A Passion Play is the sixth studio album by the group Jethro Tull. It is a concept album with a single song, which was split into two parts on the original vinyl release.
Original liner notes described the album as though it were a 'play' in four acts over the span of a single continuous song. The music follows the journey of the character Ronnie Pilgrim from death to judgment day and thereafter when he discovers he is fit for neither Heaven nor hell. Released in 1973, it had chart success around the world hitting no. 1 in the US & no. 13 in the UK.
A Passion Play is Jethro Tulls most overtly Progressive and conceptual release, featuring a complex poetic narrative framed by the most adventurous music of the bands career. The album offers dazzling virtuoso instrumental passages, evocative synthesizer sequences, and fuses Folk, Jazz and Rock influences in a strikingly unique, wholly Jethro Tull way.
Early in 1968, a group of young British musicians, born from the ashes of various failed regional bands gathered together in hunger, destitution and modest optimism in Luton, North of London. With a common love of Blues and an appreciation, between them, of various other music forms, they started to win over a small but enthusiastic audience in the various pubs and clubs of Southern England. The breakthrough came when they were offered the Thursday night residency at London's famous Marquee Club in Wardour Street, Soho. That band is Jethro Tull.
"The band is at its peak form, sustaining the tension and anticipation of this album-length piece across 45 minutes..." -Bruce Eder, allmusic.com
Contains 24-page 12" x 12" booklet with article on the preparation and recording of the album, lyrics, the original album programme and rare live photographs
A Passion Play
Act 1: Ronnie Pilgrim's funeral
1. Lifebeats / Prelude
2. The Silver Cord
3. Re-Assuring Tune
Act 2: The Memory Bank (the next morning)
4. Memory Bank
5. Best Friends
6. Critique Oblique
7. Forest Dance #1
8. The Story of The Hare Who Lost His Spectacles
Act 3 (2 days later)
9. Forest Dance #2
10. The Foot Of Our Stairs
11. Overseer Overture
Act 4: Magus Perde's drawing room at midnight
12. Flight From Lucifer
13. 10.08 To Paddington
14. Magus Perde