PV 41041 This Was
Produced by Terry Ellis and Jethro Tull
Released on October 1968
UK CHART POSITION #10 . . . US CHART POSITION #62
Find it at GEMM
PV 41041 cover  

J ethro Tull hit the scene in 1968 as a blues rock band that fit stylistically between Cream and Traffic, not exactly a rock and a hard place. Their debut -- and we’ll get back to that title -- is softer than Cream, harder than Traffic, and remarkably confident for a band of unknowns. Despite all turning in fine performances, the band’s success clearly rests on the shoulders of frontman Ian Anderson -- his wildly expressive flute playing, influenced by Roland Kirk, and wise-beyond-his-years voice clearly distanced Tull from a host of colorless wannabes. When Anderson wasn’t drawing attention to himself like a man on fire, listeners could groove to the soulful guitar of Mick Abrahams or crack a smile as Clive Bunker gave his drum kit (and anything else that didn’t get out of the way in time) a sound thrashing. Although the band spends about half their time on blues rock, it’s clearly not where their fortunes lie -- even when Abrahams takes the lead on a track like “Cat’s Squirrel” and burns the place up, it draws the inevitable comparison to other guitar-led acts that simply do this sort of thing better (Jimi Hendrix, Cream). Better by far are the songs that allow Anderson’s songwriting to find a unique voice for the band: “A Song for Jeffrey,” “Beggar’s Farm,” “My Sunday Feeling.” The mix of blues and hearty folk music is clearly a winning combination; Traffic and CS&N were both purveyors of a delicate folk influenced by psychedelia -- leave it to a flute player to kick their paisleyed posteriors with some good, gritty folk/blues rock. As “Serenade to a Cuckoo” and “Dharma for One” prove, the flute can be every bit as sweaty and sexual as a guitar. And so Jethro Tull was plucked from the crowd by the critic’s picky fingers and anointed as “Band Most Likely To…,” even as fans were snatching up their debut and flocking to live appearances. But there’s still the prickly problem of that album title, This Was. Turns out this Tull character is a restless and unpredictable prankster, not the sort that’ll oblige audiences by playing the same old songs. And so what is soon was, with Abrahams leaving the group to form Blodwyn Pig and Anderson assuming the reins to ride off to a different destiny.

PV 41041 inner gatefold PV 41041 back cover
PV 41041 inner gatefold PV 41041 back cover

TRACK LISTING

  1. MY SUNDAY FEELING    (Ian Anderson)    3:38
  2. SOME DAY THE SUN WON'T SHINE FOR YOU    (Ian Anderson)    2:42
  3. BEGGAR'S FARM    (Mick Abrahams/Ian Anderson)    4:19
  4. MOVE ON ALONE    (Mick Abrahams)    2:00
  5. SERENADE TO A CUCKOO    (Roland Kirk)    6:01
  6. DHARMA FOR ONE    (Ian Anderson/Clive Bunker)    4:11
  7. IT'S BREAKING ME UP    (Ian Anderson)    4:56
  8. CAT'S SQUIRREL    (traditional arr. Mick Abrahams)    5:36
  9. A SONG FOR JEFFREY    (Ian Anderson)    3:18
  10. ROUND    (Ian Anderson/Mick Abrahams/Clive Bunker/Glenn Cornick/Terry Ellis)    0:50

    CD reissue bonus tracks
  11. ONE FOR JOHN GEE
  12. LOVE STORY
  13. CHRISTMAS SONG

CREDITS

MICK ABRAHAMS -- guitar, nine string guitar and singing
IAN ANDERSON -- flutes, mouth organ, claghorn, piano and singing, cover concept
CLIVE BUNKER -- drums, hooter and charm bracelet
GLENN CORNICK -- bass guitar
David Palmer -- arrangement (4)
Victor Gamm -- recording engineer
Terry Ellis -- cover concept
Brian Ward -- photography

return to JETHRO TULL discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK October 1968 Island LP ILPS 9085 gatefold cover
US 1968 Reprise LP RS 6336 gatefold cover
ARG   Reprise LP 112911 gatefold cover
GER 1973? Chrysalis LP 6307 517  
UK/US   Chrysalis LP CHR 1041 gatefold cover, reissue
US   Chrysalis LP PV 41041 gatefold cover, reissue
UK   Chrysalis CD CDP32 10142  
UK/US 2002 EMI/Capitol CDX 35459 digital remaster w. bonus tracks
JPN June 18, 2003   CDX 209414 ltd. ed. digital remaster w. bonus tracks
JPN June 23, 2003 EMI/Toshiba CDX TOCP-65879 digital remaster w. bonus tracks

 

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