Madison Square Garden 1978
(Capitol Records)


Caught live at the band’s musical zenith, Jethro Tull Live At Madison Square Garden 1978 captures Ian Anderson, Martin Barre and company just after the release of their Heavy Horses Lp. This October 9, 1978 show also featured Uriah Heep as the opening act. Of course I probably slacked off and didn’t go. I completely regret that now, especially after hearing this impeccably packaged CD/DVD release on Capitol Records of Tull's '78 Garden show in Manhattan. There’s a unique story behind how the filming part was done, especially as it is sequenced or presented differently from the CD half. Rare pics of the show along with 2009 liner notes by Ian Anderson and Chrysalis Records founder Terry Ellis fills in the history of the show and this release. The DVD fills in all the missing parts about this incredible Tull lineup. Classical English folk-inspired rock music has rarely sounded as good as it did that night. Perhaps it was that this Tull band had two keyboardists on that tour—Tull icon John Evan and esteemed Tull arranger David Palmer—in addition to drummer Barri Barlow while, filling in on bass for John Glascock that night was a chap named Tony Williams. The 78 minute CD sounds excellent—complete with boisterous and at times obtrusive crowd noises—while the 93 minute DVD (including several DVD audio only tracks) is superbly filmed in what looks like state of the art live footage from the ‘70s and is dusted off and presented with 5.1 sound. Tull’s ‘70s canon is filled with magical music andcoupled with classics like “My God,” “Aqualung,” “Songs From The Wood,” and a fantastic reworking of “Thick As A Brick”Jethro Tull Live At Madison Square Garden 1978 captures a great band in peak form less than ten years into their (still) ongoing and now celebrated 41st year anniversary.


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