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‘Nothing Is Easy: Live At The Isle of Wight 1970’

(Eagle Rock EAGCD281)

Jethro Tull

Ian Anderson's always-entertaining liner notes understate Tull's performance at the "last great music festival of the sixties". But it begs the question, had Tull closed the event and Hendrix spent some much-needed time supping Oyster Stout in the local snug in Ventnor, would the course of music history have changed?

When Tull came to the Isle of Wight in August 1970 they already had three albums behind them and in this set they took the opportunity to feature tunes from all of them.

There is a gutsy brio in this performance and whilst Anderson may opine that "boy, did we drone on" it is great that it is exhumed for posterity.

This is Tull at their flamboyant best. Always excelling on stage, Anderson had by this time carved out a niche as a one-legged power flautist in a great-coat and had a great way with a crowd. With 600,000 at this event he was in his element. Musically, this line-up is often regarded as definitive Tull. The bluesy riffing Martin Barre ('To Cry You A Song'), the immaculate rhythm section of Glen Cornick and Clive Bunker ('Dharma For One'), and John Evan's keyboards ('With You There To Help Me'), set the band blueprint and the standard for future collaborators.

Next year sees the release of the DVD of the occasion which I am sure will serve to further embarrass Anderson, but delight the fans. In the meantime, this is an important missing link in the Tull story.


Review by David Randall

Bouree, © 2004 Ian Anderson & Eagle Records. All rights reserved.

Related>> DVD review

Related>> Album review (Ian Anderson)

Related>> Album review (Martin Barre)

Buy this CD

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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