Jethro Tull

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[[Image:Hobo.jpg|thumb|right|250px|Ian Anderson preparing to play his Peruvian Nose-Flute, during a Jethro Tull concert.]]
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[[Image:Hobo.jpg|thumb|right|250px|Ian Anderson, the songwriter and main creative force behind Jethro Tull, seen here promoting an album in [[London]].]]
   
{{Q|Livid with the Past?|Noel Coward|Jethro Tull}}
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{{Q|Galliards, and lute songs served in chilling ale!|the band|their preferred dinner choice}}
 
{{Q|Ole Charlie stole their handle and Charlie ain't giving it back, not at page ONE!|Gideon Bible|Jethro Tull}}
 
 
{{Q|...so where the hell was Biggles, when you needed him that Saturday?!|Personal Jesus|Jethro Tull}}
 
 
{{Q|I like sitting on a park bench, eyeing little girls with bad intent!|Oscar Wilde|Jethro Tull}}
 
 
{{Q|In the clear white circles of warning blunder I taste my case with the lord of the THRILLS!|Mick Jagger|Jethro Tull}}
 
   
 
{{Q|*toot-toot-too-toot-toot-toot-toooooooooot*|Ian Anderson|the flute}}
 
{{Q|*toot-toot-too-toot-toot-toot-toooooooooot*|Ian Anderson|the flute}}
   
{{Q|Who the hell are you and what the hell are you doing with ''my'' Grammy?|Lars Ulrich|Jethro Tull}}
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{{Q|Who the hell are you and what are you doing with ''my'' Grammy?|Lars Ulrich|Jethro Tull}}
   
{{Q|Don't you mean ''our'' Grammy?"|The rest of Metallica|the above quote}}
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{{Q|Goddamn hippies.|Jethro Tull the agriculturist|the band that overshadowed his career}}
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Originally, Jethro Tull was the name of a respected [[16th century]] agriculturist who brought forth radical and important new ideas in the form of inventions such as the seed drill. Then, in the late 1960s, a small and unpopular [[British]] blues band made one of the most fateful decisions in the history of [[rock and roll]]; they named themselves after this famous man, and subsequently became famous themselves, ruining the name of the agricultural genius for all time.
   
{{Q|Uh...yeah.|Lars Ulrich|being a little bitch}}
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Jethro Tull was founded by musical genius and avid [[nerd|bookworm]] Ian Anderson, who felt that his bold new nasal-oriented singing style would fare well in another [[British]] [[blues]] band. Enlisting the help of some friends, he set out to shock the world with new musical flavors and stunning [[progressive rock]] masterpieces (although he would have to get rid of a few non-believers along the way). Tull ended up being considered one of the best progressive rock acts of all time, and this was a tremendously important achievement for the band until the 1980s appeared. After slowly puttering out of the major music scene, they finally came to rest as a unique [[world]] music/prog rock/electronic/whatever group and continue to tour <del>the few cities that still appreciate them</del> the world to this day. In fact, as we speak, Ian Anderson is currently beginning work on ''Thick as a Brick 3: Gerald Bostock Reloaded''.
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== Early History ==
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[[Image:This was.jpg|thumb|200px|left|With its vibrant artwork and delicious, grooving [[blues]], Tull's early effort reflected the carefree happiness of the late 1960s perfectly!]]
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The band began as an attempt by Ian Anderson to create an audio sensation to sweep the nation. He had developed an interest in music after being introduced to the famed [[Bagpipes|Scottish Bagpipe Band of Fellowes]] as a teenager; at one of the performances he was so moved that he felt he simply had to try and create a sound as beautiful as he had heard, on his very own. Eventually, Anderson formed a small [[blues]] band with some lads from the local pub and started his long musical journey. The band slowly gained momentum, and went through enough bad band names to amaze even [[Creedence Clearwater Revival]]. After a few years of no success, dirty pubs, and over forty different name changes, the band was almost ready to quit music all together. That is, until a very creative manager gave them their horrible yet game-changing new name: Jethro Tull. Somehow it worked, and by the next month the band had a nice little record out, complete with its very own typo (the single bore the name ''Jericho Toe'', a mistake later blamed on Anderson's personal tea-boy).
   
== Definition ==
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After this, the band began their upward rise to fame. Anderson had already begun to experiment with the [[flute]], which he had previously played around with in his school's [[band camp]]. This new instrument delighted audiences, and gave Anderson an even better way to use his golden voice; by making strangled snorting sounds and effectively coating the members of the audience in the front row in [[spit|saliva]]. Their debut album ''This Was'', with its stunningly vibrant album cover, flew straight to #10 in the charts. This massive success for such a small band had the group elated, yet also scrambling to keep up their momentum. Anderson insisted that the band should branch out and try their hand at a wider range of styles, while the co-founder and resident [[guitar]] genius Mikey Abrahams, a staunch blues-rocker, stood firm in his belief that Tull should continue churning out more blues. As Abrahams famously said in 1968; "Blues is good". Unfortunately, he also famously left Jethro Tull in the same year to start the band ''Blödèe Piggë'', successfully missing out on the opportunity of a lifetime. Meanwhile, Anderson was finally free to twist the band's sound to his own sick pleasures.
{{wikipedia}}
 
