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'cause I'm as isolated as a bird now, sitting on a park bench
October 12, 2013 11:27 AM   Subscribe

Free Bird. That's right, the Lynyrd Skynyrd tune. It's an icon, it's a joke. It's a legend, it's a must to avoid. It's a masterpiece, it's a disaster. It's all and none of the above. But, yeah, whatever. Here's the guitar solo, isolated. That is all. No, wait. That is not all. What the hell, here's Ian Anderson's isolated vocals for Aqualung, Cross-Eyed Mary and Up To Me.
posted by flapjax at midnite (38 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
I love these tracks, and enjoy them all as they slowly dribble out.

And really, I used to love Jethro Tull. Now I waver between "what the hell was I thinking?!" and "yeah, that's ok." But it's pretty cool to hear him without the backing track.
posted by nevercalm at 11:51 AM on October 12, 2013


NO DISSING THE TULL!!!!
posted by MartinWisse at 12:01 PM on October 12, 2013 [8 favorites]


"Stand Up" is an underappreciated classic, dammit. I'd accept - but disagree with - the argument that most of Tull's catalogue might edge towards pretentious blowhard shit, but I will bare knuckle brawl over the awesomeness of "Stand Up."
posted by GamblingBlues at 12:18 PM on October 12, 2013


Isolated guitar solos are like spoilers for movies.
posted by oceanjesse at 12:23 PM on October 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'll give you "Stand Up" but I've always loved "Benefit". Not really anything after those two albums though.
posted by octothorpe at 12:29 PM on October 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


pretty much every criticism I've heard lobbed at Tull is correct in its way (pompous, self-indulgent, living in the past etc). And yet I love them anyway ... certainly up until Heavy Horses. I think it's down to the music, the care taken in its composition, arrangement, performance, production. It's got density. It rewards repeated listening. It's never really worn out for me -- Ian Anderson being a guy who I doubt ever recorded anything he didn't want to, so if nothing else, it's got integrity.

Speaking of which, this is fun. Anderson + Wakeman discuss stuff ...
posted by philip-random at 12:34 PM on October 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


That's pretty cool. I'm a Georgia boy though, so I'm much more likely to drunkenly shout out, "Whippin' Post!" at a concert. I couldn't find an isolated solo after a cursory search.
posted by ob1quixote at 1:08 PM on October 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


(pompous, self-indulgent, living in the past etc)

Heh.

I love Jethro Tull and never won't.

I really don't get the "pompous" and "self-indulgent" criticisms. However pompous and self-indulgent they may have been, Led Zeppelin were about a million times moreso, yet a million times more popular. Sometimes I get the feeling that such comments really mean, "How dare you make music that I don't like," and who's being pompous and self-indulgent there?

I think Jethro Tull are best when they're pared way down, though. The little acoustic numbers sprinkled in among the big rockers on their first four albums are their strongest material by far. (Though it may just be that I really, really, really don't like how thin and nasal the electric guitars sound on those albums.)
posted by Sys Rq at 1:17 PM on October 12, 2013 [3 favorites]


I have always loved Freebird if I was drunk enough to put it on but I could not get past around 3:50 of the guitar solo before my ears started hurting. I feel sorry for the poor guy who had to mix that album.
posted by bukvich at 1:22 PM on October 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Freebird was the best part of Guitar Hero 2.
posted by hellojed at 1:24 PM on October 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


One time I was on a bus and overheard a dude telling his friend how Jethro Tull was named after the band members' high school gym teacher. I still kind of mad at myself for not correcting him.
posted by radiomayonnaise at 1:31 PM on October 12, 2013 [5 favorites]


Calling Tull pompous and self-indulgent is just LOLprogrock lazy criticism, not something that's actually true. I mean, you do get the point of Thick as a Brick, do you?
posted by MartinWisse at 2:33 PM on October 12, 2013


It's an icon, it's a joke. It's a legend, it's a must to avoid. It's a masterpiece, it's a disaster.

