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Jethro Tull - Too Old To Rock 'n' Roll: Too Young To Die! (1976)

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Jethro Tull - Too Old To Rock 'n' Roll: Too Young To Die! (1976)

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01. "Quiz Kid"
02. "Crazed Institution"
03. "Salamander"
04. "Taxi Grab"
05. "From A Dead Beat To An Old Greaser"
06. "Bad-Eyed And Loveless"
07. "Big Dipper"
08. "Too Old To Rock 'n' Roll: Too Young To Die"
09. "Pied Piper"
10. "The Chequered Flag (Dead Or Alive)"
11. "A Small Cigar [Bonus Track]"
12. "Strip Cartoon [Bonus Track]"

    Ian Anderson – vocals, acoustic guitar, flute, harmonica, occasional electric guitar and percussion
    Martin Barre – electric guitar
    John Evan – pianos, keyboards
    Barriemore Barlow – drums, percussion
    John Glascock – bass guitar, vocals
+
    David Palmer – saxophone on track 5, piano on track 11
    Maddy Prior – backing vocals on track 8
    Angela Allen – backing vocals on tracks 2 & 7

 

Jethro Tull's Too Old to Rock 'N' Roll: Too Young to Die! remains one of the minor efforts in its catalog. Though the group was never a critical favorite, this 1976 album was particularly dismissed, and it didn't find as much favor as usual from fans, either. At the time this reissue was released, 26 years after the original LP, it remained the group's only release of the 1970s not to have at least gone gold in the U.S. In his liner notes to the reissue, bandleader Ian Anderson claims that the collection was intended to support a stage musical "based on a late-'50s motor cycle rocker and his living-in-the-past nostalgia for youthful years. Not me, guv, honest," he added. "Why do people always think it has to be autobiographical?" Perhaps because the main character, Ray Lomas, bears a striking resemblance to Anderson in the cartoon strip included with the album and because the sentiments expressed in the songs revealed a curmudgeonly attitude familiar from past Jethro Tull efforts penned by Anderson. The songs don't conform to the story line developed in the strip, nor do they tell a coherent story on their own, though they do have their own separate stories to tell. For example, "Crazed Institution," in the strip, has something to do with Lomas' revulsion at a department store called "Horrids" (i.e., Harrod's), but the song sounds like a putdown of glam rockers who "live and die upon [their] cross of platinum." The title track, which went on to become a classic rock and concert favorite, remains the most striking tune. This reissue adds two previously released outtakes, "Strip Cartoon," which appeared as a non-LP B-side in 1977, and "A Small Cigar," making its U.S. debut after a 1994 appearance on the U.K. compilation Nightcap: The Unreleased Masters 1973-1991. ---William Ruhlmann, allmusic.com

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