Cactus – Rochester (1971)

FrontCover1Cactus was initially conceived in late 1969 by former Vanilla Fudge members bassist Tim Bogert and drummer Carmine Appice after plans to team up with guitarist Jeff Beck were scuppered when Beck had an automobile accident and was out of the music scene for over a year. In early 1970, Bogert and Appice brought in blues guitarist Jim McCarty from Mitch Ryder’s Detroit Wheels and The Buddy Miles Express, and singer Rusty Day (born Russell Edward Davidson) from The Amboy Dukes.

This lineup released three albums on Atco Records, Cactus (1970), One Way… or Another (1971), and Restrictions (1971), before intraband troubles led to McCarty quitting at the end of 1971. Day was fired from the group shortly afterwards. The fourth and last original Cactus album, ‘Ot ‘n’ Zweit (1972), featured original rhythm section Bogert and Appice joined by Werner Fritzschings on guitar, Duane Hitchings on keyboards and Peter French (ex-Leaf Hound and Atomic Rooster) on vocals. After Cactus’s dissolution in 1972, Bogert and Appice finally joined with Beck to form Beck, Bogert & Appice. (by wikipedia)

And here´s a nice bootleg, recorded live at Auxiliary Studios, Rochester, NY; October 18, 1971.

Enjoy the Blues-Power of Cactus ! And you can hear a great bass solo by Tim Bogert on “Oleo” !

Fairly to very good WCMS-FM

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Personnel:
Carmine Appice (drums)
Tim Bogert (bass)
Rusty Day (vocals, harmonica)
Jim McCarty (guitar)

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Tracklist:
01. The Sun Is Shining (Abner/Carter/Reed) 5.57
02. Evil (Burnett) 5.48
03. Sweet Sixteen (Appice/Bogert/Day/McCarty) 4.30
04. Oleo (Appice/Bogert/Day/McCarty) 14.15
05. No Need To Worry (Appice/Bogert/Day/McCarty) 19.35
06. On Air Spot + Long Tall Sally (Penniman/Johnson(Blackwell) 9.13
07. Big Mama Boogie – Pt. 1 (Appice/Bogert/Day/McCarty) 9.21
08. Big Mama Boogie – Pt. 2 (Appice/Bogert/Day/McCarty) 5.06

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Dusko Goykovich – It’s About Blues Time (1972)

FrontCover1Pianist Tete Montoliu recorded two fine albums under trumpeter Duško Gojković’s leadership in November 1971 in Barcelona, Spain. In quintet formation, with the Spanish pianist regular rhythm backing of German bassist Robert Langereis and drummer Joe Nay, they did It’s About Blues Time (Ensayo, reissued on CD by Fresh Sounds) and a day later in quartet they did Ten To Two Blues (Ensayo, reissued as After Hours on Enja). The rhythm section on both is the same and both albums are recommended. Rare Spanish LP (also on the Musical Heritage Society Inc. release in the USA) from the early 1970s It’s About Blues Time is a very soulful quintet session that features fantastic performances from two of excellent European players—Gojković and tenor player Ferdinand Powell (Ferdinand Povel), along with Langereis and Nay. The marathon blues “It’s About Blues Time” which opens the set hits a formidable high. Gojković’s tone is wonderful, and is a real mix of jazz and non-jazz European influences. He is in spanking form throughout and his superb eastern modal at “Bosnia Calling” is impressive.

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Other tracks include “Old Folks,” “The End Of Love,” “You Know I Care,” and “Nameless Tune.” Gojković and Powell groove hard in the frontline, bringing a hard edge to the session that jazz fans do not always hear on some of Montouliu’s sessions from the time. Nay makes a tremendous noise at the drums, with Powell coming on like he has just heard his first John Coltrane record. The one who suffers ironically is Montoliu; the fierce studio separation shunts him to one side, but he is well down in the mix anyway. This set grooves like a classic Blue Note, or some of the best straight ahead jazz on MPS with lines that have their roots in soul jazz, but also show a real preference for modal grooving and lyrical soloing.  (by lobodan Mihajlović)

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Personnel:
Dusko Goykovich (trumpet)
Rob Langereis (bass)
Tete Montoliu (piano)

Joe Nay (drums)
Ferdinand Povel (saxophone)

