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Wednesday, 8 July 2020

Second is better than first. Part 3.

George writes:

I bet some people think October is a better album than Boy. There will be others who rate Boy better than October. And there will be most who say “I can’t stand either, or the rest of the load of cobblers released by U2). So you can rest assured, dear reader(s), their second album will not be part of this series, that is dedicated to groups and singers whose second album is better than their first. Today’s choices were actually proposed by a friend of mine who I’d emailed to say I was writing this series. But dear readers you can’t blame Ian, I had already most of this a week before his message.

I’m playing This Was at the farm. It’s driving the sparrows crazy. OK, maybe it was Billy the cat who was doing that. And it has sent Parsley the goat (in the foreground below, in front of Barney McGrew) away from the gate nearby me over to our border with the neighbour.  I think it’s the drum solo on “Dharma for one” that was the final straw for Parsley (well, he might just have wanted to stretch his legs).
It’s a bit of a mish-mash of an album some straightforward blues tracks (“It’s breaking me up”) that would not be out of place on a Peter Green-era Fleetwood Mac album, some jazz-flavoured songs (Serenade to a cuckoo), proto heavy metal (Cat’s squirrel), and, of course, plenty of folky-proggy-flautistry (My sunday feeling).  Maybe it was the latter that caused Mick Abrahams to leave “The Tull”.

So a perfectly good album, and like many good albums, one or two tracks are not that good but overall, one that is certainly not in the “what the hell was I thinking” pile (Mary Black for example, LL Cool J, Muse….) 

The “difficult second album” is Stand Up. Now of course there will be some misguided souls who think Stand Up is almost unlistenable Pah! What do they know? It’s more focused than the first album, and the music is becoming that almost trademark Jethro Tull sound, a more acoustic tone, changes of musical direction in a song (Back to the family being a fine example), lots of flautistry. There’s something about songs such as “Look Into The Sun” that have a sort of understated feel, as if the singer is bottling up a feeling (Shaggy has just wandered over, to nod his seal of approval).

 And as I listened to “We Used To Know” I thought it sounded very familiar. What do you think?

Do you think The Eagles were early Tull fans?

And there’s not enough acoustic-prog on these pages:

I do like both albums, though, but Stand Up is one of those albums where……….. “Second is better than first

Thank you kindly

CC writes:
FFS - Jethro Tull. No wonder one of the goats peed on his foot.


  1. Ian, mentioned at the start, emailed me to say this "We're not alone in this choice, George.. "Still one of my all-time favourite Tull albums" writes Ian Anderson in the sleeve notes to the 2001 remastered album. If you're lucky enough to own the original album (I lost mine) you'll have the added bonus of a pop-up interior! Now that would spook the goats.."

    1. The Ian you mention is Ian Anderson, isn't it? Its a shame to see him reduced to this (no disrespect intended to CC)

  2. Even the pictures of cute animals are not attracting the punters this week George!

  3. I prefer their 80s stuff when they tried to sound like Dire Straits.

    You're right about U2 though.

  4. Also, one of the reasons you might not have had many visitors today, CC, is that this post hasn't shown up in my sidebar. Yesterday's is still showing as your latest post. I think this has happened before... I'm not saying it always happens when George is here... I'm not suggesting a conspiracy...

    1. It showed up on my sidebar on about Sunday but when I clicked there was a message saying it wasn't available. Then it disappeared and never came back - only spotted it while I was looking at your 4x2x7 post

  5. (I'm also not suggesting that people visit your blog via my sidebar. Just that if it hasn't refreshed there, it probably won't have refreshed in everyone else's blog list.)

  6. There, you've got 8 comments. Happy now?

  7. Hey, what's with all this 'Tull are scaring people away' seditious talk nonsense? They're one of my absolute favourite bands......ever, I grew up with them as a late teenager and lasted until about the Songs From The Wood/Heavy Horses period when I diversified a bit more and sort of lost touch. Still got all their albums since though out of a sense of loyalty. I always think the real Tull started with Stand Up anyway as Mick Abrahams left the band after This Was and Ian Anderson asserts total control moving away from the blues rock jazz type fusion of the debut. George is dead right about the Eagles outrageous lifting of the We Used To Know opening. Could never understand why Anderson didn't pursue then for plagiarism unless of course he'd lifted the melody himself from somewhere else and didn't want to draw attention to it! Many thanks to George for this post as it's gonna make me revisit all my Tull albums again this coming week.

  8. In spite of my musical history with both prog and folk, Tull were one of those bands I never did get into. Then, a year or so ago, I picked up a couple of their early albums on CD from a charity shop for pennies and, needless to say, loved them both. It's early days yet, but I'm beginning to correct the error of my ways.