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Flying Colours: The Jethro Tull Reference Manual (Remastered Edition) Paperback – July 16, 2009

3.8 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Jethro Tull has provided fans with enjoyable and challenging music for over three decades. No other band has featured such a wide range of musicians and personalities. Through mainstay Ian Anderson's forward-thinking musical direction and intelligent lyrical perceptions on life, Jethro Tull has skirted every musical trend and endured longer than nearly all of their contemporaries. "Flying Colours: The Jethro Tull Reference Manual," Greg Russo's fifth book, contains everything a Tull fan would ever need in one place: a complete band history, detailed song analysis, a gig list and the most amazing group and solo discographies ever compiled. This is the bible for Tullies worldwide! --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Greg Russo has previously written books on Frank Zappa, The Yardbirds, The Zombies and Manfred Mann. This book is the fifth in Russo's unique series of biographical music research works. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 324 pages
  • Publisher: Crossfire Publications; 2009 Remastered Edition edition (July 16, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0979184517
  • ISBN-13: 978-0979184512
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 8 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,851,675 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on May 23, 2000
Format: Paperback
Flying Colours: The Jethro Tull Reference Manual is certainly welcome as there is an unfortunate dearth of books on Tull. In fact there were none in English all the way up until last year when we got the so-so and hard-to-get "Minstrels In The Gallery" (David Rees) and the repudedly excellent, but even harder to find, "Driving in Diverse." (Barbara Espinoza) Although I have not personally read the latter book, from what I know of it, it would provide the perfect complement to this book, as the focus of "Diverse" is on the Tull fans and the "essence" of Ian Anderson and Jethro Tull.
As for Flying Colours, what this book is "about" is being an extensive, almost exhaustively precise, accounting of all the albums, musicians, tours, and recordings of the group. The book is excellent as both a reference manual, and as an overview of the band. The author offers a general history of the band, as well as some background into what went into each album. As a matter of fact, you can almost say that the albums actually drive the book, as the author "plays off" the albums in describing what Jethro Tull is doing at the time of the recording, distribution, or marketing of each album. Russo extensively covers each album and tour as well as the biography of each band member who has ever played in Tull. If you want information on an album, on a Tull member, on a particular tour, or even a general subject pertaining to Tull's history - just look it up, it's in here. It is easy to reference and the author is nothing if not comprehensive.
With that said, the book has a notable flaw. How big the flaw is depends on what about Jethro Tull you are interested in.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Gregg Russo's book is thorough, concise, and very well researched. This book IS a reference manual. It contains a complete and well organized, easy to read and refernece discography, as well as info on videos, promo,radio and TV appearances and the most complete tour date listing ever (1965-Dec. 1999).Mr. Russo details all the band members' histories pre and post-Tull. He includes much peripheral information that I found most interesting. Flying Colours is incredibly thorough. I've been an avid follower and collector of Tull since 1973 and found the book most interesting and informative.The bulk of the book is a history with particular attention paid to official releases. My only complaint would be that not enough space was devoted to the band's live performances - since to me, live performaces is where Tull really shines. It appears as though the information about older live performances comes mainly from listening to the most well-known bootlegs and peoples' memories, rather than listening to the myriad tapes of shows circulating among traders. This is my only, and VERY small complaint about the book.I wholeheartedly and enthusiastically recommend this book to anyone interested in the career of one of rock music's most original, and consistently interesting bands.
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Format: Paperback
I was surprised that a writer that first wrote books about Manfred Mann, the Yardbirds, Frank Zappa and the Zombies would give Tull such a fair and in depth treatment. I thought this book was better that David Rees "Minstrels in the Gallery" book.
There are a lot of photos, some I've never seen before, which is saying a lot from this long time fan of the band. Unfortunately all the photos on the inside are in black and white.
There is more detail here about other members of the band (particularly John Glascock and David Palmer) than anyplace else. The orientation is toward the entire band, not just a focus on Ian Anderson. That doesn't mean it is short on information about Ian. It delivers there too.
There is a reference section in the back that is packed with more detailed information about releases, appearances etc. than you could possibly want. If the answer to a question about the history of the band can't be found here, I doubt it will be found anywhere else.
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Format: Paperback
This book is accurately titled - as a reference manual it works well, it is absolutely overflowing with facts and figures. As a biography, its quite poor. If you're the type who needs to know that the Spanish edition of the single Witches Promise has the s missing from the title, then this is your book. But you should really get out more.
The biographical section has some interesting facts and photos of the "pre" Jethro Tull years, but the writing is stilted and frankly sounds like has been translated from another language and while the author has an encyclopedic knowledge of Tull's record releases and concert dates, he doesn't show any real understanding of the music - disco beats in Heavy Horses? I dont think so!
There are also a couple of errors - eg: the term War Child is derived from Roy Harpers song "Little Lady" on Lifemask not McGoohans Blues on Folkjokeopus.
Neither this book, or "Minstrals in the Gallery" show any insight into Andersons music, or shed any light on the guys modus operandi. Mr Russo has obviously put a lot of work into this book and if you know nothing about the band, a quick read wont do any harm, but my advice is that until Anderson comes up with an autobiography, stick to the albums.
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