The Broadsword and the Beast

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The Broadsword and the Beast
Studio album by Jethro Tull
Released 10 April 1982 (UK)
19 April 1982 (US)
Recorded Winter 1981 at Maison Rouge Studios, Fulham, London
Genre Progressive rock, art rock, folk rock, electronic rock
Length 38:49
Label Chrysalis
Producer Paul Samwell-Smith
Jethro Tull chronology
The Broadsword and the Beast
Under Wraps
Singles from
The Broadsword and the Beast
  1. "Broadsword"
    Released: 1982
  2. "Fallen on Hard Times"
    Released: 1982
  3. "Beastie"
    Released: 1982
  4. "Watching Me, Watching You"
    Released: 1982
  5. "Pussy Willow"
    Released: 1982
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2.5/5 stars
(1982 release)[1]
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars
(2005 re-release)[2]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[3]

The Broadsword and the Beast is the 14th studio album by Jethro Tull, released on 10 April 1982 (see 1982 in music) and according to Ian Anderson in the liner notes of the remastered CD, contains some of Jethro Tull's best music. It mixes electronic sound with acoustic instruments and is a cross between the synthesiser sound of the 1980s and the folk-influenced style that Tull had in the previous decade.


"Cheerio", the final track of the original release, was for some years played as the final encore at Jethro Tull concerts.[4]

"Fallen on Hard Times" was a modest hit, reaching No. 20 on the US charts.

In 1984, Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab issued a half-speed mastered edition of the album (MFSL 1-092). It was a minor seller at the time, but has since become highly collectible.[5]

The 2005 CD reissue of the album was heavily expanded to include eight bonus tracks recorded during the Broadsword sessions, but not included in the original 1982 album.

Cover and name[edit]

The cover art is by renowned artist Iain McCaig.

The runic symbols around the edge of the cover are from the Anglo Saxon rune system and are the opening lyrics to Broadsword:

I see a dark sail on the horizon, set under a black cloud that hides the sun. Bring me my broadsword and clear understanding. Bring me my cross of gold as a talisman.

The album was going to be called "Beastie", responding to the first track on side one. But during production the band deliberated over the preference between "Beastie" and "Broadsword", the first track on side two. In the end they decided (as on Aqualung) (1971) to give each side its own title and thus its own identity and to combine both in the album title. Ian Anderson himself thinks of the album as "Broadsword".[6] As the artwork also puts much more emphasis on Broadsword, many owners and fans also refer to it as the "Broadsword album".


The tour for Broadsword was the last one for Tull to be exceedingly theatrical. It included the entire stage being decorated to look like a pirate ship, which Ian Anderson, as he said in the liner notes for the remastered CD, thought was very silly. Extensive notes on the production of the album and subsequent tour can be found at the official Jethro Tull website.[7]

Track listing[edit]

(All songs written by Ian Anderson with additional material Peter-John Vettese)

Side one – Beastie[edit]

  1. "Beastie" – 3:58
  2. "Clasp" – 4:18
  3. "Fallen on Hard Times" – 3:13
  4. "Flying Colours" – 4:39
  5. "Slow Marching Band" – 3:40

Side two – Broadsword[edit]

  1. "Broadsword" – 5:03
  2. "Pussy Willow" – 3:55
  3. "Watching Me, Watching You" – 3:41
  4. "Seal Driver" – 5:10
  5. "Cheerio" – 1:09

Bonus tracks[edit]

The remastered CD added bonus tracks (which had been on the 20 Years of Jethro Tull box-set) and extensive liner notes:

  1. "Jack Frost and the Hooded Crow" – 3:22
  2. "Jack A Lynn" – 4:40
  3. "Mayhem Maybe" – 3:06 (with vocals recorded circa 1988)
  4. "Too Many Too" – 3:28
  5. "Overhang" – 4:29
  6. "Rhythm in Gold" – 3:08
  7. "I Am Your Gun" – 3:19
  8. "Down at the End of Your Road" – 3:31

Further tracks from the same sessions (and not included on the remastered CD) are "Motoreyes" (from the 20 Years box) and "Crew Nights", "The Curse", "Commons Brawl", "No Step", "Drive on the Young Side of Life", and "Lights Out" from the outtakes album Nightcap.



  1. ^ Eder, Bruce. The Broadsword and the Beast (1982 release) at AllMusic
  2. ^ Eder, Bruce. The Broadsword and the Beast (2005 re-release) at AllMusic
  3. ^ Puterbaugh, Parke (10 June 1982). The Broadsword and the Beast, Rolling Stone
  4. ^ Jethro Tull concert setlists and tour schedules. Retrieved 29 August 2012
  5. ^ Goldmine Record/Album Guide
  6. ^ Youtube: Ian Anderson TV interview with Mark Goodman (1982). Retrieved 29 August 2012
  7. ^ Broadsword and the Beast – Ian's Reflections (2004). Retrieved 29 August 2012