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In 1972, Ian Anderson wrote and recorded the Jethro Tull Progressive Rock classic album Thick As A Brick . The lyrics were credited at the time to the fictitious child character, Gerald Bostock, whose parents supposedly lied about his age. The record instantly became a number one Billboard Chart album and enjoyed considerable success in many countries of the world.
So, forty years on, what would Gerald Bostock aged fifty in 2012 be doing today? What might have befallen him? The anniversary part two album will examine the possible different paths that the precocious young schoolboy, Gerald Bostock, might have taken later in life through alter-ego characters with song-section identities illustrating the hugely varied potential twists and turns of fate and opportunity. Not just for Gerald but to echo how our own lives develop, change direction and ultimately conclude through chance encounters and interventions, however tiny and insignificant they might seem at the time.
Bonus DVD includes: 5.1 Surround Sound of entire album tracklisting (Mixed by Steven Wilson). The making of the album (25 min). Interview with Ian Anderson talking about the album. Interview with Steven Wilson.Lyric reading (25min). Artwork
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At last the Sequel to the original “Thick as a Brick” is out. This is what you have been waiting for! This is a type of album which makes you think. By listening to Little Milton’s story, you start thinking about your story! This is all about seeking closures in life and about taking a trip throughout your life, ups and downs, missed opportunities and golden opportunities, events and incidents, and end games to evaluate your life. This is a self exploration which makes you think!
Released on 2012, Ian Anderson the great Scottish poet, lyricist, musician, philosopher and the lead man of the Jethro Tull band goes back in time to one of his greatest concept albums “Thick as a Brick” to continue the saga. This time, it is the solo exploration of Ian Anderson on the possible paths which his original little hero may have taken and what will become of him. In a way he seeks closure to the story of the little controversial rascal created by him!
Primarily in 1972 Ian Anderson wrote and released the original “Thick as a Brick” with Jethro Tull. It was a grand concept album about a boy named Gerald Bostock (Little Milton) who wins a poetry contest writing a poem “Thick as a Brick”; however, gets disqualified by the moral majority judges due to the poem being obscenely politically incorrect! Sounds familiar, especially in this day and age?! Well back then in 1972, the visionary Scottish poet, lyricist, flutist, musician and philosopher Ian Anderson and his band Jethro Tull were on to the subject then and morely now! The poem is realistic but politically incorrect; also the Tull’s album was a social critic, anti establishment and a rock narrative of this episode.
In the original album, supposedly the lyrics were written by Gerald Bostock (Little Milton), whose parents supposedly lied about his age. Now (2012) Ian Anderson explores that after forty years what would the 50 year old Gerald Bostock be doing, how he lives, and what would have become of him? Ian Anderson goes on a roller coaster ride of various possible paths which Gerald Bostock may have taken in life and could have taken in life?!
Ian Anderson is basically not only speaking of Little Milton; however, by seeking closure on his story, Ian explores the various paths which any of us could have taken in life which would affect the results of our lives! Any opportunity or missed opportunity, any task, any incident, any unexpected event, any tragedy or any various developments could have changed our lives and resulted in us ending up as totally different persons with different end games. This could be about Little Milton, Ian Anderson, you, me or anyone. It could be about anyone. It is amazing how various events in life can change the end results of your life!
As usual the blasting Classical Rock progressive sound of Ian Anderson’s music backs the poetry and combine; it becomes a wonderful sequel album.
Have in mind that the whole first album consisted of 3 tracks, part 1, part 2 and live version of the “Thick as a Brick” which is a bit eccentric and different than other Tull albums; however, the sequel consists of 17 tracks.
The combo of lyrics, story and music takes you away to another world on a roller coaster journey about the Little Milton, his scandal, his life, his possible paths and his destiny. This album is not just another Ian Anderson or Jethro Tull album but it is a self exploration, a social criticism and a philosophical rock opera written and performed by Ian Anderson.
If a Tull fan, to own this album is a must and if new to Tull music, it is essential to own this album. Ian Anderson with or without Jethro Tull is one of the greatest Classical Rock (Classical Music + Rock) and Progressive Rock artists in the history of modern music. Nothing quite like his style has been around and that’s what makes this album simply something marvelous. Go for it and get a load of something totally different. Explore what thinking man’s music is like?!
As opposed to its 1972 precursor, TAAB2 is less a single musical sequence than a mosaic of interwoven motifs and fragments; in construction it thus resembles as much Brian Wilson's "Smile" as any long-play progressive-rock opus. This is neither good nor bad; it's simply the way this album is built. The 17 tracks include brief spoken-word sections, a duet (a first for Anderson, I think), and even a brief donation-pitch from a Southern televangelist: Ian Anderson putting on his best American accent. Some of the album's strongest tunes are very brief, almost maddeningly so; this has long been a tradition with Anderson's songwriting. "Upper Sixth Loan Shark," "Power and Spirit" and "Give Till It Hurts" are as brief as any of the short songs from the "Aqualung" album, and the latter two are easily as critical of the Anglican Church. Throughout, the album's numerous vocal effects add a welcome dynamism to Anderson's aging voice. Far from considering this voice a liability -- as is the case for so many die-hard fans who first saw Jethro Tull in concert in the 70s-- the songs on this album warrant the grizzled, often heavily distorted tone of an older man's voice. And on the quieter songs, the breathlessness of his higher registers rings out with painful sweetness.
The album's most important and most melodically accomplished songs are two of the songs that Jethro Tull and Anderson had been playing in concert over the past several years: "A Change of Horses" and "Adrift and Dumbfounded." A third, the magnificent "Kismet in Suburbia," is a welcome surprise, and is my current favorite on the entire album-- in my opinion one of Anderson's strongest compositions.
With regard to some of the angry criticism from certain longstanding Tull fans: indeed, this is not a Jethro Tull album. TAAB2 is, in spite of its multiple, karmic incarnations of Gerald Bostock, a defiantly solo effort. Indeed, it is so much a solo record that it seeks to reclaim the 1972 "Thick as a Brick" as something of a solo effort as well. Here I part ways with some of the publicity for the album, which downplays the contribution of Anderson's band-mates in the past, particularly Jethro Tull's longtime guitarist Martin Barre. Yes, Anderson writes all of the songs for Jethro Tull; but the songs themselves have always been group efforts in the end, always bearing the contributions of the band members. To this end, TAAB2 likewise bears the signature of Ian's current solo band; there's less counterpoint than in the original "Thick as a Brick" album, and fewer extended instrumental passages. But the solo band is a good one, breaking in some interesting new sounds and tones that may or may not find their way back into Jethro Tull music in the future (two of the musicians, the pianist John O'Hara and the bassist David Goodier, are in both bands).
In short, I find this is a fascinating, listenable, and at times deeply moving album. It's an album with a history-- this is, after all, its very premise-- and yet it also rings true as a piece of contemporary music attentive to the poignancy of how quickly we can cease to be contemporary, becoming out of step with the contemporary life that surrounds us.