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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars About time too
A cracking Tull album finally gets the sonic clear-up it deserves. Broadsword fuses medieval themes with sprightly arrangements, 'modern day' instrumentation and shiny production to produce a sort of folky Dire Straits sound. Sadly, whilst the remastering definitely improves what was always one of Tull's thinnest sounding albums, Gerry Conway's drums still sound like...
Published on 15 April 2005 by Amazon Customer

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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The 80s Tull sound not up to standard...
"Broadsword and the Beast" is an 80s album with an 80s sound that Jethro Tull were literally forced to embark on. Even the stage show changed with cheesy rigging on tall ship masts and massive boat settings. Of course it didn't work and Anderson cheerfully refers to this Tull period as the 'Spinal Tap' stage show. In the liner notes he is also quick to add that the band...
Published on 16 April 2012 by S Tuffnell


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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars About time too, 15 April 2005
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This review is from: The Broadsword and the Beast (ccd 1380) (Audio CD)
A cracking Tull album finally gets the sonic clear-up it deserves. Broadsword fuses medieval themes with sprightly arrangements, 'modern day' instrumentation and shiny production to produce a sort of folky Dire Straits sound. Sadly, whilst the remastering definitely improves what was always one of Tull's thinnest sounding albums, Gerry Conway's drums still sound like synthesized biscuit tins.
The eight extra tracks are very welcome, but to these ears it's a shame they're all the same ones anthologised on the 20 Years Box set - no room for 'Crew Nights', 'Commons Brawl', 'No Step' or 'Drive on the Young Side of Life', each of which tower over the drivel like 'Watching Me Watching You' and others included in this set.
But enough of my carping. This is one of Tull's best albums - whether splicing the mainbrace on Broadsword, wallowing in the pastoral yearning of Slow Marching Band, progging out on Seal Driver or synth-throbbing on The Clasp - this is an album as old as the hills and as futuristic as its 1981 heritage allows. Ironically, having confused the occasional punters so comprehensively on Stormwatch and A, it was Broadsword that suffered in overall sales. Ian's solo album and Under Wraps showed that he still had a way to go on his personal synthesizer journey, but this album was a very high watermark in a meagre few years.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best rock album ever!!!, 8 Oct 2012
By 
E. Freeman (Cambs, U.K) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Broadsword and the Beast (ccd 1380) (Audio CD)
Maybe I should have said the best progressive rock album ever! Either way this is a brilliant album. I was just listening to the cd again on my nice, expensive hi-fi system and it sounds magnificent. I first heard the song The Clasp on radio many years ago and I loved it. I bought the vinyl album and really loved the whole thing. The Clasp is still my favourite song but Seal Driver, Flying Colours and Broadsword are great too. Every song is great really. Jethro Tull are a charming group because they use real instruments and also traditional instruments like mandolins and flutes. However they also know how to rock with electric guitars. For this album they added a new keyboards/synthesizer wizkid called Peter Vetesse. He made a dramatic difference on this album adding great synth tones and textures to the atmosphere of the album. To me this was the absolute creative peak of Jethro Tull. I always felt Ian Anderson never knew how to follow it up, and most of the subsequent albums were mediocre. I thought their next really good album was Roots to Branches. This cd reissue adds many bonus tracks recorded around the same time. They are a bit of a rag bag of different styles but they are all worth having. In conclusion, if you like rock music, particularly rock music with a British and mythological flavour, buy this immediately!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Beastie!, 20 Jun 2011
By 
Mark Withers (Scotland, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Broadsword and the Beast (ccd 1380) (Audio CD)
This album marked a change in style of the band, moving from the elven woods of trad. prog. into the hedgehog-splattering highway of a heavier style of rock. The band took on a darker, more politicized tone in later albums which I did not care for (esp. Rock Island). But this was the album that first introduced me to Tull in particular and Prog rock in general, and so sets the standard for all albums before and since.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars one of Tull's best albums, 10 Mar 2011
By 
Razvan Bejinaru (Timisoara, Romania) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Broadsword and the Beast (ccd 1380) (Audio CD)
This is my favorite album from Jethro Tull. All titles are very well written musically and have a more "rock" orientation than the ones on other albums, where you could sense the folk influences. I think the best track is "Flying Colors", a song that has everything from rhythm, guitar solos to very good lyrics and interpretation.
A very nice surprise are the bonus tracks, from which "Jack a Lynn" is by far the best one (it could have been easily introduced on the original recording side by side with the other tracks).
The album was made and appeared in Germany at that time, being a big succes.
All in all a must have for any Jethro Tull fan, in a improved edition.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Remaster, 9 Mar 2012
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This review is from: The Broadsword and the Beast (ccd 1380) (Audio CD)
As I own the original CD of this album, I'm limiting my comments to this remaster. Read the other reviews for commentary on the music. (Oh come on, it's brilliant - one of JT's best works!)

