Almost 20 years have passed since I last listened to this. When it was first released my flatmate and I listened to it obsessively to the point that it enetered our consciousness. I had truly forgotten about its titanic presence in the pantheon of rock, and as a previous reviewer suggests, it is a piece of genius up there with Handel's Messiah, etc. which will come to have its rightful place in time.
Well, thanks to finally embracing MP3 technology in my mid fifties, 'Passion Play' is back in my head and I can't shake it out - nor do I want to! I've just come back from a bike ride and wasn't connecting with the landscape. Those haunting lyrics; 'All along the icy wastes, their faces smiling in the gloom; roll up, roll down feeling unwound, step into the viewing room!'really are quite disturbing. Of course, all the words of 'the Hare' come flooding back and put a smile on my face - a wonderful interlude, but for me one truly magic moment is the symphonic burst at the end of the 'Hare' which takes us back to that ominous pulse and swirling layers of flute which carries us onward.
This is the best of Tull - the weave of opera, obtuse yet such poetic lyrics, the undercurrent of mocking menace, the signature flute and the craftsmanship of the band. As with Schubert or Van Gogh, its day will surely come