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Various Artists

To Cry You A Song: A Collection of Tull Tales

Review by Gary Hill

One of the first tribute albums ever done by Magna Carta, this one includes some intriguing arrangements of Jethro Tull songs. There are some definite winners here (witness Aqualung, To Cry You a Song, and Locomotive Breath) and no real losers. This is a good addition to any Tull fan's collection, and should appeal to a wider prog fan base, as well.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2003 Year Book Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
A Tull Tale
Contributed by Magellan, with guest Stan Johnson, this cut is part original, part Tull medley, but all Tull in spirit. It is a flute solo based instrumental jam that is quite effective.
Aqualung
Magellan is at it once again, bringing us their take on one of the better known Jethro Tull songs. This is an intriguing take on it. The Gardner brothers extend the intro, add some different keyboard textures and some seriously crunchy guitar. They also serve up a killer rendition of the tune, including an all-new prog resolution segment as the outro.
Up The Pool
Coming across as a fairly traditional Celtic, pub cut, this one is provided by Roy Harper and Colm O'Sullivan.
Nothing Is Easy
John Wetton, Mick Abrahams, Clive Bunker, Glenn Cornick, Ian McDonald, Phil Manzanera and Robert Berry are the musicians for this piece. They put in a fairly faithful rendition of this Tull classic, but Wetton's vocal performance and an updated instrumental break bring new life to it.
Mother Goose
This smoking rendition of the bluesy Tull rocker is brought to us by Lief Sorbye, Mike Varney and Robert Berry. Sorbye's vocals add an interesting angle to the piece.
Minstrel In The Gallery
Sorbye and Berry are back at it, this time putting in a modern prog take on this one. Somehow it actually feels a bit Deep Purpleish at times.

One Brown Mouse
Echolyn bring this cut to life, as a fairly straight forward and faithful take on this poppier Tull piece.
Cat's Squirrel
With a rather noisy intro, this solid blues rocker jams pretty well. The musicians here (Charlie Musselwhite, Derek Trucks, Mick Abrahams, Clive Bunker, Mike Summerland and Robert Berry) sound as though they are truly having fun with this. That makes it all the more fun for the listener, too.
To Cry You A Song
Glenn Hughes, Mick Abrahams, Clive Bunker, Derek Sherinian and Robert Berry make up the band for this number. A strong, hard edged old school Tull cut, this gets a fairly faithful take here until it bursts over into a full on prog jam. This is one of the strongest takes on the disc, and includes some killer jamming. Hughes really scorches on the vocal performance later in the piece. This is definitely a hot one!

New Day Yesterday
This is quite a cool take on the cut. Robby Steinhardt of Kansas fame brings both his violin and vocal talents to the party, the former adding an intriguing texture. He is joined by Ian McDonald, Mick Abrahams, Phil Manzanera, Robert Berry, Clive Bunker Glenn Cornick and Mike Wible.

Teacher
Wolfstone members Ivan Drever, Stuart Eaglesham and Duncan Chisholm are joined on this piece by Derek Sherinian, Mick Abrahams, Clive Bunker and Glenn Cornick. This rendition is rather intriguing. It seems to create a more poppy version of the piece, but does sacrifice some of the energy in the process. The vocals are quite good, but the keys seem a bit overpowering and the acoustic guitar dub is way too far over the top of the mix. They do, however, put in a great showing on arranging the instrumental break.

Living In The Past
This group, Keith Emerson, Mick Abrahams, Clive Bunker and Glenn Cornick, puts in quite an interesting showing here. They turn the piece into an instrumental, and the overall texture is part Tull, part Booker T. and The MG's and part ELP.

Locomotive Breath
Starting with an almost neo-classical intro, Tempest creates an interesting homage to Tull here. Violin adds a lot to their take on it, and they manage to capture all the energy of the cut. Sorbye's vocals are soulful and powerful. The instrumental break they create adds quite a lot to the tune. This one is definitely a winner.

Life's A Long Song
Tull alum Dave Pegg is joined here by Matt Pegg. They make this short acoustic piece come across as a pleasant olde worlde Celtic song.

 
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