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It has been a while since the last installment due to several reasons, all of them good.  Tonight we shall finish up Aqualung, one of their better efforts.

The link above has the history around the album, so tonight we shall just concentrate on the music.

The second side begins with "My God", a really good song.  By the way, all of the songs on this side were written by Anderson.  This is a complex song both in message and in music, and I like it very much.  This version had the lyrics so you can pull them down and read along as you listen.

"My God" follows, and its message is every bit, if not moreso, true today than it was when Anderson wrote it in 1970.  The Republican convention last week pointed out quite a bit of the behavior that he was describing.  Once again, the lyrics are in the video if you pull them down.

I do not understand the short song "Slipstream" but I like the style, very much unlike a lot of the other material on the album.  If anyone can explain it to me, I would appreciate it.

The widely played "Locomotive Breath" comes next, the definitive song about someone who is losing control over his life.  I was talking with a friend of mine earlier today and he has to have the worst luck in the world.  He had to send some important papers overnight so that they would arrive Monday and drove over to Federal Express only to discover that the address was a Post Office box.  I helped him to navigate to the nearest Post Office so that he could send it Express Mail, and he barely got there in time.  That is just one example of the horrible string of bad luck that he has had for over a year now, beginning with some health problems, getting laid off, more health problems, relationship problems, his father dying week before last, and that is just the beginning.

The album ends with "Wind-Up", probably the best song on the album technically and also by message.  Because of its complexity I never tire of hearing it.  It did not get much radio play because of the controversial nature of the lyrics, except for some of the more progressive FM stations.  I remember Bob Ketchum playing the entire album on KMAG 99.1, the 100,000 watt station in Fort Smith, Arkansas back in the day.

I knew Bob a little because a high school friend of mine worked at that same station.  My friend is no longer with us, but Bob is a Facebook friend and hosts a popular internet music show called The HiTek Redneck Internet Radio Show which used to run on Sunday nights but has lately been on Tuesday nights at 9:00 Eastern.  Check it out sometime.

I know that this is sort of a short piece tonight, but I have been getting Pique the Geek ready for Sunday and also polishing up my contribution for What's for Dinner? which I am guest hosting tomorrow (Saturday) night at 7:30 PM Eastern.  If you get a chance, come by tomorrow night.  I have a visual feast in store for readers because I am presenting a photoessay about my first attempt at making a cheesecake from scratch.  It turned out beautifully!  There is sort of a nice backstory about it as well, or at least I think so.

I shall be around for comments pretty much all night tonight since The Woman (formerly The Girl, but since her 20th birthday was Tuesday past insisted on the more mature sounding name) is out of town.  As always, any insight into the meanings of the music are welcome, as are other videos that you would like to add in the comments.

Unless I fancy a nonmusical topic, next time we shall examine Thick as a Brick, in my opinion the finest Tull album.  This is going to be a challenge from a technical point of view because there are only two songs, both over 20 minutes long, "Thick as a Brick, Part 1" and "Thick as a Brick, Part 2" being the entire first and second sides of the album, respectively.  I anticipate that it will be a two part or even longer series, because of the album cover.  I found links to it, and it is such a classic that we might consider the cover separately from the music.  We shall just have to see.

Please have a wonderful evening and try to join me tomorrow night for cheesecake.  Better get some coffee on, because you will be able to taste it as you view the pictures.

Warmest regards,

Doc, aka Dr. David W. Smith

Crossposted at

The Stars Hollow Gazette,

Docudharma, and

firefly-dreaming

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tips and recs for (17+ / 0-)

    some really good music?

    Warmest regards,

    Doc

    I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

    by Translator on Fri Sep 07, 2012 at 04:58:51 PM PDT

  •  Locomotive Breath (5+ / 0-)

    is a scary song. It is also one of my favorite Tull tunes.

    "Who is John Galt?" A two dimensional character in a third rate novel.

    by Inventor on Fri Sep 07, 2012 at 06:23:58 PM PDT

  •  Nice work as always, Doc... (5+ / 0-)

    I'll add a few comments...

    My God was a godsend (!) to my 15-16 year old self who was questioning the existence (or at least the Attributes if there was one) of God.

