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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars one of the best compilations
When I first heard this album, I did not realise that it was a compilation album. I think this says something about how well the tracks were chosen and put together on what must be considered as one of Jethro Tull's finest.
The album has all of the traditional elements which make early Jethro Tull music so great. It combines upbeat folk guitar styles, with Anderson's...
Published on 23 Oct 2003 by Rhy Evans

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3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Jethro Dull
Having been a Tull fan since the late 70s, seen them live at the Royal Festival Hall on their 40th anniversary tour in 2008 and consistently enjoyed their folk suite LPs (Wood, Horses, Storm), I was rather disappointed by this compilation of early material. Many of the tracks were, to me, unrepresentatively soft with a semi-classical, live piano number thrown in and the...
Published on 12 Jan 2010 by Mr. Mungo


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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars one of the best compilations, 23 Oct 2003
By 
Rhy Evans (Uttoxeter, Staffordshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Living In The Past (Audio CD)
When I first heard this album, I did not realise that it was a compilation album. I think this says something about how well the tracks were chosen and put together on what must be considered as one of Jethro Tull's finest.
The album has all of the traditional elements which make early Jethro Tull music so great. It combines upbeat folk guitar styles, with Anderson's exquisite, and sometimes frantic flute playing. The lyrics are thoughtful and are delivered in such a way by Anderson, that you feel confident in what he is expressing.
What makes this album truly great though is the way it mixes the laid back playful nature of folk with the more jazzy edgier rock motifs which work their way in many songs.
If you are a fan of Jethro Tull and especially early Jethro Tull then you will enjoy this album immensely. As well as containing many great tracks from the adrenaline releasing "locamotive breath" to the funky "For later" and the philosophical "wond'ring again", it contains two astonishing live tracks. These are "By kind permission of" and "Dharma for one" and showcase Clive Bunker's extraordordinary talent.
If you are a fan of progressive music from the early seventies, then I think this should definitely be in your collection.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tull at their best, 8 May 2007
By 
David Mcclernon (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Living In The Past (Audio CD)
This was the first Tull album I heard; As i played flute someone thought that I may like it; Witches Promise was the chosen track and I was instantly hooked. That remains one of my all time favourite Tull tracks.

I was fortunate to see them live twice and they were even better than I expected; Ian Anderson was a mainc genius who could not only write great songs but was a fantastic musician and performer.

The 2 live tracks are amazing and amongst the most played out of the entire collection of Tull albums I have.

The other tracks are shorter and some are more folk like in sound. Up The 'Pool is great fun and some of the accoustic giutar playing is first class. The whole album comes together brillaintly and if you havent heard it or of Jethro Tull then it is a must buy
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely old scrapbook of wonderful memories, 12 Aug 2011
By 
Mr. Philip Baird (Isle of Man) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Living In The Past (Audio CD)
It's very hard to pick a favourite Jethro Tull album but this lovely old scrapbook is hard to beat and covers the magic of their early years, filling in the cracks between the albums and collecting the singles too (Jethro Tull - singles ? It sounds odd now doesn't it). This was never off my turntable back then and the original gatefold sleeve with marvellous photos of the band made it one of my most prized possessions. It was never the rock or blues sound of Jethro Tull that captured my imagination, although they did that very well, but what marked them out was their English charm and whimsy. They weren't quite the pastoral sound of some of the Canterbury bands but more a wonderful hybrid that suggested all sorts of images, from picture postcards to the Beatles, Edwardian literature, northern humour, music hall and whatever else you could hear. There was also a great love and tenderness about some of the songs and playing that really endeared them to the listener. The title track was Tull at their best; fascinating idea and composition, lightness of tone and touch in the way it skips along, great musicianship, original instrumentation, and great lyrics. Two of my absolute favourites are on here too; the very simple and affecting Inside and the affectionate tribute to the once lovely old Blackpool (Up the Pool) to which I can still remember all the words !
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A worthwhile compilation, 12 Mar 2012
This review is from: Living In The Past (Audio CD)
This album is a kind of round-up of Jethro Tulls' music up to and including Aqualung, circa 1971. It is made up of album tracks, singles, B-sides, previously unreleased material and two live offerings.Of the previously unreleased tracks, 'Wondring Again' is superb,and slightly stands apart from any other Tull tracks of the period.Of the two live tracks John Evans' piano piece 'By Kind Permission of' often gets by-passed when I have played this album but 'Dharma for One', complete with vocals which were not present on the original, is a fantastic and powerful track.If you are new to Tull then this album would be a good way to acquaint yourself with their early material, and if you are an old Tull fan then you will surely have it already. My only beef with the CD is that they needed to lose one track to get the total time down to 75 minutes to fit onto one disc and decided to omit 'Teacher' when there were weaker tracks or tracks available on other albums that could have been omitted instead.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jethro Tull - Living In The Past, 2 Sep 2011
By 
Gentlegiantprog "Kingcrimsonprog" (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Living In The Past (Audio CD)
Jethro Tull are a fantastic and unique band who have constantly evolved, defied genre expectations and classifications constantly and created some truly wonderful and interesting music. If you are thinking about getting into the band I would strongly recommend that you do.

