FV 41078 M.U. - The Best of Jethro Tull
Produced by Ian Anderson and Terry Ellis
Released on December 1975
UK CHART POSITION #44 . . . US CHART POSITION #13
Find it at GEMM
FV 41078 cover  

T he first and still the best summation of Tull’s precious musical gifts. Not to suggest that the band didn’t continue to release great music, but the subsequent Repeat drew from a depleted well and future compilations (save for Original Masters) seemed to serve some hidden agenda by selecting personal favorites or catalog samplers over the universally established “hits.” In fact, M.U. (the abbreviation is said to stand for Musician’s Union) ranks as one of the most effective, delightful compilations I own. My love for the music of Tull notwithstanding, this collection goes straight for the band’s most popular music and displays it in a radiant array as these jewels deserve. There are several things that good compilations should do: put an artist’s best musical foot forward, provide some sense of history, choose evenly from the existing catalog, and throw a bone to the fans who already own the previous works. M.U. does this while departing from chronological order, a potential danger except that here the scattered placement of tracks is an equitable gesture toward Tull’s genius. It’s likely that some thought went into track placement. Opening with “Teacher,” closing with “Nothing Is Easy,” interspersing old and new material in between, M.U. underscored a point that Tull fans already knew: it’s all good. For neophytes, however, it was a point worth making. Start at the beginning, begin at the end, dive cautiously for the middle, there is no wrong move. All greatest hits should aspire to be a celebration of the artist’s work, which this is. As for the bone I mentioned earlier, the unreleased “Rainbow Blues” might be the best thing on here. In 2003, the same songs (in the same order) were released as Essential Jethro Tull, inheriting M.U.’s mantle it would seem.

FV 41078 back cover
FV 41078 back cover

TRACK LISTING

  1. TEACHER    4:07
  2. AQUALUNG    (Jennie & Ian Anderson)    6:34
  3. THICK AS A BRICK EDIT #1    (Ian Anderson and Gerald Bostock)    3:01
  4. BUNGLE IN THE JUNGLE    3:34
  5. LOCOMOTIVE BREATH    4:23
  6. FAT MAN    2:50
  7. LIVING IN THE PAST    3:18
  8. A PASSION PLAY EDIT #8    3:28
  9. SKATING AWAY (ON THE THIN ICE OF THE NEW DAY)    4:02
  10. RAINBOW BLUES    3:37
  11. NOTHING IS EASY    4:23

    All songs written by Ian Anderson unless noted

CREDITS

OZ Studios -- art direction
Eric Michelson -- design

return to JETHRO TULL discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK/US December 1975 Chrysalis LP/CS CHR 1078 inner sleeve, poster, custom label
AUS'L 1975 Chrysalis LP L 35737 picture sleeve, custom label
US   Chrysalis LP/CS FV 41078  
US March 24, 2003 EMI CD   repackaged as ESSENTIAL JETHRO TULL

 

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