Jethro Tull- Stand Up 50th Anniversary- Ian Anderson

“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. “We were billed originally, around Blackpool and later London, as a blues band,” Anderson told me,”except we were a terrible blues band. I certainly couldn’t sing it.” Never mind. Anderson would guide the unique sound and image of Jethro Tull with a firm grip and Rock of Gibraltar-like consistency, a role he relished and never relinquished for fifty years.

Ian Anderson was still trying to find his own voice and comfort level fronting Jethro Tull as they morphed, first from a not very good blues band “playing to only about twenty or thirty people in the pub”, Anderson admits, to an even worse soul band when they had to venture south to London for gigs. Ian’s nasal vocal affectation on “A New Day Yesterday” ( no, not a Joe Bonamassa original, sorry ) renders him almost unrecognizable now, but mercifully he settled in on the rest of Stand Up   including “Look Into the Sun”, “Nothing is Easy“,”We Used to Know“, the flute instrumental “Bouree“, and the single Anderson composed at his managers’ insistence for the UK while Jethro Tull were touring America, “Living in the Past“. –Redbeard