Jethro Tull - The Jethro Tull Christmas Album

Year of Release: 2003
Label: Fuel 200
Catalog Number: 061340
Format: CD
Total Time: 59:11:00

Could there be a more appropriate day than Christmas Eve to listen and review a holiday album by Jethro Tull? This being their very first holiday recording [ever] since their first album [was released] in 1968 (This Was) makes it a real jewel for the ages, particularly for the many progressive rock enthusiast such as yours truly. [The 1991 reissue of This Was did contain "Christmas Song" as a bonus track ?ed.]

I got a taste of this music this past summer at a concert in Tanglewood (Lenox, Mass.) [see review] and thought it was very entertaining with just enough classic JT sound (think of "Heavy Horses" and "Songs From The Wood") to make it interesting. The Jethro Tull Christmas Album has plenty of tradition sprinkled about it to qualify it as a seasonal recording, although at times I got so wrapped up in the progression of the music I forgot I was listening to the spirit of the season. That factor does not make the album loose its appeal however, as it is one of their best recordings, right up there with the many classic releases that they have given us over the past four decades.

Tracks like "Holly Herald" will get you in the mood and make you feel like you are on an old-fashioned backcountry English horse and sleigh ride whilst coming about to a sudden stop to do an Irish gig (in between a swift musical change). Those are just some of the wonderful changes the music goes through during the course of one composition, and that is exactly what makes Jethro Tull so magnificent and this album so extraordinary. The variety and spice is plentiful in every song on this album, you can count on that.

The music is truly magical and filled with great musicianship, the kind I have come to expect from Ian Anderson and his band of merry men. I always feel like I can step out my world and live in enlightenment for short time thanks to this great music. Ah yes, tidings of comfort and joy came out of my speakers on this day. Merry Christmas and God bless Jethro Tull.

Birthday Card At Christmas (3:37) / Holly Herald (instrumental) (4:16) / A Christmas Song (2:47) / Another Christmas Song (3:31) / God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen (instrumental) (4:35) / Jack Frost And The Hooded Crow (3:37) / Last Man At The Party (4:48) / Weathercock (4:17) / Pavane (instrumental) ( 4:19) / First Snow On Brooklyn (4:57) / Greensleeved (instrumental) (2:39) / Fire At Midnight (2:26) / We Five Kings (instrumental) (3:16) / Ring Out Solstice Bells (4:04) / Bour?e (instrumental) (4:25) / A Winter Snowscape (instrumental) (4:57)

Dave Pegg - bass, mandolin
Martin Barre - acoustic and electric guitars
Andy Giddings - organ, bass, accordion, keyboards, keyboard bass
Doane Perry - percussion, drums
Jonathan Noyce - nass
James Duncan - drums
Gyula Benk? - viola
G?bor Csonka - violin
Andr?s Sturcz - cello
Sturcz String Quartet
Ian Anderson - acoustic guitar, flute, mandolin, percussion, piccolo, vocals
P?ter Szil?gyi - violin

This Was (1968)
Stand Up (1969)
Benefit (1970)
Aqualung (1971)
Thick As A Brick (1972)
Living In The Past (1972)
A Passion Play (1973)
War Child (1974)
Minstrel In The Gallery (1975)
M.U. The Best Of (1976)
Too Old To Rock 'N' Roll: Too Young To Die (1976)
Songs From The Wood (1977)
Repeat - The Best Of Jethro Tull Vol 2 (1977)
Heavy Horses (1978)
Bursting Out - Live (1978)
Stormwatch (1979/2004)
'A' (1980)
The Broadsword And The Beast (1982/2005)
Under Wraps (1984)
Original Masters (1985)
Crest Of A Knave (1987/2005)
20 Years Of Jethro Tull (1988)
Rock Island (1988)
Catfish Rising (1991)
A Little Light Music (1992)
The Anniversary Collection (1993)
25th Anniversary Box Set (1993)
Nightcap (1995)
Roots To Branches (1995)
J-Tull Dot Com (1999)
The Very Best Of (2001)
Living With The Past (2002)
The Jethro Tull Christmas Album (2003)
Classic Masters (2003)
Stand Up/This Was (2003)
Essential (2003)
Nothing Is Easy: Live At The Isle Of Wight 1970 (2004)
Aqualung Live (2005)
Jethro Tull/Ian Anderson (2005)
Extended Versions (2006)
Live At Montreux 2003 (2007)
The Best Of Acoustic Jethro Tull (2007)
Living With The Past/Nothing Is Easy (2008)
This Was (expanded) (2008)
Nothing Is Easy - Live At The Isle Of Wight 1970 (2004/2008)
The Anniversary Collection/A New Day Yesterday (2008)
Live At Montreux 2003 (2008)
Live At Madison Square Garden (2009)
Christmas Album (2009)
Live In Switzerland 2003 (LP) (2014)
A Passion Play - An Extended Performance (2014)
War Child - 40th Anniversary Theatre Edition (2014)
Minstrel In The Gallery - 40th Anniversary La Grande Edition (2015)

Living With The Past (DVD) (2002)
A New Day Yesterday: 1969-1994 - The 25th Anniversary Collection (VID/DVD) (1994/2003/4)
Nothing Is Easy - Live At The Isle Of Wight 1970 (DVD) (2005) Live At Montreux 2003 (DVD) (2008)
Jack In The Green - Live In Germany (DVD) (2008)
Live In Bethlehem, PA, 2003 (DVD) (2008)
Their Full Authorized Story (DVD) (2009)
Live At AVO Session 2008 (DVD) (2009)
Live At Madison Square Garden (DVD) (rec 1978, rel 2009)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin UK

Added: January 11th 2004
Reviewer: Keith "Muzikman" Hannaleck
Artist website:
Hits: 1064
Language: english


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