Jethro Tull – Roots To Branches

Artist: Jethro Tull
Genere: Progressive rock, Rock, Folk-rock
Title: Roots To Branches
Label:EMI records
Format: CD
Musicians:Ian Anderson – vocals, concert flute, bamboo flute, acoustic guitar
Martin Barre – electric guitars, Andrew Giddings – keyboards, Doane Perry – drums and percussion, Dave Pegg – bass guitar, Steve Bailey – bass guitar
Producer: Ian Anderson
Engineer: Ian Anderson
Mastering: Chris Blair

Roots to Branches is the 19th studio album by the British band Jethro Tull released in September 1995. It carries characteristics of Tull’s classic 1970s art-rock and folk-rock roots alongside jazz and Arabic and Far Eastern influences. All songs were written by Ian Anderson and recorded at his home studio. In January 2007, a remastered edition of the album was released, but I’m not going to bother with it unless it’s on vinyl. The sound on this CD is not that bad, but it is Jethro Tull and usually I have found JT CDs to be severely lacking in sound quality.

This album was much derived from the visit Ian Anderson made to India. The style of the album could be called as the Indian Songs from the Wood.
About Roots to Branches, Ian Anderson said: “I see Roots To Branches as the 90s version of Stand Up, because it has a lot of the things that I feel represented the key elements of Jethro Tull: there’s lots of flute, lots of riffy guitars and quite a broad palette of influences, from the blues and classical to the Eastern motifs that were apparent on Stand Up “. On the other hand, Anderson also added that “the only thing about it that lets me down is that I made it sound a little too Seventies. I deliberately made the album sound like it was in the context of a live performance, rather than have it sound too ‘studio.’ But looking back on it, I think it should have been a bit more varied”.

This album also has more of a prog rock bend to it while also having what I feel is an other worldly sound. In my opinion, this is not only one of the best albums  I’ve ever heard from Jethro Tull, but it makes it to my top 20 list of best albums overall. Listening to this album is like reading a really good book you just can’t put down, you want to keep reading to see what happens.

1. “Roots to Branches” = Obviously the title track. This is one of my favorites on the album, it has a slight Mediterranean feel to it underneath. I also like all the changes it goes through.

2. “Rare and Precious Chain” = This track has an interesting feel to it, it’s like hard rock meets world music.

3. “Out of the Noise” = This track is just a good rock-jazz song that the band is seasoned at doing.

4. “This Free Will” = Track number four and we have not let up or fallen yet! This album just doesn’t stop. This track has a middle-Eastern flavor with a mid-east flute called a Ney in the background. The tune also has a slight Deep Purple flavor I think.

5. “Valley” = This tune opens with a flute solo and acoustic guitar for the first verse, then the keyboards, drums, etc. join in. This is a great Tull song.

6. “Dangerous Veils” = This is an incredible song, it has a rather sophisticated style and the drumming is stupendous. This is a must listen.

7. “Beside Myself” = This song starts with an acoustic guitar solo and goes into a more sophisticated style like the song before. Another great one from Tull.

8. “Wounded, Old and Treacherous” = This is more art-rock/jazz. The song has a strong jazz foundation while the verses are spoken word. This is very different from the rest of the album and yes, it’s good. Interestingly enough the ending is more in the rock style.

9. “At Last, Forever” = This song once again provides that great acoustic Jethro Tull sound for the first verse and as the rest of the band joins in it still keeps that signature Tull sound.

10. “Stuck in the August Rain” = I thought this one might be just a standard “nothing to write home about” type song, but it’s pretty ok. If I had to have a least favorite on this album, this song is the only one that might qualify.

11. “Another Harry’s Bar” = Listen close and you will hear a slight Mark Knopfler style to this closing tune.

MUSIC:5_Star_Rating_System_5_stars “all the way”!

