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jueves, 6 de agosto de 2015

Jethro Tull - Songs From the Wood (1977)

Artista: Jethro Tull
Álbum: Songs From the Wood
Año: 1977
Género: Folk progresivo
Duración: 41:42
Nacionalidad: Inglaterra


Lista de Temas:
1. Songs From The Wood
2. Jack-In-The-Green
3. Cup Of Wonder
4. Hunting Girl
5. Ring Out, Solstice Bells
6. Velvet Green
7. The Whistler
8. Pibroch (Cap In Hand)
9. Fire At Midnight

Alineación:
- Ian Anderson / flute, acoustic guitar, mandolin, whistles, vocals, all instruments on track 2
- Martin Barre / electric guitar, lute
- Barriemore Barlow / drums, marimba, glockenspiel, bells, nacres, tabor
- John Glascock / bass, vocals
- John Evan / piano, organ, synthesizers
- David Palmer / piano, portative organ, synthesizers


Más aportes, ahora de Carlos el Menduco, continuando con la saga de los JT, también llamados Jethro Tull. Otro excelente disco de puro folk progresivo. Y también otro de los mejores discos de la banda, según quien les escribe. Un trabajo tremendamente disfrutable... lleno de imaginación, arreglos y ornamentos con sabor a folk inglés y a fantasía, es el primero de una trilogía formada por este disco junto con los álbumes "Heavy Horses" y "Stormwatch".


Si alguien tiene dudas de porqué a los JT se los considera los reyes del folk progresivo, que escuche este disco y se le aclarán todas sus dudas. Aquí tienen un pequeño comentario del disco:

Songs from the Wood representa la décima puesta en escena de los Jethro Tull, una vuelta a los bosques, a los sonidos más folk y pausados, una evocación juglaresca de las delicias de una vida pacífica rodeados de naturaleza. Eso sí, no puede faltar la guitarra eléctrica de Martin Barrre que da el contrapunto a las dulces melodías evocadoras de la campiña inglesa y las evoluciones progresivas que se encuentran repartidas aquí y allá a lo largo del disco. Este álbum devolvió, tras largo tiempo, los halagos unánimes de la crítica musical a los oídos de Anderson & Co.
Un bucólico Ian Anderson nos recibe en la portada, en cuclillas en mitad de un bosque, con la mirada al frente, un tanto ausente, como si le hubieran sorprendido en ese momento. Al fuego se calienta una lata y la escopeta está en posición de descanso: ha cumplido su cometido y la caza está servida. Si antes de poner el disco observamos la contraportada, el mensaje es claro: lo que vamos a escuchar nace de los mismos árboles, lo inspira la Madre Naturaleza directamente.
No es un disco conceptual al uso, pero, en mi opinión, el propio título le confiere un aire de concepto que no fuerza la creatividad de Anderson a un único carril: son canciones del bosque... A ver qué sale... Y salen canciones amables, optimistas, que recuerdan días soleados, viejos cuentos de hadas y casitas acogedoras en deliciosos valles plenos de verdor...
En este disco no hay arreglos de cuerda, pero los sintetizadores aportados por el nuevo David Palmer (que en realidad se había hecho cargo de los arreglos orquestales de las opus precedentes), le confieren las armonías y blandas texturas que sustituyen los arreglos orquestales con bastante eficacia.
Pero basta de cháchara, seguidme, amigos, seguidme e introduzcámonos en la espesura de los bosques…
Songs from the Wood: Qué mejor manera de comenzar un disco que esta: Deja que te traiga canciones del bosque, te haré sentir mejor de lo que has estado jamás... Y esto cantado por varias voces a capella sobre una deliciosa y fantástica melodía. Luego un leve toque de la mágica flauta de Anderson y ya está, ya estamos en el disco.
Este tema fue un imbatible en la mayoría de directos de la banda a lo largo de los años.
Pero la aparente sencillez con que comienza el tema, no es óbice para que a lo largo del mismo se sucedan contrapuntos arriesgados e incursiones levemente jazzisticas, todo ello sazonado por los sonidos folk-renacentistas que estarán presentes en todo el disco.
De hecho, el tema Songs from the Wood es un compendio, una presentación magnífica, tanto musical, como letrística de lo que sigue...
Jack-In-The-Green: Yo creo que el título de esta canción puede ser un juego de palabras con la expresión inglesa jack-in-the-box, que significa caja sorpresa o caja de resorte, y rogaría a cualquiera que sepa inglés de verdad (yo más que saber, intuyo) que me corrija si me equivoco, en este caso y en todos los que sigan.
El tema se adentra en el folk con fuerza y se apoya en una leyenda escocesa para crear ese ambiente de cuento que, a mí concretamente, me recuerda a Tolkien y Tom Bombadil. El caso es que la canción yo creo que habla de la naturaleza que se está perdiendo, de los “buenos y viejos tiempos pasados” que la vida moderna se está tragando (Or will these changing times, motorways, powerlines, keep us apart?), de ahí que Jack se esconda y surja de cuando en cuando entre las aceras (I saw some grass growing through the pavements today), como una sorpresa oculta en forma de hierba verde.
En cuanto a lo musical es de una gran belleza y emotividad: muy acústico y siempre apoyado por la flauta de Anderson y su increíble voz relatando casi más que cantando. Por cierto, es el propio Ian Anderson el que toca todos los instrumentos en este tema.
Cup of Wonder: Musicalmente sigue la línea de la canción anterior, pero es más alegre y entusiasta y recurre a un tema muy atractivo: las antiguas creencias paganas anteriores a la instauración del cristianismo. De este modo cita Beltane (and we bring you Beltane's flower), que es una antigua fiesta celta irlandesa y escocesa, que se celebraba el 1 de mayo. Para los celtas, Beltane marcaba el comienzo de la temporada de verano pastoral, cuando las manadas de ganado se llevaban hacia los pastos de verano y a las tierras de hierba de las montañas, y así lo expresa Anderson: For the May Day is the great day, sung along the old straight track.
Como decía, este tema es musicalmente más optimista y animado, con el característico riff de flauta marca de la casa que da unidad al tema y la voz de Anderson plena y llena de sentimiento. También tiene su interludio progresivo para dejar volar la imaginación. Una maravilla.
Hunting Girl: Otra de las maravillas de este disco lleno de maravillas es esta canción. Una entrada de órgano y flauta, a la que se van sumando el resto de instrumentos, sirven para componer un comienzo vigoroso y de gran complejidad compositiva, pero que penetra de maravilla entre las orejas. La canción gira y gira en torno a la idea inicial, donde esta vez es el órgano quien manda en el riff principal, apoyado por la guitarra más que por la flauta, y, por supuesto, por la genial voz de Mr. Anderson.
En cuanto a la letra, me da la impresión de que es una de esas finezas de Anderson, ácida y crítica, pero muy bien envuelta en bonito papel, una ironía acerca de la clase alta inglesa reflejada en una chica cazadora de alta cuna (high born Hunting Girl) y opuesta a él mismo como un aburrido tipo normal de cuna baja (I’m just a normal low born so and so). Eso sí, nunca se abandona, ni musical ni letrísticamente hablando el tono folk y campestre, casi campechano, que caracteriza a este disco, que incluso, ¿lo conceptúa?
Ring Out, Solstice Bells: De nuevo una fiesta pagana, sonora y cantada. Una canción colorida y festiva, alegre y llena de referencias a druidas, muérdago, doncellas… Un canto a la hermana Sol (el Sol era femenino para los celtas), que nos devuelve a tiempos pretéritos donde esta fiesta del Solsticio era la Navidad de nuestros días.
Anderson compone una canción de fiesta y la adorna con campanas, cascabeles y una voz maravillosa y llena de encanto.
La coda podría parecerse a un villancico y, para mí, que esa fue la intención de Anderson, pero al contrario de lo que hicieron los cristianos, él utiliza el tono de villancico para tapar una canción de temática pagana, que deifica a la Naturaleza. ¡¡Bravo!!
Velvet Green: Un comienzo de inspiración renacentista para otra joya tulliana de tema bucólico y campestre. Walking on velvet green. Scots pine growing. Isn't it rare to be taking the air, singing. O lo que es lo mismo (o parecido): Caminando sobre terciopelo verde. Los pinos escoceses creciendo. No es raro estar tomando el aire, cantando. Así comienza la letra de esta hermosa canción
Pero pronto la composición se hace más compleja y la voz de Anderson alcanza cotas de dulzura y dramatismo realmente espectaculares, a la par que relata una historia de amor, más bien carnal, a mi entender.
En este tema se alternan pasajes progresivos, renacentistas y acústicos con una facilidad sorprendente y una calidad magistral. Los músicos se lucen con soltura y hacen su trabajo de lujo, que no todo el mérito se lo va a llevar Ian Anderson…
The Whistler: Este Silbador quizá sea la canción más pegadiza del disco y la más oscura en la letra. En este tema Anderson se luce a base de bien con su flauta y lo hace sobre una base de guitarra acústica vibrante y rápida, sobresaliente.
Una tonada que se graba indeleble en los circuitos del cerebro, con la que entran ganas de bailar y saltar y de seguir al que la silba a donde vaya, cual flautista de Hamelin…
Pibroch (Cap In Hand): Antes de nada aclararemos que Pibroch es una palabra que proviene del escocés gaélico y que viene a significar gaitero y que con el tiempo pasó a denominar a todo el conjunto de música tradicional de gaita de aquellas tierras. Lo de Cap in Hand (gorra en mano), supongo que será por lo de tocar en la calle y pasar la gorra, pero sólo lo supongo...
Hecha esta aclaración, nos metemos en el tema más largo y quizá más ambicioso de este genial disco. Lo abre una guitarra más bien oscura, como casi todo el tema, y la voz de Anderson, triste y melancólica, pero siempre plena de fuerza. La oscuridad inicial se disuelve en un interludio festivo en el que el protagonismo de la guitarra eléctrica, se ve un tanto reducido por la flauta, a la que acompañan mandolinas, laúdes, palmas y silbidos, tomando el control del tema. Continúa una parte más ceremoniosa a cargo de los teclados y synths, que terminan con unas voces corales y con Anderson retomando la voz en el motivo inicial cantado. La canción termina como empezó, con la guitarra eléctrica entonando unas duras y alargadas notas.
En definitiva, podríamos considerarla como una mini-suite con una letra bastante críptica, que a mí me cuesta desentrañar.
Fire At Midnight: Y qué mejor final para este maravilloso disco que esta preciosa balada acústica, impregnada como todo el disco de ese sabor bucólico, que nos habla, a través de la magnífica interpretación vocal de Anderson, de la calidez del fuego a media noche, de la tranquilidad que confieren los rituales domésticos diarios, de la paz de vivir en la naturaleza, del placer de saber que se ha hecho bien el trabajo… “Build a little fire this midnight. It's good to be back home with you”: “Prende un pequeño fuego esta medianoche, es bueno estar de vuelta en casa contigo”.
Yo ya me callo, ahora tú, escucha al amor del fuego...
Anin Jadas