Jethro Tull is the name traditionally used to refer to the entity or entities that are Jethro Tull, are old, and come from England. It should be noted that Jethro Tull is similar in structure to Christianity's [[Holy Trinity]] in that no one understands how it works, but it does make sense if you don't apply any logic to it. Jethro Tull is held to be a triumvirate of Jethro Tull the Farmer (Tull the Guy in some doctrines), Tull the Son, and Tull the Band. Tull the Farmer is also Tull the Son and Tull the Band who is also Tull the Farmer but not the son as that is Ian Anderson except when multiplied by 14. Ian Anderson is Tull the Farmer and approximately one-fifth of Tull the Band except when there's more than five of them or one is OD'd in which case this fraction is adjusted accordingly. For the purposes of readability this article will refer to Them (The Band), Him (the Farmer), It (Ian Anderson), and The Whole Fucking Lot of Them as 'Tull' and 'they'.
 
   
== Early History ==
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==Success and Beyond==
[[Image:Skating.jpg|thumb|250px|right|
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===The Years of Plenty (1971-1976)===
'''The Ice''': Impressonist painting by [[Hungary|Hungarian]] artist [[Ian Anderson]] depicting Jethro Tull skating away on the thing called "ice" of a new day]]
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[[Image:Funny tull.jpg|right|frame|These young men, once confused for a group of homeless [[crazy|loonies]], became an international sensation... somehow.]]
Jethro Tull, (the Guy and the Band), are, is, were, and always will be an agricultural flautet from England. Although there are conflicting accounts of when Tull formed (commonly cited dates being 1701 and 1967) Ian Anderson's appearance indicates both dates are equally plausible. Before eventually sticking with Jethro Tull, they were known by many names, including The Jethro Tull Experience, The Farmers, Tuul, Ultima Tüll, and Amon Tüül II.
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After hitting it big in their homeland with their first three albums, Tull found themselves yearning to find greater success in [[America]], where they were largely ignored in favor of talented acts like [[The Monkees]]. Anderson had auditioned over a hundred British guitarists following Abrahams' expulsion from the band, and had settled on a short, balding little man named Martin Barre. True to his name, Barre had the amazing capability to play multiple barre chords on the guitar at the same time, sometimes in completely different areas of the fretboard. While this may seem impossible, the truth is that [[nobody cares|nobody really cared]], because Little Martin's skills on guitar had made Tull a force to be reckoned with. However, Anderson knew that he had to do something, anything to get the band an American chart success. The inspiration came one night after Anderson's wife came home flustered and shivering in fright, telling Ian that a homeless man with bad teeth, matted hair, and grimy, yellowed fingers had tried to [[rape|sexually assault]] her on the way coming home. This was all Anderson needed. Rushing immediately to his writing lair, he whipped out his acoustic guitar, and promptly began composing the songs for the album that would give his band their first American hit: ''Aqualung''. The album was inspired by a variety of sources including his wife's fantastic story, Anderson's love for diving, and [[Scottish]] drinking songs, and was recorded in the new Island Records "Record Machine" studio, where Tull was forced to work with [[Led Zeppelin]] right next door. [[Jimmy Page]], Zeppelin's conceited lead guitarist, even barged into one of Tull's sessions, messing up Martin Barre's legendary solo on the song "Aqualung" for all time. Thanks, Jim. Finally, the album was released, featuring a nightmare-inducing portrait of a local homeless man and containing songs that instantly became a hit in both the UK and the US. The success was most likely a result of only a few lyrics featured in the album that related to [[paedophile|paedophilia]].
Specializing in playing the [[flute]] as it was all they could afford for most of their existance, Jethro Tull became a unique live-experience.
 
   
== Influences ==
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Tull's success only improved; by the next year they had begun work on the album ''Thick as a Brick'', a one-song epic concept album that was Anderson's attempt to parody other progressive rock bands who thought they were great just because of their own bloated, sophisticated epics. Sadly, the plan backfired entirely. ''Thick as a Brick'' ended up turning into the band's first #1 record, and the fact that his majestic attempt at satire had actually been taken seriously would annoy Anderson for the rest of his life. After the success of TAAB (a cute lite acronym that will be used for the remainder of this article when referring to ''Thick as a Brick''), Tull followed up with a second concept album that had something to do with hell, but by now their supposedly satirical concept albums had already worn everybody out, and the album was met with critical distaste. After that came a succession of interesting but rather forgettable albums, such as the upbeat ''Warchild'', the muddled and incomprehensible ''Minstrel in the Gallery'', and ''Too Old To Rock and Roll: Too Young to Die'', which had music critics everywhere scrambling to find a suitable acronym for the album when trashing it in a review.
Being agriculturalists, Tull grew [[cannabis]] on a large scale Farm on a Freeway and distributed it as "merchandise". This was not their only influence however. They were also highly influenced by the hilarious hayseed antics of the [[Jethro Bodine]] character on the television comedy "The Beaver Lee [[Hillbillies]]." "Driving Song" was written as a tribute to him.
 
