Saturday, October 6, 2007

Jethro Tull

My uncle Bob is 10 years older than me and, growing up, I remember him liking Jethro Tull. I had no idea why, but if my uncle liked Tull, then I liked them. Of course, I came to appreciate Tull very much, and to this day, I'm a big Tull fan. So what does it for me?

First, how cool is it to have flute in a rock band?? It's charming on the acoustic songs and hypnotically and oddly appropriate on the rockers.

Second, the ensemble playing is just tremendous. This is true both on songs where it appears everyone is doing their own thing as well as band members are all moving together.

Third, the varying musical styles. Jethro Tull started out as a blues band, and are categorized now as everything from classic rock, to folk-rock, to hard rock, and they also play the charming acoustic numbers that somehow manage to contain bits of all these other styles.

Some of my favorite songs are:

Witch's Promise from Benefit

Back Door Angels from War Child

Farm on the Freeway from Crest of a Knave

Wond'ring Again from Living in the Past

This list could go on for quite a while. As I type this, it strikes me you must hear "Mother Goose" and "My God" from Aqualung. As for entire CDs, Benefit, Songs from the Wood, and Thick as a Brick are all remarkably satisfying from end to end.

Although they don't play large arenas or stadiums anymore, their core fan base is intensely loyal. As of this entry, there are 565 Jethro Tull related items for bid on eBay. For deep minutiae on the band, check out the message boards at jethrotullchat.com. The rest of the website jethtotull.com is pretty good too except, surprisingly, the discography section is incomplete. For that, check out allmusic.com.

Thanks, Bob for making me those cassette tapes when I was growing up and in later years, right up to today, taking me to all those concerts.

Jethro Tull -- Music You Need to Hear.

2 comments:

msheil said...

To Michael from Michael (in California): So I need help assembling a collection of a certain genre of jazz. Soft, quiet, sultry. The kind that goes well in the middle of a rainy night. Piano, acoustic bass, maybe clarinet or saxophone.

MGK said...

Michael,

Three CD's comes to mind.

Miles Davis: "Kind of Blue" will fit that mood perfectly. If you don't have it, RUN to your nearest CD store and get it today. Better yet, it's a STEAL on iTunes for $5.99. You won't be sorry. It's one of the best selling jazz albums of all time.

Dave Brubeck: "Time Out" is really nice as well and features "Take Five"

John Coltrane: "My Favorite Things"

Also, there's a nice mix on iTunes called "Jazz Chillout"
Got to: the iTunes store/iTunes Essentials/My Groove/Jazz Chillout

Hope that helps and please post and let me know how you made out!