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Tracklist:
01. It’s About Blues Time (Goykovich) 14.05
02. Old Folks (Hill/Robison) 5.54
03. The End Of Love (Hampton) 5.30
04. Bosna Calling (Goykovich) 6.06
05. You Know I Care (Pearson) 5.26
06. Nameless Tune (Povel) 5.21

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Mike Harrison – Same (1971)

FrontCover1.jpgOne of the best blues singers… soul singers… hard rock singers… Mike Harrison, who passed away today, March 25th, at the age of 72, was as impossible to pigeonhole as SPOOKY TOOTH, the band he used to front, were. But when Mike delivered the likes of “Better By You, Better Than Me” nobody cared for categorization – being carried away with the sheer emotionality of Harrison’s voice. Either stood at the microphone or sat at the piano, he seemed to symbolize any group, though, despite the presence of great instrumentalists such as Keith Emerson, a fellow member of THE V.I.P.s in the ’60s, and “Supernatural Fairy Tales” – which he recorded when that ensemble became ART – is a minor psychedelic classic. Still, it’s the TOOTH that the vocalist found fame with.

From 1966 to 1970 and in 1972-1973, Mike shone in the vast variety of SPOOKY styles, on both covers like Dylan’s “The Weight” and originals, mostly written by keyboard player Gary Wright. The collective got resurrected, with some of the musicians absent, in 1998 and 2004, the latest – last ever – reunion resulting in “Nomad Poets” which would serve as their epitaph now that the singer and drummer Mike Kellie died. There were also less celebrated records with Harrison on: “Ceremony”, the band’s collaboration with Pierre Henry, who recently checked out from this mortal coil, too, a document of his stint with HAMBURG BLUES BAND, and Mike’s solo albums. The brilliant likes of “Rainbow Rider” featured stellar line-ups, including Mick Jones and Morgan Fisher, and were covers-heavy – and there could have been much more if the vocalist didn’t disappear from public view for long periods of time, as he did between 1975 and 1997 and from 2006 until now. (by dmme.net)

And here´s his debut Album as a solo act:

MikeHarrison2.jpgFollowing the release of 1970’s aptly titled “The Last Puff”, Spooky Tooth called it quits with singer Mike Harrison striking out in pursuit of a solo career. Signed by Chris Blackwell’s Island Records (which had been Spooky Tooth’s label), Harrison made his solo debut with the release of 1971’s cleverly-titled “Mike Harrison”. Self-produced, the album found Harrison teamed with the band Junkyard Angel (who were from his hometown of Carlisle), showcasing the talents of bassist Peter Batey, guitarist/keyboard player Ian Herbert, drummer Kevin Iverson, and lead guitarist Frank Kenyon.

Anyone expecting to hear a pseudo-Spooky Tooth album was probably going to be disappointed by the collection. Mind you, Harrison’s voice was enough to ensure there were some comparisons to Spooky Tooth (check out the ballad ‘Damian’), but the very fact Harrison kept things low keyed and somewhat un-commercial had a lot to do with making the album such a pleasure to hear. None of the eight tracks was particularly flashy; the majority firmly in the mid-tempo folk-rock, blues-rock realm, but the performances were all energetic – you got the distinctive impression that Harrison and company were having a blast recording music for themselves. (by Bad-Cats)
Bad-Cat

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Personnel:
Peter Batey (bass, percussion)
Mike Harrison (vocals, keyboards, harmonica)
Lan Herbert (guitar, Keyboards vibraphone, vocals)

Kevin Iverson (drums, percussion, vocals)
Frank Kenyon (guitar, vocals)
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Arthur Belcher (saxophone on 07.)

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Tracklist:
01. Mother Nature (Batey) 2.06
02. Call It A Day (Batey/Harrison/Herbert/Iverson) 6.19
03. Damian (Harrison/Herbert) 3.19
04. Pain (Herbert/Iverson/Kenyon) 3.48
05. Wait Until The Morning (Griffin/Harrison) 4.26
06. Lonely People (Batey) 2.30
07. Hard Headed Woman (Stevens) 6.30
08. Here Comes The Queen (Grosvenor) 2.32

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Mike Harrison (born 3 September 1945 – March 25, 2018)

Thanks a lot for all the Music you gave to us

RIP

Wishbone Ash – Pilgrimage (1971)

FrontCover1Pilgrimage is the second studio album by the rock band Wishbone Ash. The album focuses more on folk and acoustic music as opposed to the blues rock sound that dominated the first album. The album also contains an instrumental jazz workout (“Vas Dis”) and a four-part harmony vocal track in the spirit of Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young (“Valediction”).

