I remember this band from the 1970’s, fronted by the amazing Ian Anderson they (and he) were a bit of an anathema within the music world. While very much part of the Prog Rock movement, they somehow still had one foot firmly planted in the great folk tradition. I can vividly recall images of Ian Anderson, I think the best way to describe him is like an elongated and very thin Bean-stalk, precariously balanced on one leg, and playing the flute with an intensity that drowned out the Marshall Amps!

Their latest CD The Best Of Acoustic is a wonderful trip down memory lane. This really is the best of the acoustic side of a very accomplished band, every Jethro Tull fan will want this in their library. In fact to quote from a recent interview with another great musician (Sam Moore), “everyone on the planet should have a copy”. One of the great features is that the songs are in chronological order. You can follow the subtle changes in style over the last 39 years.

This is Ian Anderson at his absolute best, the folky side of a superb musician. Ian is a musician whose style and voice has not changed in nearly 40 years. He still has that unique ability to ‘vibrate’ his voice. I don’t know how he did it in 1970, and I certainly have no clue how he still does it today.

At 24 tracks this is a great value album. I have to admit a partiality to the early songs, they bring back such fine memories. When I heard the 2007 versions of ‘Cheap Day Return’, ‘Mother Goose’, and ‘Wond’ring Aloud’ I was thrown back 30 years. More up to date is ‘The Water Carrier’ from the album The Secret Lives Of Birds, this song transports you into a Moroccan market.

It was very hard to pick out my favorite tracks, they are all my favorites. This is a unique band, with a unique leader. There is so much more to Jethero Tull than Aqualung! This CD contains a veritable cornucopia of fine music, and fine musicians. In this world ruled by insipid music, horrible lyrics, and dreadful performers, it is a great pleasure to listen to such a great CD.

You can get your copy from Amazon.

Simon Barrett


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