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46 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Aqualung still shuffles the streets..., 4 July 2000
This review is from: Aqualung (Special Edition) (Audio CD)
In 1971, Jethro Tull introduced the world to a mysterious, shady beggar 'Aqualung', so known because of his terrible cough. In the title song, Ian sings of this destitute vagabond's adventures and dirty habits. But where does Aqualung come from: is he a war veteran driven insane, or once a wealthy aristocrat? Whatever, Cross Eyed Mary is an acquaintance of his, similar in character. Ian then takes us to the village train station, whilst reminiscing of those wonderful rail memories in Cheap Day Return - a lovely acoustic song, only I wish it was longer. Mother Goose is the centre attraction at the Summer Fair as Aqualung rambles around. Amusing rendition. Then, it's by the river bank our unlikely hero is Wond'ring Aloud of past love lost in time; Up to Me is the more boisterous of times remembered, arguements with friends and relations, parties and raucous affairs. It is here Tull become more religious and philosophical. My God represents a more grim side to God's creation of Mankind, a strange yet appropriate sound to the deeper meaning of this song. Then, hearts are lifted as Tull take us to Church, Ian singing the loud 'Hymn 43'. Slipstream then carries us along Death's road, with God watching us contentedly. Locomotive Breath is perhaps one of the best ever Tull songs on any album. It's about a man who seems to be losing everything as he nears old age, ('sees his children drop at the stations, one by one') and the train represents how the man is frustrated at how God 'stolen the handle' and his luckless life has 'no way to slow down'. Clever symbolism involved here, and reflects our fears of dying. Wind-up is exactly that (well, on the original album) but it describes Aqualung's doctrinated childhood - through Ian Anderson's eyes. Now we come to the 25th Anniversary influence. Lick your Fingers Clean is mad, a romp, but part of the Aqualung theme. Not bad, I thought. There was the bonus of a Quad version 'Wind-up', while we were treated to an interview with an ageing Ian Anderson, who discusses the album at length, its making, the ideas that went into it. Nice touch to a re-vitalized Aqualung. The last three tracks I'd already in my collection; and I wasn't really overkeen on the snazzy Prism Sound that in my opinion spoiled the songs. That was lost a star. I preferred the original sound, so for this otherwise excellent album that's a shame. But thumbs up Jethro Tull in this second outing for one of their best albums!
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 11 Feb 2009 17:15:21 GMT
I agree, the sound quality on this edition is lousy - I'd sooner have the tape noise - this is really dull sounding.
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