Far and away the prettiest record Jethro Tull released at least since Thick as a Brick and a special treat for anyone with a fondness for the group's more folk-oriented material. Ian Anderson had moved to the countryside sometime earlier, and it showed in his choice of source material…
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music.
SONGS FROM THE WOOD, from 1977, is one of my favourite Jethro Tull discs, and represents a brilliant return to form, after the previous year's disappointing TOO OLD TO ROCK AND ROLL. Singer/songwriter Ian Anderson, in keeping with the recording's title, revels in his folkier side here, with terrific, spot-on accompaniment from his band (comprised of Martin Barre on guitar and lute, John Evans on keyboards, Barriemore Barlow on drums and percussion, and John Glascock on bass and backing vocals). Additional keyboards and "portative organ" are provided by frequent collaborator David Palmer, who eschews his polished orchestral arrangements this time out, to further reinforce the session's "rootsy" atmosphere.
A film poem inspired by the Peruvian poet César Vallejo. A story about our need for love, our confusion, greatness and smallness and, most of all, our vulnerability. It is a story with many characters, among them a father and his mistress, his youngest son and his girlfriend. It is a film about big lies, abandonment and the eternal longing for companionship and confirmation.