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memorability and cohesive melodies, and using complexity and atmosphere as a substitute.

The album-orientated Tull sound emerged around 1972, with Thick As A Brick. Although the I disagree with you on the best song on SW. Tull is in the middle of a US tour just after completing a European tour. One thing they are not a that is a band hanging on to the hits from the past like some many of the bands touring these days. I enjoyed reading your reviews (your humor is pretty good too) and appreciate the work you put into your site.

Before that, they released a bunch of fantastic, light-hearted pop singles which can mostly be found on Living In the Past (10/10 for that one). Sam Thirouin (scthir.1st.net) Probably one of the most eclectic rock (if you want to categorize it somewhere) groups in history, Jethro Tull have always been my favorite in all the years I have known of them (1971, with Aqualung). RHenn com Minstrel, Too Old to Rock n' Roll..., and Songs From the Wood.

From Passion Play onward, though, way too much of Tull's output gets away from those materials, instead leaning as much as possible on Ian's philosophical musings (which I don't have an opinion on either way), his "atmospherics" (which aren't his greatest gift) and complex (the trait always mentioned in defense of them) instrumental breaks that aren't really more complex than his best pre-'73 moments (though some of the textures are at least theoretically intriguing; theoretically, mind you) but that manage to strike me (on the whole) as dull and tedious.

If you can get your rocks off with them, more power to you; as for me, no thanks.

Perhaps as a retaliation to the popularity of "mainstream" and "mindless" rock songs such as "Aqualung" and "Locomotive Breath," many have taken the approach that the "true" Jethro Tull does not begin until Thick as a Brick and A Passion Play.

They claim that the high-brow proggy albums of the remainder of the 70's are the band's most important legacy to the musical world and pretty much dismiss the group's early stuff as too simple. I'm a pretty big fan of prog rock myself, but I would have to say pretty definitively that this viewpoint is as far from the truth, if not further, as to merely associate Tull with Aqualung.

It's not as if Ian only had one year of glory in him, though; as he became more serious, he managed to create in Aqualung and Thick as a Brick (as well as the Chateau D'Isaster tapes) some of my favorite albums ever, especially TAAB, which is a worthy candidate for one of the five greatest achievements in the history of prog rock.

Unfortunately, around 1973, Anderson crossed the line he had successfully walked on TAAB, and the result is that, as far as I'm concerned, an alarming amount of the band's output for the rest of the decade is either tediously boring or unlistenably crappy (and that's made worse by the fact that he came out with a new album every year).

It's true that Jethro Tull are also one of those bands which are massive in a way, and yet hardly anyone you meet on the street will even know who they are (like Yes, or Crimson, or, well, almost any Prog band) - I guess that's what's called a "cult" band - they have a limited following, but boy, that limited following is a heard of Jethro Tull who seem to share your views on them - a good band who did too much. Still, I've always thought that when it comes to art (or music), it's better for it rather than everyone to like it. For one thing, there's always a Tull album that reflects the listening mood I'm in, thanx to the diversity of each album. Where are they now, touring with Yes, making Disney songs, or propping up Donny Osmand's career? While I love all three, I find it hard to figure out why you rated Too Old highest.

I am one to listen to lyrics also, and Ian Anderson's lyrics are some of the most intelligent and thought-provoking I've heard. You seem to be stuck on melody, try three blind mice. I would have ranked them completely opposite of you.

All in all, though, I feel a great deal of affection for Tull.