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JETHRO TULL

Prog Folk • United Kingdom


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Jethro Tull picture
Jethro Tull biography
Founded in Blackpool, UK in 1967 - Hiatus from 2012-2016


"I didn`t have to play it all the time, I just had to wave it around and look good" - Ian Anderson 2003.

Eccentric on stage yet rather thoughtful, reserved and even sombre at times when not in the limelight, the Jethro Tull image was the brainchild of flute wielding frontman Ian Anderson. Clad in scruffy vagabond apparel, and looking more like an anachronism out of a Charles Dickens tale, Anderson conveyed an old English aura during the band`s formative years in the late 60`s and early 70`s which would persist throughout the band's 40 year career both visually and musically.

Born on August 10, 1947 in Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland, Anderson was augmented by a revolving door of colourful musicians over the years which added to the flamboyance of the Jethro Tull phenomenon. Conceived as a psychedelic blues band in late 1967 the music of Jethro Tull has always been dauntingly intricate embracing many styles including blues, jazz, folk, medieval, classical, hard rock along with forays into electronic music, sometimes referred to as "space age prog". The lyrics were equally as sophisticated and sometimes reached new heights of grandiloquence commenting on depressing world events such as drug abuse, the oil crisis, modernisation, third world troubles and a deteriorating economy.. Other topics included fads, spy novels, environmental and social issues as well as metaphysical musings. With lyrics and music which ran deep Jethro Tull have often been over-analysed by both fans and critics alike and many of their albums have been erroneously interpreted as autobiographical due to the fact that many of their record covers featured artwork which seemed to depict Ian Anderson's likeness, something which he has vehemently denied in numerous interviews.

Jethro Tull can trace their origins back to 1963 when as a young art student in Blackpool, England Anderson formed a band called THE BLADES (after a club in a James Bond novel). By 1965 as a 7-piece they had changed their name to THE JOHN EVAN BAND and subsequently to THE JOHN EVAN SMASH (his mother supplied their tour van) Evan, whose real name was Evans, would eventually become the band's keyboard player for most of the seventies. The band relocated to London in`67, the centre of the British blues movement of the sixties in search of more lucrative gigs. However the band was gradually d...
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Buy JETHRO TULL Music


50 For 50 (3CD)50 For 50 (3CD)
Rhino/Parlophone 2018
$15.73
$14.98 (used)
Heavy Horses (New Shoes Edition)(3CD/2DVD)Heavy Horses (New Shoes Edition)(3CD/2DVD)
Rhino/Parlophone 2018
$36.49
Aqualung (Steven Wilson Mix)(180 Gram Vinyl)Aqualung (Steven Wilson Mix)(180 Gram Vinyl)
Rhino/Parlophone 2015
$17.71
$12.17 (used)
The Very Best of Jethro TullThe Very Best of Jethro Tull
Parlophone 2001
$5.83
$3.79 (used)
Benefit (Deluxe)(2CD/1DVD)Benefit (Deluxe)(2CD/1DVD)
Rhino/Parlophone 2013
$29.99
$2,013.00 (used)
Songs From The WoodSongs From The Wood
Rhino/Parlophone 2017
$9.20
$6.20 (used)
Heavy Horses (Steven Wilson Remix)Heavy Horses (Steven Wilson Remix)
Rhino/Parlophone 2018
$11.42
$7.39 (used)
Stand UpStand Up
Parlophone 2001
$4.00
$3.20 (used)
Living in the PastLiving in the Past
Emi Europe Generic 2003
$4.29
$3.04 (used)
Thick As A BrickThick As A Brick
Parlophone 1998
$8.77
$4.50 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
THE VERY BEST OF JETHRO TULL - CD USD $14.00 Buy It Now
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JETHRO TULL War Child 1974 NM 1st Press BUNGLE IN THE JUNGLE Original LP Album USD $27.95 Buy It Now
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JETHRO TULL ian anderson ( 4 ) LP lot: HEAVY HORSES u.k. press / SOLO / KNAVE +1 USD $23.96 Buy It Now 2m 37s
JETHRO TULL Heavy Horses 1978 Chrysalis LP CHR 1175 EXC w/lyric sleeve USD $8.50 Buy It Now 3m 22s
JETHRO TULL A PASSION PLAY,GATE FOLD,A PASSION PLAY,CHR 1040.VG PLUS PLUS , USD $5.45 Buy It Now 3m 33s
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Jethro Tull - Catfish Rising BRAZIL 1st PRESS LP 1991 USD $49.99 Buy It Now 38m 55s
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Jethro Tull - Aqualung * MFSL 1-061 Rock Audiophile LP NM USD $65.00 [10 bids]
1h 43m
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JETHRO TULL THICK AS A BRICK ALBUM 12" LP CHRYSALIS RECORDS 1972 CHR 1003 USD $6.99 [0 bids]
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2h 39m
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10 Great Songs by Jethro Tull (CD, Apr-2012, Parlophone) Sealed USD $7.95 Buy It Now 4h 5m
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JETHRO TULL discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

