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Jethro Tull - The Best Of Acoustic Jethro Tull CD (album) cover

THE BEST OF ACOUSTIC JETHRO TULL

Jethro Tull

Prog Folk


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Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Past times with good company

This new release for 2007 has Ian Anderson's personal stamp of approval since it was he who selected the tracks for inclusion. As he declares in the opening sleeve notes, "Having been for some 39 years the unplugged guy in what is generally perceived as a classic rock band, it seemed only natural to finally focus on some of that body of work representing the acoustic side of Jethro Tull".

Anderson has deliberately opted for a cross section of familiar songs such as "Life is a long song" and the opening part of "Thick as a brick", to sit alongside less familiar works such as "Jack-a Lynn" and "Someday the sun won't shine" from the 25th anniversary collection, and "Broadford Bazaar" from the "Night cap" sessions. Also included are a couple of tracks from Anderson's solo works indicating perhaps that in his own mind, he does not separate his solo albums from the rest of the Tull catalogue. The songs are presented chronologically starting with "Fat man" from "Stand up", through to 2003's "Rupi's dance" and the "Christmas album" from the same year.

With such a large collection of material to choose from, some albums lend themselves to the concept better than others. Consequently, albums such as "A passion play" and "This was" are overlooked completely, while "Minstrel in the gallery and "Songs from the wood" are afforded space for a couple of songs.

While one of the strengths of a Tull album is the diversity of moods incorporated in them, this collection offers a highly appealing continuity of sound. The tracks blend together seamlessly, the ever present acoustic guitar acting as the canvas on which the entire album is presented. The absence of significant instrumentation offers the opportunity to enjoy Anderson's distinctive vocals delivering strong melodies on what proves to be a strong selection of Jethro Tull songs. One perhaps unexpected consequence of the album's concept and the tracks selected is the relative absence of flute. It is still present of course, but is far less dominant than might be expected.

The album closes with a couple of previously unreleased tracks; an alternative version of "One brown mouse" and the only non-Anderson composition, a live version of "Pastime (sic) with good company" (a piece also included in Blackmore's Night's catalogue).

For those who appreciate the lighter side of Jethro Tull, this is an essential collection. It is also recommended for those less familiar with their music who seek a taste of what the band offer, away from their frequently compiled singles collections.

Report this review (#122780)
Posted Saturday, May 19, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Lots of fans, including myself, were waiting for an album like The Best Of Acoustic Jethro Tull. Through the years, Anderson & co. have bestowed us the blessing of lots of these kind of acoustic and often marvellous pearls. This compilation is really a bliss.

One of the most beautiful songs featured is "Dun Ringill", written in 1979 for the Stormawatch album, which describes the magical atmosphere of an old fortification of the Island of Skye. This song is really mystical and magical. "Broadford Bazaar" is also set in Skye, this time at the local market, and it is bueatifull as well!

All the other song are beautiful too: this compilation is really fantastic! You must have it!

Report this review (#122853)
Posted Sunday, May 20, 2007 | Review Permalink
lor68
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars By focusing on the acoustic stuff by Jethro Tull you need to listen also to the best unplugged material by Ian Anderson in his fine solo albums...here a couple of songs from his solo works are well represented - and of course it could be the controversial aspect of such a self-tribute album concerning J.T. only, talking about their long career ...actually the most original song is not a typical J.T. tune, because for me the track dedicated to the famous Isle of Sky in Scotland, entitled "Dun Ringill", was written for the "Stormwatch" album in 1979 (not their most known album) usually not performed live! Moreover the track performed live in Denmark, entitled "Pastime With Good Company", has been already executed by Blackmore's Night in a better manner and such a controversial consideration prevents me to give this "The Best of Acoustic J.T" an high score..nevertheless I like to mention the "poor" tribute to their important folk prog/classic rock album such as "Songs from the wood" and "Minstrel in the Gallery", here represented by a couple of songs only!!

Anyway you can add another half star at least (especially if you are a long date fan)

Report this review (#126651)
Posted Sunday, June 24, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars This compilation is exactly what we're (Tull fans) waiting for: a release with only acoustic Jethro Tull tracks on it....... Could we expect anything better?

