Jethro Tull's fourth album Aqualung was released in 1971 and captured the band in its transformation from blues-rock band to prog-band. The development from the previous album Benefit is remarkable (not that Benefit is a bad album). The music of Jethro Tull had from the start had its progressive leanings but with Aqualung the "progressive-ness" of JT became apparent. There have been many attempts in trying to put a label on this album from folk rock to hard rock (someone even called it heavy metal).
Yes folks, this album is full of diversity and different flavours but that doesn't mean that it lacks focus. The folk feeling of Ian Anderson's acoustic guitar and flute, the heavy riffing of guitarist Martin Barre, the intricate keyboards of John Evan and the complexity and mystique of the compositions makes this a progressive rock record in its truest sense. Sure, they became even more "progressive" on 1972s Thick as a Brick, which is a must-have by the way, but it's really wonderful to see (and hear of course) Anderson and his lads throw themselves into the world of prog-rock with such confidence and skill. The top songs (imho) are the title track, "Cross-Eyed Mary", "My God" and of course the heavy rocker "Locomotive Breath".
This album is a milestone in rock history and I give it my highest recommendations. If you don't have it, buy it!
My rating: 5 out of 5
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