JETHRO TULL top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.31 | 767 ratings
This Was
1968
4.05 | 1138 ratings
Stand Up
1969
3.91 | 964 ratings
Benefit
1970
4.34 | 2398 ratings
Aqualung
1971
4.63 | 3053 ratings
Thick As A Brick
1972
4.02 | 1344 ratings
A Passion Play
1973
3.30 | 757 ratings
War Child
1974
4.03 | 1106 ratings
Minstrel In The Gallery
1975
3.08 | 703 ratings
Too Old To Rock 'n' Roll: Too Young To Die!
1976
4.18 | 1307 ratings
Songs From The Wood
1977
4.03 | 1069 ratings
Heavy Horses
1978
3.47 | 679 ratings
Stormwatch
1979
3.20 | 566 ratings
A
1980
3.28 | 609 ratings
The Broadsword And The Beast
1982
2.23 | 480 ratings
Under Wraps
1984
3.01 | 144 ratings
A Classic Case
1985
3.22 | 541 ratings
Crest Of A Knave
1987
2.69 | 425 ratings
Rock Island
1989
2.61 | 397 ratings
Catfish Rising
1991
3.63 | 481 ratings
Roots To Branches
1995
3.03 | 400 ratings
J-Tull Dot Com
1999
3.50 | 377 ratings
The Jethro Tull Christmas Album
2003

JETHRO TULL Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.18 | 384 ratings
Live - Bursting Out
1978
2.88 | 52 ratings
Live At Hammersmith '84
1990
3.64 | 171 ratings
A Little Light Music
1992
3.05 | 45 ratings
In Concert
1995
3.64 | 115 ratings
Living With The Past
2002
4.10 | 151 ratings
Nothing Is Easy: Live At The Isle Of Wight 1970
2004
3.46 | 95 ratings
Aqualung Live
2005
3.76 | 84 ratings
Live At Montreux 2003
2007
4.32 | 19 ratings
Live At Carnegie Hall 1970
2015

JETHRO TULL Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.85 | 51 ratings
Slipstream (DVD)
1981
3.78 | 40 ratings
20 Years of Jethro Tull (VHS)
1988
3.45 | 80 ratings
Living With the Past
2002
3.04 | 51 ratings
A New Day Yesterday - The 25th Anniversary Collection
2003
3.85 | 90 ratings
Nothing Is Easy: Live At The Isle Of Wight 1970
2005
2.94 | 66 ratings
Live At Montreux 2003
2007
4.00 | 21 ratings
Slipstream (9 song version)
2007
4.37 | 27 ratings
Classic Artists Series: Jethro Tull
2008
3.30 | 29 ratings
Jack In The Green - Live In Germany
2008
3.64 | 23 ratings
Songs From Bethlehem
2008
4.45 | 99 ratings
Live At Madison Square Garden 1978 (DVD + CD)
2009
3.79 | 34 ratings
Live at AVO Session Basel 2008
2009
4.53 | 30 ratings
Around the World Live (4DVD)
2013

