Jethro Tull

Ian Anderson has been making music for over a quarter of a century. The band he went into the studio with was Jethro Tull but the personal was either different from album to album or something on a personal level was going on with bandmates from album to album that he had to take over their playing duties. Name your top 5 Jetro Tull albums.
2)Crest of a Knave
4)Songs from the Woods
I have been buying the 24 bit remasters which sound great but also the updated liner notes by Ian tell you what "Trauma" the band was going through with each recording.
My good mate Dave Pegg (Fairport Convention) played bass/mandolin on the Crest of a Knave as well as on all live/studio recordings from 1979 until 1996. Jethro Tull is definitely Ian's baby although it was interesting to view glimpses of the band at work in the studio on their 25th anniversary DVD. That video suggests that the recording process is much more of a democratic function. Reminds me that I will have to ask Peggy about that! I absolutely love The Jetho Tull Christmas Album which I consider an extention of Songs from the Wood. I also love A Little Light Music which I fell is the best live performance of the band (1991). Songs from the Wood is excellent and after these three it seems sort of hit and miss. Yes, Thick as a Brick and Passion Play were groudbreaking concept recordings to a certain extent, but seem very self indulgent and tired (thematically/musically)30 years later. I also enjoy Ian's recent solo recordings (Secret Language of Birds and Rupi's Dace, especially the latter).
This Was
Stand Up
2.A Passion Play
3.Thick As A Brick
4.Living In The Past
5.Stand Up

I would add War Child, Aqualung, and This Was to the list. All of these are, IMHO, great and worth owning.
"The mouse police, never sleeps" Heavy Horses is one of my favorites.
Can anyone speak to the best quality recordings: both CD and LP? I have a greatest hits CD and it sounds absolutely aweful. I'd like to get some recordings that capture the magic.

Thanks, Peter
Peter, I love the sound of the Jethro Tull Christmas Album insofar as studio recordings issued on CD. A Little Light Music is also my favorite live recording on CD although I am a little biased due to the excellent playing of Dave Pegg. Dave also appears on several tracks of the Christmas Album.
Tull has always been my favorite artist. Unfortunately they have been one of the worst for sound quality. I agree that the Xmas album is awesome along with the live Aqualung. Finally some fidelity! I never understood what Mr. Anderson was thinking with his mastering techniques.
As long as you asked:
War Child
Stand Up
Songs From the Wood
Xmas Album
Living in the Past

Regards, John
Is it the new 24 bit remastered? I have found the three Tull 24 bit remasters I have purchased sound great.The 24 bit remaster of Stormwatch sounds better than my original pressing vinyl IMS.I don't think my phono amp is as good as my Sony Modwright in getting all the detail. I know there is a 24 bit remastered greatest hits out there.
Love Tull, Have seen them three times. Which is a lot for me. Some FAVS although I like them all except Too Old to Rock&Roll.

Stand Up
Passion Play
Broadsword and The Beast
Heavy Horses
Roots to Branches

Fans of Tull might also want to check out Fairport Convention, Strawbs and Richard Thompson.
Bursting Out (IMHO the definite Tull live recording)
Thick as a Brick
Heavy Horses (Underrated, but excellent)
Songs from the Wood

Can't really comment the CD's sonically, original British LP pressings are quite OK, but the French pressing of Aqualung I own isn't as good as the British original (heard, but do not own...)

"stand up" (pink island) is the tull album i return to most often. after that is "original masters" (DCC), "a passion play" (german pressing--HIGHLY recommended, "benefit" (also german press with alternate track), and of course "aqualung"

tull has always been pretty obviously self-indulgent stuff, but just plain fun! great in concert too IMHO!
hi guys
any input on the 'unreleased masters 1973-1991'
Good picks Musicslug, all are my list. I was lucky to see Thick as a Brick and
Passion Play live.
Where does one find the DCC CD's? Are they all as expensive as the ones advertised on ebay ($50)? Wow! Any suggestions for reasonably priced sources are most welcome. Thanks.
If you have a 24 bit CD player I really think you will find the remasters quite reasonably priced. Try Amazon and look at BOTH used and new listing for the title you are interested. Sometimes the used ones ARE NEW and the price a bargin. I like the sound of the remasters I have purchased.For me the 24 bit makes a difference.
Qdrone - can you explain to me how the 24bit CD player works. I've got an Electrocompaniet EC-1 which sports a 24 Bit upsampler 192KHz DAC. However, I always figured it just reads any CD at 16 bit and then converts to 24 in the DAC. Would my CD player read 24 bit? If not, which CD players do?

