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Jethro Tull - War Child CD (album) cover

WAR CHILD

Jethro Tull

 

Prog Folk

3.30 | 715 ratings

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SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
2 stars Another passion play, but with less passion

At the time of its release, War Child was the weakest Jethro Tull albums since the band's early days as a Blues Rock band in the late 60's. The previous A Passion Play had already constituted a big step down from the lofty heights of Thick As A Brick and Aqualung, but War Child is an even lesser album than A Passion Play. Like Ian says in the liner notes to the CD reissue, these two albums are connected thematically and some material that ended up on this album was actually written before A Passion Play. Like virtually all Jethro Tull albums, it has some good moments, but it is still one of my least favourite albums by the band together with 1968's This Was, 1984's Under Wraps, and 1991's Catfish Rising. The problem is simply that the material is among the band's weakest and a far cry from their other 70's albums.

In 1974 one would perhaps rightly have wondered if Jethro Tull was quickly running out of steam on a permanent basis, but in retrospect we know that this would be very far from the truth and indeed that this would be only a temporary glitch. Already the next album, Minstrel In The Gallery, would be a true return to form. And there would, of course, be many other albums in the future that would be up to the high standards we except from this great band.

The only song on this album that belongs to the best of Jethro Tull is Skating Away On The Thin Ice Of The New Day. This song together with Bungle In The Jungle and Only Solitaire were recorded before A Passion Play, while the rest of this album was done after. Ironically, the newer songs sound more like leftovers than the ones that actually were leftovers! The live version of Skating Away from the excellent live album Bursting Out is even better than this original version. Bungle In The Jungle sounds like it could have fitted on the much later Crest Of A Knave album from 1987. The Third Hoorah is a nice instrumental, that sounds a bit like Celebration by PFM.

Among the bonus tracks on the CD reissue of this album you can find more tracks that were recorded before they started to work on A Passion Play. Among these songs is one called Rainbow Blues which is really good. This song was actually covered by Ritchie Blackmore for Blackmore's Night recently!

SouthSideoftheSky | 2/5 |

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