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Thread: A Reassessment of the Jethro Tull catalog

  1. #426
    I never really liked journeymen or weathercock much so I did my usually swap. Enjoy

    mouse police
    acres wild
    no lullaby
    moths
    living in these hard times 1
    rover
    one brown mouse
    heavy horses
    botanic man instrumental


  2. #427
    Member Mikhael's Avatar
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    _Songs from the Wood_ is the top JT album for me. The blend of English folk, rock, and prog, all performed by a killer band, just floored me. I wore the grooves off that one.
    Gnish-gnosh borble wiff, shlauuffin oople tirk.

  3. #428
    Member chalkpie's Avatar
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    ^Its definitely one of my most played albums by anybody at this point. A true masterpiece imo.

  4. #429
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by betty humpter View Post
    Stormwatch is the album that has not held up for me. A great deal of that has to do with Ian Anderson's bass playing. Glascock is greatly missed and to my knowledge, only played on 3 tracks, "Orion", "Flying Dutchman" and "Elegy". Also the overall sound/timbre was starting to sound a bit sterile/clinical for my liking.
    SW is tired and uninspired IMHO, also marred (like many other Tull albums, but this one takes the prize) by Palmer's intrusive or all-too present string arrangements.
    But it does sound like the band (with Glascock or not) was tired and it's just as well that the line-up imploded.
    Personally, this is the last Tull album AFAIAC. Whatever happened after shouldn't have been called Tull, IMHO, despite two OK albums.

    I have a hard time considering the next trilogy (A, TB&TB and UW) as a "band" at all. It's all kinds of directions explored and none successful to my ears.
    The real next "band" fronted by Anderson came around 86 but Knave was hesitating as to which direction to go (Dire Straits or ZZ Top)
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from drug-addicts to complete nutcases.

  5. #430
    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trane View Post
    I have a hard time considering the next trilogy (A, TB&TB and UW) as a "band" at all. It's all kinds of directions explored and none successful to my ears.
    The real next "band" fronted by Anderson came around 86 but Knave was hesitating as to which direction to go (Dire Straits or ZZ Top)
    Strange attitude, since the "band" on Crest of a Knave was just the same core trio that had played on those previous three albums (promo photos for CoaK showed only Anderson, Barre, and Pegg, which left Doane Perry feeling belittled) with the drumming divided up among Perry, Gerry Conway, and the drum machine, and no keyboardist (keys on the album being sequenced by Anderson).
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  6. #431
    Member Yodelgoat's Avatar
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    I have tried several times to play the complete catalog of Tull from the beginning to - whatever it is now. That being the goal, however I always get bogged down at under wraps. the first, what? 8-10 albums are amazing and TOTALLY unique in the music world. Once Ian discovered a drum machine it became - well, not so good, in fact, horrible. I do have almost all the Ian albums, skipping the classical one and live ones (I have DVD's for that). anyway, I don't think there is a band that has ever put out so many great albums in a row. The most reached for, for me is TAAB, LitP, PP, SFtW, War Child. what great music! I do have to say that his lyrics have become a less clever and inviting recently, almost sell outish… like he's reading a laundry list. Sure wish he could get his voice back.

  7. #432
    Quote Originally Posted by Yodelgoat View Post
    I have tried several times to play the complete catalog of Tull from the beginning to - whatever it is now. That being the goal, however I always get bogged down at under wraps. the first, what? 8-10 albums are amazing and TOTALLY unique in the music world. Once Ian discovered a drum machine it became - well, not so good, in fact, horrible. I do have almost all the Ian albums, skipping the classical one and live ones (I have DVD's for that). anyway, I don't think there is a band that has ever put out so many great albums in a row. The most reached for, for me is TAAB, LitP, PP, SFtW, War Child. what great music! I do have to say that his lyrics have become a less clever and inviting recently, almost sell outish… like he's reading a laundry list. Sure wish he could get his voice back.
    As soon as he went "Drum Machine" it was game over.

