JEFFREY MORGAN’S MEDIA BLACKOUT #889.575.316!
The Beatles – “Birthday” (Apple) :: Exactly!
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:
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.
IAN: [laughs] Well...
JEFFREY: 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.
*** *** ***
So why 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
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 continual creativity.
Really don’t mind if I sit this one in.
Be seeing you!