Well, as an acoustic Tull compilation it works good enough, although there are dozens and dozens of acoustic songs along Jethro's discography and, logically, this CD misses some of them, like Slipstream, Summerday Sands, March the Mad Scientist and Reasons for Waiting (surely among others); and, why not, some of not 100% acoustic songs have been added to this compilation, such as Someday the Sun Won't Shine for You, Jack Frost and the Hooded Crow and Jack a Lynn...... But it is to little attention considering the bunch of beautiful songs found here.

Moreover, there's a nice couple of acoustic Ian Anderson (solo) songs: Water Carrier & Rupi's Dance, both superb songs. I think this CD should be a double one ;)

Strongly reccomended!!

Report this review (#128035)
Posted Tuesday, July 10, 2007 | Review Permalink
ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars If you have read some of my thirty four previous Tull reviews, you know already that the Tull side I prefer, is their electric one. By far. I knew beforehand that I was going to have a hard time to rate such an album. I guess that none of these songs would fit on my ideal Tull compilation.

Of course there are some nice songs featured on this record : the sequence from "Mother Goose" through "Skating Away" is rather pleasant. Of course, to have a three minutes excerpts of "Thick"...Weird choice as well for "Cold Wind...". The version here is the short version featured on the remastered version of "Minstrel". In my review of this album, I mentioned already what I felt about this nasty treatment. Sad.

And what about this "Under Wrap" version ? Is it really useful to get an acoustic version of this bad song here ? I guess that you know my answer. "Rupi's Dance" which is the title track of a solo album from Ian is also very, very dispensible. There is even an unreleased track, would you believe ? But "One Brown Mouse" has no flavour at all. Useless.

My preferred songs are "Jack A Lynn" and "Weathercock".

Depending on where are going your Tull preferences, you might enjoy this album very much or not at all. I belong to the latter category. Of course, the title of this compilation doesn't fool anybody. I am waiting now for "The Electric Tull" or "The Progressive Tull" or "The Harder side Of Tull".

Two stars.

Report this review (#136365)
Posted Wednesday, September 5, 2007 | Review Permalink
AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Team
3 stars A cure for insomnia....

A Jethro Tull album that features all of the acoustic material seemed like a good idea at the time I suppose but after a while this becomes a tiresome exercise. The best thing about the Tull albums in general is how the quieter moments of acoustic glory are well balanced with the proggy heavier guitar riffs. Removing all of the heaviness of the band is akin to extracting the roar from the lion; in the end you get nothing but a cute oversized pussycat.

Jethro Tull are an edgy band with delicious helpings of heavy guitars and rocking bluesy folk songs. The acoustic songs are designed primarily to counter balance these complex heavier moments and they always work brilliantly. When one listens to these acoustic songs one after another the style itself becomes exposed, and we realise just how similar these pieces really are. I always love a burst of acoustic in music but not the whole ruddy album! Ian Anderson has a voice that could send you into a coma with all that acoustic guitar.

I guess one of the plus sides to this is at least this album can be played while one sleeps, it has a lullaby quality and is likely to lull anyone to sleep, without Martin Barre's jarring riffs ready to jar you awake. It might seem harsh to review it with only 3 stars but this is simply all the material on the Jethro Tull albums that were transition points, filler material or at best 'calms before the storm'. The difference here is there is no storm, just a gentle breeze, and that can be a yawnfest after the first initial listen. There are better compilations out there and this is simply another cash in for the Jethro Tull machine. One hopes that Ian Anderson will polish off his flute and get back to the studios to release some new material and stop bringing out one compilation after another.

Report this review (#537722)
Posted Friday, September 30, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars Baring a couple of missteps, this is an absolute treasure trove of Jethro Tull acoustic based songs culled from their respective studio albums. From Life's A Long Song to Wond' Ring Aloud to Skating Away to One White Duck/0 To The Tenth Power = Nothing At All to the mesmerizing Broardford Bazaar, nearly all are stellar. Included is the best song on the much maligned Under Wraps album, namely the sublime Under Wraps 2. What I find strange about this compilation is that I find myself wanting to immediately pull out whatever album that's just been sampled (save Under Wraps) and give it a proper spin. So, I'm not sure how beneficial this compilation would be to other Tull fanatics. However, just based on the quality of the songs the album is worthy of 4 stars. How necessary it is will be totally up to you.
Report this review (#2272457)
Posted Tuesday, October 22, 2019 | Review Permalink

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