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4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 7 January 2011
A typical Tull CD of the time, infused with unique brilliance and idiosyncratic indulgences. I love their music, and their stage shows are still worth travelling many a mile to see. I'm not sure how many young people listen to Tull, or whether many under 40 would get them if they did. Sadly many over 40 don't get them either, and too many have forgotten all about them. This is a real pity, they are missing out on a lot.

I don't feel this is Tull at their absolute peak, but that said they continued with this album to show what an excellent band they were, with the leadership of Ian Anderson constantly pushing them into exploring new ground. There is terrific musicianship and some fabulous songs as you would expect, and although occasionally elements of some of them might now appear self indulgent and a little obtuse (a bit prog rock) this is still a collection of songs that will immediately reward hearing. Very much worth a listen.
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on 19 March 2012
Ian Anderson put two fingers up to the music critics who lambasted 'Thick as a Brick' then totally dismissed 'A Passion Play'. The same critics then gave this one the thumbs up,seemingly because Tull had returned to shorter tracks after the two previous one-track-on-the-whole-album masterpieces. Why? Music is music and the length of a particular piece has no bearing on the quality of the music, surely? Anyway I personally feel that this album is inferior to the other two but its still pretty good. It has the same alto-sax sound as on Passion, this instrument largely replacing the usual I.A. flute-playing on some of the tracks. 'Back-door Angels' stands out for me as possibly the best track--some might say that 'Skating Away' is the best but they are all very listenable. 'Only Solitaire' is a short track aimed at a particular music journalist who had given I.A. a hard time in the past, 'Bungle in the Jungle' was a single release and maybe a bit silly and commercial but still ok. The thing I like best about this album as a whole is that it is delivered with such great humour and wit--play the whole album and I guarantee you will feel uplifted by the end. If the 'Aqualung' album leaves you feeling dark and depressed then this one will be the perfect antidote.
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on 2 April 2015
This won't be a verified Amazon purchase, as I am boycotting Amazon until they reverse their ridiculous new policy of requiring a customer to sign for receipt of every item delivered - something that is extremely inconvenient for anyone who works for a living and is out of the house all day.

However, I still believe my comments to be valid and of interest to potential purchasers. I am assuming that the only people who would consider buying this expanded, deluxe collection of the Warchild sessions, newly re-mixed by Steve Wilson, are those who loved the original album, like me. This was the first progressive rock album I purchased when it was released, in October 1974. So dedicated Tull fans will want to know whether it's worth forking out the extravagant price of this 40th anniversary release. Sadly, I think the honest answer is 'No'. The best outtakes from the Warchild sessions were already included on the previous re-mastered version released in 2002. There is some additional music here which is worth having - notably the excellent acoustic guitar piece by Martin Barre from the orchestral sessions. However, the studio re-mix of the original album is virtually indistinguishable from the original, which sounded very good to begin with. More importantly, the whole enterprise is let down by the liner notes and Ian Anderson's increasingly noticeable tendency to re-write history. For example, he says 'Skating Away', one of his best loved songs, is about climate change. Really? Could have had me fooled, as for the past 40 years I've confidently believed that it was about man's fight for survival and participation in the daily rat race, as this is what the lyrics clearly indicate. There is no reference whatsoever to climate change in the song apart from isolated references to 'ice' and 'the ice wall'. Also, if he genuinely thinks that Warchild is not one of his best albums, as he says in the liner notes, why go to all the bother of wrapping up this re-mix in expensive packaging? This is something I just don't understand. This sort of treatment is usually only reserved for the very best albums in a band's repertoire. Presumably now we can expect it for all the albums Tull released in the 1970s? Perhaps I am being unfair, but it doesn't sound as though the motivation for this is artistic. I would prefer it if Ian Anderson would stop dismissing his best work from the past with the sort of written commentary accompanying this boxed set.
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on 20 March 2014
This is a welcome departure from the previous 2 albums in that the songs are much shorter and the subject matter is less tiring on the poor old brain cells!!. However, with the odd exception, this is not a particularly strong collection. 'Back-Door Angels' stands out as an excellent piece of hard rock with a fabulous guitar solo from Martin Barre and 'Skating Away On The Thin Ice Of The New Day' and 'Bungle In The Jungle' are both lovely whimsical Tull singles; indeed there is a light-hearted feel throughout the 40 minutes. As with all the Tull remasters, there are plenty of bonus tracks here (7 of them - over 20 minutes of extra material) and so a 4th Star is awarded. For me, the follow-up album 'Minstrel In The Gallery' is a far better album and I would invest here before getting 'War Child'.
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on 31 March 2012
I first heard this album at one of those "Party Seven" parties in the 70's when I was more into glam pop than anything even remotely progressive. However, it shone out like a beacon and I loved every track and could hardly wait to buy it myself. While I often wonder where nearly 40 years went, this still stands out as one of those great albums that I never ever tire of listening to which, like several 70's albums, never had a bad track you needed to skip. It is sublime.