   
== Controversy ==
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===Going folky (1977-1979)===
During the wild 1760's Jethro Tull was charged for sexual misconduct after playing at the court of [[Queen Catherine the Great]] of Russia. During the performance of ''Green Fingers, Red Handed'' the She-male keyboardist allegedly forced him/her/itself on the Queen's advisor. Not being first-pick the queen was furious and stormed out crying: "''I can't even get intercourse with a tranny?''" This led to a series of charges and the Tull was convicted to write and perform a song to Catherine called ''Heavy Horses''.
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[[Image:Jtcage.jpg|thumb|right|The "one brown mouse" that Ian Anderson sang so fondly of in the album ''Heavy Horses'', seen here sitting in a cage of Jethro Tull merchandise.]]
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It was around this time that Anderson became interested in writing folkier songs, a decision influenced by his time breeding [[horse]]s and [[cat]]s on a newly purchased piece of land in the rolling green pastures of rural [[England]]. He dragged Tull back into the studio in 1977 to record the first in a trilogy of folk rock albums: ''Songs from the Wood''. Everyone had been waiting with great anticipation for the newest album from the band, and this release shocked many with its collection of songs about forest creatures, pipers, and silly happenings in the wilderness. Anderson's next two albums had the same folky vibe, and their ability to transport people's imaginations back to a time when nobility could [[fuck|have sex]] with dirty commoners in an open valley made them super popular. Anderson later said of the sexual themes and imagery in many Jethro Tull songs: "You may call me perverted for writing a lot of songs like that, but the fact remains that you people really like to listen to them." He then played a single note on his flute (with him at all times), and walked silently away from the interview.
   
Tull have also been oft criticized for their opinions on the role of women; a strong advocate of the horse-drawn hoe for weeding, they've constantly attracted flak from feminist groups over their stance. When questioned about this, Tull are on record as saying "Look, that's their place. We can't pick our own fucking weed, we're too busy flauting. Hoes are great for this task provided they're kept on a choker chain. At least it gets her out of the kitchen".
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===Bad 80s Music to Today (1980-present)===
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[[Image:80s tull.jpg|thumb|left|The new, "improved" 1980s Jethro Tull film their first music video wearing stylish white astronaut suits.]]
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In 1980, after becoming fed up with having to deal with [[drummer]]s for every single Tull album, Anderson decided to change direction and begin using new technology, in the form of a drum machine. Plus, all the big groups were doing it, and Anderson's fingers needed a well-deserved rest from plucking acoustic guitar strings every year. So, for the next album, entitled ''A'', everything was electronic. Enlisting the help of a talented keyboardist and programmer, Anderson successfully produced an unusual Tull venture that somehow failed miserably in every way, as well as dividing the band's fanbase into the Folkies, the Brickies (passionate lovers of the ''Thick as a Brick'' album and nothing else), and the Electro-boppers, who actually liked the new Tull sound. Still, this division didn't stop the band from putting out even more electronic albums all through the 80s, until by the start of the 90s even the super-polished computer sound was getting really tiresome.
   
Jethro Tull has also been said to have performed at the Woodstock Festival in the Summer of '69, ironically with Bryan Adams who "played slap bass with his dick while Anderson blew his flute" After many years of masturdebating over this "appearance" there, Tull has denied any involvement with that 'sausage gathering'. Ian Anderson stated that "I don't know man... that was a bloody long time ago, but I do remember Bryan Adams tickled my monstrous testicles with a feather once or every other Saturday night back in '69. ... ... ... I miss that little bitch like the desert misses the rain."
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Since the 90s, the band has taken to specializing in laid-back [[world]] music, mainly due to the fact that Ian Anderson's voice has been reduced to a scratchy growl with a half-octave vocal range. This vocal deterioration has long infuriated Anderson, who in his early days was taunted by the likes of [[Robert Plant]] for his nasally, sometimes irritating singing voice. Now, he confesses to simply wish for even a trace of that old, golden voicebox he once possessed. He has not quit with the flute solos or guitar playing, however, and the current Jethro Tull lineup consists of a good deal of young blood and new talent, excluding of course frontman Anderson and his trusty right-hand man Martin Barre. As of today, these two have been the longest constant members of Jethro Tull, and are the only ones permitted to tell the public any stories of the good old days of the band.
   
More recently, Anderson was arrested in 2004 when he was found "sitting on a park bench, eyeing little girls with bad intent."
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==Grammy Award Controversy==
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[[Image:Metallica.jpg|thumb|right|Metallica, the ballsy heavy metal rockers beaten by a bunch of English dudes playing lutes and flutes.]]
   
