Jethro Tull’s March 1972 epic “Thick As a Brick” is the only album in music history to attain #1 sales on Billboard containing only one song…Ian Anderson joins me In the Studio with Jethro Tull’s “Thick As a Brick” for one of the greatest progressive albums ever!
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Realize that “Songs from the Wood” by Jethro Tull, released way back in February 1977, was already the English folk/progressive rockers’ tenth album! There was nothing that sounded remotely like the ancient pastoral songs and instrumentation on “Songs from the Wood” then on the all-important American rock radio. Ian Anderson is my guest In the Studio for “Songs from the Wood”.
Not since “Aqualung” fully half a century ago had Ian Anderson addressed the historic characters and iconography of the Old and New Testament Bible this head on, mixed with twentieth century and even current events, as on “The Zealot Gene” by Jethro Tull. Ian Anderson is my guest here In the Studio.
This Jethro Tull concert performance is outstanding, from both the standpoints of the band’s tight performance and the stellar live broadcast mix from Philadelphia’s Tower Theater back in late November 1987. Here is a blistering concert version of “Steel Monkey”.
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.
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”.
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