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62 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fine Christmas present from Jethro Tull
I wasn't sure about pre-ordering this double disc set. Firstly one of the discs ia a plain re-issue of the 2003 release "The Jethro Tull Christmas Album", which is good, but not great; too short on new material for me. Secondly disc No.2 is recorded during a cross between a JT acoustic concert and a carol service.

However, it is probably, to my ears the very...
Published on 24 Nov 2009 by D. A. Burmeister-prescott

versus
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Ring Out, Solstice Bells and Remove the Holly from the Ivy, Jethro Tull misses the mark.
I am a big Tull fan and love most of his albums due to their innovation and sheer audacity of producing something unique and at times outlandish, while at the same time creating incredibly complex and brilliantly played music. 'The Christmas Album' is another one of those curiosity pieces that you may want to pull out at Christmas times in order to hear the relatives...
Published on 16 April 2012 by S Tuffnell


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62 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fine Christmas present from Jethro Tull, 24 Nov 2009
By 
D. A. Burmeister-prescott "Psychic David" (Leicestershire, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Jethro Tull Christmas Album/Jethro Tull Live-Christmas At St Bride's 2008 (Audio CD)
I wasn't sure about pre-ordering this double disc set. Firstly one of the discs ia a plain re-issue of the 2003 release "The Jethro Tull Christmas Album", which is good, but not great; too short on new material for me. Secondly disc No.2 is recorded during a cross between a JT acoustic concert and a carol service.

However, it is probably, to my ears the very best acoustic live concert that JT have ever done, sound is great, the vocal the best from Ian Anderson in many a year, despite his comment that he was suffering with some variety of Lurgy, and the playing by the band is, as ever, magnificent. Add in a sprinkle of readings, some nice choir and congregation carols, plus Ian Anderson doing a skilled job of being the host / MC and the whole ensemble makes a warm and uplifting Christmas treat.