    Beyond the fairly obvious "golden cages" type imagery, some real thoughts about man "creating God in his own image" are well explored as well as contempt for the hypocrisy of organized religion (which seems to be Ian's real target, NOT God), the Music itself is a glorious evocation of so-called "Sacred Music." Ian's flute playing off the choir is exquisite, whether or not you agree with his points, which I do.

    I'm not paranoid, I'm just well informed--SherwoodB

    by SherwoodB on Fri Sep 07, 2012 at 06:25:32 PM PDT

  •  Hymn 43.... (4+ / 0-)

    I'd like to share a sort of unrelated story about this song.

    Jazz fans from the early 80's through the late 90's are probably aware of a great jazz pianist named Kenny Kirkland who passed away in 1998 (his health was always shaky and the rigors of being a pro musician, I believe took their toll). He is probably best known for playing on Sting's "Blue Turtles" album and tour as well as the subsequent movie, plus the original edition of Branford Marsalis' Tonight Show Band in 1992

    I went to High School with him and he was the Big Kahuna in the Music Dept. of our school. He was also a very open minded guy and very generous with helpful hints, thoughtful criticism. I learned a lot from him.

    Along with being a phenomenal pianist, he was also a kick ass alto sax and flautist. One day I walked into the practice room and he was seated at the piano accompanying himself singing Hymn 43, (alto sax around his neck) switching to the "big guitar riff" on alto, playing the percussive part AFTER the riff by pressing the keys on his horn without blowing.

    It was  a tour de force performance and I guess you had to be there, but a few of us saw it and I wanted to pay tribute to a great musician and friend who left us too soon and whose talents extended way beyond what the public knew about him later on.

    Thanks for indulging me.

    I'm not paranoid, I'm just well informed--SherwoodB

    by SherwoodB on Fri Sep 07, 2012 at 06:38:47 PM PDT

  •  Aqualung is one of my all time favorite albums (5+ / 0-)

    We nearly wore out my buddy's 8 track playing it over and over.  Mother Goose became Glen's song, he had a long red beard and his sister was weird.  She didn't drive a lorry, though.  Locomotive Breath became my song after a drunken brawl where I had the other guy by the balls.

    Anytime Aqualung comes on I still have to turn the volume up to 11.

    Sorry I missed the last installment, it was one of those Fridays......

    Thanks for putting this together.

    “that our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry.” Thomas Jefferson

    by markdd on Fri Sep 07, 2012 at 06:46:23 PM PDT

    •  You are welcome, and thank you (4+ / 0-)

      for the very kind words!  Just hit the link and enjoy the last one.  You are welcome to comment about that one here.

      Warmest regards,

      Doc

      I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

      by Translator on Fri Sep 07, 2012 at 06:55:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Locomotive Breath was and is one of Tull's (5+ / 0-)

      biggest "classic rock" hits and continues to get play even today.

      I played it in bar bands (I did a really awful Ian Imitation, btw...)

      Funny thing is that they did an edit to get the "balls" out of it so they could play it on the radio without hurting anyone's delicate sensibilities.

      Through some sort of weird manipulation, the line "..has got him by the balls." became "...has got him by the FUN."

      I guess (digital editing was decades in the future) they dubbed the "fun" from another verse and the result was always incredibly funny.

      I'm not paranoid, I'm just well informed--SherwoodB

      by SherwoodB on Fri Sep 07, 2012 at 07:08:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'd forgotten about the 'Fun' (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SherwoodB, nellgwen, Translator

        till you reminded me.

        All I have of that night are my friends memories.  I checked out long before the fight.  Pretty much cured me of binge drinking.

        “that our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry.” Thomas Jefferson

        by markdd on Fri Sep 07, 2012 at 07:22:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The Doors were (3+ / 0-)

        supposed to self censor on The Ed Sullivan Show, substituting some other phrase for "Baby, we can't get no higher," in "Light My Fire.  The refused, and never went on that show again.

        The Stones changed, "lets spend the night together." for "Let's spend some time together" and all was well for them to come back.

        Warmest regards,

        Doc

        I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

        by Translator on Fri Sep 07, 2012 at 08:10:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I still don't get "Slipstream" but it is (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nellgwen, Translator, Wreck Smurfy

    musically lovely. Ian sings it with great tenderness and subtlety, but I (like you) still have no clue to its meaning.

