Jethro Tull - A Passion Play appreciation thread

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by BryanA-HTX, Jun 26, 2020.

  1. BryanA-HTX

    BryanA-HTX Crazy Doctor Thread Starter

    Houston, TX
    I see this album constantly get the absolutely trashed by Tull fans. I never got the hate, I've always enjoyed this album. I think it's almost if not just as good as its predecessor Thick as a Brick (though I prefer the two albums before these two to be honest but we're splitting hares here).

    Anyone else a fan of this album? I remember reading that Steve Harris of Iron Maiden was a big fan of this album so at least I'm not the only one so far that enjoys this much maligned album. :cool:
  2. GodShifter

    GodShifter Low Key Faded Bro®

    Dallas, TX, USA
    It's probably a top five Tull album for me. I love it. Tull is a top five band for me, too, so that says something about my admiration for this album.

    It's generally seen as a more bombastic, elongated, and more difficult version of Thick as a Brick and, perhaps, that's true, but I've always really, really liked this album. The ideas and musicianship is absolutely stellar.
  3. StarThrower62

    StarThrower62 Forum Resident

    Central NY
    I love the 40th Anniversary Edition. The extra album is a great bonus.
  4. DK Pete

    DK Pete Forum Resident

    Levittown. NY
    Tull are my favorite 70's band. My top three albums in order are, TAAB, Aqualung and APP. To my ears, APP is one of the foremost creative (both conceptually and musically), melodically rich Rock albums of the 70's and well beyond. As a kid very seriously obsessively into music and with friends, likewise, I found the following; the casual Tull fans weren't too nuts about it. But those who were diehards and were musicians to boot, thought it was brilliant. I personally feel this way to this day.
  5. Scope J

    Scope J Senior Member

    Why, I think it's a bit good

  6. joepepitone

    joepepitone the Lord Sri Krsna's grace

    I love that LP and bought it the day it was released in 1973. John Evan shines throughout. Saw them twice on that tour, Madison Square Garden and Nassau Coliseum.
  7. scoutbb

    scoutbb Forum Resident

    I never really got into it until I got the Steve Wilson remix. Now it’s in my Tull top 5 and easily surpasses anything that came out after the 70’s. Barry Barlow’s drumming has always been mesmerizing, but he really shines on this album.
    DK Pete, DonnyMe, fishyboots and 3 others like this.
  8. BryanA-HTX

    BryanA-HTX Crazy Doctor Thread Starter

    Houston, TX
    At least your hare isn't this:ignore:

  9. Jamsterdammer

    Jamsterdammer Forum Resident

    A Passion Play is one of my favorite Tull albums (disclaimer: a lot of their albums are among my favorites). Beautiful intricate music and an interesting story line. The only minus is "The Story Of The Hare...", which is great hearing it for the first few times, but then it quickly wears off its welcome. As I said on a different thread a week or so ago, I edited it out and it's perfect. The parts immediately following "The Hare" are among my very favorite Tull moments.
    DK Pete and Mr. LP Collector like this.
  10. Progatron

    Progatron Wealthy industrialist philanthropist & bicyclist

    Ontario, Canada
    My favourite Tull album and my #2 of all time, just behind Topographic Oceans (apparently I have a thing for the 'dense, challenging, step-too-far' albums :p). Passion Play takes you on a journey, and has some absolutely dazzling moments IMO.

    The Wilson remix set is brilliant with the restored bit and the complete Chateau tapes without the 90s overdubs. Hard to believe Wilson had to convince Anderson to not skip over that album in the remix series (as he had suggested)!
    pdenny, yesstiles, squittolo and 8 others like this.
  11. footlooseman

    footlooseman Forum Resident

    it’s both densely liturgical and stunning in execution but with that said it’s still a tough to listen too unless really in a mood besides a self flagellating one
  12. Jamsterdammer

    Jamsterdammer Forum Resident

    I actually think this is my least favorite remix of all Wilson's Tull remixes (which I think are generally excellent). Especially on "side 2" ("Overseer" part) he left certain things out of the remix that I find baffling. I can therefore only listen to the original stereo mix.
    Agree with you on Topographic Oceans. One of my favorite albums as well (can't say THE favorite, but it's up there). And Steven Wilson did a fantastic job with the remix.
    showtaper likes this.
  13. SJB

    SJB Beloved Parasitic Nuisance

    I love the album and I don't quite get Ian's oft-stated regret for using the soprano and sopranino saxophones. (They bug me a lot less than the tenor sax that saturates just about every other record from the early 1970s.)

    The album is a little dense and self-indulgent, but that was de rigeur in 1973. "Hare" is their wink to the audience, signaling that they don't take themselves too seriously.

