EXPERIENCE ROCK HISTORY!
JETHRO TULL – AQUALUNG – March 19, 1971 – Reprise MS 2035
It is a strange human reaction to feel that the normal roll-over of months into years is somehow magnified when that roll-over is from the end of one decade and the beginning of another. Although there is no difference, the significance is great.
Back in 1969 the review of the past ten years was truly historic so looking forward to the 1970s seemed like venturing into some stranger land filled with unknown possibilities of furthering sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll, in the best sense.
That willful mind-bend added to the ongoing tide of an ever evolving reality with a high level of optimism and anxiety similar to the 1999 roll-over into 2000 and this was due to the fact that the Counter-Culture was in full-force – while the ’60s built an incredible cultural framework – the ’70s followed-through with vigor.
While individuals and groups progressed in their chosen fields, musicians, singers and bands also took this opportunity to show the “future of the ’70s”. There were a few bands who debuted strong and Rock stalwarts who flexed their muscles – one of those muscular types was Jethro Tull.
After the very impressive time-stamp albums, “This Was” (Hard Rockin’ Blues with an Ian Anderson twist), and “Stand Up” (full-blown Renaissance Jazz Flute Rock) and both with sublime folk ballads, Tull released “Aqualung”; the album most fans agree to be their best, and is always highly-ranked as one of the Best Rock Albums ever.
The let down of Tull’s third album, “Benefit” (with the exception of the most excellent track, Teacher), was totally redeemed by the impact of a near perfect album, Aqualung.
Back in ’71 the world had a different Vibe from the late ’60s, yet most all would agree that nothing had really changed, it just evolved. Yet the early ’70s seemed to release a strong but subtle ubiquiteous feeling that the time was right to explore; it was now or never, no holds barred, live for today, Sex, Drugs, and Rock ‘n’ Roll Unlimited and it was the perfect environment and time for all of it.
This was the spirit shared by many individuals, including many bands that filled arenas, concert halls, and garages. This spirit was not lost on Jethro Tull – Ian Anderson gifted Rockers with a near perfect album; rockin’ riffs, bass hooks, infectious drums, and lyrics that questioned authority, religion, and life – and who knew the stone rockin’ value that a flute could produce, by the right person – Ian Anderson.
In the process of Aqualung’s success, Jethro Tull became a perfected version of Jethro Tull. With what many saw as a concept album, and much to his chagrin, The Mad Flutist created a real “mock concept album” with the single track covering both sides of the monster album, “Thick As A Brick”.
Up until “Thick As A Brick” 00individual saw Jethro Tull as a Rock band featuring Flute Wizardry, with TAAB Tull embraced and helped define Progressive Rock.
But before the TAAB Monster was unleashed, Jethro Tull hit the highest eschalons of early ’70s Rock with Aqualung; an album that traveled strong with Rockers the rest of the way to the Pinnacle of Rock – that was so near, yet so far away.
Side one: 1. “Aqualung” 6:34, 2. “Cross-Eyed Mary” 4:06, 3. “Cheap Day Return” 1:21, 4. “Mother Goose” 3:51, 5. “Wond’ring Aloud” 1:53, 6. “Up to Me” 3:15. Side two: 1. “My God” 7:08, 2. “Hymn 43” 3:14, 3. “Slipstream” 1:13, 4. “Locomotive Breath” 4:23, 5. “Wind-Up” 6:01
Tull were perceived – due to not knowing how to classify them – as: Progressive, Hard Rock, Metal, Folk, Blues, Classical, Jazz, Psychedelic, Rockin’ Minstrel Balladeers.
00individual was a Record Store Manager in the early-to-mid ’70s, Jethro Tull was alphabetically filed in the “J” section in the “Rock” section.
JETHRO TULL – AQUALUNG – 1971
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