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Customer Review

45 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Timeless Masterpiece, 1 July 2006
This review is from: Songs From The Wood (Audio CD)
Every so often in life something very special comes along. The album Songs From The Wood is in my opinion just such an example of specialness in its extreme. Released in February 1977 while England was gripped by Punk Rock, its folk and countryside related themes only served to fuel its many NME type critics. However, I would wager that many Punks secretly loved the record and at the time possibly played it in secret in their bedrooms via headphones.

Songs From The Wood contains a perfect set of earthy and folk edged songs that sound as fresh and vibrant today as they did back in 1977. There is a feeling of pastoral happiness that runs throughout the album which in turn makes you feel all the better for listening to it. If it's at all possible you can almost 'Hear' Ian Anderson smiling as he sings.

It's interesting to note that Jethro Tull's previous offering was Too Old To Rock'N'Roll, which although brilliant and special in its own right was a world removed from the styles and themes on Songs From The Wood. In my opinion it was a change in direction that was a perfect and refreshing move for the band.

And what of the songs? Well, as I've already said it's a perfect set, stuffed with brilliant tunes and lyrics from start to finish. I could probably write a whole book concerning the merits of each individual song. However, I will dwell here on just the one track entitled Pibroch (Cap In Hand). This brilliantly played song also tells a very interesting story about a man returning one night 'cap in hand' to his woman after a relationship break-up only to look through the dining room window and witness strange slippers by the fire and strange boots in the hallway. Even more disconcerting he also notices a candle lit table for two has been laid. In short he's been dumped for someone else. It's fabulous writing that as usual paints a such a vivid picture in the mind that you can almost feel and see the warmth of the fire and the look of those strange slippers. Also you can feel sadness as the spurned lover sadly walks away with his cap now firmly on his head.

Hopefully I've said enough to sell you Songs From The Wood. It really is a must have album for anyone with an imagination and an ear for a good tune. I've been listening to it for the past 23 years and I'm not bored of it yet!
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 15 Nov 2011 17:24:13 GMT
Last edited by the author on 15 Nov 2011 17:37:53 GMT
Algy says:
'England was gripped by punk Rock....'

- er yes this would be when Anarchic artists such as The Carpenters, John Denver, Perry Como, etc were vastly outselling the Punks....and bands like Pink Floyd, Yes, The Moody Blues, Chicago, Paul McCartney & Wings, 10c.c. and er Jethro Tull indeed , etc were all selling zillions of albums....(oh and The Dave Clark Five, Shadows, Hollies, Beach Boys, Kinks, Glen Campbell, etc were all zooming up the charts with '20 Golden Greats' compilations !)

...while the likes of Dr.Feelgood (with Wilko Johnson) & The Late Great Johnny Kidd's reformed Pirates (with the Legendary Mick Green) were blowing away the Pub rock circuit & the Punks offstage at places like Knebworth etc...

You must really mean the British Pop Media were 'gripped by Punk'....

Most punks would have gone nowhere near Tull who were then 'at war' with the hideously 'trendy' UK Rock Press (I remember 'NME' or 'Melody Maker' gave TEN GOOD REASONS for NOT reviewing this album....!!),

also how many 'punks' could play instruments like those featured on 'Songs from The Wood'....or stick with longer more ambitiously structured songs like 'Velvet Green' & 'Pibroch (Cap in Hand)'

Tull didn't let the MM/NME infantile derision bother them...just kept on gigging & selling vast quantities of albums...

The irony is with albums like 'Aqualung', & 'Thick As A Brick' Tull had in fact been FAR MORE anti establishment, questioning, challenging the accepted norm, and on this album were quite markedly intellectually 'counter culture' FAR MORE than any dim charmless Punk cluelessly screaming 'F**k this & F**k that...' in a dreary monotone....as a prelude to later having a dental job in order to do revolutionary butter commercials on TV...

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Nov 2013 00:17:25 GMT
excellent!

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Mar 2015 21:29:39 GMT
Hawkfiend says:
Yeah man - superb comment mate
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