A Passion Play

Release date
19 Mar 2007
Running length
2 tracks
Running time


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    Track     Duration Listeners
1 A Passion Play (Part 1) 17:26 4,212
2 A Passion Play (Part 2) 21:59 2,872

About this album

Jethro Tull’s second album-length composition, A Passion Play is very different from — and not quite as successful as — Thick as a Brick. Ian Anderson utilizes reams of biblical (and biblical-sounding) references, interwoven with modern language, as a sort of a rock equivalent to T.S. Eliot’s The Wasteland. As with most progressive rock, the words seem important and profound, but their meaning is anyone’s guess (“The ice-cream lady wet her drawers, to see you in the Passion Play…”), with Anderson as a dour but engaging singer/sage (who, at least at one point, seems to take on the role of a fallen angel). It helps to be aware of the framing story, about a newly deceased man called to review his life at the portals of heaven, who realizes that life on Earth is preferable to eternity in paradise. But the music puts it over successfully, a dazzling mix of old English folk and classical material, reshaped in electric rock terms. The band is at its peak form, sustaining the tension and anticipation of this album-length piece across 45 minutes, although the music runs out of inspiration about five minutes before it actually ends. ~ Bruce Eder, Rovi

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  • MisterJunior

    The "Magus Perde" section is one of my favorite Tull moments. The way that clanging riff kicks in and the tambourine, flute and synthesizers washes soon join it is just fucking awesome.

    31 Jul 4:05am Reply
  • MisterJunior

    Quite possibly Tull's masterpiece. Lyrically and musically this is about as complex and well thought out as anything resembling Rock music is going to be. Also, the production is absolutely top notch. Some of the best on any Tull record. Extraordinary and one that takes some time to get its hooks in you; you've really got to spend some time puzzling and pouring over this one for it to reveal all of its charms and intricacies. I've listened to it hundreds of times and still haven't cracked it completely. Maybe not as immediately engaging as Thick as a Brick, but arguably more rewarding of repeat listens than that fellow masterwork.

    31 Jul 3:59am Reply
  • PinkFloydrulez

    8:40 in part 2

    1 May 9:46am Reply
  • TheUselessGolem

    Echoes aside, this is the best, most engaging long-form rock I know.

    24 Mar 9:50pm Reply
  • Mirsset

    best vocal delivery by Anderson ever.

    10 Jan 2014 Reply
  • hungarianpaprik

    albums i own ---- this IS the 1 [that is 2 say, ultimate]

    9 May 2013 Reply
  • Porculus

    It might have some weak points, but it's still a great album. Don't forget it was no. 1 in US

    10 Apr 2013 Reply
  • Parthamaspates

    I like this album more than Thick as a Brick

    18 Jan 2013 Reply
  • nssworld

    Not one of my favorites, but a decent album none the less....

    3 Feb 2012 Reply
  • mindgarden

    Better than 'Thick as a Brick'! [Thumbs nose.]

    10 Oct 2011 Reply
  • FelipeTerry

    Thick as a Brick is better, of course. But this album is good too.

    3 Sep 2011 Reply
  • tschoettler

    Underrated masterpiece. MASTERPIECE MASTERPIECE MASTERPIECE ! ! ! (I say as RafaelDivoz said before!) This is one of the best Tull albums ever - only topped by Thick As A Brick

    20 Aug 2011 Reply
  • Harmaa_Griffin

    Underrated masterpiece. [2]

    3 Jun 2011 Reply
  • rdx_TP

    You guys might wanna read this: http://www.ministry-of-information.co.uk/app/

    9 Mar 2011 Reply
  • Drazba

    have a bootleg of this live-simply amazing-

    12 Nov 2010 Reply
  • RafaelDivoz

    Underrated masterpiece. MASTERPIECE MASTERPIECE MASTERPIECE ! ! ! 10/10

    19 Aug 2010 Reply
  • BurningRemnant

    Not really a masterpiece, especially in a catalog like that of the Tull's, but nonetheless a great classic prog album

    16 Aug 2010 Reply
  • ricz_dm

    Underrated masterpiece.

    5 Jul 2010 Reply
  • Magus_Perde

    Underrated. Great.

    28 Nov 2009 Reply
  • Thiago_Braga

    "The Story of a Hare who Lost his Spectacles" = EPIC WIN!

    28 Oct 2009 Reply
  • All 37 shouts

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