Saturday, April 21, 2012

Greatest Rock albums of all times Part. 9

JETHRO TULL: AQUALUNG

   'Aqualung' is Jethro Tull's 4rth studio album, and by far their most successful one.
After the release of their first 2 albums which were mostly blues-rock in style, they tried to change their sound with the release of  'Benefit' and up to a point they did it. But the release of 'Aqualung' on 1971 was the real turning point for the band. They became famous, their songs were playing at all radios, and they became a band which was filling big stadiums in their live performances.
 'Aqualung' is considered as a concept album, and there is a story on each side (on the vinyl version of course), but that is something Ian Anderson denies.
The painting on the cover was inspired from some pictures of homeless people that were living around Thames, and were taken by Ian Anderson's wife. Aqualung is one of these people, and the first side of the record tells his story.
   The music style is Rock (in Jethro Tull's point of view), with elements of blues and folk, and in many occassions is "flirting" with Progressive Rock. It is Jethro Tull's best selling album with more than 7.000.000 copies sold worldwide. In the years to come it would inspire many artists and bands, and one of them is no other than Iron Maiden, who in 1983 made a cover version of  'Cross-Eyed Mary' and released it as a B-side on the single 'Trooper'.
   Upon it's release received very good critics, it climbed in the charts both in USA and UK, but it failed to reach the top. Best chart position it was No.4 in UK. The first (and only) single released from this album strangely it was not the self titled track. It was 'Hymn 43', but it failed to reach the high positions in the charts. With the passing years two songs became the trademarks of Jethro Tull, both from this album: 'Aqualung' and 'Locomotive Breath'.
   'Aqualung' was re-released on 2011 at the album's 40th anniversary. This release contains a new stereo and a surround 5.1 mix made by Steve Wilson of Porcupine Tree.

Other Jethro Tull albums I recommend: Thick as a Brick, Minstrell in the Gallery, Songs from the Wood

 Here you can watch the not-so-famous song 'My God' performed live in the Isle of Wight festival 1970