Saturday, May 26, 2012

Jethro Tull: Thick As A Brick

Released in May 1972, Jethro Tull’s “Thick as a Brick” was nearly a 44 minute (43:46 to be exact) song that was split over two sides of the album. The LP, with its newspaper styled cover, spoofed the concept albums of the prog rock bands of the day.

While the album is devoid of a hit single, radio edits were issued and more popular theme of the extra long song were often heard on album radio – but rarely on Top 40 – in fact, had a commercial radio edit been issued in the US, the single probably would have been a top 20 release based on the commercial success of the album. Original copies of the Reprise release opened up to the dimensions of a full newspaper.

“Thick as a Brick” was a #1 charting album on Billboard’s Top 200 Albums chart. It was a departure for the band with the use of instruments heretofore not previously utilized by Ian Anderson and his companions.

While it started as a spoof, side two shows how Tull fit into the prog rock genre very well. The album/song features different time signatures and begs to be consumed in one listen. Although I bought the album much later (from a friend), I had the entire 44 minutes captured from an album feature that was played on WDVE in Pittsburgh. Even though side two is interesting, I favor side one most.

Short Radio Edit

Longer Radio Edit

Side One – Part 1

Side Two – Part 2

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