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Thick As A Brick

4.7 out of 5 stars 265 customer reviews

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Audio CD, June 16, 1997
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Digitally Remastered. Bonus Tracks Include: Thick As A Brick (Live At Madison Square Gardens) & 1978 Interview.

Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 16, 1997)
  • Original Release Date: 1972
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Parlophone
  • ASIN: B00000AOUD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (265 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,391 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD
"Thick As A Brick" has had to contend with two obstacles since its release. The first was that it was the follow-up release to "Aqualung" - considered by many as "the" Jethro Tull album - and thus had to (for many listeners) improve upon perfection. The second, and more difficult to overcome, problem is its sheer size. A 43 minute epic song with multiple layers of lyrical meaning always runs the risk of becoming the musical equivalent of "War and Peace" - that is, an epic that everyone wants to claim to have heard or read but no one actually wants to do go to the trouble of hearing or reading.
In typical Tull style, both problems were overcome with flying colours. The combination of soaring electric guitar and "Olde Englishe" folk motifs that created the Tull sound on "Aqualung" was continued and embellished here - in my opinion making "Aqualung" a pale second best in the Tull canon. To overcome the problem of the length, Ian Anderson surpassed himself in both wonderful lyricism and creativity, while the rest of the band - the best lineup under the Tull name - seem engaged in a constant battle to out-do themselves and each other in the instrumental department.
From the first moment the listener hears Ian's acoustic guitar and the memorable opening "Really don't mind if you sit this one out/My words but a whisper, your deafness a shout", they are transported to a magical world where anything goes musically.
Martin Barre's sublime freakouts, Barriemore Barlow's drumming at the start of the second half, John Evans' quasi-classical organ playing and the wonderful sound of Ian's flute combine in an odyssey of rock, folk, jazz and classical elements to create a marvellous experience.
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Format: Audio CD
Call it what you like, this album is progressive because Jethro Tull married multiple musical styles on one album. The album is conceptual because the entire song is actually multiple songs married into one song by a variety of transitions and interludes. There may be an occasional unevenness in the transitions, but in general the whole thing works, and is one of the most unique works of rock music.
Early progressive rock was born in fits and starts. Tracing back, some of the earliest identifiable elements of progressive rock show up in some Beatles' songs. The Moody Blues provided more definition to progressive rock, and created the first progressive rock albums, though their progressive rock was on the lighter side and was much less daring than King Crimson, who's "In the Court of the Crimson King" established how cutting edge progressive rock could be. By 1972, progressive rock had a better-defined face, and that face was readily identifiable on albums such as "Fragile" and "Close to the Edge", by Yes, "Foxtrot" by Genesis, and "Thick as a Brick", by Jethro Tull. There were quite a few other progressive albums released by 1972, and numerous other artists using progressive elements in their music, but these albums were among those that helped to define the limits, or lack thereof, of progressive rock.
As serious as some of us like to believe this album is, it is a satire. This album pokes fun at issues contemporary to 1972, which somehow remain somewhat contemporary to now.
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Format: Audio CD
This to me is Jethro Tull's finest work. A total masterpiece in the greatest sense of the word. I'm not even sure I can write a decent review for this album without sounding like an idiot. But I'll try anyway.

It's a concept album about a young boy named Gerald Bostock (fake character), who writes a poem for a contest, but it is deemed offensive, and the boy gets disqualified. The lyrics are VERY complicated and understated, and to make a long story short, at least in my opinion, is based on the young boy's cynical outlook on life. But, you needn't worry about any of that, since the concept was mainly a big joke (or parody/spoof) by Ian Anderson & Company, and most importantly, the music is *so* overwhelmingly powerful and seductive, you won't care all that much about the lyrical meanings anyway.

The music on here drowns in it's own sophistication, refinement and high-class; the musicianship and it's high-class is something that shouldn't be taken too lightly, and should be the envy of many a musician and a listener. It starts off with acoustic guitar, followed by the flute, then Ian's vocals. The piece takes off from there. From there you will find tremendous melody, some hard rock, folk, jazz, and classical influences combined with many different shifts in tempo and time, and the band pulls no punches, as musical ideas keep flowing and flowing into each other like one huge piece, until the climactic end. It's divided into two halves. To be quite honest, the whole thing sounds like one gigantic classical piece, only with rock added. Also, I arguably think the second half is the stronger of the two, as the grandiose first half gets turned up a notch or two to a full blown english renaissance drama.

I can't say much more because I feel I'm at a lost for words.
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Jethro Tull fan forum
does anyone besides Anderson, Tim Smolko and other so disposed musicologists actually perceive what is going on in the music
of Thick as a brick and in a secondary sense, its fusion with the lyrics. Let's begin by stating that taab is rock's only symphonic
tone poem, a seamless one of course.... Read More
Apr 1, 2014 by lofus |  See all 3 posts
Stoned Cold Classic
Someone please help regarding Jethro Tull remastered CDs, August 20, 2007
What is wrong with some of the remastered versions of these CDs, particularly "Thick as a Brick" and "Aqualung"? People give these remastered versions one star, and the original CD/vinyl version four... Read More
Aug 22, 2007 by bass boy |  See all 5 posts
overlooked gems, overworshipped ordure
Bach's Brandenburg Concertos, Handel's Water Music, Vivaldi's The Seasons, Mussorgsky's Pictures At An Exhibition. I could go on & on but you get the picture.
Jan 6, 2016 by db |  See all 2 posts
Jethro Tull fans, please help re: remastered CDs
Bass Boy, hope all is well, this is not in order, but my favourite 5 rock bands of all time are Pink Floyd, The Doors, Led Zeppelin, The Eagles
and the mighty Jethro Tull. The 25th Anniversary cd of Thick As A Brick
is amazing, quality is superb, but to my shock and surprise and Ian Anderson... Read More
Mar 28, 2009 by Peter L. Crisp |  See all 17 posts
"Thick As A Brick" special edit Be the first to reply
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