The album sold well, reaching no.14 in the UK charts, but the band would reach their creative and commercial peak with their next studio release, Argus. (by wikipedia)

Wishbone Ash’s sophomore release, Pilgrimage, unveiled their creative genius after a debut that merely presented them as a boogie- and blues-based rock outfit. The opening track, “Vas Dis,” with its jazz bassline, slicing rhythm guitar, and gibberish vocals was their answer to “Hocus Pocus” by Focus (or vice versa as both were released in 1971). “Jail Bait” has gone on to become a Wishbone Ash staple as well as possessing one of the more memorable guitar riffs of ’70s rock & roll.

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A conscientious effort seemed to be in place for this band to write and perform material better suited to their gentler vocal tendencies. Where Wishbone Ash essentially went full tilt throughout, Pilgrimage is a moodier affair that includes beautiful, slower melodies like the brief instrumentals “Alone” and “Lullaby” along with the chilling “Valediction,” which should have been an Ash classic but is rarely featured on live and hits collections. Even though this band toned it down a bit for this album, their impressive guitar playing was heightened due to the variance in their songwriting. Next to Argus this is the Wishbone Ash album to judge all other Ash albums by. (by Dave Sleger)

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Live at the Reading Festival, 1971

Personnel:
Andy Powell (guitar, vocals)
Ted Turner (guitar, vocals)
Martin Turner (bass, vocals)
Steve Upton (drums)

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Tracklist:
01. Vas Dis (McDuff) 4.46
02. The Pilgrim (N.Turner/Upton/T.Turner/Powell) 8.34
03. Jail Bait (N.Turner/Upton/T.Turner/Powell)  4.46
04. Alone (N.Turner/Upton/T.Turner/Powell) 2.24
05. Lullaby (N.Turner/Upton/T.Turner/Powell) 3.04
06. Valediction (N.Turner/Upton/T.Turner/Powell) 6.21
07. Where Were You Tomorrow (live at De Montfort Hall, Leicester on June 14, 1971) (N.Turner/Upton/T.Turner/Powell) 10.26
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08. Jail Bait (live) (N.Turner/Upton/T.Turner/Powell) 4.55

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Santana – Santana III (1971)

FrontCover1Santana is the third studio album by Santana. The band’s second self-titled album, it is often referred to as III or Santana III to distinguish it from the band’s 1969 debut album. The album was also known as Man with an Outstretched Hand, after its album cover image. It was the third (and until the group’s 2016 reunion, the last) album by the Woodstock-era lineup, and it was also considered by many to be the band’s peak commercially and musically, as subsequent releases aimed towards more experimental jazz fusion and Latin music. The album featured two singles, “Everybody’s Everything”, which hit #12 in October 1971, and “No One to Depend On”, a staple in FM radio. The album also marked the addition of 17-year-old guitarist Neal Schon (who performed notable solos on both singles) to the group.Santana is the third studio album by Santana. The band’s second self-titled album, it is often referred to as III or Santana III to distinguish it from the band’s 1969 debut album. The album was also known as Man with an Outstretched Hand, after its album cover image. It was the third (and until the group’s 2016 reunion, the last) album by the Woodstock-era lineup, and it was also considered by many to be the band’s peak commercially and musically, as subsequent releases aimed towards more experimental jazz fusion and Latin music.

