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A Passion Play CD

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Audio CD, CD, May 20, 2003
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Song Title Time Price
listen  1. A Passion Play (Part 1) (2003 - Remaster)21:36Album Only
listen  2. A Passion Play (Part 2) (2003 Digital Remaster)23:32Album Only

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Early in 1968, a group of young British musicians, born from the ashes of various failed regional bands gathered together in hunger, destitution and modest optimism in Luton, North of London. With a common love of Blues and an appreciation, between them, of various other music forms, they started to win over a small but enthusiastic audience in the various pubs and clubs of Southern England. ... Read more in Amazon's Jethro Tull Store

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A Passion Play + WarChild (2CD/2DVD) + Benefit (Deluxe 2xCD+DVD)
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 20, 2003)
  • Original Release Date: 1973
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Parlophone
  • ASIN: B00008G9JM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (242 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #108,184 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Their #1 smash LP from '73, an amazingly ambitious album, dense with fantasy imagery and religious references. This reissue is an enhanced CD featuring video of The Story of the Hare Who Lost His Spectacles taken from the 25 Years of Jethro Tull VHS release!


Following quickly on the heels of their career-defining Aqualung and Thick as a Brick, Ian Anderson's Jethro Tull demonstrated that their musical and thematic ambitions were as muscular as ever on 1973's Passion Play. But if Thick was a bit tongue in cheek about its conceptual conceits, Passion was a dizzying example of the prog-rock era's overweening musical aspirations at their zenith. Anderson now sums up it its obtuse, theater-as-metaphor libretto as "the theme of post-death meanderings in another world," but the sheer propulsive tension of Tull's sprawling musical interplay insures its folk-rooted baroque and roll a tight orbit around this mortal coil for nearly the album's entirety. This digitally remastered, enhanced CD edition features the complete video for the album's Lewis Carroll-esque interlude "The Hare Who Lost His Spectacles," a theatrical program and typically self-effacing new introduction by Ian Anderson. --Jerry McCulley

Customer Reviews

In 2003, the album was re-released as a remastered CD and sounds excellent.
Terrence J. Reardon
One listen, 10 listens, 100 listens...you can find something new and exciting in the music or lyrics each time.
The Only Reviewer That Matters
The Passion Play has to be one of the most unique pieces of "rock" music ever created.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

100 of 102 people found the following review helpful By James S. Morris on September 11, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Well let me start by saying that if you're sick of the music that's popular, uninspired, predictable, overplayed, and safely within the skill level of any old musician, then A Passion Play is your cure! It is the opposite of all these things. On the other hand, if you are perfectly happy just hearing "Honky Tonk Women" 5 times a day on the radio then stay AWAY from A Passion Play.
As a continuation of their parody of concept albums, Ian A. and Co. created this piece with the obvious intent of challenging themselves and their listeners to the utmost extent. It is brilliant and ridiculous, triumphant and melancholy, satisfying and disappointing. The music will lead up to what you hope will be a thrilling climax, and then completely die. It is easily one of the most densely inaccessible albums ever recorded. However, it is also ingenious. Another reviewer was right in saying that basically all the other rock & roll innovators combined could never have concocted such a ludicrously awesome creative masterpiece as this. The playing here is completely off the hook; the best you'll ever hear on a rock album, especially considering the extreme difficulty of the music. The lineup of Anderson, Barre, Hammond, Evans, and Barlow was, in my opinion, the best in Tull history. Ian's singing is so rich and full that his vocals on earlier albums just seem thin and tinny in comparison. The saxes and tastefully utilized synths are a nice addition, giving it a very distinctly different flavor from Thick as a Brick. In fact, I would say that the segment subtitled "The Overseer Overture" contains one of the saxophone's defining moments in rock music (not to mention that's the best part of the album too).
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96 of 106 people found the following review helpful By spiral_mind on April 30, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Ahh, the glorious 70s. Yes were elevating the 20-minute suite to an art form, the Who and Genesis were developing the idea of the rock opera, and outlandishness and excess seemed to be the order of the decade. Somewhere in the shuffle Jethro Tull were going through a transition between their beginnings in the blues and their era of medieval-rock to rival Ritchie Blackmore. After the brilliant Aqualung was mistakenly labeled a concept album, JT's songwriter Ian Anderson produced a 'true' concept album in the head-trip Thick As A Brick. And while deciding which direction to head in the next year, Ian and the boys sat down and put all the pieces they'd been working on into yet another album-length song. Knowing their sense of humor I wouldn't be surprised to learn that Tull aimed to make this album even more challenging and impenetrable than the previous one.. partly as a challenge to themselves, partly out of spite for the less-than-friendly critics.
And so we come to A Passion Play. Challenging it certainly is. And bizarre, earthy, intricate, wonderfully lively at times and properly sedate at others. The composing and musicianship are some of the most accomplished you'll hear on a Tull album, worthy of at least four stars. I leave off that fifth one because, while undeniably distinctive, the record can be just *too* impenetrable: often confusing and occasionally silly. APP doesn't merely test the waters of metaphorical strangeness; it gives a sly grin before diving completely off the deep end. Anderson's lyrics make next to no sense on the first few listens (and little more afterward). The music seems part rock opera and part theatrical soundtrack with plenty of oddities (heartbeats, harpsichord, glockenspiel) thrown in.
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64 of 70 people found the following review helpful By James P. Walters on November 22, 2005
Format: Audio CD
While so many of the rock bands of the seventies were "just a little touch of make up, just a little touch of bull, just a three chord trick embedded in your platform soul" (as Ian Anderson put it on "Crazed Institution") Tull were doing things that were in another space and time. And while not everything worked, they were never dull. A Passion Play has stood the test of time. Like a great piece of art, you can return to it endless times and discover something new. It is all at once pathetically shallow and profoundly deep, toe tappingly musical and irritatingly dischordant, it threatens to soar into brilliance, only to dwindle into nothingness, it is beautiful and clumsy, elegant and gawkish. It is music with a sense of humour. Like the comedy masters of the time who would never advertise a punch line, Tull keep you guessing. You never get what you expect. After all, familiarity breeds contempt.

A classic. Five stars.
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76 of 85 people found the following review helpful By Nothintosay on November 18, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Actually 4 1/2 stars . A Passion Play is a bit more melodic than Thick As A Brick .There is less of Martin Barres guitar and more of John Evans synth . The themes of the album are quite similar to Thick ' ... one wonders if Gerald Bostock had a hand in penning the lyrics , although The Hare Who Lost His Spec-a-ticles would suggest otherwise . I've heard a lot of people mentioning the fact that Jethro Tull should be in The Rock And Roll Hall of Fame . Its albums like Passion Play that will probably keep them out . All of rocks royalty from the Stones to the Clash To Zepp to Aerosmith couldnt , in their wildest dreams come up with something as imaginative as Passion Play . And while these and future hall of famers like Nirvana and Metallica are at the podium having thier butts kissed by the industry and thier peers ...I'll be sittin at home grinning over the fact that Tull is not a part of this nonsense .
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