'Thick As A Brick' is a satirical bite of genius from the prog-lords Jethro Tull.
This 1972 odyssey follows the Blackpool band's previous classic album, 'Aqualung' (1971), and imparts a whimsical concept album seemingly mocking both the genre and the British class system via the loose narrative depicted on the cover. The story follows Little Milton, as he is disqualified from a poetry competition in his small town where he reads the titular epic poem and incites outrage.
There is a legitimate eccentricity of character that the album oozes, primarily driven by Ian Anderson's energy and flute solos (best seen in the band's live performances). The album for those unfamiliar consists solely of parts one and two, clocking in at roughly 20 minutes apiece. By opting for this, the album imparts an epic feel as the band sprawls melodies across each suite rather than opt for the traditional song to song structure.
The album predates most 'epic' progressive concept albums. Pink Floyd would release 'Dark Side of The Moon' the following year, and considering the hype of the record, 'Thick As A Brick' has aged very well as it continues to simultaneously mock pretentious ambition in rock and classism in society near 50 years on. Pink Floyd would go on to tackle similar themes in 1977's 'Animals', but it just doesn't ring the same knowing that Tull was both ahead of the curve, and undermining their grandeur the whole time.
For those unfamiliar, the vinyl jacket is designed to replicate a newspaper 'The St Cleve Chronicle'. The inner gatefold artwork opens to a spoof editorial mocking print media a large for the innocuous, but equally hilarious drool that is written across the pages.
'Thick As A Brick' remains a staple of progressive rock, in addition to being as charming as it is unique.
Available in the store now, alongside 'Aqualung' and more classic Tull.