F2 21111 Too Old To Rock 'N' Roll: Too Young To Die
Produced by Ian Anderson
Released on March 1976
UK CHART POSITION #25 . . . US CHART POSITION #14
Find it at GEMM
F2 21111 cover  

A few critics didn’t feel their toes touch bottom on this one, declaring it the deepest point in Tull’s mid-career slough. And they’re right in a sense, as Too Old To Rock ‘N’ Roll: Too Young To Die! is no better than War Child, Minstrel In The Gallery, or A Passion Play. But wait, you say, those are some of Tull’s best albums! Exactly, and you can add this to the list. Ian had traded in his minstrel’s cap for a playwright’s pen, creating a fictional character (Ray Lomas) who goes from quiz show contestant to jilted lover to motorcycle martyr. The songs are largely acoustic, orchestrated in several spots (none more stunning then the theme first introduced on “Quizz Kid” and fully explored on the title track), suggestive of Minstrel’s “One White Duck” more than anything. The album also marked the first album without Jeffrey since Aqualung, who was replaced by the equally talented John Glascock. Glascock’s bass work is more pointed than Hammond’s (or Hammond-Hammond if you prefer), standing in sharper relief to the rhythms of Barriemore Barlow. Against this backdrop are splashed the dry colors of Ian Anderson’s acoustic guitar and Martin Barre’s acrid electric guitar. John Evan’s piano is given a smaller role in the music, which makes Too Old To Rock ‘N’ Roll a drier drink than past albums. But if it all feels like a faded flower pressed in an old book, Too Old is still too good not to earn our admiration. “From A Dead Beat To An Old Greaser” and “Too Old To Rock ‘N’ Roll, Too Young To Die” pull us right into the heart of the story, while “Crazed Institution” and “Quizz Kid” are good fun for malcontents everywhere. There are some who will find the structured storytelling of this album presumptuous, but to me it’s a welcome change from feeling my way along in the dark. Ray’s resemblance to Ian Anderson is the same sort of roleplaying that he’s engaged in since Aqualung, once more adopting the persona of a sympathetic castoff. That the band is able to weave such intelligent music into the tight confines of a story is an achievement, even if it might otherwise limit the band from exploring a wider range of styles. You’d probably have to look forward to Heavy Horses to find a Tull album this acoustic and reserved, but there’s always been a place for it on my turntable. Like Minstrel, it’s not an album I pick at, instead settling down for the whole dinner. If you've the appetite for it, it's never too late to add Too Old to the fold.

PV 41111 front cover PV 41111 back cover PV 41111 inner gatefold
PV 41111 front cover PV 41111 back cover PV 41111 inner gatefold

TRACK LISTING

  1. QUIZZ KID    5:07
  2. CRAZED INSTITUTION    4:45
  3. SALAMANDER    2:49
  4. TAXI GRAB    3:51
  5. FROM A DEAD BEAT TO AN OLD GREASER    4:07
  6. BAD-EYED 'N' LOVELESS    2:11
  7. BIG DIPPER    3:32
  8. TOO OLD TO ROCK 'N' ROLL: TOO YOUNG TO DIE    5:39
  9. PIED PIPER    4:29
  10. THE CHEQUERED FLAG (DEAD OR ALIVE)    5:25

    All songs written by Ian Anderson

CREDITS

IAN ANDERSON -- vocals, acoustic guitar, flute, harmonica, occasional electric guitar and percussion
BARRIEMORE BARLOW -- drums and percussion
MARTIN BARRE -- electric guitar
JOHN EVAN -- pianos
JOHN GLASCOCK -- bass and vocals
Angela Allen -- vocals (1,7)
David Palmer -- conductor, orchestral arrangements, Vako Orchestron, late-night sax solo
Maddy Prior -- vocals (8)
Robin Black -- engineer
Michael Farrell and David Gibbons -- sleeve design/illustration

return to JETHRO TULL discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK/US March 1976 Chrysalis LP CHR 1111 green label, gatefold cover
GER/POR 1976? Chrysalis LP 6307 572 gatefold cover
YUG   Jugoton LP LSCHR 73056  
US   Chrysalis LP PV 4111 blue label reissue, gatefold cover
US 2002 Capitol CDX 45173 digital remaster w. bonus tracks
JPN June 23, 2003 EMI/Toshiba CD TOCP-67184 digital remaster

 

For more discographies visit...
progrography

© 2004 Connolly & Company. All rights reserved.