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Pop - Released July 1, 1990 | Parlophone UK

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Pop - Released October 24, 2011 | Parlophone UK

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Pop - Released April 20, 2018 | Parlophone UK

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Pop - Released February 15, 2019 | Parlophone UK

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Pop - Released February 17, 2017 | Rhino

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Pop - Released July 1, 1990 | Parlophone UK

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Pop - Released July 21, 2017 | Rhino

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Rock - Released January 1, 2000 | Parlophone UK

How does one evaluate a best-of compilation by a legendary band who's released several such collections already? Frankly, most, if not all, of these selections have appeared on Jethro Tull hits collections and, in many cases, multiple times. And after decades of being critical of record companies capitalizing off artists by releasing one greatest-hits album after another, frontman Ian Anderson decided to choose the actual tracks for this album. The ironic thing is, this Tull collection is no different than those that preceded it, except that perhaps maximum disc space was utilized here, as it's comprised of 20 tracks and 78 minutes of music. There's nothing new here for avid Jethro Tull fans, and curious potential fans have at least a dozen other retrospectives to choose from. ~ Dave Sleger
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Pop - Released June 1, 2018 | Parlophone UK

With five decades behind them, there are certainly plenty of career overviews and compilations to be had for listeners looking to indulge in the choicest bits of the stalwart British progressive folk-rock band's career. The aptly named 50 for 50 sees Jethro Tull's longtime director of operations, Ian Anderson, deliver his picks, which range from instantly familiar classic rock radio staples "Aqualung" "Locomotive Breath," and "Cross-Eyed Mary" to later, more stylistically diverse offerings like "Steel Monkey" (from 1989's Grammy Award-winning Crest of a Knave) and the Middle Eastern-tinged "Rare and Precious Change" (from 1995's Roots to Branches). Anderson had 21 studio albums to pull from, and he manages to pay homage to every one of them -- the inclusion of two holiday offerings from the group's 2003 Christmas LP, their last official studio album, feels a bit extraneous. While 1971's triple-platinum-selling Aqualung yields the most fruit, Anderson bypasses some of the usual greatest-hits fodder in favor of a more comprehensive playlist that caters to the band's long and genre-juggling career, from the bluesy hard rock of "Beggar's Farm" and the bucolic English folk of "Salamander" to the garish synth rock of "Broadsword." For the average listener, any of the myriad single-disc excursions into the largely niche world of Jethro Tull should suffice, but for those looking to go a bit further down the rabbit hole, 50 for 50 offers up a lot more real estate to explore. [The three-disc set is also available as a condensed, 15-track collection titled 50th Anniversary Hits]. ~ James Christopher Monger
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Pop - Released July 1, 1990 | Parlophone UK

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Rock - Released March 24, 2017 | BMG Rights Management (UK) Ltd

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Ian Anderson gives a dozen of Jethro Tull's songs a reworking with the help of the Carducci Quartet and arranger/conductor John O’Hara. The album features new versions of tracks such as "A Christmas Song" and "Reasons for Waiting," and features Anderson on flute and vocals across the album. ~ Rich Wilson
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Rock - Released July 1, 1990 | Parlophone UK

Listen to this collection, put together to capitalize on the explosive growth in the group's audience after Aqualung, and it's easy to understand just how fine a group Jethro Tull was in the early '70s. Most of the songs, apart from a few heavily played album tracks ("Song for Jeffrey," etc.) and a pair of live tracks from a 1970 Carnegie Hall show, came off of singles and EPs that, apart from the title song, were scarcely known in America, and it's all so solid that it needs no apology or explanation. Not only was Ian Anderson writing solid songs every time out, but the group's rhythm section was about the best in progressive rock's pop division. Along with any of the group's first five albums, this collection is seminal and essential to any Tull collection, and the only compilation by the group that is a must-own disc. ~ Bruce Eder
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World - Released March 12, 2007 | Parlophone UK

