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Ian Anderson to release sequel to TAAB, April 2012

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by WPLJ, Jan 31, 2012.

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  1. nbakid2000

    nbakid2000 On Indie's Cutting Edge

    Springfield, MO
    I almost drove off the road today while air drumming to Power and Spirit. Seriously, the drums on that song are so EPIC and POWERFUL it's amazing.
  2. Jack White

    Jack White Forum Resident

    There's maybe legitimate arguments to be made: that Barre should be part of the band for these TaaB2 concerts; that he's been an integral part of Tull over the years; that he was not treated with due respect and his feelings were hurt that he was not involved in the recordings or the tour; that his prime source of income for many years has been from the Tull tours; that Anderson is being egotistical and arrogant and having a 'Roger Waters moment'; that Anderson's voice has gone; etc.

    BUT, Ian Anderson is Jethro Tull. He's the songwriter, lead singer, driving force and leader of the group. To put together some kind of pseudo Jethro Tull cover band (a la 'Creedence Clearwater Revisted') is a lame idea.
  3. showtaper

    showtaper Forum Resident

    Chicago, IL
    DISCLAIMER: I'm a (40 year +) Tull/IA fanatic so take this how ever you wish:

    Right now, Ian is performing in a Thick As A Brick cover band (additional
    vocalist, no original members except himself) and cashing in on Tull's name.
    I think Martin has earned the right to do the same.

    I guess two Tull cover bands will be better than none.........
  4. mmars982

    mmars982 Forum Resident

    Pittsburgh, PA
    +1. I would gladly see either if they were in my area. Very sad to read this though.
  5. John...thanks for posting that excellent Martin Barre interview.

    I wish Martin siuccess at getting a band together with old Tull members. I would love to catch a version with Evans, Barrie and Pegg.
  6. showtaper

    showtaper Forum Resident

    Chicago, IL
    I'd be happy to come out of "retirement" to offer some flute and vocals. :winkgrin:

    Seriously though, Martin is looking at booking some US shows in 2013. Count me in!!!
  7. Jack White

    Jack White Forum Resident

    So I am, BTW.

    The difference between the two is that Anderson wrote the music, produced the recordings, is/ was the leader of the band, gave it its direction, and his voice is the voice of the band. My intention isn't to demean anyone else's contribution to Tull over the years and it's a shame this split and hard feelings have occurred. The exclusion of Barre and others from Anderson's current CD and tour may be unfair, but Barre's Tull cover band just seems to me to border on the embarrassingly pathetic and born out of resentment.
  8. showtaper

    showtaper Forum Resident

    Chicago, IL
    The current band is only Tull because that's how we want to perceive it.
    Ian's voice is gone, he's been milking the fan base for years and Martin
    went willingly along for the ride. Dave Pegg quit the band because he
    couldn't stand the endless "Best of" tours and did not like the new
    material Ian was writing. Perhaps things might have been different if
    Martin had been a little more assertive in his dealings with Ian.

    I love Tull, but the best thing that came out of this "split" is that Ian has
    written some of his best material in years. I'll get a lot of &^%* for this,
    but most of his solo output (prior to TAAB2) has been substandard.
  9. seed_drill

    seed_drill Forum Resident

    Tryon, NC, USA
    Pegg's been gone a long time, and, at least when he was still in the band, they were regularly recording new material, which he elected to not contribute much to (the funny "washing his hair" comment on Roots To Branches). Of course, with Fairport becoming more and more active, it was understandable that Pegg opted to focus on the band where he was the leader.
  10. seed_drill

    seed_drill Forum Resident

    Tryon, NC, USA
    I noticed that Ian's voice sounds the best it's sounded in years on the new TAAB album. I have to wonder how much of that is studio trickery, vs. just deliberately writing within his more limited range. I don't detect autotune abuse, and that wouldn't disguise a rasp anyway.
  11. tootull

    tootull John Norman

    Tull’s ‘Thick As a Brick’ Sequel a Worthy Follow-up to Rock Classic
    June 26, 2012
    By S. T. Karnick

    Some forty years after the release of the best-selling and highly influential rock music album Thick As a Brick, Ian Anderson and his band, Jethro Tull, are back at it with a sequel. Although Anderson has subsequently referred to the album as a parody of progressive rock, certainly in musical terms Thick As a Brick and its follow-up, A Passion Play, are progressive rock. And they’re very good prog rock indeed.