JETHRO TULL Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.13 | 300 ratings
Living In The Past
1972
3.09 | 74 ratings
M.U. - The Best Of Jethro Tull
1976
3.16 | 51 ratings
Repeat - The Best Of Jethro Tull - Vol. II
1977
3.19 | 72 ratings
Original Masters
1985
3.61 | 80 ratings
20 Years Of Jethro Tull Box
1988
4.54 | 80 ratings
20 Years Of Jethro Tull (The Definitive Collection)
1988
3.73 | 51 ratings
20 Years Of Jethro Tull (USA release)
1989
3.64 | 153 ratings
Nightcap
1993
3.81 | 48 ratings
The Best Of Jethro Tull: The Anniversary Collection
1993
4.41 | 76 ratings
25th Anniversary Box Set
1993
2.60 | 25 ratings
A Jethro Tull Collection
1997
1.51 | 30 ratings
Through The Years
1997
3.00 | 70 ratings
The Very Best Of Jethro Tull
2001
2.50 | 15 ratings
Essential Jethro Tull
2007
3.39 | 51 ratings
The Best Of Acoustic Jethro Tull
2007
3.79 | 44 ratings
The Jethro Tull Christmas Album / Live - Christmas At St Bride's 2008
2009
4.69 | 49 ratings
Aqualung - 40th Anniversary Collector's Edition
2011
4.85 | 73 ratings
Thick As A Brick - 40th Anniversary Special Edition
2012
4.90 | 61 ratings
A Passion Play: An Extended Perfomance
2014
4.63 | 40 ratings
War Child - The 40th Anniversary Theatre Edition
2014
4.84 | 40 ratings
Minstrel In The Gallery - 40th Anniversary: La Grande Edition
2015
4.71 | 14 ratings
Too Old To Rock'n'Roll: Too Young To Die - The TV Special Edition
2015
4.97 | 26 ratings
Songs From The Wood - 40th Anniversary Edition - The Country Set
2017
4.00 | 1 ratings
50 For 50
2018
1.00 | 1 ratings
50th Anniversary Collection
2018

JETHRO TULL Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.80 | 15 ratings
Love Story
1968
4.09 | 22 ratings
A Song For Jeffrey
1968
2.71 | 18 ratings
Sunshine Day
1968
4.11 | 26 ratings
Sweet Dream / 17
1969
4.11 | 19 ratings
The Witch's Promise
1969
4.63 | 28 ratings
Living In The Past
1969
3.81 | 16 ratings
Inside
1970
4.65 | 34 ratings
Life Is A Long Song
1971
4.13 | 16 ratings
Hymn 43
1971
4.41 | 22 ratings
Aqualung
1971
4.00 | 2 ratings
Locomotive Breath
1971
4.18 | 28 ratings
Living In The Past
1972
3.54 | 24 ratings
Bungle In The Jungle
1974
3.17 | 25 ratings
Ring Out, Solstice Bells
1976
3.50 | 4 ratings
Too Old To Rock 'N' Roll; Too Young To Die
1976
4.24 | 25 ratings
The Whistler
1977
3.60 | 5 ratings
A Stitch In Time
1978
4.07 | 26 ratings
Moths
1978
3.67 | 6 ratings
Warm Sporran
1979
2.70 | 18 ratings
North Sea Oil
1979
4.47 | 17 ratings
Home E.P.
1979
3.20 | 21 ratings
Working John, Working Joe
1980
3.28 | 21 ratings
Fallen On Hard Times
1982
3.37 | 19 ratings
Broadsword
1982
3.05 | 20 ratings
Lap Of Luxury
1984
4.50 | 2 ratings
Bourrée
1985
3.92 | 13 ratings
Coronach
1986
3.77 | 13 ratings
Said She Was A Dancer 12''
1987
3.60 | 15 ratings
Steel Monkey 12''
1987
5.00 | 2 ratings
Part Of The Machine
1988
3.74 | 18 ratings
Another Christmas Song
1989
3.58 | 17 ratings
This Is Not Love
1991
3.84 | 16 ratings
Rocks On The Road
1991
3.00 | 14 ratings
Living in the (Slightly More Recent) Past / Living in the Past
1993
2.67 | 18 ratings
Rare And Precious Chain
1995
3.29 | 17 ratings
Bends Like A Willow
1999
3.22 | 9 ratings
The Christmas EP
2004
5.00 | 2 ratings
Living in the Past
2013

