Thick as a Brick (40th Anniversary) EMI****
In 1972, a literary furore erupted when eight-year-old prodigy Gerald Bostock – “Little Milton” – was disqualified from a poetry contest over the alleged obscene content of his poem, Thick as a Brick.
His cause was taken up by rock band Jethro Tull, who set the controversial poem to music. Of course, it was all a spoof – the album’s cover was made up of a mock local newspaper, filled with Pythonesque stories about experimental non-rabbits and the evils of “rido”.
The band’s singer, flautist – and actual lyricist – Ian Anderson conceived the album as a send-up of prog-rock, but Thick as a Brick became, for many, the ultimate prog-rock album, consisting of one (albeit very varied) song stretched over two sides of an album, with lots of fiddly bits, dyspeptic lyrics about the rotten state of merrie England, and enough time-signature changes to floor any morris dance troupe. jethrotull.com
Download tracks:Er, Thick as a Brick