Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Jethro Tull 15: Bursting Out

Amazingly, Jethro Tull waited a full decade before issuing a live album. Granted, many of their shows in the ‘70s involved multimedia and sight gags, but if they were ever going to do the double live thing, 1978 was calling for it.
Bursting Out covers all the bases, from early blues like “A New Day Yesterday” to the recent folkie stylings on Songs From The Wood and Heavy Horses. Following an introduction by Montreux Jazz Festival founder (and inimitably named) Claude Nobs, Martin Barre kicks into a serrated riff with Ian Anderson’s flute interjections. Cleverly, “No Lullaby” leads into “Sweet Dream” before a few acoustic pieces. From there it’s an excellent display of dynamics, sometimes within a single song. “A New Day Yesterday” devolves into a flute improvisation that quotes “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen” (in May) and turns into “Boureé”. “Thick As A Brick” is distilled down to about 12 minutes, incorporating much more than the edits on the two “hits” albums. An instrumental called “Conundrum” might as well be called “Prelude To Barriemore Barlow’s Drum Solo”, while a side’s worth of Aqualung favorites (saving the best for last, apparently) is split up only by an instrumental called “Quatrain” and the band’s customary reworking of “The Dambusters March”. Ian’s stage announcements throughout are typically cheeky, and occasionally bleeped, likely due to a radio broadcast.
Because of the length, the original CD omitted “Sweet Dream” and the two instrumentals; this has since been rectified, and a good thing too. Bursting Out is tight and solid, and recommended to fans of any incarnation of the band to date.

Jethro Tull Bursting Out (1978)—

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