JETHRO TULL Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Broadsword And The Beast by JETHRO TULL album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.28 | 609 ratings

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The Broadsword And The Beast
Jethro Tull Prog Folk

Review by sgtpepper

3 stars Not a bad album at all but it doesn't offer much to the progressive rock fans. The quality within is more for the pop and rock fans as Ian Anderson remains a solid composer and singer. The album starts with a memorable and hard hitting rocker. The Clasp features good singing and changes in the time signatures, has the flute trademarks and good keyboard work so it resembles a progressive rock structure. The third track rocks hard but it is not very memorable and thankfully only 3 minutes long. Flying colours starts off as a ballad and turns after one minute into a fast typical 80's rock with few progressive rock signs. I like the keyboard line though. As the title says, Slow Marching Band is mellower, contemplative track featuring love theme.

The track Broadsword is the highlight on the flip side. Clear melody, progressive rock arrangements. Pussy Willow continues with the slightly experimental mood between a folky mood and rocking second part. Watching me Watching you is a rhythmically complex track featuring flute but not very well developed though. Seal driver ends the album on a positive note with a distinct melody and dramatic spirit. Cheerio is a throwaway track but good to calm down and get ready for another piece of music ;-)

 Thick As A Brick by JETHRO TULL album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.63 | 3053 ratings

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Thick As A Brick
Jethro Tull Prog Folk

Review by sgtpepper

5 stars This together with Passion's play are Jethro Tull's crowning achievements in the progressive rock catalogue. How does this piece of music fare against other progressive rock masterpieces? First of all, the notion of concept is taken into extreme as there are only two suites, which no other major progressive rock act would dare at the time. The compositional skills are fantastic and the suites very intricate with plenty of changes in rhythm patterns and motives. The guitar and Anderson's voice are omnipresent and trademarks and both unique. I never liked Anderson's voice and singing too much though.

There is less space for soloing than on other peers albums, the instruments are here to add to the atmosphere, colour the concept, show the potential of music complexity and not necessarily to show off. Keyboards are less prominent than on Yes, Genesis, Kansas or Pink Floyd records, mostly serving in the background. Synthesizers would only be used from the next album onwards. The bass and the drums is very decent in the mix and hearable.

Out of the two suites, I slightly prefer the second one, since I like the instrumental sections better. After the first couple of minutes, there is even a doom-metal/rock atmosphere characterized by menacing chords - the sequence will be easily recognized by any My Dying Bride fan ;-).

Overall, it is masterpiece of progressive rock, although I have yet need time to fully appreciate this album and understand it in full details.

 Sunshine Day by JETHRO TULL album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1968
2.71 | 18 ratings

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Sunshine Day
Jethro Tull Prog Folk

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

2 stars This is a very hard to get single, the debut single by the band. Unfortunately, this was accidentally credited to Jethro Toe and printed on the single as such. The A Side of the single was "Sunshine Day" which is a poppy song with Ian Anderson singing lead vocals and Mick Abrahams, who was Tull's original guitarist, singing background vocals. It was Abrahams that actually wrote the track. It's easy to tell that it is Ian's distinctive voice, but other than that, there isn't much semblance to the sound that Jethro Tull would later be famous for. No flute whatsoever. The same holds true for the B side called "Aeroplane". This is a slightly more interesting song, and it leans more towards a folksy-bluesy sound, but still remains on the pop side of things. Both songs are underwhelming and not memorable.

This is before JT had become well known and I don't believe the single did very well. Both songs are available on "20 Years of Jethro Tull" collection on Disc 1 as the last two tracks. Unless you are a collector, and probably want to spend a lot of money, you would be better off getting the collection which has many other rare gems on it. This single remains as only a curiosity or a collector's item, but the songs really aren't worth the time and expense unless you collect rare recordings and are willing to pay upwards to $900.00 for it. 2 stars....collector's only.

 Aqualung by JETHRO TULL album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.34 | 2398 ratings

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Aqualung
Jethro Tull Prog Folk

Review by The Jester

5 stars Aqualung was Jethro Tull's 4rth studio album and most successful one by far. It is considered as a concept album, featuring a central theme of 'the distinction between religion and God'. Aqualung was a turning point in the band's career, that went on to become a major radio and touring act.

