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4.4 out of 5 stars14
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 2 December 2010
Crikey....... no review of this one? A double compilation which does, for JT, what "Smiling Phases" does for Traffic. An excellent double cd retrospective of the group's shift from a bluesy sound into something rather folkier. My overwhelming preference is for the earlier albums, up to and including "A Passion Play". Thereafter, my interest fades.

I bought this for six quid, so it was an absolute no-brainer of a purchase. Whilst it is a bit pricier than the numerous other compilations on the market, i feel it is well worth the extra. If "Living In The Past" is an excellent double LP-cum single cd compilation of the early period, the "M.U. Best Of Jethro Tull" volumes one and two are largely redundant relics. Likewise with the "Original Masters" compilation. The single disc "Very Best Of Jethro Tull" manages to do a reasonable job, but uses the odd edit version. This two disc edition succeeds in stretching things out very nicely, having far more breadth of coverage.

Disc one is a trawl through the first seven studio releases. Top-quality album tracks are interspersed with excellent non-album singles of the era, like "Living In The Past", "Christmas Song", "Teacher", "Sweet Dream" and "Life's A Long Song". It is an unimpeachably brilliant resume of this period, even if "Thick As A Brick" and "A Passion Play" are sorely under-represented. Those releases cannot, however, be done justice by a three or four minute edit. Disc two is nothing like as big a favourite with me, but it also does a great job of showcasing the highlights from "Minstrel In The Gallery" onwards. Material is drawn from seminal JT albums like "Songs From The Wood" and "Heavy Horses". A friend really dug that period. I had more difficulty, so the second disc is a good overview for those like me.

Thirty-six quality tracks and a generous running time make for a compilation which really does satisfy. (No decent booklet, however.) Don't be drawn into buying one of the cheaper compilations, as you're likely to end up having to replace it!!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 8 August 2011
I was brought into this weird and wonderful world of Jethro Tull and Ian Anderson via Broadsword & The Beast. I loved that air of Olde English folklore all lusciously wrapped up in a spacey, modern production by the great Paul Samwell-Smith, lovingly and enthusiastically played (expertly, too) with a mixture of traditional and electric instruments. I'd not heard anything like it before.

I was wary too, that Tull had been around for pretty much as long as I'd been alive. That their "old" stuff would be wooden, boring and badly recorded. Which, in fact much of it was. I got the prerequisite Heavy Horses and Songs From the Wood and the great double live Bursting Out. Thick As a Brick remains a real favourite and Aqualung still delights with its mischievous lyrics and the inner schoolboy of Ian Anderson is infectious to this day.

Do I need more? Want more? Well, buying this retrospective has provided me with that answer. No, not really. I do like all the stuff on it, but the tracks from albums I don't have are the cream of their particular crop and I'm quite happy leaving it at that.

Is it worth buying? Definitely. Even if you have all/most/some of the albums already as it is nice just to play the really good ones and to condense three decades into three hours. If you're getting into Tull, it's an excellent choice to work out which era of their career most appeals. That's cos Tull/ Ian Anderson never sat on their laurels and never sounded the same from one album to another. That's probably how I saw Mr Anderson and a revamped Tull on their 40th Anniversary tour and people (OK, mostly men) of all ages went along and soaked it all up, shoulder to shoulder.

For those who might need it, here is the complete track listing:

CD1: A Song For Jeffrey/Beggar's Farm/A Christmas Song/A New Day Yesterday/Bouree/ Nothing Is Easy/Living In the Past/To Cry You a Song/Teacher/Sweet Dream/Cross Eyed Mary/Mother Goose/ Aqualung/Locomotive Breath/Life Is a Long Song/Thick As a Brick (Excerpt)/A Passion Play (Excerpt)/Skating Away on Thin Ice/Bungle in the Jungle.

