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Thread: Jethro Tull-Aqualung- Classic, Good, or????

  1. #26
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    Not my favorite Tull, but solid all the way.

  2. #27
    It's the acoustic songs that make it, not the rockers. Although it has a couple good ones like Mary and Hymn 43.

  3. #28
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    Right below Thick As A Brick and A Passion Play, thus making it my third favorite Tull record.
    Prog's Not Dead

  4. #29
    Member Paulrus's Avatar
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    Like everyone else the overexposure/burnout factor keeps me from playing it often, and I could probably live a happy life without ever hearing "Locomotive Breath" or the title track again.

    That said, the rest of the album is some of Tull's best ever (at least Ian's). Maybe that's it's biggest problem: it feels much more like an Ian Anderson solo record than what came before (which is why I rate Benefit and Stand Up above it).

    But to his credit I also think Ian's lyrical editorializing about the religious establishment is the best in all of rock music (he makes Greg Lake's/Peter Sinfield's rants on Tarkus look adolescent and petulant by comparison).

    So, yes it's a great album. But it's not my Tull desert island disk.
    I'm holding out for the Wilson-mixed 5.1 super-duper walletbuster special anniversary extra adjectives edition.

  5. #30
    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    I quit listening to classic rock radio in the mid-90s. Now I can listen to albums like this and not cringe. It's definitely still a classic. The original production was thin as tissue paper and Wilson's remaster brought some much-needed aggression and balls to the sound. The other day my wife was out of the house and I cranked up that intro to "Breath". Now when the bass and drums kick in it sounds as righteous and as dynamic as it should.
    I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

  6. #31
    Member Jack in Wilmington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zombywoof View Post
    ^ Yes, there's a new verse in Foot of Our Stairs.
    Thank you. I played the download the first time and I thought I was having a stroke. I complained to HD Tracks and they let me download it again and same result. Mystery solved. I guess I'll get used to it, or I'll go back to my gold CD. Again, thanks.

  7. #32
    Not only have I never liked the band, I've never met anyone who actually likes the band.

    I think their popularity in the US isn't mirrored in the UK.
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  8. #33
    Overexposure isn't just related to classic rock radio playlists (does anyone here listen to FM anymore?). For me its more due to so many tracks from this album being played at concerts over the years...not just the big two but My God, Crosseyed Mary, etc. Still, I think it's one of their best and is probably the seminal album for those who like Tull, but aren't huge fans, especially among the non-prog contingent. The acoustic tracks are the highlights and I've never gotten tired of Mother Goose.

  9. #34
    It does contain my fave Tull closing track in "Wind-Up". Although essentially a very basic and repetitive hard-rock tune, I'm still impressed by the atmosphere of sheer skinless bluntness in the lyrics and music both.

    I actually never enjoyed the title track or "Breath" at all, and that mid-section of "My God" stands out as supremely pretentious to my ears. A agree about some of the acoustic ditties being very good, though - "Slipstream", "Cheap Day Return" and "Wond'ring Aloud" in particular.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  10. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by Paulrus View Post
    (he makes Greg Lake's/Peter Sinfield's rants on Tarkus look adolescent and petulant by comparison).
    Sinfield had nothing to do with Tarkus.

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by rael74 View Post
    Not only have I never liked the band, I've never met anyone who actually likes the band.

    I think their popularity in the US isn't mirrored in the UK.
    I think it's fair to say that they were bigger in the US. Tull's popularity in the UK peaked early with 'Stand Up'...commercially, it was diminishing returns after that here.

  12. #37
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    I'd say here in Australia their popularity peak was Thick As a Brick.

  13. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by JJ88 View Post
    I think it's fair to say that they were bigger in the US. Tull's popularity in the UK peaked early with 'Stand Up'...commercially, it was diminishing returns after that here.
    Fair point. Living in the past is an album I've often encountered in people's collection, but seriously, this is about the only Tull album I've known people to have, and I have met lots of prog fans over the years.
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  14. #39
    Member Jack in Wilmington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rael74 View Post
    Not only have I never liked the band, I've never met anyone who actually likes the band.

    I think their popularity in the US isn't mirrored in the UK.
    Stand Up did hit #1 in the UK in 69.

    You've never met anyone who actually likes the band? I have friends who listen to top 40 hits and classical that wanted to see Tull with me the last time they toured.

  15. #40
    chalkpie
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    I don't personally dock them points for these tunes being overplayed, overpopular, overwhatever. I base music on whether I like it or not, not whether its been played to death or never at all, listened to billions or 3. In terms of this album, there are few highlights that really stand out for me:

    1) The chord change in "Aqualung" (during the verse) from A Maj to A min ("...wandering lonely, taking time...."). I can't begin to tell you how important that single chord change is to my musical being, what it means to me; quite honestly it might be my favorite progression of all time in rock, especially in the context of where its located and the lyrics that surround it.

    2) Martin Barres's iconic solo during "Aqualung". The opening phrase gives me chills every time - I shit you not. The slightest overtone he gets at 3:44 when he holds that note out...oh man. The whole solo is a monster, and I'm not being melodramatic here - this is goose-bump inducing for me. Every fucking time. Why? I have no idea. We all these moments we can't explain, and this is one of 'em.

    3) "Cheap Day Return" - the slight bit of dissonance on the acoustic guitar run along with the bass guitar at around 0:20 (is that mellotron in the background?). Lovely, lovely, lovely.

