Featured album – Ahead Rings Out – Blodwyn Pig

As mentioned in a previous post on “My Sunday Feeling,” guitarist Mick Abrahams left Jethro Tull after only one album. He wanted the band to continue in a blues/rock vein and Ian Anderson wanted to add in more elements of folk and progressive. I think we know who won that battle.

So Abrahams formed Blodwyn Pig which also included Jack Lancaster (sax and flute), Andy Pyle (bass) and Ron Berg (drums). Interestingly, Wikipedia advises that Peter Banks, guitarist on Yes’ first two albums, later replaced Abrahams for a while. And I’ve also read that prior to that Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi played with them briefly.

While Pig recorded several albums, this one remains a favorite of mine and of course my buddy Steve who sometimes shows up on these pages, probably to his chagrin. That’s what he gets!

Anyway, this song kicks off the album. If you want to know what Tull might have sounded like if they kept going in a jazz/blues vein, check this out. A most exuberant tune:

“Dear Jill” is a nice, moody blues that was later used in the background of the film Almost Famous. (You might recall that director Cameron Crowe started out as a very young reporter for Rolling Stone. So, the guy knows a thing or two about music).

Sorry babe
But I won’t be home
Won’t be home tomorrow

Sorry darlin’
But I got to let you
Got to let you down

Allmusic says of this album, “Ahead Rings Out is a stellar concoction of gritty yet flamboyant blues-rock tunes and open-ended jazz centered around Mick Abrahams’ cool-handed guitar playing, but it’s the nonstop infusion of the other styles that makes the album such a solid listen.”

So here’s a nice “other style.” Check out “The Modern Alchemist,” a terrific sax-driven instrumental. This is why I like music of this era so much. Bands would (and could) play jazzy stuff if they felt like it. And audiences would listen:

Lastly, here’s an interesting thing I did not know till I researched this post. In 2004, apparently a re-formed Blodwyn Pig released an album called All Said and Done. In addition to a bunch of other tunes, they re-did Tull’s first album, This Was almost in its entirety.

Different singer of course and Abrahams’ playing is more amplified and heavier. I’m not too crazy about the singer and on a brief listen, I’m not 100% sure this trip was necessary.  If you’re at all curious, you can hear their version of “My Sunday Feeling” here.

I checked Amazon and there is an extended  CD version with some other tunes not on the original album that sound pretty good. In looking at the list, I’m wondering if maybe there was a slightly different version released in the States. Wikipedia lists “Summer Day” and “Walk on the Water” as CD extras. Yet I’m certain they were on the original vinyl (which I have around here somewhere).

12 thoughts on “Featured album – Ahead Rings Out – Blodwyn Pig

    1. Yeah, and you know what, good movie, too. Haven’t seen it in a while. Wonder if it’s on Netflix. I’ve heard the title character is based on Glenn Frey and/or Dickey Betts. BTW, your post was moderated only because I do that on embedded URL’s. Only one time per user. I think. :-/

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  1. Similar. They have their sound. I’m a sucker for Lancaster’s reeds and flute plus Abraham’s playing and voice. If you like “Head’ you will probably dig this one. Now I have my listening card filled for tomorrow. (Along with Trower and Bruce) This is what you do to me.

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    1. CB, I gave the ‘Getting to This’ album a listen. I can’t believe I don’t have that around somewhere in a pile of dusty LP’s. Anyway, I dug it of course. Overall the material isn’t as strong but the playing is killer. And that song ‘San Francisco Sketches?’ What a hippie trip that is. I don’t think it knows what it wants to be when it grows up. BTW, there’s a bunch of more current live Pig available. I’m not so sure I like Abraham’s guitar sound as much. I’ll have to spend more time with it. Thanks.

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      1. Blodwyn Pig were an acquired taste for me. I grew to like them. You kind of said it with “don’t think it knows what it wants to be”. Maybe why I like them. It’s there over all sound that I like. Different styles they play. I had other bands that I listened to more but I do enjoy ‘Pigs’ music. Better than a lot of the stuff out there. In CB’s opinion anyway. Keep featuring these bands. It works for me.

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        1. Yeah, and you know the funny thing, although I wish there were more bands that do the kind of stuff they did, the fact that there aren’t is really ok. Like you I’m not on some sort of nostalgia trip when I listen to it. I’m not thinking of who I was with when I first heard it. I enjoy it each time i hear that stuff like it’s the first time. Like it’s brand new. Still sounds totally fresh to me.

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        2. Well said fella! It all kinda comes out of that Graham Bond, John Mayall, Alexis Korner , blues rock, jazz those English guys were doing. I love that shit! Still. (I was peeking in on your oldies again. Love it.

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