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DISC & MUSIC ECHO
26 January 1974
DISC GALLERY: JETHRO TULL
"We split up again last night," quipped Ian Anderson, addressing the journalist present. We laughed — but underlying that joke is a problem that has worried Tull for some months. Since they retired from live performances last year after the slamming that their brainchild Passion Play received, a great many people thought that was the end of them as a group.
The press conference that was held last week in Montreux has as a subsidiary aim the intention to prove to everyone that they are still very much together, working towards common aims. Before long (although any definite release dates have still to be announced) we are to see the release of two albums and a film.
The film 'War Child' is based on a synopsis written by Anderson.
"Apart from the group there will be two main actors, representing God and the Devil ... the story is an allegory-based fantasy with music," we were told by the proud author.
To complement the film there will be two albums from the group — one a soundtrack and the other a different interpretation of the film's theme. The main difference will be that the first will be mostly orchestral, while the second will have a great deal more vocal work.
The film is still to be made, although much of the planning and groundwork has been done. It seems likely that the group album will be the first of the projects to emerge, although Anderson stresses that they'll do all in their power to finish the film as soon as possible.
Once all three have seen the light, it seems increasingly likely that Tull will perform on stage again. They thought a film would be the fairest way of letting the maximum number of people see them, but admit that live performances "once our present commitments have been met" cannot be ruled out.
In fact the group were fiercely defensive of Passion Play.
"We think it was the best album we've made."
But as the criticism was fairly uniform, it seems likely that some of the points may be considered and borne in mind while the 'War Child' projects are being completed.
It was also announced that Tull will not after all be living permanently in Switzerland as they had first intended. So all worried Tull fans can take comfort in the knowledge that 1974 will contain a lot to reassure them, and may even see Jethro Tull alive, well and back on stage.
Thanks to Mike Wain for this article.