Jethro Tull--List Your Top 5


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I'd just like to turn on the Time Machine and go back to a few live concerts in the 70's
Great music playing as the goodie peddlers walked freely up and down the isles calling out their wares. :SG
I'll base my list on the ones that I still listen to and how much I listen to them:

1. Benefit
2. Aqualung
3. Thick As A Brick
4. Stand Up
5. Living in the Past
I put a line below Benefit because it is near the top of old albums that I go back to, period. I'm not sure what it is about that album, but when I feel like something old, it is one of the first things that comes to mind. To me, it's the 70's version of Deadwing, in that I can never listen to it too much. In fact, thanks for the reminder. I think I'll give it a listen now. :)
@Daniel John 's recent thread, Yes - List Your Top 5 albums, strikes me as such a great idea and has elicited wonderful responses; I thought I would start a few more threads for bands that have a similar longevity and even more of their output available in multichannel magic. So here are my top 5 for Jethro Tull, in chronological order (click on album title to link to QQ poll threads):

1) Aqualung (1971): WoW! Stone. Cold. Masterpiece. You couldn’t make it through the 70s with an FM rock radio station playing and NOT know “Aqualung,” “Cross-Eyed Mary,” “Hymn 43,” “Locomotive Breath,” . . . and those are just the tip of the iceberg--no filler on this one. But what really sets it apart for me is listening to it in historical context: until QQ turned me onto Steven Wilson and the work he did remixing the vast majority of the Tull catalog, this was the earliest Tull release I knew. Now that I can hear the three albums that preceded it--This Was, Stand Up, Benefit--the most amazing thing about Aqualung is the quantum leap that it is from what came before; the sophistication and complexity lyrically, musically, thematically are astounding!

2) Thick As a Brick (1972): And the progression continues, progressively so! This is the one for me. Nothing better in the Tull canon. Another one of those ritualistic HIGH school HEADphone staples. What Anderson and company are able to sustain for two epic album sides still astonishes. A revelation of the most astounding magnitude! I wonder if there will be a 50th anniversary edition--I can only imagine what Steven Wilson could do with this release given all that he has learned over the years. This is an album that continues to reveal and amaze--I simply can’t get enough of the brilliance that is TAaB!

3) Songs From the Wood (1977): Or do you prefer Jethro Tull With Kitchen Prose, Gutter Rhymes, and Divers Songs from the Wood? A wonderful mixture of folk and hard-driving rock n roll--possibly Tull’s most balanced and beautiful collection. What also makes this such a wonderful release is Steven Wilson’s continued improvement as a surround sound mixer; the fact that this is the highest-rated Tull release in the QQ polls is no accident.

4) Heavy Horses (1978): Another record of loveliness, building on SFtW, ratcheting up the intensity and earthiness and darkness. A really wonderful balance of folk and progressive rock. Some of Anderson’s best lyrics and Steven Wilson continues to amaze with his growing remixing prowess. This one is third on the all-time Tull QQ list (Aqualung is #2).

5) Christmas Album (2009): I was torn between A Passion Play and Minstrel in the Gallery when I remembered my favorite Christmas album, one that is so good it gets played all year long. If Steven Wilson would remix this one in surround, it would be the loveliest Christmas present I have ever received.
Looking forward to your top Tull. Stay Surrounded, Comrades!
It is frightening to think about TAAB being 50 years old soon. I mean I was a youngster, but 50 years on from that package and LP with no banded sides on Reprise Records and Tapes! I had the cassette first, and it sounded weak. A green label US LP with full newspaper came next around 1977.

A lifetime has flown by.
1/ PASSION PLAY - it confused so many, but the narrative of the moments ' ..along the Fulham Road' when the Passion Play broke the boundaries of the stage and played out in the streets with an actual spiritual cross over, all garnished with the ephemera of hum drum life, is surely a peak. ( and the very droll interval featurette brings it all into conceptual focus) . Ian is known to slag it off. Artists often miss the moments when their inspiration slips into something greater.
2/ AQUALUNG - how time plays tricks with memory. We tend to remember this as a steam-roller of a sonic head strike.
But consider, most of it is acoustic. The lyrics equal the best of Roger Waters. With hindsight, even the rockier moments seem poised. It may have aged in your mind, but spin it again - there is no rust here.
3/ BENEFIT - showing the final gasps of the blues influence. The riffs are timeless, the mix thicker than maple syrup,
and it sounds as barking mad as the day it was unleashed.
4/ MINSTREL IN THE GALLERY - no it wasn't THE PIXIES or NIRVANA who invented the quiet/ loud dynamic.
5/ WARCHILD - as a stab at shorter tracks, this was a great success. ( Oh, and the city skyline behind Ian on the cover is Melbourne- and that was our lovely skyline before the developers did their worst.)

A comment about TAAB. Let me be the dissenting voice. I love it, music and cover concept included. But let's face it
too few ideas stretched over 2 sides.
Let the stoning begin.
A comment about TAAB. Let me be the dissenting voice. I love it, music and cover concept included. But let's face it
too few ideas stretched over 2 sides.
Let the stoning begin.
Sometimes I think that side 2 is a little weak and repetitive, compared to the plethora of great ideas, melody lines, playful but challenging lyrics, and instrumental chops in the first half. Then I listen to it, and I totally enjoy it all the way through.

No stoning from me Dingo, and I can see your point of view, but I must beg to disagree. Hey, there's plenty of music out there for everyone, to each his own, I say!
A bit late to the dance, but wanted to chime in just the same:
1. Songs From The Wood, my first JT album bought as part of a Columbia House order; played this LP to death (looking to get my hooks on the 40th anniversary country set).
2. Aqualung
3. Stand Up
4. Benefit
5. Thick As A Brick

BTW, any news of planned 50th anniversary releases for Aqua, Stand, Benefit and/or TAAB?
70s: Minstrel in the Gallery; Heavy Horses; Stormwatch
80s: Under Wraps (yes I love this album)
90s: Roots to Branches

A Passion Play
, Songs from the Wood, The Broadsword and the Beast are also very high on my list.
1. Aqualung
2. Stand Up
3. Benefit
4. Songs From The Wood
5. Heavy Horses
6. Thick As A Brick
7. Minstrel In The Gallery
8. War Child
9. A Passion Play

Never really cared for This Was, Too Old and anything after Heavy Horses.

I have the Steven Wilson remixes of all of the albums in my list above which to me are the ultimate versions - excellent sound quality and stereo mixes, fantastic 5.1-mixes and very impressive bonus material. My favorite bonus song is the extended Wond'ring Aloud from Aqualung.
TAAB is my all time fav, I still play it every few months.
I kind of burned myself out on Aqualung, must have played it a million times back in the day. Making my windows rattle and ticking off the neighbors with it was a favorite pastime, specially after I got my Klipsch La Scala's back in 1977.
Being a good and loyal fan I am currently in the process of buying the Steve Wilson remixes, costing on average £40 x10 (currently available) it will take me a few weeks but I have already managed to purchase 5, I had downloaded them all previously but since I own the rest of the JT vinyl catalogue, they are a must have !! I would never insult any of their albums by saying one is better than the other, they were all recorded at different periods of time when they were evolving as a band and individuals.

So in no particular order I will pull out my top 5

Broadsword, cos it was the first JT album I bought not being as old as some other old gits and the album that converted me to become a live long fan
Songs from the Wood, master piece
Crest of a Knave, Its just a nice change to play with some of their best modern rock tracks
Aqualung, maybe not their best recorded album but what was recorded takes some beating
Stormwatch, absolutely love this album

That is not to say the rest are bad or inferior, far from it.