This Was

~ Release group by Jethro Tull

Album

Release Format Tracks Date Country Label Catalog# Barcode
Official
This Was 12" Vinyl 10 Island (imprint of Island Records, a division of Universal Music Group) ILPS 9085
This Was 12" Vinyl 10 Chrysalis 202 656 - 270 [none]
This Was 12" Vinyl 10 Island (imprint of Island Records, a division of Universal Music Group) ILP 985 [none]
This Was Vinyl 10 Reprise Records RS 6336
This Was 12" Vinyl 10 Chrysalis CHR 1041 [none]
This Was CD 10 Chrysalis 252 656-222 4007192526567
This Was (made in Japan) CD 10 Chrysalis CCD 1041 5013136104127
This Was (made in UK) CD 10 Chrysalis CCD 1041 501313610417
This Was CD 10 Chrysalis CDP32 10412 094632104120
This Was CD 10 Chrysalis F2 21041 094632104120
This Was CD 13 Chrysalis 535 4592 724353545925
This Was CD 13 Chrysalis 535 4592 724353545925
This Was (bonus track version) Digital Media 13 Parlophone 724353545956
This Was (collectors edition) 2×Digital Media 19 + 16 Parlophone 5099945686658
This Was (40th anniversary edition) 2×CD 19 + 16 Chrysalis 50999 206497 2 2 5099920649722
This Was CD 10 Chrysalis VK 41041 044114104124

Relationships

Allmusic: http://www.allmusic.com/album/mw0000190507 [info]
Discogs: https://www.discogs.com/master/38317 [info]
Wikidata: Q583790 [info]
reviews: http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/reviews/m3bd [info]

CritiqueBrainz Reviews

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The pace at which the music scene was changing in 1968 was, even when viewed from the luxurious hindsight of 40 years, a breath-taking explosion of creative intent that was as unpredictable as it was exciting. As the Summer of Love's psychedelic foppery gave way to something altogether harder and darker in both style and content, out of the ashes of the John Evan band, Jethro Tull emerged with their dead men's coats to heavy-up their act with a bite of blues rock and a precocious twist of jazz.

In this respect they were like many of the bands with whom they shared the bill all over the UK and abroad. However, what made Tull stand out from the great-coated crowd was the high-visibility of frontman Ian Anderson's on-stage Tourette's-inspired hyper-gurning and Mick Abraham's ferocious fretwork.

It's easy to forget that in its earliest incarnation Tull was not yet then Anderson's personal fiefdom, with Abrahams exercising just as much influence as his flute-playing pal. This is especially apparent on Disc One's BBC radio sessions where his blues roots are at their most pronounced. His playing throughout the record is superb though is heard to best effect on the rocking Dharma For One, and the Clapton-influenced Cat's Squirrel. It's no surprise that when the split with Anderson forced him into a solo career with Blodwyn Pig that their debut (Ahead Rings Out) rivalled the top ten sales of Tull's 1969 follow-up, Stand Up.

Anderson's presence though is of course undeniable and extensive. Though his vocals are often delivered in an idiosyncratic pastiche of a grizzled blues veteran (especially on A Song For Jeffrey), the phrasing of his nimble flute adds a busy, waspish internal commentary within the songs. Sometimes however their reach exceeds their grasp. The cover of Roland Kirk's Serenade To A Cuckoo is a kind of bluffer's jazz that would give them a momentary exotic shift of gear in a live set dominated by their tumbling rock. It's a rather stilted execution here although one can't help but admire their chutzpah in attempting it.

As well the original mono version and some radio sessions, this anniversary edition is expanded to take a new stereo mix, and contemporary single A-sides (including their first single. Sunshine Day, for the MGM label where they were erroneously called Jethro Toe) and B-sides on Disc Two. Having already been given a remastering back in 2003, the new mix yields little surprises although a bit of 21st Century digital space allows a wider aural view of tracks such as Beggar's Farm, You're Breaking Me Up, and Mick Abraham's wistful Move On Alone.

Embracing the broader vocabularies of progressive and folk styles was a brave move considering the Top Ten success of this sophomore release. By the time it came out they'd already moved on. ''This is how we played then – but things change'' Anderson wrote on the original liner notes in '68. Far-sighted words as it turned out. An overlooked but essential piece of Tull.