let's see if we can spot the over-25's in the audience.
Forming in the mid-1960s and releasing a record every year since 1968's This Was, Jethro Tull meaning the definitive sextet lineup of Anderson, Barre, Glascock, Barlow, Evan and Palmer finally unleashed a real live one on the fans in 1978. After a decade of existence, a large back catalog of songs had mushroomed from which to present a hugely varied setlist to the rabid jacks-in-the-green night after night. One of the finest live recordings ever waxed, Bursting Out radiates a sonorous trapezoidal portrait of a different era, accurately capturing a zenith blip in the Tull annals a major shakeup in the band's makeup loomed on the horizon, then, and the "star signs" of change were only about to pop up. The new remaster restores the album to proper double-disc format, with improved sound, only now the discs are small and silvery instead of bulky and black (the fotos are a bit smaller, too). Also restored to the track order are four gems omitted from the domestic single CD issue due to space limitations: "Sweet Dream," "Quatrain," "Bouree," and "Conundrum."
"No Lullaby" and "Sweet Dream" immediately set the bar high with renditions light years beyond the originals, the latter absolutely pulverizing its progenitor into stardust, thanks to Martin Barre's power chords and Ian Anderson's impassioned vox. "Skating Away On The Thin Ice Of The New Day," "Thick As A Brick" (abridged) and "Too Old To Rock 'n' Roll, Too Young To Die" are genuine staples, always a blast to hear; "Minstrel In The Gallery" is louder and tougher; and Songs From The Wood and Heavy Horses are well-represented by the former's title track and "Hunting Girl," and the latter's demure homage to "One Brown Mouse." As expected, the band's chemistry's telepathic and spotless without being mechanical this was a group much more at home onstage than instudio, we take it. Ian's charisma, nonchalantness, thinly lowbrow humor, and prowess with a flute and acoustic guitar added up to a show in itself. Still, he surrounded himself with musicians of outstanding technical ability, and Glascock, Barlow and Evan were able to demonstrate this continuously without a net. "Conundrum" is an excellent, original jam with Barre at the helm (and some nice synth lines, too) that segues into (and out of) Barlow's drum solo. Perhaps Carl Palmer, Cozy Powell, Ian Paice, and Bruford & White received more accolades more often, yet Barlow was definitely at the top of his game not a boring beat to be torn from this man. There's plenty of tasteful "shredding" to be found over the course of these ninety-odd minutes. Who said Tull was just a blues-folk band?
Until next time, your sperm's in the gutter, and your love's in the sink.
1. (Introduction By Claude Nobs)
2. No Lullaby
3. Sweet Dream
4. Skating Away On The Thin Ice Of The New Day
5. Jack In The Green
6. One Brown Mouse
7. A New Day Yesterday
8. Flute Solo Improvisation/God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/Bouree
9. Songs From The Wood
10. Thick As A Brick
11. (Introduction By Ian Anderson)
12. Hunting Girl
13. Too Old To Rock 'N' Roll: Too Young To Die
15. Minstrel In The Gallery
16. Cross-eyed Mary
19. Locomotive Breath
20. The Dambusters March