This classic from Jethro Tull turns 45 years old this week. Jethro Tull are one of the more interesting bands who rose up in the 60s/70s – they are very much in the progressive style, based around composition and rhythm, with guitar and keyboards layering over an incredibly tight and clever drum/bass combo, with vocalist Ian Anderson singing his heart out on top. And also playing a flute for large swatches of their music.
Yes, a flute. And that flute gives the whole sound something else entirely – it lends a bit of jazz to the otherwise solid rock foundation. Songs From The Wood is one of their most popular albums, considered a return to form for the group when it was released in 1977 – it steered the group into folk rock, eschewing their heavier rock roots.
And its a really great album: lyrically inspired by medieval times, the opening title track uses vocal harmony and narrative lyrics to paint a picture of a time and a place, leading into “Jack-In-The-Green”, the final track completed, with its clever time signatures and acoustic guitar/flute intro evoking the picturesque view of the middle ages.
The whole album is along the same lines – think Led Zeppelin at a renaissance fair. I played the album while creating a couple of reports for work, and it was a brilliant soundtrack for part of my morning. And it makes me want to look back through some of Jethro Tull’s other work.
CLTM (Chris Listens To Music) is my attempt to listen to a new album every day; you can follow my efforts on Instagram here (and send recommendations), and if you like what I’m doing, support my efforts by shouting me a cuppa at Buy Me A Coffee.
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