Buy this, you will not be disappointed.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Earthy and Ecumenical, 12 Nov 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Christmas Album (Audio CD)
This is not your typical and smarmy, sickly-sweet Christmas album. Rather, with this CD Jethro Tull have managed to capture in both verse and melody the spirit of giving, sharing, and perfunctory overindulgence that ostensibly goes with the Christmas season, contrasted with the melancholy and flat-out destitution that the less-fortunate among us actually experience during this time of year. This interplay of content and style are presented against a backdrop of earthly Pagan solstice symbolism, all of which Jethro Tull have managed to integrate as a kind of ecumenical "Birthday Card at Christmas," which not incidentally is the title of the introductory track. This combination is daring and bold, if not outright brilliant, and in my estimation they have pulled it off strikingly well. The musicianship, vocals, lyrics, production and overall execution (not to mention outstanding packaging) are commensurate with and at times exceed even Tull's impeccably high standards, showing this to be a band at the top of it's craft. Anderson's vocals, in particular, complete the album by sounding as warmly weathered as the bearded red-suit uncle himself. It's a decidedly Tull exploration of the seasonal space -- an effort that starts strong and improves with subsequent listens. May it continue to play well for you during the holiday season and throughout the year.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet, 3 Jan 2005
By 
C. Trickett "Chris" (Kazakhstan) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Christmas Album (Audio CD)
Armed with the open-minded realisation that they've earned the right to express themselves musically in any way they want, I left aside the selfish yearning for them to recreate the classic sounds of the 60s, 70s and to a lesser extent the 80s and 90s, and began to appreciate this CD for what it is. A wonderful expression of joy, fun and above all, a celebration of music. The mood is uplifting, the musicianship inspirational, and once again some of the new tracks (e.g. First Snow on Brooklyn) prove that Ian is far from a spent force. The Christmas Album is as welcome in my collection as all their other stuff.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hey Santa, pass us that bottle, will ya...., 13 Oct 2003
By 
carl iredale (halifax, west yorkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Christmas Album (Audio CD)
If anyone has the correct curriculum Vitae to do a tongue-firmly-in-cheek Christmas album, then it has to be Anderson and his crew. And this, if you listen to it with a wry smile and a glass of mulled wine (the latter not an essential part of the listening process, but hey, why not?)then a splendid time is guarenteed. This album has both re-recorded versions of songs from the hugely extensive Tull back catalogue which may have even the most tenuous link with Christmas, or other Seasonal tunes and ditties. A fab jazzy version of God Rest Ye Merrie Gentlemen that Tull have played live for donkeys' years is here in all its sloppy jazzy glory. In short a great stocking filler for anyone with a love of all things Tull, or just up for a giggle.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Christmas Album, 8 Dec 2004
By 
Kate Copsey "Katy" (Pittsburgh, PA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Christmas Album (Audio CD)
For those of us old enough to remember Jethro Tull from the 70's and 80's, this new CD is a delight. It also makes a wonderful change to the rather mundane Christmas carol selections that are usually dragged out at this time of year.
The familiar flute is heard throughout the CD as Ian Anderson performs jaunty seasonal songs along with gentle and lyrical classical songs. There are mixes of carols arranged in medleys together, such as The Holly and the Ivy which is mixed with Hark the Herald Angels Sing in an instrumental. Both Greensleeves and We Three Kings are given an arrangement that makes the original still recognizable, while at the same time the interpretation has a definite Tull flavor. Several of the original songs reflect a slightly cynical view of the season and our overindulgence, illustrating Tull's unique style, such as in Another Christmas song and The First Snow on Brooklyn.
One of the most beautiful tracks on the CD is Ring Out the Solstice Bells. The flute creates the sounds of the bells ringing, creating an almost Dickensian feel to the song.
Reviewers have declared that this is the best work of Jethro Tull in many years, and I have to agree with that. However, even if you are from the post-vinyl era, this makes an interesting change to the rather sugary renditions of seasonal songs, whilst staying within the spirit of the Christmas season. It has become a favorite for our house already and I suspect it will stay that way for many years.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jethro Tull Christmas Album, 21 Mar 2004
By 
David Lazzari - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Christmas Album (Audio CD)
Glad I bought this (but this time not from Amazon.co.uk I'm afraid).
Great album with great Christmas feel (funny that). Some lovely work from all the band on some old songs and some new ones. The songs (as opposed to the instrumentals) have a Songs from the Wood feel. Love the 'new' stuff especially Jack Frost & the Hooded Crow and Last man at the party. The instrumentals are just as wonderful. Great re-working of the Tull classic Bourée, some nice arrangements of traditional Christmas carols and lovely arrangement of Fauré's Pavane.
All in all another good from Ian & the boys. Don't wait until Christmas to buy it!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Earthy and Ecumenical, Indeed, 7 July 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Christmas Album (Audio CD)
To restate the brilliant review from earlier on, this CD is not your typical and smarmy, sickly-sweet Christmas album, despite the self-interested comments of the quizzical reviewer below. Rather, with this CD Jethro Tull have managed to capture in both verse and melody the spirit of giving, sharing, and perfunctory overindulgence that ostensibly go with the Christmas season, contrasted with the melancholy and flat-out destitution that the less-fortunate among us actually experience during this time of year. This interplay of content and style are presented against a backdrop of earthly Pagan solstice symbolism, all of which Jethro Tull have managed to integrate as a kind of ecumenical "Birthday Card at Christmas," which not incidentally is the title of the introductory track. This combination is daring and bold, if not outright brilliant, and in my estimation they have pulled it off strikingly well. These qualities clearly at hand, the time and place of airing are rendered profoundly irrelevant. Moreover, the musicianship, vocals, lyrics, production and overall execution (not to mention outstanding packaging) are commensurate with and at times exceed even Tull's impeccably high standards, showing this to be a band at the top of it's craft. Anderson's vocals, in particular, complete the album by sounding as warmly weathered as the bearded red-suit uncle himself. It's a decidedly Tull exploration of the seasonal space -- an effort that starts strong and improves with subsequent listens. May it continue to play well for you during the holiday season and throughout the year.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jethro Tull Back on form, 14 Oct 2003
This review is from: Christmas Album (Audio CD)
This beautifully packaged new album is a very welcome and utterly justified piece of self-indulgence and celebration on Ian's part - wonderfully tongue-in-cheek, and proving that after 35 years, Jethro Tull can still surprise and delight - whilst at the same time maintaining that essential Tullness. The album consists of a combination of re-invigorated old classics and rare tracks, Tullified Chrsitmas Carols and great new pieces......as well as some expanded flute improvisations that have hitherto only been heard as part of the live set or on rare box sets. Ian has once again proved that he knows exactly what the fans want; The Christmas Album demostrates perfectly the band's propensity for not taking themselves too seriously, whilst still challenging the listener and providing a few suprises. The highlight for me is "We Five Kings" - the most self-indulgent track on the CD is an inspired musical anagram of primary school standard "We Three Kings" and Tull classic, "Living in The Past; and it works brilliantly. The interpretaion of Faure's Pavanne is wonderful, as is that old favourite, Bouree. Jethro Tull made Bach's Bouree their own many years ago - and they have managed to come up with yet another superb version of it here. I'm sure that this album will, in the fullness of time, be considered a classic - alongside Aqualung and Songs From The Wood (from which it takes much influence). No Tull fan can miss this album - it is excellent in every way, and it reminded me of why I love this band. This album is a great Christmas present from Jethro Tull to their fans...I cannot recommend it highly enough.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Evocative, 25 Sep 2008
This review is from: Christmas Album (Audio CD)
I'm not what might you call a Tull fan (though I do have their `Broadsword and the Beast', acquired kind of by accident but that's another story). What I am interested in are Christmas albums: while compilation albums are OK (if I can find one containing enough songs not already duplicated in my collection), the ultimate prize for me is a Christmas-themed album recorded as a single body of work, which usually means it is recorded by the same artist (a notable exception being the Phil Spector album), and original material trumps covers of Christmas classics (I can live without yet another version of `Baby it's Cold Outside'). In this respect, `The Jethro Tull Christmas Album' is one of the finest around.