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The album featured two singles, “Everybody’s Everything”, which hit #12 in October 1971,[1] and “No One to Depend On”, a staple in FM radio. The album also marked the addition of 17-year-old guitarist Neal Schon (who performed notable solos on both singles) to the group.
The original album was recorded at Columbia Studios, San Francisco, and released in both stereo and quadraphonic.
Santana III was also the last Santana album to hit #1 on the charts until Supernatural in 1999. According to Guinness Book of World Records 2005, this is the longest delay between #1 albums ever occurring. The original album was re-released in 1998 with live versions of “Batuka”, “Jungle Strut” and a previously unreleased song, “Gumbo”, recorded at Fillmore West in 1971 which features lead guitar solos by both Santana and Schon. /by wikipedia)

Singles

Singles from all over the world

Santana III is an album that undeservingly stands in the shadows behind the towering legend that is the band’s second album, Abraxas. This was also the album that brought guitarist Neal Schon — who was 17 years old — into the original core lineup of Santana. Percussionist Thomas “Coke” Escovedo was brought in to replace (temporarily) José Chepitó Areas, who had suffered a brain aneurysm, yet who recovered quickly and rejoined the band. The rest were Carlos, organist Gregg Rolie, drummer Michael Schrieve, bassist David Brown, and conguero Michael Carabello. “Batuka” is the powerful first evidence of something being very different. The band was rawer, darker, and more powerful with twin leads and Schon’s harder, edgier rock & roll sound paired with Carlos’ blend of ecstatic high notes and soulful fills.

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It cooks — funky, mean, and tough. “Batuka” immediately transforms itself into “No One to Depend On,” by Escovedo, Carabello, and Rolie. The middle section is highlighted by frantic handclaps, call-and-response lines between Schon and Rolie, and Carlos joining the fray until the entire track explodes into a frenzied finale. And what’s most remarkable is that the set just keeps on cooking, from the subtle slow burn of “Taboo” to the percussive jam workout that is “Toussaint l’Overture,” a live staple in the band’s set list recorded here for the first time (and featuring some cooking Rolie organ work at its beginning). “Everybody’s Everything” is here, as is “Guajira” and “Jungle Strut” — tunes that are still part of Santana’s live show.

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With acoustic guitars, gorgeous hand percussion, and Santana’s fragile lead vocal, “Everything’s Coming Our Way” is the only “feel good” track here, but it’s a fitting way to begin winding the album down with its Schon and Santana guitar breaks. The album ends with a completely transformed reading of Tito Puente’s “Para los Rumberos,” complete with horns and frantic, almost insanely fast hand drumming and cowbell playing. It’s an album that has aged extremely well due to its spare production (by Carlos and the band) and its live sound. This is essential Santana, a record that deserves to be reconsidered in light of its lasting abundance and vision. (by Thom Jurek)

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Personnel:
José “Chepito” Areas (percussion, conga, timbales, drums)
David Brown (bass)
Mike Carabello (percussion, conga, tambourine, vocals)
Gregg Rolie (vocals, keyboards)
Carlos Santana (guitar, vocals)
Neal Schon (guitar)
Michael Shrieve (drums, percussion)
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Greg Errico (tambourine)
Thomas “Coke” Escovedo (percussion, vocals)
Luis Gasca (trumpet on 09.)
Mario Ochoa (piano on 06.)
Rico Reyes (percussion, vocals on 06.)
Linda Tillery (background vocals)
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Tower Of Power (horn section on 08.)

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Tracklist:
01. Batuka (Areas/Brown/Carabello/Rolie/Shrieve) 3.35
02. No One to Depend On (Carabello/Rolie/Escovedo) 5.31
03. Taboo (Areas/Rolie) 5.34
04. Toussaint L’Overture (Areas/Brown/Carabello/Rolie/Shrieve/C.Santana) 5.56
05. Everybody’s Everything (C.Santana/Brown/Moss) 3.31
06. Guajira (Areas/Brown/Reyes) 5.43
07. Jungle Strut (Ammons) 5.20
08. Everything’s Coming Our Way (C.Santana) 3.15
09. Para los Rumberos (Puente) 2.47
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10. Batuka (Areas/Brown/Carabello/Rolie/Shrieve) 3.41
11. Jungle Strut (Ammons) 5.59
12. Gumbo (Santana/Rolie) 5.26

The three bonus tracks were recorded live at the Fillmore West, San Francisco, California, July 4, 1971

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Hot Tuna – First Pull Up, Then Pull Down (1971)

