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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Back in the mists of time...
So here it is, the place where the 30 year+andstill going journey began, and if the group decided to re shoot the album cover today, it'd look much the same without the make up! 'This Was' is Jethro Tulls first album, but even here their distinctive sound is apparent. The album is note-worthy also for being the only one in Tulls' vast back catalogue not featuring Martin...
Published on 28 Aug 2001

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40 of 44 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The early sound of a band who went on to better things
Everybody knows that Tull started off as a blues band. This wasn't exactly an original thing to be in 1968 and, indeed, by the time of the album's release the band's sound had moved on, hence the title 'This Was'. As a blues band, Jethro Tull were OK - a sight better than the dreary likes of Chicken Shack, Ten Years After or Savoy Brown. 'Beggar's Farm' is a most...
Published on 27 Sep 2001 by C. C. Williams


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40 of 44 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The early sound of a band who went on to better things, 27 Sep 2001
By 
This review is from: This Was: Remastered (Audio CD)
Everybody knows that Tull started off as a blues band. This wasn't exactly an original thing to be in 1968 and, indeed, by the time of the album's release the band's sound had moved on, hence the title 'This Was'. As a blues band, Jethro Tull were OK - a sight better than the dreary likes of Chicken Shack, Ten Years After or Savoy Brown. 'Beggar's Farm' is a most effective song and the opening track 'My Sunday Feeling' even had a spate as a Northern Soul dance floor filler after I played it to a DJ friend. Despite the incomprehensible lyrics, 'Song For Jeffrey' is also excellent and notable for some tasty slide work by Mick Abrahams. Other songs are standard blues fare or overlong instrumentals; not bad overall but far from great. The additional tracks are welcome. 'One For John Gee' isn't very good but sure is hard to come by. 'Love Story', the band's last recording with Mick Abrahams, is already in a very different style to 'This Was' while 'Christmas Song', a more-or-less solo performance from Ian Anderson was indicative of a new folkier direction.
I have to say something about the packaging of these new remasters: 4/10 to Chrysalis for a total lack of effort. Sure, they're not as bad as the old CDs (which were simply shabby beyond belief) but they're still not good - indifferent front artwork, no photos, press cuttings or lyrics and only skeletal notes (though penned by Ian Anderson which is good).
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The blues orientated debut of a legendary band., 16 Aug 2010
This review is from: This Was: Remastered (Audio CD)
'It's okay' would be a fitting summary of this album. 'My Sunday Feeling' and 'A Song For Jeffery' are the stand-outs here, and the rest chugs along nicely through various instrumentals and blues numbers. A good listen but Jethro Tull were soon to improve dramatically on this with 'Stand Up' and 'Aqualung'.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Back in the mists of time..., 28 Aug 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: This Was (Audio CD)
So here it is, the place where the 30 year+andstill going journey began, and if the group decided to re shoot the album cover today, it'd look much the same without the make up! 'This Was' is Jethro Tulls first album, but even here their distinctive sound is apparent. The album is note-worthy also for being the only one in Tulls' vast back catalogue not featuring Martin Barre on guitar, he only joined for the second album,(Stand Up), and here his space is filled by Mick Abrahams, who left the band shortly after this album to form Blodwyn Pig and has seldom been seen since! The album is more Blues tinged than any Tull album since,(Abrahams influence?), Tracks like 'Someday the sun won't shine for you' and 'my sunday feeling' being the more obvious cases. Also missing from most tracks is Andersons trademark flute playing, here largely replaced by the more blues appropriate harmonica. The most 'Tull-like' track here is 'Song for Jeffrey', which still remains a Tull classic, and was the shape of things to come.Anderson also shares song writing duties on this album, which he has seldom done since. All in all a good album, which launched my favourite band into world before I was born, but 33 years on they're still at it, so something must be right eh?
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The beginning of the tull dynasty, 21 July 2008
By 
Mark Kibble "Underground man" (Coalville Leics England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: This Was: Remastered (Audio CD)
Like many other bands of the time, Tull rose from the blues movement, (where else with Mick Abrahams on board), but even in those early days it was not Tulls way to just toe the line. While their predecessors (cream etc) were now blazing trails on the psychedelic rock scene, much of the material on this debut album fused blues, rock and jazz to great effect.

This set the pattern for all early Tull releases, always innovative, keeping one step in front of the competition.

