YMMV / Jethro Tull

  • Awesome Music: Obviously Aqualung and Thick as a Brick, also A Passion Play and Songs from the Wood.
    • Heavy Horses and The Broadsword and the Beast, and that's not even getting into individual songs.
    • Minstrel in the Gallery too.
    • The criminally under-rated Stormwatch.
    • Their later output isn't remembered quite as fondly, but it's still great, and includes such albums as Crest of a Knave.
    • Can't forget Stand Up, one of Tull's earliest records and an excellent representation of their "blues rock" era.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: "THIS is the story of the hare who lost his spectacles!"
  • Broken Base: The band's own website invokes this trope at the beginning of its history of A Passion Play:
    Tull fans are a rather cordial group but breech the topic of A Passion Play at your own peril. Many vehemently defend it as Tull's finest work others downright loath it.
  • Covered Up: "Bouree" by Bach.
  • Ear Worm: "Sitting on a park bench, eyeing little girls with bad intent..."
  • Epic Riff: "Aqualung", "Locomotive Breath", several others.
    • The opening riff to Thick as a Brick may be the band's most recognizable.
    • "Sweet Dream" has a particularly notable riff.
    • "Living in the Past" has to qualify. There aren't too many well-known riffs in 5/4.
    • You've also got the mighty riff of "Minstrel in the Gallery".
  • Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory: Justified in a lot of songs (such as "A Passion Play") but also overdone in others. "Thick as a Brick" is basically trolling people on the subject.
  • Face of the Band: To the point where people think Jethro Tull is the guy's name. It's Ian Anderson. Jethro Tull is a person's name, but he's an historical figure known for inventing the seed drill. It's comparable to assuming that Franz Ferdinand is a solo artist.
  • Fandom Rivalry: With Metallica, due to their controversial Grammy win.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: A and especially Under Wraps. Even The Very Best of ignores both albums.
  • Growing the Beard: The inclusion of guitarist Martin Barre (during Stand Up) and keyboardist John Evan (during Benefit), which greatly expanded and tightened the band's sound.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Too Old To Rock 'N' Roll: Too Young To Die! marked the first appearance of Tull's third bassist, John Glascock. Three and a half years after that album, he passed away at age 28; not too old to rock 'n' roll, but certainly too young to die.
    • Whether it's this or hilarious (or both), Mick Abrahams wrote and sang the song "Move on Alone" for the band's first album. Abrahams would leave the band shortly after the album's release. Ian Anderson lampshades it in the linear notes for the release of This Was.
  • Heartwarming Moments: On Ian Anderson Plays the Orchestral Jethro Tull, Ian dedicates their performance of "Life Is a Long Song" to all musicians who have passed on, specifically mentioning John Bonham, Keith Moon, and Jimi Hendrix.
  • Ho Yay: For decades a live concert staple has involved Ian Anderson sticking his flute between Martin Barre's legs in a distinctly phallic manner, and fiddling with the protruding end of it for a while. Generally this ends with a disgusted look at the free hand, then wiping it as if now covered with something very sticky.
  • I Am Not Shazam: See Face of the Band.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • The cover of A Passion Play. A dead ballerina with blood dripping from the side of her mouth, staring right at you. The high resolution image on the cover of the remixed edition is arguably worse.
    • Broadsword and the Beast is pretty creepy as well. Ian Anderson as some kind of fairy with a Slasher Smile and a BFS is not a comforting sight.
    • "Left Right" begins with nearly a minute of horrible mewling noises, making it a First Note Nightmare as opposed to a Last Note Nightmare. Ugh.
    • The sheer creepiness of "Watching You Watching Me".
    • "Per errationes ad astra? Then dream, dream on. The dream is all. All good sense gone." The fact that it is the only sung line in a spoken word piece, and that Ian chants it like a monk with no backing instruments, is what makes this line Nightmare Fuel. Plus, the piece itself is meant to be an extra-terrestrial warning about mankind's potential to do harm to any worlds it encounters...
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: Many of their songs are incredibly Anvilicious, but it doesn't take away from the music.
  • Sweet Dreams Fuel: A surprising number of songs, including "Nursie", "Fire At Midnight", "One Brown Mouse" and "Moths". Most of the Christmas album as well.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: More of an issue during the band's more active years. Since Tull changed its sound every few albums, criticism was pretty inevitable.
    • Lampshaded from their debut album's title, This Was. By the time the album was released, Anderson's writing had already shifted to the folksier sounds of Stand Up, and obviously wanted to let his audiences know this was Jethro Tull's sound and style at the time the album was being recorded. He's often stated in recent interviews that had he decided only to do what fans wanted him to do, Tull would have remained a blues band, and the likes of Aqualung and Thick As A Brick would have not come to be.
    • Under Wraps is somewhat atypical of them (due to it featuring a very heavy focus on synthpop), and is often called their worst album because of it.
  • True Art Is Incomprehensible: There are websites dedicated to deciphering Ian Anderson's lyrics.
    • This site goes through A Passion Play line-by-line.
  • Values Dissonance: "Pied Piper" is not a song that Ian would write today. He explains this in the annotations for the remixed Too Old to Rock 'N' Roll: Too Young to Die!:
    "Plainly, it's about an older man fancying younger girls. But then that's what we tended to expect from pop musicians, disc jockeys and other such people around at the time. We now know that it could actually be quite horrific rather than an innocent bit of fun. But at the time of my writing that song it was based on what we perceived as reality, but without the outcome, without the traumatic effect that it has on young people."
  • What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: Quite a few commentaries about the band's history like to imply that Anderson was on drugs of some kind. The fact is that Anderson doesn't do any drugs at all and only rarely drinks. In fact, he has claimed that his few experiments with drugs hindered his creative process.

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