The Album that Won the Grammy for Best Hard Rock/Metal Although Not a Metal Album! this Album Originally Went Gold in the UK after Having Two Videos on Heavy Rotation on MTV. Steel Monkey, with Its Nod to the Great ZZ Top,... more » Opened the Album with Its Rapid-fire Sequenced Piano Intro, While the Best Classic Tull Song Ever - Budapest - Provided Both Brain and Brawn on Record and Subsequent Live Performance Alike. The First Tull Record to Be Mastered on Digital Media, Crest Combined the Best of Martin's Guitar and Ian Anderson's Flute in the Harmony and Unison Phrasing Evident in Songs Like "Farm on the Freeway" and "Jumpstart".« less
The Album that Won the Grammy for Best Hard Rock/Metal Although Not a Metal Album! this Album Originally Went Gold in the UK after Having Two Videos on Heavy Rotation on MTV. Steel Monkey, with Its Nod to the Great ZZ Top, Opened the Album with Its Rapid-fire Sequenced Piano Intro, While the Best Classic Tull Song Ever - Budapest - Provided Both Brain and Brawn on Record and Subsequent Live Performance Alike. The First Tull Record to Be Mastered on Digital Media, Crest Combined the Best of Martin's Guitar and Ian Anderson's Flute in the Harmony and Unison Phrasing Evident in Songs Like "Farm on the Freeway" and "Jumpstart".
"This is the most controversial album Jethro Tull has ever put out before or since and it's all due the the Grammy commitee. 1988's winner of the "Best Hard Rock or Heavy Metal" Grammy is neither. However it is an exellent album. One of it's main strengths is the guitar work of Martin Barre. My favorite is his solo on "Budapest" because he demonstrates that one doesn't have to crank the amps up to 11 to have a kick bottom guitar solo. Ian Anderson says that "Budapest" is the song that he is most proud of, as it has a little bit of everything in it. This album also has the song "Farm on the Freeway" which is today a concert favorite amongst the fans. What's unfortunate about this album is Ian's voice is merely a shadow of what it once was due to throat problems a few years back. I wish Martin Barre's guitar had been mixed a little higher in the song "Steel Monkey", and I really wish this package had included the original 20 minute version of "Budapest." Overall though, a terrific album and worth the money. Come to think of it, the flute can be heavy and it is made of metal so perhaps what the Grammy committee meant when they gave Tull the award."
Jethro Tull - Metal Grammy? No, But A Great Album
Steven Sly | Kalamazoo, MI United States | 06/08/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Unfortunately for Jethro Tull most people know this album for having the dubious honor of winning the first best "heavy metal / hard rock" category at the Grammy awards in 1988. It has become a running joke over the years since Tull beat out several true metal acts such as Metaillca for the award. The album has served as a continuous punch line of jokes at awards shows ever since. The sad thing about all of this is, that this really is a great Tull album and I think it was very cool that it was awarded a Grammy (even if it was not in the right category). "Crest" marked a bit of a comeback for Jethro Tull. The band had not fared so well in the 80's putting out several so so albums that were completely ignored by radio. Sales figures had slipped significantly during this period as well. With the release of "Crest" the band actually received praise from the critics and two songs, "Steel Monkey" and "Farm On The Freeway" were actually heard quite a bit on AOR radio. The "band" by this point had been reduced down to just Ian Anderson, Martin Barre and Dave Pegg. This album rocks in places and simmers in a cool mellow way in others. There is very little of the band's folk-ish sound to be found here, and the album was very modern sounding for it's time. The opener "Steel Monkey" almost sounds like 80's era ZZ Top. Martin Barre has some great stuff here and I think this is one of his best albums. There are some great songs on this disc especially "Farm On The Freeway", "Budapest", Mountain Men", and the sexual double meaning "Raising Steam". The only negative thing really is that by this time Anderson's voice was continuing to deteriorate, but for the most part things are notched down a peg and he sounds good here. Although different from their earlier works I have always really like this album and thought that it was a nice return to form for the band at the time of it's release."
I've always loved this cd!
Sandman | Canada | 05/18/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I like my rock heavy and since this won best metal album of the year oh some 20 years ago now (if I remember correctly), it had to be good right?
Well it is good, exceptional good that is and what a surprise, it's is not metal, go figure?! What we have here is a heaping mound of Tull that is a slight change from what we're used to. Simply put, this entire cd from start to finish is excellent. All the tunes are great with Budapest and She Said She Was Dancer being simply fantastic. Yes it's a different Tull sound in some ways as it's perhaps a little heavier sounding in spots, however the darn thing rocks big time. I really can't say enough about this release, it's just that good. If I had to keep just one Tull cd, this would be the one but that's probably because I like prog bands with some edge to their sound and this cd has that.
This remastered edition is very cool with added notes and pics as well as a bonus track that fits in with the rest with ease.
If you like prog rock Tull style, you'll love this cd."
Nel Mezzo del cammin de nostra vita
W. A. Baurle | Arizona, USA | 03/06/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The more Tull reviews I read the more I'm convinced of how futile the whole enterprise is. The one thing that is undoubtedly true is that music appreciation is a subjective matter and the stupidest thing to do is hold our fellow listeners in suspicion or contempt simply because certain sounds cause vastly different reactions in them than they do in us. In this spirit I approach Crest of a Knave, and in particular this re-mastered edition. To echo what someone else mentioned in reference to these Tull re-vampings, simply raising lows and highs doesn't make for a better sound. Through most of these tracks the kick drum is over-bearing and thumping, and the cymbals are hissy. It's been a long time since I heard my vinyl copy of this - which went missing several years ago - and I never owned it on CD, but I don't remember having such impressions before. Enough about that, on to the music.
I'm often surprised, even baffled, by the disparate opinions of my fellow Tull fans, but I have to remind myself that my opinions are probably stranger than most. For instance, while I like Budapest well enough, I don't think it stands head and shoulders above the average Tull song. I find it sparse and far too lengthy, and never mind who it sounds like. There are better songs on this album. One of the songs not included on the original LP, but which did appear on the CD version, which strikes me as something very fine is The Waking Edge. This is a country song. Not folk mind you, but country, as in American-style country and western. If you don't agree, go back and have another listen, particularly to the chorus. You'll have to skip the lengthy intro which runs to a minute and a half, and which, quite frankly, is an example of the kind of superfluous musical foreplay which makes a lot of progressive rock music intolerable to me. At 3:42 there's a beautiful solo, on bass guitar of all things. Not because it's a country song, and therefore highly unusual for Tull, but because it's a good song plain and simple, I think it's one of the highlights of the album.
Steel Monkey is a solid rock song, full of energy and muscular keyboards with Martin's false harmonics, reminiscent of ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons, sprinkled all through-out. Jump Start and Farm on the Freeway are both strong tracks, particularly for the flute and guitar breaks which fill out both songs and in which Ian and Martin display the musical chemistry that makes them one of the most entertaining duos in rock music. Said She Was a Dancer is simlar to The Waking Edge in that it's country-fied, wistful, and laid-back. It includes some of Martin's best guitar work and shows that he is equally adept at both a heavy, distorted sound as well as one which is perfectly clean.
One of the regretable things about CDs is that you have the judge the whole album as a single unit from beginning to end. With records you had the album split into two sides and the artist was compelled by necessity to make each side function as a thing-unto-itself, and subsequently you had some sort of symmetry, or asymmetry, between the two, some sort of co-dependence or relation. The first side of Crest, on vinyl, ending with Said She Was a Dancer, constitutes a very solid Tull side. On the other hand, side two was not nearly as satisfying or coherent. You had the soft and sprawling Budapest followed by the decent but not terribly strong Mountain Men, and concluding with Raising Steam, perhaps the weakest track of the bunch. Not much of a consummation or climax, artistically speaking. The earlier CD version offered two more songs than the LP - Dogs in the Midwinter, The Waking Edge - and these tracks, although the former is not bad and the latter is excellent, even if they had been part of the LP's second side wouldn't have made side two as strong as side one. This was the last Tull album I ever owned on vinyl and maybe that's why I'm ruminating on this two-side issue.
At any rate there has always been something off kilter with Crest for me, and because of this I don't think it's absolutely top-shelf Tull, nor do I think it could have been. It's a new Ian Anderson vocal style for one thing. He doesn't sing on Crest as much as he speaks in tune, and he sounds like somebody else so often that it's actually a bit embarassing. One has to realize that he was about forty when Crest was recorded and one must face the fact that aging takes its toll on a person's voice, and particularly on a person who sings professionally. Getting down on a forty year-old man for not being able to belt it out like he did when he was twenty is like getting down on him for having a few gray hairs. For this reason I don't blame Ian for his more subdued style: I'm simply being honest when I say that it makes for a product which will inevitably be less magnificent than vintage Tull.
I also have to say that I like Part of the Machine more than any of the songs on Crest. The guitar and flute breaks are nothing short of brilliant. It's quintessential Tull, but unfortunately it can't be judged as an integral part of Crest of a Knave since it was never included on it. Had it been, it would have made Crest a better album."