==Rock & Roll (R&R) award==
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As Anderson himself put it, the band ran into "a spot of bother awhile back", more specifically in 1989, when Tull's album ''Crest of a Knave'' won a [[Grammy]] award for "Best Loud Rock Music", beating the night's favorites [[Metallica]]. Since Jethro Tull had been known a long time for its lyrically and musically complex albums, many could not understand why they would beat out the "beat on the drums and smash out a bunch of power chords" approach of Metallica. The upset angered the thousands of viewers, fans, and record companies who had always been able to count on knowing who would win what well ahead of time. Not to mention the members of Metallica, who tried to hide their anger behind shrugs and sarcastic comments towards Tull, but still came across as the same old whiny guys they had always been.
[[Image:Band01.jpg|thumb|100px|right|''Do I really have to say it...?'']]'''''Really don't mind if you sing this one out!''''' - <u>Sir Jethro Tull Challenge, 1959</u>
 
   
Jethro Tull is also famous for composing the only never-ending song in R&R history: ''Thick as Quikfix'' (an Irish/Scot/British slang meaning "dunce," "insensitive," "dumb-ass," "politician," et cetera) The song is so long and so quickly written by Tull that no R&R band has been able to sing it fast enough to catch up with Tull's even faster writing. Tull is still writing the lyrics and even the "rally" effort by the students of the top five R&R schools of UK & USA during "Live Aid," 1929 (wherein bands took "breathless" turns to catch up with Tull's quick composing) was a disappointing failure! Sir Tull continues to write at an alarming speed of 320 m per sec. ("sec." being an Irish/Scot/British slang for "sex") and the song remains unfinished. It has been established that even if Tull were to die today (thus hastening the end of ''Thick as Quikfix's'' composing), it would still be humanly impossible for any R&R artist to sing the whole song within the average human lifespan. The band was awarded an "R&R lifetime(?) achievement award" by Sir Grammys in 2000 for this unparalleled feat. At the award ceremony they were pelted with some kind of Wondrous Crimson liquid, sperm found in gutters, and at least one VERY Heavy Horse. These objects were thrown by angry Metallica fans.
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None of the members of Jethro Tull had showed up to the awards, at the advice of their producers to avoid embarrassment, but now found themselves even more embarrassed as a result of their ''win''. Thankfully, Anderson's cheeky humor made the situation bearable. The band took out ads in a number of music magazines that proudly stated: '''Jethro Tull: The World's Up and Coming Heavy Metal Act'''. It was obviously a joke, yet they were still unsuccessfully sued by Metallica a few days after the ads were published.
   
 
==Live==
 
==Live==
[[Image:Iananderson.jpg|thumb|250px|left|
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[[Image:Iananderson.jpg|thumb|250px|left|Unflappable flautist Jethro Tull stamping one brown mouse that had crawled onto the stage while they were performing live in [[Tokyo]] in 1967 - Jethro carried on fluting and singing '''without any errors!''' Tull was famous for such extemporaneous performances that departed radically from practiced rehearsals]]
Unflappable flautist Jethro Tull stamping one brown mouse that had crawled onto the stage while they were performing live in [[Tokyo]] in 1967 - Jethro carried on fluting and singing '''without any errors!''' Tull was famous for such extemporaneous performances that departed radically from practiced rehearsals]]
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The band is widely known for its eccentric, high-energy live performances. Much of the showmanship for shows is provided by Ian Anderson, who is now widely known as that guy who makes crazy eyes at the camera and jumps around while blowing on a long hard silver pipe. During the 1970s, feeling that Jethro Tull was becoming less exciting and original during live shows, Anderson even began wearing a series of custom [[codpiece]]s to live shows. Boy, did that excite the ladies at the concert, and how it made the guys jealous. Even though Anderson may look back on it now as an [[old person|old man]] and wonder, "What the bloody hell was I ''thinking''?", it cannot be denied that he really was an amazing performer, providing wonderful energy and great musicianship all while lugging around a big hunk of metal attached to his [[penis|crotch]].
The band is widely known across the world for their spectacular live-shows involving advanced pyro-technics, wild costumes, and free [[donuts]]. At a particular live-show in [[Alaska]] Jethro Tull himself (He, They, and It) was dressed as a boat, Martin Purré as Big Bird, Ian Anderson as a man who was too old to rock'n roll, too young to die, Jonathan Noise as a steel monkey and Andrew the keyboardist as a woman. They then spent the entire concert making jokes while tuning their instruments and ended the show by simply leaving a beggar and train on the stage.
 
   
[[Image:RAMBO.jpg‎|thumb|100px|right|caption|Jethro Tull taught [[Rambo]] how to rock.]]
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However, the Tull experience was not all about big-haired Anderson (now, sadly, no-haired Anderson). In the background, Martin Barre pounded away at his guitar (or lute, if he was in the romantic mood), and every so often leaped into a solo that made at least twenty audience members explode with pure ecstasy. And keyboardist John Evan desperately tried out silly faces to rival even Anderson's, sometimes coming very close to topping even the frontman's insanity. The drummers of any Tull lineup were always very talented, yet hopelessly under appreciated. Barriemore Barlow, long-time Tull drummer, would appear dressed up as a sailor, floppy hat and all, and then play twenty minute drum solos for a hungry crowd while the rest of a band had a quick [[tea]] break. He rarely, if ever, received that much thanks for his duties, but loved it all the same. The bass players weren't anything special, though. They just went ''dun-dun-dun...dundundun...dun-dun'' for the show, smiled, and left. What a crazy bunch those Jethro Tull lineups were.
   