    Wilson's remix is definitive, and the presence of the abandoned Château tapes enhances the package. There is some great material on the scrapped first draft, and the finished album is all the more impressive when you realize it's a hasty rewrite, racing to beat the deadline of an impending tour.
    squittolo and Tristero like this.
  14. mike s in nyc

    mike s in nyc Forum Resident

    new york, NY
    i havent heard it in a while, but always found it an interesting and challenging record- i love thick as a brick and need to spend some more time with passion play. i just recently ordered the cd version 'an extended performance' - a one cd release that i think is the steve wilson remix? havent' recieved it yet, but looking forward to skipping 'story of the hare' (which as someone mentioned, is fun a few times but then not so much) and listening to it hare-less straight thru and having fun. (my present copy of the album is just banded side one and side two, as i rmeember)

    one thing about that record I remember (and to a lesser extent, on warchild as well) is that Ian Anderson does a lot of saxophone playing, which is an interesting dynamic and sound for the band. Note really commented on a lot as far as i know.
    wish i had the big 40th anniv box, tho its way expensive these days.
    Jamsterdammer likes this.
  15. Guy from Ohio

    Guy from Ohio Forum Resident

    I bought it as a teenager when it was first released, liked it then and still like it.
  16. O Don Piano

    O Don Piano Forum Resident

    I think it was really just the hip rock critics and latter-day Prog scoffers who don't like this album.
    All of my JT fanatic friends really like this album quite a lot.
    It's inventive, well played and arranged.
    Its not as "light" and good-humored as Thick As A Brick, but it's a different album!

    The "Magus Perde" edit part rocks along nicely! A great guitar riff; and when it slows down slightly at the very end, to me, it's thrilling!
    Not to mention the inspirational lyrics in the middle section: "Break the circle/Stretch the line/ Call upon the Devil/ Bring the god's/ the god's own fire/In the conflict, revel!"
    One of their greatest pieces as far as I'm concerned.
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2020
  17. SonicBob

    SonicBob Forum Resident

    West Virginia
    It took me a little while to enjoy the artistic merits and creative drive within this truly "conceptual" piece. But I do love it and I feel that even though the original "Chateau" tapes would've made for an interesting alternative as was originally the intention, re-doing the record turned out to be a happy "Di'saster"(haha)....I remember some 20 odd years ago getting a bit organic with some fungus one night and listened to this album quite intently. Needless to say, it was quite the rewarding experience....
    mike s in nyc likes this.
  18. lee59

    lee59 Member Envy

    Hollister, CA
    My favorite Tull album.

    Solidified more so with the Steven Wilson remix.
    DK Pete, BwanaBob and DonnyMe like this.
  19. peskypesky

    peskypesky Forum Resident

    Even though I've been a Tull fan since the 70s, I have only recently started listening to it. At first, I wasn't that crazy about it. But after a few spins, I'm really liking it.
    StarThrower62 likes this.
  20. SJB

    SJB Beloved Parasitic Nuisance

    HDTracks has a CD-resolution download of the 2CD stereo mix.
    No booklet or surround mix but you do get all 105 minutes of music from the box set for $19.
    mike s in nyc likes this.
  21. :righton: Love it. I have always preferred it to 'Thick as A Brick'.
    yesstiles, spindly and DK Pete like this.
  22. folkfreak

    folkfreak Forum Resident

    I can't say that I prefer one Tull album to another. They're all at the absolutely top position here and A Passion Play makes no difference.
    I love it since I first heard it.
    DK Pete and showtaper like this.
  23. john lennonist

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


    I was the World's Biggest Tull Fan in 1972, and when "A Passion Play" came out I thought it was awful.

    I still regard it as the biggest musical disappointment in my life.

    Over time I've come to enjoy a couple of sections of it but I still think it's pretty bad.

    I now understand that due to the Château D'Isaster sessions they had to record it quickly due to an already-scheduled tour -- but that doesn't make it a better album than it is.

    Plus his sax tone sucks... should have stuck with flute.

    They didn't hit bottom like this for me until the album "A" was released.
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2020
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  24. DPM

    DPM Forum Resident

    I've always liked A Passion Play though I do find it to be a slight step down from Thick As A Brick. Still, the music is stellar, and Ian laid down some of his best vocals on this odd little album. I too don't get Ian's hate for the saxophone. It's a wonderful instrument.

    As for Steven Wilson's remix, I consider it more of a sidestep than an improvement on the original--which was never considered lacking by anyone I know. The old MFSL gold CD sounds great.
    DK Pete and Mr. LP Collector like this.
  25. John Buchanan

    John Buchanan I'm just a headphone kinda guy.

    I think IA hated, in particular, the soprano saxophone.

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