The inclusion of 4 instrumentals may be considered a bit excessive by some but think on 2 or 3 years to the likes of Vann der graaf generator and co, who I often thought suffered from terminal laryngitis, and it could equally be argued HOW forward thinking they were, anyway they're all good numbers.

Favourite tracks are 'Beggar's farm' and 'My sunday feeling' but everything on here oozes life and energy and above all quality.

If you've been put off by what you've heard from other blues bands, do yourself a favour and try this, its a lesson on how to play the blues with style.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great album, 26 Jun 2014
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This review is from: This Was [VINYL] (Vinyl)
A brilliant album well worth the extra money to buy new. would buy another one through amazon again. Will keep adding to my collection.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars First Jethro Tull Album, 2 May 2013
By 
Mr. Clifton Jones (Matlock, Derbyshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: This Was (Audio CD)
This was the first Tull album and it is not bad (despite the fact that several state it as being their worst). Hints of what was to come can be heard on songs like "My Sunday Feeling", and "Cat's Squirrel" was the highlight of their set in the earliest days. However, the mix of blues based and more straight ahead rock numbers is a little uneasy (and there were plenty of better blues bands around) giving the album a certain lack of coherence. A reasonable first step, however.

This is the only album not to feature guitarist Martin Barre (it has original guitarist Mick Abrahams).
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Was the Beginning. Brilliant Music, Shame About The Cover, 9 May 2008
This review is from: This Was: Remastered (Audio CD)
This was the beginning of this band and demonstrates how they could have been a much more varied and interesting band than they were.

Of course they went on to brilliant things but having a single central creative force, in this case Ian Anderson is a double edged sword. Yes it gives direction and vision but it also stifles innovation and diversity. The departure of Mick Abrahams following this album was a tragedy although, musically, the change in direction was not very great at first. Like in other reviews here some may sneer at the blues influences in bands like Jethro Tull but that is just illogical prejudice. Although the blues influence is stronger here than later albums, Stand Up drew on very similar influences as did Benefit. It was later that Anderson's total control really drew them in a quite different direction.

This is the best Jethro Tull album bar none, starting with My Sunday Feeling which kicks off the album in grand style with various highlight including some wonderful flute by Anderson on Serenade to a Cuckoo (rather non-bluesy) and Cat's Squirrel, which is way better than the Cream version.

There is vitality to the music in this album that did remain with the band. I stuck with them up it about Heavy Horses (although Too Old to Rock and Roll..." passed me by) before I found that they had become too bland and stale for my tastes, but if you still like their much later stuff that's fine.

I recommend that you catch the beginnings of a great band at the beginning when they were young and keen and "the ugliest band in the world". That was official and they were proud of it, hence the rather unflattering cover photograph

This is the best Jethro Tull album bar none, starting with My Sunday Feeling which kicks off the album in grand style with various highlight including some wonderful flute by Anderson on Serenade to a Cuckoo (rather non-bluesy) and Cat's Squirrel, which is way better than the Cream version.

There is a vitality to the music in this album that did remain with the band. I stuck with them up it about Heavy Horses (although Too Old to Rock and Roll.." passed me by) before I found that they had become too bland and stale for my tastes, but if you still like their much later stuff that's fine.

I recommend that you catch the beginnings of a great band at the beginning when they were young and keen and "the ugliest band in the world". That was official and they were proud of it, hence the rather unflattering cover photograph
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5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Tull, 9 July 2013
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David A. Hutchings (Arundel Sussex UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: This Was: Remastered (Audio CD)
What can I say this is one of the best albums from the early years. Very bluesy especially Beggars Farm . And an extra 3 tracks too.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!, 12 Nov 2013
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This review is from: This Was: Remastered (Audio CD)
First class album love it, all the tracks are great. Tull at their best, I would recommend this to any Tull fan.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Was Great, 24 Feb 2010
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P. A. Clarke (Oundle, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: This Was: Remastered (Audio CD)
Yeah, well I just love this record. It's been one of my favourite vinyls since it came out - and I still love the sheer raw grit of "It's Breaking Me Up," and "Beggars Farm." In fact, these two tracks are for me the benchmark of deep 'n' dirty blues for their sheer SOUND - and worth buying the album for alone, in my view - without the bonus of the others.

For me, Jethro went off after this, as they became more progressive and bloody pretentious. Anderson's an interesting character - but he should never have been allowed to get away with all that pompous nonsense that followed: "Passion Play" for example. Dear me! What a frightful load of old hogwash!

No, for me, "This Was" was the best. It was downhill from here. "This Was" is a great record of what was....
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