War Child (album)

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For other uses, see War Child (disambiguation).
War Child
Studio album by Jethro Tull
Released 14 October 1974 (US)
26 October 1974 (UK)
Recorded 1974 at Morgan Studios, London (except tracks 6 and 8: August 1972)
Genre Progressive rock, hard rock[1]
Length 39:21
Label Chrysalis
Producer Ian Anderson
Jethro Tull chronology
A Passion Play
War Child
Minstrel in the Gallery
Singles from
War Child
  1. "Bungle in the Jungle"
    Released: 1974
  2. "Skating Away on the Thin Ice of the New Day"
    Released: 1974
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2.5/5 stars[2]
Džuboks (mixed)[3]
Rolling Stone (favourable)[4]

War Child is the seventh studio album by Jethro Tull, released in October 1974.


Originally meant to accompany a film project (the album was planned as a double-album set), it was reinstated as a ten-song, single-length rock album after failed attempts to find a major movie studio to finance the film.[5]

The "War Child" movie was written as a metaphysical black comedy concerning a teenage girl in the afterlife, meeting characters based on God, St. Peter and Lucifer portrayed as if shrewd businessmen. Notable British actor Leonard Rossiter was to have been featured, Margot Fonteyn was to have choreographed, while Monty Python veteran John Cleese was pencilled in as a "humour consultant".

Album content[edit]

Tracks slated to accompany the film such as "Quartet" and "Warchild Waltz" were unearthed and released across several Tull compilations, and finally all of them appeared on the 2002 CD reissue.

Three of the songs, "Only Solitaire", "Bungle in the Jungle" and "Skating Away on the Thin Ice of a New Day", were left over from the 1972–1973 writing sessions for what was to have been the follow-up to Thick as a Brick (1972). Ian Anderson told Songfacts: "It was actually late '72 or early '73 when I was in Paris recording an album that never got released, although one or two of the tracks made it out in 1974, but that was at a time when I was writing an album that was exploring people, the human condition, through analogies with the animal kingdom." [6] "Two Fingers" is a rearrangement of "Lick Your Fingers Clean", a track from the Aqualung (1971) recording sessions that was not included on that album's original release.


The front cover is a composite photograph featuring a positive color print of Melbourne at night, and a negative print of a studio photo of lead singer Ian Anderson.

The back cover of the album contains images of people, including the five members of the band, friends, wives, girlfriends, Chrysalis Records staff, and manager Terry Ellis, all related to the song titles. Anderson's personal touring assistant (and future wife) Shona Learoyd appears as a ringmaster, while Terry Ellis appears as a leopard skin-clad, umbrella-waving aggressive businessman.

Track listing[edit]

All music composed by Ian Anderson.

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "War Child"   4:35
2. "Queen and Country"   3:00
3. "Ladies"   3:17
4. "Back-Door Angels"   5:30
5. "Sealion"   3:37
Side two
No. Title Length
6. "Skating Away on the Thin Ice of the New Day"   4:09
7. "Bungle in the Jungle"   3:35
8. "Only Solitaire"   1:38
9. "The Third Hoorah"   4:49
10. "Two Fingers"   5:11


Additional personnel


  • Peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard pop albums chart.


  • "Rainbow Blues" was covered by Blackmore's Night, former Deep Purple's guitarist Ritchie Blackmore's band. The song was released on their 2003 album Ghost of a Rose. Blackmore's Night also performed the song live.


  1. ^ http://www.allmusic.com/album/r618622
  2. ^ Allmusic review
  3. ^ Konjović, Slobodan. "Jethro Tull – War Child". Džuboks (in Serbian) (Gornji Milanovac: Dečje novine) (6 (second series)): 24. 
  4. ^ Rolling Stone review
  5. ^ j-tull.com
  6. ^ "Bungle in the Jungle". Songfacts.com. Retrieved 17 October 2009. 

External links[edit]