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Jethro Tull - The Broadsword And The Beast CD (album) cover


Jethro Tull


Prog Folk

3.27 | 603 ratings

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4 stars One of the most pleasurable consequences I have had in converting my vinyl to digital has been the opportunity to listen to this absolute gem again, after far too long.

This is, arguably, Tull's last really crucial and high quality studio LP. What followed wasn't necessarily bad, but certainly was nowhere near the essential nature of this.

I always enjoyed Tull more with their folk influences to the fore, rather than the bluesier side. For such people, this album certainly does not disappoint.

This has some absolute crackers, and high amongst them are the title tracks themselves. Beastie starts proceedings off, and rips along at a fair old pace. Broadsword is a somewhat more thoughtful affair, and also, to these ears, manages to perfectly combine the new synth approach perfectly with more traditional Tull sounds. Barre certainly never sounded better.

Pussy Willow has its tongue firmly in cheek, and is a rip roaring barrel of fun.

My favourite two tracks from the album, however, are the slower ones, namely Slow Marching Band, and Cheerio, the latter of which is still a live favourite to this day.

There are a couple of throwaway tracks, Watching Me, Watching You, which I never liked, and Seal Driver, which is more accessible, but not classic, on side two.

However, overall, this is, to these ears, a near perfect combination of what Anderson was trying to attain at the time. A more modern and commercial approach with the more traditional sounds and elements so as not to completely alienate his loyal audience. On that level, it works very well, and I have no hesitation in awarding four stars.

For those of you who have never sampled the delights of this band, or who have only ever listened to Thick As A Brick, then I would heartily recommend this album as a good starting point.

lazland | 4/5 |


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