased by the time the drums kick in.

That's not to say that Ian is the only one going above and beyond the call of duty, Martin Barre absolutely murders his guitar during the solos on `No Lullaby,' `Aqualung,' and `Locomotive Breathe,' while Barriemore Barlow rolls and flails his way across the drum kit like a madman at times, while always maintaining a precise and complicated beat that'd leave many other drummers scratching their heads.

When I first saw this package I was worried it would be some poor quality bootleg slapped together with compressed audio, blurry pixilated video and a terrible box and as it turns out nothing could be further from the truth, this is a fantastic package with excellently mixed audio (really clear mix, all elements be they guitar leads, kick drum, piano, xylophone or Mr. Anderson vocals are audible and either clear or punchy where appropriate) as great a job on the video as could be done with the source material (It looks better on my HDTV than even some of the stuff on Tull's `Jack in the Green,' and all of their `Slipstream,' DVDs) and a classy Digipak style box to house it all in.

Best of all; the CD/DVD package isn't going for a stupid high price either, so if you want a Jethro Tull DVD from the 70s you can sigh in relief knowing you won't be ripped off either monetarily or in terms of quality.

Gentlegiantprog | 5/5 |


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