Thanks, Peter
Don't quote me on this but if you have a CD player that is making your 16 bit CD's 24 bit than it should read a true 24 bit CD with no problem. I used to have a pioneer Elite which featured there version of the upsampler it was called the Tos link. I have purchased a few 24 bit Rush CD remasters and they sound a whole lot better than the 16bit counterpart. My 24 bit Benefit sounds a whole lot better than the 16bit counterpart. More bass and less grainy in the high end.
24 bit CD's have more detail if they are recorded properly.
From your post you have a 24 bit CD player my friend and it reads all 24 bits.
Tull has two boxed sets, a 20th anaversary and a 25th.
the five best IMHO, Stand Up, Benefit,This Was, Night Cap
(import) and Broadsword. Living in the past was also one of Ian Andersons greatest accomplishments. It is a shame that he has lost his voice.
I really hate consistently bringing this up but many Tull albums are aviable on 4 track open reel. The Magtec brand is far superior than anything out there even at 3&3/4 IPS.
Passion Play is a Magtec at 7&1/2 IPS. Outstanding.
I belive these discs were transferred from the original Master tapes using a 24 bit digital system to capture as much of the original master tape info as possible.

These are then converted to play on a standard CD Player (16 bits).
Unless they are SACD or DVD-A they are not playing 24 bits.

They may sound better because it is more pure .
Tull used to be a favorite of mine 35 yrs ago! The thread started out saying something to the efect that the players've all changed from record to record. This may true but originally, while always being centered on Ian Anderson, this was a working band! Their 1st, 2nd, and 3rd (This Was, Stand Up, & Benefit) was pretty much the same guys from my recollection (if memory serves me well there was only a change from Mick Goodrick (?) to Martin Barre(?) on gtr). I saw them 8 times in NYC at the Fillmore East and even at a theater in the round (that turned off the electricity and turned up the lights right in the middle of an encore, man was Ian pissed!!;) As they got bigger with Aqualung, I started to drift from the band. Believe it or not, originally, they were considered a rock band with strong blues/jazz ties. With Aqualung they started playing arenas, which I hated. Afterwards, Thick As A Brick came out and to this day I find it to be totally unlistenable......aaaaahhh, but back in the day.....;) Thx for the opportunity to take this stroll down memory lane!
I'm with you all the way, Charzo!

Loved the first album "This Was" which included Mick Abrams who left the group due to an artistic direction dispute with Ian Anderson. He formed Blodwyn Pig (remember "Dear Jill") to continue the blusey sound.

"Stand Up" in my humble opinion is the album which defines the Jethro Tull sound. Their masterpiece. "Benefit" was good.

"Aqualung" was a pretentious piece of bombast which became their best-seller. I, too, saw them at the Fillmore East. Wow!
Aqualung is my favorite Tull offering but you are right,this was Andersons view of what the Tull sound should be. I believe the bass player Glenn Cornick bailed after Benefit and formed a band called Wild Turkey. Anderson is Tull,he has written over 95% of everything that they recorded good or bad. The band is a vehicle for him has always been.
Mick Abrams was the 'blues' driving force of this band. While the uniqueness of listening to a flute did account for some wonderful rock, I miss the old days. They did some nice stuff afterward, Broadsword, Nite Cap, Songs from the Wood & the both 20yr & 25yr box sets. Ian Anderson has lost his voice but continues to preform. He should quit while he is ahead.
My favorite band, I can listen to it anytime. Been at a live shows many times, and managed to see Ian playing with symphonic orchestra 3 times this year- absolutely outstanding.
My favorites are:
Living in the Past
Heavy Horses
Christmas Album
and "Bursting Out" as a live recording.
I picked up Catfish Rising last weekend on 24 bit remaster and it has replaced Stormwatch on my favorite list. It also has as a bonus cut a killer live version of Jumpstart where Ian Anderson pokes fun at the grammies. The song Jumpstart is from Crest of a Knave the album that won for Best Heavy Medal Album over Metalica. At the closing rondo of this song everyone comes in and just before, Ian says jokingly "O.K. we have to get our Heavy Medal band up on stage to take this song home so please hold on."
No, no, don't take Stormwatch out of rotation. Tull is, priarily a visual band; the Stormwatch tour was teriffic. Saw them at Springfield Civic, they had an actual ship as a stage piece, with wind and rain and.....well you get the idea. It wasn't as good as the Thick As A Brick or Benefit tour, but still fabulous.

