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Music / Thick as a Brick

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And your wise men don't know how it feels
Thick as a Brick is the fifth studio album by Progressive Rock band Jethro Tull, released in 1972. Surprised that critics called Aqualung a concept album, bandleader Ian Anderson sought out to create "the mother of all concept albums" with Thick as a Brick. The album is supposedly an adaptation of an epic poem by a child prodigy named Gerald Bostock, who was disqualified from a poetry competition due to the offensive nature of the poem; in reality, all of the lyrics were written by Ian Anderson. Original copies were packaged with a parody newspaper giving more detail to the concept.



Side One

  1. Thick as a Brick, Part I (22:40)

Side Two

  1. Thick as a Brick, Part II (21:06)

25th Anniversary Edition bonus tracks

  1. Thick as a Brick (1978 live version at Madison Square Garden) (11:50)
  2. Interview with Jethro Tull (16:30)

40th Anniversary Special Edition (Streaming Version) tracklist

  1. Really Don't Mind / See There A Son Is Born (5:00)
  2. The Poet and the Painter (5:29)
  3. What Do You Do When The Old Man's Gone / From The Upper Class (5:25)
  4. You Curl Your Toes in Fun / Childhood Heroes / Stabs Instrumental (6:48)
  5. See There a Man Is Born / Clear White Circles (5:58)
  6. Legends and Believe in the Day (6:34)
  7. Tales of Your Life (5:24)
  8. Childhood Heroes Reprise (2:56)


Bonus Disc (40th Anniversary Release):

  1. Thick as a Brick, Part I (5.1 Surround Mix) (22:44)
  2. Thick as a Brick, Part II (5.1 Surround Mix) (20:54)
  3. Thick as a Brick, Part I (2012 Stereo Mix) (22:44)
  4. Thick as a Brick, Part II (2012 Stereo Mix) (20:54)
  5. Thick as a Brick, Part I (Original Stereo Mix) (22:44)
  6. Thick as a Brick, Part II (Original Stereo Mix) (20:54)
  7. 1972 Radio Ad (1:02)

Thick As A Brick contains examples of:

  • All There in the Manual: The fake newspaper packaged with the original album, which provides an in-universe background to the album and effectively serves as the liner notes.
    • The "Poem" of much controversy is presented in full within the newspaper and acts as the lyric sheet for the piece.
  • Concept Album: A parody of the genre.
  • Epic Rocking: 43 minutes from start to finish, with an interval in the middle to let the listener flip over the record.
  • Packaged as Other Medium: The album cover is an elaborate Affectionate Parody of a rural British newspaper called The St. Cleve Chronicle and Linwell Advertiser.
  • Stealth Parody: Of Progressive Rock and Concept Albums, born out of critics mislabeling Aqualung as one.
    • Springtime for Hitler: It's still praised as one of Progressive Rock's greatest achievements and for some even Jethro Tull's masterpiece. Unlike other examples of this trope, Ian Anderson doesn't mind this at all.
  • Title Track: The only track, in fact. note 
    • Subverted on the streaming version of the 40th Anniversary Special Edition, which includes 8 tracks, none of which are title tracks.
  • Word Salad Lyrics: Parodied Trope.