Even if their long career stalled at the start of the ‘70s, Jethro Tull would still go down in rock history for one crucial thing: They proved that the flute could be a killer rock ‘n’ roll instrument. Frontman Ian Anderson has wielded the instrument – a favorite among middle-school-band girls and wandering minstrels for almost a thousand years – like a madman onstage, aggressively blowing solos usually reserved for guitars or saxophones. But paired with the band’s era-spanning brand of prog-folk music – expertly displayed on 1971’s breakthrough ‘Aqualung’ album – the flute has become a weapon of mass destruction in Anderson’s hands. Despite the many lineup changes the band has gone through over the years, Jethro Tull’s records have rarely diverted from their ambitious paths. The group infamously won the first-ever Hard Rock/Metal Grammy in 1989, which isn’t as farfetched as detractors claim.
Selected Discography: ‘Aqualung’ (1971), ‘Thick As a Brick’ (1972), ‘A Passion Play’ (1973)
One of the most famous moments in 'Spinal Tap' finds bassist Derek Smalls trapped in a pod on stage, fighting to get out as his bandmates performed 'Rock and Roll Creation' without him. For Jethro Tull'sIan Anderson, that hit close to home -- very close.
Say what you will about Jethro Tull – and the British band has been the target of both acclaim and ridicule over the decades – but the bottom line is no other band sounds anything like them. By picking up a concert flute (after deciding he’d never le
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