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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Old hippy stuff?
Hands up, I've listened to this, on and off, since it was first released. But I'm amazed at your two-star reviewer's inability to bridge the 35-year gap between now and the original release.

Far from being happy hippy idealism, Anderson's songs (apart from the odd bit of whimsy) address his discomfort with the hypocrital aspects of organized religion, and the...
Published on 29 Dec 2006 by Neil Attrell

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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A classic album badly transfered to CD
Anyone who knows Tull knows this is a classic and IMO their best album so I will not bother reviewing the music. This CD version however is appalling. The output level is so quiet that, if you play it with a mix of other albums, you go from scarcely audible to deafening. As ever the inevitable bonus tracks add nothing to the original experience, in fact I find they...
Published on 6 Mar 2012 by El Rapide


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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Old hippy stuff?, 29 Dec 2006
By 
Neil Attrell "Neil Attrell" (Holloway, London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Aqualung (Special Edition) (Audio CD)
Hands up, I've listened to this, on and off, since it was first released. But I'm amazed at your two-star reviewer's inability to bridge the 35-year gap between now and the original release.

Far from being happy hippy idealism, Anderson's songs (apart from the odd bit of whimsy) address his discomfort with the hypocrital aspects of organized religion, and the lot of those at the bottom end of the social scale ("Aqualung", "Cross-Eyed Mary").

