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Jethro Tull: Stand Up: The Elevated Edition (Chrysalis)

Dec. 27, 2016
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Another lavishly packaged Jethro Tull reissue has arrived, this time it’s their best LP ever, their second album, Stand Up (1969). By the time it was recorded, Ian Anderson had just wrested control over the band from its original guitarist but had not fully decided who he was going to be as an artist. In other words, the template hadn’t hardened. Anything still seemed possible.

Stand Up opens with “New Day Yesterday,” a blues-rock track as heavy as anything by Led Zeppelin, and shifts easily into a liltingly carefree acoustic number, “Jeffrey Goes to Leicester Square.” Similarly, the angry hard rock of “Back to the Family” segues comfortably into a wistful ballad, “Look into the Sun.” Rhythmically flexible, Jethro Tull often sounded like a jazz band playing rock or a rock-turned-jazz combo. Anderson’s flute was already at the forefront on most numbers.

The reissue comes in a hard-cover book with photos, extensive band-member recollections and New Music Express’ lengthy travelogue of Tull’s 1969 U.S. tour—still a dangerous time to have long hair in the heartland. A previously unissued BBC live-in-the-studio set and a 1969 Stockholm concert round out the collection.

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