Jethro Tull
Bursting Out


5.0
classic

Review

by vanderb0b USER (63 Reviews)
September 20th, 2010 | 35 replies


Release Date: 1978 | Tracklist

Review Summary: If you ever needed proof that progressive rock bands can put on a good show, look no further.

It was almost a year ago today that I, for the first time, saw Ian Anderson perform live, and, to be perfectly frank, while I was definitely excited, I didn’t know what to expect as I entered the Opera House where he was to play. One must understand that the minstrel’s work hasn’t been, for the past thirty years, what can be called consistent, and his voice, marred by surgery and time, was by no means as strong as in the days of old. I sat down in my seat nervous, and walked out, an hour or so later, absolutely ecstatic: the performance was as charismatic, enthralling, and, dare I say it, flawless as one could possibly hope. Quite naturally, I soon began to wonder: if Jethro Tull could put on a hell of a good show now, when they were by no means in their prime, what would a concert of theirs at the peak of their abilities sound like? The answer, as shown in Bursting Out, is absolutely phenomenal.

Bursting Out was recorded, as implied above, when Jethro Tull was at it’s best, just after the release of Heavy Horses. The band had a strong, diverse catalogue which contained very few real missteps, and, at this point, consisted entirely of world-class musicians helmed, of course, by Anderson himself, whose voice and flute playing abilities were then at their peak. Needless to say, the performance here is exceptional. Every song sounds significantly better than on album, especially the adrenaline-filled, sped-up Locomotive Breath and Aqualung, whose acoustic section and solo are almost doubled in length.

While much of Jethro Tull’s discography can arguably be viewed as an Ian Anderson solo project, with some backing performers providing a thoroughly non-essential accompaniment, this couldn’t be farther from the truth with Bursting Out. Every one of the musicians is given their chance to shine, and shine they do: Barre’s solos are much more aggressive and dirty than they every were on record, with him eagerly spitting out bluesy licks whenever the opportunity arrises, and Evan’s keyboards, while normally subtle touches, occasionally show of his virtuosity (a prime example of this is Locomotive Breath’s intro solo). However, Bursting Out’s biggest surprise comes in the form of Barriemore Barlow. Though his drumming always was theatrical and complex, it reaches a new height here: not only does he provide a firm rhythm, but the drum set positively explodes with him in command (this is best seen in Conundrum's drum solo). However, Barlow always knows when to restrain himself and put a momentary pause to his flashy battery, and his drumming never comes across as being overly technical.

What’s perhaps even better than the performance is the setlist, as nearly every single essential Jethro Tull tune is crammed into the one-and-a-half hour-long runtime. All phases of the band’s existence thus far are equally represented, and so the album is an eclectic mix of blues, folk, and progressive rock, thus creating a large amount of variety in the album. That said, most of the songs are changed in some way or other: almost an entire half-hour is trimmed from Thick As A Brick, the overly-long No Lullaby is cut in half, subtle strings backings are added to Aqualung, and so forth. All of these changes only ameliorate the already-strong songs, making them even more enjoyable.

Jethro Tull was never, and will never be, a band without it’s flaws. Too often did they meander, too often was the performance not up to par, and far too often, the music was simply boring. And yet, not a single of these flaws is present in Bursting Out, which I can safely assert is the band’s best work to this very day.

5/5

Recommended Songs
Aqualung
Thick As A Brick
Locomotive Breath
Minstrel In The Gallery



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Comments:Add a Comment 
NeutralThunder12
September 20th 2010


8742 Comments


aqualung is the tits

vanderb0b
September 20th 2010


3473 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Yes it is, Neutral!

This was pretty hard to write. Cheers, Sputnik, it's been great writing here, thus far.

NeutralThunder12
September 20th 2010


8742 Comments


it was a nice review. Always found Tull just a little tad overrated (though I havent really listened as much as I should) but the Aqualung album is so awesome.

vanderb0b
September 20th 2010


3473 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks! Check out the live recording of the title track, locomotive breath, and cross-eyed mary on this album. They're all better than the studio versions.

NeutralThunder12
September 20th 2010


8742 Comments


cross eyed maryyyyyyyyyyy

vanderb0b
September 20th 2010


3473 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8eoATGm1VM&feature=related

Couldn't find any of the songs that I rec'd, but this one's pretty awesome too. The live version of Mary begins with Anderson playing Pop Goes The Weasel on his flute.

Jethro42
September 20th 2010


12664 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Congrats on your 50th, vander. Nice to know that you've seen Tull live. I saw them twice since the last five years, touring for the sake of touring, and I would not miss an opportunity to see them live again.
As I expected, you did a great job on your 50th. It's always a pleasure to read you, so keep it up man!
BURSTING OUT needs moar luv on Sputnik.

vanderb0b
September 20th 2010


3473 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks Jethro, cool that you got to see them live twice.! Yeah, this album needs way more love or Sputnik.

Jethro42
September 20th 2010


12664 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

You amply gave your part in doing the Tull discog. Time is gonna do the rest.
And I just realize that I missed your Immolation' review #49.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
September 20th 2010


7321 Comments


Happy 50th vanderb0b!!!

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
September 21st 2010


17025 Comments


holy shit, happy 50th man...you've become quite the reviewer. pos'd

Digging: Have a Nice Life - The Unnatural World

vanderb0b
September 21st 2010


3473 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks!

@Sowing
You've also got you're 50th coming up soon, looking forward to reading it!

Nagrarok
September 21st 2010


8325 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

50-milestone deserves auto-pos, congrats, almost half of those must be Tull reviews. Not interested enough in the band to check this out, the cover is pretty boring too (despite it being a live album).

vanderb0b
September 21st 2010


3473 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks you! Almost half (18) really are Tull reviews, the album cover is pretty boring, I agree with you there.

Jethro42
September 21st 2010


12664 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Not interested enough in the band to check this out

huh Really?...But Bursting Out is more than essential, Nag, oh wait

Nagrarok
September 21st 2010


8325 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Well I do rather like Aqualung and Thick as a Brick is excellent too, but nah, don't feel like it.

Jethro42
September 21st 2010


12664 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

yeah I can hear you, but the renditions and the setlist are 5/5.
You got a 15 min version of Thick as a Brick, Aqualung, Locomotive Breath, Cross-Eyed Mary, etc etc, so yeah

Jethro42
September 21st 2010


12664 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

AWESOME !!! 5/5, so don't miss it. Parole de Jethro.
edit: Plus, drummer Barriemore Barlow is a solid drummer on here (he did TAAB), John Bonham himself once stated that Barlow was in his top 5 drummer

JT2
June 21st 2011


94 Comments


This is an astonishingly good live album.

Jethro42
June 21st 2011


12664 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This is an astonishingly good live album.

That's right, Jamie. Bursting Out is up there with my all time favorite live albums. It's surprising to see you getting banned, man. I guess you're an innocent victim.



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