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Ian Anderson, Thick As A Brick 2 (Chrysalis) ****
TO MARK the 40th anniversary of Aqualung, Jethro Tull released a lavish remix. But to honour four decades of Thick As A Brick, frontman Ian Anderson has gone one better with a sequel.
In the sleeve notes he confesses anyone suggesting a prog concept album in 2012 would be “seriously, dangerously, even off his trolley”. Yet that is precisely what has happened.
The sound is pure 1970s Tull, with Anderson’s trademark, acerbic lyrics exploring the various ways life might have turned out for Gerald Bostock, the fictitious child of the original album.
He could have been a financier, Banker Bets, Banker Wins, joined the Army, or even become a priest. There is also a certain inevitability that Gerald may have ended up on the streets, Adrift and Dumfounded, or simply a “most ordinary man”. Just as Gerald has evolved since 1972, so has Anderson and with judicious references to Tull classics, he is, in many ways, reflecting as much on the evolution of his band as their precocious child. TAAB2 is like welcoming home an old friend you’ve never met.
• Ian Anderson plays Harrogate Royal Hall on April 21; sold out.