Thursday, October 4, 2012

My word's but a whisper (Jethro Tull)

Thick As A Brick 2 was a CD that I had to own but I was also nervous approaching it.
Like millions of others, I love Thick As A Brick - the 1972 album with the song split over two sides of vinyl. It is definitely the Tull album I play most often (Benefit and Aqualung come in second equal). I don't listen to it as a parody of a concept album, instead I always get lost in the word play and the wonderful music.
My worry with TAAB 2 was that it wouldn't live up to expectations, but Ian Anderson has successfully avoided that in cunning ways.
  • He doesn't try to produce another long song to compete with the original.
  • The sound he creates is identical to Jethro Tull of the early seventies, Aqualung and TAAB, era. It's so uncanny I had to read the liner notes to make sure Barriemore Barlow, Jeffery Hammond-Hammond and Martin Barre aren't on it. They are not.
  • He starts and ends the album with a musical motif lifted from the original before soaring off in new directions, so there is a continuity of sorts between the two albums.
  • The story of whatever happened to the central character of the original album allows enough scope for adventure and invention.
Quite Frankly I'm amazed. I read an article in Prog Magazine about it which was reassuring but I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't heard it.
Ian Anderson in unlikely prog epic remake in 2012. Who would have thought it?

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