== Line-Up ==
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[[Image:RAMBO.jpg‎|thumb|100px|right|caption|[[Sylvester Stallone]], a long-time fan of the band, trying to imitate his idols at a performance in a small [[California]] bar.]]
Peter Gaybreal: Vocals, Flute
 
   
[[Ian Anderson]]: Flute, Soprano Saxflute
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== Past and Present Members ==
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*[[Ian Anderson]]: Flute, Soprano Saxflute, Vocals, Questionable Stage Antics, Naughty Lyrics, Audience-Performer Relationship, Acoustic Guitar
   
Martin Purré: Flute
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*Martin Barre: [[Guitar|Electric Guitar]], Balding Head
   
Jonathan Noise: Drums.....naah, just kiddin': Flute
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*Barriemore Barlow: Drums, Loud Noises, Floppy Hats
   
Andrew Sossity: Keyboard, Flute
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*John Evan: [[Keyboardist]], Crazy Eyes
   
Gerald Bostock: Flute, Brick, Frighteningly Large Ejaculation Probe
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*Gerald Bostock (unofficial member in 1972): Lyrics, Bricks, Newspaper
   
[[Karl Marx]]: Communism and Flute
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*Jeffrey Hammond-Hammond-Hammond-Hammond: Bass Guitar, Grins
   
[[Oscar Wilde|Oscar Engels]]: Flute support
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*David/Dee Palmer: Orchestral Arrangements, Minstrel Accompaniment, More Keyboards
   
[[Ron Burgundy]]: Flute support (yazz flute)
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*Clive Bunker: Elementary drumming, Park benches
   
Jeffrey Hammond-Hammond-Hammond-Hammond Weintraub: Base Flute, Organ
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*Peter-John Vettesse : Programming, Keyboard, [[Nerd|nerdiness]]
   
John Even: Samples of Flutes
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*John Glascock: Bass guitar, Barriemore's [[BFF]]
 
Geoffery Mellotron-Mellotron: Synthesized Flute
 
 
David/Dee Palmer: Vagina Flute
 
 
Barriemore Barlow: Use your imagination
 
   
 
== Discography ==
 
== Discography ==
Line 65: Line 65:
   
 
''Stand Up Comedy (1969)''
 
''Stand Up Comedy (1969)''
 
''Too Bald To Rock 'n Roll: Too Hung To Cry (1976)''
 
   
 
''Aqueduct (1971)''
 
''Aqueduct (1971)''
   
''Thick As My Prick (1972)''
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''The Thickness of Various Types of Quality Bricks'' (1972)
 
''Big as my Dick (1972.5)''
 
   
 
''A Passive Play (1973)'' (with an excerpt from "The Hare Who Lost His Testicles")
 
''A Passive Play (1973)'' (with an excerpt from "The Hare Who Lost His Testicles")
Line 76: Line 74:
 
''Whorechild (1974)''
 
''Whorechild (1974)''
   
''Minstrel In The Vocabulary (1978)''
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''Too Bald To Rock 'n Roll: Too Hung To Cry (1975)''
   
''Pot Iceland (Live) (1979)''
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''Minstrel In The Vocabulary (1976)''
   
''Wood from the Schlong (1977)''
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''Songs for My Wood'' (1977)''
   
 
''Heavy Horse, Dude (1978)''
 
''Heavy Horse, Dude (1978)''
Line 98: Line 96:
 
''Boots to Sanchez (1995)''
 
''Boots to Sanchez (1995)''
   
''Pot Come (1999)''
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''J-Tull.Com (Beta) (1997)''
 
''The Son of Mr. Green Genes (2001)''
 
 
''32 Years Of Jethro Tull (2000.)''
 
   
 
''Stop Laughing At Jethro Tull! (2002)''
 
''Stop Laughing At Jethro Tull! (2002)''
 
''Kiss Miss Album (2003)''
 
 
''Secret Language of [[Grue]]s: (200X)''
 
   
 
''Best of Jethro Tull (2007)''
 
''Best of Jethro Tull (2007)''
Line 111: Line 105:
   
 
''Best of Jethro Tull Silver Edition (2007)''
 
''Best of Jethro Tull Silver Edition (2007)''
 
''Best of Jethro Tull LIVE!!! (2007)''
 
 
''Best of Jethro Tull Ruby Edition (2007)''
 
   
 
''Best of Jethro Tull Remastered (2007)''
 
''Best of Jethro Tull Remastered (2007)''
 
''Best of Jethro Tull Magnesium Edition (2007)''
 
   
 
''Best of Jethro Tull: Jethro Tull Edition (2007)''
 
''Best of Jethro Tull: Jethro Tull Edition (2007)''
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''Best of Jethro Tull: Electric (with some Acoustic) (2007)''
 