FrontCover1First Pull Up, Then Pull Down is the second album by Hot Tuna, released in 1971 as RCA Victor LSP-4550. The album was recorded live with electric instruments, instead of the acoustic instruments used on the previous album, Hot Tuna. The album rose to #43 on the Billboard charts. In 1996, RCA released the CD box set Hot Tuna in a Can, which included a remastered version of this album, along with remasters of the albums Hot Tuna, Burgers, America’s Choice and Hoppkorv.Helmut Qualtinger (Remigius)First Pull Up, Then Pull Down is the second album by Hot Tuna, released in 1971 as RCA Victor LSP-4550. The album was recorded live with electric instruments, instead of the acoustic instruments used on the previous album, Hot Tuna. The album rose to #43 on the Billboard charts.  (by wikipedia)

While the first Hot Tuna album had comprised an acoustic trio featuring Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady, and Will Scarlet, the second album added violinist Papa John Creach and drummer Sammy Piazza, and most significantly, it added electricity. Now the sound was closer to Kaukonen’s features in Jefferson Airplane. The highlight was the eight-minute “Keep Your Lamps Trimmed and Burning,” although “Candy Man” also became a concert favorite. (by William Ruhlmann)

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The name First Pull Up, Then Pull Down reminds me of uh, an aerobics class! I can totally see the instructor giving the students athletic lessons that require several up and down movements. I’m sure the album title means something else entirely though. This is a pretty good live album. Not as good as their self-titled live album where the songwriting was a little sharper, but still very very impressive. An authentic blues/country album. At least it’s more energetic compared to their debut with a greater variety of instruments. Sometimes these songs drag due to jamming a bit longer than necessary, but otherwise a pretty good album.

“John’s Other” is a great instrumental. At first it seems like the kind of instrumental that might drag or seem too obvious. By that I mean for example the violin playing in the beginning. The notes aren’t very impressive and it feels safe. You’ve heard violins like this a lot. However as the song moves forward the violin gradually gets more intense, a guitar solo comes in that’s even better and the harmonica part is probably my favorite aspect of the song. Still, I wish for more violin perhaps because it’s not a very popular instrument in the world of rock compared to guitars and harmonicas so I secretly desire more of it. An impressive song either way.

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“Come Back Baby” is plodding sloppy blues with more splendid guitar playing, but at 9 minutes it’s a bit much to take. It should’ve probably been shortened a few minutes. Not one of my favorite songs. The vocal melody is typical blues and nothing extraordinary. Even the violin and harmonica plays it safe and that’s just wrong! The guitar solo in the middle and again later on is really good however. “Candy Man” opens with a gentle series of country guitar notes before the steady rhythm comes in. The vocal melody is pretty good though nothing brilliant or anything, clearly influenced by the country genre. Enjoyable harmonica too. Of course the violin is the best part. Too bad that part doesn’t jam longer! Oh wow, the bass part at the end is pretty awesome too. The violin comes back in a subtle way which is unique.

“Keep Your Lamps Trimmed and Burning” is a familiar song. I probably heard it a bunch of times several years ago somewhere. I love the guitar intro that always reminded me of somewhere down south in the deep woods. The steady foot-tapping pace of the rhythm is really good as well. The vocals are kind of tucked in the back behind the guitar work and drumming so it’s hard to make out the lyrics, but otherwise a terrific song. The violin solo makes a wonderful appearance a few minutes in, and it’s my favorite part (especially when the pace picks up). Then again how cool is the violin/guitar jam occurring at the same time? VERY cool indeed! The song remains jamming the entire way through.

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“Want You to Know” opens with a nice guitar part. Really solid vocal melody too. This song blends country with blues in a really magnificent, stunning and authentic kind of way. One of the most underrated songs on the album. The violin even tears a hole wide open and explodes in all kinds of beauty when it makes an appearance. “Been So Long” is vocally sentimental but perhaps not quite as hard-hitting on an emotional level as the band is going for. Then again silly me! I’m still expecting Jefferson Airplane-level quality songwriting with psychedelic leanings. “Never Happen No More” is lazy day blues. Not bad but nothing that blows me away either. The song moves along at a pretty good pace at least. It does improve in a big way once the vocals come in however.

Overall First Pull Up, Then Pull Down is a mighty good Hot Tuna album. It’s not their best effort but even a weaker Hot Tuna album is enjoyable to some extent anyway right? (by Bryanam)

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Hot Tuna in 1972. Casady and Kaukonen are in front; Creach and Piazza are in back.

