Found in OuterSpace
Jethro Tull are a British progressive rock group. Their music is characterised by the vocals, acoustic guitar, and flute playing of Ian Anderson, who has led the band since its founding, and the guitar work of Martin Barre, who has been with the band since 1969, after he replaced original guitarist Mick Abrahams.
Formed in Luton, Bedfordshire, in December 1967, initially playing experimental blues rock, they later incorporated elements of classical music, folk music, jazz, hard rock and art rock into their music. During a career that has spanned more than forty years, Jethro Tull have sold more than 60 million albums worldwide.
Ian Anderson started his first band, the Blades, in Blackpool, England in 1962. The group featured Anderson on vocals and harmonica, Jeffrey Hammond on bass, John Evans on drums, and a guitarist named either Hipgrave or Michael Stephans. Drummer Barrie Barlow became a member in 1963 after Evans had switched from drums to piano. By 1964 the band had developed into a seven-piece Blue-eyed soul band called the John Evan Band (later the John Evan Smash). By this point Evans had shortened his surname to "Evan" at the insistence of Hammond, who thought it sounded better and more unusual.
In 1967, the band moved to the London area, basing themselves in nearby Luton; they also travelled to Liverpool. However, money remained short and within days of the move most of the band quit and headed back north, leaving Anderson and bassist Glenn Cornick (who had replaced Hammond) to join forces with blues guitarist Mick Abrahams and his friend, drummer Clive Bunker, both from the Luton-based band McGregor's Engine. At first, the new band had trouble getting repeat bookings and they took to changing their name frequently to continue playing the London club circuit. Band names were often supplied by their booking agents' staff, one of whom, a history enthusiast, eventually christened them "Jethro Tull" after the 18th-century agriculturist. The name stuck because they happened to be using it the first time a club manager liked their show enough to invite them to return. They were signed to the blossoming Ellis-Wright agency, and became the third band managed by the soon-to-be Chrysalis empire. It was around this time that Anderson purchased a flute after becoming frustrated with his inability to play guitar like Eric Clapton:
"I didn't want to be just another third-rate guitar player who sounded like a bunch of other third-rate guitar players. I wanted to do something that was a bit more idiosyncratic, hence the switch to another instrument. When Jethro Tull began, I think I'd been playing the flute for about two weeks. It was a quick learning curve...literally every night I walked onstage was a flute lesson."
Released in 1968, their first single, "Sunshine Day", written by Abrahams and produced by Derek Lawrence, was commercially unsuccessful. On the original UK MGM 45 rpm record label, the group's name was misspelled "Jethro Toe", making it a collector's item. Anderson questions the misnomer as a way to avoid paying royalties. The more common version, with the name spelled correctly, is actually a counterfeit made in New York.
They released their first album This Was in 1968. In addition to music written by Anderson and Abrahams the album included the traditional "Cat's Squirrel", which highlighted Abrahams' blues-rock style. The Rahsaan Roland Kirk –penned jazz piece "Serenade to a Cuckoo" gave Anderson a showcase for his growing talents on the flute, an instrument which he started learning to play only half a year before the release of the album. The overall sound of the group at this time was described in the Record Mirror by Anderson in 1968 as "a sort of progressive blues with a bit of jazz."
Following this album, Abrahams left after a falling out with Anderson and formed his own band, Blodwyn Pig. There were a number of reasons given for Abrahams' departure: he was a blues purist, while Anderson wanted to branch out into other forms of music; Abrahams was unwilling to travel internationally or play more than three nights a week; or there was simply no way a band could exist with two strong-minded heads (Anderson and Abrahams) pulling it in different directions. Abrahams himself described his reasons more succinctly: "I was fed up with all the nonsense, and I wanted to form a band like Blodwyn Pig."
|Jethro Tull - Belgium Single 1969|
After auditions for a replacement guitarist in December 1968, Anderson chose Martin Barre, a former member of Motivation, Penny Peeps, and Gethsemane, who was playing with Noel Redding's Fat Mattress at the time. Barre was so nervous at his first audition that he could hardly play at all, and then showed up for a second audition without an amplifier or a cord to connect his guitar to another amp.
