Folk-rock group, formed in 1968, and mostly known for their 70s output, particularly their albums Aqualung and Thick As A Brick. Made up of lead-singer/flautist Ian Anderson, guitarist Martin Barre (who joined in 1969), and one of rock's most frequently revolving line-ups.The band is named after an 18th century agriculturist, though Ian Anderson hates the name. During their early days, their manager would change the name of the band so that they could be booked at places they had flopped at; as Anderson put it, "Jethro Tull is the name we were using when we quit sucking."The band's studio album discography is as follows:
This Was (1968)
Stand Up (1969)
Thick as a Brick (1972)
A Passion Play (1973)
War Child (1974)
Minstrel in the Gallery (1975)
Too Old to Rock And Roll: Too Young to Die! (1976)
Songs from the Wood (1977)
Heavy Horses (1978)
The Broadsword and the Beast (1982)
Under Wraps (1984)
Crest of a Knave (1987)
Rock Island (1989)
Catfish Rising (1991)
Roots to Branches (1995)
J-Tull Dot Com (1999)
The Jethro Tull Christmas Album (2003)
Ian Anderson's studio album discography is as follows:
Walk into Light (1983)
Divinities: Twelve Dances with God (1995)
The Secret Language of Birds (2000)
Rupi's Dance (2003)
Thick as a Brick 2 (2012)
Homo Erraticus (2014)
Martin Barre's studio album discography is as follows:
Award Category Fraud: Controversy over Tull winning the 1989 Grammy for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance, with other nominees including the heavily favored Metallica and the highly influential Faith No More, led to the category being split into two separate awards beginning the next year.
Bawdy Song: A number of songs here and there, particularly on Songs From The Wood and Heavy Horses.
Be Yourself: Many of his songs discouraged conformism and uniformity, even between members of the counterculture. Ian wore long hair and flamboyant clothes, was identified with the countercuture, and held many liberal-ish or free-thinking ideals, but he hated hippies and drug culture. Many of Tull's songs (including, and especiallyThick As A Brick) encouraged others to find their own way and think for themselves.
Nothing to Say is essentially Ian voicing annoyance over being asked for some kind of guidance now that he's a celebrity.
Buffy Speak: Anderson frequently calls accordions the "squeezy thing."
Cloud Cuckoolander: Just from the page image, you can tell Ian Anderson is insane. Subverted, in that Ian is possibly one of rock's most intellectual and well-spoken stars. His persona onstage, however, is deliberately absurdist.
Cluster S-Bomb: Ian screws up the opening to "Baker St. Muse" and says, "Shit, shit, shit. Take two," before starting again. Could also count as Getting Crap Past the Radar since the volume has to be pretty high to make it out.
Compliment Backfire: In an early interview, Ian Anderson once attempted to compliment Led Zeppelin (they toured together in 1969) by saying, "With my lyrics and their music we could have a potent combination." This pissed off Robert Plant since he wrote all of Zeppelin's lyrics.
Concept Album: Believe it or not, but A Passion Play is the only straight example, but there is also Thick as a Brick, which is an over the top parody created because the media kept calling Aqualung a concept album, despite Anderson's constant claims otherwise.
And, like Don Quixote, it ends up being better than most of the things he's parodying.
Unlike its predecessor, Thick as a Brick 2 is a straight example, as is Homo Erraticus
Creator Backlash: Ian finds the below album, along with A Passion Play, too dark and unfocused for his tastes, but they remain popular among hardcore fans. "Teacher" (allegedly mistaken by Jethro Tull's then-record company co-founder to be about him, much to Ian's annoyance) and "Bungle In The Jungle", two attempts to write a commercial pop single, often come up for criticism too.
Creator Breakdown: The Minstrel In The Gallery album is filled with equal measures of reflection, regret, sarcasm, sadness, Self-Deprecation and regret; it reflected Ian Anderson's then-recent divorce and the pressures of stardom, as well the the splintering and unfocus of the lineup of the band that recorded it.
Stand Up had a lot of this, too, as Anderson was having a hard time adjusting to touring and being away from his girlfriend at the time.
Dented Iron: While on the Under Wraps tour, Ian Anderson suffered numerous throat problems, including multiple cases of laryngitis. He returned to recording and touring after a couple years off (his first break since the band began touring regularly), but his voice had lost its trademark fullness. Also, he now sings in a limited range in a higher key then on his older material. As of 2012, he has singer and actor Ryan O'Donell to sing certain parts for him, resulting in an entertaining Vocal Tag Team.
Early-Installment Weirdness: Their first album, This Was, sounds like yet another Cream rip-off. This began to change with their second album, Stand Up, when original guitarist Mick Abrahams left, and Ian Anderson started to monopolize the band's song-writing duties.
A lot of it had to do with their manager at the time (as well was singer/guitarist Mick Abrahams) wanting the band to be purely blues-rock. The singles released after This Was, especially A Christmas Song, were the first glimpses of what the band would become.
Echoing Acoustics: Very well done by them, particularly in songs such as "Pibroch (Cap In Hand)", "No Lullaby", and "Dark Ages".
To a much lesser extent: "Baker Street Muse" at 16 minutes.
An even lesser extent, but a large portion of their songs fall in the 5-10 minute range. Some examples: "Aqualung" (6:34), "To Cry You a Song" (6:09), "Minstrel in the Gallery" (8:13), "Too Old to Rock 'N' Roll: Too Young to Die!" (5:44), "Budapest" (10:05)
Excited Show Title!: "Too Old to Rock 'N' Roll: Too Young to Die!" Both the album and the song.
Filk Song: "Dot Com" is about a relationship over the Internet. Particularly notable in that it was written in 1999, before that sort of thing became common.
Many of the songs on Under Wraps are heavily based around Spy Fiction.
"Enter the Uninvited" rattles off a bunch of pop culture references.
The acoustic riff that opens "Thick as a Brick" plays at least a dozen times throughout the song.
Genre Adultery: "Living in the Past" was their first hit that broke away from their blues sound and towards their prog-folk sound. Allegedly, Anderson wrote it in 5/4 because he didn't want it to be a breakout hit, but the masses ran with it anyway.
Interestingly, this is despite many of their prog contemporaries (Pink Floyd,Camel,Yes, etc) actively avoiding the subject
Just for Pun: In response to the criticism the band received after winning the first Grammy for hard rock/heavy metal album, they put out an ad showing Ian's flute on a scale, stating that the flute is a "heavy, metal instrument."
Large Ham: Saying that Anderson is one is quite the understatement.
On stage, at least. Off stage he's rather quiet and reserved, though he does keep his sense of humor.
Nepotism: A very minor example, but "Enter the Uninvited" ends by mentioning The Walking Dead and specifically mentions "Officer Rick." Rick Grimes is played by Andrew Lincoln, Ian Anderson's son-in-law.
New Sound Album: Aqualung marked the full shift away from jazz-blues-rock to Progressive Rock. Songs From The Wood led Tull into a British progressive folk-rock sound, which they sustained for the next two albums. "A" brought synth sounds and '80's technology to their repertoire, while Crest Of A Knave led them into a prog-folk/hard-rock sound with more emphasis on electric guitar. Tull experimented with East Indian and Oriental influences by Roots To Branches.