Thick as a Brick is a masterpiece

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gordijigordiji Frets: 448
Having not listened to this for a few years i've just been riveted for 40 mins or so. Work of genius.



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  • ChuffolaChuffola Frets: 1563
    edited May 10
    Love it and always have.

    If you haven't listened to it yet, the Chateau D'Herouville sessions* remastered by Steven Wilson are also superb - would have been quite an album. 

    *which would have been the album after TAAB but morphed into A Passion Play
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  • proggyproggy Frets: 3943
    My favourite Tull album, along with Bursting Out.
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  • TanninTannin Frets: 370
    Tull's best in my book:

    1: Benefit
    2: Aqualung
    3: Living in the Past
    4: Thick as a Brick
    5: Dead heat between Minstrel in the Gallery, Songs from the Wood, Stand Up, and Too Old to Rock 'n Roll, too Young to Die.

    Thick as a Brick a masterwork? Absolutely! Have always loved it. Aqualung was the second record I ever bought. These days I probably play Benefit and Living in the Past more than any others. For many years I have rated the guitar solo on the title track of Aqualung as the best short solo ever played by anyone anywhere, and I have heard nothing to change my mind. It is just perfect. No possible change could make it better. 
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  • Philly_QPhilly_Q Frets: 10241
    I need to revisit Jethro Tull.  My brother had most of their albums when we were kids but I never really got into them very much.
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  • SpringywheelSpringywheel Frets: 369
    edited May 10
    Tannin said:
    Tull's best in my book:

    1: Benefit
    2: Aqualung
    3: Living in the Past
    4: Thick as a Brick
    5: Dead heat between Minstrel in the Gallery, Songs from the Wood, Stand Up, and Too Old to Rock 'n Roll, too Young to Die.

    Thick as a Brick a masterwork? Absolutely! Have always loved it. Aqualung was the second record I ever bought. These days I probably play Benefit and Living in the Past more than any others. For many years I have rated the guitar solo on the title track of Aqualung as the best short solo ever played by anyone anywhere, and I have heard nothing to change my mind. It is just perfect. No possible change could make it better. 
    Stormwatch isn’t too bad either, certainly not as bad as Tull fans say it is. Even Ian Anderson hates it apparently. 


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  • TanninTannin Frets: 370
    Yep, I liked that one too, Springwheel, although I never owned it. I was a Tull semi-obsessesive and bought every album up to Heavy Horses, but none of them afterwards. I felt that they lost their mojo a bit after Songs from the Wood, though Stormwatch was a brief return to form. Ian Anderson lost his voice, and Tull became more and more just the Ian Anderson Backing Band.

    I saw them live in Melbourne for the third time around about then, and they were dreadful. Anderson had a bit of a crook throat, sure, but he obviously didn't give a damn about the people who'd waited for years between tours and queued up and paid serious money for tickets. Very short show, and not much good while it was going.

    But in their prime, Tull were unique, and very special. Best advice is to just put Benefit or Brick on again and remember them at their best.
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  • McSwaggertyMcSwaggerty Frets: 486
    Great Album. The St Cleves Chronicle was a good read too.... 
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  • droflufdrofluf Frets: 1198
    Thanks @gordiji you've inspired me to revisit the album. I'd forgotten how great it is.

    My claim to fame is that I was nearly run over by Dave Pegg behind the Hammersmith Odeon in the late 70's. Did get his autograph though :)
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 55379

    Stormwatch isn’t too bad either, certainly not as bad as Tull fans say it is. Even Ian Anderson hates it apparently.
    It’s probably a tie with Heavy Horses for my favourite Tull album. Broadsword used to be but the production is a bit more dated now (ironic since it’s later).

    I understand why people like the earlier stuff but it doesn’t connect with me in the same way.

    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone." - Walt Kowalski

    "Just because I don't care, doesn't mean I don't understand." - Homer Simpson

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  • Philly_QPhilly_Q Frets: 10241
    ICBM said:
    Broadsword used to be but the production is a bit more dated now (ironic since it’s later).

    I really liked that album at the time, my brother played it a lot (wasn't it the one that controversially beat Metallica to a hard rock/metal Grammy?).  When I saw this thread yesterday I was thinking about it and wondering if the production would sound dated...

    Benefit is the one I've played the most over the years, I think I've maybe got Minstrel in the Gallery and one or two others on CD.  I've never properly listened to Thick as a Brick, but I used to like reading the sleeve.
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 55379
    edited May 11
    Philly_Q said:

    I really liked that album at the time, my brother played it a lot (wasn't it the one that controversially beat Metallica to a hard rock/metal Grammy?).
    That was Crest Of A Knave.

    Even if it had been Broadsword - which is a better album, as well as arguably a bit more 'metally' with all the Viking imagery - it would have still been ludicrous... no Tull is metal or really even hard rock in any sensible context. Apparently no members of the band were even at the awards since they assumed they'd been entered as a bit of a joke and would never win.

    I saw them live on the Crest Of A Knave tour, the only time I have - they were very good. Apparently they could be a bit variable though.

    Philly_Q said:

    When I saw this thread yesterday I was thinking about it and wondering if the production would sound dated...
    It's not *that* bad - just a bit early-80s synthy in places. (But not as much as Under Wraps, which I really didn't like.)

    Still definitely one of my top three.

    There's a quite cheap CD box set you can get of all the 'folk rock era' - Songs From The Wood to Broadsword, and including the slightly odd 'A' album (which was originally intended to be an Anderson solo project) - if you like this variety of Tull.

