Aqualung is the fourth studio album by Jethro Tull since they formed in 1967 in Blackpool, UK. Before that they released This Was in 1968, Stand Up in 1969 and Benefit in 1970. Benefit was brought up here on Dandyvinyl on it’s 50 years celebration day, approximate one year ago. Aqualung was recorded from April 1970 to February 1971 in Island and Morgan studios in London
Aqualung is my favorite Jethro Tull album, and also the only one I have in my collection today. The rest I sold under my big “clean up” – when I raised money for a year of traveling back in 2014. It is the first pressing from Scandinavia and in a near mint condition. I normally listen the album in it’s full length, but it isn’t good enough to enter my “Complete” album list thought. But a great and significant album it is for sure.
I read that it is commonly known as a “concept album”. The term is new to me and I had to look it up. Great! I will keep that in mind when commenting albums in the future. As described on Wikipedia, a concept album is characterized by:
An album whose tracks hold a larger purpose or meaning collectively than they do individually. This is typically achieved through a single central narrative or theme, which can be instrumental, compositional, or lyrical. Sometimes the term is applied to albums considered to be of “uniform excellence” rather than an LP with an explicit musical or lyrical motif
I understand why Aqualung is tagged as such. Some of the albums I label as “Complete” also could be applied with the tag, such as Dark Side of the Moon, as an example. But Aqualung just miss a sparkle for me to be also “complete”. According to the contributor on Wiki, Aqualung is tagged as a concept album because of the theme “distinction between religion and God”. I must admit I haven’t listened all lyrics carefully enough to determine the truth of that statement, but I think the music itself, with the part of the lyrics I have listened and understood, supports the statement. All lyrics are written by Ian Anderson by the way.
Ian Anderson – lead vocals, acoustic guitar, flute
Martin Barre – electric guitar
Jeffrey Hammond – backing vocals, bass guitar
John Evan – piano, organ
Clive Bunker – drums and percussion