If you are new to the band though, either picking up a greatest hits compilation (of which there are many) to get a broad overview of the band, or diving straight in to one of their classic albums like Aqualung, Thick As A Brick, Songs From The Wood or Broadsword' may serve you as a better starting point than Living In The Past.

Jethro Tull's early career before Aqualung, doesn't sit as neatly for easy pick up as a prospective fan may want. While they released albums as normal for today's artists, this was as well as singles that weren't off the albums, an EP and even a separate single accidentally under the name 'Jethro Toe,' and so if you wanted to collect it all it would likely come in eight or nine individual purchases at a great expense.

If you are a fan or prospective fan today, the best way to acquire most of the non-album tracks in one simple solution is to get a hold of Living In The Past, which for today's Tull buyers can serve as a compilation of all the rare pre-Aqualung material and that is so good it sounds almost like a fifth Jethro Tull studio album.

Sometimes this album is a bit of a headache to talk about, explain and file because the name 'Living In The Past, with this artwork has actually been released many times, in different versions to serve slightly different purposes; be it in 19 track single disc rarities album form as it is on this particular version, or in 20, 21 and 23 track versions in different countries on cd or vinyl that sometimes they feature studio-album tracks to give it a more 'greatest hits feel.'

Ignoring the history of the set and the various editions, Living In The Past is a very good album to listen to, containing a lot of varied and interesting Jethro Tull material in a range of styles, speeds and even band line ups. There are acoustic moments, hard rocking moments and live solo filled numbers with all the virtuosic musicianship you'd expect.

While the album has its share of rockers, laid back numbers and classic singles. There are also tracks like the odd and whimsical ode to British Seaside Resort, Black Pool, Lanashire, called `Up The `Pool,', as well as `Wond'ring Again,' which finds a full song in the style of the very brief Aqualung track `Wond'ring Aloud,' that offer a different side to the band.

Popular and enduring tracks such as 'Life Is A Long Song,' 'The Witch's Promise,' and 'Sweet Dream,' can be found here, the sort of songs that will be found on greatest hits shows and live albums and that the majority of Tull fans will love. They are also available as bonus tracks on certain editions of regular Tull studio-albums, so you may not want to buy the set only for their inclusion if you are considering taking your listening experience further.

If you are undecided as to whether or not this set is for you, take a quick look a the track listing, and see if there are enough tracks you don't already own to justify buying it, all the songs are of a good quality and are all worth your time so its really down to if you already have most of them on other Tull cds.

Overall, This is a great collection of top quality music. It may not be the best starting point for new fans, and it may not be necessary for those who will buy all the remasters, but for everyone in between it is certainly a good purchase, one that people will often describe as their favourite Tull album as though it were an actual studio release, which is a pretty strong recommendation.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful!, 17 July 2009
By 
Mark Shackelford "mark shackelford" (Worthing, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Living In The Past (Audio CD)
One of the highlights of the Tull's recording career - of the Benefit and Aqualung era - this is a superbly selected collection of tracks, only a few of which come from actual LPs (or whatever you young whipper-snappers call them these days...).
Delicious bubbling infectious glorious music driven by Anderson's swooping flute backed by the finest rhythm section in the land...

Where to start? "Living in the Past" pretty much summarises the whole magical ethos of early 70s Tull. Flutes, acoustic and electric guitar, brilliant bass-lines and jazzy drumming ... and brilliant piano from Mr. Evan. How about "Witches Promise", or "Wond'ring Again" or "Life is a Long Song" or "Up the Pool" or... or... or...

Just lovely... bootiful... pastoral British Rock at its finest.

Highly recommended (even the drum solo). Well, perhaps not... and, of course, the inimitable "Locomotive Breath".

Ah, those were the halcyon days
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars THE FIRST TULL COMPILATION, 12 Feb 2010
By 
This review is from: Living In The Past (Audio CD)
I bought this original double vinyl issue on its release. I thought then that it was a bit of a mish-mash and still do, though for different reasons.

The well presented package consised of a collection of Tull's non-album and album singles, b-sides, some previously unreleased songs, two Carnege Hall live recordings, of which one, a near 10 minute drum solo, I could do without. The music concluded with the entirity of the "Life's a Long Song" five track EP.

Originally I thought the package could have been a single album minus the live songs and the EP that many fans had purchased fairly recently. Now however, my opinion has changed. I can still do without the drum solo, but as most or the songs have been issued as extra tracks on the re-mastered albums, I have yet to find the EP tracks elsewhere.