You know you wouldn't want it any other way.
posted by curious nu at 2:37 PM on October 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


I still kind of mad at myself for not correcting him.
As a veteran of some spectacularly fruitless conversations involving the words "seed drill", I can assure you that you wouldn't have gotten any more satisfaction if you had.
posted by Wolfdog at 3:01 PM on October 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'll just leave this here.
posted by mikeand1 at 3:04 PM on October 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


I think Jethro Tull are best when they're pared way down, though. The little acoustic numbers sprinkled in among the big rockers on their first four albums are their strongest material by far.

I agree. Although it's been multiple decades since I've listened to them with even the slightest bit of regularity, there are still a number of his little acoustic things that I include in playlists even now. He can write a mean little tweet of a song.
posted by nevercalm at 4:27 PM on October 12, 2013


Every so often it's nice to have little reminders that a lot of overplayed songs got that way by being Really. Freaking. Good.

(Can we do Jefferson Airplane next? Cause then you'll hit my favorite bands trifecta)
posted by Dr.Enormous at 5:32 PM on October 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think Jethro Tull are best when they're pared way down, though.

counterpoint ...
posted by philip-random at 5:42 PM on October 12, 2013


No love for Farm on the Freeway?
posted by stevil at 5:50 PM on October 12, 2013


I'm a Georgia boy though, so I'm much more likely to drunkenly shout out, "Whippin' Post!" at a concert.

This Georgia boy with Scandinavian forebears will attest to the fact that shouting out "Whipping Post" is practiced beyond North America, leading to some awesome covers.

I always assume that anyone who puts down Jethro Tull is just a disgruntled Metallica fan.
posted by TedW at 8:17 PM on October 12, 2013 [3 favorites]


Sys Rq:
I think Jethro Tull are best when they're pared way down, though.
Jethro Tull is, was, and always will be Ian Anderson, singular. His backup band is a backup band. It's a good backup band, but Ian is Tull.

There's a lineup history chart included in one of JT's "Greatest Hits" albums. Dead center, all the way down the page, is "Ian Anderson". Every other name comes and goes. Often repeatedly. The point is quite clear.
posted by IAmBroom at 8:41 PM on October 12, 2013


(That being said, I loves me The Tull, and find his arrogance and smug conceit well-grounded in greatness. Thanks, flapjacks, for the Anderson vocals track. That was pure joy for me to listen to.)
posted by IAmBroom at 8:51 PM on October 12, 2013


Is there some software that's made this easier to do, recently? Or are record companies being freer with their master archives? Its a good trend, but puzzling.
posted by cromagnon at 4:08 AM on October 13, 2013




Jethro Tull is, was, and always will be Ian Anderson, singular. His backup band is a backup band. It's a good backup band, but Ian is Tull.

Add Martin Barre, and you may have a valid argument. He's arguably as much a part of the Tull sound as Anderson. And he can't be considered anything but a permanent member of the band.
Bass, drums, and keys, however, are completely replaceable.
posted by rocket88 at 10:08 AM on October 13, 2013 [1 favorite]




Skynyrd always was a dumbed-down version of the Allman Brothers, nowhere more apparent than when you compare "Freebird" to "Ramblin' Man." There, I've gone and said it.
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:54 AM on October 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


I love how this thread is basically three things at once. Discussion of track separation. Lynyrd Skynyrd southern fried stuff. And Tull. Speaking of which ...

Add Martin Barre, and you may have a valid argument. He's arguably as much a part of the Tull sound as Anderson. And he can't be considered anything but a permanent member of the band.
Bass, drums, and keys, however, are completely replaceable.


Defining the definitive Tull depends on whose prerogative you're playing to. If it's Ian Anderson's, then yeah, it's whatever music has carried the Tull emblem over the past now four and a half decades. If it's certain friends of mine, it's limited to pre-Aqualung only (before things got too serious). For me, it's everything up to and including Heavy Horses (the first ten years). But I could also cut that in half and say, it's that 1970-75 period when they did pretty much rule the world (not counting the Stones and Led Zep, of course, but they were busy ruling the Universe at the time). And that particular lineup was pretty damned stable with every player essential.

Martin Barre - guitar
John Evan - keyboards
Jeffrey Hammond Hammond - bass
Barriemore Barlow - drums
Ian Anderson - vox, acoustic guitar, flute

Damned fine band ...
posted by philip-random at 11:19 AM on October 13, 2013


And speaking of the Allmans. Here's something I didn't know existed until a few months ago.

