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Rock Island is an album by the band Jethro Tull, released in 1989. It is a sequel to the hit from a musical point of view Crest Of A Knaveprogressive rock combined with a good dose of hard rock. It was already fixed in advance that the success of that album Rock Island would be not matched and therefore has always been in the shadow of his predecessor.

It lacks this album to humor, making it as one of the dark albums of Jethro Tull. The lyrics are about things like: think no one understands you, that only you see the problems in the world, alienation from society. The lyrics are thoughtful and intelligent.

For this album are three keyboard players invited: Martin AllcockPeter-John Vettese and John Evans. The last thanked for the honor with the announcement that he had lost interest in music years before.


[hide]*1 Kissing Willie

Kissing Willie[Edit]Edit

The song Kissing Willie was launched on MTV with a video clip and is been a modest hit.

Willie is a first name, but has become known as pet name for the male gender, especially by the Scottish comedian Billy Connelly. In combination with the stage presentation (one on pornography adjacent shadow play) Gets the number thereby a very different load:

"She shows a leg shows it damn well. Knows how to drive a man right back to being a child. Well, she's a nice girl, but her bad girl's better. I can read it in her cheating eyes and know that in a while. Well, she'll be kissing Willie. (My best friend, Willie.) Willie stands and Willie falls. Willie bangs his head behind grey factory walls."

The Whaler Dues[Edit]Edit

On the basis of the number The Whaler's Dues can be understood why this album is called ' dark '. It's about the whale hunting and Andersons devolvement.

"Money speaks. Soft hearts lose. The truth only whispers. It's the whaler's dues. I've been running on diesel. Been running on coal. Running on borrowed time, if truth's to be told. Two whales in the ocean, cruising the night search for each other before we turn out their light."

The dilemma of the whalers on the one hand is understandable, but still objectionable. The times are changing and it should be accordingly.

"Leg accused or deep murder on the North Atlantic swell, but I have three hungry children and a young wife as well. And we stand behind generations of hard hunting, who raised a glass to the living, and gets used killing again. Are you with me? No!"

The old generation gets bitter when they are not with their times.

"Now I'm old and I sit back in a land-locked country jail to reflect on all of my sins and the death of the whale. Send me back down the ages. Put me to sea once again, when the oceans were full yes, and men would be one. Can you forgive me? No!"


  1. Kissing Willie
  2. The Rattlesnake Trail
  3. Ears Or Tin
  4. Undressed To Kill
  5. Rock Island
  6. Heavy Water
  7. Another Christmas Song
  8. The Whaler's Dues
  9. Big Riff And Mando
  10. Strange Avenues
  11. A Christmas Song (live) ¹
  12. Cheap Day Return/Mother Goose (live) ¹
  13. Locomotive Breath (live) ¹

¹ Bonus track on the Digital ' Remastered ' version.

Line up[Edit]Edit

Guest Musicians:

  • Martin Allcock (keyboards)
  • Peter-John Vettese (keyboards)

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