Few albums from any time in the Rock Era continue to satisfy quite so well as Jethro Tull’s masterpiece “Aqualung”. Ian Anderson smartly wrote songs for all seasons for a superb band, including the timeless rockers “Aqualung”,”Cross-Eyed Mary”,”Locomotive Breath,” and “Hymn #43”, but perfectly paced the album with tasty acoustic classics like “Wond’ring Aloud”and “Mother Goose”. On “Aqualung” ‘s golden anniversary, Ian Anderson is my guest In the Studio.
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Jethro Tull’s singer/ songwriter/ flautist Ian Anderson ( left ) returns here In the Studio next week for the band’s big fiftieth anniversary of “Aqualung”, so this should prime the pump with another angle on all of that material. Here’s another of the rare “Dressing Room Tapes” performances in the backstage bowels of the concert hall before a Zurich Switzerland 1989 concert with guitarist Martin Barre ripping a spirited “Locomotive Breath”.
“Light and shade,” Jimmy Page once told me, speaking to the secret of Led Zeppelin’s universal popularity, and never was that combination more on display than on the title song to Jethro Tull’s September 1975 “Minstrel in the Gallery”.
“Well the biggest difference was that I was going to have to write all the songs this time,” quips Ian Anderson in a bit of understatement when I asked, in this classic rock interview, about the departure of Jethro Tull co-founder Mick Abrahams between their 1968 debut, This Was , and the much more successful Stand Up the following year.
Beginning in 1979 and continuing all the way until 1987 with Crest of a Knave, Jethro Tull’s fate and fortunes would be quite unlike their first decade of success when the unique amalgam of blues rock, Scottish Highlands folk, and hard rock, led by Ian Anderson and exemplified by Aqualung and the worldwide #1-seller Thick As a Brick, packed arenas.
They were the changes in musical direction and key personnel made on Jethro Tull’s critical preceding third album, “Benefit”, in April 1970, that provided the oxygen in “Aqualung” ‘s tank a year later.
Jethro Tull Hall of Fame? Years eligible: 27. Nominations: NONE
In the years 1969-74 and “War Child”, there was no band in the world more exciting, more unconventional, and more successful than Jethro Tull.
Ian Anderson In the Studio for the 21st century sequel to Jethro Tull’s “Thick As a Brick”.
Jethro Tull’s 1972 epic “Thick As a Brick” is the only album in music history to attain #1 sales on Billboard containing only one song…