    4) "Mother Goose" - well the entire song, but especially the recorder riff (heaven!) and Ian's entire guitar part. SO fucking inventive and beautiful, I just absolutely love his playing - his little arpeggios, his strumming patterns. There is a quick little bit at exactly 0:16 - I never really "heard" it before until I bought the acoustic Tull guitar book and learned to play it. Its these little moments like finding and examining the smallest little detail on a large canvas painting that demonstrates Ian's genius in both the writing and his exquisite playing. Listen to the lick at 2:20 - slow that sucker down and check out the melody and his choice of notes on that little lick - for me music doesn't get much better than that.

    5) "Wond'ring Aloud". Sigh. His voice, his playing. The live version on the 20 years box segued with "Dun Ringill" is even better if you know that one.

    6) "My God". Love the entire tune, but how can you call yourself a Tull fan and not simply adore the classic flute trill/passage at 3:14??!! MY GOD that embodies the essence of Tull right there! Fucking classic and iconic. And then the ensuing Ian solo flute(s) with his trademark "singing" a la Roland Kirk.

    7) "Slipstream" - how about that lovely string quartet writing with the creepy glissando at the end?

    Well there's more, but these are just a few moments of why I love this album, and why it will always hold a special place in my heart. Not my favorite Tull album, but one I couldn't live without.

  16. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by rael74 View Post
    Fair point. Living in the past is an album I've often encountered in people's collection, but seriously, this is about the only Tull album I've known people to have, and I have met lots of prog fans over the years.
    But Tull's main audience was never to be found among the ranks of "prog fans". They were much more than a mere "prog" band, and thus appealed to a wide spectrum of listeners into 70s creative rock music in general. Apart from the US, Tull were huge in Italy, West Germany and certain parts of the Nordic countries - as well as in parts of South America.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  17. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by rael74 View Post
    I think their popularity in the US isn't mirrored in the UK.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jethro_Tull_discography

    If you go by chart positions, it looks like they did a lot better in the UK than the US in the '80s (and '90s).


  18. #43
    It's no Stand Up. Althought it was fun covering "Cross-Eyed Mary" in DG.

  19. #44
    Member Paulrus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post
    But Tull's main audience was never to be found among the ranks of "prog fans". They were much more than a mere "prog" band, and thus appealed to a wide spectrum of listeners into 70s creative rock music in general. Apart from the US, Tull were huge in Italy, West Germany and certain parts of the Nordic countries - as well as in parts of South America.
    Yeah, I can remember back when I was a wee lad being confused at learning that some considered Tull a prog band. Albeit, this was when my knowledge of the band was just the early stuff. They seemed to have a large following amongst the hard blues-rock hippie crowd that you didn't necessarily think of as prog fans. Obviously there's lots of crossover, but to me they were the first "non prog prog band", before Roxy or even Pink Floyd.


    Quote Originally Posted by A. Scherze View Post
    Sinfield had nothing to do with Tarkus.
    Doh. Prog cred shattered!
    I'm holding out for the Wilson-mixed 5.1 super-duper walletbuster special anniversary extra adjectives edition.

  20. #45
    chalkpie
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    Quote Originally Posted by A. Scherze View Post
    Sinfield had nothing to do with Tarkus.
    Jerry Sinfield?

  21. #46
    Member Vic2012's Avatar
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    Classic. Not my favorite JT record but it's a stone classic.

  22. #47
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    I think the only other record as overplayed on classic rock radio as Aqualung is Who's Next. Even though I stopped listening to classic rock radio about 20 years ago I still can't listen to either album. The songs are just too ingrained in my head and the magic is gone. And it's not just LB and the title track. Cross eyed Mary and My God have gotten way too much play too IMO.

    Though I'm sure if I was hearing Aqualung today for the first time I would think it is great.

  23. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by rael74 View Post
    Not only have I never liked the band, I've never met anyone who actually likes the band.

    I think their popularity in the US isn't mirrored in the UK.
    As a UK citizen, I haven't met all that many people who like any 'prog' bands at all but I would say that JT are definitely at the more popular end of the spectrum. I was introduced to them by my friend's girlfriend (yes you read that right) when I was at school in the early 1980's and in my current circle of friends there are two who are much more keen on them than I am, even though I am ostensibly the prog fan amongst us.

    I think it fair to say that I have met more JT fans than Magma fans!

  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paulrus View Post

    But to his credit I also think Ian's lyrical editorializing about the religious establishment is the best in all of rock music (he makes Greg Lake's/Peter Sinfield's rants on Tarkus look adolescent and petulant by comparison).

    So, yes it's a great album. But it's not my Tull desert island disk.
    I think both Anderson's and Lake's editorializing on religion are adolescent and petulant, but how old were they at the time? Rather adolescent, I'd say. I doubt their views are identically the same today, IMHO.

    As for Aqualung, while I don't think of it as a masterpiece, I do consider it a classic transition album (along with Benefit) from blues-based rock top prog. Aqualung only suffers when compared to Thick As A Brick and A Passion Play, along with other later albums. It has stood the test of time, at least to my ears.

    Bob

  25. #50
    Chronic Overspender zombywoof's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack in Wilmington View Post
    Thank you. I played the download the first time and I thought I was having a stroke. I complained to HD Tracks and they let me download it again and same result. Mystery solved. I guess I'll get used to it, or I'll go back to my gold CD. Again, thanks.
    I thought it was a welcome addition!
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