Eagle Vision [Release date 25.08.14] Also available as a DVD/Bluray
When I interviewed Ian Anderson in 2010 he stated that “Thick As A Brick 2 is not on the cards” when asked about revisiting former glories. I wonder what changed his mind? He even kept Martin Barre in the dark. And, furthermore, with ‘Homo Erraticus’ in 2014 the third part of the surprise “trilogy” was complete.
In 2012 Anderson embarked on an extensive tour playing the original TAAB and following it up in the second half with the updated version. In concert, as with ‘Homo’, it worked very well, with the music deftly synched to complementary film footage. In that sense, this was a great piece of musical theatre.
For those who witnessed that tour, this is a worthwhile souvenir. Because the whole production was click-tracked to infinity, it really doesn’t add anything to the original recordings and on the close-filmed DVD you don’t really get the scale of the undertaking. Anderson emphasises in the bonus interview that both pieces are finely structured but with some space for improvisation. You’d be hard pressed to hear this.
Anderson also makes something in the liner note of Ryan O’Donnell’s presence – adding some of the vocal content that he can’t achieve because he’s playing various instruments. This is a little disingenuous, given Anderson’s known vocal issues. In this respect, O’Donnell has more input to the original, while TAAB2 benefits from being more suited to Anderson’s current vocal register. However, the “theatrical” O’Donnell remains an irritating distraction throughout.
Anderson rightly congratulates the band who reproduce the original and its successor immaculately. Indeed, the quality is sustained throughout parts 1 and 2 and arguably the reproduction of TAAB2 is as good as the original. One of Anderson’s best recent melodies ‘Banker Bets, Banker Wins’ is reprised as ‘Wootton Bassett Town’ and also features in the bonus material recorded at Montreux in 2012.
However, on repeated plays (it was mildly amusing on the day) you’ll need to skip the Anna Phoebe-with-baby cameo. With such an immaculate and intense musical performance and little audience interaction it could be argued that there needs to be some light relief. But whether the “prostate awareness” interlude fits this brief is another matter, although it does get two bemused Icelanders involved with white coats and rubber gloves.
The DVD is boosted with a 14 minute interview (Anderson gives some explanation about the “Ian Anderson” billing. But without Martin Barre could he call the band Jethro Tull?) and a couple of songs from Montreux 2012 plus an informal tribute to the late Claude Nobs.
It is significant that TAAB2 in 2012 was Tull’s first new studio album since 1999. One hopes that Anderson’s next project will produce something less derivative but in the meantime this is another good watch and listen for Tull fans. ****
Review by David Randall
David Randall presents ‘Assume The Position’ on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio every Sunday at 22:00 GMT.
Josh Taerk’s latest Sunday Session was streamed on Sunday 22 May.
Next session: Sunday 17 July.
Check out previous videos here: https://www.facebook.com/getreadytorockradio
David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 GMT, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 19 June 2022.
UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020 and 2021 Finalist) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 GMT as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 21 June 2022.
How to Listen Live?
Click the programming image at the top of the page (top right of page if using desktop)
Get Ready to ROCK! Radio is also in iTunes under Internet Radio/Classic Rock
Listen in via the Tunein app and search for “Get Ready to ROCK!” and save as favourite.
More information and links at our radio website where you can listen again to shows via the presenter pages: getreadytorockradio.com
Power Plays w/c 27 June 2022 (Mon-Fri)
REVIVAL BLACK Broken Home (TMR Records)
FLOYA Epiphany (indie)
TWISTER Own Worst Enemy (indie)
MODERN MIMES Down And Dead (Curtain Call Records)
TUNGSTEN Northern Lights (Arising Empire)
THE GREAT LESLIE Feel Alive (indie)
Featured Albums w/c 27 June (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 GRACE Hope (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 CLASSLESS ACT Welcome To the Show (Better Noise Music)
14:00-16:00 TIMOTHY B. SCHMIT Day By Day (indie)
Tweets by Get Ready to ROCK!