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The Tull Debut Still Inspires...
on 3 September 2015
'This Was' was the evergreen J Tull's debut album, from back in 1968, when the world was much different to today. It's unlike anything that the band would go on to record, it being more Bluesy in feel and content. No doubt some of this was down to the presence of guitarist Mick Abrahams, who was replaced by Martin Barre for 'Stand Up', the next album, and has been the band's guitar incumbent ever since. I'm reviewing the album from the reissued vinyl edition, and it must be said that Universal have done the record proud. It sounds refreshed, vivid and engaging, much as it did way back when. Ian Anderson is in great musical form, offering up a cool take on his hero Rahsaan Roland Kirk's 'Serenade To A Cuckoo', and Abrahams own 'Move On Alone', with his jangling nine-string guitar is an unexpected treat. He gets to stretch out on the mighty rave-up Cat's Squirrel, but it's Anderson who ultimately shines, with his breathy flute interludes and his jazzy vocal phrasing - 'My Sunday Feeling' fairly springs from the speakers, and in this newly-tooled / remixed mode sounds as gutsy as ever. As I said, it isn't like anything else they'd do, but it is a wonderful, unique record. And I Love it.