Listening equipment: Denon AH-D2000 headphones driven by an iBasso D10 DAC/Amp via optical.

Primarily, the hiss is gone. The original CD suffered from source tape hiss which I found rather distracting. This remaster has none of that. It's clean and clear. This alone is why I bought it, so no disappointent there.

There is some loss though. Perhaps it's my rig, but the crash cymbals sound a tad synthetic and recessed at times. I guess there's no algorithm for removing high-frequency noise that also preserves high-frequency detail. It doesn't matter to me - I don't think this detracts at all from the overall experience (I'm a bass head after all) and I'm happy with the compromise. Everything I love about this album is more pronounced, more present. That's all I care about.

In short, a superb remaster of a superb album. Cheap as chips too. What are you waiting for? Buy it :)

Oh yeah, the bonus tracks. I've already got them, but they sound great too. "Rhythm in Gold" especially. +1
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Introduction to Tull a delight, 19 Dec 2007
By 
Tony Roberts (Bristol, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Broadsword and the Beast (ccd 1380) (Audio CD)
Not being a Tull fan - they were always 'known' to me but a band I never really took much notice of - I was intrigued to get Broadsword & the Beast (the cut-down 'vinyl' version) from a friend in the autumn of 2007. My rock tastes tend to be prog/heavy rock and Tull never was a band I thought of to listen to. Hence I listened to this without knowing of what they did prior to Broadsword.

Beastie kicked things off and immediately the folky-prog style appealed to me. While Beastie wouldn't turn out to be my favourite on this album, it certainly made me want to hear more. The only thing I disliked about this track was the chant-style vocal delivery of the title. Martin Barre's guitar riff had my foot tapping and I felt I'd missed out all these years on a band that sort of slipped under my radar. Then onto Clasp. Anderrson's flute playing was what I'd known Tull for and wasn't surprised at the intro, but as this song progressed I was pleasantly surprised at how catchy it was and really took to the guitar riff and melody. This would be my number 3 fave on this album.

Fallen On Hard Times took me back to the 70s Folk Rock era and this sort of song suits Anderson's voice. I can't see him belting out rock anthems a-la Coverdale or Gillan, for example, but this track showed Anderson's strength in Folk Rock. This reminded me of Lynyrd Skynrd. Flying Colours started off what I thought was going to be a ballad, but it suddenly changed into a weak Yes-style song and I felt it owed much of Barre's guitar riffs to Marillion. Not quite an original sound.

Slow Marching Band was full of English Country Folk influence, and I could almost imagine John Tams writing and singing this one. It didn't really grab me. Broadsword was heavier and more moody and made me think of marching soldiers in a medieval setting. Then came the best song of the lot, Pussy Willow. I was really into the Fantasy movies of the early 80s and this took me back to those days. This song too had a double identity; the beginning like a soft folk song that suddenly broke into a really catchy rock track. The last 30 seconds was one of the best I've heard in a long time.

Following on from that Watching Me Watching You left me cold. Too harsh, too paranoid. Luckily what came after that, Seal Driver, made up for that. A proggy, guitar filled delight that was only faulted in being 5 minutes or so too short. I really would have liked it to be 9 minutes or so in length. The final track, Cheerio, was just a filler and doesn't really merit a comment.

An album I'd listen to again and again, and one I'd recommend for prog-folk-soft rock fans.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "I'll Pour A Cup To You My Darling", 22 Aug 2009
This review is from: The Broadsword and the Beast (ccd 1380) (Audio CD)
"Raise it up - say Cheerio" - thus ends the original release of Jethro Tull's "Broadsword and the Beast", one of the groups best albums, though long overlooked in the U.S. The remastered version of the album though, doesn't end there and instead carries on for eight additional bonus tracks and nearly 30 minutes of additional music. Bonus tracks can be a blessing or a curse, and one can find examples of each type within those included here, but as long as one can program their CD playback they are usually appreciated even if they are only listened to on rare occasions.

