Thursday, August 7, 2014

stand up

Jethro Tull found their own sound with the eclectic folk, classical jazz, and heavy blues of this bright city bourrée.  Their debut album 'This Was' had its roots deep in the blues with diversionary roads into rock, folk, and baroque.  Guitarist Mick Abrahams left the band after it was completed as Ian Anderson was taking more of the limelight.  After attempts to replace him with Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi (who played with them for the Rolling Stones' Rock 'N Roll Circus) and Davy O'List from the Nice, the group settled on Martin Barre.  

Barre says:   "They did different kind of music when I joined so everything changed anyway. We were just starting from nothing, whatever songs were like no other music. We were starting from, I think, absolute zero. But I think it took not only my guitar playing but the way the music went. They all would be saying: 'Why won’t you play like this or like that?' That’s why I never listened to other people, because I just feel what is the right thing...I can’t play proper jazz but I can make it sound like that. I just pretend to play jazz. I can’t also play country and western but I pretend, and I can pretend to play classical music. It’s just my version of it because I listened to jazz and I listened to classical music. So it’s easy to copy and I copy in my own way but I’m not playing it properly."

Produced by Ian Anderson and Terry Ellis at Morgan Studios, London with strings arranged and conducted by David Palmer;  'Stand Up' features Ian Anderson on vocals, flute, acoustic guitar, Hammond organ, piano, mandolin, balalaika, and mouth organ;  Martin Lancelot Barre on electric guitar and flute;  Glenn Cornick on bass guitar;  and Clive Bunker on drums and percussion;  with engineer Andy Johns adding bass guitar to "Look into The Sun".  

The album went to number twenty in the US, five in Norway, and number one in the UK.  Anderson looks back:   "The original 'Stand Up' album was the album that was -- on our second tour, I think, in the summer of 1969 -- released and went to the top of the charts. I was sitting in Loews Midtown Manhattan Hotel having breakfast and Joe Cocker came in and said “Congratulations, your album has just gone to number one in the UK...And we thought ‘wow, that’s great’ because we were, at that point, just starting off in the US, and not terribly well-known...It was essentially the beginning of Jethro Tull’s US career. It gave us confidence that the music that we were then playing live on stage during our shows was already successful in the UK and in Europe and when it was released in the US it hopefully would mimic that European success. And indeed it did quite well for us, inasmuch as that album was contemporaneous with those early tours of that year, 1969...Back then in a recording studios people were always inventing new things, you know, things you could do, things perhaps you weren’t supposed to do...On the 'Stand' album it was just a bit of wacky improvisation really, standing on top of a speaker and swinging the mike around mimicking I suppose the effects of a Leslie cabinet, you know the rotating speaker cabinet, spinning around in the cabinet and keeping the microphone still.  We just kept the speaker still and moved around the mike. it was a bit of fun, and it was an amusing sound, and it had its effects and it was a way of doing something new and different.  By the traditions of professional recording techniques that we were young musicians – we tried different stuff, and as long as we didn’t break anything, we got away with it."

'Living in the Past' was recorded during the sessions but released separately as a single.  'Living in the Past' also become the title of a compilation album released in 1972, during which time the single was re-released.  It would become their highest charting single in both the UK and the US, peaking at number four and number eleven respectively.

Happy and I'm smiling,

Walk a mile to drink your water.
You know I'd love to love you,
And above you there's no other.
We'll go walking out
While others shout of war's disaster.
Oh, we won't give in,
Let's go living in the past.

Once I used to join in

Every boy and girl was my friend.
Now there's revolution, but they don't know
What they're fighting.
Let us close our eyes;
Outside their lives go on much faster.
Oh, we won't give in,
We'll keep living in the past.

Oh, we won't give in,

Let's go living in the past.
Oh no no we won't give in,
Let's go living in the past.

'Bourée' was a jazzed out rearrangement of J. S. Bach's Bourrée in E minor BWV 996 (fifth movement).

We Used To Know/For A Thousand Mothers (Isle of Wight)

'Stand Up'
full album:

A New Day Yesterday   4:10
Jeffrey Goes to Leicester Square  2:12
Bourée  3:46
Back to the Family  3:48
Look into the Sun  4:20
Nothing Is Easy  4:25
Fat Man  2:52
We Used to Know  3:59
Reasons for Waiting  4:05
For a Thousand Mothers  4:13
Living in the Past  3:23
Driving Song  2:44
Sweet Dream  4:05
17  3:07

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