Jethro Tull - The Very Best Of...

Year of Release: 2001
Label: Chrysalis/Capitol Records
Catalog Number: 7243 5 32614 2 9
Format: CD
Total Time: 78:10:00

The general mandates of the progressive rock community of recent years have commanded most new recruits, shaved concrete heads and everything, into the direction of legends such as Yes, King Crimson, ELP, and Genesis for holy illumination, thus often forgetting about one of the genre's unquestionable cornerstones: Jethro Tull. Well, private Snowball, don't worry about it, because you're only missing out on one of the most important bands of the progressive rock scene of the early seventies, so please keep forging ahead mindlessly under the orders of your instructors and just ignore this awkwardly-named act. Wait ... on second thought, don't.

Of course, if you happen to know the name of every musician that has passed through the Jethro Tull lineup by heart, and somehow managed to get a hold of a pair of Ian Anderson's tights at some point in history, you could probably do without the Full Metal Jacket intimidating nonsense. Otherwise, it might have just been the kick in the pants that you needed to check out a band that seems to often tread the oh-so-thin love/hate line, but that also remains an essential act of the play for everyone getting acquainted with the various branches that progressive rock pursued a few years after its inception. The bottom line? The Very Best Of Jethro Tull is probably the best way to get acquainted with a band that is an absolute must for every progressive rock connoisseur.

Not surprisingly, the album succeeds at showing the living essence of Jethro Tull and the evolution that has transformed it with time, but simultaneously fails to represent every album in the band's career; a task that would have doubtlessly required more than the conveniently accessible and financially enticing single disc. Even then, however, most of the many aspects of Jethro Tull, whether good or bad, rear their ugly heads throughout the course of the record. There are the not-all-too-original moments of Cream ("A New Day Yesterday") or Dire Straits ("Steel Monkey") similarity, the straddling-the-line-between good-and-bad "Bungle In The Jungle," and the plain kitschy and boring "Too Old To Rock 'n' Roll: Too Young To Die;" but the tables are easily turned by the gritty initial riff of "Aqualung," the folk enthusiasm and good spirits of "The Whistler," the healthy pretense of "Bourée," and the wonderfully threatening Eastern shadow of "Roots To Branches."

Old-time fans of Jethro Tull, however, are probably conscious of what this all means, and are actually wondering what acquiring this best of collection will get them. Well, edited versions of songs that will be considered disastrous mutilations by some diehards probably isn't going to cut it, so suffice it to say that the wealth of this record is the remastering that all the songs on the album went through, although then again some will think that the job could have been done better. If so, there is always that toasty and crispy feeling of owning every single record that your favorite band has released and that you just can't avoid. So whether you are anxiously awaiting for your fingers to tingle with pleasure as you show off your latest Tull acquisition to your family, or just want to find a way to learn more about this band and what its music could mean to you in the future, there's no way of going wrong with The Very Best of Jethro Tull.

Similar artists: Fairport Convention, Tempest

Living In The Past (3:19) / Aqualung (6:35) / Sweet Dream (4:02) / The Whistler (3:28) / Bungle In The Jungle (3:35) / The Witch's Promise (3:49) / Locomotive Breath (4:24) / Steel Monkey (3:36) / Thick As A Brick (3:) / Bourée (3:44) / Too Old To Rock'n Roll, Too Young To Die (Edited) (3:54) / Life Is A Long Song (3:16) / Songs From The Wood (4:51) / A New Day Yesterday (4:08) / Heavy Horses (Edited) (3:19) / Broadsword (4:59) / Roots To Branches (5:11) / A Song For Jeffrey (3:17) / Minstrel In The Gallery (Edited) (3:49) / Cheerio (1:10)

Ian Anderson - flutes, vocals, composer
Past & present members:

Mick Abrahams - guitars, vocals
Don Airey - keyboards
Martin Allcock - keyboards
Barriemore Barlow - drums
Martin Barre - electric and acoustic guitar, flute
Clive Bunker - drums
Paul Burgess - drums
Gerry Conway - drums
Glen Cornick - Hammond organ
Mark Craney - drums
John Evan - keyboards
Andy Giddings - keyboards
John Glascock - bass
Jeffrey Hammond - bass
Eddie Jobson - keyboards, electric violin
Dave Mattacks - drums
Jonathan Noyce - bass
David Palmer - keyboards, saxophone, string arrangements
Dave Pegg - bass
Doane Perry - drums, percussion
Peter Vettese - keyboards
Tony Williams - bass

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: November 17th 2002
Reviewer: Marcelo Silveyra
Artist website:
Hits: 759
Language: english


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