CD2: Minstrel In the Gallery/Too Old to Rock'n'Roll: Too Young to Die/Songs From the Wood/Jack-in-the-Green/The Whistler/Heavy Horses/Dun Ringill/ Flyingdale Flyer/Jack-A-Lynn/Pussy Willow/ Broadsword/Under Wraps II/Steel Monkey/Farm On the Freeway/Jump Start/Kissing Willie/This Is Not Love.
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on 16 April 2012
This is a great compilation for those new to Tull though understandably there are none of their classic epics such as Thick as A Brick which is edited here only providing the intro. However, there is enough here to keep even the most discerning Tull fan satisfied. The comp covers all of their greatest material from the first album to the latest at this point in the band's illustrious career.

There are excellent highlights on this double CD including:

CD1
Bourée, Living In The Past, Teacher, Cross-Eyed Mary, Mother Goose, Aqualung, Locomotive Breath, Skating Away On The Thin Ice Of The New Day, Bungle In The Jungle

CD2
Minstrel In The Gallery, Too Old To Rock 'n' Roll: Too Young To Die, Songs From The Wood, Heavy Horses, Dun Ringill, Broadsword, Farm On The Freeway, Kissing Willie, This Is Not Love

Of course there are some there are criminally missing from Benefit, Aqualung, Stand Up, This Was, Minstrel in the Gallery and the excellent full length versions of Passion Play side 1 and Thick as a Brick sides 1 and 2. But you can get these all on the original albums and still have this as a complementary album to have the best of Jethro Tull. This is a great collection of songs from one of the greatest prog artists of the century - Jethro Tull, the Masters.
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on 12 July 2013
I usually bemoan 'best of' compilations if they stretch to 2 CD's but make an exception for Jethro Tull as it is simply not possible to cram it all onto one, after all we're talking about a very long time indeed. The only other JT album owned is the masterpiece that is 'Thick As A Brick' so this had to be the obvious choice for me. No doubt the argument as to what should have been here and would should not will rage on forever, in a similar way to 'Remasters' by Led Zeppelin. If you just want a selection who really cares as all the well known classics are included, especially my all time favourites 'Locomotive Breath' and 'Living In The Past' (which my brother claims is impossible to dance to, it's something to do with..........). This is an excellent and cheap retrospective so go out and buy it.
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on 23 March 2016
Jethro Tull are one of those bands I grew up with, literally, they never stayed the same and always moved to new ground, I may not like it all but I love the band and overall the music IS the seventies and eighties. I have seen this band too many times live in the eighties and they never dissappointed, nor wil this Album. The Anniversary is one of the most complete and enjoyable albums of J.Ts music and it manages to represent Jethro Tull and Ian Anderson better than any other compilation ever has, It has one of my favourite tracks that gets overlooked too often, "Pussywillow" always makes me feel good it is uplifting and full of meaning, it has a depth that gets overlooked and so does the rest of the album
This really is the BEST of Jethro Tull and that is hard trick to pull off
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on 2 April 2011
This is an exceptional CD with a whole range of Jethro Tull tracks up to its 1993 release. I had purchased all JT albums up to and including Warchild, so everything on the second CD was new to me. I can only say that every track on that second CD is brilliant and really got me interested in Jethro Tull again. Unfortunately, there has been so much material released since Warchild, including this Anniversary Collection, that it would cost an absolute fortune to purchase all. Probably best to wait for more anniversary releases then! The one thing that puzzles me about this double CD collection is why has Witches Promise been omitted?
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on 2 May 2015
very well packaged and fast delivery this is a brilliant diary of the excellent JETHRO TULL a must have for all tullies
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on 13 November 2011
Its really 4 stars for the first disc and 3, or less for the second. The first three tracks are from their early blues period and the third track is a dire xmas song. Most of their best work then follows. The second disc startss with the songs from the wood, minstrel in the gallery era, then there is a lot of stuff thats very mundane. And the final track is awful.
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on 17 September 2015
what can i say but excellent i didnt have this one but i have now
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on 8 May 2015
Everything as expected, Excellent choice, great purchase.
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