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4.2 out of 5 stars26
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 9 May 2003
I bought this album originally on tape while on holiday in Turkey and after a few plays it went all wobbly.I bought it initially out of curiousity as I'd heard a track off this album on a compilation and from then on I was hooked. This isn't typical Tull. Anderson had been flirting with new technology for a number of years and the sound can be described as possibly a cross between ZZ Top and Dire Sraits. It's a very accessible album but notable still for Anderson's quirky lyrics and ear for a great tune especially 'Waking Edge' and 'Said She Was a Dancer'. If you want a good introduction to Anderson buy this but it is by no means indicative of 70s Tull. And yes, I bought it on cd when I got home!
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VINE VOICEon 17 July 2010
This seems to be the album that Ian Anderson wants us to admire the most judging by his interviews. The song writing and arrangements are supposed to be a notch above all that went before. I love JT but for me this is the album where it all began to fall apart. The lyrics are often weak with some cringe making lines on Budapest "Her legs went on forever, Like staring at infinity". In fact this album seemed to herald the arrival of IA's second adolescence. Some of the music is very good but Martin Barre seems to have decided he wants to sound like Mark Knopfler for some reason (Dire Straits were massively popular at the time). The drumming is poor, often provided by a drum machine. The album is saved by a couple of good but contrasting songs: Steel Monkey is a very powerfull and original modern sounding rock song and Mountain Men has a melodic old fashioned highlands theme which rolls along very nicely.
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on 23 April 2012
By the time Tull released this album, they had been drifting for some time. "A" and "Under Wraps" had alienated previous fans (like myself) who had moved on to other groups/musicians. So, when I heard "Steel Monkey" as a single it wasn't immediately recognisable as a Tull track. Intrigued, I bought the album and loved it. Crest of a Knave, to me, is a straightforward rock album with transatlantic appeal but still with a hint of Tull's roots blended in. Steel Monkey is a tight well-played, radio friendly track with Barre and Pegg playing flat out. Farm on the Freeway is a slow reflective track about the battle between progress and tradition. Oddly, considering albums like Heavy Horses, hearing Anderson sing about freeways and pick -up trucks is a little weird but the music is easy and reflective and allows for a bit of flute work! Jump Start goes back to Steel Monkey in style, and again is an easy-on-the-ear rock track. Said She Was A Dancer and Budapest are very similar tracks, with similar lyrics and styles enabling to Barre and Pegg to express themselves. Both are quite long story-telling. The next track (Mountain Men), in many ways, is the closest to Tull house-style music. Sung with more passion and building slowly from a thoughtful start to a hard tight sound: constantly on my playlists: for me the outstanding track. Raising Steam is a joyous finale: almost sounding as if Ian Anderson was satisfied and relieved with the final product! The above track sequence was how the original album was released, with side A ending with Said She Was. On the CD, "Dogs" is inserted at this point. That makes sense in that you separate the two similar ballads. As an offering, it is certainly a JT track, and easy on the ear. The other inserted track, is The Waking Edge. Firstly it breaks the flow from Mountain Men into Raising Steam, which worked well on the original. Secondly, it's not particularly memorable. Personally, I skip it. Lyrically, overall it is not as quirky as previous offerings, and at times it tends towards the cliched rock image but musically it is strong. The albums that followed, tried to repeat this formula. In my mind they were poor imitations. If you like classic complex Tull, this won't appeal. If you want a quality Rock offering, this album ticks the boxes.
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VINE VOICEon 4 November 2000
Play the track "Said She Was A Dancer" from this Tull C.D. to any ten music fans and at least seven will probably ask you which Dire Straits album it's taken from.
The album was the first Tull c.d. I bought and though I've since covered what fans consider to be the essential purchases, this C.D. is still one of the most played.
"Farm on the Freeway" is a classic, slow building tune laden with flute, telling of a farmers rage at compulsary land purchase (very British) and leads into "Jump Start", another track which could not be mistaken for any other band. The centerpeice of the album is "Budapest" at over ten minutes you can almost feel the effort that has gone into making it epic.
My favourite track is "Dogs in the Midwinter" a variation on the "Why is life so hard" theme and another tune you find humming when you least expect it.
It could be that Tull were attempting to break America again, this album and particulary the track "Jump Start" were heavily played on U.S. radio but as a confirmed Tull fan I can recommend it both to fans and to the first time "Tull Buyer".
Oh, and "Steel Monkey" sound a bit like ZZ Top !!!
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VINE VOICEon 9 November 2001
Tull are known to pay little heed to the whims of fashion, so you might be forgiven for thinking their material has varied little since 1967. In fact, it's none the worse for that. Anderson's quirky neo-folkish vocals and breathy flute solos are welded efficiently to accoustic and electrical guitar chords, much as you ever expected.
The surprise comes through the surprisingly delicate melodies and intricate playing on songs such as Farm on the Freeway, Said she was a Dancer and Budapest, much as they did later to great effect with Rare and precious chain.
If this is your intro to the world of Tull, this is worth exploring at your leisure.
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This is a Tull album that screams 'Eighties'.

In an attempt to keep up with the times (but without losing the essence of what they're about), Jethro Tull adopted a far more modern approach to their sound.

The result is generally pleasing, helped by strong songs and a very glossy production style which is typical of the era and thus dates it somewhat.

The album scooped all sorts of awards at the time - that said, it is nether their greatest or strongest album, though it remains quite possibly their most commercial release to date.
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on 14 May 2016
Early days, as I have only listened to this album once. It was not quite what I expected, having read they were awarded a Grammy for best Heavy Metal Album, or somesouch for this. Not exactly heavy metal, or even heavy rock, but I still like it. Quite different from what I know as classic Tull, but an enjoyable listen. One or two tracks sound very Dire Straits, both in the guitar style and Ian Andersons singing.
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on 16 February 2012
Jethro Tull being one of our Rock Crown Jewels, always produce something interesting. Crest Of A Knave is no exception. You can tell it's Tull by Ian Anderson's brilliant vocals, and the album has some exellent tracks on it - especially "Steel Monkey". One of those albums that I can go back to time and time again.
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on 17 November 2015
A pleasant change from the early Jethro Tull music, but still up to their usual high standard.
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on 7 December 2015
along with broadsword and the beast this is my alltime favourite jethro tull album
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