Though they're often lumped in with other 1970s prog-rock groups, Jethro Tull was always a band apart. With their British folk leanings, they had a foot in the UK folk-rock camp a la Fairport Convention, and their knack for trenchant guitar riffs endeared them to the Led Zeppelin-loving heavy-rock crowd as well. THE VERY BEST OF JETHRO TULL touches on all the aspects of the group's sound, drawing liberally from every era of their career. While all the classic-rock-radio staples are here (the chugging rocker "Locomotive Breath," the meter-shifting prog fave "Thick as a Brick," the mammoth riff-monster "Aqualung"), there's more relatively obscure fare on offer, too. While a few more well-known cuts are absent from this collection, the jig-like "The Whistler" and the latter-day tracks "Broadsword" and "Steel Monkey" stand to prove that there's more to the Jethro Tull story than what the casual listener may glean from some narrow-casting oldies station.
Q (7/01, p.136) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...Jethro Tull fare much better when holding to the pastoral blueprint of earlier tracks 'The Witch's Promise' and 'Songs From The Wood'. Intermittent joy for Morris Dancers and Tudor battle re-enactment enthusiasts everywhere..."