ARTIST: Jethro Tull
TITLE: Thick as a Brick
YEAR RELEASED: 1972
CHART ACTION: #1 US, #5 UK
SINGLES: None (for a good reason)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: The opening part of the opening part (“Really Don’t Mind”) has been on comps, and last part of part three (“From the Upper Class”) has been on the radio.
LINEUP: Ian Anderson, Martin Barre, John Evan, Jeffery Hammond-Hammond, Barriemore Barlow
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: The record where Jethro Tull says, “You want a concept album? HERE!”
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: After denying that Aqualung was a concept album, Ian Anderson and Jethro Tull gave the wankers who claimed that it was what they wanted, a freakin’ concept album with two tracks – and only two tracks (though split into four distinct sections each with interludes).
The story is long (of course, it’s a nearly 44 minute album) and really, the story isn’t what it’s all about in my ears. The lyrics fall into normal Tull-dom with pronouncements and platitudes. What’s impressive, especially on the first side, is the playing. Tull really pulls out the stops on the first part, transitioning to each part seamlessly (also good work from the engineer), and Martin Barre and John Evan shine on guitar and keyboard.
The second side kind of falls flat with some spoken fragments intermixed and the last parts don’t have the same verve and pep that keeps a listener engaged. But it’s a damn audacious record and it works for the most part, and holds up.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: The original cover opened up as a 12-page newspaper.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes. Versions with a live track (only 11 minutes!), remixes, and one version that splits the saga into eight parts.
GRADE A-: An A+ side, and a B side….really. The B-side is a B!