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Jethro Tull - Stormwatch CD (album) cover


Jethro Tull


Prog Folk

3.46 | 747 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / In Memoriam

It seems STORMWATCH is a story of apples and oranges for TULL lovers; for some, this is the beginning of the end and others- like myself- consider this album as a highlight of their collection. I mentioned in another JT review that as a JT aficionado, i tend to appreciate more some of their ''controversial'' works than the ''classic'' ones.

STORMWATCH is one of them.I am very fond of this album, found the songwriting top notch, the whole record highly enjoyable even the medieval folkloric WARM PORRAN. That tells you something. This would be the last album for 4 out of the 6 members of JETHRO TULL. The bassist JOHN GLASCOCK already seriously ill would die of heart problem complications, leaving IAN ANDERSON playing the bass himself on 7 out of the 10 tracks. That would not make BARRIEMORE BARLOW happy to have ''bossy'' IAN next to him trying to keep the rythm section tight. They would be also the farewell album for JOHN EVAN and DAVID PALMER who will be left out for the next album 'A 'for dubious reasons. No, IAN ANDERSON is not part of those 4 guys!!

This is a very lively and diverse recording full of energy with some straight hard rockers such as OLD GHOSTS, NORTH SEA OIL or SOMETHING ON THE MOVE with an omnipresent MARTIN BARRE having fun all the way. The traditional J.TULL acoustic folk can be heard with the sublime DUN RIGGILL.However, there is nothing'' country'' or from the woods on STORMWATCH like on the 2 precedent studio releases.

Also you have nice melodious songs with fine PALMER arrangements like ORION or HOME .IAN ANDERSON has abandoned his ''earthy'' rough voice that i couldn't stand on HEAVY HORSES to come back with a more ''classic'' sound, even it is not as powerful as in the past. Some TULL fans decry the intrusive classical orchestrations from PALMER on some songs here as too much sugarcoating, i just found them adding a very nice touch of sophistication overall.

STORMWATCH is definitely the album where PALMER put a lot of his input; he even has a solo writing credit!!! for the track ELEGY, a classical chamber piece of pure beauty. Some wrote it was kind of syrupy. Maybe i like my syrup as long as it comes with a beautiful theme, gorgeous lush arrangements with the addition of MARTIN BARRE placing the nice sounding notes where they should be.

To complete this album, we have some kind of 2 long ''epics'' DARK AGES and FLYING DUTCHMAN -around 9mn each- carrying all the elements that make JETHRO TULL great: good guitar riffs, nice acoustic passages, outstanding flute playing, a nice melody, a medieval touch, clever PALMER arrangements; Give me the intro of FLYING DUTCHMAN everyday and i am a happy man!

The 4 bonus tracks are as always a nice plus, especially the delicious medieval KING HENRY'S MADRIGAL!

STORMWATCH has it all: hard rock, acoustic folk, medieval songs, a classical tune and 2 typical JT epics with great songwriting to crown the whole thing. One of my 3 favorite JETHRO TULL albums;A must-have! i would give 4.5 stars so......


febus | 4/5 |


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