Great Rock Albums of 1979: Jethro Tull- Stormwatch

The longer this journey continues down the road of rock/metal history through the eyes of 80smetalman, the more people will hear me refer to the 1980s as the golden age of heavy metal, which they were. However, the journey hasn’t arrived at the 80s yet so while we are still in the 70s, I will refer to that decade as the golden age of progressive rock. There were many, many great artists who defined prog rock and made it the phenomenon it was in the 1970s. It seems that musicians were given more license to be creative and this resulted in some fantastic songs and albums that demonstrated some great musicianship and true artistic genius and Jethro Tull were one of these.

I was about to go out on a limb here and say that “Stormwatch” was the last great progressive rock album of the 1970s, then I realised that I still have to visit Supertramp’s “Breakfast In America” album so there might be a bone of contention here. However, when I listen to “Stormwatch” I am immediately reminded of the ancient days of great progressive rock. The track which defines those days the best is the instrumental “Warm Sporran.” This song shows off the musicianship that brought Jethro Tull into the spotlight of prog rock throughout the 70s. All of the other tracks are just as well defined   and I forgot how much I really liked the song “Something’s on the Move.”

Track Listing:

1. North Sea Oil

2. Orion

3. Home

4. Dark Ages

5. Warm Sporran

6. Something’s on the Move

7. Old Ghosts

8. Dug Ringhill

9. Flying Dutchman

10. Elegy

Jethro Tull

Ian Anderson- vocals, flute, acoustic guitar, bass

Martin Barre- guitars, mandolin

Barriemore Barlow- drums, percussion

John Evan- piano, organ

David Palmer- synthesisers, orchestra arrangements

John Glascock- bass

In the late 1970s, prog rock gave way to punk (although some say disco, but I say no). One of the reasons cited is that many listeners grew tired of twenty minute long songs where every musician gets to showcase their talents. I can slightly agree with that sentiment although I still like the occasional long jam. On “Stormwatch” there are no twenty minuters, the longest songs are nine and seven minutes and the others are between three and four. Maybe this was why this album is so good, it caters for both tastes here in regards to song length but in no way does the quality of the musicianship detract from it and makes it a great progressive album.

Next post: Gillian- Mr Universe

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7 Responses to “Great Rock Albums of 1979: Jethro Tull- Stormwatch”

  1. This is a great album and a really overlooked one in the Tull catalogue. I love Orion and Dun Ringill especially. It’s also a bit ahead of it’s time with it’s environmental concerns and it’s got a excellent Scottish vibe running through which I love, being Scottish. I think this would have been around the point when Anderson moved up here and started his Salmon farming business.

    Hope your not in the path of Hurricane Sandy at all? If so, I hope you and your family/friends all stay safe.


  2. A great album and great album cover art too! 🙂 \m/


  3. One of my favourite Tull albums. Even the artwork is perfect. I have this mounted on my wall like a poster.

    “Something’s On The Move” is one of my all-time favourite Tull songs.


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