Un disco sencillamente hermoso, vamos con algunos comentarios en inglés, aunque te aclaro que a todo el mundo le encanta este trabajo. Seguro a vos también... Y fue el primer disco de la banda que recibió críticas unánimemente positivas desde "Thick as a Brick".

Far and away the prettiest record Jethro Tull released at least since Thick as a Brick and a special treat for anyone with a fondness for the group's more folk-oriented material. Ian Anderson had moved to the countryside sometime earlier, and it showed in his choice of source material. The band's aggressive rock interplay and Anderson's fascination with early British folk melodies produce a particularly appealing collection of songs -- the seriousness with which the group took this effort can be discerned by the album's unofficial "full" title on the original LP: "Jethro Tull With Kitchen Prose, Gutter Rhymes, and Divers Songs from the Wood." The group's sound was never more carefully balanced between acoustic folk and hard rock -- the result is an album that sounds a great deal like the work of Tull's Chrysalis Records labelmates Steeleye Span (though Nigel Pegrum never attacked his cymbals -- or his entire drum kit -- with Barriemore Barlow's ferocity). The harmonizing on "Songs From the Wood" fulfills the promise shown in some of the singing on Thick as a Brick, and the delicacy of much of the rest, including "Ring Out, Solstice Bells" (where the group plays full out, but with wonderful elegance), "Hunting Girl," and "Velvet Green," set a new standard for the group's sound. "Pibroch (Cap in Hand)," which is dominated by Martin Barre's electric guitar -- in a stunning array of overlapping flourishes at full volume -- is the only concession to the group's usual hard rock rave-ups, and even it has some lovely singing to counterbalance the bulk of the song.
Bruce Eder

