[Review] Jethro Tull: Stand Up (1969)

The band comes under the heady direction of Mr. Anderson. Greatness ensues.

Kronomyth 2.0: It was a new play yesterday, but it’s an old play now.

A slight scuffle from A(brahams) to B(arre), during which Ian Anderson took the wheel. Stand Up follows their first album in most regards: explosive blues/folk, some psychedelic concessions in the instrumentation. The prime difference is a pronounced shift toward acoustic music; Martin Barre arrived with no baggage and seemed pleased to pledge allegiance to the new lord of the manor.

To those that found Jethro Tull’s later shift toward convoluted concepts distasteful, Stand Up is classic stuff, the likes of which wouldn’t be seen again after Benefit. Prog fans, however, sometimes find the band’s first two albums tame and derivative compared to their subsequent masterworks. I admit, as a young man, I filed Stand Up alongside their first album as dusty arcana boasting but a few well preserved morsels. But I reminded myself of the talent in attendance and patiently played a tape of this on my way to work for a few months. As many would suspect, the album soon worked its peculiar magic. I found myself anticipating with pleasure the cranky insights of “A New Day Yesterday,” “Look Into The Sun” and “For A Thousand Mothers,” the tastefully orchestrated “Reasons For Waiting” and the bemused observations of “Fat Man” and “Nothing Is Easy.”

Though Benefit balances the light and dark sections better, the small leap that Stand Up makes is not to be discounted. In fact, the album is important for introducing Anderson’s lyrical insights: a vague dissatisfaction with the world around him, a cherishing of childhood, a bemused philosophical bent. As such, Stand Up clearly belongs to the same school of thought as Tull’s later works. The band had settled on a slightly new course, choosing a different path in the woods, and that made all the difference.

Original elpee version

A1. A New Day Yesterday (4:08)
A2. Jeffrey Goes to Leicester Square (2:03)
A3. Bouree (3:45)
A4. Back to the Family (3:45)
A5. Look Into the Sun (4:18)
B1. Nothing Is Easy (4:20)
B2. Fat Man (2:48)
B3. We Used to Know (3:55)
B4. Reasons for Waiting (4:00)
B5. For a Thousand Mothers (4:12)

All songs written by Ian Anderson.

CD reissue bonus tracks
11. Living in the Past
12. Driving Song
13. Sweet Dream
14. 17

Original 8-track version
A1. A New Day Yesterday
A2. Back to the Family
A3. Fat Man (Part 1)
B1. Fat Man (Part 2)
B2. Look Into the Sun
B3. Bouree
C1. Jeffrey Goes to Leicester Square
C2. We Used to Know
C3. For a Thousand Mothers (Part 1)
D1. For a Thousand Mothers (Part 2)
D2. Nothing Is Easy
D3. Reasons for Waiting

The Players

Ian Anderson (flute, acoustic guitar, Hammond organ, piano, mandolin, balalaika, mouth organ, vocals), Martin Lancelot Barre (electric guitar, flute), Clive Bunker (drums and all manner of percussion), Glenn Cornick (bass guitar) with David Palmer (string arrangement and conductor on B4). Produced by Terry Ellis and Ian Anderson; engineered by Andy Johns.

The Pictures

The cover was based on ideas from Terry Ellis and John Williams and printed from woodcuts by New York graphic artist, Jimmy Grashow.

The Plastic

Released on elpee and 8-track on July 25, 1969 in the UK (Island, ILPS 9103) and the US and Canada (Reprise, RS/8RM 6360) with pop-up gatefold cover. Reached #1 on the UK charts and #20 on the US charts (RIAA-certified gold record).

  1. Re-issued on elpee in the UK (Chrysalis, CHR 1042) with pop-up gatefold cover.
  2. Re-issued on elpee in Germany (Chrysalis, 6307 519).
  3. Re-issued on elpee in 1973 in the US and Japan (Chrysalis, CHR 1042) [green label] with gatefold cover.
  4. Re-issued on elpee in 1974 in Australia (Chrysalis, L35,210) with gatefold cover.
  5. Re-issued on elpee in Yugoslavia (Chrysalis, LL 1223).
  6. Re-issued on elpee in November 1983 in the UK (Fame, FA41 30861).
  7. Re-issued on elpee in Italy (Chrysalis, CHYL 1042).
  8. Re-issued on elpee in the US (Chrysalis, CHR 1042) [blue-white label] with gatefold cover.
  9. Re-issued on elpee and cassette in 1986 in the US (Chrysalis, PV/PVT 41042). Cassette transposes sides one and two.
  10. Re-issued on compact disc in the US (Chrysalis, VK 41042).
  11. Re-issued on compact disc in Poland (Selles, SELL 1189).
  12. Re-released on expanded, remastered compact disc on January 8, 2002 in the US (Chrysalis, 35458) with 4 bonus tracks.
  13. Re-issued on expanded, remastered compact disc on June 23, 2003 in Japan (EMI/Toshiba, TOCP-65880) with 4 bonus tracks.
  14. Re-released on remixed 180g vinyl elpee in 2016 in the US (Vinyl Collector, 0190295932855).

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