Jethro Tull - This Was (1968)

This Was (1968) é o primeiro álbum da banda britânica Jethro Tull. Gravado ao custo de apenas 1,200 libras, o álbum foi definitivamente o trabalho de amadores no cenário rock. Vendeu relativamente bem e recebeu críticas favoráveis pouco após seu lançamento, representando uma espécie de prévia do som posterior desenvolvido pela banda.

Ao contrário dos álbuns seguintes, o vocalista Ian Anderson divide aqui os créditos de composição com o guitarrista Mick Abrahams. O som do álbum no geral tende mais a uma pegada rhythm and blues do que o rock progressivo pelo qual o Tull se tornou conhecido.

Abrahams deixou o grupo após o lançamento deste álbum.

One of the first pop/rock records to feature a flute, (but Jefferson Airplane had been using them sporadically since spring 67, when this one is from October 68), this album is the start of a long and successful string of excellent albums, always daring if sometimes flawed. And as you might guess this debut is hardly perfect, but still a must for progheads. While strongly bluesy but with a very present folk influence, the album boasts an unusual four instrumental (a record for the group) and a real tightness for such a young group.

Get a load of Serenade To A Cuckoo (where the Tramp/Mad Flauter learned and lived on Jazzman Roland Kirk's stuff) and tell me this is not worth four stars at least. Listen to the guitar solo of Cat's Squirrel and then to War Pigs of Black Sabbath and you will hear what Iommi learned from J T as he replaced Abrahams for four weeks, as Mr Barre is still to come. Get a whiff of Beggar's farm and tell me that this better than anything from Minstrel (tension between the guitars and the superb flute interventions). Listen to the claghorn on Dharma For One, and every other track is a minor gem in its own right, especially the My Sunday Feeling and A Song For Jeffrey.

Mick Abrahams will leave JT after this one and create another fine outfit called Blodwyn Pig in the honour of the Tramp with whom he was having disagreements about musical directions. If you listen well to those two albums from BP, you will see that although bluesier, this should also be on this site, and one really wonders if it was musical differences they disagreed upon. Two very much underrated albums as well as this one from Tull.

Back to This Was, the remastered version comes with a few bonus tracks including a lovely jazzy instrumental One For John Gee (yet never available elsewhere), the Love Story (sounding a bit like Song For Jeffrey) and Christmas Song (the first Tull track to feature strings), both available as non-album singles and on the compilation Living In The Past. Great added value to this debut and making it even more essential to have.

Track Listings

1. My Sunday Feeling (3:42)
2. Some Day The Sun Won't Shine For You (2:49)
3. Beggar's Farm (4:20)
4. Move On Alone (1:59)
5. Serenade To A Cuckoo (6:11)
6. Dharma For One (4:16)
7. It's Breaking Me Up (5:05)
8. Cat's Squirrel (5:44)
9. A Song For Jeffrey (3:23)
10. Round (0:49)

Total Time: 38:18

Bonus tracks on remaster (2001):
11. One For John Gee (2:06)
12. Love Story (3:06)
13. Christmas Song (3:06)


- Ian Anderson / flute, mouth organ, claghorn, piano, vocals
- Mick Abrahams / guitar, 9-string guitar, vocals
- Clive Bunker / drums, hooter and charm bracelet
- Glenn Cornick / bass
Guest musicians:
- David Palmer / brass arrangement and conducting on "Move On Alone"

Releases information

LP Chrysalis CHR1041 (1968)
CD Chrysalis Records (2001 remaster)
CD Chrysalis Records (USA) 35459 (2002)


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