Roots To Branches =


British Beat A-GO-GO – Various Artists

Artist: Various
Genre: Rock, Pop
Title: British Beat A-Go-Go
Released: 1965
Label: Majorette Records (Montgomery Ward)
Musicians: Unknown

You may have noticed the stark info above on this LP, that’s because this is what I call one of those true mystery records. There is no information to be found officially.
This is technically not really a “various artists” record as the original artists of the songs are not present, this record is stranger. It is production studio renditions of popular songs among the young generation in the sixties.
All the songs are instrumental versions of the day and one in a way that one could go back and visualize that they could have been used as background music in stores such as Montgomery Ward and for all I know, that may have been exactly what was done.

This is a Montgomery Wards record! From the back of the album:
“Teens, you’ll like Wards….because Wards is really “with it”….has been for 90 years. We’re first with all the fads and fashions that make news…plus all the school and date clothes, sporting goods, (picked by a panel of top sports stars), beauty needs, dorm accessories you want.
The prices at Wards are sized to fit a teen’s budget, too. We buy BIG, and share the savings with you. Best of all, your satisfaction is guaranteed…no unhappy customers at Wards.
Join the smart teens who belong to our Wendy Ward program…choose Wards stylish, lab-tested brands…join the “in crowd”…stick with Wards!

British Beat A-Go-Go:
We’ve been invaded! It’s that swingin’, dynamic British sound, which is their version of “rock & Roll.” This album contains versions of some of the biggest British hits to come across the waves so far. They include songs made famous by such recording stars as: the Beatles, The Dave Clark Five, Peter & Gordon, and others.
What’s the big “secret” to the fantastic success of this “British Beat”??? We think it’s a combination of, “very danceable beat and a strong melody line.”
The instrumental versions of these hits clearly illustrate the exciting, captivating style of this music. So, let yourself go and have a ball with, “BRITISH BEAT A-GO-GO”!

I had  to laugh as I read this because to me it sounds like someone holding their nose as they write this and then trying to be cool.

Songs are:
A Ticket To Ride
How Do You Do It
Eight Days A Week
Wonderful World
Bits And Pieces
Doo Wah Diddy
A Hard Day’s Night
I’m Telling You Now
It’s Not Unusual
A World Without Love
Glad  All Over
Can’t Buy Me Love

Sonically, this record is better than I expected, but not real good. It seems the bottom end is a bit lacking, but otherwise not bad.

I wish I had a sample or two to share here, but could not find any.

SOUND: For effort

Neil Young – Freedom

Artist: Neil Young
Genere: Rock
Title: Freedom
Format: CD
Musicians:Neil Young – vocals; acoustic guitar; electric guitar; harmonica; piano, Chad Cromwell – drums, Rick “The Bass Player” Rosas – bass, Frank “Poncho” Sampedro – guitar, keyboards, mandolin, vocals, Ben Keith – alto saxophone; pedal steel guitar; keyboards, vocals, Additional personnel:Linda Ronstadt – vocals on 4, 6, Tony Marsico – bass on 10, Steve Lawrence – tenor saxophone on 2, 7, Larry Cragg – baritone saxophone on 2, 7, Claude Cailliet – trombone on 2, 7, John Fumo – trumpet on 2, 7, Tom Bray – trumpet on 2, 7
Producer: Neil Young & Niko Bolas
Recording Engineer:Niko Bolas
Mixing Engineer: Neil Youg & Niko Bolas
Digital Engineer: Tim Mulligan
Mastering Engineer: Doug Sax

Freedom is the eighteenth studio album by Canadian rock musician Neil Young. Freedom effectively relaunched Young’s career after a largely unsuccessful decade. After many arguments (and a lawsuit), Young left Geffen Records in 1988 and returned to his original label, Reprise, with This Note’s for You. Freedom, however, brought about a new, critical and commercially successful album. This album was released in the United States as an LP record and a CD in 1989. I have the CD version, I know, shame on me for having Neil Young on CD instead of vinyl. Well, I do have many of his LPs on vinyl and this CD is a bit of a standout to other CDs. It really was done well, somehow with the mastery of the great Doug Sax the sound retained much of its natural feel on the CD. Somebody did something right. Continue reading