    I think it's about a frozen moment that he experienced or observed and we are supposed to take away from it what ever we see in it ourselves.

    That doesn't really bother me, though, as art's ambiguity is part of the fun for me and I frequently find myself not really WANTING to know the ultimate truth, but enjoying the "vibe and atmosphere" created.

    I'm not paranoid, I'm just well informed--SherwoodB

    by SherwoodB on Fri Sep 07, 2012 at 07:13:12 PM PDT

  •  Makes me want to pick up my (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Translator, SherwoodB

    guitar again.

    "Is that your vegetarian leather jacket?" George Harrison

    by nellgwen on Fri Sep 07, 2012 at 08:16:29 PM PDT

  •  Oh Wow Man! (6+ / 0-)

    Forgot how important this album was.  Having endured the politics of religion just a year or two before college, this album really cemented my attitudes towards organized religion.  Great stuff Doc.

    “that our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry.” Thomas Jefferson

    by markdd on Fri Sep 07, 2012 at 08:23:31 PM PDT

    •  I pretty much let it (4+ / 0-)

      speak for itself.  This was seminal.

      Warmest regards,

      Doc

      I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

      by Translator on Fri Sep 07, 2012 at 08:25:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  A VERY gutsy statement to make in the (5+ / 0-)

      early 1970's.

      No one questioned religion in those days.

      I'm not paranoid, I'm just well informed--SherwoodB

      by SherwoodB on Fri Sep 07, 2012 at 08:39:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  One thing that sort (4+ / 0-)

        of frightens me is that it may have been less dangerous to posit that piece then than now.  As I recall the 1970s, there were few folks so ideological that would kill for it, at least in the US.

        Things seem to be worse now than they were then.

        Warmest regards,

        Doc

        I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

        by Translator on Fri Sep 07, 2012 at 08:52:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I had just been thru (5+ / 0-)

        the eruption in the Episcopal Church over replacing the 1928 Book of Common Prayer.  Whole congregations split in half over it.  A lot of political maneuvering in our parish to adopt the new liturgy to the exclusion (virtually the expulsion) of people who didn't agree.  The Episcopal Church was the only Protestant denomination not to split over the Civil War, but this change split it good.

        Within a couple of years, the priest was defrocked over an extramarital affair.  

        Really shook me up.

        FWIW, the Episcopal Church is the American descendant of "The Bloody Church of England"

        “that our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry.” Thomas Jefferson

        by markdd on Fri Sep 07, 2012 at 08:54:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  This is an extremely interesting (5+ / 0-)

          subject.  Perhaps we could talk in private chat and/or over the telephone about that.  Religious strife has always been fascinating.

          Warmest regards,

          Doc

          I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

          by Translator on Fri Sep 07, 2012 at 09:00:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's really the BIG question... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Translator, markdd

            I have a whole hell of a lot to say about this stuff (I have much first hand inside knowledge here) and we know that most folks at the Great Orange Satan (dead giveaway!) would jump at debating these points.

            It's a testament to Ian and J. Tull that 40+ years later their work still inspires such debate!

            I'm not paranoid, I'm just well informed--SherwoodB

            by SherwoodB on Fri Sep 07, 2012 at 09:17:22 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I do not want to argue (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              markdd, SherwoodB

              about religion, but rather to try to understand different perspectives about it, and in particular the interactions of other, but related, faiths.

              The little minds of humans never cease to amaze me.

              Warmest regards, (ask me about my receptors)

              Doc

              I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

              by Translator on Fri Sep 07, 2012 at 09:24:53 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I am NOT a theologian (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Translator, SherwoodB

                and very unqualified to discuss the finer points of religion.  But I have been thru not one, but three cases of ugly church politics, in 3 different denominations.

                I may put it all down into a long message to you.  But it may take a while.

                “that our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry.” Thomas Jefferson

                by markdd on Fri Sep 07, 2012 at 09:38:44 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I am not, either, and that is not the (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  SherwoodB

                  matter of interest.  What interests me are the little things that drive denominations apart.  It is really just a study in human behavior.