"With Kitchen Prose, Gutter Rhymes and divers" subtitles the album! Quite a programme as promised by the Mad Flauter.
After the real "faux-pas" of TOTRNR, Tull took a solid breath (of fresh air by moving to the country) and tried to catch their second wind in an effort to salvage a career that was slowly gliding to the ordinary. And with this one album, they will prove that they still had to be counted with: although the artwork reminded a bit the one of Time Was, it was an English folklore book that inspired a good part of the album but not to the point where he would embrace it as seriously as Comus or Gryphon would've. It must be also signalled that Anderson had produced (and guested on) a Steeleye Span record, which also obviously also inspired him.
Starting very strongly with the superb title track and the acoustic follow-up Jack In The Green, the awesome Hunting Girl closing the first side, there is only Cup of Wonder that feels a bit sub-par to an excellent standard. While the second side starts on the percussive Solstice Bells and the great pastoral Velvet Green, the superb aptly-titled Whistler (loaded with flutes), the strange and enchanting Pibroch, with only the short Fire At Midnight being the weakest track on this very even album.
One of the small tiny disappointments is that the tracks lengths are rather conservative, the album is very much sung and although there are some instrumental passages, one feels that there is not enough space for interplay. But as I said, this is about as negative as I could find, because it is obvious that this was one of their more cooperative effort. And it shows! And if the album does not hit the spot at first play, keep trying, it will come soon enough.
The bonus tracks of the remastered reissue are a little less interesting than on some other of their albums, as there is a (useless) live version of Velvet Green, and the very adapted-to-the-album Beltane. But the truth is that this album did not need bonus tracks to remains an essential mid-70's Tull album.
Sean Trane

SONGS FROM THE WOOD, from 1977, is one of my favourite Jethro Tull discs, and represents a brilliant return to form, after the previous year's disappointing TOO OLD TO ROCK AND ROLL. Singer/songwriter Ian Anderson, in keeping with the recording's title, revels in his folkier side here, with terrific, spot-on accompaniment from his band (comprised of Martin Barre on guitar and lute, John Evans on keyboards, Barriemore Barlow on drums and percussion, and John Glascock on bass and backing vocals). Additional keyboards and "portative organ" are provided by frequent collaborator David Palmer, who eschews his polished orchestral arrangements this time out, to further reinforce the session's "rootsy" atmosphere.
The album gets off to a rollicking start with the title track -- a cheery, multi-textured piece that features great harmony vocals with a pub-like, singalong feel, ringing acoustic guitars, tight bass and keys, and Anderson's instantly-identifiable, joyous flute. Anderson's clever lyrics serve as a sort of menu or traditional "calling on" song, telling the listener of the songwriter's intent: "Let me bring you all things refined: Galliards and lute songs served in chilling ale. Greetings, well-met fellow, hail! I am the wind to fill your sail. I am the cross to take your nail: A singer of these ageless times -- with kitchen prose, and gutter rhymes."
The tracks that follow ably live up to the promise of the excellent opener: "Jack-in-the-Green," concerns a diminutive woodland sprite who "drinks from the empty acorn cup" and tirelessly works to bring in the green of summer, even in "changing times" of "motorways (and) powerlines." The multi-talented Anderson, somewhat of a Jack-in-the-Green himself, plays all instruments on this quaint little ditty, including guitar, bass, flute and percussion.
The following song, "Cup of Wonder" takes the form of a sort of extended toast, exhorting us to meet in good fellowship, and "pass the plate to all who hunger... pass the cup of crimson wonder." Again, there are fine vocal harmonies and flute-work on this solid and satisfying slice of folk-prog (best served with some chilled brown ale!)
The next number, the harder-rocking "Hunting Girl," is one of the spicier offerings on the menu, and is generously seasoned with delightful dollops of Barre's chainsaw guitar. Fans of the heavier side of Tull will especially enjoy this musical entree, which wittily tells the risque tale of an impromtu amorous encounter between a "high-born hunting girl" and "a normal local so-and-so." Very hot!
"Ring Out, Solstice Bells" is a celebratory song (it's collected on the new Jethro Tull Christmas CD) that hails the arrival of the winter solstice, when the hours of daylight begin to wax, and the dark, chilly days of the season are on the wane. This would be an excellent choice to add extra cheer to your next festive gathering or compilation!
The sixth song, "Velvet Green," is also quite tasty, with particularly good drumming from Barlow, and healthy leavenings of rhythmic organ and "singing" lead from Evans and Barre, respectively. This is another wonderfully diverse musical melange; at times quasi-medieval in flavour -- at others herbacious and folky. The lyrics detail the myriad pleasures to be found in strolling -- and rolling -- in loving company "on the green." A classic Tull cut!
Lucky number seven, "The Whistler," is a very catchy tune, which, as the album's single, garnered the band some well-deserved (and long overdue) airplay in the year of its release. The song masterfully combines Celtic and rock flavourings, via flute and guitar, in a tidy, three-and-a-half minute format. It's a savoury aperitif which whets the appetite for the next course!
At nearly nine minutes, "Pibroch (Cap in Hand)" is the longest track on the album, and, for my tastes, the least satisfying. By no means a "bad" song, the relatively heavy "Pibroch" has some great guitar, but suffers somewhat from being just a tad over-extended and rambling, and risks leaving the (by now almost sated) listener with a "bloated" feel.
Any vague misgivings melt away, however, as the evening draws to a close, and we bask in the warm and hearty glow of the "Fire at Midnight." By way of goodnight, Anderson bids us to his hearth to contemplate the "dying embers of another working day," and informs his lady love that "it's good to be back home with you."
Before writing this review, I considered giving this CD only four stars, but upon revisiting it as I write, I can only conclude that SONGS FROM THE WOOD is one of Jethro Tull's more noteworthy and successful efforts, and thus award it top marks. Highly recommended to all confirmed and would-be Tull fans! Please, don't hesitate to take a walk in the WOOD! There's nothing to fear, and the rewards are piquant and many-splendoured!
Peter