Whipping Post live @ the Filmore with brother Duane ...

but why's everybody sitting down?
posted by philip-random at 11:22 AM on October 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Skynyrd always was a dumbed-down version of the Allman Brothers, nowhere more apparent than when you compare "Freebird" to "Ramblin' Man." There, I've gone and said it.

Sometimes dumb and loud is just what the doctor ordered. Usually when you're drinking beer in quarts. I wouldn't go to Skynyrd for advice on anything more complicated than lawn care, but they know/knew how to rock.
posted by cardboard at 2:07 PM on October 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Thanx flapjax!

I'm happy to claim undying (so far) love for 'Free Bird', and particularly that guitar solo. In fact, the album it's from (pronounced leh-nerd skin-nerd) is one of those great albums that can claim 'not a weak track'.
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 10:17 PM on October 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Whipping Post live @ the Filmore with brother Duane ...

Holly hell they were a great band at that point.
posted by octothorpe at 8:28 AM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


(pronounced leh-nerd skin-nerd)

Except that most Southern accents have no pin/pen distinction, so that's basically moot.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:05 AM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


rocket88: "Jethro Tull is, was, and always will be Ian Anderson, singular. His backup band is a backup band. It's a good backup band, but Ian is Tull.

Add Martin Barre, and you may have a valid argument. He's arguably as much a part of the Tull sound as Anderson. And he can't be considered anything but a permanent member of the band.
Bass, drums, and keys, however, are completely replaceable.
"

Had to check; he's been there beginning at year 2. I knew only Ian was a non-stop member, but I'll agree with you on Martin now.

philip-random: "Defining the definitive Tull depends on whose prerogative you're playing to."

Ah, the "No True Scotsman" trope updated for "Who is a member of Jethro Tull?"... how quaint.
posted by IAmBroom at 2:43 PM on October 14, 2013


Also, as much as this is an 'isolated' version of the 'Free Bird' guitar solo, it's pretty clear there are two guitars playing throughout. This has always interested me - reviewers have lauded Allen Collins' "guitar solo", but I've never seen anyone mention the very obvious fact that it's a guitar duo. I don't know if Collins double-tracked his solo, or whether Gary Rossington was involved as well. It seems odd for such a well-known solo that this hasn't really been addressed (as far as I've read).

Anyway, what I would like to hear is each of the concurrent guitar solos isolated.
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 3:36 PM on October 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


The person that uploaded this also posted the 4 individual solo tracks (all labeled as Collins): 1, 2, 3, 4.
posted by Rhomboid at 9:39 PM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Skynyrd always was a dumbed-down version of the Allman Brothers, nowhere more apparent than when you compare "Freebird" to "Ramblin' Man."

You certainly won't find me disagreeing that the Allmans were the FAR superior band. This Alabama boy loved the Allmans from their very first release The Allman Brothers Band, which I bought when it came out in 1969 (and pretty much wore out the grooves on, as they say). And I never gave a toss for Lynyrd Skynyrd, who seemed, by comparison, really crass and obvious and stupid.

But I wouldn't have used Ramblin' Man to make my comparison! Ramblin' Man is a catchy little country rock ditty, a fine little number and all, but if I was to use an ABB tune to compare to Freebird, I'd say Whipping Post would be the one: it's got the rock anthem thing that Freebird has, and, of course, it also has Duane, who was more than half the band, as far as I'm concerned. Dicky Betts was OK and all, but man, when Duane died, that was a real tragedy, and for me the ABB, after that, always seemed like, well, a band missing its most important member. There was a hole in it. And I say that as someone who also thinks that Greg Allman had one of the finest blues/rock voices of his generation: he really could get a blues number across with real finesse and authority. But without Duane... damn. The only way they could go, I think, was into twangy Betts territory.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 2:52 AM on October 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


The person that uploaded this also posted the 4 individual solo tracks (all labeled as Collins)

Hey wow, thanks! Very interesting listening. I know the album version of the guitar solo as well as I know any piece of music, so it's really interesting to hear the subtle variations on each of these passes.

Wow. The internet eh?
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 10:24 PM on October 15, 2013


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