An introduction to
"Live - Bursting Out"
Only five months after the release of
"Heavy Horses", Jethro Tull released their
magnificent live double album many fans had been
desperately waiting for for so long. The only
official live recordings were until then part of the
"Living In The Past" double album, released
in 1972, containing two tracks from the Carnegie Hall
benefit concert in New York in October 1970. But the
band went through an immense evolution in the
following years. Needless to say that there was a
great hunt for bootleg live material among us, the
They were catered for in 1978, when the
band was 'in action' for 10 years under the name of
Jethro Tull and released this double album. In at
least two ways this double album is a remarkable one.
First of all it portrays Tull in the hayday of their
"classic" and very productive period, when
they were a six piece band: two keyboard players
(David Palmer and John Evans), a versatile lead and
acoustic guitar player (Martin Barre), one of their
best bass players ever (John Glasscock), a very
talented and 'passionate' percussionist (Barrie
Barlow) and the perfectionist, flute- and guitar
player, front man, composer, lyricist and vocalist
Ian Anderson. They had just released two of their -
creatively speaking - greatest albums: "Songs
From The Wood" and "Heavy Horses" and
were in a way pregnant of "Stormwatch", the
third one of this 'folky' trilogy, which was to be
released the following year.
Jethro Tull in the "Bursting
Out"days, early 1978.
Secondly, the double album portrays the
band as the remarkable live act, which they were
famous for, both then and now. It;s not surprising
that every gig was a sell out and still is up to now.
Ian's humoristic stage banter, his teasingly 'toying'
with the other band members, his way of 'settling'
the audience e.g. when acoustic songs are announced.
What I particularly find remarkable about this album
is that it shows us the ability of the band to
combine their sturdy rock song with the sweet and
warm acoustic ones and the sheer enthousiams of
playing before an audience. The atmosphere of the
gigs as I recall them is perfectly reflected in the
tracks the band chose for this album.
"Bursting Out" programme,
North American tour (1978).
By kind permission of Pete McHugh
- The Jethro Tull Archive).
David Rees quotes Ian Anderson, who
considered the album as a landmark: "The end of
an era, and of course the start of a new one. We have
gone as far as we can with the styles of music we've
been playing so far. I think we will be moving in
different directions from now on" (1). Well,
they did as "A", "Walk Into
Light" and "Under Wraps" would show us
in the years to come.
All recordings were made during the
tours of 1977 - 1978 in different European countries,
though up to now I haven't found out which song was
recording where. Andy Jackson informs me as follows:
"As to when and where the Bursting Out tracks
were recorded, I think there MIGHT be some very
general information in the Melody Maker article I
posted in the Steakhouse
Tidbits section. Ian was talking to Chris Welch
after the gig at the Berlin Deutschlandhalle
(18.5.78), and mentioned that they had been taping
concerts "for the past couple of
nights". The reference to Berne by Claude
Nobbs (on the album) would refer to the gig on
28.5.78 at the Festhalle there. So I guess the
recordings were made throughout the German and Swiss
concerts in May that year.
They used the Maison Rouge Mobile
studio, that since the "Minstrel In The
Gallery" had proved to be a reliable set of
tools while recording on the road, delivering us one
of the best live albums ever made by a rock band.
"Bursting Out": indeed it was, definitely.
Jan Voorbij; 1) David Rees "Minstrel in the
gallery, a history of Jethro tull",Firefly
Pubishing, Wembley, UK (1998)
I just read your very interesting annotations to this record and noticed your following words: "up to now I haven't found out which song was recorded
Maybe I can help you a little bit according to this question:
I'd been (together with some friends) "physically" present in the audience at the Tull-concert in the
Saarlandhalle, Saarbruecken, Germany, on May 26 1978. Not far away from
Saarbrücken were (and still are) some American military bases (Zweibrücken,
Kaiserslautern, Ramstein airbase). Therefore always a lot of GI's came to the different concerts in this area as well to this particular Jethro Tull concert.
I remember the day (in 1978 or 1979) when I listened to the album for the first time after it had been released. I immediately recognized Ian Andersons words he had said during the concert in Saarbrücken "Better sit down for the next one, I think. There seems to be a large percentage of young American boys out there tonight, hey?", which can be heard between
track 2 and 3. My friends did so, too (all of us were sure about that).
With these words Ian calmed the huge roaming crowd of (mostly drunk or stoned) American soldiers in a very psycological and pleasant
way. Before that, they had been jumping around in front of the stage (we could hardly see the band), bugging all the others (and the band too), who wanted to listen to the relative soft acoustic songs in this early concert phase.
So what I want to tell you: These words between track 2 and 3 were definitely said at the concert in Saarbruecken! I'm sure. For me and my friends over all those years "Bursting out" has always been the album, which includes songs we definetely had heard live that
* Lothar Hussong
The Dambusters March
was composed by the contemporary English
composer Eric Coates in 1954 for the film
"The Dambusters" (1956) to
commemorate Bomber Command's 1943 air raid
against the dams in the Eder, Sorpe and
Möhne rivers. Breaking these dams would
flood a large part of the Ruhr area which
would obstruct the war-production in the many
factories over there. For that purpose Barnes
Wallis, the engineer who invented the
geodetic construction of the Wellington
bomber, developed a rotating bomb that would
bounce on the surface of these rivers,
breaking the dams at collision. A special
version of the Lancaster bomber was built,
one that would be able to carry and deliver
* The special version of the
Lancaster Mk. II bomber, photographed during trials.
Note that the dorsal turret was removed to increase
payload and the bomb-bay was adjusted to carry the
rotating bomb and its delivery device. (Source:
"Partworks and encyclopedia of World War
II", E. Bauer, London, 1978)
A special squadron (nr.
617) was composed of the best of the RAF's
navigators, bomb aimers and pilots under the
command of Guy Gibson. After months of
testing and training this squadron leader led
the raid against the dams. In spite of all
the efforts the mission was only partly
successful: the Möhne dam collapsed, the
others were slightly damaged. And though the
overall damage was great, within 3 months the
production in the Ruhr area was back to 80%
of before the raid. Many of the casualties
were Russian, French and Dutch prisoners of
war who were forced to work in these
factories. The squadron suffered many
casualties: half of the bombers and their
crews did not make it home. Beside the
tactical objectives, this raid was very
important for propaganda reasons: their was
much political pressure on the staff of
Bomber Command, because of the lack of
results in comparison to the high losses
suffered. Apart from that, Bomber Command
needed new recruits to man the growing number
of bombers. Guy Gibson, lateron became a
fighter pilot. He was killed in his Spitfire
in 1944 over the continent. There is more
information on Bomber
* Jan Voorbij, Luud de Brouwer