23 February, 2010

Quick Album Review

Posted by Socrates in music, rock music, Socrates, White art/architecture at 4:02 pm | Permanent Link

“A Passion Play” by Jethro Tull (1973).

This music isn’t simple (if you want simple, listen to AC/DC or Black Sabbath). When I first heard “A Passion Play,” I found it confusing. I couldn’t follow the music. But I predict that it will grow on you and that you’ll love it after 15 or 20 listens – yes, that’s how long it took me to “get it” when I first heard it 10 years ago. If you’re tired of the same 4/4-beat rock-n-roll, you might want to check it out.

  • 24 Responses to “Quick Album Review”

    1. mrcrouton Says:

      I saw Jethro Tull in concert performing Passion Play back in the 70’s. It was my first concert.

      To me Thick as a Brick is a better album. They’re a great band, quintessentially English.

    2. Wolf Says:

      Jethro Tull was a huge influence on Iron Maiden (my all time favorite band), particularly Steve Harris.

      If you haven’t heard Maiden’s take on Cross-Eyed Mary check it out here:


    3. J.J Says:

      Another great band influenced by Jethro Tull was Uriah Heep. Check out their first 6 albums from the early 70s.

    4. Mel Brooks Says:

      I was never a huge Tull fan, never heard this album, tho’ I agree with mrcrouton that “Thick as a Brick” is great recordmaking. Suffice it to say, I’ll hunt a copy down and give it a listen. I don’t understand the comment denigrating the Sabbath as “simplistic”..their first record had a heavy blues influence, but by the second they were getting quite topical (War Pigs, anyone?) and moving in their metallic way towards a more progressive sound. Tony Iommi was not only a masterful guitarist, he pushed the band forward with his his skills on woodwinds, piano, and especially his economical but effective Mellotron (another incredible white invention) work.

      J.J.- I just can’t hear a Tull influence on the Heep..I think U.H. themselves saw Deep Purple as their chief sonic rival. Uriah Heep was criminally underrated by the critics, they had arguably the best hard rock vocalist ever in David Byron (R.I.P.). And I defy anyone to find a more celebratory and HEAVY song than Uriah Heep’s “The Wizard”. Just mindbendingly good. Buy it, torrent it, just find it and know joy.

    5. Tim McGreen Says:

      Did you chaps know that Tony Iommi originally played guitar with the Tull? Myself, I always liked Pink Floyd’s early stuff before Dark Side of the Moon. Meddle, Ummagumma, Saucerful of Secrets…like that. Free and Humble Pie were great bands, too. Music for White kids only. Negroes never listened to “our” music, anyway.

      But thanks for the recommendation, I haven’t heard A Passion Play for a very long time. I don’t remember, was it one of those “concept albums” that were really popular back then?

    6. xtg Says:

      “And your little sister’s immaculate virginity wings away on the bony shoulder of? a young horse named George who stole surreptitiously into her geography revision.”

    7. Joe 90 Says:

      If you guys really wanna rock it’s time to unleash Spinal Tap!

    8. Dagon Says:

      I’ve only heard “A Passion Play” a few times through so can’t say that I truly ‘get’ it yet though I understand that is how it is with ‘dense’ and meaningful art of any kind – put in a little effort as the viewer/reader/listener, and the payoff can be great. In a similar way, I really have come to enjoy early Genesis with Gabriel, Hackett, Rutherford, et al. Listening to ‘The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway,’ ‘Foxtrot,’ or ‘Selling England by the Pound’ is quite wonderful once you listen to each album and track repeatedly and you discover that each offering is replete with sonic gems, exploration, and nuance.

      While I dislike some of the Xtian and Biblical references in tracks like ‘Supper’s Ready,’ I very much am moved by such tracks as a whole – the inter-weaving of rock, classical influences, instrumental virtuosity, and musical passion are deeply moving. If lamestream pop is a sonic bag of Doritos, then the material described above is the equivalent of an auditory gourmet banquet table.

    9. M. Kraus Says:

      I want simple.

    10. torrence Says:

