"A" by Jethro Tull: A more natural follow up to Heavy Horses?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Chemically altered, Sep 12, 2019.

  1. Chemically altered

    Chemically altered Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    In your mind
    "A" by Jethro Tull: A more natural follow up to Heavy Horses? Whenever I play Songs From The Wood and Heavy Horses, I follow those directly with "A" and not Stormwatch. Aside from the faux new wave look of the album cover, I find it a more natural follow up, especially with the song Pine Marten's Jig. I feel that the album is criminally under appreciated too. What's your take on "A"?
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019
  2. Keith V

    Keith V Forum Resident

    Location:
    Jersey City, NJ
    I prefer Stormwatch. It’s almost a natural way to wrap up the Songs-Horses trilogy. A doesn’t get many spins by me unfortunately but when I play it I’m pleasantly surprised. I try not to be clouded by the stigma attached to the album in reference to the Big Split.
     
  3. pbuzby

    pbuzby Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL, US
    Although "Pine Marten's Jig" does sound like 77-79 Tull, most of the other tracks from A seem like Ian trying to go for a younger, Jobson/U.K. influenced sound.
     
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  4. Mirsset

    Mirsset Forum Resident

    Location:
    Slovakia
    I agree that it's criminally under appreciated.
    Especially Side 1 is top notch stuff.

    But I don't consider it a follow up to Heavy Horses in any way, quite contrary.
    I see it as a way of IA to steer the band from it's 'classic' sound to some new territories.
     
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  5. DPM

    DPM Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Stormwatch is the more natural followup to Heavy Horses. However, A is criminally underrated. I like it a lot.
     
  6. BwanaBob

    BwanaBob Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maryland, USA
    In retrospect we now know that Working John Working Joe was from '77 time frame.
     
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  7. Vaughan

    Vaughan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Essex, UK
    I'm a Tull fan that think Under Wraps is great - and I don't dig "A".

    As I've written before, Side 1 is brilliant, but Side 2 is just poor. It was the first time I stumbled when listening to Tull. At least in the Vinyl days you could just play Side 1, and pretend Side 2 never happened - but in the era of CD.... yikes.

    I don't see it as a more natural fit after Horses either, sorry.

    Of all the reissues we've had in book format, I think it's been quite easy to spot the ones that wouldn't sell as well - This Was because it's largely a Blues album, and Too Old to Rock and Roll because it's always been questioned. I'd predict "A" would be another one that would hang around for some time. It's just not good enough overall and it's already had a Special Edition. I'd be open to hear any unreleased stuff from the sessions, who knows what they'd dig up, but as an album proper - I'd buy it because I want the set, rather than having a lot of expectation I'd suddenly love it. I've had 40 years to fall in love it already, and trust me, it ain't happening.
     
  8. Todd W.

    Todd W. It's a Puggle

    Location:
    Maryland
    I think This Was is fantastic and I don't know how well it did sell. Also remember that Peter Mew did a darn good job on 40th anniversary and I almost didn't buy it because I liked that one so much. What a huge mistake I almost made by not buying it. It is fantastic. I think it is better than a number of early Tull albums. For me, the run with Thick, Passion Play, War Child and Minstrel never really hit the mark. I will say of those 4, I like War Child the best. This Was better than all 4. But heck, that is just me.

    As far as A. I don't get it. I probably never will and I have tried. I bought it on vinyl when it came out. After the great three of Songs, HH, and Stormwatch. I was expecting maybe some of the same. In those days, 1980, it was tough to find out a lot of what was coming. I also liked Broadsword much better.

    To answer the OP, no, the three in a row are great and stand as a comeback, again, for me, in a bunch of Tull I wasn't really all that fond of. I didn't hate it all at all. But didn't love as much as the first 5 and including Living in the Past.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2020
  9. Vaughan

    Vaughan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Essex, UK
    Hey, don't get me wrong - I adore This Was. The set is still easy to purchase new, which is my assumption it didn't sell that well. I am grateful they decided to do a book edition.
     
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  10. Todd W.

    Todd W. It's a Puggle

    Location:
    Maryland
    I wasn't trying to knock you at all. All good...........just trying to point out a reason why I almost didn't buy it.
     
  11. john lennonist

    john lennonist There ONCE was a NOTE, PURE and EASY...


