My Top 1000 Songs #670: Thick As A Brick

[I've been writing up my Top 1000 songs on a daily basis--you can see them all in descending order by hitting the All My Favorite Songs tag.] 

My obligatory adolescent trawls through the backwaters of prog led me from bands I really loved, and still do (mostly Genesis and King Crimson) to those which I found a lot less to my liking (which I found easy to purge from my listening habits as I pivoted to punk and indie rock). I had pretty mixed feelings about Jethro Tull--some interesting work, for sure, but I concluded that Ian Anderson's vocal mannerisms, and the flute as a rock instrument, are best in small doses.

Still, 1972's Thick As A Brick was kinda the ultimate 70s music nerd LP--an extended suite spread over 2 sides of vinyl, with impenetrable lyrics, accompanied by a fake newspaper you could curl up with in your bedroom while the music played. It glorified the worst excesses of early 70s prog, yet had some irrepressible musical bits scattered throughout. And pared down to single length (or just cherry-picking 5-10 minutes from the beginning and/or end of the LP), the track distills the band to its core elements--a surprisingly catchy acoustic folk bit, the flute melody actually quite pretty; lyrics that are either thought-provoking or daft nonsense, depending on your mood; escalating into some hard rocking prog, the sort of amped-up classical music that gives me a headache if it overstays its welcome, but works within the confines of the shorter edit.

Live 1977: