Too Old To Rock and Roll: Too Young To Die by Jethro Tull

Too Old To Rock ‘N’ Roll: Too Young Too Die was the left overs from another failed project from the fertile mind of Ian Anderson.

The concept was originally intended to be a musical which was about an aging rock star. I am always amused by artists who wrote about aging and are still performing decades later. Anyway, the project fell through and ten of the songs were released during the spring of 1976. As such it remains another oddity in the Jethro Tull catalogue of albums.

The band’s line-up had remained stable for four studio albums in a row, but now bass player John Glascock was recruited to replace Jeffrey Hammond. He joined returnee’s Barriemore Barlow on percussion, keyboardist John Evan, guitarist Martin Barre, and the ever present songwriter/vocalist/flutist Ian Anderson.

Too Old To Rock ‘N’ Roll: Too Young To Die is a fairly melodic album, but overall the quality is inconsistent. I can’t help but think the album was released because so much time and effort had gone into the project and something had to be salvaged. It would be their least commercially successful release in The United States since 1969’s Stand Up and would not even reach gold record status.

The album contains one excellent song, a couple of very good ones and a great deal of filler. The best of the lot is the acoustic “Salamander,” which is one of their great forgotten songs. The title track is good seventies progressive rock. “Quizz Kid” has a mellow beginning before progressing to some more spirited rock. The other positive is the guitar playing of Barre, as his solos were precise and innovative as he continued to emerge as one of rock’s premier guitarists.

Ian Anderson has always traveled his own path in life. Sometimes he was brilliant and at other times not so much, but he was always interesting. Too Old To Rock ‘N’ Roll: Too Young Too Die was an inspired failure and remains one of the weaker efforts in their seventies repertoire.

Article first published as on Blogcritics.org

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