You get all-time obscure music stud for "Wild Turkey". I actually laughed out loud when I saw your post. If I recall correctly (highly doubtful) it was a pretty decent Tull knock off. I certainly never thought I'd ever even TRY to recall that one correctly!

FWIW, my five:

See Feil - same 5, same order.
Wild Turkey is original Tull bassist Glenn Cornick's band. They have recently gotten back together with ex-Tull drummer Clive Bunker to play a few gigs. Cornick was actually fired from Tull for no apparent reason.
Maybe someone knows the name of the keyboard player with Tull who is now female having gone through a sex change operation. It must have been hell when he was going through his hormonal injections when they were on the road. I know he was with the band over twenty years.


That would be David (now Dee) Palmer. The transformation happened in 2004. I doubt s/he was on the road.
fwiw, i personally hate tull but the "song for jeffrey" off "this was" strikes me as being one of the best R&R songs i've ever heard.
Andrew Giddings is Tull's current keyboard player.
I am a big Jethro Tull fan, and have to say there seems to be a fair amount of misinformation being posted here. I understand some of it can be interpretation (i.e. Glen Cornick, and the occurance of his leaving), but others, such as why Ian Anderson played certain instruments for certain LPs are less ambiguous.

During the recording of Minstrel in the Gallery, the entire band was on a tax exile (to avoid robbery by the British government - imagine people so jaded they actually want to keep what they earn...) and having trouble with being away from home. With the number of 'distractions' some of the boys were having a hard time showing up at the studio. In a sense Minstrel was Ians first 'almost' solo LP.

On Stormwatch Ian played bass for John Glascock who had extreme health problems, which shortly and sadly resulted in his death of congestive heart failure.

Several members were not asked to return after breaks, when one form or another of the band went back to the studio.

"A" was supposed to be a solo LP, with friends playing, but the studio liked it so much they convinced IA to release it as Tull, to the surprise and consternation of some former band members...

Since 'This Was' Tull has been Ians band, but it is still a band with a lot of colaboration. They have IMO put out some great music, as well as some awful failures (like: Aqualung, the most glaring example of a concept LP gone wrong), some of my favorites are:
1) Crest of a Knave - I love the flute in Budapest!
2) Songs From the Wood, Heavy Horses and Bursting Out which I consider one Dbl LP with a subsequent documentery.
3) 25th Anniversary boxset for some rare gems that really are rare gems!
4) Broadsword and the Beast
5) Roots to Branches - which I didn't like that much till I heard it on vinyl

I'm not sure about the question of the quality of the recordings. I have some originals from the 70's that still sound good...


The liner notes on these 24 bit remasters tells you the stories as you describe. Ian Anderson wrote them and are informative and interesting. As I stated in my initial post Jethro Tull was Ian Andersons vehichle from the start and Cornick was asked to leave because he wanted to put some of his original songs he wrote on a concept album Anderson was writing about the existence of or lack of existence of God. That album as you know was Aqualung.
I haven't read the liner notes for Aqualung, since I am obviously not a fan of that LP/cd. Was Aqualung among the list of reissues? I have purchased a bunch, but not all of them.

AAMOF I had some friends over to listen to music and we did a comparison of a 30 year old lp of Songs From the Wood and the new 24 bit CD. Even the digophiles prefered the lp, but that's another thread...