  8. #433
    I really like Broardsword, A and Stormwatch, better than some of their 70's albums.
    Also "walk into light" from Ian Anderson has same very good songs.

    But I understand that for people who hate the 80's hose albums may not be considered good!

    Roots to Branches is a nice return to their classic sound.

  9. #434
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    Quote Originally Posted by chalkpie View Post
    Any love for Broadsword/Beast and Under Wraps? Love both of those albums, warts and all.
    I like Under Wraps, but the CD is too long. I much prefer the vinyl version.

    There are some great songs it and I like the strange 'noir' atmosphere in the lyrics, and I don't mind the drum machine. I don't know why they had a drum machine.

  10. #435
    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    Roots to Branches is a nice return to their classic sound.
    Yep, I'm rather fond of that one.
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  11. #436
    In my mind everything from Standup to Horses is stellar. That includes "Living in the Past" but NOT Too Old to Rock.
    After that? Crest of a Knave, Root to Branches, TAAB-2 are my post 70's favorites.
    Last edited by Crawford Glissadevil; 02-20-2019 at 09:50 PM.

  12. #437
    Progdog ThomasKDye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThomasKDye View Post
    I really have no super love for Heavy Horses. "One Brown Mouse" is wonderful, the title track is decent, and "Acres Wild" is okay for the diddly-diddly acoustic thing Anderson was doing around this time. But the rest of it is average (though "Weathercock" works for me if I'm in the right mood). "Moths" is particularly annoying because of Anderson's super-raspy voice (seriously, what happened? did he have a temporary tracheotomy?) and I can't remember "Journeyman" three seconds after I hear it.

    It just feels like Anderson was working so hard to paint pictures and portraits with his folk-rock muse and forgetting to write dynamic songs. That's just my opinion.
    Hello! This is your bit of thread necromancy wherein I tell the me of four years ago how wrong he was. Well... "Moths" still has that voice to deal with, but it's a sweet song, and man, did I give "No Lullaby" and "Rover" short shrift. This is every bit the equal of Songs From The Wood.

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  13. #438
    Member thedunno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThomasKDye View Post
    Hello! This is your bit of thread necromancy wherein I tell the me of four years ago how wrong he was. Well... "Moths" still has that voice to deal with, but it's a sweet song, and man, did I give "No Lullaby" and "Rover" short shrift. This is every bit the equal of Songs From The Wood.

    You may now return to your living, breathing, current threads.
    Heavy horses is great. My only small bit of criticism that it is (in places) maybe a bit too heavily orchestrated. Live versions of the tunes often sounded more powerful.

  14. #439
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    That is definitely the album where his voice changed.

  15. #440
    Quote Originally Posted by ThomasKDye View Post
    Hello! This is your bit of thread necromancy wherein I tell the me of four years ago how wrong he was. Well... "Moths" still has that voice to deal with, but it's a sweet song, and man, did I give "No Lullaby" and "Rover" short shrift. This is every bit the equal of Songs From The Wood.

    You may now return to your living, breathing, current threads.


    This is great, good for you! I've had my share of these moments, coming back to albums I'd largely dismissed and wondering what the hell was wrong with me back then. This is why I continually sample these albums when they come up for discussion, especially albums that seem to get a lot of love that just never clicked with me. Roots to Branches is one of these. I just don't like it, and don't see in it what others see, but I continue to try. Maybe it'll click some day.

    Anyway, this made me smile this morning!

    Bill

  16. #441
    Member chalkpie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soundsweird View Post
    That is definitely the album where his voice changed.
    I think its possible his voice was progressing into something different, but I think it was more of a vocal style decision for Ian to sing with that more gruff/raspiness style on certain songs. The reason I say this is because he could (and still did) sing in his smoother, soaring voice during this era on certain songs. Check out "Broadford Bazaar" for example - the "Moths" gruffness is non-existent. Waits did this as well, he could morph the timbre of his voice based on the style of the song and/or lyrical subject matter. Virtually none of the gruff/raspy nature appears at all on albums like Broadsword and Under Wraps.

