Sunday, June 12, 2016

Locomotive Breath

Season 2: Episode 7 of Fargo has a pretty strong opening, and through it all is a rumbling of an amazing song that perfectly sets the tension and atmosphere. As soon as the scene was done, I was immediately hitting the internet, scrambling to find out what song it was. Locomotive Breath from Jethro Tull's Aqualung album.

To me, Tull have always kind of been nothing more than a joke footnote to the '89 Grammy Award Ceremony, where they beat Metallica for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance...oh yeah, and they also played a flute. Despite my history of writing them off, with this introduction of Locomotive Breath, I was suddenly very interested to see if Jethro Tull was something that I'd been missing out on due to my own close minded musical ignorance.

Look, I know that it seems like each week I throw around claims of "this is my new favorite album", well, here I go again. This album surprised the hell out of me, and it is in heavy rotation lately. It is rare for me to spin an album more than once in a day, but Aqualung has hooked me so deep that when as Wind Up winds down, I immediately want to start the album over again.

Lately, I've been looking down on vinyl reissues, and my appetite has been more in collecting original pressings of vinyl. Yeah, I was one of those pretentious record collectors, vinyl-shaming people that were too lazy to dig through the internet vinyl bins for first pressings, and instead took the easy way out and bought the latest vinyl repress. That shit was for the common man, and only the truly dedicated put in the work, and put up the cash, for the originals...and then there I was...a hypocrite, buying the latest pressing of Aqualung.

What can I say...I'm a sucker for great packaging, and this release looks amazing. My audiophile friend, Jeff, says that the mastering for this vinyl releases gives the album the best sound, but I'm more of a visual person, and went for it because of the giant booklet that came with it.

The booklet is full of stories on the recording of the album, explanations on songs, and bits of history. Very well done, and well worth the price of admission for this 40+ year old classic.

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