Saturday, February 16, 2019

The Sweet Teens

Buying those Jethro Tull picture sleeve singles really gave me an appreciation for those things. I don't know what it is about them, but I've suddenly fallen in love with them. At one time, I gained interest in them when there was an exclusive b-side track that didn't show up on the album, but after my Jethro Tull shopping spree, even that wasn't a huge draw for me. I just loved the way that the singles looked with the unique sleeve. They just seemed cool to own.

When I was picking up the last Jethro Tull single, I checked what else the seller had to offer, and seeing the single from The Sweet, I quickly added it to my cart before checking out. I mean it was less than five dollars, so it was a cheap pick up, and well, I was still riding a single high.

I have had the Sweet Fanny Adams album from The Sweet on my want list for a few years now...UK pressing obviously...but I haven't pulled the trigger on it yet. This single for The Six Teens will have to hold me over for now.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Tull Obsession - Part 6: Songs From The Wood

While I was putting a hold on chasing more Jethro Tull singles, I still wanted to add another full length album to the collection. I've got the band covered for their first five albums...from This Was in '68 to Thick As A Brick in '72..but I've been hesitant to explore much beyond that. Diving into the world of Tull singles, exposed me to some stuff outside of my comfort zone, and I was ready to go a little deeper into their catalog.

I've been slowly checking out the next handful of Jethro Tull albums, and while they don't completely have me losing my shit over them, they are still quite good. One of the albums that I spent a bit of time with was Songs From The Wood from '77. I had that album queued up to listen to while on a few of my 5:00am runs in January, and those songs really hooked me while I was out there under the stars.

The Steve Wilson remixes for the Jethro Tull reissues have been great, so I was happy when my local record store had a copy of Songs From The Wood in stock.

Other than how great these sound, my favorite thing about these reissues is the huge booklet that comes with the record. I love the packaging for these things, and it is one of the few times that I'll skip the original pressing to get the reissue instead.

Twenty three pages of photos and history of the album. Perfect for just putting the album on, and flipping through the booklet to totally immerse yourself into it.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Tull Obsession - Part 5: Minstrel In The Gallery

I was still on my Jethro Tull kick with eight singles under my belt, and an easy goal seemed to be to aim for nine...you know, to get the perfect three by three photo for Instagram. Got to have symmetry.

So I wanted to get one more, and I hit up Discogs to see what opportunities there were. I really like the cover art for the Thick As A Brick single, but I couldn't seem to find one that was a decent price. Then I heard the title track for the Minstrel In The Gallery album, and I loved it...and was able to track down a German pressing with this cool looking cover. The exclusive b-side track of Summer Day Sand is a nice touch as well.

Nine Jethro Tull singles. I still get excited over these things, but it is time to take a break from this obsession, as I have a few other things rattling around in my record collector head, and I want to start filling some bigger holes. I'll definitely have to get back to this one somewhere down the line. This was fun.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Tull Obsession - Part 4: Sweet Dream

I was six records into my obsession over Jethro Tull picture sleeve singles, and what started as a casual pursuit, suddenly got really fucking serious. Initially, I told myself that I was only going to pick up cheap singles from US sellers, but as I got deeper into this game, those rules went out the window, and this time out I was hitting up a seller out of France. I didn't care about the higher shipping fees, I just wanted to grow the collection.

The Sweet Dream single was out of 1969, and while the a-side made it on to the Living In The Past comp, the b-side song, 17, did not, so I was especially excited to get my hands on this one. This might be my favorite cover of all the singles that I have at this point. The shaggy, long hair and beard...plus the cigarette smoke...captured in black and white...goddamn, it just looks so bad ass.

Two great classic Jethro Tull songs that should not be missed!

The Stand Up album is probably my favorite Jethro Tull album...basically for the same reason that Fireball is my favorite Deep Purple album...both of them just have this perfect flow and texture. So while both songs on the Bouree single are from the Stand Up LP, and there is nothing new that is offered here, I still wanted a copy of this single.

Another French pressing, and a great addition to the collection.