    This is my take ---->> :yikes:

    Can't stand it. :hurl:

    "Synth Tull"... their worst album in their first 20 or so years IMO.
    .
     
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  12. BrentB

    BrentB Forum Resident

    Location:
    Midwestern US
    I'm going to have to go with Stormwatch too. It completes a trilogy of outdoorsy/woodsey/wintery/folky themes quite well.
     
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  13. carlwm

    carlwm Forum Resident

    Location:
    wales
    Interesting thought, Chemically Altered.

    I like all four albums a lot and I've never questioned whether the chronology would work better with a bit of a shuffle.

    I'll give both orders a listen and get back with an opinion.
     
  14. Chemically altered

    Chemically altered Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    In your mind
    :rolleyes: I guess you never heard "Under Wraps"
     
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  15. Chemically altered

    Chemically altered Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    In your mind
    After pondering some of the more intelligent responses, I would have to say that even if A was not a more natural follow up HH, I think that the song writing is much more inspired on A.
     
  16. Deek57

    Deek57 Forum Resident

    Nah, I don't like "A" at all, "Broadsword" I dislike even more. JT ended for me at "Stormwatch", over and out.
     
  17. Mirsset

    Mirsset Forum Resident

    Location:
    Slovakia
    So you are not familiar with 'later' Tull songs like Farm on the Freeway, The Whaler's Dues or Rocks on the Road?
     
  18. Vaughan

    Vaughan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Essex, UK
    Broadsword blew my socks off. Man that one never left my turntable for weeks. I love every minute of it. When it was released with extra tracks, it was icing on top of icing. I can't even begin to compare it to "A".
     
  19. Funny that conversely, I never got the love for "Broadsword" at all... even though I'm a fan of its leftover tracks... :help:

    ...and "A" has always filled me with musical pleasure!.. :help:

    ...yet I am a fan of non-electronica Tull like everybody else! :help:
     
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  20. seed_drill

    seed_drill Senior Member

    Location:
    Tryon, NC, USA
    A, Broadsword and Under Wraps are Tull’s keyboard trilogy. Though, honestly, I think Walk Into Light is better than Under Wraps.
     
  21. Deek57

    Deek57 Forum Resident

    There was too big a change of direction for me "A" onwards. Each to their own.
     
  22. BwanaBob

    BwanaBob Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maryland, USA
    Exactly. Ian's and Peter Vettesse's choices oof synth patches are like a kids using the horrific presets on a low end Casio. Eddie Jobson was a classically trained multi-instrumental virtuoso and was always on the avant garde of musical technology. It was a crime that he didn't stick around in Tull. All the haters here must have loathed the UK/Tull Tour as well.
    If you can't appreciate the interplay of the electric violin and the flute there's no hope getting the scheiss out of your ears.
     
  23. Mirsset

    Mirsset Forum Resident

    Location:
    Slovakia
    Honestly, I'm truly grateful for A.
    Don't get me wrong, I love folk-rock trilogy and their classic albums too.
    But you can't get much further with that; either you try to explore new musical lands or repeat yourself over and over again.
     
  24. Vaughan

    Vaughan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Essex, UK
    It's fascinating - because Broadsword has a feel of a cleaner Stormwatch to me. It's not a change in direction, it's another rock album. For example, the final track on Broadsword is Cheerio, and it could have been on Songs from the Wood. ***** Willow could easily have been on "A". SLow Marching Band would have fit on Stormwatch.

    For me Broadsword was always a refinement in writing. To be honest I had no idea there were Tull fans that didn't like Broadsword until I read comments on this board. It's simply epic.
     
  25. newelectricmuse

    newelectricmuse charm, strangeness and quark

    Location:
    London
    I see A, Walk Into Light and Under Wraps as a trilogy, with Broadsword (out of order) as a development on from Stormwatch. It was a bold move to bring in the electronics on A but it was change or die for prog bands at the time. Yes and Genesis weathered the storm, ELP fell by the wayside, and Tull had a more difficult ride. Fair play to them for trying though. I like all of these albums, but then I was listening to Kraftwerk, Soft Cell, Human League and other keyboard based bands as well at the time so it didn't seem too much of a shock. We still had Ian Anderson's quirky and individual songwriting (and flute) plus Martin Barre's guitar, just with a more contemporary (at the time) backing.
     
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