This record is folk prog hard rock. It is very rythmic and very acoustic: there is omnipresence of flute, acoustic guitars and percussions. There is lute and mandolin too. But it is quite more elaborated than the acoustic "Too Old To Rock'n Roll, Too Young To Die". Indeed there are keyboards played by 2 musicians, mostly piano and distortion free organ. The keyboards are not too much in the foreground, so that you can enjoy all the acoustic instruments. There are lots of percussions (glockenspiel, marimba, bells), and often it really sounds like if it is played next to a fireplace. The electric bass is absolutely not timid and complex enough, and its sound is very good. Barre's electric guitars are less present here, but there are songs which are rather prog hard rock. Ian ANDERSON's warm voice is excellent, as always. The presence of David PALMER gives some symphonic style to the ensemble.
Greenback

I first made the acquaintance of these songs in the premature blush of boyhood -- on an 8-track cassette no less -- and while I enjoyed the effort, it soon found itself in dusty neglect deep within a stereo cabinet that seemed designed for the sole purpose of drawing dust from every corner of the room and collecting it in a single manageable heap. Fast-forward to half a dozen years later, where I find myself in college, girded in chastity and chafing at the sickly smell of privilege with "Songs From The Wood" (now on elpee) among my scant possessions. It was here that my new friends and I explored these woods in earnest, and it's remained one of my favorite albums ever since, as rich an experience as spilled from any speaker. The difference between "Songs From The Wood" and the works before it is not inconsiderable: these songs have a pronounced contrast between light and dark elements, saturated and splendid. Beginning with "Minstrel", TULL's music emanated from a lovely elsewhere to which each song was bound: an Elizabethan allegory laid atop the modern world, a clever caricature of cartoon depravity, and here the magical woods of legend related from a whetted whistle. You don't listen to these albums, you become immersed in their worlds. The festivities of "The Whistler" and "Cup of Wonder" swirl around you, the white ribbon of mist curls around your feet from the damp ground as you traverse "Pibroch (Cap In Hand)", the joint heat of a strong fire and a faithful friend (chasing rabbits remembered in his mind) emanates from "Fire At Midnight".
Mind you, I love nature and the invisible world intimated by its shadows and sounds, so "Songs From The Wood" plays from a place that I call home. Its mix of hard rocks and faerie folk invites closest comparison to "Minstrel" (minus the strings), its twining scents of green blossoms and sweet decay suggest the vibrant cousin of Heavy Horses. No matter where your fancies lie, "Songs From The Wood" deserves a place of prominence in any prog collection (with posthumous apologies to a certain unappreciated eight track lost in a lamentable molting).
Dave Connolly

