Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is offering fans a rare treat next year -- he'll undertake a world tour and perform the No. 1 album 'Thick as a Brick' in its entirety for the first time since 1972.

That news has taken some fans by surprise. The front man and founder of Tull, who introduced the flute to rock, had told Acoustic magazine that he knew fans were clambering for "Thick as a Brick," but he didn't see himself performing it again.

"Yes, they're after 'Thick as a Brick' - part 2, but I just don't feel that I want to do that kind of thing," he told the magazine in 2007. "While it was a lot of fun doing that kind of music back in 1972 and '73, I've never really liked rock or loud music very much and while the more extravagant arrangement of things are challenging and fun to play, they are not so fun for the poor ol' punter to have to listen to and I can't escape the idea that the best songs I've written are four or five minutes long rather than half an hour long."

No word yet about what changed Anderson's mind, but it is known that the tour will begin April 2012 in Great Britain, before expanding to the rest of Europe and then heading to the U.S. in the fall.

A press announcement notes that the tour will "feature a more theatrical production with video, additional musicians and a troupe of dancing elephants. (Just kidding about the dancing elephants: they don't dance...)."

So we're guessing no elephants, although those that are familiar with Anderson's sense of humor -- which included crediting the 'Thick as a Brick' lyrics to the fictitious 8 year-old Gerald Bostock, whose parents lied about his age -- may offer proof that one can never be too sure.

Can't wait until next year to experience more reworked Tull classics?

Next month (Oct. 2011), Tull will release a limited collector's edition of the band's most recognized album, 'Aqualung,' in celebration of its 40th anniversary.

Here's what the package includes:

-- 180g heavyweight LP, 2CD, DVD, and Blu-ray including various unreleased materials, a new stereo mix, the original Quad mix, and 5.1 DTS and Dolby Digital Surround.  (A 'special edition' including just the two CDs will also be available.)

-- 12"x12" 48-page hardback book featuring liner notes and an interview with Ian, Q&A with engineer John Burns, Don Lawson (initially written for 'Classic Rock Presents Prog' in March 2011), memoirs from band members, rare photos, and notes on the new mixes.

"I hope you enjoy this splendid EMI release and, if there's someone out there you really love, then why not treat them to the Collector's Edition in all its glory?," said Anderson in a press statement. "Or, come to think of it, if there's someone out there you really dislike, then the same might apply. Each to his own. Me - I kinda like it."

For more about the 'Thick as a Brick'  tour, the collector's edition of 'Aqualung,' or samples of Anderson's classic wit, check out Jethro Tull's official website.