''Best of Jethro Tull: Electric (with some Acoustic) (2007)''
   
''Best of Jethro Tull: Best of Jethro Tull's '07 Releases (2007)''
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''Thick as a Brick 2: The Return of Bostock'' (2012)
 
''Creepy Old Swamp Guy Remastered (2009)''
 
 
''A Jethro Tull Tribute to Jethro Tull (2013)''
 
 
''Pink Floyd Sucks: A Jethro Tull Tribute to Pink Floyd( 2020)''
 
 
''A Flute Tribute To Jethro Tull (1999½)''
 
 
''40 years: Are we really not dead yet? A Jethro Tull Anniversary''
 
   
''Biggles Still Isn't Here (2089)''
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''Thick as a Brick 3: Gerald Bostock Reloaded'' (2013)
   
   

Latest revision as of 08:07, August 22, 2013

Hobo

Ian Anderson, the songwriter and main creative force behind Jethro Tull, seen here promoting an album in London.

“Galliards, and lute songs served in chilling ale!”
~ the band on their preferred dinner choice
“*toot-toot-too-toot-toot-toot-toooooooooot*”
~ Ian Anderson on the flute
“Who the hell are you and what are you doing with my Grammy?”
~ Lars Ulrich on Jethro Tull
“Goddamn hippies.”
~ Jethro Tull the agriculturist on the band that overshadowed his career

Originally, Jethro Tull was the name of a respected 16th century agriculturist who brought forth radical and important new ideas in the form of inventions such as the seed drill. Then, in the late 1960s, a small and unpopular British blues band made one of the most fateful decisions in the history of rock and roll; they named themselves after this famous man, and subsequently became famous themselves, ruining the name of the agricultural genius for all time.

Jethro Tull was founded by musical genius and avid bookworm Ian Anderson, who felt that his bold new nasal-oriented singing style would fare well in another British blues band. Enlisting the help of some friends, he set out to shock the world with new musical flavors and stunning progressive rock masterpieces (although he would have to get rid of a few non-believers along the way). Tull ended up being considered one of the best progressive rock acts of all time, and this was a tremendously important achievement for the band until the 1980s appeared. After slowly puttering out of the major music scene, they finally came to rest as a unique world music/prog rock/electronic/whatever group and continue to tour the few cities that still appreciate them the world to this day. In fact, as we speak, Ian Anderson is currently beginning work on Thick as a Brick 3: Gerald Bostock Reloaded.

edit Early History

This was

With its vibrant artwork and delicious, grooving blues, Tull's early effort reflected the carefree happiness of the late 1960s perfectly!

The band began as an attempt by Ian Anderson to create an audio sensation to sweep the nation. He had developed an interest in music after being introduced to the famed Scottish Bagpipe Band of Fellowes as a teenager; at one of the performances he was so moved that he felt he simply had to try and create a sound as beautiful as he had heard, on his very own. Eventually, Anderson formed a small blues band with some lads from the local pub and started his long musical journey. The band slowly gained momentum, and went through enough bad band names to amaze even Creedence Clearwater Revival. After a few years of no success, dirty pubs, and over forty different name changes, the band was almost ready to quit music all together. That is, until a very creative manager gave them their horrible yet game-changing new name: Jethro Tull. Somehow it worked, and by the next month the band had a nice little record out, complete with its very own typo (the single bore the name Jericho Toe, a mistake later blamed on Anderson's personal tea-boy).

After this, the band began their upward rise to fame. Anderson had already begun to experiment with the flute, which he had previously played around with in his school's band camp. This new instrument delighted audiences, and gave Anderson an even better way to use his golden voice; by making strangled snorting sounds and effectively coating the members of the audience in the front row in saliva. Their debut album This Was, with its stunningly vibrant album cover, flew straight to #10 in the charts. This massive success for such a small band had the group elated, yet also scrambling to keep up their momentum. Anderson insisted that the band should branch out and try their hand at a wider range of styles, while the co-founder and resident guitar genius Mikey Abrahams, a staunch blues-rocker, stood firm in his belief that Tull should continue churning out more blues. As Abrahams famously said in 1968; "Blues is good". Unfortunately, he also famously left Jethro Tull in the same year to start the band Blödèe Piggë, successfully missing out on the opportunity of a lifetime. Meanwhile, Anderson was finally free to twist the band's sound to his own sick pleasures.

edit Success and Beyond

edit The Years of Plenty (1971-1976)

Funny tull

These young men, once confused for a group of homeless loonies, became an international sensation... somehow.