To some, Jethro Tull will always be associated with Ian Anderson's flute playing and more rocking, arena-worthy moments. But like Led Zeppelin, Tull was all about balancing their sonic mood swings; they could effortlessly transform between being loud & proud rock & rollers to more tranquil folksmen in the blink of an eye. The 2007 compilation, The Best of Acoustic Jethro Tull is self-explanatory, since the 24-track set focuses solely on the "unplugged" side of Tull. But some of Tull's finest moments were acoustic guitar-based, including such early classics as "Mother Goose," "Skating Away (On the Thin Ice of the New Day)," and "Fat Man" (here's a fun game to play: the next time you watch the movie Boogie Nights, try to spot the scene that uses the latter song). And while the never-ending title track from Thick as a Brick is primarily a rocking prog number, its intro is certainly one of Tull's finest acoustic moments, and is included here. However, The Best of Acoustic Jethro Tull isn't just about the early-'70s era, as it includes selections from all eras, including such forgotten or oft-overlooked tracks as "Jack in the Green," "Weathercock," and "One Brown Mouse." As an overview of Tull's acoustic side, The Best of Acoustic Jethro Tull thoroughly covers all the bases. ~ Greg Prato
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Pop - Released November 27, 2015 | Rhino

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Pop - Released January 1, 2000 | Parlophone UK

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Rock - Released February 9, 2004 | Parlophone UK

Stormwatch marked the end of an era in Jethro Tull's history, as the last album on which longtime members Barriemore Barlow, John Evan, and David Palmer participated, and the final appearance of bassist John Glascock, who played on three of the cuts (Anderson supplied the bass elsewhere) and died following open-heart surgery a few weeks after its release. Anderson's inspiration seemed to be running out here, his writing covering environmental concerns ("North Sea Oil") and very scattershot social topical criticism ("Dark Ages"). The fire is still there in some of the hard rock passages, especially on "Dark Ages," but most of the songs generally lack the craftsmanship and inspiration of such albums as Minstrel in the Gallery or Heavy Horses, much less Aqualung. Just when "Something's on the Move" seems like it could be the most tuneless track in Tull's history, "Old Ghosts" and "Dun Ringill" follow it with even less memorable melodic material. The latter, in particular, proved that Anderson's well of folk-inspired tunes was also running dry, apart from the instrumental "Warm Sporran." ~ Bruce Eder
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Rock - Released July 1, 1990 | Parlophone UK

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Rock - Released July 1, 1990 | Parlophone UK

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Pop - Released June 1, 2018 | Parlophone UK

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Pop - Released May 1, 2015 | Rhino

Minstrel in the Gallery was Tull's most artistically successful and elaborately produced album since Thick as a Brick and harked back to that album with the inclusion of a 17-minute extended piece ("Baker Street Muse"). Although English folk elements abound, this is really a hard rock showcase on a par with -- and perhaps even more aggressive than -- anything on Aqualung. The title track is a superb showcase for the group, freely mixing folk melodies, lilting flute passages, and archaic, pre-Elizabethan feel, and the fiercest electric rock in the group's history -- parts of it do recall phrases from A Passion Play, but all of it is more successful than anything on War Child. Martin Barre's attack on the guitar is as ferocious as anything in the band's history, and John Evan's organ matches him amp for amp, while Barriemore Barlow and Jeffrey Hammond-Hammond hold things together in a furious performance. Anderson's flair for drama and melody come to the fore in "Cold Wind to Valhalla," and "Requiem" is the loveliest acoustic number in Tull's repertory, featuring nothing but Anderson's singing and acoustic guitar, Hammond-Hammond's bass, and a small string orchestra backing them. "Nothing at All" isn't far behind for sheer, unabashed beauty, but "Black Satin Dancer" is a little too cacophonous for its own good. "Baker Street Muse" recalls Thick as a Brick and A Passion Play, not only in its structure but a few passages; at slightly under 17 minutes, it's a tad more manageable than either of its conceptual predecessors, and it has all of their virtues, freely overlapping hard rock and folk material, classical arrangements (some of the most tasteful string playing on a Tull recording), surprising tempo shifts, and complex stream-of-consciousness lyrics (some of which clearly veer into self-parody) into a compelling whole. ~ Bruce Eder