Friday, December 20, 2013

A New Day Yesterday: Happy Tullaversary!

Usually we do celebrations of a birthday, or a memorial for someone who has passed away. Today, I am pleased to report, is a bit different; for today we celebrate the birth of a band. Yes, December 20th, 1967 is a notable day for any number of reasons: NASA's Mariner 4 probe left the orbit of Mars, Mexican actress Eugenia Caudoro was born, and US President Lyndon Baines Johnson began a tour of the Far East. But any of these milestones pale by comparison to the real news, for it was on this day the legendary band Jethro Tull was formed by vocalist/flautist Ian Anderson and bassist Glenn Cornick in Luton, UK.
Taking their name from the 18th Century inventor of the seed drill, they added guitarist Mick Abrahams and drummer Clive Bunker and set about carving out the hard-driving progressive blues sound that would characterize their initial recordings. Gradually the personnel shifted as they moved away from the straighter blues style into a more eclectic territory encompassing jazz improvisation and classical motifs, as well as a more distinctively harder-rocking vibe. All of this was characterized by their singer, who was archetypically found at center stage, perched on one leg and blowing on a flute, then a most uncharacteristic instrument in rock.
After several further personnel changes, they eventually evolved into one of the most popular bands of the 1970s, creating monumental LPs like Benefit, Aqualung, Thick As a Brick and Warchild. By the time of the concert performance presented here, they were mere days from releasing their tenth studio record, the folk-rock masterpiece Songs from the Wood... no surprise then that the setlist features a good deal of tracks from that album. Taped on a night where Anderson was suffering from the flu -- before the gig he famously remarked that the doctors had told him he couldn't sing tonight, so it would be too bad for the audience the following evening, wouldn't it? -- this near-pristine capture from the mixing desk finds the band on fine form in front of an enthusiastic Manchester Apollo audience ready, willing and eager for some prime Tullification. They did not, I suspect, go home disappointed.
Jethro Tull
Manchester, UK
5 February 1977

01 Wond'ring Aloud
02 Skating Away On the Thin Ice of the New Day
03 Jack-In-the-Green
04 Thick As a Brick
05 Songs From the Wood
06 Instrumental/drum solo
07 To Cry You a Song
08 A New Day Yesterday
09 flute solo
10 Living In the Past
11 A New Day Yesterday (reprise)
12 Velvet Green

01 Hunting Girl
02 Too Old to Rock'N'Roll
03 Beethoven's Ninth Symphony
04 Minstrel In the Gallery
05 Aqualung
06 guitar solo
07 Wind-Up
08 Back Door Angels
09 Wind-Up (reprise)
10 Locomotive Breath
11 Land of Hope and Glory
12 Back Door Angels (reprise)

Total Time: 1:51:01

Ian Anderson - vocals, flute, guitar
Martin Barre - guitar
John Glascock - bass guitar, vocals
Barriemore Barlow - drums
John Evan - keyboards
David Palmer - keyboards, saxophone

master soundboard cassette
remastered as "Down to Earth" by the Progressive Rock Remaster Project (PRRP 054)
So please do enjoy this treasure from the vaults and let it enrich your chilly morning as you go Skating Away on the Thin Ice of this blustery winter's Friday... hopefully there's a cup or two of the Crimson Wonder in your future as well, just to warm the inner reaches like we hope this little foray into Tullavision 1977 will accomplish.

Oh yes... and Happy 46th Birthday, Jethro Tull!!!!


  1. Hi, you should look for the original non-remastered version of this '77 Tull sdb, as this version runs at the wrong speed--the original sdb. was correct as is in terms of its speed/pitch! (The PRRP guy seems to have a problem with pitch-correction--other than that his 'remasters' usually sound good!)

    I like the pic directly above of drummer Barrie Barlow with his hand to his ear: do you hear what i hear?! ;-)

    1. If you give me a figure in cents that you think this is off (fast or slow), I will fix the whole thing in Sound Forge and repost it, so it gets circulating in this excellent sounding form but at the right speed. It sounded OK to me; I don't see how it'd be off by all that much.