Classic albums A-Z: Jethro Tull – Aqualung (1971)

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Jethro are at a potential danger point – around the stage where, having undergone personnel changes and guaranteed a certain response for whatever they attempt, a lapse of effort could bring on the disintegration of respect that is currently gnawing like woodworm at so many established bands. Yet the evidence of their fourth album is solidly against the rot getting even a foothold in the revamped Jethro Tull.

They are still growing; not leaping ahead in gargantuan jumps but doggedly and conscientiously pursuing and exploiting Ian Anderson’s and the band’s capabilities as writers and performers in the restrained manner that has always been their trademark.

Aqualung is progression within the distinctive area of music Jethro made and still hold as their own; more aggressive and riffy than the sweatily satisfying, under-rated Benefit. Certainly the time and meticulous attention that has gone into every facet of the product should be self-evident.

NME (New Musical Express) review, March 1971.

Full track listing (original vinyl) – side A
  1. Aqualung
  2. Cross-eyed Mary
  3. Cheap day return
  4. Mother Goose
  5. Wond’ring aloud
  6. Up to me
Full track listing (original vinyl) – side B
  1. My God
  2. Hymn 43
  3. Slipstream
  4. Locomotive Breath
  5. Wind up
Bonus tracks (1998 CD re-reissue)
  1. Lick your fingers clean
  2. Wind up (quad version)
  3. Excerpts from the Ian Anderson interview
  4. Songs for Jeffrey
  5. Fat Man
  6. Bouree
Lineup
  • Ian Anderson (flute, acoustic guitar, vocals)
  • Martin Barre (electric guitar and descant recorder)
  • Clive Bunker (percussion)
  • John Evan (piano, organ, mellotron)
  • Jeffrey Hammond (bass guitar, alto recorder, odd voices)

 

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