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).
But I won’t be home
Won’t be home tomorrow
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).