Happy Sunday to you all. Greetings, well met fellow, Hail!
While the other sluggards of the A to Z Challenge are taking the day off, I schlepped my way into the office so that I could bring you all my regular Sunday feature: Prog Rock Sunday. I would have loved to have taken yesterday off, since Saturday is my slowest readership day, but no; I will follow the cruel rules of the game. “The Man” rules with an iron fist.
Anyway, today’s Prog Rock selection comes to you from Jethro Tull. Some may argue that they were not a proper Prog Rock band, to which I say, “Shut up, and write your own blog, Luddite!”
Jethro Tull is certainly a Progressive Rock band, at least until the 1980s, or so. And this song is a lovely example of a Prog Rock band’s ability to write shorter songs. Yet, at under five minutes, “Songs From the Wood” contains all of the elements of a classic Prog Rock song. It features orchestral arrangements, multi-part sections, and sounds like a song plucked directly from the Renaissance era.
The album, Songs From the Wood, is Jethro Tull’s tenth studio album, and the first of the unofficially known, “Folk Trio” albums, which also include Heavy Horses and Stormwatch. Released in February 1977, Songs From the Wood is also considered the first beautiful sounding record by Jethro Tull since 1972s Thick as a Brick. Jethro Tull had made several heavier, hard-rocking albums in between those two, and Songs From the Wood was a return, in whole, to their folksy roots.
This has always been one of my favorite Jethro Tull songs–next to Thick as Brick, which I would have loved to include, except that the song “Thick as a Brick” is 43-something minutes long, and I wanted my readers to actually give the song a try. I think that if you listen to “Songs from the Wood”, you will be pleasantly surprised. It is a beautiful song with complex compositional parts that make it all the more interesting.
So, without further pause, here it is: “Songs From the Wood”, by Jethro Tull.
Ah, what the heck? If you have nothing else to do for the next 44 minutes, here is “Thick as a Brick.”