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64 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Was............Tull at their best!
"This Was" was one of my favourite albums of 1968. I bought it on vinyl LP at the time, then on CD in the early `90s, in 2001 the remaster and now the 40th anniversary edition. Hopefully that's cracked it now!

This 2008 version is superb, if only all reissues were as comprehensive as this - Tim Chacksfield's name under the compilers credit usually guarantees a...
Published on 5 Aug 2008 by James B. Spink

versus
3 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars of historical interest to tull fans
Like many bands of the time, Tull started as a blues band, albeit with the novelty of Ian Anderson's flute playing. Later they evolved the - better, more original - sound more usually associated with them. Saw Tull at the Cropedy fest a few years ago and they were great , but didnt play any of these tracks. I guess the reason they have left them well and truly behind is...
Published on 3 Nov 2011 by Captain Kirk


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64 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Was............Tull at their best!, 5 Aug 2008
By 
James B. Spink "Jim" (Kent, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: This Was (Audio CD)
"This Was" was one of my favourite albums of 1968. I bought it on vinyl LP at the time, then on CD in the early `90s, in 2001 the remaster and now the 40th anniversary edition. Hopefully that's cracked it now!

This 2008 version is superb, if only all reissues were as comprehensive as this - Tim Chacksfield's name under the compilers credit usually guarantees a well researched compilation and this one is no exception. Add Abbey Road's Peter Mew as the remasterer / remixer and you know it's going to sound good too.

On CD 1 the original mono mix has been remastered and sounds just great. In 1968 the mono mix usually got more attention than the stereo mix of many albums and this mix is somewhat different to the more often heard stereo mix from that time. The rest of the first CD is filled with tracks from the BBC's John Peel sessions - many are live versions of tracks from the album, but some are songs from the band's live set of the time. The sound restoration quality of these old tapes is amazing, and gives an idea of how good the band would have sounded live in 1968.

CD 2 is a new (2008) remix of the stereo version of "This Was", and sounds quite different to the original stereo mix - perhaps more like the original mono mix to my ears. This is not just another remastering so any earlier version of the album you have will not become redundant if you purchase this one! This version also includes the three bonus tracks that were on the 2001 reissue, but this time "Love Story" & "Christmas Song" are featured as new stereo mixes and again as mono remasters. "One for John Gee" (B side of "Jeffery" single - and Marque manager) is also a mono remaster as is the new addition, and very rare first single, (on MGM as Jethro Toe!) "Sunshine Day".

This set seems to contain almost all the 1968 original band line-up's recorded material plus nine bonus BBC tracks. The only omission I can see is the B side of the first MGM single, the track "Aeroplane"; whether it was deemed not good enough or perhaps the tape was missing is not mentioned in the booklet.

There are reflections from each original band member, photos and material from the original LP release in the booklet and package. I bought the American Capitol version from one of Amazon's American sellers as the price was competitive, it is very similar to the UK version - the music is identical but the packaging is slightly different.

This was Tull as I liked them best, bluesy and jazzy without the trappings of Prog Rock with which they became bogged down in later life.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'This Was' sounding fresher and better than ever, 29 May 2008
By 
Mr. Philip Baird (Isle of Man) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: This Was (Audio CD)
I did recollect 'This Was' as a decent if patchy album by one of my favourite bands of yesteryear - until I heard it again in this new reissue, and what a revelation it is. The band is superb with Ian's contribution nicely balanced with all the others; the superb rhythm section of Clive Bunker and Glenn Cornick, and Mick Abrahams in great form. There are some lovely jazz tinges in amongst the overall blues feel of the album that would sadly be lost on their later albums. There is a freshness and lightness of execution about this and their other early albums, that became leaden by the time they turned the guitar amps up, went a bit heavy metal and got lost in the woods of old England. Despite the always fantastic musicianship, I never really got all the elves, squirrels and celtic myth stuff but the eclectic blues and jazz of 'This Was' still does it for me.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...Won't Somebody Tell Me Where I Lay My Head Last Night...", 12 Jan 2010
By 
Mark Barry "Mark Barry" - See all my reviews
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This review is from: This Was (Audio CD)
This 2008 40th Anniversary 2CD COLLECTOR'S EDITION of Jethro Tull's explosive debut album has been a long time coming - but the wait has been so worth it.

Soundwise - this peach is simply off the charts good, and as a reissue, has breathed new life into a long forgotten and largely dismissed album. I suspect that even people who don't like Tull (and they are derided in certain circles) will enjoy this and be duly impressed...

There's a lot on here, so here's a detailed breakdown first...