After the release of their first 2 albums (Stand Up & This Was) which seemed to be influenced mostly by the Blues, the band tried to change their sound with the release of Benefit in 1970; and with the release of Aqualung the transformation was completed.

Aqualung was the first album including John Evan as a full-time member, and also Jeffrey Hammond as the band's new bass player. It was also the last album including Clive Bunker on drums.

The painting on the cover was inspired from pictures of homeless people that were living around Thames, and were taken by Ian Anderson's wife. Aqualung, the main character, is one of those people, and on the first side of the album we listen to his story.

The music style is Rock (in Jethro Tull's point of view), which is "flirting" with Progressive Rock. Also, many influences from Blues and Folk can be found here.

It is Jethro Tull's best selling album with more than 7.000.000 copies sold worldwide. In the years to come it would inspire many artists and bands, such as Iron Maiden for example, who recorded a cover version of Cross-Eyed Mary in 1993 and released it as a B-side on the single Trooper.

Upon it's release, it received very good critics, climbed at the charts both in USA and UK, but failed to reach at the top. (Best chart position was No.4 in UK). The first single that was came out from this album, was Hymn 43, but it failed to reach to the high positions of the charts. With the passing years two songs that became the trademarks of Jethro Tull, both included in this album: Aqualung and Locomotive Breath.

Aqualung was re-released on 2011 at the album's 40th anniversary. This release contains a new stereo and a surround 5.1 mix, made by Steve Wilson of Porcupine Tree. Speaking for myself, I bought the vinyl edition when I was still a teenager, later on I bought it on Cd and then the special edition (again on cd) followed. Definitely a 'must have' for any Rock music collection. 5.0 Stars

 Aqualung by JETHRO TULL album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.34 | 2398 ratings

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Aqualung
Jethro Tull Prog Folk

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars UK band JETHRO TULL have been one of the household names in the music scene for almost 50 years. In fact, they became a household name due to this very album, "Aqualung", their fourth studio production and also an album that saw them depart from their previous albums quite a bit in style.

I do not know what got over the band when they made this album, as well as their next one (Thick as a Brick), but the mighty Tull would never again create albums of this particular stature. What is striking about "Aqualung" is that it sounds so authentic I guess. It is by far a flawless album, but it is the combination of elements that makes it work despite those flaws I guess.

Quite a few of the songs would be a bit lost without some key element or other. The addition of piano and strings to an acoustic folk piece for instance. The choice to cut some of the other acoustic interludes short also makes them stand out as something admirable rather than as mere fillers. The change in mood and atmosphere is perhaps the biggest detail of note here, especially on the almost perfect A side, wandering from the dark and despondent towards the light and whimsical. The manner in which this album place acoustic and hard rock based creations side by side with creations of a more distinct folk orientation another such detail. Up to and including some piano details with a sacral and perhaps even hymn-like touch at times, explored in the confines of an early hard rock context.

It is difficult to give a good description of this album really. The songs differ a bit more in style than one gets the initial impression of, as well as in approach. There is a folky vibe running through the album though, as well as a minor sacral undercurrent, but none of them are ever present. There's also some tasteful morsels of hard rock, concluding cut Wind Up comes across as a likely inspiration for many later hard rock and metal guitarists for instance.

Still, blues based hard rock, acoustic rock and folk-oriented rock are the main ingredients here I guess, explored in a rather eclectic manner and often with a sophisticated approach to either song structure or arrangements - or both - that makes this album a classic of progressive rock as well.

What makes this album tick is, for me at least, the vocals. Ian Anderson isn't a good singer, but you can get away with a lot if you have good voice control, and even more if you can add passion to your material. Which is the case here, throughout the album. Be it as a whimsical observer or a condemning preacher, Anderson have messages to tell and by Jove you are going to listen to them. About the use and misuse of people, power and God, but also about the sensual small joys of life. The highs of existence and the lows of existence. The messages, like the music, wander about quite a lot. But always with the voice of Anderson as a secure and interesting, dominating guide.