The original album is one of Tull's best, up there with the likes of any of the numerous ones which are often mentioned as being their best. From each of the albums two near-title tracks to the paranoid "Watching Me Watching You" to the closing toast "Cheerio", it is full of strong and very listenable tracks. No doubt some have gone in and out of my personal favor at times, but each one has something which draws the listener in and all have those wonderful lyrics which make them uniquely Ian Anderson's.

The album opens with "Beastie", one of those near-title tracks and a song about people's private fears summed up nicely in the lyric:

"If you wear a warmer sporran, you can keep the foe at bay.
You can pop those pills and visit some psychiatrist who'll say:
There is nothing I can do for you, every where's a danger zone.
I'd love to help get rid of it, but I've got one of my own."

This is followed by "The Clasp", a song about the ritual of shaking hands, or more accurately about those who are afraid to do so. Next is the delightful "Fallen On Hard Times", a song for all times really which discusses people's mistrust of politicians and the political process, i.e. "come clean for once and hit us with the truth." "Flying Colors" deals with ex-lovers who seem to take pleasure in showing off their disagreements in public. "Slow Marching Band" closes the first half of the album with a song about people who are parting ways.

The second half of the album opens with the other near-title track "Broadsword", a nice historical number which brings images to the listener's mind of defending against a Viking attack, or more generally can be about any man protecting his family. "Pussy Willow" is a song about a young woman who is more excited by her fantasy world than she is her real life. "Watching Me Watching You" has a completely different musical feel than most of the album, and seems to be a song about the fear of people watching you, or perhaps just the feeling that you are being watched. "Seal Driver" has a rather unusual lyric and one has to wonder if it is about a ship or a woman, which plays off of the switch between women and trains which takes place in the lyric of the previous number. The album then closes with the short "Cheerio", which is the perfect end to a wonderful album.

The bonus tracks open with "Jack Frost and the Hooded Crow", a number which is as strong as the original album, and another of Tull's wonderful Christmas songs in which he so rudely reminds us of the less fortunate instead of the marketing and greed which so often dominates people's thoughts during the holiday season. Next is the wonderful "Jack A Lynn", and the lamenting of being away from one you love. "Mayhem Maybe" is a song from the point of view of fairy-folk and has a nice acoustic sound to it. "Too Many Too" is one of the weaker songs added in, though even a weaker Ian Anderson song still has something to offer. "Overhang" is a solid number, with all the trappings of a Tull number, strong guitar, strong flute, and intriguing lyrics. "Rhythm in Gold" lyrically would probably fit better on "Under Wraps", but musically it fits well here, though is not up to the level of the songs on the original album. "I Am Your Gun" is another of the weaker tracks, though certainly interesting as it is written from the point of a gun. "Down At the End of Your Road" is one of the better bonus tracks, with a humorous lyric and an overall unique feel when compared to the other tracks.

This album had a different lineup for Tull as only Ian Anderson (flute, acoustic guitar, vocals), Martin Barre (electric guitar, acoustic guitar), and Dave Pegg (bass, mandolins, vocals) return from the previous release. The new-comers include Gerry Conway (drums, percussion) who replaced Mark Craney and Peter-John Vettesse (piano, synthesizers) who replaced Eddie Jobson.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Proper Music!!!!, 2 Mar 2013
This review is from: The Broadsword and the Beast (ccd 1380) (Audio CD)
If you have ever wondered what Jethro Tull are about...this album will give you a big clue.Then you have to take a journey.A journey that will amaze you beyond belief.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Early Jethro Tull, 8 Dec 2012
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Jethro Tull have been around for a decade or two. Like all of us they mature, (probably). I bought this as a walk down memory lane and I enjoyed as much the second time round as the first. Tull is distinctive and unique. Recommended.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Beastie Of An Album, 30 Jun 2010
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This review is from: The Broadsword and the Beast (ccd 1380) (Audio CD)
I think this is Jethro Tull's best album, full of great songs. On this CD are also eight bonus track recorded at the same time but could not be fitted on to the original album due to the limitations of vinyl.

All the tracks feature great guitar and keyboard work. This coupled with Ian Anderson' s distinctive vocals make for a brilliant album. Pick of the songs for me are Clasp, Flying Colours, Pussy Willow, Seal Driver and Broadsword with its thumping bass and drum rhythm
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