DISC 1 (71:28 minutes):
Tracks 1 to 10 are the MONO VERSION of the album "This Was" released 25 October 1968 in the UK on Island ILP 985
(February 1969 saw the album released in the USA on Reprise RS 6336 but in Stereo only - the Stereo mix is on Disc 2)

Tracks 11 to 15 are live-in-the-studio recordings made for John Peel's "Top Gear" Radio program on BBC 1, recorded 23 July 1968 in London (broadcast August & September 1968)
Tracks 16 to 19 are more live-in-the-studio recordings as per 11 to 15...recorded 5 November 1968 in London (broadcast December 1968)

DISC 2 (55:18 minutes):
Tracks 1 to 10 are the STEREO VERSION of the album "This Was" released 25 October 1968 on Island ILPS 9085 [credited here as a "New Stereo Mix"]

Tracks 11 and 12 are ADDITIONAL NEW STEREO MIXES of "Love Story" and "Christmas Song" [New to this set]

Tracks 13 to 16 are ORIGINAL MONO RECORDINGS (UK Singles)
13 is "Sunshine Day", their debut UK 7" single issued 16 February 1968 on MGM Records 1348 [miscredited as Jethro Toe]
14 is "One For John Gee", non-album B-side to "A Song For Jeffrey", 2nd UK 7" single issued September 1968 on Island WIP 6043
15 is "Love Story", November 1968, Non-Album Track, A-side of their 3rd UK 7" single on Island WIP 6048
16 is "Christmas Song", also a non-album track on release, B-side to 15

PETER MEW at Abbey Road has expertly remastered the 1st generation original masters tapes and the results are stupendous - the clarity is now unbelievable on both the old MONO MIX and the newly constructed STEREO MIX. Getting your hands on an original UK MONO vinyl copy of this album has always been an expensive and difficult affair - the STEREO version a little less so. So it's great to finally have both on a good CD. The 12-page booklet is a little crammed (pictures of 45's you can barely make out due to their tiny size), but it does features new notes from both Ian Anderson and Mick Abrahams.

Highlights - the opening track "My Sunday Feeling" (lyrics above) is classic Tull - rock with a flute jazz tint. Speaking of which - the track "Serenade To A Cuckoo" first appeared on Rahsaah Roland Kirk's 1964 album "I Talk With The Spirits". Kirk's flute technique of humming and mouthing as you play the instrument clearly blew away the young Ian Anderson, because he's been aping that style ever since (it's also the only time a cover version has appeared on a Jethro Tull album).

The bluesy "Beggar's Farm" is so clear now as are Clive Bunker's drums on "Dharma For One". The Stereo Mix of "Some Day The Sun Won't Shine" absolutely leaps out of the speakers, while the harmonica and guitar duo intro on "It's Breaking Me Up" perfectly compliments the slinky bass line by Glenn Cornick. "Cat's Squirrel" just rocks like a monster too.

The additional BBC stuff is very good (the band was still fresh) as are the properly remastered versions of the early Tull singles (most of which were non-album until the 2LP set "Living In The Past" in 1972).

I'd have preferred a far more expanded booklet, but it's the great remaster that makes me come back to this reissue time and time again... Onwards from here to Mick Abraham's Blodwyn Pig and their stunning 1969 debut "Ahead Rings Out" (see separate review).

EMI are to be praised for this - an absolute winner - recommended big time.

PS: for Peter Mew's work see also Dr. Feelgood's "Down By The Jetty" (reviewed), Deep Purple's "Burn" and Kevin Ayers' "The Confessions Of Dr. Dream And Other Stories" (reviewed)
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44 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deluxe treatment., 7 May 2008
By 
P. B. Koeb (Aljezur, Portugal) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: This Was (Audio CD)
Whilst i'm not a huge fan of all the collector's editions which exist, here's one which is well worth buying. Particularly since, at the time of writing, it's just a touch more expensive than the regular version. A lovingly packaged product, which comes with a pleasing booklet and some worthwhile bonus material. The big upside is that purchasers will be rewarded with being able to familiarise themselves with the mythical "reverb-soaked" mono mix. I was fortunate enough to be able to acquire an inexpensive copy of this vinyl rarity, some ten years ago, but this deluxe copy will enable me to enjoy the mono mix a bit more regularly.

The second cd is given over to the supposedly more "compressed" stereo mix of the album, as released by the short-lived line-up of Jethro Tull with the excellent Mick Abrahams on guitar. The group was into a more blues-based sound, as was somewhat fashionable at the time. (Check out the Cream/Clapton-inspired cover of "Cat's Squirrel", for example.) But this album stands up as being a really excellent debut release.

And the bonus material doesn't disappoint in the slightest. There are numerous tracks from John Peel sessions, a couple of tracks released in single form, and there's even the "Sunshine Day" MGM single mega rarity. This is one collector's edition which can wholeheartedly be recommended to anyone who is unfamiliar with this release. And also those who are.

