Too Old to Rock 'n' Roll: Too Young to Die!

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Too Old to Rock 'n' Roll: Too Young to Die!
JethroTull-albums-toooldtorocknroll.jpg
Studio album by Jethro Tull
Released 23 April 1976 (UK)
17 May 1976 (US)
Recorded December 1975 at Radio Monte Carlo by the Maison Rouge Mobile Studio
Genre Progressive rock, folk rock, hard rock, blues rock
Length 42:26
Label Chrysalis
Producer Ian Anderson
Jethro Tull chronology
M.U. - The Best of Jethro Tull
(1976)
Too Old to Rock 'n' Roll: Too Young to Die!
(1976)
Songs from the Wood
(1977)
Singles from
Too Old to Rock 'n' Roll: Too Young to Die!
  1. "Too Old to Rock 'n' Roll: Too Young to Die"
    Released: 1976

Too Old to Rock 'n' Roll: Too Young to Die! is the ninth studio album released by British band Jethro Tull, recorded in December 1975 and released in 1976. It is the first album to include bassist John Glascock who also contributes with backing vocals. Too Old to Rock 'n' Roll: Too Young to Die! is the last Jethro Tull concept album, which follows the story of Ray Lomas, an ageing rocker who found fame with the changes of musical trends.[1]

Overview[edit]

Background[edit]

Jethro Tull frontman Ian Anderson says the point of the album was to illustrate how his style of music may go out of popularity with every other fashion and fad, but he is determined that if he sticks to it, everything comes back around and the style will rise again.[2]

Ian Anderson explains that the concept came from the turmoil of the rise of punk movement, and not meant to be autobiographical of him as an ageing songwriter,[2] although "some members of the press took the album as our attempt to 'get with' the punks". Anderson also stated that the basis of the concept is "to point out that this business [music, fashion] is cyclic, and that if you stick around long enough, you do come into fashion again."[3]

Concept[edit]

Originally intended to be a rock musical, similar to the KinksPreservation Act 1 (1973), Preservation Act 2 (1974) and Schoolboys in Disgrace (1975) the story would follow an ageing and retired rock star named Ray Lomas - winning money in a "Quizz" show, trying to commit suicide and waking up years later to find out that the grease fashion has returned. Although much of the album concept is only explained in the cartoons printed in the sleeves, there are changes in the plot or in details between the cartoons and the music.[1]

A clip of the title track was released in the Slipstream video, which returned to much of the original album's concept.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3/5 stars[4]
Rolling Stone (mixed)[5]
Melody Maker (mixed)[6]
Sputnik Music 3/5 stars[7]

Rolling Stone complained about the "muddled story" of the album, saying that "Ian Anderson should stick to music, because he most definitely is not a storyteller." Nevertheless, the same review praised Anderson's skill at musical composition, and the guitar solos of Martin Barre.[8]

Chris Welch, writing for Melody Maker, gave a mixed review, saying that he "long(ed) for the beat of Barriemore Barlow to break free, or the guitar of Martin Barre to swoop", at the same time he praised Anderson's poetics.[6]

AllMusic's review called the album "one of the minor efforts in the [Jethro Tull] catalogue".[9]

Charts[edit]

Too Old to Rock 'n' Roll: Too Young to Die!, as an album, had lower sales than the preceding album Minstrel in the Gallery and following album Songs from the Wood. It reached No. 14 in the United States, No. 25 in Britain, No. 10 in Austria, No. 10 in Norway and likewise in Denmark,[10] and No. 27 in Sweden. It was Jethro Tull's only album of the 1970s not to achieve Gold certification.[11]

Releases[edit]

Too Old to Rock 'n' Roll: Too Young to Die! was remastered in 2002 and the CD version contains two bonus tracks that were cut from the original LP, "Small Cigar" and "Strip Cartoon".

The album has been released in a box set called Too Old to Rock 'n' Roll: Too Young to Die! - The TV Special Edition in November 2015. The box set contains previously unreleased tracks and outtakes of songs from the album, besides an 80-page booklet telling the story of the recording and the video of the special TV show recorded in 1976 and available officially for the first time.[12]

Track listing[edit]

1976 Original release[edit]

All songs written and composed by Ian Anderson

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Quizz Kid"   5:09
2. "Crazed Institution"   4:48
3. "Salamander"   2:51
4. "Taxi Grab"   3:54
5. "From a Dead Beat to an Old Greaser"   4:09
Side two
No. Title Length
1. "Bad-Eyed and Loveless"   2:12
2. "Big Dipper"   3:35
3. "Too Old to Rock 'n' Roll: Too Young to Die"   5:44
4. "Pied Piper"   4:32
5. "The Chequered Flag (Dead or Alive)"   5:32

2002 Remaster[edit]

2015 TV special edition[edit]

Personnel[edit]

Jethro Tull
Additional musicians

Orchestrations by David Palmer. Orchestra conducted by David Palmer.

Additional personnel
  • Robin Black - Sound engineer
  • Michael Farrell - Cover Design, Illustrations
  • David Gibbons - Design, Illustrations

References[edit]

External links[edit]