I confess I'm not a huge Tull purist so maybe it is more commercially accessible and I do find their later melodic stuff preferable to the early self-indulgent stereotypical prog rock. Anderson has a great voice and while I found his "acting" on TOTP and other shows a little "disturbing", the music has never lost it's quality or appeal.
Another "must have" for your collection.
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on 28 January 2009
When other Progressive Rock Giants fell by the wayside and/or changed direction, JETHRO TULL never changed, they continued to release thought provoking conceptual Prog Rock, that's why they're so revered. Their productivity and creativity throughout the 1970's can't be equalled by any artist from any genre. So how on earth do you choose a favourite album from such a rich back catalogue?, you can't, it's like choosing your favourite child, there's so much to love about them all. 1974's WAR CHILD though is much overlooked, in the mainstream, other Tull albums are far better known, this has always been a mystery to me because WARCHILD is right up there with the best of them. Maybe it was overpowered by it's predecessor the bewildering and complex Magnum Opus PASSION PLAY. Nevertheless WAR CHILD is a stand alone work, with the usual concept running through it, a far more easier listen than PASSION PLAY, a more intimate whimsical tale with the usual biting dry humoured lyrics. The CD also has seven bonus tracks on it all worthwhile, the restrictions of vinyl prevented these songs being on the original LP. If your a TULL fan you already own this, if your thinking about buying a TULL album for the first time, then WAR CHILD is the perfect place to start. "WAR CHILD" by JETHRO TULL was another Immense album Outstanding Ability, by Craftsmen of their Art. It certainly is up there with THICK AS A BRICK and SONGS FROM THE WOOD. A must buy CD.
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on 22 January 2001
It's difficult for me to put down any album by the progressive rock band Jethro Tull. And Warchild is no exception- even though it was largely created from default.
The previous year, 'Passion Play' was let down due to technical errors - and the band's decision to live abroad in tax exile. However, not one to give up, Ian Anderson decided that the excluded sections should be adapted to Warchild: it was one of the best muscial decisions he ever made.
In my eyes, Warchild was that final climax before the band faded into a two year obscurity, or what I term 'The Limbo Years'. I'm sure Jethro Tull were uncertain of their future, but they kept on composing, playing, and recording new tracks. Nothing could keep them down for long.
As to the main theme: it was the first album to spark off Tull's folk and acoustic side. 'Queen and Country', for example, is an upbeat sea ditty with traditional accordion, while 'Ladies' adopted a more Spanish sound with guitars. 'Skating Away...' was one of those plesant treats you normally find on every Tull album and employed almost every instrument they had, with well-written lyrics. 'Bungle in the Jungle' is pure folk rock with originality, as Ian takes you on safari in Livingstone's footsteps. 'Solitaire' is a beautiful acoustic rendition of a very odd fellow indeed.
Then, we come to the 'heavier' side of this album: 'Warchild' is a daunting waltz of a song, wheras 'Sealion' - one of my all-time Tull faves on this album! - is more upbeat and feverish, as Ian takes his frustrations out in a circus ring (or the 'world'). 'The Third Hoorah' is a curiously loud affair, that isn't unpleasant, and may have started out as a mad jig, but then Ian incorporated a harpsichord (!) into the overall sound, and it became more aristocratic. I often feel this song is describing a gentlemen's rugby club (see if you can spot a clue to this in the absolutely weird - of course! - picture).
One more thing: Ian mentioned on Tull's 20th Anniversary video that he didn't like showbiz - but this album proves quite the opposite: Jethro Tull lived by amateur theatricals and insane comedy. It was all part of the essential, original nature that made up the band. And I'm of the personal opinion that Ian, in his younger days, was an inventive lunatic! But one well received, it seems...
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on 23 August 2010
'War Child' does not stand among the best Jethro Tull albums by any means but it's still worth a listen. The title track, `Skating Away On The Thin Ice Of The New Day' and `The Third Hoorah' are all strong and the bonus tracks are as good as the album tracks, which is unusual.
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on 16 July 2008
I really love this album, awhile back i heard Jethro Tull of That 70s Show, and i really liked it. So a couple of days ago i decided to download War Child as i really liked the title song, and i instantly loved it. It's totally different to what i usually listen to. Not one bad song on this album, brilliant vocals, lyrics and music. I also heard somewhere that Bruce Dickinson from Iron Maiden was influenced by Jethro Tull. This is a classic album why Jethro Tull isn't more famous who knows but this is a brilliant album. Deffinetly recommended if you're curious about Jethro Tull at all.
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on 7 May 2015
Always liked this album and great to have all of the studio out takes in one place. Good packaging and excellent sleeve notes.
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