Friday, July 15, 2011

My Amazon Reviews: Jethro Tull "Too Old To Rock'n'Roll: Too Young To Die!"

Too Old to Rock 'n' Roll: Too Young to Die!You're Never Too Old 
3 Out Of 5 Stars

Jethro Tull had been making side long progressive rock albums with the band's folk elements mixed in that "Too Old Too Rock and Roll: Too Young To Die" registered shock waves among the band's faithful. Ten songs (originally), short by Tull standards, and an aggressive storyline that Ian Anderson insists to this day was not about him about one "Ray Lomas," who is an old leather/biker rocker who can't abide by these new punks who can "live and die upon your cross of platinum." The comic strip from the inner sleeve pictures Ray to be more than a little bit similar to Anderson, and the cover image of "Ray" throwing a disrespectful fist to the masses only threw more gasoline on the fire.

However. "Too Old To RnR" has aged a lot better than it has been given credit for. In the liner notes, Anderson asserts that the album was conceived to be a stage play about Lomas' rise from Game Show winner ("Quizz Kidd") who comes to the big city to discover he's a man out of time ("From A Deadbeat to An Old Greaser") until he just can't take it anymore (the title track). But before you know it, the cycle brings Ray's stylistic world back into fashion and he's headed back to the top ("The Chequered Flag"). Add a pair of bonus tracks (the delightful "A Small Cigar," which sounds like it would have come between "Big Dipper" and the title song in the storyline, and "Strip Cartoon"), and you round out this reissue.

Musically, TOTRNR is a middling Tull effort, but sounds like it was setting up "War Child" and that album's more concise compositions. The title track is still one of my favorite jethro Tull songs, and among the rest, I have a fondness for "Salamander" and "Big Dipper." Probably for Tull completests only as it marks a transition from the wide ranging epics of the past towards the more folkish and concise albums in the future.

Aqualung  Thick As a Brick Songs From the Wood Stand Up Living in the Past Heavy Horses

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