Jethro Tull was formed in 1968 out of the remains of The John Evans Band. This Was
is the name of the first record that Jethro Tull recorded in Chelsea, London in 1968. Back then Jethro Tull was pretty much a 12-bar blues band and also was the only record guitarist Mick Abrahams played on because he left the band that same year to be replaced by permanent guitarist Martin Barre. Ian Anderson is the vocalist, flutist, as well as many other instruments for this album and would go on to be the only original member that would stay in the band. Bassist Glenn Cornick would go on to play for the bands next two albums after this and drummer Clive Bunker went on for a few as well.
As I sat down to listen to this album I found it very accessible and easy to listen to. It is generally a mellow relaxing album and starts out with one of the standout tracks on the album, My Sunday Feeling
which has some groovy blues music to it and some nice flute from Ian. The entire album feels like one whole song to me most of the time and I can listen to it straight through feeling like I have only listened to one song. The guitar and bass is wonderful on here with some nice blues lines on both instruments, especially evident on Some Day the Sun Wonít Shine For You
. Beggarís Farm
has a classic blues guitar line as well to it, which is probably well known by many people, but no one knows who it is done by.
Serenade to a Cuckoo
has some very good flute playing on it that feels as if it could be played in an elevator. The six minute song mainly focuses on the playing of the flute with some music in the background most of the time. Throughout the song it hints that Ian Anderson is going to sing, but only gets out a syllable at times. The guitar starts to really rise out of the shadows half way through the song, with the flute still playing in the background. In the end the guitar and the flute really have their moments on this song and the rest of the album making them the main part of this album. Some more examples of classic flute playing is the classic A Song for Jeffery
. Featuring some great drumming, flute, and ďold man" vocals from Ian. This song is just absolutely terrific and should be heard by all fans of Jethro Tull.
Now I feel I must mention the drumming. Overall it is well done, particularly evident on the song Dharma For One
. It is definitely the main part of that song with some fast beats and great long solos. Especially near the end where it gets really crazy and then goes into a really retro beat that makes it easy for the rest of the instruments to join in and close out the song. The bass compliments the album as a whole really well and is represented nicely on songs such as My Sunday Feeling
and the wonderful Itís Breaking Me Up
Overall this album is a classic that should be checked out. This album isnít a great representation of the band as they change their sound later on in other albums, but it is still something that the utmost Jethro Tull fan must own, as well as any classic rock lover. There arenít any bad songs on the entire album and each band member shows his true talent at several points all throughout. The guitar and the flute work very well together and the bass and drums are outstanding, especially the drums. Ianís singing is good as well, but overall there isnít to much from him. Sometimes his voice sounds like an old man. That is probably done on purpose because when this album was released they wanted people to think that they were old. This review might be a bit short, but I think it represents the album well as a whole please leave feedback. Thanks!