Throughout the '70s, Jethro Tull was one of the world's premier live acts, regularly playing to sold-out audiences in huge arenas all over the world. With his inimitable theatrics and manic flute improvisations, Ian Anderson was always the consummate showman, and he peppers these performances with the relaxed, cheeky stage patter of a seasoned veteran. Recorded live in Europe in 1978.
Jethro Tull's first album, THIS WAS, recorded and released in 1968, shows a band that is a far cry from their better-known incarnation as a prog rock outfit in the late 1970s. Instead, Tull come across here as a solid and talented blues band with elements of jazz, folk, and psychedelia thrown in. The band's sound was heavily influenced by guitarist, singer, and songwriter Mick Abrahams, whose bluesy singing and leads distinguish this disc in Tull's discography. Frontman Ian Anderson also shines with tunes like "Some Day the Sun Won't Shine for You" and the excellent cover of Rashaan Roland Kirk's "Serenade to a Cuckoo."
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music
After playing this album for literally months, I have finally sat my skinny arse down to lend some ink to the wonderful JETHRO TULL recording “Bursting Out – Live”. It is now remastered — thank you very much Chrysalis/Capital records for doing so, and Ian ANDERSON, of course, for being there to supervise and lend your personal touch with colorful liner notes.
Jethro Tull's 11th studio album, Heavy Horses, is one of their prettier records, a veritable celebration of English folk music chock-full of gorgeous melodies, briskly played acoustic guitars and mandolins, and Ian Anderson's lilting flute backed by the group in top form. 2018's 40th Anniversary "New Shoes Edition" is a three-CD/two-DVD box packaged similarly to the anniversary versions of Aqualung, Thick as a Brick, Minstrel in the Gallery and Songs from the Wood. It includes a Steven Wilson stereo remix of the album and nine "associated studio recordings" – seven on the first disc are previously unreleased – and a 1978 concert from Berne, Switzerland spread across discs two and three, remixed by King Crimson's Jakko M. Jakszyk. The two DVDs feature 97 audio and video tracks, with studio work (including bonus tracks) remixed to 5.1 (and stereo) by Wilson, with the live material handled by Jakszyk. The latter two discs also include a flat transfer of the original album's mix, some promotional video footage, and two period television ads.
Benefit was reissued in a remastered edition with bonus tracks at the end of 2001, which greatly improved the clarity of the playing and the richness of the sound; the four additional tracks are "Singing All Day," "Witch's Promise," the elegant, gossamer-textured "Just Trying to Be," and the original U.K. mix of "Teacher." Written and recorded prior to Benefit, they're all lighter in mood than the material from the original album, adding some greater variety but fitting in perfectly on a stylistic level.
Benefit was the album on which the Jethro Tull sound solidified around folk music, abandoning blues entirely. Beginning with the opening number, "With You There to Help Me," Anderson adopts his now-familiar, slightly mournful folksinger/sage persona, with a rather sardonic outlook on life and the world; his acoustic guitar carries the melody, joined by Martin Barre's electric instrument for the crescendos. This would be the model for much of the material on Aqualung and especially Thick as a Brick, although the acoustic/electric pairing would be executed more effectively on those albums. Here the acoustic and electric instruments are merged somewhat better than they were on Stand Up (on which it sometimes seemed like Barre's solos were being played in a wholly different venue), and as needed, the electric guitars carry the melodies better than on previous albums.
This wonderful DVD is the same 95-minute-or-so concert from Jethro Tull's lead vocalist/songwriter and the Neue Philharmonie Frankfurt that you'll find on the double-CD audio counterpart, 20 songs beginning with the five-piece band and expanding from there. The visuals are lovely – shots from above, fade ins, split screen, black-and-white footage superimposed on color – which makes the viewing quite appealing…
Jethro Tull is one of the most successful British acts of all time with a career reaching from the late sixties to the present day. In 2003 they made their first (and so far, only) visit to the Montreux Festival. Split into a semi-acoustic first half and a full on electric second half, the concert was a triumph combining newer songs such as "Dot Com", "Pavane" and "Budapest" with classic favorites…