DVD & Blu-ray Reviews

Jethro Tull – Around the World Live, 4 DVDs & Book (2013)

Jethro Tull fans will go ape over this collection, if they haven't already accumulated them from fan sites.

Published on August 16, 2013

Jethro Tull – Around the World Live, 4 DVDs & Book (2013)

The rock flutist in various live concert videos: Isle of Wight, 1970; Tampa, FL, 1976; Munich, Germany, 1980; Loreley, Germany, 1986; Santiago, Chile 1996;  Dortmund, Germany, 1982; Hilversum, Holland, 1999; London, 2001; Leamington Spa, England, 2001; Montreux, Switzerland, 2003; Lugano, Switzerland, 2005
TrackList & Performers: (see below)
Studio: Eagle Vision EREDV982 [6/25/13]
Video: Discs 1 & 2 – 4:3; Disc 3 – 4:3 & 16:9; Disc 4 – 16:9
Audio: English DTS 5.1, DD 5.1, DD 2.0
Extras: 1999 Hilversum Interview with Anderson, 32-p. book with color photos and essay by Joel McIver
Length: 392 minutes
Rating: ***½ 

Jethro Tull fans will go ape over this huge collection of videos, most of them never previously released. The rest of us might say, “OK, so Ian Anderson can play the flute while standing on one leg. So what?”  The videos highlight the entire career of the folk-rock legend—one of the many bands who have never stopped performing and are still doing basically the same thing onstage for new crowds of fans even though they are now in or approaching their ‘60s or ‘70s.

The video material starts out as early as 1970 with two tunes from the legendary Isle of Wight festival on the island off the U.K., and continues up thru a whole concert videotaped in widescreen and surround sound in Lugano, Switzerland in 2005, which takes up the entire Disc 4. The color photos in the bound book are mostly from Anderson’s personal collection. There are comments online that most of this footage has been available to fans before via various sites, and this commercial release doesn’t improve on the image or sonic quality at all. Much of it certainly looks its age. But I suppose it’s nice to have them all together in one set like this. The best two selections are probably the two from the Isle of Wight, which has been previously available commercially. It would be nice to have the printed tune lyrics, but fans probably know them by heart anyway.

Jethro Tull’s originator, main songwriter, singer and flutist extraordinaire is of course Ian Anderson. He also occasionally plays other instruments, including the guitar, accordion, glockenspiel, what have you. I suppose my early attraction to Jethro Tull was the classical slant of a few of his tunes, especially those with flute and organ accompaniment. However, to my mind he takes something like a Bach fugue and after a swinging main section goes into some absolutely unhinged loud musical chaos that evidently appeals to his fans but not to me. There’s even a bit from Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony on the Tampa concert. He does do a few guitar solos that are worth hearing, but his vocals are just shouting and noise to me. The classical influence is reduced in Tull’s more recent material, and over the years he has evolved from a folk-rock phenomenon to influences such as blues, funk and electronica. The videography generally concentrates on Anderson closeups more than the band as a whole, as befits the wild acrobatics he usually engages in onstage, so the video coverage is a bit different from what you see on most rock concerts.

TrackList & Performers:

DISC ONE: 

Isle Of Wight, England, 1970

1) My Sunday Feeling 2) My God

Line-Up: Ian Anderson vocals, flute, guitar; Martin Barre guitar; Clive Bunker drums; Glenn Cornick bass; John Evan keyboards

Tampa, Florida, USA, 1976

1) Quartet (intro) 2) Thick As A Brick 3) Wond ring Aloud 4) Crazed Institution 5) Barre (instrumental) / Drum Solo 6) Medley: To Cry You A Song / A New Day Yesterday / Bourée / God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen 7) Living In The Past / Thick As A Brick 8) A New Day Yesterday (reprise) 9) Too Old To Rock n Roll, Too Young To Die 10) Minstrel In The Gallery 11) Extract from Beethoven s Symphony No.9 (Molto Vivace)

Line-Up: Ian Anderson vocals, flute, guitar; Barriemore Barlow drums; Martin Barre guitar; John Evan keyboards; John Glascock bass

Munich, Germany, 1980

1) Aqualung 2) Dark Ages 3) Home 4) Orion 5) Too Old To Rock n Roll, Too Young To Die 6) Cross-eyed Mary 7) Minstrel In The Gallery 8) Locomotive Breath 9) Dambusters March

Line-Up: Ian Anderson vocals, flute, guitar; Barriemore Barlow drums; Martin Barre guitar; John Evan keyboards; David Palmer keyboards; Dave Pegg – bass

DISC TWO: 

Dortmund, Germany, 1982

1) Pussy Willow 2) Heavy Horses

Line-up: Ian Anderson vocals, flute, guitar; Martin Barre guitar; Gerry Conway drums; Dave Pegg bass; Peter Vettese keyboards

Loreley, Germany, 1986

1) Black Sunday

Line-up: Ian Anderson vocals, flute, guitar; Martin Barre guitar; Dave Pegg bass; Doane Perry drums; Peter Vettese keyboards

Santiago, Chile, 1996

1) Roots To Branches 2) Rare And Precious Chain 3) Thick As A Brick 4) In The Grip Of Stronger Stuff 5) Dangerous Veils 6) Aqualung / Aquadiddly 7) Nothing Is Easy 8) Bourée 9) In The Moneylenders Temple 10) My God 11) Locomotive Breath

DISC THREE: 

Hilversum, Holland, 1999

1) Some Day The Sun Won t Shine For You 2) Thick As A Break 3) Locomotive Breath 4) The Secret Language Of Birds 5) Dot Com 6) Fat Man 7) Bourée 8) In The Grip Of Stronger Stuff

London, England, 2001

1) Cross-eyed Mary 2) Hunt By Numbers 3) My Sunday Feeling

Montreux, Switzerland, 2003

1) Some Day The Sun Won t Shine For You 2) Life Is A Long Song 3) Living In The Past

DISC FOUR:

Lugano, Switzerland, 2005

1) Aqualung Intro 2) For A Thousand Mothers 3) Nothing Is Easy 4) Jack In The Green 5) Serenade To A Cuckoo 6) Beggar s Farm 7) Boris Dancing 8) Weathercock 9) We Five Kings 10) Up To Me 11) Bourée 12) Mother Goose 13) Empty Café 14) Farm On The Freeway 15) Hymn 43 16) A New Day Yesterday 17) Budapest 18) Aqualung 19) Locomotive Breath 20) Protect And Survive 21) Cheerio

Line-up (1996 / 1999 / 2001 / 2003 / 2005):

Ian Anderson vocals, flute, guitar; Martin Barre guitar; Andy Giddings keyboards; Jonathan Noyce bass; Doane Perry – drums

—John Henry




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