Title - '50 Years Of Jethro Tull' [2CD]
Artist - Martin Barre
For those not in the know, Martin Barre celebrates his own 50th anniversary with Jethro Tull with new double CD set, 50 Years Of Jethro Tull (releasing November 6th, 2020 via Store For Music).
One of the lauded and respected rock guitarists ever to walk the planet, Martinís dynamic, expressive, explosive guitar playing was paramount to Jethro Tullís live and recorded sound, starting with his debut on the bandís classic second album, Stand Up (1969), right up to the bandís eventual demise in 2012.
His unique sound and style contributed enormously to the bandís success, which includes numerous Billboard-charting albums, eleven gold and five platinum albums, a Grammy Award for the Crest of a Knave album in 1988, and album sales exceeding 75 million units.
Ergo, 50 Years Of Jethro Tull is a very personal, and revealing collection of both live and studio tracks, carefully chosen by Martin Barre himself, and one that he himself feels illustrates and illuminates his work with Tull over an incredible half century.
It also includes four (4) previously-unreleased bonus tracks from the upcoming live DVD recorded at The Wildey Theatre, Illinois, in May 2019.
The first disc features Martin and his band doing live in-studio electric performances of Jethro Tull songs - both classic tracks and deep album cuts from Tullís earlier day (with new arrangements with Martin and his band putting their own stamp on these amazing songs).
The second disc features Martin and his band doing their own new versions of primarily classic acoustic songs from various periods of Tullís legendary catalog.
1. 'My Sunday Feeling'
2. 'For a Thousand Mothers'
3. 'Hymn 43'
4. 'Love Story'
6. 'Song for Jeffrey'
7. 'Back to the Family'
8. 'Nothing to Say'
9. 'Hunting Girl'
11. 'Steel Monkey'
12. 'Nothing is Easy'
13. 'New Day Yesterday'
The first disc contains the Live at Factory Underground set, although the "live" aspect isn't a concert setting, moreover the set was recorded "live" in a studio.
Here Barre is joined by Dan Crisp on vocals/guitar, Alan Thomson on bass/vocals and drummer Darby Todd and together they combine to form a very tight ensemble. One that brings to the fore such musical brilliance as a lovely selection of deep Tull cuts.
Such as a gently reworked rendition of 'Back To The Family,' the whirlwind ambiance of 'Steel Monkey,' and my own personal favorite, the time-defying 'Sealion.'
1. 'Wond'ring Aloud'
2. 'Someday the Sun Won't Shine'
3. 'Life is a Long Song'
4. 'Cheap day Return'
5. 'Under Wraps'
6. 'One White Duck'
7. 'Still Loving you Tonight'
8. 'The Waking Edge'
10. 'Locomotive Breath'
11. 'Slow Marching Band'
12. 'Warchild' (Bonus)
13. 'Bungle in the Jungle' (Bonus)
14. 'Heavy Horses' (Bonus)
15. 'Songs from the Wood' (Bonus)
However, that all said, the second disc is where you'll find the meat and potatoes of this Tull extravaganza. Simply put, it is an acoustic set which allows Barre and company to breathe new life into old classics.
By adding female vocalists Alex Hart and Becca Langsford, their orchestrated underlay to the tracks brings forth a resoundingly layered mood which reinvigorates each track for 2020.
My goodness, they sound bloody fantastic and truly allow for a whole new life to now live and breathe through each newly-created perspective of these beautifully arranged old school tracks.
"However you look at it, 50 years is a sizable chunk of time, to say the least," Barre explains, "and December 1968 was spent furiously rehearsing the music that would become the album Stand Up."
"We were locked in a grotty basement club in Soho, London and on a diet of hot tea and cheese and tomato sandwiches, we four musicians aka Jethro Tull, got to know each other a little better and finally testing the water, went on tour to debut the new music."
"At first the blues fans that traditionally followed Tull, weren't at all sure of the change but, slowly they got caught up in the beginnings of something they realized was very different and possibly very special."
"From 1969 onwards, we toured Europe, Scandinavia, the UK, USA and onwards to Australia, New Zealand, Japan, as well as every territory that welcomed western rock music and especially those who invited Jethro Tull."
"Many times, we were the first rock band into a country, as we always looked for new experiences and unknown areas to explore with new fans to be won !!! It was an incredibly rewarding time."
"We were young and hungry for music. We were full of energy and determination."
"Every year saw new albums, changes in musical direction and bigger and better shows. To highlight any one show or any particular album does an injustice to the others."
"We were riding the crest of a wave and finally we were rewarded a Grammy for all this immense body of work and commitment."
"Sadly in 2011, Ian took the decision to disband Tull and concentrate on his solo career. So, after a period of writing new music and careful planning, I returned to the road, touring and recording with the same vigor and belief that we had all shown in the early years."
"My respect and love of Tull's musical heritage has inspired me to keep alive our huge repertoire, but without turning my back on my love of writing my own music."
"Personally, I'm looking forward to year 51 and beyond!"
Martin Barre @ Facebook
Jethro Tull's Martin Barre Band @ Butlins Great British Rock & Blues 2015
Jethro Tull - 'My Sunday Feeling,' Live At The Isle Of Wight Festival, 1970