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Reelin’ in the Years 195: Wond’ring Aloud (and Wond’ring Again)

One of the more understated tracks on Jethro Tull’s 1971 LP Aqualung was this acoustic ditty, Wond’ring Aloud.

Jethro Tull: Wond’ring Aloud

On the compilation album Living in the Past, was this reworking/extension, Wond’ring Again, which may be Ian Anderson’s masterpiece. A meditation on humanity’s propensity to mess things – especially the planet – up. From forty years ago!

It’s also a perfect example of Anderson’s lyricism, moving from the poetic to the mundane within a sentence.

Jethro Tull: Wond’ring Again

Tull at Christmas: First Snow on Brooklyn

Another from Tull’s Christmas album. I doubt when they started up as a blues band that they thought they would ever make and release such an offering. A sign of softening, I suppose. But then age comes to us all (if we’re lucky.)

Merry Christmas!

Jethro Tull: First Snow on Brooklyn

Something Changed 35: Kiss From a Rose

A bit of “Hey Nonny Nonny” this week. Not from the middle ages but from 1994.

(The oboe is a wee bit reminiscent of Jethro Tull’s Coronach.)

Seal: Kiss From a Rose

Tull at Christmas: Fire at Midnight

Merry Christmas one and all.

This song was on Tull’s Christmas album in a remastered form but originally appeared on Songs From the Wood. This, the earlier version, sounds warmer to me.

Jethro Tull: Fire at Midnight

Reelin’ In the Years 162: Locomotive Breath

Tull in their pomp. An acknowledgement of their bluesy origins in the intro leading into a complete rock-out and then one of Ian Anderson’s trademark flute solos. The mix of blues and rock also pointed to Prog Rock leanings but Tull always denied they ever purveyed Prog.

Edited to add. This video has the LP track overdubbed onto concert footage.

Jethro Tull: Locomotive Breath

Tull at Christmas: Last Man at the Party

From The Jethro Tull Christmas Album. Though this one is more appropriate for New Year’s Day.

Jethro Tull: Last Man at the Party

Merry Christmas, everybody.

Not Friday on my Mind 49: Legend of a Mind. RIP Ray Thomas

Ray Thomas, who died this week was a multi-instrumentalist not very well-served by most of the time on stage with The Moody Blues merely flourishing a tambourine or otherwise not seeming to do very much. That perception would be to undervalue him greatly.

It was his contribution as a flautist where he really counted, a contribution that only added to the already distinctive sound of the band. As a flautist in a rock band he was for a while unique. (Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull came along later as did Peter Gabriel with Genesis.) That flute embellished mightily the power of Nights in White Satin, the song which became emblematic of the revamped Moody Blues.

A founder member of the band in its first (bluesy) incarnation – Go Now etc – his solid bass voice enhanced the vocal harmonies which were so much a part of the re-incarnated band’s sound.

For some odd reason there seemed to be a regular order of song-writers in those early albums by the “new” Moodies with Thomas always having song three* on side one as one of his spots.

Among his songs were Another Morning*, Twilight Time, Dr Livingstone, I Presume?*, Dear Diary*, Lazy Day, Floating*, Eternity Road, with his collaborations with Justin Hayward, Visions of Paradise and Are You Sitting Comfortably? being especially memorable.

It was song five, side one on In Search of the Lost Chord, though, that was his apotheosis. That song was Legend of a Mind with a lyric about Timothy Leary and supposed mind expansion, “Timothy’ Leary’s dead, No, no, no, no, he’s outside looking in.” Apparently Leary once told Thomas the song made him more famous than anything he had ever done for himself.

But who needed drugs when music itself could be this transportive?

Here’s a promotional film for Legend of a Mind made around the time of its first release. Thomas’s flute solo here is sublime.

The Moody Blues: Legend of a Mind

Ray Thomas: 29/12/1941 – 4/1/2018. So it goes. Thanks for the trips round the bay.

Tull at Christmas: Holly Herald

Not vintage Tull I’m afraid. But it’s that time of year so here’s Ian Anderson’s reworking of several Christmas tunes in the Tull style. From The Jethro Tull Christmas Album released in 2003.

Jethro Tull: Holly Herald

Merry Christmas everybody.

Reelin’ In the Years 140: Up the Pool

I’ve still not caught up with happenings while I was away.

However, following on from yesterday’s post.

For the Lancashire coast’s heritage.

Originally from the Life’s a Long Song extended player then on the compilation Living in the Past.

Jethro Tull: Up the Pool

Reelin’ In the Years 138: Life’s A Long Song

I just love the rhyming in this song’s lyric.

The only slight blemishes in its perfection are the lack of any assonance (rather than rhyme) in song/fill at the end of the first refrain – though song/dawn and song/all in the second and third are fine in that regard – and that in the last line of the first verse fret doesn’t rhyme with fear and cheer.

When you’re falling awake and you take stock of the new day,
And you hear your voice croak as you choke on what you need to
Well, don’t you fret, don’t you fear, I will give you good cheer.

Life’s a long song. Life’s a long song. Life’s a long song. If you wait then your plate I will fill.

As the verses unfold and your soul suffers the long day,
And the twelve o’clock gloom spins the room, you struggle on your
Well, don’t you sigh, don’t you cry, lick the dust from your eye.

Life’s a long song. Life’s a long song. Life’s a long song. We will meet in the sweet light of dawn.

As the Baker Street train spills your pain all over your new dress,
And the symphony sounds underground put you under du
Well don’t you squeal as the heel grinds you under the wheels.

Life’s a long song. Life’s a long song. Life’s a long song. But the tune ends too soon for us all.

But the tune ends too soon for us all.

Jethro Tull: Life’s A Long Song
Ian Anderson: Life’s A Long Song, Chamber version

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