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Jethro Tull

Jethro Tull is a progressive rock/folk rock band which formed in Blackpool, Lancashire, England in 1967. Their music is markedby the initially soulful and bluesy, and later expressively idiosyncratic vocal style and unique lead flute work of frontman IanAnderson, as well as unusual and often complex song construction. While other music groups did influence them in their earlyyears, they quickly developed a unique, instantly recognizable sound.

The band's debut This Was (1968) remains their most blues-oriented, in part due to the influence of original guitarist MickAbrahams. ...read more

Jethro Tull is a progressive rock/folk rock band which formed in Blackpool, Lancashire, England in 1967. Their music is markedby the initially soulful and bluesy, and later expressively idiosyncratic vocal style and unique lead flute work of frontman IanAnderson, as well as unusual and often complex song construction. While other music groups did influence them in their earlyyears, they quickly developed a unique, instantly recognizable sound.

The band's debut This Was (1968) remains their most blues-oriented, in part due to the influence of original guitarist MickAbrahams. He left soon after the record was finished, disagreeing with the folk direction Anderson wanted to pursue. Hisreplacement, Martin Barre, is still with Tull today, enduring throughout their long career. Though his role would become moreovershadowed by Anderson’s leading presence in the future, Barre’s abilities were fairly prominent on Stand Up ('69) andBenefit ('70), his powerful guitar essential in shaping the band's style.

Their real foray into progressive rock gave birth to two of their most accomplished and recognized works. The eclectic folk. prog of Aqualung (1971) easily set the band apart from their peers at the time. With signature tracks such as Aqualung,Cross-Eyed Mary and Locomotive Breath, it exemplified their unique nature and has become their most popular album.Anderson however, never saw Jethro Tull as progressive. In response to Aqualung being labelled as a 'concept album', hecame up with the idea to create a parody of the kind of 20-minute epics made by acts such as Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Yes,and Genesis; Thick as a Brick ('72) went well beyond that length and spanned over 40 minutes, too long to fit on one side ofan LP. Parody or not, in time it became a genre classic.

A Passion Play (1973) was much similar to its predecessor, another record-long epic necessarily split into two parts, thoughfar less successful. Tull moved away from this style again with War Child ('74), envisioned as a soundtrack to a film whichwas never made. Minstrel in the Gallery ('75) found a fine balance between their folk and prog aspects, and was followed bythe more streamlined Too Old To Rock 'n' Roll: Too Young To Die! ('76).

Arguably the last real high point in the band’s history was their late-70’s folk rock trilogy, consisting of Songs From the Wood('77), Heavy Horses ('78) and Stormwatch ('79). Though folk had been a part of Tull’s music for years at this point, itsinfluence was never quite as strong before. The notable live testament Bursting Out was recorded during the 1978 HeavyHorses tour and shows the group at the peak of their powers, but membership issues arose only months later. Bassist JohnGlascock suffered from a heart valve defect and was unable to complete his work on Stormwatch, eventually passing away inNovember 1979. Glascock’s death led drummer Barriemore Barlow to a depression, and his subsequent departure from theband.

Long-time keyboardists John Evan and David Palmer were later fired from the group as well, and A (1980) was recorded with acompletely new line-up, save for Anderson and Barre. Dominated by a synthesizer-heavy sound, it made Jethro Tull no less asubject to the new trends of the 80’s than any other band. Although The Broadsword and the Beast ('82) kept thesynthesizers, it also brought the recognizable folk elements back to the front. With the release of Under Wraps ('84)however, these were all but gone again; the largely electronic album remains unpopular and is often disregarded by fans.

Crest of a Knave (1987) was surprisingly successful, marking the return of Barre’s electric guitar as a lead instrument for theband. The record quickly drew comparisons to Dire Straits, partly because of Anderson’s more restrained vocal performance,who lacked his former range as the result of a then-recent throat surgery. Rock Island ('89) and Catfish Rising ('91) followedin a similar vein, until Tull’s classic folk sound, together with some newfound Eastern influences, made its welcome return onRoots to Branches ('95), cited by some as their strongest album outside the 70’s.

Recording activity had begun to slow considerably by then, and only two new albums were brought out after Roots toBranches. J-Tull Dot Com (1999) failed to make much of an impact, though The Jethro Tull Christmas Album (2003), acollection of traditional material, re-recordings and some new songs, did fairly well commercially. In recent years, Andersonand Barre have embarked on separate tours, and no plans for a future Jethro Tull record seem to be in motion. Thick as aBrick 2, a sequel to the 1972 original, was announced by Anderson and released under his own name in 2012. « hide

Similar Bands: Horslips, Ian Anderson, Gentle Giant, Tantra, Quarteto 1111

LPs
The Jethro Tull Christmas Album
2003

2.7
55 Votes
J-Tull Dot Com
1999

2.2
53 Votes
Roots to Branches
1995

3.1
60 Votes
Catfish Rising
1991

2.7
54 Votes
Rock Island
1989

2.3
58 Votes
Crest of a Knave
1987

3.1
82 Votes
Under Wraps
1984

1.9
70 Votes
The Broadsword and the Beast
1982

3.4
95 Votes
A
1980

2.9
68 Votes
Stormwatch
1979

3.5
104 Votes
Heavy Horses
1978

4
174 Votes
Songs from the Wood
1977

4
213 Votes
Too Old To Rock 'n' Roll: Too Young To Die!
1976

3.3
111 Votes
Minstrel in the Gallery
1975

4.1
201 Votes
War Child
1974

3.2
114 Votes
A Passion Play
1973

3.9
183 Votes
Thick as a Brick
1972

4.5
717 Votes
Aqualung
1971

4.3
774 Votes
Benefit
1970

3.7
160 Votes
Stand Up
1969

4.1
218 Votes
This Was
1968

3.3
122 Votes
Live Albums
Live at Madison Square Garden 1978
2009

4.7
3 Votes
Aqualung Live
2005

3.8
2 Votes
Nothing Is Easy
2004

4.3
23 Votes
A Little Light Music
1992

3
2 Votes
Live at Hammersmith '84
1990

4.3
2 Votes
Bursting Out
1978

4.3
39 Votes
Compilations
A Passion Play: An Extended Performance
2014

Nightcap
1993

3.6
8 Votes
Original Masters
1985

3.5
8 Votes
A Classic Case
1985

3
17 Votes
Living in the Past
1972

4
23 Votes

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