Always found "Jethro Tull" a difficult band to catalogue, are they progressive Rock, folk/prog, Celtic/prog Fusion/blues/prog? Not even Ian Anderson dares to answer this question and he often makes jokes about this categorization. But in the case of "Songs from the Wood", the answer is easier, they have clear folk, pastoral and progressive influences due to the fact that Ian had moved to the countryside shortly before.
The years had passed and Tull's style had evolved from being a complex blues band to one of the most influential progressive bands (even if Ian doesn't admit this), "Thick as a Brick" became a prog' icon and one of the most respected conceptual works, but with "Songs from the Wood" they landed in a less complex and ambitious ground, returning to shorter tracks as in their early years but with a different feeling.
"Songs From the Wood" is an extremely beautiful album and one of the best balanced records ever released, there's not a track that can be considered the most representative of this album, but every single song is very good and almost in the same level, there's not a single filler.
The title track starts with an amazingly low toned chorus that introduces the listener to a pastoral atmosphere, a great introduction for Ian's characteristic voice, the constant of this song are the contrast and changes in timing, with an outstanding guitar work by Martin Barre and a strong bass by John Glascock this song is absolutely brilliant.
"Jack in the Green" gives Ian the chance to prove he's not only a charismatic frontman but also a complete multi instrumentalist, he dares to play all the instruments as Mike Oldfield and Vangelis did before him but with the extra merit that he's also a great vocalist.
"Cup of Wonder" is a very rhythmic and happy tune, starts with the classic flute by Ian and is properly supported by all the band, especially by a precise piano played by John Evens or David Palmer, not sure about that because both are credited in the album.
"Hunting Girl" is a track where no Tull member takes the lead, everyone is absolutely accurate, it's beauty must be credited to a solid band work, each instrument fits perfectly and everything is exactly in it's place. A harder song but good for all tastes
"Ring Out Solstice Bells" is a very elegant song where the sacred Christian world blends with the Celtic spirit, based in early English British folk melodies works perfectly in the "Jethro Tull Christmas Album" released a year ago.
"Velvet Green" starts absolutely Medieval reminding me of other Celtic bands as Steeleye Span, even when Ian's voice is so unique. The complex vocal work is the higher point of this wonderful track along with the Renaissance sounding keyboards.
There's something in "The Whistler" that always makes me believe that nothing can be wrong and that the world is alright, a catchy tune also influenced by Celtic music, the flute work is simply delightful especially because is ultra high and makes a nice contrast with Ian's low toned voice. "The Whistler" proves that great songs don't always need more than 3:30 minutes to be unforgettable.
"Pibroch (Cap In Hand)" This song must be credited to Martin Barre's heavy guitar sections, probably is the most challenging track of the album not only because it's length but also because it breaks the basic atmosphere of the record. Not my favorite track but surely is a complex and ultra progressive song that flirts with hard rock.
"Fire At Midnight" is the closer of the album, a short song that returns the listener to the countryside that Ian Anderson loves so much, mostly a good vocal work with acoustic guitar and almost sure with lute to complete the scene.
Not a 5 stars Jethro Tull album, I believe this honor is only reserved for "Thick as a Brick", but well deserves 4 stars for the solid band work and the amazing personality of Ian Anderson playing the style where he seems more comfortable. I strongly suggest "Songs from the Wood" to every Tull fan.
Iván Melgar

Very well presented album. The songs compliment one another in the ' fit'. It is excellent and really climaxes on both sides with ' Hunting Girl' and ' Pibroch' respectively. ' Songs from the wood' is a great sing along and you can really feel JT connecting with the Earth Mother. When there was a growing awareness of protecting the environment Ian Anderson of the Highlands delivers the message so effectively.' The whistler' was a great video too and did reasonably well as a single all those years ago. Highly recommended.
Chris S.