Yes, the vehicle is rock music - but these subjects are still fuelling the best of (for instance) French rap today.
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44 of 47 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Aqualung still shuffles the streets..., 4 July 2000
This review is from: Aqualung (Special Edition) (Audio CD)
In 1971, Jethro Tull introduced the world to a mysterious, shady beggar 'Aqualung', so known because of his terrible cough. In the title song, Ian sings of this destitute vagabond's adventures and dirty habits. But where does Aqualung come from: is he a war veteran driven insane, or once a wealthy aristocrat? Whatever, Cross Eyed Mary is an acquaintance of his, similar in character. Ian then takes us to the village train station, whilst reminiscing of those wonderful rail memories in Cheap Day Return - a lovely acoustic song, only I wish it was longer. Mother Goose is the centre attraction at the Summer Fair as Aqualung rambles around. Amusing rendition. Then, it's by the river bank our unlikely hero is Wond'ring Aloud of past love lost in time; Up to Me is the more boisterous of times remembered, arguements with friends and relations, parties and raucous affairs. It is here Tull become more religious and philosophical. My God represents a more grim side to God's creation of Mankind, a strange yet appropriate sound to the deeper meaning of this song. Then, hearts are lifted as Tull take us to Church, Ian singing the loud 'Hymn 43'. Slipstream then carries us along Death's road, with God watching us contentedly. Locomotive Breath is perhaps one of the best ever Tull songs on any album. It's about a man who seems to be losing everything as he nears old age, ('sees his children drop at the stations, one by one') and the train represents how the man is frustrated at how God 'stolen the handle' and his luckless life has 'no way to slow down'. Clever symbolism involved here, and reflects our fears of dying. Wind-up is exactly that (well, on the original album) but it describes Aqualung's doctrinated childhood - through Ian Anderson's eyes. Now we come to the 25th Anniversary influence. Lick your Fingers Clean is mad, a romp, but part of the Aqualung theme. Not bad, I thought. There was the bonus of a Quad version 'Wind-up', while we were treated to an interview with an ageing Ian Anderson, who discusses the album at length, its making, the ideas that went into it. Nice touch to a re-vitalized Aqualung. The last three tracks I'd already in my collection; and I wasn't really overkeen on the snazzy Prism Sound that in my opinion spoiled the songs. That was lost a star. I preferred the original sound, so for this otherwise excellent album that's a shame. But thumbs up Jethro Tull in this second outing for one of their best albums!
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67 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Aqualung: i.e., Ian Anderson's take on organized religion, 24 Aug 2003
By 
Lawrance M. Bernabo (The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Aqualung (Special Edition) (Audio CD)
"Aqualung" is certainly the rawest of Jethro Tull's albums, as far from the artistic pretensions of "Thick as a Brick" and "Passion Play" as you can get in terms of their albums. This might have something to do with the album's mission statement, which is printed in old fashioned type on the linear notes: "In the beginning Man created God; and in the image of Man created he him....But as all these things did come to pass, the Spirit that did cause man to create his God lived on with all men: even within Aqualung. And man saw it not. But for Christ's sake he'd better start looking." Ironically, this is one of the few Jethro Tull albums where the lyrics are not printed despite the fact this is arguably the album where the lyrics mattereth the most.
The first "side" of the album, entitled "Aqualung" after the first and title track, offers nothing overt other than the idea of dismissing organized religion as "salvation à la mode and a cup of tea." However, the second side, "My God," makes its argument in earnest from the opening verse: "People - what have you done/locked Him in His golden cage/Made Him bend to your religion/Him resurrected from the grave." The Church of England is explicitly condemned for having supplanted the authenticity of the Christian religion with plastic crucifixes. "Hymn 43" continues this line of argument by suggesting that: "If Jesus saves - well, He'd better save Himself from the gory glory seekers who use His name in death." "Slipstream" offers a metaphorical look at sinners trying to save themselves at the last moment: "And you press on God's waiter your last dime/as he hands you the bill." That "Slipstream" comes right before "Locomotive Breath" makes sense when you look at the latter's lyrics in light of the former.
But Ian Anderson's diatribe against the organized religion of his country does not extend to God, as is amply proven by the concluding song, "Wind Up." To underscore the importance of what is being sung at this point, the music tends to get out of the way of the lyrics, especially the final lines: "I don't believe you/you had the whole damn thing all wrong/He's not the kind you have to wind up on Sundays." When the teachings of the church consist of nothing more than "half-assed smiles and the book of rules," this necessitates a more personal dialogue with God. In Anderson's world God replies with a firm answer. When Anderson declares "I'd rather look around me - compose a better song/`cos that's the honest measure of my worth," he is staking a claim to more piety and sanctity than the edifices he is indicting.
The second side of "Aqualung" aspires to being much more than mere rock 'n' roll. The message is simplistic, but still compelling. "Aqualung" represents Ian Anderson speaking in relatively clear words; from here on the will cloak his lyrics in metaphors and his own brand of mysticism. But for me it is ultimately the clarity of the lyrics and the intended message that makes this the strongest of Jethro Tull's albums. There are certainly more pleasing melodies down the road, but that does nothing to diminish the raw power of this effort.
The bonus tracks are unnecessary, but the interview is a nice touch and for those who are disappointed that "Bouree" is not on the album it should be, here it is.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great album lousy recording, 16 July 2009
By 
Franco Rosiello "frank" (italy) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Aqualung (Special Edition) (Audio CD)
this is one of the best albums in rock and roll. any jethro tull fan or non fan knows this so i will skip the part of reviewing the cd. however i must tell you not to spend your money on this cd because the cd that came out in the 80's is ten times better. first of all the quality is poor so poor that i regret buying it. i was misled by the fact that it said remasterd this cd is not remastered and the bonus tracks suck. in order to listen to this cd i have to turn the volume up so high that when i insert another cd it blasts the speaker right out of its sockets. do not waste any money on this cd and just keep the one you have with its original 11 tracks and wait until one day they get it right.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And still going strong, 29 Mar 2007
By 
Benny The Bouncer (High Wycombe, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Aqualung (Special Edition) (Audio CD)
I was converted to lifelong Tull fan on the original release of this Album. It still contains some excellent material - some of which they still perform live to this day. As i write Tull are moving round the UK then heading off for another world tour - combining Acoustic (for the UK) and full Electric for most other places.

