An introduction to
While the recording sessions for the
next album, "Too Old To Rock 'N'Roll: Too Young
Too Die!" were still taking place, Chrysalis
Records decided to release a compilation album,
awkwardly titled "M.U. - The Best Of Jethro
Tull". In fact it was a single album, which
contained only one track, that wasn't released
before: "Rainbow Blues".
Though the collection could be
interesting for new fans, and was probably released
for that purpose, it irritated many 'old-timers'
among Tull-fans that they had to buy an album with
songs they already posessed on previous albums, in
order to obtain this one missing song. The
abreviation 'M.U.' stands for Musicians Union.
According to David Rees the album came with a poster
of all Tull members, past and present, reunited for
an afternoon for the pose. "The only notable
absentee was Mick Abrahams, who was pointedly not
invited!" (p. 72).
In 1977 and 1985 similar releases took
place with the albums "Repeat : The Best Of
Jethro Tull - Vol. II" and "Original
Masters", which by diehard Tull-fans once again
were welcomed with mixed feelings. It is in my
opinion striking, that the cover art work of these
three albums is poor, whereas it has always been a
subject of special care and originality on previous
and later Tull albums. From the sources I have used
it has not become clear whether the initiative for
releasing these albums was taken by Chrysalis Records
or by Ian Anderson himself.
* Jan Voorbij
This song probably
arose from the Too Old To Rock 'n' Roll
sessions. During the concert at Ahoy Hal,
Rotterdam, on 5 May, 1976, Tull played a
group of new songs: Big Dipper, Bad-Eyed And
Loveless, Quizz Kid, Rainbow Blues, Crazed
Institution, and Taxi Grab. Perhaps 'Rainbow
Blues' was written for the stage musical, but
didn't fit the theme of the album, so was
instead slipped into the 'MU' compilation.
The tracks played live clearly weren't in the
same order as on the album, so it shouldn't
be assumed that 'Rainbow Blues' was
originally supposed to fit between 'Quizz
Kid' and 'Crazed Institution'.
* Neil R. Thomason
This poster came
with the original vinyl-version of "M.U.
- The Best Of Jethro Tull". The picture
was taken during the reunion dinner in 1976,
where the members of the second and third
Tull line-up were present. In his book
"To Be The Play", Brian Meyers
refers to this picture reminding him of The
Last Supper (p. 126).