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Ghost Canyon

Title - 'Thick As A Brick 2 - Special Edition' (EMI)
Artist - Jethro Tull / Ian Anderson

As you may or may not know (altough hardcore fans of Jethro Tull will obviously know this by heart!), back in 1972, Ian Anderson wrote and recorded the Jethro Tull progressive rock classic album Thick As A Brick. The lyrics were credited at the time to the fictitious child character, Gerald Bostock, whose parents supposedly lied about his age. The record instantly became a number one Billboard Chart album and enjoyed considerable success in many countries of the world.

The follow-up to that FM staple, Aqualung, Thick as a Brick gave us something that just wouldn't be accepted in todays musical society - an album-length song! Yep, 22 minutes in length, the track has been called a "total masterpiece in the greatest sense of the word" be reviewers and fans all across the world.

I mean sure it might have been written as a spoof, but it was nonetheless one of the greatest tunes ever recorded. And any prog rock collection is incomplete without this album, in any of its forms.

Which is made even more poetic of a statement now that EMI have released Thick As A Brick 2 - Special Edition. Starting where TAAB, Part 1 ended TAAB, Part 2 flows seamlessly with the story of what if, or what had become thereafter. Ian Anderson's new band do sound like Jethro Tull, I'll give them that, but it's just not the same. That said, if you are willing to take Ian's journey into Gerald's possible futures (pasts?) - for at this point there are many twists and turns and expansive ideas wound into this yarn - then this is the train pulling up at your prog rock station platform you've been waiting a mighty long time to board!

For my money, TAAB, Part 2 is not time returned out of mind but Brick in time as it flows today. Following? OK, well, simply put the lyrical allusions to such a song as 'Passion Play' were not lost on me on 'Cozy Corner.' I wonder what former Gentle Giant frontman and record exec Derek Shulman thought of Ian's response to his press to continue Gerald's story?!


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