The perfect combination of electric and acoustic instruments blend together on the JETHRO TULL album "Songs From The Wood". This radiant and lucid remaster is an absolute joy to listen to; in fact, I could not get it out of my CD player, which actually delayed getting this review completed. The theme of this album is the great outdoors, specifically the woods, and all its mystery and wonder. The stuff dreams and fairy tales are made of is what Ian ANDERSON, the modern day court jester and Robin Hood, and his band of merry men bring to you. Inspired by living in the country and reading about the folklore of his ancestors, ANDERSON took the group in decidedly more folk-rock direction. This did not hurt the band's image or reputation one iota. This is an outstanding album with the consummation of a marriage between Martin Barre's electric and Ian's acoustic guitars.
The Celtic and medieval influences prevailed once again for Mr. ANDERSON and company on this fine outing. The first two tracks set the atmosphere and mood beautifully. The classic tracks "Songs From The Wood" and "Jack-In-The-Green," which are in concert favorites of mine, find ANDERSON following his muse and loving every minute of it, and it shows in his brilliantly spirited performances on literally every song on this album. "Pibroch (Cap In Hand)" will satisfy those that enjoy the more electric JT and those that are just as pleased to hear both sides of their musical personality. I for one enjoyed the airy feeling of "Velvet Green," a live bonus track and the quick switch of atmosphere to the rocking "Beltane" and "Hunting Girl." I am not hard to please when it comes to JT music; I love it all without any respite. In addition to the music, I found some pleasant humor on the back cover of the liner notes. A picture of a tree stump with a record player arm following the lifelines of the tree, which was an interesting metaphor. There are many more thought provoking things going on inside of this album that make the images click inside your head where that little switch is located, and the music flips that internal switch. As with all of this remastered series, the liner notes get the loving care of Ian ANDERSON himself.
Some truly fantastic tunes that have ever-changing music and lyrics bring you right into a living room in the countryside where Ian conjured up the principle of this album. I think what is most significant about this release is that it digs down and exposes all of the band's talents and influences all at once on one album, nothing is held back. I loved every second of it.
Keith Hannaleck

"Songs from the Wood" marks a clear return to the massive folk-oriented approach that had been first assumed by Jethro Tull in their "Minstrel" album; it also marks the first Palmer's collaboration as a full-time member: by then, Palmer decided to concentrate on complementing Evan's keyboard duties and take a momentary rest from string arrangements. This album contains some of the most frontally complex Anderson compositions ever (e.g.: tracks 1, 4 & 6), a factor that made all musicians return to their accomplished virtuosity and re-polish it after the simpler "Too Old to Rock'n'Roll" material. The namesake track kicks off the album with flying colours: the sheer excitement and energetic feel that stem out of the catchy troubadour-like vocal harmonies, the endless countermelodies and counterpoints, all of them skillfully performed, catch the listener's attention and mood immediately - a magnificent opener, indeed! Then comes the relaxing 'Jack-in-the-Green', full of evocative references to a time when myths where an integral part of man's cosmovision. Tracks 3, 5 & 7 bring us back the straight uplifting mood introduced by the opening number: 'Ring Out, Solstice Bells' is given an extra eerie ambience thanks to the use of soft synth layers that perfectly complement Anderson's floating flute lines and Barlow's tubular bells. 'Hunting Girl' tells the tales of gallant ladies in a delicate mixture of hard rock and folk with some subtle jazz undertones instilled in the piano parts - once again, the listener is granted a most amazing exercise on counterpoints. The folk factor is enhanced in another overtly complex piece, 'Velvet Green', which also incorporates exquisite Renaissance influenced elements: the intricacy of this track is cleverly delivered without breaking the delicateness demanded by the successive motifs. A real gem! - IMHO, this is the apex of an album that has so many brilliant moments in it. But when it comes to the grandiose stuff, the thing is 'Pibroch (Cap in Hand)', a progressive opus with a robust hard edge for the sung parts (Barre's guitar layers sound really sinister here), and a varied, multicolored tour-de-force in the interlude: first, you have an intimate Celtic celebration in the forest at night, around a little bonfire; then, a majestic keyboard orchestration delivered by Evan and Palmer brings us to a mystic plateau, where the moon and the stars shine in full swing illuminating out emotional elation. The return of the somber initial motif brings things back to the dense mysteries of the world of human myths. This opus, while not as articulated as other complex pieces of the album, manages to brilliantly deliver diverse climaxes all throughout its different sections. Finally, the melancholy 'Fire at Midnight' serves as an appropriate curtain call for an exciting album: the time for night rest that comes after all the consuming exhaustion of the day. This JT masterpiece deserves the perfect rating, according to Prog Archives patterns.
César Inca

First of all i'm a big, big fan of Jethro Tull. Amazing band and musicians. One of the biggest bands ever. This album i enjoy since 1992 when i listen for the first time. Great music. Simply i like all the albums, but he period between 1969 and 1982 are the best for the band.In the '70 JT was one of the biggest band , and still is .... Songs from the wood is to me the best album, i prefer this one and the next one Heavy horses in stead of the first period Benefit era. Songs from the wood, Cap in hand are simply awesome, the rest are beyond ear candy. I consider this one a masterpiece so give 5 stars, among the best folk/prog albums ever. Go and ge it, you will not be disappointed, good stuff . P.S. Great cover and very good job for the inner sleeve of the album. Superb drawings.
Bogdan Olariu