Personnel:
Jack Casady (bass)
Papa John Creach (violin)
Jorma Kaukonen – vocals, guitar)
Sammy Piazza (drums)
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Will Scarlett (harmonica)

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Tracklist:
01. John’s Other (Creach)  8.22
02. Candy Man (Davis) 5.53
03. Been So Long (Kaukonen) 3.45
04. Want You To Know (Carter) 4.36
05. Keep Your Lamps Trimmed And Burning (Davis) 8.19
06. Never Happen No More (Blake) 3.54
07. Come Back Baby (Traditional) 9.39

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Jethro Tull – Aqualung (1971)

LPFrontCover1Aqualung is the fourth studio album by the rock band Jethro Tull. Released in 1971, Aqualung, despite the band’s disagreement, is regarded as a concept album featuring a central theme of “the distinction between religion and God”. The album’s “dour musings on faith and religion” have marked it as “one of the most cerebral albums ever to reach millions of rock listeners”. Aqualung’s success signalled a turning point in the band’s career, who went on to become a major radio and touring act.Aqualung is the fourth studio album by the rock band Jethro Tull. Released in 1971, Aqualung, despite the band’s disagreement, is regarded as a concept album featuring a central theme of “the distinction between religion and God”. The album’s “dour musings on faith and religion” have marked it as “one of the most cerebral albums ever to reach millions of rock listeners”. Aqualung’s success signalled a turning point in the band’s career, who went on to become a major radio and touring act.
Recorded at Island Records’ studio in London, it was their first album with John Evan as a full-time member, their first with new bassist Jeffrey Hammond, and last album featuring Clive Bunker on drums. Something of a departure from the band’s previous work, the album features more acoustic material than previous releases; and—inspired by photographs of homeless people on the Thames Embankment taken by singer Ian Anderson’s wife Jennie—contains a number of recurring themes, addressing religion along with Anderson’s own personal experiences.

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Aqualung has sold more than seven million units worldwide according to Anderson, and is thus Jethro Tull’s best selling album. The album was generally well-received critically, and has been included on several music magazine “best of” lists. The album spawned two singles, “Hymn 43” and “Locomotive Breath”.

After an American tour in 1970, bass player Glenn Cornick was fired from the band,[4] and was replaced with Jeffrey Hammond, an old friend of Ian Anderson’s. Aqualung would be the first recording Hammond would do with the band. It would also mark the first time John Evan had recorded a full album with the band, as his only prior involvement was to provide several keyboard parts on the previous 1970 album, Benefit.

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The album was one of the first to be recorded at the newly opened studios of Island Records in Basing Street, London. Led Zeppelin were recording their untitled fourth album at the same time. In an interview on the 25th anniversary edition of the album, Tull’s bandleader Ian Anderson said that trying to record in that studio was very difficult, because of its “horrible, cold, echoey” feel. There were two recording studios at the location; Led Zeppelin worked in the smaller studio while Tull got the larger, which was the main body of a converted church. The orchestrals were arranged by David Palmer, who had worked with the band since 1968’s This Was, and would later join as a keyboard player. Aqualung would be the last Jethro Tull album to include Clive Bunker as a band member, as he retired shortly after recording to start a family.

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The songs on the album encompass a variety of musical genres, with elements of folk, blues, psychedelia, and hard rock.[8] The “riff-heavy” nature of tracks such as “Locomotive Breath”, “Hymn 43” and “Wind Up” is regarded as a factor in the band’s increased success after the release of the album, with Jethro Tull becoming “a major arena act” and a “fixture on FM radio” according to AllMusic.[2][9] In a stylistic departure from Jethro Tull’s earlier albums, many of Aqualung’s songs are acoustic. “Cheap Day Return”, “Wond’ring Aloud” and “Slipstream” are short, completely acoustic “bridges”, and “Mother Goose” is also mostly acoustic. Anderson claims his main inspirations for writing the album were Roy Harper and Bert Jansch.
Aqualung has widely been regarded as a concept album, featuring a central theme of “the distinction between religion and God”. The album’s “dour musings on faith and religion” have marked it as “one of the most cerebral albums ever to reach millions of rock listeners”. Academic discussions of the nature of concept albums have frequently listed Aqualung amongst their number.