They still stand out as one of the most creative bands of not just their time - but of all time. Excellent is the only way to describe this album. If you want beyond excellence listen to the Passion Play.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "AQUALUNG MY FRIEND", 2 April 2011
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This review is from: Aqualung (Special Edition) (Audio CD)
On a previous review (Procol Harum on that occasion) I mentioned various JETHRO TULL & PROCOL HARUM parallels e.g.the two great albums in the same year ... Broken Barricades(Procol) and TULL'S legendary "AQUALUNG"

Aqualung is another of those albums that classic rock aficionados bought in their droves via the original vinyl copy. It's also one of those albums that's like going back to an old friend every time you revisit. As with anything of genuine quality, "AQUALUNG" has stood the test of time - taking you on superb musical journey that might arguably be the zenith of one of the top British rock bands. However, fans of some of TULL'S other great works e.g. "STAND UP" might beg to differ.

"AQUALUNG" also has a certain thematic continuity about it that gave rise to fans dubbing it a "concept album" upon its release. Concepts became all the rage at one time of course. Tull's theatric bandleader, songwriter/vocalist/acoustic guitar and dancing flute man - Ian Anderson would - and does - argue that "Aqualung" is actually not a concept - but just a bunch of songs.

However as Ian himself confesses, there are threads running through it and reoccuring characters like poor old "Aqualung" himself and introducing "Cross-eyed Mary" etc. There is also Ian Anderson's interesting take on organised religion ... the "MY GOD" section of the record. However the "concept" of debating "concepts" actually becomes irrelevant when discussing the music itself.

On "AQUALUNG" the material rocks but with quieter contrasts. "CROSS EYED MARY" for example builds beautifully against the swelling backdrop of a mellotron sound (if I'm not mistaken) .... and included on the original side one, is the fine acoustic number "WOND'RING ALOUD". You can indeed almost "taste the smell" of toast and melting butter.

I may be an old rocker and rhythm & blues man but my favourite AQUALUNG track has to be "MOTHER GOOSE". Folksy yes. Whimsical yes. Off the wall yes. But lovely imagery, great vocals and playing from all concerned amid a veritable descant of recorders. Unusual track this one - but again melodic. In addition Clive Bunker's percussion (one of the great drummers from around that time)adds the finishing touch.

"MY GOD" which kicked of the original second side, I first saw the band perform at "Southampton Guildhall" before Aqualung was ever released. The band had gone as far as "BENEFIT" by then as I recall. I thought what a great song "My God" was, back then, and still do. Those songs which accompany this ... dare I say it ... "mini-concept" ... continue the thread right through until the steaming, breathless finale of the "LOCOMOTIVE BREATH" ... another enduring Tull "live" classic.

Classic is a word often liberally bandied around. However sometimes, its well deserved. Such is the case with this great and timeless album. Also on the Anniversary copy, there are lots of bonus goodies such as alternative takes of older material like "Song For Jeffrey", "Fat Man", and the gently swinging and jazzy "Bouree". Great CD...and another 5 stars coming right up.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Aqualung... do you still remember?, 16 April 2012
This review is from: Aqualung (Special Edition) (Audio CD)
Aqualung is the first Tull album I owned and it was an old beat up vinyl cover I dug out of someone's garage sale in the 70s. Immediately, as the awesome riff began of Aqualung, I knew this was a band I would be getting into big time. I adore this riff and it is one of the best in rock history. Reportedly the riff was based on Beethovens classic dadada duuuuum, dadada duuuuuuuuum. It works well enough and carries this track to infamy. Those lyrics are pure genius: "snot running down his nose, greasy fingers smearing shabby clothes... feeling like a dead duck, spitting out pieces of his broken luck". The driving erratic rock riffage is broken by an acoustic interlude "sun streaking cold the old man wanders lonely taking time the only way he knows..." and then we have the rocked up section, "do you still remember December's foggy breeze...." (I forget this part of the lyrics but I love the music) and then Martin Barre's awesome lead break screams through the mix. It is pure prog bliss and my favourite Tull track. It was all listed in the top 100 best guitar songs of all time.

