Jethro Tull “The Christmas Album”

Posted 14 Dec 2011 in 00s, Albums of 2003, Albums of the 00s, Christmas

 

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#578 in the Series) is Jethro Tull, The Christmas Album

I can honestly say that up to a year or so ago, I had never heard of this album. I’m surprised at that since it’s from a band I always liked.  Maybe I should say that I don’t think I heard of it, I say that since when I listened to it (again), it did sound familiar.

Maybe the date threw me a bit as I don’t really remember looking for Jethro Tull albums on the music racks in 2003 when this was released.

Like many Christmas albums by modern acts, it’s a combination of newer original material and their versions of the traditional songs that we remembered when we actually got excited this time of year. OK, maybe I’m being a little harsh there, but nothing is like Christmas when you were a child.

They even take it a step further however, as they write newer material that is “based” on traditional songs. Here I’m referring to “Greensleeved” which of course is based on “Greensleeves.”

The traditional songs are actually quite fantastic. Ian Anderson’s flute brings back wonderful childhood memories in “God Rest Ye’ Merry Gentleman.”

“We Five Kings” is another that hints at a traditional sound, it still is, but it is also now clearly an Ian Anderson song.  It’s also clearly a cool listen.

One of my favorites on the album is “Bouree,” You know this song already if you’re a Tull fan, but it’s twisted around and turned inside out and is completely remade, but not so much that you won’t enjoy it if you were a fan or the original version.

Look for the bonus version of this album. In it you’ll find a CD recorded at St. Bride’s Church. I’ve listed the songs from it below. You’ll find even more goodies in that batch with much more traditional flavor added as well.

–Larry Carta

Personnel

  • Ian Anderson – flute, vocals, acoustic guitars, mandolin, piccolo, percussion
  • Martin Barre – electric and acoustic guitars
  • Doane Perry – drums and percussion
  • Andrew Giddings – keyboards, accordion and keyboard bass
  • Jonathan Noyce – bass guitar

Track listing

  1. “Birthday Card at Christmas” (Ian Anderson) – 3:37
  2. “Holly Herald”  arranged and developed by Anderson) – 4:16
  3. “A Christmas Song” (Anderson) – 2:47
  4. “Another Christmas Song” (Anderson) – 3:31
  5. “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen” (arranged and developed by Anderson) – 4:35
  6. “Jack Frost and the Hooded Crow” (Anderson) – 3:37
  7. “Last Man at the Party” (Anderson) – 4:48
  8. “Weathercock” (Anderson) – 4:17
  9. “Pavane” (arranged and developed by Anderson) – 4:19
  10. “First Snow on Brooklyn” (Anderson) – 4:57
  11. “Greensleeved” (Arranged and developed by Anderson) – 2:39
  12. “Fire at Midnight” (Anderson) – 2:26
  13. “We Five Kings” (arranged and developed by Anderson) – 3:16
  14. “Ring Out Solstice Bells” (Anderson) – 4:04
  15. “Bourée” (Instrumental J. S. Bach, arranged and developed by Anderson) – 4:25
  16. “A Winter Snowscape” (Instrumental, Martin Barre) – 4:57

Here is the live bonus disc that was included. Now I’m covered!

Christmas at St Bride’s 2008

Recorded Live at St Bride’s Church

  1. “Weathercock” (Ian Anderson) – 4:41
  2. “Introduction: Rev. George Pitcher / Choir: What Cheer” (William Walton) – 3:32
  3. “A Christmas Song” (Anderson) – 3:19
  4. “Living in These Hard Times” (Anderson) – 3:44
  5. “Choir: Silent Night” (Traditional) – 3:06
  6. “Reading: Ian Anderson, Marmion” (Sir Walter Scott) – 2:17
  7. “Jack in the Green” (Anderson) – 2:33
  8. “Another Christmas Song” (Anderson) – 3:56
  9. “Reading: Gavin Esler, God’s Grandeur” (Gerard Manley Hopkins) – 1:50
  10. “Choir: Oh, Come All Ye Faithful” (Traditional) – 3:50
  11. “Reading: Mark Billingham, The Ballad of The Breadman” (Charles Causley) – 3:33
  12. “A Winter Snowscape” (Martin Barre) – 3:39
  13. “Reading: Andrew Lincoln, Christmas” (Sir John Betjeman) – 3:12
  14. “Fires at Midnight” (Anderson) – 3:38
  15. “We Five Kings”  arranged and developed by Anderson) – 3:19
  16. “Choir: Gaudete” (Trad. arranged by Anderson) – 3:39
  17. “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen / Thick as a Brick” (Trad. arranged by Anderson / Anderson) – 10:25

Links

Give it a listen below!

Posted by Larry Carta

1 Comment

  1. Ray Brettman (16 Dec 2012, 11:05)
    Reply

    Great review Larry. Though I am fond of all of Tull’s post heyday work, virtually none seen in the light of normal media outlets, this little endeavor may be the best of the lot, right down Tull alley, though not the one with Aqualung lurking.



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