In The Beginning
The initial idea for the album was sparked by some photographs that Anderson’s wife Jennie took of homeless people on the Thames Embankment. The appearance of one man in particular caught the interest of the couple, who together wrote the title song “Aqualung”. The first side of the LP, titled Aqualung, contains several character sketches, including the eponymous character of the title track, and the schoolgirl prostitute Cross-Eyed Mary, as well as two autobiographical tracks, including “Cheap Day Return”, written by Anderson after a visit to his critically ill father.

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The second side, titled My God, contains three tracks—”My God,” “Hymn 43” and “Wind-Up”—that address religion in an introspective, and sometimes irreverent, manner. However, despite the names given to the album’s two sides and their related subject matter, Anderson has consistently maintained that Aqualung is not a “concept album”. A 2005 interview included on Aqualung Live gives Anderson’s thoughts on the matter:

I always said at the time that this is not a concept album; this is just an album of varied songs of varied instrumentation and intensity in which three or four are the kind of keynote pieces for the album but it doesn’t make it a concept album. In my mind when it came to writing the next album, Thick as a Brick, was done very much in the sense of: ‘Whuh, if they thought Aqualung was a concept album, Oh! Okay, we’ll show you a concept album.’ And it was done as a kind of spoof, a send-up, of the concept album genre. … But Aqualung itself, in my mind was never a concept album. Just a bunch of songs.

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Drummer Clive Bunker believes that the record’s perception as a concept album is a case of “Chinese whispers”, explaining “you play the record to a couple of Americans, tell them that there’s a lyrical theme loosely linking a few songs, and then notice the figure of the Aqualung character on the cover, and suddenly the word is out that Jethro Tull have done a concept album”.
The thematic elements Jethro Tull explored on the album—those of the effects of urbanisation on nature, and of the effects of social constructs such as religion on society—would be developed further on most of the band’s subsequent releases. Ian Anderson’s frustration over the album’s labelling as a concept album directly led to the creation of Thick as a Brick (1972), intended to be a deliberately “over the top” concept album in response.

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“Lick Your Fingers Clean” was recorded for Aqualung, but was not included on the album. The song was drastically re-worked as “Two Fingers” for Tull’s 1974 album, War Child. “Lick Your Fingers Clean” was eventually released in 1988 on the 20 Years of Jethro Tull collection. It was then released as a bonus track on the 1996 and 2011 reissues of Aqualung.

Another song, “Wond’ring Again” was recorded in early sessions in 1970 and considered for release on the album before Anderson decided to drop it from the final track listing. It was subsequently released on the compilation album, Living in the Past, in 1972. However, elements of the song—essentially its coda—were included on Aqualung as “Wond’ring Aloud”. Glenn Cornick played bass on the song and says it is his favourite song he recorded with the band.[6] Cornick also played bass on early studio recordings of “My God” and “a couple of other songs”, though he did not say which they were.

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The album’s original cover art by Burton Silverman features a watercolour portrait of a long-haired, bearded man in shabby clothes. The idea for the cover came from a photograph Anderson’s wife took of a homeless man on Thames Embankment, and Anderson later felt it would have been better to have used the photograph rather than commission the painting. Ian Anderson recalls posing for a photograph for the painting, though Silverman claims it was a self-portrait. The artwork was commissioned and purchased by Chrysalis Records head Terry Ellis. Artist Silverman claims the art was only licensed for use as an album cover, and not for merchandising; and approached the band seeking remuneration for its further use. Silverman and Anderson have different accounts of level of enmity involved in this. The original artwork for both the front and back covers are now privately owned by an unknown family, apparently having been stolen from a London hotel room.
In April 1971, Aqualung peaked at number four on the UK Album Chart; when the CD version was released in 1996, it reached number 52. It peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard Music Charts’ North American pop albums chart; the single “Hymn 43” hit No. 91 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The album would go on to sell over seven million copies, and is the band’s best-selling album. Aqualung was one of only two Jethro Tull albums released in quadraphonic sound, the other being War Child (1974). The quadraphonic version of “Wind Up”, which is in a slightly higher key, is included on the later CD reissue of the album as “Wind Up (quad version)”.