    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone." - Walt Kowalski

    "Just because I don't care, doesn't mean I don't understand." - Homer Simpson

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  • Philly_QPhilly_Q Frets: 10241
    ICBM said:
    Philly_Q said:

    I really liked that album at the time, my brother played it a lot (wasn't it the one that controversially beat Metallica to a hard rock/metal Grammy?).
    That was Crest Of A Knave.

    Even if it had been Broadsword - which is a better album, as well as arguably a bit more 'metally' with all the Viking imagery - it would have still been ludicrous... no Tull is metal or really even hard rock in any sensible context. Apparently no members of the band were even at the awards since they assumed they'd been entered as a bit of a joke and would never win.

    I saw them live on the Crest Of A Knave tour, the only time I have - they were very good. Apparently they could be a bit variable though.
    Yes of course, it's coming back to me now - I think I had the same thought that Broadsword would have been more metal.  I do remember there being a bit of anger directed towards Tull, as if it was their fault they'd won the Grammy and they should have refused it (or perhaps a very young Kanye West would have appeared and grabbed it out of Anderson's hands...).

    ICBM said:
    Philly_Q said:

    When I saw this thread yesterday I was thinking about it and wondering if the production would sound dated...
    It's not *that* bad - just a bit early-80s synthy in places. (But not as much as Under Wraps, which I really didn't like.)

    Still definitely one of my top three.

    There's a quite cheap CD box set you can get of all the 'folk rock era' - Songs From The Wood to Broadsword, and including the slightly odd 'A' album (which was originally intended to be an Anderson solo project) - if you like this variety of Tull.
    Again I have dim memories of these from my brother's collection... we were slightly befuddled by Stormwatch and A, and didn't like Under Wraps at all. 

    I don't really remember anything from Heavy Horses or Songs from the Wood - this will sound weird (no big surprise coming from me) but I always thought the cover art on those two was strange, they looked like compilation albums somehow, which put me off.

    I must take a look how much of the Tull discography is on Spotify. 
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 55379
    Philly_Q said:

    I don't really remember anything from Heavy Horses or Songs from the Wood - this will sound weird (no big surprise coming from me) but I always thought the cover art on those two was strange, they looked like compilation albums somehow, which put me off.
    Heavy Horses is fantastic, although I do like Songs From The Wood a lot as well (that would be No.4, for me).

    Of the early Tull albums I think I actually like Stand Up the most.

    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone." - Walt Kowalski

    "Just because I don't care, doesn't mean I don't understand." - Homer Simpson

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  • EricTheWearyEricTheWeary Frets: 11737
    I saw them live which I have fond memories of, I think the Crest of a Knave tour. That album was an attempt to modernise, shades of ZZ Top as I remember it. And I like Tull songs when I hear them; I guess just not deeply inspired by them. 

    drofluf said:
    Thanks @gordiji you've inspired me to revisit the album. I'd forgotten how great it is.

    My claim to fame is that I was nearly run over by Dave Pegg behind the Hammersmith Odeon in the late 70's. Did get his autograph though
    I’ve seen Peggy with Fairport a few times. I think, probably  more than anyone I’ve ever seen he makes playing bass guitar look piss easy whilst playing to an absurdly high standard. 
    Inhale away Jackson Jeffrey Jackson. 
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  • ChuffolaChuffola Frets: 1563
    Saw them on the Crest of Knave tour as well - they played the "Bursting Out" truncated version of Thick as a Brick on that tour - fantastic stuff. Also saw them 3 or 4 times after on various tours and by then Ian's voice was progressively poorer  - but still decent shows.

    My favourite era is the Aqualung to Songs From The Wood period - beyond that its diminishing returns. Broadsword is great, but the later albums are weaker (albeit I have a soft spot for J-Tull.com - possibly a contender for worst album title ever). 

    A real pity that Martin Barre appears to have been sidelined completely by Anderson when his guitar riffs and style were so much a part of the good stuff - a really underrated player, I think. 

    Great band though and one of my favourites. As I said earlier in this thread, if you haven't listened to the "special edition Steven Wilson remastered Passion Play with the Chateau D'Herouville sessions extra CD, give it a go. Some really brilliant stuff if you like the full on prog of TAAB.  It's on Spotify if that's your thing.
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  • ChuffolaChuffola Frets: 1563
    Philly_Q said:


    I must take a look how much of the Tull discography is on Spotify. 
    All of it including all the Steven Wilson remasters. It's a gold mine. 
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  • danishbacondanishbacon Frets: 1643
    I’m a fan, when I was born my father received A passion play wrapped in newspaper of the day as a gift and I was brought up listening to JT. I was able to see them in Brazil in the early 2000s. Ian got very cross with some kids up front smoking weed. It was a closed arena and he didn’t want the smoke interfering with his breathing or that of his guest violinist. 

    I was lucky to score one of Martin’s flightcases, for a 2x12 I think. Might be playing through a digital rig now! 



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  • stratman3142stratman3142 Frets: 1417
    I saw them in 1971 and 1972.

    Etched in my memory is being close to the front at Hanley Town Hall and seeing Martin Barre playing a solo spot using a Les Paul Junior. Guitar pyrotechnics involving controlled feedback. It completely blew my mind at the time.

    I think it might have been the second time when there were a whole load people wandering around on stage in long brown coats before the band came on. Then some of them threw off the coats and launched into the first number.

    Great albums and fantastic showmen. Martin Barre is one of the guitar greats.
    It's not a competition.
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  • BidleyBidley Frets: 2540
    I deeply love Jethro Tull. It's a toss-up between Minstrel in the Gallery, Songs from the Wood and Heavy Horses for me.

    The fact they released an excellent album every year from 1970-1979 just blows my mind. And nearly every song is a piece of music I couldn't even begin to figure out how to put together. And despite the complexity, they weave in humour, sincerity and everything in between, with loads of hooks. Such a great band.
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