    Although the album’s cynical lyrics—verbal tartness being a constant of Anderson’s career—and acerbic view of bourgeois values are not what one normally associates with prog rock, there is a tradition in prog of such writing, including among big-time figures such as Emerson, Lake, and Palmer, King Crimson, and Procol Harum. So even in the lyrics department Thick As a Brick is hardly an outlier.

    The notable musical elements of TAAB, as is well-known among devotees of prog and classic rock, are, one, the clever and appealing alternation between acoustic-instrument and electric-instrument passages, and, two, the connecting of all of the songs into an album-length suite of forty-plus minutes in which musical themes repeat and intertwine. This, too, is fairly common in progressive rock (though it was rather groundbreaking at the time), but Anderson’s gift of melody and distinctive, expressive singing voice made Thick As a Brick stand out from the crowd. The album has been widely admired ever since its release four decades ago.

    One could be forgiven, then, for expecting a sequel composed and recorded in the present day to be a bit of a letdown, especially with none of the original band members other than Anderson on hand for the recording. No need to worry, however, as Thick As a Brick 2 is a worthy follow-up to that classic album.

    As with Thick As a Brick, there is a concept to the album, as the lyrics to TAAB2 deal with a character named Gerald Bostock, who has aged forty years since the first album, when he was ten years old, and they look at the man’s daily life and a search for meaning in it, while characterizing the people around him as less than sterling on average. Rather like in Thick As a Brick.

    It’s the music, however, that really impresses me. As with its esteemed predecessor, Thick As a Brick 2 has a host of appealing melodies, an interesting variety of instrumentation, and Anderson’s still-strong singing. In sum: it’s well worth adding to your collection.

    I’ll conclude with a track-by track description:

    1. “From a Pebble Thrown.” Jaunty beat and energetic vocals, sounds as if it could be from Thick As a Brick.

    2. “Pebbles Instrumental.” Instrumental led by flute, includes what appears to be an accordion or harmonium in the mix for an interesting touch, has a quick tempo and undistinguished melody but some flashy flute soloing by Anderson. In all: quite listenable.

    3. “Might Have Beens.” A recitation by Anderson, no music

    4. “Upper Sixth Loan Shark.” A brief song in which Anderson sings his usual morality-laced lyrics, with acoustic-instruments background. Likable.

    5. “Banker Bets, Banker Wins.” Driving beat, War Child-style instrumentation and melody, uses fuzzy vocals effect on some verses, stands out musically as a good (not great) song on its own.

    6. “Swing It Far.” Begins with a brief recitation by Anderson, then moves into vocal backed by acoustic guitar, adding instruments after a couple of sung verses, then alternating between deliberately paced acoustic-backed sections and quick-tempo, hard rock passages with distorted voice as in “Banker Bets, Banker Wins.”

    7. “Adrift and Dumbfounded.” Mid-tempo, medieval-style broken rhythm, emphasis on Anderson’s vocals throughout as song alternates between acoustic and electric sections. Nice.

    8. “Old School Song.” Driving beat, with Anderson singing more cynical, morality-laced lyrics in a nasal voice, sounds very like it could be from TAAB.

    9. “Wootton Bassett Town.” A quieter song, with a sparse but rather ominous arrangement including orchestral background and electric instrumentation, with flute and Anderson’s voice given prominence. The lyrics appear to be meant to convey some desperation on the part of the character singing them, and the music contributes to that effect.

    10. “Power and Spirit.” Alternates between sections with, first, a sort of fairy-tale sound, with acoustic piano and guitar, plus what sounds like a celeste and a recorder, behind Anderson’s vocal, and second, hard-rock passages with Hammond organ chords and distorted vocals. Very Thick As a Brick-y.