This is in my opinion one of the best JETHRO TULL albums. I think they succeeded much better when doing artistic classic rock than progressive epics, and this album is a great example of that style I prefer. The overall feeling of the songs are happy, and they make a nice collection of tracks with similar folk rock style. These rock songs accompanied with acoustic guitars and flute bring forth the memories of sitting beside the fireside at winter at my childhood home and listening to this... (wipes tears) Very recommendable stuff!
Eetu Pellonpaa

Simply a beatiful album. This is the one which comes after "Thick As A Brick", "Aqualung" and "A Passion Play" as best Tull album ever in my opinion. The acoustic guitars are brilliant, and Anderson's legendary flute is in top form. Songs like the title track, "Hunting Girl", "Velvet Green", the wonderful "The Whistler" or my fave "Pibroch (Cab In Hand)" (one of the most beautiful Tull-tracks ever) are ultimative classics in folk prog and shouldn't be missed by any fan of great music. "Songs From The Wood" is far more song-oriented and less complex than "Thick As A Brick" and "A Passion Play", but in it's own vein also an masterpiece. Stop reading here and join the Songs From The Wood!
Marc Baum

"Let me bring you all things refined, Galliards and lute songs served in chilling ale."
First of all: nice cover art with that Ian's looking like man you can also see in the cover of the 1985 compilation Original Masters. With Songs From The Wood Jethro Tull start an important TRILOGY creating a very original prog/folk/rock . The theme is the representation of three different stages of the world evolution: The 1977 album shows a strong Norse mythic influence and we could define MYTHIC AGE (the past-growing nature) prog/folk/rock; then it's the turn of Heavy Horses in 1978, inspired to a more concrete reality's vision, more pessimistic vision of the world through the evaluation of rural life and I dare to define RURAL AGE (the present- harvested fields); after that album we have Storwatch (1979) in which there's the predominance of the modern world with all its factories and pollution. An apocalyptic vision of human genre. I call it IDUSTRIAL AGE prog/folk/rock (the future-nature's destruction). In Songs From The Wood there's more legends influence (Cup Of Wonder, Hunting Girl, The Whistler), more joy that flows from the music (Ring Out, Solstice Bells). Great technical contribution from all the Tull members (Anderson, Barre, Evan, Glascock, Barlow, Palmer), great vocals from Ian! Many of these tracks became miliar stone in the JT live repertoire.
In the 2003 remastered edition feature two extra tracks: the great powerful Beltane and a live version of the "medieval" Velvet Green.
I have to rate it with 5 stars this splendid opus!
Highly Recommended! Highly Recommended!!
Andrea Cortese

Un disco para alegrarles un día que empezó para el ojete. Un disco que aleja las tormentas, las nubes y hace salir al sol. Un disco agradable como una hoguera en el blosque. Agradezcan otra vez a Carlos...
Discazo! Otro de nuestros discos recomendadísimos.



9 comentarios:

  1. Este comentario ha sido eliminado por un administrador del blog.

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  2. Han Borrado el Link mis estimados Cabezones........rogaría lo suban nuevamente de favor, gracias amigos.

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  3. Si, esta ahí, pero esta Borrado el Archivo amigo.

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  4. Esto es lo que Aparece cuando accedes al LINK: This paste has been removed!

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  5. No esta particionado por temas, es un solo archivo flac :/ Estaría bueno que aclaren esto en lo posible. Gracias igual!

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  6. uz: con el archivo .cue lo podés dividir facilmente!

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  7. Me parece un buen disco y que de hecho en una entrevista recientemente a Ian Anderson comentó ser uno de sus discos favoritos de todo su legado. Yo aún así prefiero sus albumnes conceptuales que me parecen por estilismo musical obras mas ambiciosas, creatividad y complejidad sus mayores obras. Aun así todos sus albumnes cada uno a su nivel son buenísimos. Aunque tengo debilidades también y en menor medida que los conceptuales son el Warchild y el "too old rock'n'roll, too young die! Saludos y viva el Rock Clásico.

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