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Jethro Tull - Thick As A Brick CD (album) cover


Jethro Tull


Prog Folk

4.63 | 3222 ratings

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5 stars 'Thick As A Brick' was released in 1972. On the remastered CD is an interview with Tull members (Anderson, Barre , Hammond-Hammond) that gives some clues about the genesis of the record. Because a lot of people believed, according to Anderson, that 'Aqualung' to was a concept album (which it is was not), he wanted to write in return "the mother of all concept albums". (which is even from todays standard still the case).

Influenced by the absurd & surreal humour of 'Monthy Python',the band came up with a story of a 12 year old boy, who had won a poetry contest with a poem entitled "Thick As A Brick", that a rock group named Jethro Tull (really existing) put into music. Funny side- effect : Anderson tells, that still nowadays people ask, what has become of the boy who wrote the poem. To make the impact even stronger they produced a cover in form of a 'real' foldout newspaper, the St.Cleve Chronicle, narrating on the front page the stor' of the poem in the middle of a made up newspaper with all it's columns. BTW it took longer to create the newspaper, then to finnish the reord.

The music itself presents one longue composition, separated in two parts due to the contraints of a vynyl record. Contary to, let's say 'Suppers's Ready' which is a collection of songs that existed already and were segued into a suite, 'Thick AS A Brick' is based on the theme /variation model. Centered around a main theme (song), the composition combines this main-theme with several side themes (songs),presenting the verses of the 'poem', all linked by instrumental passages, that use more or less the melodic and harmonic material of these themes.The band rehearsed the whole record in 'live' condition, giving the record great band dynamics.

Side One starts with the main theme, one of the most beautiful songs that Anderson has written, supported by acoustic guitar and flute, a stunning contrast to the tongue in cheek lyrics of the 'poem'. The following themes altenate up-tempo and slower passages, with great dynamics. Towards the end of side one occurs a reprise of the main-theme played by piano and Glockenspiel and side one ends with a last theme, that bounces back and fourth with stereo panning until fading into a wind noise....

...that starts Side two evolving into a reprise of an earlier theme, that gives place to a long instrumental rubato passage with interwoven dialogue parts, fading in and out, followed by a variation of the main theme.Towards the middle of side two occurs a march- theme with solemnly vocals and 'TAAB' ends with a great arrangement of David Palmer, alternating a quick instrumental passage with a slow string movement, until the main theme returns and closes a perfect record.

'Thick As A Brick' hasn't got a wrinkle and it's still the 'mother of all concept albums'!

Alucard | 5/5 |


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