The songs are a mix of re-worked Tull songs and Tull re-workings (loose) of classics plus some original songs. Musically, the album has an acoustic `unplugged' feel to it: flute (of course), jingly guitars and mandolins; the percussion and bass is a master class in subtly. While the songs are not all explicitly `Christmassy' in their lyrics (neither is `Jingle Bells', if you think about it), they are certainly evocative of winter rituals that I tend to partake in at that time of the year: informal parties with dubious food and too much alcohol, sitting by an open fire while the kids are asleep up in bed, recalling past times while walking through a wintery landscape... well, they are evocative for me *now*...

During our first Christmas together, I played it in the background, while stuffing the turkey and what not, and, frankly, it didn't really grab me, though I did really like the new version of `Ring Out Solstice Bells', which remains faithful to the original in terms of vocals and rhythm (despite being a mainly `acoustic' album, the song hasn't been slowed down to the pace of a ballad, thankfully) without those dated `reverse handclaps' elements. I was left wondering what `Greensleeves' has to do with Christmas and couldn't help thinking one of tracks sounded a bit like Dire Straits (not good for me).

The second Christmas I started to be able to differentiate the tracks and found they to my liking. During the third Christmas I realised it had become an essential part of my Christmas experience, as simple as that! Now, one of the things I look forward to doing at Christmas is listening to this album: how long can I last out? December 15? No way! And that Dire-Straits-sounding song was my very favourite last Christmas.

Incidentally, don't make the mistake of thinking this album is only for hardcore Tull fans. I lent it to one such person and they didn't really enjoy it. My impression was they were too fond of the original versions of the Tull songs, didn't see the point of revised `unplugged' versions and didn't necessarily associate them with Christmas. So if you are not too familiar with the Tull back catalogue then you may have an increased chance of enjoying this album to the full!The Jethro Tull Christmas Album
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Jethro Tull has more than one Christmas Song to sing, 1 Mar 2005
By A Customer
Two of my favorite non-traditional Christmas songs are "I Believe in Father Christmas" by Emerson, Lake & Palmer and "Christmas Song" by Jethro Tull, which are not exactly the sort of songs you would remember to pull out of your music library at Yule time. Jethro Tull takes steps to remedy that with "The Jethro Tull Christmas Album." What you will find here are some old songs that the group has re-recorded ("Ring Out Solstice Bells" and "Bouree"), along with some songs from the vault ("Last Man at the Party") and new songs by Ian Anderson ("Birthday Card at Christmas"), as well as some standard Christmas songs ("God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen") and not so stardard ("Holly Herald"), all of which are done as instrumentals. The music approach is much more acoustic and folksy, with mandolin, accordion, and strings to go along with the expected flute playing from Anderson and Martin Barre's acoustic guitar playing, for which special mention of Gabriel Fauré's "Pavane" must be made.
If you were trying to put your finger on where the sound of this 2003 album goes in the Jethro Tull timeline then I would say it is more "Songs From the Woods" than anything else. I keep thinking that I want to say that I wish they had gone back a bit farther, to at least "Thick as a Brick," but I think that is more just more my inclinations towards what I consider classic Tull rather than what best fits the music. Actually if you told me that Jethro Tull was putting out a Christmas album and that the best tracks were going to be the instrumental pieces, I would have been surprised, and you probably will too. I am always on the look out for some eclectic Christmas albums to put into the traditional holiday mix, and "The Jethro Tull Christmas Album" certainly fits the bill, reflecting as it does Anderson's peculiar and somewhat provocative notion of the holiday. It is also a pretty good Jethro Tull album on its own terms.
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