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Living With the Past

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Album Review

Perhaps there haven't been that many live Tull albums — as Ian Anderson points out in his liner notes, it's been ten years since the last, and there were only two prior to that — but there sure have been a lot of Tull titles that play with the phrase "Living in the Past," so it's easy to forgive less dedicated fans if they decide that they might have heard the Fuel 2000 release Living with the Past before. But they haven't — it's a collection of new live recordings from 2001, largely taken from a performance at London's Hammersmith Apollo in November 2001. What makes this particular live performance noteworthy is that they bring back several original members — Mick Abrahams, Glen Cornick, Clive Bunker, and Dave Pegg — for guest appearances in something that will surely delight longtime followers of the band, which is really who this disc is aimed at. On that level, this works quite well. Perhaps the sound is a little too clean, with each instrument clearly defined and detailed, and perhaps the performance leans more toward the professional than the inspired, but it's enjoyable all the same, proving that Tull remained a strong live band well over 30 years later — and for those who have followed them for years, this will be as welcome as a visit from an old friend.


Formed: 1967 in Luton, Bedfordshire, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Jethro Tull were a unique phenomenon in popular music history. Their mix of hard rock; folk melodies; blues licks; surreal, impossibly dense lyrics; and overall profundity defied easy analysis, but that didn't dissuade fans from giving them 11 gold and five platinum albums. At the same time, critics rarely took them seriously, and they were off the cutting edge of popular music since the end of the 1970s. But no record store in the country would want to be without multiple copies of each of their...
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