The CD transfer deletes several tracks to ficilitate the use if a single disc. Why "Teacher" is dropped while album singles are retained is my biggest gripe. but then you can't always get what you want! There may be a song in that?
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...And That The Song I Sing...Will Lead You Astray...", 19 July 2009
By 
Mark Barry (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Living in the Past (Audio CD)
The 2LP set "Living In The Past" was issued in July 1972 in the UK on Chrysalis CJT 1 and October 1972 in the USA on Chrysalis 2CH 1035 - both originals sporting hardback book sleeves with 12 pages of colour shots inside. The set's title reflected what was inside - a ragbag of previously released albums tracks bolstered up with new live and studio songs, rare single sides and their non-album flips.

This 'full' 23-track 2CD version is an audiophile issue - a Mobile Fidelity ORIGINAL MASTER RECORDING housed in a card wrap with two gold ULTRADISC-2 CDs in two separate lift-lock CD cases. The detached oversized booklet slotted in beside the CDs replicates entirely the packaging and liner notes of the original double album - right down to the 'book' texture of the front and rear sleeve. Nice touches it has to be said. However, the liner notes get some details wrong which need clarifying...

Disc 1 (42:55 minutes)
Tracks 1 to 11 and 13 make up the 12 tracks of Side 1 and 2 of the original `UK' double album using strict sequencing

You will notice that Disc 1 has 13 tracks and not 12. The reason for the extra song is that "Inside" (from the "Benefit" LP) appeared as track 5 on Side 2 of the original 'UK' issue, but the original 'US' issue replaced this track with "Alive And Well And Living In" (another "Benefit" track in the UK and the B-side to the UK 7" of "Inside"). Both have been included on this 2CD set for completeness.

Disc 2 (45:35 minutes)
Tracks 1 to 3 and 5 to 10 make up the 9 tracks of Side 3 and 4 of the original 'UK' double album using strict sequencing

However, you will notice that like Disc 1, Disc 2 also has an extra track. Track 5 is "Locomotive Breath" from the "Aqualung" LP - it appeared as track 2 on Side 4 of the original 'UK' issue. However, the 'US' issue replaced this track with another cut from "Aqualung" - "Hymn 43" - again both tracks are included on the Mobile Fidelity issue for completeness.

To confuse matters further, the official EMI release of "Living In The Past" on CD is a truncated single disc of 19 tracks with a crappy inlay and ok-only audio... So this USA-only Mobile Fidelity 2CD issue is the only way to get the full double in one place - either the UK or US variant - and more importantly with truly great sound.

Speaking of which - when I compare "Locomotive Breath" and "Hymn 43" on the 1996 "Aqualung" remaster to these MF versions - the difference couldn't be more marked; the "Aqualung" remaster was to my ears one of the worst and dullest of issues - these MF versions leap out of the speakers. As the recordings vary from 1968 to 1971, the sound does so too, but the Mobile issue excels on them all - especially the beautiful acoustic turns "Just Trying To Be" (lyrics above) and "Up The 'Pool". In fact - excepting the excessive two live tracks, which took up all of Side 3, it's amazing how well the whole set holds together - even to this day.

Bottom line is - this Mobile Fidelity 2CD set has really great sound and the full compliment - it's just such a damn shame that it costs so much...

PS: Given the stunning sound quality on the Collector's Edition of "This Was" achieved by Peter Mew at Abbey Road - surely EMI - both this, "Aqualung" and "Stand Up' could do with the same treatment? It's infuriating that fans have to dig into their wallets to get quality sound...

PPS: see also my review for the 2008 2CD COLLECTOR'S EDITION of "This Was" that features many tracks on the above double
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great but inconsistent collection, 14 Sep 2009
By 
Huck Flynn "huckleberry" (northern ireland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Living In The Past (Audio CD)
There are several manifestations of this album - the cheapest omitting several tracks from the original vinyl version - notably Bouree (unforgiveable) and Teacher. The album was a godsend to those of us in the early 70s who missed or wore out Tull singles Living in the Past, Witches Promise/Teacher, Love Story and best of all the 5 tracks that made up the Life is a Long Song EP (fantastic). Wondering Again is a lovely new version of Wond'ring Aloud from Aqualung. The live "side" features 2 extended tracks - the Dharma drum solo and a John Evan solo piano classical/jazz piece - both quite good but not particularly representative - i think i'd have preferred a few more tracks from This Was, Stand Up and Benefit. The original vinyl version is good but could have been better - large glossy photos of the band (although unfortunately no lyrics). Not a best of but a good round up of singles material, unreleased bonuses and old favourites.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Stuff, 31 July 2013
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This review is from: Living In The Past (Audio CD)
You are unlikely to be contemplating this purchase unless you are already familiar with the band. This collection of classic tracks and live music will not disappoint. Great Price and quick delivery
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