Jethro Tull – Songs from the Wood
1977 – Chrysalis
Although this is my first time writing about Jethro Tull in this blog, it is definitely not my first time enjoying them on vinyl. My collection has a decent amount of Tull releases, but this album is my favorite. I love prog rock from England. While a lot of the prog rock out of the US has a jazz influence on it, the European prog bands took a more classical/renaissance approach to it. Lutes and orchestra bells, folk melodies, and interesting instrumentation dominate bands like Jethro Tulls’ sound. Of course there are jazz influences here too, but the English folk hits harder. I know it’s a little corny, but I love me some rock flute. The musicianship and songwriting on this album are awesome. Time signatures change constantly, but the transitions are smooth. On top of that, the tunes are catchy. Their unique instrumentation gets them stuck in your head. This album was part of a trilogy where Tull got really into folk melodies, with “Heavy Horses” and “Stormwatch”, but I’ve always gravitated towards this album more than the others. There is something so simple, yet complex, about these tunes. As I’ve stated, they have catchy melodies, but are complicated musically, which is a hard combination to hit. Tull was on top of their game when this came out, so if you haven’t heard much of them, I would definitely suggest starting with “Songs from the Wood”. Enjoy!