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The single “Hymn 43” was released on 14 August 1971, and reached number 91 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, spending two weeks in the chart. The song was the first single released by the band in the United States. It was later included in the video game Rock Band 2 as downloadable content; which also featured the album’s title track.
The album was re-released in a 40th anniversary edition on 31 October 2011. The release contains a new stereo and 5.1 surround remix of the album by British musician and producer Steven Wilson, and comes in two different editions—a “collector’s edition” containing the album on LP and two CDs, as well as DVD and Blu-ray discs and a hardback book; and a “special edition” containing the two CDs and an abridged version of the book.

Justifying the remix, Steven Wilson said: “Jethro Tull’s Aqualung is … a masterpiece, but was sonically a very poor-sounding record. So, some didn’t rate it as highly as they should have. What we did with Aqualung was really make that record gleam in a way it never gleamed before. I think a lot of people, including myself, have come around to thinking that the album is a lot better than they even gave it credit for previously. So, there is certainly something very gratifying about being able to polish what was already a diamond and making it shine in a way it never has before”. Additionally, according to mastering engineer Steve Hoffman there were tape stretching problems with the original session mixdown master, implying that many editions of the album used multigeneration copies as their source.

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Aqualung received mixed to favourable reviews from contemporary music critics. Rolling Stone magazine’s Ben Gerson lauded its “fine musicianship”, calling it “serious and intelligent”, although he felt that the album’s seriousness “undermined” its quality. Sounds said that its “taste and variety” made it the band’s “finest” work. Aqualung was voted the 22nd best album of 1971 in The Village Voice’s annual Pazz & Jop critics’ poll.[34] Robert Christgau, the poll’s creator, was more critical of the album in a 1981 review, and described Anderson’s undeveloped cultural interests and negative views on religion and human behaviour as both boring and pretentious.
In retrospective reviews the album is generally lauded and viewed as a classic. AllMusic’s Bruce Eder called Aqualung “a bold statement” and “extremely profound”. In a review of the album’s 40th anniversary re-release, Sean Murphy of PopMatters said that Aqualung “is, to be certain, a cornerstone of the then-nascent prog-rock canon, but it did—and does—exist wholly on its own terms as a great rock album, period”. Murphy also praised the additional material featured on the release, finding that the new content was “where a great album gets even better”.

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Steve Harris, the bass player for the heavy metal band Iron Maiden, has called Aqualung “a classic album”, lauding its “fantastic playing, fantastic songs, attitude [and] vibe”. Iron Maiden would go on to cover “Cross-Eyed Mary” as the B-side of their 1983 single “The Trooper”.
Aqualung has also been appraised highly in retrospective listings, compiled by music writers and magazines (see Accolades). Even Martin Barre’s solo on the album’s title track was included in Guitarist magazine’s list of “The 20 Greatest Guitar Solos of All Time” at number 20. (by wikipedia)

Without any doubt … Aqualung ist one of the most important albums of the early 70´s.

And … in my first band, called “Dying Sun” we played a wild version of “Locomotive Breath”, but, to be honest — the original version was much better *smile*

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Personnel:
Ian Anderson (vocals, guitar, flute)
Martin Barre (guitar, recorder)
Clive Bunker (drums, percussion)
John Evan (keyboards)
Jeffrey Hammond-Hammond (bass, recorder, background vocals on 04.)
Clive Bunker (drums, percussion)

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Tracklist:
01. Aqualung (I.Anderson/J.Anderson) 6.37
02. Cross-Eyed Mary (I.Anderson) 4.10
03. Cheap Day Return (I.Anderson) 1.23
04. Mother Goose (I.Anderson) 3.53
05. Wond’ring Aloud (I.Anderson) 1.56
06. Up To Me (I.Anderson) 3.15
07. My God (I.Anderson) 7.13
08. Hymn 43 (I.Anderson) 3.19
09. Slipstream (I.Anderson) 1.13
10. Locomotive Breath (I.Anderson) 4.27
11. Wind-Up” (I.Anderson) 6.08
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12. Lick Your Fingers Clean (I.Anderson) 2.46
13. Wind Up (Quad Version) (I.Anderson) 5.24
14. Excerpts from the Ian Anderson Interview (Mojo Magazine) 13.59
15. Song For Jeffrey (BBC) (I.Anderson) 2.51
16. Fat Man (BBC) (I.Anderson) 2.57
17. Bouree (BBC) (Bach) 3.58

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