Jethro Tull have set a high bar with their excellent ongoing program of cd reissues, but this super book has no problem in meeting that standard. Encased in what can only be described as a cushioned cover, it gives for the first time the official authorised history of the band. Although author Mark Blake pulls the strings to provide the narrative of the story through the words of the thirty odd players who’ve passed through the Tull camp at one time or another, it is unsurprisingly Ian Anderson’s voice that is heard most often, either through his own contributions or via interjections in to the recollections of others. There are certainly some revealing insights into life in the band in this chronological trip through their sometimes tempestuous career – Dave Pegg, for example, contrasts life in a group of mates who play music (Fairport) with life with a group of musicians who aren’t mates at all. The earlier years of the band’s career, up to the late seventies, are covered in most detail, unsurprisingly given this was their most creative and successful era. However, as we move past 1980, the detail becomes noticeably less forensic, although Anderson interestingly comments that he regards Broadsword rather than Stormwatch as the true final part of the band’s folk rock trilogy – perhaps that bodes well for a future deluxe version of that album. The last twenty five years though are somewhat disappointingly rather skirted over, and perhaps surprisingly there’s scant mention of Anderson’s solo work. However, these are minor gripes because overall I thoroughly enjoyed this sumptuous book, lovingly presented in coffee table type format on top quality thick paper, with a fine selection of photographs and period press cuttings supplementing the main text – in fact this will undoubtedly become the definitive pictorial and anecdotal history of this eccentric band, who produced such a run of great music in their heyday. I very much doubt we’ll see their like again.
Length of Read:Medium
Might appeal to people who enjoyed…
Tull’s music over the years.
One thing you’ve learned
If you’re a fan of the mighty Tull, then make certain this is on your Christmas list – I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!