  17. #442
    Progdog ThomasKDye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chalkpie View Post
    I think its possible his voice was progressing into something different, but I think it was more of a vocal style decision for Ian to sing with that more gruff/raspiness style on certain songs. The reason I say this is because he could (and still did) sing in his smoother, soaring voice during this era on certain songs. Check out "Broadford Bazaar" for example - the "Moths" gruffness is non-existent. Waits did this as well, he could morph the timbre of his voice based on the style of the song and/or lyrical subject matter. Virtually none of the gruff/raspy nature appears at all on albums like Broadsword and Under Wraps.
    Yes, his voice was quite rich and resonant on Stormwatch and especially The Broadsword and the Beast. On Under Wraps, there's a future hint of "Knopfler voice" on "The Lap of Luxury" but on the rest of it his singing voice is quite decent, especially "Under Wraps #2."
    "Arf." -- Frank Zappa, "Beauty Knows No Pain" (live version)

  18. #443

  19. #444
    My thoughts:
    - Living In the Past is about all the pre-Aqualung stuff I really need.
    - Aqualung, Thick as a Brick, and A Passion Play represent the first golden patch.
    - Minstrel In the Gallery was grand, but its neighbours (War Child and Too Old) weren't. There's songs on both those two I like, but I find I love live versions more than others.
    - The run from Songs From the Wood to Broadsword and the Beast was a very solid streak. Broadsword got some getting used to for me, as did Stormwatch. People have their opinions about the Steven Wilson mixes, but he really fixed A as far as I am concerned.
    - The peak of that run of albums, though, was Bursting Out, just an absolutely incredible live set.
    - After that it's diminishing returns.

  20. #445
    Member moecurlythanu's Avatar
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    ^ I can agree with most of this.

  21. #446
    Insect Overlord Progatron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warthur View Post
    Living In the Past is about all the pre-Aqualung stuff I really need.
    The problem there (IMO) is you're missing out on all the great material on Stand Up!
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  22. #447
    Member chalkpie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Progatron View Post
    The problem there (IMO) is you're missing out on all the great material on Stand Up!
    And a chunk of Benefit. Plus WarChild and most of Too Old. And Chateau D'isaster tapes. But yeah.....

  23. #448
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    There are exactly five JT albums that I deem essential:
    Aqualung
    Thick As A Brick
    A Passion Play
    Songs From The Wood
    Heavy Horses

    And lots of good to very good records!!! Every JT album is at least listenable...
    Prog's Not Dead

  24. #449
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    Quote Originally Posted by chalkpie View Post
    And a chunk of Benefit. Plus WarChild and most of Too Old. And Chateau D'isaster tapes. But yeah.....
    I think Warthur includes "Château d'Isaster", if only implicitly, since the albums he mentions, I assume he means the recent reissues with associated material. As far as I'm concerned, "Too Old..." is the only box I haven't bought. Like Warthur, I never really got into "WarChild" and "Too Old..." although I did buy "WarChild" for all the bonus material. I would probably buy "Too Old..." if it was still available for a decent price, which it wasn't last time I checked. And like Warthur, I'm less familiar with the pre-"Aqualung" stuff and don't know it as well as the subsequent albums, although I wouldn't go as far as saying that the stuff on "Living in the Past" is all I need - I definitely plan to buy the new "Benefit" box. All in all, I love the reissue programme.
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  25. #450
    Chateau d'Isaster is, indeed, not "pre-Aqualung" by any stretch of the imagination, and I do like it - sometimes I like it better than A Passion Play. (OK, I will go further: I like it better than any edition of A Passion Play where I can't quickly skip the Tale of the Hare Who Lost His Spectacles, in the event that I don't happen to be in the mood to hear it. )

    It's not that I haven't heard the earlier albums - I just think Living In the Past is such a great condensation of what they were doing in their early years that I end up finding it much more pleasing than any individual album release from the time in question.

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