Thick As A Brick

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VHG | 16:19 Fri 16th Oct 2015 | Music
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I "grew up" in the 1960s (I was 11 when it started and 21 when it finished) and listened to lots of music in that period: Beatles of course, Dylan, Who, Cream, Hendrix etc etc

I then got in to "progressive rock" in the late 60s and early 70s - Yes, King Crimson, Doors, Byrds, Love, and many others.

There were of course too many albums to listen in that period (and we all have "blind spots") but one group and album that passed me by at the time was Thick as a Brick by Jethro Tull.

The other day I was looking on the internet for "100 best albums" type lists and some of the lists had "Thick as a Brick" in them.

So I looked around and found it on YouTube (the full album, both sides, all 44 minutes of it).

And what a STUNNING album it is.

While it was obviously recorded in segments the songs all flow in to each other (like Sgt Pepper) so it seems almost one continuous song.

The musicianship is stunning, and they use different time signatures and so on, so even though it is continuous it is never boring.

It reminds me a little of "Close to the Edge" by Yes though not exactly the same of course.

I have now played it half a dozen times on YouTube over the last couple of days, and it is amazing. Strange here I am 66 years old discovering an "new" album after over 40 years.


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They have remastered a lot of their albums recently as part of the 40th anniversary.

They are all well worth a purchase IMHO
Jethro Tull are one of those bands I have never connected with.

I interviewed Ian Anderson when he released the follow-up album, which, of necessity I listened to, and I found impenetrable and unbearably up itself.

But - I know TAAB is very popular and influential - I am just unable to hear what its admirers hear.
Ooh you little hippy ;-)

...........and thanks for the confirmation of how old you were at the end of the 60's. I'd never have been able to work it out meself.
I was about to say you were lucky you missed it; I didn't. It's very clever but I just didn't like it.
I'll have a listen, VHG. I love a lot of the music you mentioned (and later stuff) but I have never liked Jethro Tull for some reason and never felt the urge. I must admit I don't like the title track which is playing a si type this but I'll stick with it for abit longer.

You mentioned one of my favourite groups from the Sixties, The Doors.

I was chatting to a teenager about music recently and he asked me if I'd heard of a great newish group called The Doors. he told me they had played on a Snoop Dogg track. It turned out to be a sample of Riders on the Storm sampled by Snoop Dogg and it is known to teenagers because it's in a film.
I was a lways disappointed that they didn't bring out an album called Seed Drill.

If you hurry you can see them at the roundhouse in Laaaandan:
I will admit to having a original vinyl copy of this, along with 'Benefit' and several others.
It was Ian Anderson's attempt to produce something equivalent to Tommy, by The Who.
If you go and see them, Ian Anderson is incapable of singing much these days. But he's still a wonderful flautist.
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>>You mentioned one of my favourite groups from the Sixties, The Doors.

I remember in 1967 onwards buying the first few Doors albums (Elektra was a "cool" label in those days). I loved Light My Fire and Riders on the Storm and others.

But back then this type of music was "underground" (at the time it was often called "underground music") and due to the lack of radio stations and TV channels it was often hard to hear it or see it, maybe John Peel and the Old Grey Whistle Test were the only places to hear it and see it.

The "average" member of the public never heard of groups like this (apart from when they had a hit with songs like Light My Fire)

And yet a few months ago I was walking in my local park and a young man (late 20s or early 30s I guess) was walking towards me with a Doors T shirt on which I found rather strange.

Have they "lasted" because Jim Morrison dies so young and added that mystique factor (like Hendrix, Joplin, Lennon Nirvana etc)
Ring Out Solstice Bells is just about the only Christmas-connected songs which mainstream radio stations refuse to give airtime to (it's a catchy tune but not danceable, being in 7/8).

This really deserves to be a quiz section. Guaranteed neel pwang unless a lover of obscurities is in the room.


Is it on this album, VHG?
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>>>Ooh you little hippy ;-)

Well almost, though living in a "poshish" suburb of London (Eastcote / Pinner) curtailed things a bit, as did working for the GPO as a telecommunications engineer.

However I did go to the Bath Festival of Blues and Progressive Music in 1970. Missed most of the acts due to rain delaying everything and woke to Pink Floyd at about 5 am. Missed Led Zeppelin totally, cant remember why.

I also went to see the Rolling Stones in Hyde Park (free concert) in 1969, but mainly to see "Family" though it was King Crimson who blew me away. The Stones were terrible and I left after two of their songs:

So I verged on being a hippy, though my hair was never "long" (though my father thought it was !) and I never did drugs.
When I was growing up, listening to Radio 1, there was Tony Blackburn, exposing us whippersnappers to records from years prior to our own birth and that back-catalogue inevitably shaped our tastes and purchasing decisions. John Peel you only became acquainted with when bedtimes after 10pm were permitted, in your teens. Tommy Vance if you were into rock, mixing 60s/70s classics with new wave heavy rock.

Sometime after pop became so intolerable that I stopped listening to Radio 1 (I missed the whole Mike Reid/FGTH fracas because it was "after my time" there must have been some kind of Stalinist purge and contemporary audiences were denied the back-catalogue, or so it seemed.

If you read the comments sections you will be pleased to discover that 20-somethings are discovering yesteryear's music and saying that it blows away the 'trash' in today's charts.

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>>>(it's a catchy tune but not danceable, being in 7/8).

I was watching "The making of Dark Side of the Moon" on Sky Arts the other day (for the umpteenth time) and they said Money starts in 7/8 time before going in to the "rock" section at the end which is 4/4.

Just though I would throw that in.
* my time")

** Now we have YouTube. If you read the comment sections....

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Yes I sometimes look at the comments on Amazon or YouTube for albums and you do get comments from "youngsters" who say the early 60s / 70s music is better than today's "crap" (Justin Bieber's name is often mentioned !!).

I think this is because:

1) Back then "groups" WERE "groups". They met at school or university, played at local pubs and clubs to hone their skills, then eventually got a recoding contact. By then they knew what they were doing.

2) Most could play their instruments.

3) They did not all go in to it just for the money but for the love of music. Yes, some got rich later, but Pink Floyd, The Doors and so on started out playing "unusual" music that they never thought would make them rich and famous.

Nowadays sadly many groups are thrown together on a talent show. few can play instruments, and many just go in to it to make as much money as they can.

However some like Adele etc. do have a talent.
That sounds about right, VHG.

I like Pink Floyd but, the first time I saw a photo of a small auditorium gig where the audience were seated and looking, frankly, a bit glum, I did sort of think "hmmm".

Then again, classical music fans don't dance through live performances either.

In answer to Hypgnosis re. Solstice Bells, it's on the album Songs From The Wood or the Home EP
Adele is one concession I would make to the Cowell era. Has had enough of the right (wrong) kind of life experiences to come up with her own lyrics, from which song ideas can flow.

If you're middle class, never encountered an obstacle or difficulties in your life, you can have all the instruments and equipment you desire and still produce music which the masses fail to relate to. Still 200,000 units can make a number one, these days, so don't let me discourage anyone.


Thanks. I'll stop writing and go and look for it.

We are similar in age (me born January 1951) and musical taste.

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