This isn’t the original release of this album, which came out first in, er… [quick internet research…] 1969. This is some wacky reissue that, as far as I can tell, isn’t the reissue from 1973 that’s mentioned in lots of places. So I guess that this record was never actually released, and therefore doesn’t actually exist. However, I’ll persevere under the belief that it does exist, and that I haven’t lost my mind. The back cover does mention both Fame and Chrysalis, so maybe this is the Chrysalis Records reissue, or some kind of odd second pressing of it. I can’t be bothered to investigate and find out, which is strange, as I normally love that kind of pointless detail.
Apparently the original cover artwork incorporated a pop-up gatefold element, so that when it was opened woodcut images of the four band members stood up. Stand Up, you see? It’s a shame that my copy doesn’t have this – it’s a plain old non-gatefold sleeve – as I’d love to see that. I quite like this cover artwork; the faces of the band are somewhat terrifying, but it’s nicely executed, and perhaps that’s what people looked like in 1969. Drugs, and all that.
Two memories come to mind when I think of Jethro Tull:
One: My old friend Matt from ‘back in the day’ (as people say), had an original copy of Jethro Tull’s Thick As A Brick with its excellent newspaper-style cover. I used to enjoy looking at that artwork. The record was also, if memory serves, either two side-of-an-album length ‘pieces’, or even a single work split over two sides. Either way, a healthy example of over-the-top self-belief and flamboyance. Not many successful artists these days would release such an album. (Again, drugs, and all that).
Two: Jethro Tull’s performance on the Rolling Stones’ Rock and Roll Circus film, featuring Ian Anderson standing on one leg and playing flute. I really love the way he plays the flute with such gusto:
Superb! If that entire film isn’t an example of ‘drugs, and all that’, I don’t know what is…