This is my favourite song, in an admittedly close race amongst a small sample set of material, by one of those bands that has a cult like fan base but overall isn’t terribly popular. Oh I’m sure most of you have heard of them and they’ve sold boat loads of albums but they’re not a band that immediately comes to mind when people are asked to name their favourites.
Progressive Rock bands are often like that. Their fans love them like children while their detractors hate them like other people’s children … on an airplane. I’m kind of like that, though perhaps a bit less polar. I like RUSH well enough. Some of their material is fantastic while the rest of it is meh. They have an incredibly loyal fanbase but no shortage of haters. YES, on the other hand, has to be one of the most overrated bands in the history of popular music in my not so humble opinion. I cannot stand their stuff yet they have a diehard fan base that many bands would envy.
Personally, I find Jethro Tull perplexing which seems fitting considering they’re history. Their style has wandered over a broad career so much that while considered integral to the Prog Rock glory days, they also managed to win the inaugural Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Grammy award. I’m no superfan and certainly haven’t delved deeply into their archive of music. They have several spectacular songs that are catchy and quirky and musically complex with fascinating lyrics. They also have enough bilge in their catalogue to overflow a sunbaked porta-potty. The latter seems potent enough to prevent me from exploring for additional samples of the former.
Perhaps a wiser, more mature me should take another look at Jethro Tull’s extensive catalogue. Until such time, let’s just kick off the weekend with a gem for their initially maligned but now appropriately appreciated 1974 release War Child. This is “Skating Away on the Thin Ice of a New Day” my personal favourite from the band that made the flute a rock instrument.