Thick As A Brick (25th Anniversary Edition) [1997 Remaster]
Coming off the great success of the conceptual juggernaut Aqualung, Jethro Tull decided to try something even more expansive: a single track that would take up both sides of an LP while musically and lyrically weaving around a multitude of themes. The album cover art (a fictitious newspaper article championing and excoriating a poem by a child prodigy) skewers the composition's "grand statement," which, if pressed, has something to do with how "wise men don't know how it feels to be thick as a brick." Leader Ian Anderson's stream-of-consciousness lyrics sound phenomenal, and the band's ability to shift dynamics on hairpin stylistic curves has never been more pronounced. Organ and flute chase one another through dexterous rampages, while the guitars store their energy for the epiphanic power-chord moments. Due to its 45-minute length, the track is hardly the most accessible in the group's catalog. However, it repays with every listen. A progressive rock high point.