Nevertheless, Barre would become Abrahams' permanent replacement on guitar and the second longest-standing member of the band after Anderson. Another contender for the job, Steve Howe, later guitarist with Yes, failed to pass his audition.
This new line-up released Stand Up in 1969, the group's only UK number-one album. The LP unfolded to a photo insert of the band attached to the covers like a pop-up book. Written entirely by Anderson – with the exception of the jazzy rearrangement of J. S. Bach's Bourrée in E minor BWV 996 (fifth movement) – it branched out further from the blues, clearly evidencing a new direction for the group, which would come to be categorised as progressive rock alongside such diverse groups as Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Genesis, Camel, The Nice, Gentle Giant, and Yes. A couple of months prior to the sessions for this album, the band recorded one of their best-known songs, "Living in the Past", which was originally issued only as a single.
|Jethro Tull - Sweden Single 1969|
In December 1970, bassist Cornick was "invited to leave" by Jethro Tull manager Terry Ellis, as he had become distanced from the other more reclusive band members, and he formed the band Wild Turkey. He was replaced by Jeffrey Hammond, the childhood friend and former Blades bandmate of Anderson's and Evan's whose name appeared in the titles of the songs "A Song for Jeffrey", "Jeffrey Goes to Leicester Square", "For Michael Collins, Jeffrey, and Me", and in the lyrics of the Benefit album track, "Inside". Hammond was often credited on Jethro Tull albums as "Jeffrey Hammond-Hammond", a reference to the fact that Hammond's mother's maiden name was also Hammond, no relation to his father.
This line-up released Jethro Tull's best-known work, Aqualung, in 1971. On this album, Anderson's lyrics included strong opinions about religion. The song "Hymn 43" was released as a single, and the album provided plenty of FM radio fodder with the tracks "Aqualung", "Cross-Eyed Mary" and "Locomotive Breath". The Aqualung album would become the band's first to crack the U.S. top ten, reaching No. 7 in June 1971. It sold over one million copies and was awarded a gold disc by the RIAA in July 1971.
Early Released UK Studio Albums:
This Was - Released: October 25, 1968
Stand Up - Released: August 1, 1969
Benefit - Released: April 20, 1970
Aqualung - Released: March 19, 1971
Thick as A Brick - Released: 3 March 1972
A Passion Play - Released: July 13, 1973
War Child - Released: October 14, 1974
Minstrel in The Gallery - Released: September 5, 1975
Released UK Live Album:
Live - Bursting OUt - Released: Sep 22, 1978
Compilation UK album:
Living in The Past - Released: June 23, 1972
Early UK Singles:
1968: "Sunshine Day" / "Aeroplane" (incorrectly listed as by "Jethro Toe")
1968: "A Song for Jeffrey" / "One for John Gee"
1969: "Love Story" / "A Christmas Song
1969: "Living in the Past" / "Driving Song"
1969: "Sweet Dream" / "17"
1970: "The Witch's Promise" / "Teacher"
1970: "Inside" / "Alive and Well and Living In"
1971: "Hymn 43" / "Mother Goose"
1971: "Life Is a Long Song" EP
♦ Ian Anderson - flute, vocals
♦ Mick Abrahams - guitar
♦ Martin Barre - guitar
♦ Glen Cornick - bass;
♦ Clive Bunker - drums
Live at the BBC 1968-69:
01. So Much Trouble (John Peel Session: 23 July 1968) 03:11
02. A Song For Jeffrey (John Peel Session: 23 July 1968) 03:14
03. My Sunday Feeling (John Peel Session: 23 July 1968) 03:48
04. Beggar's Farm (John Peel Session: 5th November 1968) 03:19
05. Love Story (John Peel Session: 5th November 1968) 03:05
06. Stormy Monday Blues (John Peel Session: 5th November 1968) 04:03
07. Living In The Past (Top Gear BBC Radio Session) 03:15
08. A New Day Yesterday (Top Gear BBC Radio Session 1969) 04:16
09. Fat Man (Top Gear BBC Radio Session 1969) 02:54
10. Bouree (Top Gear BBC Radio Session 1969) 03:57
11. Nothing Is Easy (Top Gear BBC Radio Session 1969) 05:07