Thick as a Brick – Jethro Tull

The MARK’S VINTAGE VINYL page features something from Mark’s collection of recordings from over the years. Most of it is on vinyl – hence the name – though there will be a few entries from his CDs (remember those?).

Thick as a Brick, by Jethro Tull

  • Fifth studio album by Jethro Tull, released in 1972. The album is unique in that it is one continuous piece of music split between both sides of the record.
  • The uninformed thought that it was a concept album. In fact, Ian Anderson, the frontman for Jethro Tull and the writer of the lyrics and music, made it as a satire of the concept album, a spoof of albums by bands like Yes and Emerson, Lake & Palmer.
  • My copy of the album is the original edition, unique in that the album cover is a 12 page spoof of a British newspaper with hilarious articles about various topics – most notably, the headline about the controversial poem “Thick As A Brick” by 8 year old Gerald Bostock and his disqualification from a literary competition.
  • The album sold over 500,000 copies in the U.S., and reached #1 on the Billboard 200 album chart.
  • Of course, it was impractical to expect a nearly 43 minute song to be played on the radio. As such, condensed versions were made. Here’s a version that they played in concert – you get a good idea of the eccentricity of Ian Anderson in this clip.

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