Jethro Tull: Ian Anderson (vocals, flute, guitar, saxophone); Martin Barre (guitar); John Evans (keyboards); Jeffrey Hammond-Hammond (bass, vocals); Barriemore Barlow (drums, percussion).
Audio Remixer: Steven Wilson.
Photographers: Carl Dunn; Brian Ward .
Arrangers: Dee Palmer; Jethro Tull.
Led by Ian Anderson, Jethro Tull had commercial and (varying) critical success with BENEFIT, AQUALUNG and THICK AS A BRICK. However, it was after 1973's A PASSION PLAY, a musically and thematically bold "concept" album, that the band seemed alarmed by the critics' nibbling little pens. Anderson was reportedly so wearied by critics' vitriol that he announced he would never tour again--but did a year later. (Despite the critical hostility, A PASSION PLAY soared to No. 1 in the U.S.).
Musically and lyrically dense, A PASSION PLAY features Anderson's enigmatic lyrics sprinkled with biblical references, and Tull's sprightly mix of minstrel-style English folk with electrified, prog rock overtones. Some may find the CD issue--which doesn't delineate from track to track, implicitly requesting listeners stay the 45-minute course from start to finish--a bit challenging. But those who enjoy vintage Tull recordings will be intrigued by this daring and experimental effort.