Jethro Tull
Thick as a Brick


5.0
classic

Review

by Hellwhore USER (1 Reviews)
April 6th, 2012 | 13 replies


Release Date: 1972 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Jethro Tull wrote an extremely ambitious and unique album... and it worked astonishingly well!

At the end of the 60s, the Psychedelic wave that had hit it was showing the earliest signs of changing. It would not disappear, however, and would instead manifest itself into a genre both remarkably similar and completely different; Progressive Rock. This genre was new and exciting, taking the expert musicianship and mysticism and expanding on them in a much more structured manner. The genre gave rise to many new bands, each of which was completely unique and moulded the genre in different, interesting ways. Perhaps the most interesting of these was Jethro Tull, and perhaps their most interesting album was Thick as a Brick.

Thick as a Brick was the first song to span an entire album, reaching a previously unheard-of time of 43:46. This album would have seemed impossible to many of the other bands of the time; the song would get boring, or they would run out of ideas, or they would just not be up to the task. Not Jethro Tull. They took on the task, and produced what I believe to be the best concept album of the 70s. Supposedly written by 8 year old 'Little Milton', the album centres mainly around the difficulties and pleasantries of growing up, but was also written as a satirical take of all the other progressive rock albums being written at the time, as Ian Anderson dismissed them as 'pretentious' and 'obnoxious'.

The album starts with some soft acoustic guitar playing, then joined by Ian Anderson's fantastically fitting voice, and some flute playing. The band then joins, and this continues for a few minutes, until we see the rock side of the band join in, with an Aqualung-esque beat with a more complex guitar and bass riff and some wind instruments for good measure. We see lots of solo play between the guitarist and the organist, but each instrumentalist shines in the first half of the album, and there are multiple variations in the tune, keeping you captivated throughout the entire half.

This captivation is maintained throughout the second half as well, as the parts segue perfectly into each other, again blending their folky backgrounds with their later rock, and their newly discovered progressive sound creating the unique mixture the era thrived on. We see a reprise of the Aqualung-esque riff, followed by an incredible drum solo by Barriemore Barlow. This is followed by a long break, then some more excellent folky moments, before launching into the emotional finale of the song. This is the verse that really deals with the morals of the song, in a brilliantly worded and expertly played flurry. Afterwards, we see a reprise or two of some earlier points of the song, before being left with how the album started, and finally being left with the lines that are the namesake of the album 'and your wise men don't know how it feels to be Thick as a Brick'.

Overall, Jethro Tull have delivered what they promised in an interview all those years ago; the mother of all concept albums. And they did so with such style, and such prowess, that you can't help but be left reeling by it. Definitely one for the ages.


user ratings (1094)
Chart.
4.5
superb
other reviews of this album
e210013 (5)
The father, or mother as Ian Anderson said, of all concept albums....

vanderb0b (5)
One of the most essential progressive albums to ever be created, Thick As A Brick deserves a spot in...

pulseczar (5)
...

AvantKiller (5)
The only way to hear a 40 minutes long song without being boring, is definetly this. "Thick as a Bri...


Comments:Add a Comment 
sideburndude
April 6th 2012


2782 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

The best album.

vanderb0b
April 6th 2012


3473 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Love this album so much, some of the best prog rock ever written. Out of curiosity, has anybody here heard Thick as a Brick 2, which came out a couple days ago?

Jethro42
April 7th 2012


15571 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

sup vanderbob, where have you been! So TAAB II is already released...? I can't wait for that one. TAAB

is indeed a timeless masterpiece. I'm gonna read your review later, Hellwhore. Meanwhile I suggest you

to add to your recs Roy Harper's Stormcock.

taylormemer
April 7th 2012


4962 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Yeah, I listened to it today. Pretty good stuff.

Okard
April 7th 2012


2 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Great review. Just gave TAAB2 a listen, and really enjoyed it.

YetAnotherBrick
April 7th 2012


6691 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

prolly my fave classic prog album

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
April 7th 2012


4503 Comments


Great review. I got Aqualung for free on vinyl at a yard sale today, I've never really heard their music before so i'm definitely going to play it.

JamieTwort
April 7th 2012


26988 Comments


Amazing album. Great review too.

TAAB2 is really good.

vanderb0b
April 7th 2012


3473 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

So, I gave TAAB2 a listen, and it's quite good, though it is inferior to the original.

sup vanderbob, where have you been!


Sup, Jetrho! I've been really busy with school stuff this year, so I've had little time and energy for Sputnik.

tarkus
April 7th 2012


5567 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

sweet first review



i didnt like this album as much as everyone else

Jethro42
April 7th 2012


15571 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Welcome back vanderbob, dude. nice to see you around.



I just dl TAAB II. I shall listen to it sometime later.



@tarkus, please change your rating before everyone could see it =P

JamieTwort
April 7th 2012


26988 Comments


This is one of the easiest 5's I've ever given.

Okard
April 7th 2012


2 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Saying TAAB2 is inferior to the original is true but unfair, given how good the original is.



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