JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #836.575.316!
SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson – TAAB2: Thick As A Brick
2: Whatever Happened To Gerald Bostock? (Chrysalis) :: This ain’t no imaginary review, it’s the real
schlemiel. But first, how’s about a brief except from an interview that Mr. Anderson and I did a while back:
JEFFREY: I don’t suppose I could talk
you into mounting a touring road show of A Passion Play to show those ABBA and Queen musicals what real
rock theater would be like.
I mean, this is the ideal time.
IAN: I think you just hit on the problem with my objections to anything like that because of the words rock theatre.
There was a time when the idea of a more theatrical form of rock music did seem as if it was quite fitting.
And I suppose in 1972 and 1973 it seemed to me that it was possible to do. But the trouble was that, while we went down that
route ourselves—in a humorous way, I mean, it was never meant to be sort of serious; it was always meant to
be a bit tongue in cheek and a bit fun...
JEFFREY: Well, some of us got that.
IAN: Yeah! Well, this was the era of Monty Python and the Flying Circus and it was all that surrealistic
British humor sort of finding an outlet.
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plug into Thick As A Brick again? As Ian explains in the TAAB2 booklet, 2012 marked both the factual 40th
anniversary of the original TAAB album and the fictitious 50th birthday of the album’s ten-year-old
“lyricist,” precocious prodigy Gerald Bostock. Which is more than reason enough for Anderson to create a new
prog rock concept album that dares to posit half a dozen different possible alternate universe scenarios of what Gerald might
have done with his life over the past 40 years—with several overt and oblique nods to such past Tullian triumphs as
Aqualung and A Passion Play along the way.
Of course, the big tip off that the proceedings, although serious, aren’t to be taken
too seriously, is the album’s official attribution to Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson which tags
this ambitious effort as being neither a canonical Tull record nor an extra-curricular solo Anderson album.
Eschewing the unbanded single song cycle that defined both TAAB
and APP, the new TAAB2 is divided into 17 separate songs, only one of which—“Gerald Goes Homeless:
Adrift And Dumbfounded”—truly sounds as if it had been recorded back in 1972. Which only goes to show that Ian
could easily have expertly aped his back catalogue had he wanted to. That he chose not to live in the past and come
up instead with something that sounds thoroughly modern while still evoking echoes of the past, is a testament to the man’s
don’t mind if I sit this one in.
Be seeing you!