PS. I must say that the mono and "new" stereo mixes generally sound pretty similar. However, "It's Breaking Me Up" and "Cat's Squirrel" sound somewhat different. As do the vocals on "(A) Song For Jeffrey". "Cat's Squirrel", in particular, sounds fabulous in mono and shows Abrahams, Bunker and (particularly) the under-rated Glenn Cornick as a really decent power trio. And check out the mono mixes of "Love Story", which is a bit different, and "Christmas Song". The latter strangely loses the " 'ere Santa..." line.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An under-rated Classic, 28 April 2008
By 
The Soft Machine Operator (COVENTRY, WARWICKSHIRE United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: This Was (Audio CD)
Jethro Tull's first album is a hugely entertaining battle between Mick Abraham's smooth blues guitar and Ian Anderson's jazzy flute playing and nasal vocals. Both provide excellent songs for this short lived lineup which includes great playing from all members.

It's a world away from Thick As A Brick, Passion Play, Broadsword and the rest, but then again, Ian Anderson never steered the good ship Tull down the same river twice.

Essential.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yes, Another Reissue.... But...., 22 May 2008
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This review is from: This Was (Audio CD)
Look - it IS a bit much that this is being revisited so soon after the recent slew of Tull reissues. On the other hand, while later reissues in the recent series got lavish extras and booklets, This Was was treated rather lightely (as were all the early albums to be honest).

So here we have This Was done right. Talk about lavish - double disc, great booklet (with comments from ALL band members), and a fold out cover with more shots from the period.

I've been playing the Mono version, and it's just glorious. The bonus material? It matches what's on the original disc, in both quality and sound. Those John Peel sessions sound like they were done yesterday.

It's unlikely new fans are stumbling upon this disc - but if you're a Tull fan and you're on the fence having just paid out for the last reissue, then don't hesitate any more. For better or worse this easily trumps that last release. The 40th Aniversary Version presented here is just glorious.

I really lucked out - this is my most played Tull album. Didn't want to buy it yet again, not so soon, but I'm sure glad I did.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They never made an album like this again..., 1 May 2008
By 
Og Oggilby "Og Oggilby" (North London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: This Was (Audio CD)
Better men than I have made the point that, initially at least, Jethro Tull were a Blues band, admittedly with a few kinks of their own. 'This Was', lovingly repackaged here, is a splendid debut album, cut on four-track equipment, and recorded cheaply, but, and here's a point that those in this now digital age should note - it sounds great, even if it does feature a drum solo. For all their blues roots, the Tull of 'This Was' have a distinctly English take on the style, with Ian Anderson's still-formative flute work much in evidence. Mick Abrahams ain't half good here, but in truth, the band perform so well as a unit that it's a bit rum to single out an individual. Funny, funky, in its way, 'This Was' is an occasionally loud but always lovely experience, and forty years on has worn exceptionally well. The various bonus tracks and radio sessions add lustre to the legend, and for under ten quid, you'd be daft not to invest.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Was Brilliant, 24 Jan 2012
This review is from: This Was (Audio CD)
This Was is Jethro Tull's first album and is a fantastic mix of late 60s bluesy rock music. Songs like 'Someday the Sun Won't Shine For You' and 'Beggar's Farm' give a real bluesy feel to the album, which is complemented by the jazzy elements of 'Serenade to a Cuckoo'. Mick Abrahams lays down some lovely guitar work on this album, the only Jethro Tull album to feature him before he left due to musical differences, and it is a rare chance to listen to an album of Jethro Tull playing with such a blues influence, because it is a sound that they quickly left behind. Ian Anderson's voice gives a unique dynamic to the album, along with the added dimension of his flute playing. If you are a Jethro Tull fan it is a very interesting album to own, and if you are not then even more so, as it is very different to their later albums and gives a unique feel to 60s blues.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic, 10 Nov 2011
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This review is from: This Was (Audio CD)
This album is on my personal top-10 of the sixties.
It stands the test of time beautifully. Listening to it so many years later, I am blown away by the technical skill of all involved. (And Ian Anderson claims only to have been playing the flute for 6 months prior to recording!). It's a mixed bag of compositions, sure, but delivered with a spirit of youth that ties everything together. In fact, I realise now, that this album opened my ears to jazz music in general. I rank the following album 'Stand Up' equally high, but after that the magic of Jethro Tull faded for me.
The bonus material is plentiful. Several BBC takes are all presented in superb sound quality.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jethro Tull - This was, 12 Oct 2011
This review is from: This Was (Audio CD)
Excellent and what a bargain, less than half the price in the shops. Brand new and still wrapped.

This is a great LP which I bought on vinyl in the 60s and loved then, I've had the ordinary CD for years and only played it a little but i've really enjoyed listening to this again, the bonus is full of great extras. I'd recommend to anyone.
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This Was
This Was by Jethro Tull (Audio CD - 2008)
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