"As slick as Jethro Tull got": The Inflated Edition of Jethro Tull's Bursting Out finds Ian Anderson & Co. finds them in fine form

Jethro Tull's 1978 live double album, newly pumped up

Jethro Tull: Bursting Out (Inflated Edition) cover art
(Image: © Chrysalis)

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Recorded during their 1978 European tour, this 3-CD/3-DVD set, expanded from the original double album, is about as slick as Jethro Tull got. Regular tours of America, where they’d scored Top 3 albums with Thick As A Brick, A Passion Play and War Child, had knocked them into shape and now they were moving in a folkier direction with Songs From The Wood and Heavy Horses

They open with a meticulous No Lullaby before reaching back to their 1969 single, Sweet Dream, and continue to dart back and forth, putting a folky slant on Skating Away and Jack In The Green and getting heavy for A New Day Yesterday

Jethro Tull - No Lullaby (Live At Madison Square Garden, 1978) - YouTube Jethro Tull - No Lullaby (Live At Madison Square Garden, 1978) - YouTube
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There's a 13-minute suite of songs from Thick As A Brick with some fine guitar from Martin Barre and another, previously unreleased, from Heavy Horses. The show ends with three songs from Aqualung and the band’s version of The Dambusters March. There are also eight soundcheck recordings, going behind the scenes. 

There’s a bonus CD/DVD of the band’s New York Madison Square Garden show from October 1978 which was transmitted live to the UK, featuring a splendidly animated Ian Anderson. But the band performance is more stilted, probably due to technical constraints. 

Hugh Fielder

Hugh Fielder has been writing about music for 47 years. Actually 58 if you include the essay he wrote about the Rolling Stones in exchange for taking time off school to see them at the Ipswich Gaumont in 1964. He was news editor of Sounds magazine from 1975 to 1992 and editor of Tower Records Top magazine from 1992 to 2001. Since then he has been freelance. He has interviewed the great, the good and the not so good and written books about some of them. His favourite possession is a piece of columnar basalt he brought back from Iceland.