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Ian Anderson Announces Jethro Tull ‘String Quartets’ LP for 2017

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A year after honoring the band’s real-life namesake with a rock opera, Jethro Tull frontman Ian Anderson is giving a dozen of the group’s songs the string quartet treatment. Jethro Tull: The String Quartets, due out March 24 and available to pre-order now, finds Anderson working alongside the Carducci Quartet and arranger/conductor John O’Hara to recast a dozen Tull tracks in a new light.

According to Anderson’s official site, the record features him playing flute “on most of the tracks” as well as contributing occasional vocals.

“I felt that there were some songs rather special to me which featured the string quartet such as ‘A Christmas Song,’ ‘Reasons for Waiting’ and ‘Wond’ring Aloud,'” explains Anderson. “These were my first experiences of working with a quartet. John came up with a few suggestions of his own which presented challenges. All had an intimacy and presence which I looked forward to recapturing.”

“There seemed little point in transcribing the band parts and distributing them to the players,” adds O’Hara. “I felt a responsibility to delve deeper and offer a new imagining of each piece. An orchestrator’s job is to arrange and compose a new version of an existing work. I also felt a responsibility to listeners who cherish this material and may not welcome a radical rendition of a beloved song. My ambition was to create a thought-provoking album that remains true to Ian’s compositions.”

Fans who pre-order The String Quartets have the option of picking up signed CD or LP editions while supplies last. Check out “Pass the Bottle (A Christmas Song)” above, and take a look at the complete track listing — as well as Anderson’s video introduction to the project — below.

‘Jethro Tull: The String Quartets’ Track Listing
“In the Past (Living in the Past)”
“Sossity Waiting (Sossity: You’re a Woman / Reasons for Waiting)”
“Bungle (Bungle in the Jungle)”
“We Used to Bach (We Used to Know / Bach Prelude C Major)”
“Farm, the Fourway (Farm on the Freeway)”
“Songs and Horses (Songs from the Wood / Heavy Horses)”
“Only the Giving (Wond’ring Aloud)”
“Loco (Locomotive Breath)”
“Pass the Bottle (A Christmas Song)”
“Velvet Gold (Velvet Green)”
“Ring Out These Bells (Ring Out, Solstice Bells)”
“Aquafugue (Aqualung)”

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