    11. “Give Till It Hurts.” Folk-style song with an anti-clerical lyric theme—a constant throughout Anderson’s career—and spoken-word conclusion.

    12. “Cosy Corner.” The title says it all: Anderson’s arch vocals and cynical lyrics lead the way, backed by an understated brass band.

    13. “Shunt and Shuffle.” Another midtempo song with TAAB-style arrangement and moralizing Anderson lyrics given his trademark sardonic vocal treatment.

    14. “A Change of Horses.” Begins with engaging, placid, folk -style arrangement with flute and accordion or harmonium prominent, then moves into vocal section with raga-like instrumental backing. Accordion/harmonium is given a nice solo outing, as are flute and electric guitar in a long instrumental coda. Appealing in its mild eccentricity.

    15. “Confessional.” Another song that alternates between quieter and louder passages while giving prominence to Anderson’s vocals. Thus reminiscent of TAAB and other early-’70s Tull recordings.

    16. “Kismet in Suburbia.” A hard-shuffle beat that would, like many other songs on the album, not be at all out of place on one of the band’s ’70s records. Really sounds like vintage Tull, but without striking me as old hat in any way. It’s a good sound, after all.

    17. “What-Ifs, Maybes and Might-Have-Beens.”Alternates between acoustic and electric passages (no surprise) and has another of those interesting medieval-style sprung rhythms. Hammond organ and electric guitar play prominent roles here, as do Anderson’s worldly vocals and moralistic lyrics. Closes with a passage repeating the end of TAAB, with Anderson’s vocal backed only by acoustic guitar in the same melody and very similar guitar backing. A bit of a pun at the end as Anderson sings, “And your wise men don’t know how it feels to be thick as a brick . . . too.” Or is it “two,” as in the album’s title? I don’t know or care, since it sounds appealing and I think I get the main idea of the album’s lyrics: most people are boring hypocrites.
  12. tootull

    tootull John Norman

  13. tootull

    tootull John Norman

  14. tootull

    tootull John Norman

    Planet Rock: Albums of the year . . . so far
    At #9 - TAAB2

    Read more:
    (On a side note, TAAB2 is amongst the best produced albums of the year. It's crisp and clean but warm and organic. It feels like an album that was produced for vinyl, rather than for the the digital age. As a result you really do get the various nuances of light and shade, where space is as important as noise. Modern records - especially rock records - seem to lack the subtlety of pre-digital era productions. The loudness war is a real issue these days, and producers need to work a lot harder to remember that there's more to making a great rock record than maxing out those dials for extreme dynamic compression. Porcupine Tree's Steven Wilson worked on TAAB2 along with engineer Mike Downs and mastering engineer Peter Mew, and they deserve a standing ovation for their stellar work).
  15. progrocker71

    progrocker71 Forum Resident

    Los Angeles
    Happy Birthday Ian!

    Listening to TAAB2 right now in celebration of his birthday, I like this album more with each listen, it's great!
  16. nbakid2000

    nbakid2000 On Indie's Cutting Edge

    Springfield, MO
    I was told by one mastering engineer that the drums sounded great. I was told by another that they sounded EQ'd to death and unnatural.

    Thanks to the review above, I need the 24/48khz version regardless.
  17. nbakid2000

    nbakid2000 On Indie's Cutting Edge

    Springfield, MO
    Has anyone here actually heard the hi-rez version vs the redbook? Is it worth the extra $20 or so it's going to cost me to rebuy it?

    The review above says it sounds great but I'd like to hear some other opinions.
  18. RockWizard

    RockWizard Forum Resident

    I saw the tour and his voice(for when he used it) was satisfactory. Getting the other guy to handle upper mid-high vocals was a great idea. The guy who took Martin's place....damn...he sure sounds like him. Close your eyes and you'd swear Barre is up on stage with Ian.

    The idea of Barre getting old Tull members would be great for me, since I didn't see Tull until their 20th Anniversary tour. Some of the stuff on the "Cigar Box" set was a tease, would like to see it live.
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