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Jethro Tull's Thick as a Brick and A Passion Play: Inside Two Long Songs (Profiles in Popular Music) Paperback – October 7, 2013
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"[D]elves deep into the past in this new work to bring us the story of these two albums as well as a painstaking analysis that allows us to see not only the particular genius of Tull but the important role both records played in shaping ‘70s rock.... Smolko’s passion for the subject matter and ability to wax enthusiastic about the smallest details makes this volume worth reading.... A volume that excites with its intelligence and sense of observation, two of the many qualities that will actually find you giv[ing] this book more than one read." ―PopMatters
"Tim Smolko’s book makes a significant contribution to the literature in popular music studies and musicology. Furthermore, it is an important addition to the available literature on Jethro Tull, which―despite their commercial success and longevity―has not been rewarded as of yet with sustained analytical study." ―Kevin Holm-Hudson, author of Genesis and The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway
"[R]ather than offering yet another biography, Smolko takes a musicological―as well as a cultural― approach to just two of Tull’s albums […] an endorsement from such a notebale authority [as Adrian Stone-Mason] surely makes this worth reading for those of a scholarly bent." ―Rock n' Reel
"Tim Smolko has written a book that no fan of Jethro Tull should be without, with his analysis of Thick as a Brick and A Passion Play representing the most comprehensive yet of the music of this seminal band. His consideration of similarities between the structure of Tull's concept albums and Monty Python skits is especially original, and opens up a valuable avenue of inquiry into the relationship between sixties and seventies rock and contemporary visual media." ―Edward Macan, author of Rocking the Classics: English Progressive Rock and the Counterculture
About the Author
Tim Smolko holds master’s degrees in Musicology and in Library Science and is monographs original cataloger at the University of Georgia.
Top customer reviews
It is very well written and researched and is extensively referenced throughout - although I would in places query the validity of some of these citations. I think Mr Anderson himself (under the guise of Adrian Stone-Mason - so nearly a great anagram but not quite) was rather puzzled by the whole concept and might acknowledge that during the writting process of TAAB he wasnt thinking 'if I put this piece here I need to follow with this here and then repeat in lydian mode at points 5, 7, 9 etc...' or then maybe he was...or maybe it just sounded right.
But if you have a modicum of musical savy, really like the songs TAAB and PP then this is probably a worthy tomb to nimbly pick you way through during the cold and dark winter months...
Dr Daren Gooddy
It's great that somebody took the time to look deeply into TAAB and "A Passion Play". The history behind the music and the recording is fascinating. The analysis of the music itself is over my head, but I appreciate the effort. The author is honest about both albums. APP is enjoyable in small doses, but gets dreary after a while. This book explains why. TAAB has always been Tull's masterpiece, and this book gives it the credit it deserves.
He even writes about the original tours of the albums. Yes, I remember the band posing as roadies in white jumpsuits. And the phone ringing. And John Evan looking like a deranged ice cream man at the keyboards. And the APP intro film, when Ian Anderson jumped through a cut in the screen to take the stage.
The music of Jethro Tull has always been more interesting than most rock/pop music. Now I finally understand why.
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