There aren't too many perfect albums around, but in my opinion "Aqualung" is, in sum, a production that comes pretty close to being just that. An eclectic production, ranging from simplistic folk of the singer/songwriter variety to hard rock of the kind that probably have had a bit to say in the development of NWoBHM, and quite a lot of blends of folk, acoustic rock and hard rock in between. But Anderson the preacher is the one on his pedestal invigorating everything, despite his qualities as a singer being a bit so-so, but where his sheer passion soars and brings the greater parts of the material to the same heights. One of the albums everyone with an interest in rock music needs to hear at least once.

 A by JETHRO TULL album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.20 | 566 ratings

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A
Jethro Tull Prog Folk

Review by SteveG

4 stars My first taste of the "A" album by Jethro Tull came via listening to "Working John, Working Joe" on one of NYC's FM stations sometime in 1980. It sounded solid and refreshing, especially after the staid "Stormwatch" and the lackluster "Heavy Horses". Don't get me wrong, as both albums were chock full of quality songs but they just seemed to lack the fire and inspiration of the stellar hit album "Songs From The Wood" released previously to both album by Tull in 1977.

I believe that the backstory of "A" is pretty well known. A proposed solo album by Anderson with backing from prog alumni Eddie Jobson (ex UK and Roxy Music) and ex Fairport Convention bassist Dave Pegg with drums handled by an American mate of Jobson named Mark Carney. The only other current Tull member, aside from Anderson, to participate was the erstwhile Martin Barre. And supposedly, that's were the all drama originates from, as Tull's record label Chrysalis wanted the album put out as a Jethro Tull release as it at least featured both Anderson and Barre from the former incarnation of Tull. Tull bassist Dave Glascock had sadly passed away just after Stormwatch was recorded and super drummer Barry Barlow no longer wanted to play. So, dual keyboardists John Evan and David Palmer were excised from Jethro Tull for the sake of good business sense. At least that's, more or less the official version from Ian.

On to the music on "A". Without doubt, Jobson could almost be the co creator of "A's" magnificent sound. A combination of his unique sythn tones and playing style is perfectly and sympathetically meshed with Anderson's harmonic and melodic genius. Using near Styx styled synth melodies matched up with quirky but subtle synthesized atmospheric embellishments, Jobson lives a modern (for Tull!) sounding sonic template that's mated perfectly with Barre's own atmospheric and slightly quirky guitar playing. Jobson also adds his electric violin to two songs with all manner phasing, delay and echo while still remaining absolutely grounded in the song's folk based melodies and stance.

Drummer Carney, while being no match for the proceeding prog fueled drumming of Barlow, still holds his own with a more rock orientated sound and playing style that's greatly enhanced by being loudly recorded with tons of reverb applied by studio means. His exhausting playing is a major feature of every song on the album and does make "A" sound somewhat one dimensional. Ah, but what a dimension to be stuck in! With Pegg's rubbery bass playing and many stop-start rhythm passages and breaks, trying to remember any one song absolutely is nearly impossible. And that says quite a lot for an album that's made up of ten 4-6 minute songs!

Standouts include "Flyingdale Flyer", "Working John, Working Joe (in which Anderson resurrects his multi tracked chorus vocals from "Songs From The Wood)", "Black Sunday (in which Anderson tempts his abilty to breath while singing run on song verses ad infintium)", "Black Sunday", "Protect And Serve (featuring a tour deforce of synths and piano from Jobson)", "Uniform" and the truly prog folk of "Pine Martin's Jig", in which Jobson smokes his electric fiddle. Only "Batteries Not Included" , which is too cute for it's own good, and the workman like "4 W.D. (low ratio)" seem week to me, but quite tolerable.

If I have a criticism of "A", it's only that the lack of a break in the music's non stop rapid fire delivery for something acousticly soothing as a palette cleanser seems remise. After all, "A" is a creation of the acoustic based Anderson, be it a veiled Anderson solo album or a true Jethro Tull project. Regardless, the music is killer. So, damn it, I like it. 3.5 stars rounded up to 4.

