Here we've got a re-issue of Jethro Tull's second album Stand Up (1969). It's a three-disc collector's edition in a pop-up sleeve that includes the original remastered version, rare bonus tracks, a live concert at the Carnegie Hall in 1970 on both CD and DVD (only audio) and finally an interview with leader, singer and flutist Ian Anderson.
A New Day Yesterday is the right start for this classic album. With a short heavy bass, the electric guitar riffs of Martin Barre and the awesome drumming of the underestimated drummer Clive Bunker, this piece is more blues rock than prog rock. Otherwise the almost acoustic Jeffrey Goes To Leicester Square is more folky with nice guitar play that alternates with the flute. Bourée is the well-known classical tune by J.S. Bach arranged by Ian Anderson and still performed at live concerts. It's one of the highlights in the excellent repertoire of Jethro Tull. Back In The Family shows the diversity in musical styles of the band. This is an up-tempo rock song with a nice waltz in the middle-section ending with guitar and flute solos. Look Into The Sun contains a dreamy melody with a strong text philosophizing about the purpose of Anderson's'musical' life. In Nothing Is Easy Jethro Tull rocks again. Listen to the excellent drumming of Clive Bunker and the pumping bass of Glenn Cornick. Fat Man has an oriental approach with its eastern drums and acoustic guitar. It's the first song without the flute. We Used To Know is a rather heavy but typical early seventies blues rock song in the vein of The Free with Martin Barre playing a wah-wah guitar solo in Jimi Hendrix-style. The ballad Reasons For Waiting contains many folk elements. It's a nice combination of Anderson's flute and the violin orchestra that sounds a bit like The Moody Blues. For A Thousand Mothers has a lot of tempo changes and never a dull moment. The members of the famous Dutch progressive rock band Focus certainly have listened to this song before writing their seventies hits. The first extras on this collector's item are the four bonus tracks. All the musical qualities of Jethro Tull are gathered together in the song Living In The Past. The 'Moody Blues' orchestra is back in the vigorous piece Sweet Dream, while Driving Song and 17 are just mediocre pieces that add little to this excellent album. The first CD ends with two short but funny US-radio spots.
The second CD has been recorded live at The Carnegie Hall in 1970. It starts with the energetic performance of Nothing Is Easy followed by My God, one of the master and key pieces of Aqualung - released in 1971 - with fantastic flute solos by Ian Anderson. The American audience is going totally mad after listening to the flute eruptions of this British rock musician. With You There To Help Me has been originally taken from the third album Benefit (1970). John Evan had joined the band by then and his classical piano training is demonstrated in this song. Although rather strange on a progressive rock album, the blend of the classic and jazzy piano pieces and the flute of Ian fit in the music very well . A Song For Jeffrey is a vivid rock song with some bluesy guitar and mouth harp solos. To Cry You A Song and Sossity, You're A Woman are typical early seventies rock tracks with guitar riffs in the vein of Deep Purple and Black Sabbath. The second part of Sossity is folk-orientated with nice Hammond-organ pieces. Dharma For One is also an energetic song that contains a nice drum solo by Clive Bunker. This piece was covered by the Dutch progressive outfit Ekseption in the late sixties. Martin Barre can show his talents again in the eight-minute piece Guitar Solo accompanied by the hand-clapping of the audience. For A Thousand Mothers is again a specific Jethro Tull-piece that shows all the musical qualities of the band: a rock song with whirling flute play, excellent guitar work, pumping bass and fast drumming.
This Stand Up collector's edition is a perfect item for the real Jethro Tull aficionados, but it's also a perfect introduction to those people who doesn't have any or just a few albums of Jethro Tull. I'm convinced they will enjoy this outstanding musical journey.
**** Cor Smeets (edited by Peter Willemsen)
Where to buy?
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