After hitting it big in their homeland with their first three albums, Tull found themselves yearning to find greater success in America, where they were largely ignored in favor of talented acts like The Monkees. Anderson had auditioned over a hundred British guitarists following Abrahams' expulsion from the band, and had settled on a short, balding little man named Martin Barre. True to his name, Barre had the amazing capability to play multiple barre chords on the guitar at the same time, sometimes in completely different areas of the fretboard. While this may seem impossible, the truth is that nobody really cared, because Little Martin's skills on guitar had made Tull a force to be reckoned with. However, Anderson knew that he had to do something, anything to get the band an American chart success. The inspiration came one night after Anderson's wife came home flustered and shivering in fright, telling Ian that a homeless man with bad teeth, matted hair, and grimy, yellowed fingers had tried to sexually assault her on the way coming home. This was all Anderson needed. Rushing immediately to his writing lair, he whipped out his acoustic guitar, and promptly began composing the songs for the album that would give his band their first American hit: Aqualung. The album was inspired by a variety of sources including his wife's fantastic story, Anderson's love for diving, and Scottish drinking songs, and was recorded in the new Island Records "Record Machine" studio, where Tull was forced to work with Led Zeppelin right next door. Jimmy Page, Zeppelin's conceited lead guitarist, even barged into one of Tull's sessions, messing up Martin Barre's legendary solo on the song "Aqualung" for all time. Thanks, Jim. Finally, the album was released, featuring a nightmare-inducing portrait of a local homeless man and containing songs that instantly became a hit in both the UK and the US. The success was most likely a result of only a few lyrics featured in the album that related to paedophilia.

Tull's success only improved; by the next year they had begun work on the album Thick as a Brick, a one-song epic concept album that was Anderson's attempt to parody other progressive rock bands who thought they were great just because of their own bloated, sophisticated epics. Sadly, the plan backfired entirely. Thick as a Brick ended up turning into the band's first #1 record, and the fact that his majestic attempt at satire had actually been taken seriously would annoy Anderson for the rest of his life. After the success of TAAB (a cute lite acronym that will be used for the remainder of this article when referring to Thick as a Brick), Tull followed up with a second concept album that had something to do with hell, but by now their supposedly satirical concept albums had already worn everybody out, and the album was met with critical distaste. After that came a succession of interesting but rather forgettable albums, such as the upbeat Warchild, the muddled and incomprehensible Minstrel in the Gallery, and Too Old To Rock and Roll: Too Young to Die, which had music critics everywhere scrambling to find a suitable acronym for the album when trashing it in a review.

edit Going folky (1977-1979)

Jtcage

The "one brown mouse" that Ian Anderson sang so fondly of in the album Heavy Horses, seen here sitting in a cage of Jethro Tull merchandise.

It was around this time that Anderson became interested in writing folkier songs, a decision influenced by his time breeding horses and cats on a newly purchased piece of land in the rolling green pastures of rural England. He dragged Tull back into the studio in 1977 to record the first in a trilogy of folk rock albums: Songs from the Wood. Everyone had been waiting with great anticipation for the newest album from the band, and this release shocked many with its collection of songs about forest creatures, pipers, and silly happenings in the wilderness. Anderson's next two albums had the same folky vibe, and their ability to transport people's imaginations back to a time when nobility could have sex with dirty commoners in an open valley made them super popular. Anderson later said of the sexual themes and imagery in many Jethro Tull songs: "You may call me perverted for writing a lot of songs like that, but the fact remains that you people really like to listen to them." He then played a single note on his flute (with him at all times), and walked silently away from the interview.

edit Bad 80s Music to Today (1980-present)

80s tull

The new, "improved" 1980s Jethro Tull film their first music video wearing stylish white astronaut suits.

In 1980, after becoming fed up with having to deal with drummers for every single Tull album, Anderson decided to change direction and begin using new technology, in the form of a drum machine. Plus, all the big groups were doing it, and Anderson's fingers needed a well-deserved rest from plucking acoustic guitar strings every year. So, for the next album, entitled A, everything was electronic. Enlisting the help of a talented keyboardist and programmer, Anderson successfully produced an unusual Tull venture that somehow failed miserably in every way, as well as dividing the band's fanbase into the Folkies, the Brickies (passionate lovers of the Thick as a Brick album and nothing else), and the Electro-boppers, who actually liked the new Tull sound. Still, this division didn't stop the band from putting out even more electronic albums all through the 80s, until by the start of the 90s even the super-polished computer sound was getting really tiresome.

Since the 90s, the band has taken to specializing in laid-back world music, mainly due to the fact that Ian Anderson's voice has been reduced to a scratchy growl with a half-octave vocal range. This vocal deterioration has long infuriated Anderson, who in his early days was taunted by the likes of Robert Plant for his nasally, sometimes irritating singing voice. Now, he confesses to simply wish for even a trace of that old, golden voicebox he once possessed. He has not quit with the flute solos or guitar playing, however, and the current Jethro Tull lineup consists of a good deal of young blood and new talent, excluding of course frontman Anderson and his trusty right-hand man Martin Barre. As of today, these two have been the longest constant members of Jethro Tull, and are the only ones permitted to tell the public any stories of the good old days of the band.

edit Grammy Award Controversy

Metallica

Metallica, the ballsy heavy metal rockers beaten by a bunch of English dudes playing lutes and flutes.