 Stormwatch by JETHRO TULL album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.47 | 679 ratings

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Stormwatch
Jethro Tull Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

3 stars "Stormwatch" finds Ian Anderson and company not so much kicking and screaming towards the 1980s as lurching one step towards the future before falling two steps back to the past in wrenching ambivalence. The difficult circumstances at the time, with John Glascock ill and eventually passing on, only added to the fragmentation. We still get classy folk rock like "North Sea Oil", "Orion", and "Elegy", and a couple more extended proggy tracks, one which works - "Flying Dutchman" - and another which grates - "Dark Ages". The rest are mostly good but not up to the standards and focus of the last couple of albums, with a germ of what could have made them exceptional, but without the energy and self confidence to just do it. Interestingly, the bonus tracks are on par with the originally released material. Most tellingly, nothing here would rank in my top 20 TULL tracks. Overall, "Stormwatch" shows a classic 1970s band weathering turbulent times as best they could. They had their ups and downs after, but were never really this folk oriented again.
 Ring Out, Solstice Bells by JETHRO TULL album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1976
3.17 | 25 ratings

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Ring Out, Solstice Bells
Jethro Tull Prog Folk

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

3 stars While JETHRO TULL fans are almost certain to know of their final release as group titled "The Jethro Tull Christmas Album" in 2003 which unofficially saw the band brand turn into Ian Anderson solo projects, many including myself have not been aware of this other Christmas album that came out as a small little four song EP that emerged in 1976 in between the "Too Old To Rock 'n' Roll: Too Young To Die!" and "Songs From The Wood" albums. This is possibly because the short 11 minute and 55 second EP was only released once as a 7" Vinyl once in 1976 and yet again in 1979 but unbeknownst to fans across the globe, it did find a modern day pressing once again as the 40th anniversary 7" Vinyl format on the Rhino label in 2016 which even includes two unreleased Steven Wilson remixes titled "Magic Bells (Solstice Bells)" as well as the title track.

The two longest tracks on the EP, "Ring Out, Solstice Bells" and "Christmas Song" were recycled for the 2003 "JT Xmas Album" leaving only the short "March, The Mad Scientist" and more regularly timed "Pan Dance" to exist exclusively on this release. Musically speaking this is the typical progressive folk rock style that JETHRO TULL has implemented since their origins but as with the 2003 Christmas album, this one is rooted more on the folk side of the equation existing closest to the sounds heard on the "Songs From The Wood" album that followed the original release. While the titles may indicate more of a Pagan celebration rather than Christmas, it is more of a celebration of how the two are intimately intermingled with holiday traditions emerging in the former and shapeshifting to fit into the latter.

While the first three tracks are vocal oriented with Ian Anderson dishing out his baritone magic, the closer "Pan Dance" is an instrumental flute dominated track that makes me think of classics such as Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker." Since the inclusion of two of the tracks (which are the superior of the four) have been included on the 2003 Christmas album, it renders this little under the radar release as somewhat unessential for all except the completists of the world despite the other four minutes plus of music being quite pleasant tracks. While the album has been reissued it still hasn't made the impact of the fully developed album that came out in 2003. It's worth a quick spin on YouTube to experience the two tracks that lag behind in the 70s but overall i wouldn't go out of my way to track this down. Still though, not a bad way to say MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

BTW?. this exists with two covers. One with the beautiful artwork with what looks like Jesus Christ next to a live tree and a Christmas tree to the side and another that has no cover at all and merely shows the vinyl peeking through plain paper. By all means, if you do choose to seek this out, get the artwork edition!

3.5 but rounded down

 Minstrel In The Gallery by JETHRO TULL album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.03 | 1106 ratings

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Minstrel In The Gallery
Jethro Tull Prog Folk

Review by SteveG

5 stars "Oh Officer-Let me send her to a cheap hotel. I'll pay the bill and make well."

After setting up a down and out scene of a female drunkard, Ian Anderson's lyrical concern, in the third suite to to the prog epic "Baker Street Muse", still brings a lump to my throat. Why it does after all these years is a mystery, but I find that it sends this well written and expertly played album into a higher Jethro Tull realm. Minstrel In the Gallery is the only Anderson creation with the power to do that. As a matter of fact, it's Anderson's brief but autobiographical clues and allusions that brings so much to Minstrel In The Gallery that can't be found in any Tull album before or after.

