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Jethro Tull - Aqualung
Label: Capitol Records
Release: 1972

Cross-Eyed Mary
Cheap Day Return
Mother Goose
Wond'ring Aloud
Up To Me
My God
Hymn 43
Locomotive Breath
Wind Up
Aqualung - Jethro Tull
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One of the essential, classic, legendary etc. prog records, this one. Standing side by side with Yes's "Close to the Edge",King Crimson's "In the Court of the Crimson King", and Uriah Heep's "Demons and Wizards" (i kid), Jethro Tull's "Aqualung",released in 1972, is most definitely a quintessential album for any man wanting some prog ("Thick as a Brick" is alsoessential as well - Tull were good at this sort of thing, for a while). This album features pretty much all of thedifferent sides of Tull - folk songs, classical passages, and hard rock. And Ian Anderson, of course - that masterful king of the flute.

Pretty much every song is good at least - and some are downright classic. The best one comes straight away - coming in onthat fantastic six-note riff, the awesome title track features everything you could possibly want from the Tull. The sneering, brilliant Ian Anderson, Martin Barre playing some outstanding guitar (great solo), and a classic riff. Severalgreat parts too - it's an outstanding multi-part composition, fitting snugly into it's 6 and a half minutes. The only thing that's missing is a few Anderson flute parts.

Anderson more than makes up for that, though, on the next track - the fabulous "Cross-Eyed Mary" features some great flutetrills in it's excellent introduction, before heading right into a full, great rocker, complete with riff, and severaloutstanding passages. And then we get several acoustic numbers, mostly short, and all good. "Cheap Day Return" and "Wond'ring Aloud" both feature solid acoustic melodies, and the middle piece, "Mother Goose", is also very solid - withsome very nice acoustic playing. That one's also utterly infectious as well.

"Up to Me" features another very catchy, sneery melody - and is again, pretty solid overall. Not the best preparation forthe next song - the big centerpiece of the album, "My God". "My God" is a long track, complete with Anderson in ragingmode, and the band supplying evil backing. Although the best part is when Anderson launches into an incredible flutesolo - everything's there, from Anderson grunts, to classical packages combined with sheer insanity. Plus, there's a great stab at Russian folk in the middle. Brilliance.

"Hymn 43" follows - it's a half-decent rocker, which again features Anderson in raging mode. Decent riff - although the song is kinda one of the lessers here. As a rocker, it pales in comparison to "Locomotive Breath", which comes after another short acoustic interlude, called "Slipstream". "Locomotive Breath" is a deserved classic, with it's chugging,classic riff - it's basically a perfect rocker. Filled with great parts, and THAT riff. Fantabulous. And the album closes with "Wind Up" - another perfectly good song, and a great way to finish off.

This album gets a good 9 from me - it's absolutely outstanding. Brilliant album - and if you want to get yourself intoprog, it's utterly essential. 9.

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