Saturday, February 09, 2019

Tull Obsession - Part 3: Living In The Past

Things were starting to snowball with my obsession over Jethro Tull singles. I needed more, and I kept searching Discogs for US sellers that had multiple Tull singles for sale. Things were getting a bit more serious now, and I wasn't too concerned with paying only a few dollars for these things...suddenly, this casual chase for singles was getting a bit more urgent, and when I found a US seller with a bunch of records available, I didn't bat an eye at the higher price tags.

I really wanted to cover all the single captured on the Living In The Past compilation album, so I had my sights set on the single that shared the same name. The Living In The Past single, with the Driving Song b-side was released 50 years ago. These songs come from my favorite Jethro Tull period, and are absolutely essential.

Each single was usually released with multiple covers, depending on the country of release. This is the cover for the French release.

There is something cool about those pink Island labels. Too bad the original owner had to make sure his friends didn't steal his copy by writing his name all over it.

A couple years back, the Ring Out, Solstice Bells single was reissued from Record Store Day. I wasn't interested in Jethro Tull at the time, so I let it pass me by without any interest. That reissue probably had a $15 price tag. This original UK pressing from 1976 was $3.

I generally dislike any songs that could be considered Christmas songs, but this single is an exception.

One of the albums that I haven't really taken the time to check out is the 1973 release, Passion Play. This album is supposed to be just one long song, split across the a and b side of the record, and it has seemed overwhelming when I think about checking it out. I figured that this single would give me a solid snapshot of what the album had to offer, so I grabbed it.

Just like that, my collection doubles from three records to six. I still can't get over how great these picture sleeves look, and it feels like I'm collecting history. I'm not done yet.

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Tull Obsession - Part 2: Life Is A Long Song

Getting my hands on the Jethro Tull single for The Witch's Promise really had an impact on me. For some reason, I've recently found myself interested in old picture sleeve singles, and shortly after picking up that old one from Tull, I was jonesin' to get my hands on more of them.

The Witch's Promise single had me checking out the Living In The Past compilation, and since that record collects some early non-LP tracks, I used that as my starting point when I was wondering what should be my next move in the 7 inch singles game. All five songs from the Life Is A Long Song single also appear on the Living In The Past comp, and all songs are great, but fighting the convenience of compilation, I decided to chase the original single from 1971.

I was pretty casual with this mission, and figured that if I could find a copy for cheap from a US seller, I'd grab it. As luck would have it, there was one available from a seller in New York, with a reasonable six dollar price tag, and I quickly added it to my cart.

Before checking out, I decided to search the other records that the seller had available...specifically looking for more Jethro Tull. I was happy to find that they also had the single for The Whistler available, and only for a few dollars. Now, I'd never heard this song before, as it falls outside my Jethro Tull comfort zone, but for that price...and I just thought the photo of Ian Anderson with his flute, looked cool as hell...I grabbed that one as well.

When I received this single, I wasn't too excited over the song, or the b-side Strip Cartoon, but with repeat spins, I'm liking this more and more. Maybe it is time to expand my Jethro Tull experience out to '77 or '78, and see what's up.

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Tull Obsession - Part 1: The Witch's Promise

It was about three years ago that I was first introduced to Jethro Tull, and it seems that after I took that first taste, I've been obsessing about the band at some level ever since. Hell, checking my listening stats on last.fm for last year, I listened to Jethro Tull at the same level as Dio and Iron Maiden, so yeah, Tull got a lot of playing time. My fascination with the band ebbs and flows, but when the obsession starts to fade, it is just an easy push to get me back down that rabbit hole.

After picking up, and posting about, the first Jethro Tull album last Fall, I got sucked into watching a bunch of live Tull videos on youtube. Man, watching those bearded, long haired ruffians playing live, just made me love them even more. During this live video binge, I discovered a performance of the song, The Witch's Promise. What the hell is this? Where did this song come from? Some quick research on Discogs revealed that this song was released as a single back in 1969...and then was included on the Living In The Past compilation LP a few years later.

As it never ended up a regular full length album, I felt like I'd found some kind of hidden treasure. I needed this song...and I needed the original single for it...desperately.

I found a seller in the US that had a copy of the UK single, with the picture sleeve, and with a price tag of only six dollars, I didn't hesitate to make it mine.

This single is 50 fucking years old this year. It is older than I am, and given my age, that is saying something. Holding this record in my hand feels important, and given the reasonable sale price, I imagine that not many people really care about this, and that just makes me love it even more.