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This review is from: Songs From The Wood (Audio CD)
Some old sounds for summer. They may be considered terminally unhip now but Jethro Tull caused something of a sensation in 1968 when they emerged, amid the by now wilting flower children, made up to look like a bunch of ageing farmers.
By 1977, after several line-up and stylistic changes, they developed a baroque form of folk-rock in the shape of "Songs from the Wood". It is a riotous collection celebrating earthy delights in rural settings. Pagan ritual, revelry, song and dance, much ale, horse-riding, and riding of an altogether different variety. Yes, not to put too fine a point on it, a lot of the songs here are about shagging. If Tull are to be believed, these country folk are at it all the time.
The album shows Tull at their most ornate and bucolic with plenty of Ian Anderson's trademark flute, acoustic guitars and mandolins, and all manner of (non-synthesiser) keyboard. Martin Barre's electric guitar, always a pleasure, gets a god airing too. His searing notes drenched in reverb form a dramatic counterpoint to the acoustic folk heart of "Pibroch", a very Lady Chatterley tale of discreet liaisons between a woman of substance and a lowly employee. "Hunting Girl" is a less sultry, more jaunty number on a similar subject. You see? They're sex mad! Fetch me a bucket of cold water. Makes you want to move to the country right away.
So, unfashionable though Jethro Tull may be, "Songs from the Wood" is a brilliant catalogue of rural frolicking, from love among poppies filled with summer rain on the opening track to putting your feet up by the fire at midnight on the closer. A perfect soundtrack to summer.