|Live recording of Jethro Tull in the midst of their first tour of America as headliners in July 1970
Format: CD / Cat No: LFMCD608 / Released: 03/09/2021
Track Listing: 1. Nothing Is Easy (5:31) / 2. My God (10:21) / 3. With You There To Help Me / By Kind Permission Of (11:59) / 4. Dharma For One / Drum Solo (21:09) / 5. We Used To Know / Guitar Solo / Tanglewood Improv Jam / For A Thousand Mothers (24:52) / 6. Bill Graham Announcements (3:57)
More information: During the summer of 1970, Bill Graham presented an extraordinary series of concerts at Tanglewood, the renowned classical music venue located in the scenic Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts. At the time, presenting rock music in a classical venue was a surprising and precarious step to take. To many, hearing The Fillmore and Tanglewood in the same sentence equated to "when worlds collide." Much like his approach at the Fillmores, Graham's "The Fillmore at Tanglewood" series presented diverse handpicked triple bills, but with the added advantage of a beautiful open-air venue and plenty of informal lawn seating.
The July 7th presentation at Tanglewood, featuring the Who as headliners was certainly one of the most highly anticipated of the three concerts presented during the 1970 series. Also, on the bill that night was San Francisco's It's A Beautiful Day and an up-and-coming English group Jethro Tull, then in the midst of their first tour of America as headliners.
1970 was a pivotal year for Jethro Tull, when their relentless roadwork and perseverance began paying off. The group's third album, Benefit was their most ambitious and original work to date. In terms of the band's profile in America, 1970 was the year Jethro Tull had truly arrived. The previous album, Stand Up introduced guitarist Martin Barre to the fold and found the band stretching well beyond the parameters of the blues-based debut. Both albums conveyed Anderson's growing confidence as a songwriter and with Barre on board, the group's originality and style had come into sharper focus. By the time of the Tanglewood concert, Anderson was becoming a prolific songwriter with increasing range and depth.
The 1970 American tour would find the group expanding to a quintet, with Anderson's long time cohort John Evan joining the group on keyboards, further expanding the sonic palette. This tour would primarily focus on choice material from the group's first three albums. The one notable exception was the introduction of a new song, more scathing than anything Anderson had written before, titled ‘My God,’ Destined for the centre position on Aqualung, the most popular album of Tull's career, this new number wouldn't see a release until the following year, and then in considerably shorter form.
The Tanglewood audience had no intention of letting them leave without an encore, and when the group returns to the stage, Anderson said, "We'll do one more, but it'll have to be as short as it can be." However, nothing could have be further from the truth, as the group proceeded into a nearly 24 minute sequence of music that begins with the straightforward ballad ‘We Used to Know’ and then veers off into an extended showcase for guitarist Martin Barre. The band slams into the blistering hard rock of ‘For a Thousand Mothers.’ This comes across like a pummelling wave, other than the softer bridge section providing one last dynamic shift, and then they bring the performance to a powerful close. With the audience cheering and Anderson even saying "thank you", it proves only to be a false ending, and Tull fly off into one last sequence before concluding this monumental encore. Recorded for simultaneous radio broadcast, this stunning Tull show is now available on CD for the first time.