Mojo (Publisher) - p.1244 stars out of 5
- "Thatcherite economics, failing relationships and dodgy estate agents shared vinyl with gentle nostalgia and the paranoid 'Watching Me, Watching You,' yet the overall mood was uplifting."
Includes eight bonus tracks.
Jethro Tull: Dave Pegg (synthesizer); Gerry Conway, Ian Anderson , Martin Barre, Peter-John Vettese.
Personnel: Ian Anderson (vocals, guitar, acoustic guitar, flute); Dave Pegg (vocals, mandolin, bass guitar); Peter-John Vettese (vocals, piano, keyboards, synthesizer); Peter Vetesse (vocals, piano, synthesizer); Martin Barre (guitar, acoustic guitar, electric guitar); Gerry Conway (drums, percussion).
Liner Note Author: Ian Anderson .
Recording information: Maison Rouge Studios, Fulham, London, England.
Illustrator: Ian McCaig.
In the '80s, Jethro Tull was no longer the dominant force on the rock scene they had been throughout much of the previous decade, but the indomitable Ian Anderson continued to make ambitious records based on themes of ages past, even in an era of skinny ties and drum machines. BROADSWORD AND THE BEAST has a marked swords-and-sorcery motif; Anderson is depicted as a winged elfin creature on the cover. Despite such leanings, producer Paul Samwell-Smith--original bassist for the Yardbirds--gives the record a modern gloss, weaving the synthesizer playing of Peter-John Vettesse and the out-sized guitars of Tull stalwart Martin Barre through BROADSWORD's vaguely medieval-sounding romps.
The record is divided into two sides, Beastie and Broadsword. On the songs named for each side, Anderson evokes the spirit of swordplay and dragons, but elsewhere, on songs such "Fallen on Hard Times" he sings of more modern concerns. "Pussy Willow" is perhaps the best distillation of the classic Tull formula, juxtaposing Anderson's gruff but expressive vocals and a strong, insistent melody bolstered by well-placed, crunchy guitar chords.