The rest of the album pales in comparison but is still terrific music such as Cross Eyed Mary with its chaotic pentameter and time signature, flute and guitar - it works! Mother Goose and Hymn 43 and My God - its absolute genius. There are some strange interludes with acoustic guitar that run for less than a minute and these are mixed with great overblown tracks such as Locomotive Breath - amazing! This became a single and ripped up the charts. The album is one of the most popular Tull, and the band have played it in its entirety many times and even performed it on radio. The conceptual content of the album is complex - It all seems to be wrapped in a concept about the dangers of religion and poverty, or something, but if you just let the music wash over you, Aqualung is a most invigorating, and at times perplexing, experience. Anderson said emphatically it's not a concept album, "just a bunch of songs", but we fans know better don't we? Overblown concept albums are a Tull trademark and here it sits. The cover is an iconic enigmatic image of a dirty tramp and this became Tull's image, uncharacteristic of a rock star and everything Tull purports to be; a rock band that refuses to conform to the traditional image.

In conclusion Aqualung is as good as everybody has claimed, and of course it exists in many forms. I recommend the CD with the bonus tracks and for that matter the Aqualung Live CD is a pleasant blast of a fresh approach to the music. I simply cannot recommend this more highly - a masterpiece of prog genius.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heavy breathing, 6 Dec 2010
By 
D. J. H. Thorn "davethorn13" (Hull, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Aqualung (Special Edition) (Audio CD)
Jethro Tull are an occasional listen for me, but when I do get around to them I listen to them for a week or two as I seem to have acquired most of their albums. Moreover, 'Aqualung' is one of the first ones I select. It probably features more great individual songs than any of their other albums: 'Cross-Eyed Mary', 'Mother Goose', the sublime 'Locomotive Breath' and the title track. Their character portraits are not pretty, but hard-hitting. As for the religious comment, I won't go there: it's better heard. The music is in a constant internal conflict, poppy, then bluesy flute lines, hard rock and folk textures. It's like a carefully-orchestrated musical war, the main tracks broken up by brief interludes.

Some of the bonus tracks, like 'Song For Jeffery', are superfluous, while 'Bouree' seems to crop up everywhere, but the basic album is one of the band's finest.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm sitting on the park bench, 6 Nov 2008
By 
Mark Kibble "Underground man" (Coalville Leics England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Aqualung (Special Edition) (Audio CD)
For their fourth offering Tull continued with the folk tinged rock, introduced on 'Benefit'. Viewed by many as a concept album, I prefer to class it as split themed, as each side of the original vinyl contained songs that were about a subject rather than building up to tell a story.

Tracks 1 - 6 (side 1) features an even split of electric and acoustic numbers, dealing with destitution and homelessness. Title track 'Aqualung' with it's superb opening riff which immediately grabs your attention, followed by the uptempo 'Cross eyed Mary' provide a lively opening before the acoustic numbers kick in, 'Cheap day return', 'Mother goose' and especially 'Wond'ring aloud' are the best Tull acoustic fayre to date, while 'Up to me' has more than a little humour in evidence.

Tracks 7 - 11 (side 2) deals with the more controversial subject of English religious denominations. 'My god' part acoustic, electric and choral, opens the ball, followed by the rocking 'Hymn 43' while the acoustic 'Slipstream' leads into what must be the ultimate Tull encore number, 'Locomotive breath' more than chugs along. 'Wind up' closes the original album at a more leisurely pace before exploding into life mid section.

Bonus material is ok especially the IA interview.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A classic album badly transfered to CD, 6 Mar 2012
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This review is from: Aqualung (Special Edition) (Audio CD)
Anyone who knows Tull knows this is a classic and IMO their best album so I will not bother reviewing the music. This CD version however is appalling. The output level is so quiet that, if you play it with a mix of other albums, you go from scarcely audible to deafening. As ever the inevitable bonus tracks add nothing to the original experience, in fact I find they invariably spoil the experience of listening to an album. They weren't there originally because they were either out-takes or sub-standard live recordings so leave them for the completist's box sets and give us the original album as it was intended to be heard. The original album is easily worth 5 stars but this version of it only deserves one.
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Aqualung (Special Edition)
Aqualung (Special Edition) by Jethro Tull (Audio CD - 1998)
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