Happy 50th: Jethro Tull, STAND UP

Tuesday, September 24, 2019
Jethro Tull STAND UP Cover

50 years ago this month, Jethro Tull released their sophomore LP, an album which provided them with a top-20 album in America and a full-fledged chart-topper in their native UK.

Produced by Terry Ellis and Jethro Tull and mostly recorded at London’s Morgan Studios – the lone exception: “Bouree,” which was recorded at London’s Olympic Studios – STAND UP found Jethro Tull shifting away from the blues-rock stylings that had infiltrated their first album and truly beginning to strut their folk-rock stuff, as it were. You can attribute a portion of that evolution to the arrival of guitarist Martin Barre, no doubt, but it’s just as easy to argue that the band simply found the sound that worked best for their musical sensibilities and ran with it.

About that exception-to-the-recording-studio-rule, though, “Bouree” has been widely declared to be the most difficult session of any of the songs. In fact, it was so rough that the band wasn’t really happy with any of the takes they did. As a result, the version of the song which appears on the album is actually one that was constructed from several different takes, with Anderson adding a few additional flourishes to make it sufficiently acceptable.

STAND UP was definitely an instance where the opinions of record buyers very much outweighed those of music critics, who – at least in 1969 – weren’t entirely enamored of the album. Over the years, however, it’s been reevaluated by a number of publications and is generally considered one of Jethro Tull’s stronger early works.


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