      I have been enormously influenced by Jethro Tull over the past 35 years. Their recordings are staples and I’ve have taken them in live well over a dozen times. The 1997 American Tull Convention held at Hofstra University in Long Island, NY followed the year after by another convention in an ancient Vermont farmhouse (with the band themselves present and in performance!) were notable life events for me. My first rock concert was seeing Jethro Tull in Morgantown, West Virginia in April, 1972 shortly before ‘Thick as a Brick’ came out. In eighth grade I was then, with mum beside me during the show. (Whatever it took to get me there, I suppose). That was perhaps the finest performance I have ever attended. Both musically and visually, it was mesmorizing. Energetic beyond belief, the ability of those boys to play and keep everything so tight while bouncing all over the stage is an impression that will never leave me. But ‘Brick’ had not yet been released, so this new music that was so complex and long was a surprise that had everyone wondering what this was all about. Tull enjoyed pulling pranks and the unexpected. There was no formal opening to the show. The stage was milling about with people checking equipment, doing sound checks, taping cords and cables down, etc. Suddenly, these stage techies took to the instruments and, completely to the surprise of everyone, throw off their overcoats and jackets and start playing the thunder. The lights go down, and good luck to those who still haven’t been seated. It was a que to expect the unexpected. The threee hour show had an equally unpredictable ending. Following the last song and the taking of the bows coupled with stage exit, the lights go out, and a single stage light illuminates a small stand supporting a telephone. The phone rings several times and Anderson bounds back out on stage, towel draped around his neck and looking the part of having been interrupted from backstage respite to take the call. He converses a few sentences, appears confused, then offers the phone to the audience, “It’s for you”. Captain Beefheart was the show’s opening act. I was so excited about this newfound music that I proudly succeeded in getting my Junior High principal to play Brick over the school intercom system one morning before home room started. I considered that a major life accomplishment for many years since. I will never forget looking through the new albums available at Hill’s department store in 1971 when I came across the ‘Aqualung’ cover and was drawn to it at first sight. The aesthetics of the album along with the song titles and even type set was traditional British. If the album cover is any indication, I thought, the music must be good as well. I was not wrong nor was I dissapointed. I listened to that album three times the night I brought it home and had worn it out a few months later.

      During attendence in music school, I remember Dr. Frank Lorince, chair of Musical Theory and Composition, playing Thick as a Brick for music analysis during class. He was quite impressed with the work. As I remember, he emphasized the simplicity of the opening musical theme, and how it served as foundation for 45 minutes of music, being recreated and permutated throughout the composition. It is a remarkable work. Equally impressive is the Passion Play composition, which is darker and more somber, as it deals with eschatological questions that everyone must come to grips with sooner or later. Ian Anderson seems to have addressed some of the ‘big questions’ in life at an atypically young age.

      I was and continue to be drawn to Tull because of their decidedly European rootedness in both both music and in thematic concepts. Think of these two albums and the predecessor masterpiece, ‘Aqualung’. Then, during their creative heights of the mid-70’s, we are offered ‘Minstrel in the Gallery’ which is medieval artisty contemporized, followed by the delightful and entirly worthy albums ‘Songs from the Wood’ and ‘Heavy Horses’. Both albums exude Celtic, Scottish and Irish folk flavor. The concepts and material expressed lyrically challenge one’s mind and you will find fellow Tull afficionados to be a wiser, more searching and soulful person than those wooed by top forty hits. Tull will not be played on the dance floor, for sure. His play with words, though not always intended to be meaningful or sensible, is another source for the bands intellectual allure. Many attribute deep thoughts and cryptic meaning to the accompanying lyrics. Passion Play and Thick as a Brick are certainly cases in point.

      Tony Iommi did play with Tull for a few weeks and appeared as the bands guitairst in the Rolling Stones production ‘Rock and Roll Circus’. Members of the band Uriah Heep are friends of Anderson. Anderson appeared as guest artist on two albums of Uriah Heep ‘live’.

      The seventies have passed and with it, Tull’s most creative period. Band members were dismissed except for the guitarist and the longevity of muscicians making up the ensemble has since been erratic. Anderson was greatly distracted by business interests and the music took second seat for a decade or so. Commercial efficiency seems to have been the guiding principle behind the music making and live performances since 1980 onward. He has been rigidly in control of the band’s musical and commerical directions and seems to have operated surprisingly independently from the traditional Jew-controlling enterprise that is the modern music busniess. Anderson is one of rock music’s wealthier musicians and is enmeshed in business enterprises through his ‘The Ian
      Anderson Group of Companies’. I had once read a few years ago his worth being about $90MM. The music has deteriorated due, in part, to non-European influences in his life and music, primarily Indian. The band remains active in performing and Anderson continues to make musical expression a center-piece of his life, albeit on a more commerical plane than years earlier.

      Tull’s musical contributions are undeniable and I will venture to guess that the typical reader of VNN would take a liking to classical Tull music and will be pleased to consider some of the albums I have referenced above.

    11. Tim McGreen Says:

      I don’t like it when rock bands stick together or constantly re-unite long after their creative energies are spent. When the Beatles, the Yardbirds, Cream and Led Zeppelin broke up they stayed broken up and their members went on to do other things. Jethro Tull, Steppenwolf, the Rolling Stones, Deep Purple, the Guess Who and yes, even KISS were all great in their time, but it’s over, guys. You’re all in your 60s, for god’s sake. Please do something else!