                  Warmest regards,

                  Doc

                  I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

                  by Translator on Fri Sep 07, 2012 at 09:47:35 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

  •  jethro tull is one of favorite bands (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Translator, SherwoodB, nellgwen, TomFromNJ

    Thanks doc for giving some background notes on the songs themselves.  When aqualung came out I was still a young kid living in Ohio. I did not truly get the underlying meanings of the lyrics but loved the energy of the songs along with that 'weird' use of a flute in a truly driving rock song. I loved them ever since.

    My favorite Tull albums are song from the woods and stormwatch. I mowed a lot of yards during high school listening to a tape of both albums.

    Born in Oklahoma Raised in Ohio Escaped to Meechigan!!!

    by MI Sooner on Fri Sep 07, 2012 at 09:07:22 PM PDT

    •  Thank you for the kind words! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SherwoodB, MI Sooner, nellgwen

      I actually lost touch with them after Thick as a Brick, and I am not really sure why.  Some of their material was outstanding, but I know so little about it that I can not promise to write a reliable piece.

      Warmest regards,

      Doc

      I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

      by Translator on Fri Sep 07, 2012 at 09:13:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  To add to all of this (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nellgwen, Translator

        Trying to name a favorite song from tull is difficult, but if I was forced to name one song, it would be Broadsword. This is the song I hum to myself just before I go looking for that twit at work who is in desperate need of an attitude adjustment.

        Sadly for the fools I work with, I come from a long line of engineers who do not suffer fools well. So, bring me my broadsword of clear understanding.....

        Born in Oklahoma Raised in Ohio Escaped to Meechigan!!!

        by MI Sooner on Fri Sep 07, 2012 at 11:16:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  As MI Sooner said...Songs From the Wood (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Translator, MI Sooner, nellgwen

    is a great album.

    I heard (mostly out of the corner of my ears, as it were) later albums, but this was a great album right up there with their best.

    I'm not paranoid, I'm just well informed--SherwoodB

    by SherwoodB on Fri Sep 07, 2012 at 09:24:42 PM PDT

    •  If I remember correctly (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SherwoodB, nellgwen, Translator

      Anderson by this point was really writing songs for himself and was going through his Scottish folksong phase. You can almost hear the pipes in each song. Being of Scottish decent, I couldn't but come to love it.

      Or if its not Scottish it sucks. <-- that was the scotch talking.

      Born in Oklahoma Raised in Ohio Escaped to Meechigan!!!

      by MI Sooner on Fri Sep 07, 2012 at 11:22:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well Doc I've been searching all (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomFromNJ, Translator

    night for information an Slipstream for you. There is a very good documentary I saw on Tull a while ago. I could have sworn I was watching it online but it must have been on cable. Maybe Behind the music.
      I discovered that, or remembered that the critics and fans alike considered Aqualung a concept album. But as far as Ian Anderson is concerned it was just a collection of songs. So it just shows to go you.
      So as a result of people insisting it was a concept album Ian got the idea for the next album.
      And it's pure snark.
       "If the critics want a concept album we'll give the mother of all concept albums and we'll make it so bombastic and so over the top..." Ian Anderson
        Thick as a Brick was written "because everyone was saying we were a progressive rock band, so we decided to live up to the reputation and write a progressive album, but done as a parody of the genre." With Thick as a Brick, the band created an album deliberately integrated around one concept: a poem by an intelligent English boy (named Gerald) about the trials of growing up. Beyond this, the album was a send-up of all pretentious "concept albums".

      I found out a lot of other information like Ian Anderson was at one time, or maybe still is, a sort of Laird in Scotland.
      But I've couldn't find anything on Slipstream.
      Still looking.

    "Is that your vegetarian leather jacket?" George Harrison

    by nellgwen on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 12:30:16 AM PDT

  •  Thanks so much (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Translator

    Doc. So many good times and deep thoughts have been had listening to this prize work...SSK

    "Hey Clinton, I'm bushed" - Keith Richards

    by Santa Susanna Kid on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 01:40:11 AM PDT

  •  Thanks Doc (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Translator

    Aqualung is one of the first records I bought.  And I bought it for Side 1.  Aqualung itself is still one of their best.  However, it is Side 2 that impressed me more years ago, and today, on the strength of My God, Hymn 43 and Wind Up.  Wind Up is a "prog" masterpiece.  The cover art is also wonderful.

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