It's not that Anderson is spilling his guts here but allusions to infidelity, deceit, and duplicity in songs such as "One White Duck" seemed to have brought Ian's other feelings out on to his sleeve. Anderson is never overtly confessional. It's just his unique mixing of cynical lyrics and sardonic wit with human emotions that frees Minstrel In The Gallery from a clinical grave.

And six feet under it could have been. But I digress. Mixed with an instrumental concert romp from the brain of guitarist Martin Barre, the title track is both a pleasure and an aural showboat. Anderson's deft lyrics dance around or weave and deflect the pulsing bass of Jeffrey Hammond, who somehow manages to anchor the busy playing of uber drummer Barrie Barlow, without ever sounding overly busy himself all the while goose stepping around like a six foot metronome.

Long gone is the loudly played, recorded and mixed "Aqualung guitar" of Barre. A quieter, dryer but excellently toned unrelenting guitar assault by Barre removes himself from the rock wars and places him squarely in the heart of prog rock. There is more great Barre playing to come, especially on the "Cold Wind To Valhalla", "Black Satin Dancer" and the above mentioned "Baker Street Muse." Good old John Evan's piano and B3 organ seems a bit forced on most songs, especially on the album's title track, and a bit redundant on other songs that feature a string quintet arranged by David Palmer. Indeed, it's Palmer's strings and Anderson's over dubbed acoustic playing on song intros and featured on "Requiem" and "One White Duck/0^10=Nothing At All" that has made many people forget themselves and regard Minstrel In the Gallery" as some kind of bizarre unplugged acoustic based concoction. I wonder what Barre, Hammond and Barlow would have felt about that? Its easy to guess that they would not been amused.

The penultimate album cut on the original vinyl LP was the fantastic 16+ minute four part epic suite "Baker Street Muse." I don't know what I can say about this fantastic piece of prog rock music that hasn't been said many times before, except that when the song starts with Anderson flubbing the first take of his acoustic intro and calling for "take two", I actually believe that "take two" was the actual mix master for this complex song. So great was the playing of all mentioned, so great was the lyrics of Anderson, so great was the string arrangements by Palmer, so great were Anderson's vocals, on this and every other song on Minstrel In The Gallery, that the record could have come off as some clinically cold creature that could have easily resembled the reanimation of Frankenstein's monster. But it didn't. Anderson, for the once and only time in his career, breathed some real life and emotion into this work and turned Minstrel In The Gallery into a 5 star masterpiece. Bravo. I'm only sad that there was never an encore.

 A New Day Yesterday - The 25th Anniversary Collection by JETHRO TULL album cover DVD/Video, 2003
3.04 | 51 ratings

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A New Day Yesterday - The 25th Anniversary Collection
Jethro Tull Prog Folk

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars As a Tull fan starved of anything Tull on DVD, this was a must get DVD. There's bugger all about Tull in Australia so a DVD like this is a veritable gold mine of treasures and gems from the Tull years. There are interviews with most of the Tullites though John Glascock is mystically absent, as is Dee, but the majority of members are here to give their pennies worth. There are extracts galore from the old live shows and promo clips that one might find hard to get hold of; or impossible to find stuff, but unfortunately they are mostly incomplete excerpts which is a real disappointment when you are as into Tull as I am.

Thankfully, there are some complete clips, namely Teacher, The Witch's Promise, The Story of the Hare Who Lost His Spectacles, Aqualung, Kissing Willie, Rocks on the Road and Living in the Past. They are all great except for The Story of the Hare Who Lost His Spectacles which I can hear on the album okay but it is a drag watching them prance about in pantomime gear with kangaroos and rabbits, sillier than Monty Python, and that is saying something. A Passion Play enhanced CD features the same clip so its not exactly rare anymore.

The excerpts include unearthed treasures such as Nothing Is Easy (Isle of Wight 1970), Minstrel in the Gallery (Paris 1975), Thick As A Brick (Madison Square Gardens, NY 1978) and Songs from the Wood (LA 1980). Overall the set is a very good insight into the band and how they perform but could have been so much better with full versions of all the clips as they are very difficult to find.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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