    12. Tim McGreen Says:

      And who wants to see Steven Tyler strut around on stage anymore? He’s starting to look like Gloria Swanson!

    13. Tim McGreen Says:

      Like Gloria Swanson in the movie “Sunset Boulevard” , I mean, not the way she looked in the 1920s when she was schtupping Joe Kennedy Sr.

    14. Bret Ludwig Says:

      Rock music is for the young in any event. There is nothing more ridiculous than a 60 plus year old rock star. Whereas a Johnny Cash or a Frank Sinatra could go out there older than hell and pull it off.

      Sinatra-yeah, he was a Jew-tool, but you have to admit, when he sang, you knew there was a man. Jesus, to have been Frank Sinatra in 1961 would have been like being a Pope, a sports hero and an Ottoman sultan all in one.

    15. Tim McGreen Says:

      Fly me to the moon and let me play among the stars…..Oh, wait. Sorry, Chairman of the Board. You can’t do that, because “Andrea Dworkin” insists that neither crooners nor astronauts can survive in outer space.

    16. Tim McGreen Says:

      I am listening to A Passion Play right now….I don’t think these old “concept albums” hold up very well. They are too much the products of their time, they sound really dated. The only concept album I really like is 1968’s Odgens Gone Nut Flake by the Small Faces.

    17. Reaper Says:

      “And the unsung western hero…killed an Indian or three….he made his name in Hollywood…to set the White man free…” And we’re celebrating the career of this band here?….I understand they were extroadinarily talented, (they did beat Metallica for best hard rock album of ’89) but c’mon…Could they get any more insulting with their lyrics?….And even though I love Iron Maiden, same goes for them and their “Run to the hills” lyrics….It’s so cowardly of all these legendary artists to go ahead and do what’s popular by trashing their own people in their music…Not a damn one of them have the balls to address in their music the invasion of our lands by third worlders, all with the blessing of our governments….They know there’s no real risk in controlled controversy, so they take the path of least resistance and still come off as rebels to the untrained eye….I give my undying respect not to Lynyrd Skynyrd for their jab at Neil Young, because they negated it with the BOO BOO BOOing at Governor George Wallace, but to Led Zeppelin…They actually said proud Aryan on vinyl….

    18. Tim McGreen Says:

      Axl Rose doesn’t like the muds, either.

    19. billy Says:

      Hey Tim, try (Kitchen Prose, Gutter Rhymes, and Diverse) Songs From The Wood.

      I like the whole album, mainly, ‘songs from the wood’, ‘velvet green’, and ‘cap in hand.’

    20. Dagon Says:

      You are right of course. Most mainstream musicians either actually buy into thinking that their establishmentarian leftist-posturing and materliastic nihilism is really true rebellion or they do so in order to ‘play it safe,’ knowing that most of their less than deep thinking fans will eat it up.

      Until the discourse changes fundamentally in the West, don’t expect the vast majority of white mainstream artists to speak out in favor of their own people in public. Privately, I suspect a great many performers, just like the rest of us ordinary people, are filled with as yet un-admitted unease, yet you won’t see the bulk of them incorporate this unease into their art until they percieve that they will recieve no pecuniary or social ostracism for doing so as most performers, just like most ordinary Joes, are herd followers deep down despite all their pretensions to the contrary.

      Yes, Axl Rose and Morrissey in the UK come to mind as a couple mainstream musicians who’ve articulated their dis-like at what is going but they are an ultimately inconsequential drop in the bucket.

    21. Dave Says:

      What did Axl Rose and Morrissey ever say or do? Axl’s lead guitarist was a jew.If any of these main stream musicians even attempted to insert any pro white lyrics or anything similar,they would not be produced,the end.

      I enjoy music too much to sit and sift through political motivations or lack of,on the musicians part.Unless of course your talking about a group like rage against the machine,who I loved as a kid(musically a great band)but as I grew older I could no longer tolerate the anti white pro commie lyrics.

      When I grow tired of listening to my collection of rock from the 50’s to now,I simply put on some music from another time,when things were different. I do love Tchaikovsky!I try to ignore his alleged problems and just listen!Also,every once and a while I’ll throw in some pro-white music like Griffin or the Bully Boys. Simple yes,but pleasing!

    22. Dave Says:

      Oh and how could I forget the best music of all! Bagpipes!!!

    23. Tim McGreen Says:

      I like the Charles Manson album LIE. Axl Rose once recorded a few of Manson’s songs, at the infamous Cielo Drive house in Benedict Canyon, no less.

    24. Dave Says:

      I once bought a Charles manson album out of curiosity from Warehouse Music no less! “On my owwwwn mothafuckin road”