Author(s): Allan Moore
Formed in 1968, Jethro Tull are one of rock's most enduring bands. Their 1971 album Aqualung, with its provocative lyrical content and continuous musical shifts, is widely considered to be one of the most influential records in the progressive rock canon. It's also an album that can handle many different interpretations. Allan Moore, Professor of Music at the University of Surrey, tackles the album on track-by-track basis, picking apart lan Anderson's lyrics and studying the complex structures and arrangements of these memorable songs. 33 1/3 is a series of short books about critically acclaimed and much-loved albums of the last 40 years. Focusing on one album rather than an artist's entire output, the books dispense with the standard biographical background that fans know already, and cut to the heart of the music on each album. The authors provide fresh, original perspectives, often through their access to and relationships with the key figures involved in the recording of these albums. By turns obsessive, passionate, creative, and informed, the books in this series demonstrate many different ways of writing about music.
(A task that can be, as Elvis Costello famously observed, as tricky as dancing about architecture.) What binds this series together, and what brings it to life, is that all of the authors - musicians, scholars, and writers - are deeply in love with the album they have chosen. Previous titles in this now well-established series have beaten sales expectations and received excellent review coverage - the third batch is sure to continue this success. More titles follow in the spring of 2005.
"Though Tull is far from classic rock's most accessible band, and Ian Anderson's lead singer/flutist role is certainly an anomaly, Moore (Professor of Popular Music and Music Dept. Head at University of Surrey) deftly-with clear and consice exposition-picks Aqualung apart piece by piece. It's not meant to make you like the record as much as it is meant to dissect it. Moore's proper prose fluctuates from a childish love for the record and the memories associated with that adoration to meticulous charting of the musical movements within songs. Meant for the Tull lover that doesn't live within all of us, this is still a great take on a challenging band's signature record." Zack Adcock, The Hub Weekly, 1/13/05--Sanford Lakoff
Allan Moore is Professor of Popular Music and Head of the Department of Music and Sound Recording at the University of Surrey.