As Anderson himself put it, the band ran into "a spot of bother awhile back", more specifically in 1989, when Tull's album Crest of a Knave won a Grammy award for "Best Loud Rock Music", beating the night's favorites Metallica. Since Jethro Tull had been known a long time for its lyrically and musically complex albums, many could not understand why they would beat out the "beat on the drums and smash out a bunch of power chords" approach of Metallica. The upset angered the thousands of viewers, fans, and record companies who had always been able to count on knowing who would win what well ahead of time. Not to mention the members of Metallica, who tried to hide their anger behind shrugs and sarcastic comments towards Tull, but still came across as the same old whiny guys they had always been.

None of the members of Jethro Tull had showed up to the awards, at the advice of their producers to avoid embarrassment, but now found themselves even more embarrassed as a result of their win. Thankfully, Anderson's cheeky humor made the situation bearable. The band took out ads in a number of music magazines that proudly stated: Jethro Tull: The World's Up and Coming Heavy Metal Act. It was obviously a joke, yet they were still unsuccessfully sued by Metallica a few days after the ads were published.

edit Live

Iananderson

Unflappable flautist Jethro Tull stamping one brown mouse that had crawled onto the stage while they were performing live in Tokyo in 1967 - Jethro carried on fluting and singing without any errors! Tull was famous for such extemporaneous performances that departed radically from practiced rehearsals

The band is widely known for its eccentric, high-energy live performances. Much of the showmanship for shows is provided by Ian Anderson, who is now widely known as that guy who makes crazy eyes at the camera and jumps around while blowing on a long hard silver pipe. During the 1970s, feeling that Jethro Tull was becoming less exciting and original during live shows, Anderson even began wearing a series of custom codpieces to live shows. Boy, did that excite the ladies at the concert, and how it made the guys jealous. Even though Anderson may look back on it now as an old man and wonder, "What the bloody hell was I thinking?", it cannot be denied that he really was an amazing performer, providing wonderful energy and great musicianship all while lugging around a big hunk of metal attached to his crotch.

However, the Tull experience was not all about big-haired Anderson (now, sadly, no-haired Anderson). In the background, Martin Barre pounded away at his guitar (or lute, if he was in the romantic mood), and every so often leaped into a solo that made at least twenty audience members explode with pure ecstasy. And keyboardist John Evan desperately tried out silly faces to rival even Anderson's, sometimes coming very close to topping even the frontman's insanity. The drummers of any Tull lineup were always very talented, yet hopelessly under appreciated. Barriemore Barlow, long-time Tull drummer, would appear dressed up as a sailor, floppy hat and all, and then play twenty minute drum solos for a hungry crowd while the rest of a band had a quick tea break. He rarely, if ever, received that much thanks for his duties, but loved it all the same. The bass players weren't anything special, though. They just went dun-dun-dun...dundundun...dun-dun for the show, smiled, and left. What a crazy bunch those Jethro Tull lineups were.

RAMBO

Sylvester Stallone, a long-time fan of the band, trying to imitate his idols at a performance in a small California bar.

edit Past and Present Members

  • Ian Anderson: Flute, Soprano Saxflute, Vocals, Questionable Stage Antics, Naughty Lyrics, Audience-Performer Relationship, Acoustic Guitar
  • Barriemore Barlow: Drums, Loud Noises, Floppy Hats
  • Gerald Bostock (unofficial member in 1972): Lyrics, Bricks, Newspaper
  • Jeffrey Hammond-Hammond-Hammond-Hammond: Bass Guitar, Grins
  • David/Dee Palmer: Orchestral Arrangements, Minstrel Accompaniment, More Keyboards
  • Clive Bunker: Elementary drumming, Park benches
  • Peter-John Vettesse : Programming, Keyboard, nerdiness
  • John Glascock: Bass guitar, Barriemore's BFF

edit Discography

This Was the First Jethro Tull Album Known by Man (1968)

Stand Up Comedy (1969)

Aqueduct (1971)

The Thickness of Various Types of Quality Bricks (1972)

A Passive Play (1973) (with an excerpt from "The Hare Who Lost His Testicles")

Whorechild (1974)

Too Bald To Rock 'n Roll: Too Hung To Cry (1975)

Minstrel In The Vocabulary (1976)

Songs for My Wood (1977)

Heavy Horse, Dude (1978)

Live - Busting Out (1978) (live)

Warmstorch (1979)

AAAAAAAAA! (1980)

Broadband and the Beast (1982)

Under Blankets (1984)

Cardiff Racing (1991)

Boots to Sanchez (1995)

J-Tull.Com (Beta) (1997)

Stop Laughing At Jethro Tull! (2002)

Best of Jethro Tull (2007)

Best of Jethro Tull Limited Edition (2007)

Best of Jethro Tull Silver Edition (2007)

Best of Jethro Tull Remastered (2007)

Best of Jethro Tull: Jethro Tull Edition (2007)

Best of Jethro Tull: Acoustic (with some Electric) (2007)

Best of Jethro Tull: Electric (with some Acoustic) (2007)

Thick as a Brick 2: The Return of Bostock (2012)

Thick as a Brick 3: Gerald Bostock Reloaded (2013)

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