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 In the music business there are many factors that define the razor edge between the "'Legends' and the Lost". The right sound, at the right time, in the right place are foremost on the list, but are not the only factors that will determine the placement of any musician in the history books. The pages are also subject to edit by record companies and producers, the fickle nature of fans, the general acceptance and understanding of your work by other musicians, and, of course, "Luck".    The Musicians profiled in "On The Boards" are those who, having reached the pinnacle of their particular music genre, gave us a sound that is uniquely definable as belonging to the individual musician(s). Feel free to add, correct, or debate the contents herein.  Submission/comment

Jethro Tull

Jethro Tull 

 Jethro Tull are a British rock group formed in 1967. Their music is characterised by the songs, vocals and flute work of Ian Anderson, who has led the band since its founding, and guitarist Martin Barre, who has been with the band since 1969. Initially playing blues rock with an experimental flavor, they incorporated elements of classical, folk, jazz into their music. The band have sold more than 60 million albums worldwide.
 Ian Anderson's first band, started in 1962 in Blackpool, were known as The Blades. By 1964, they had developed into a seven-piece white soul band called The John Evan Band, named after pianist/drummer John Evan. At this point, future Jethro Tull drummer Barriemore Barlow was a member. After moving to the London area the band, having trouble getting repeat bookings, found it necessary to frequently change the band's name in order to continue playing the London 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 were using it the first time a club manager liked their show enough to invite them to return. They were signed to the recently formed Ellis-Wright agency, and became the third band managed by the pre-Chrysalis recording empire.

 Their first single released in 1968, written by Abrahams and produced by Derek Lawrence, and called "Sunshine Day"; on the label the group's name was misspelled "Jethro Toe", making it a collector's item. "Sunshine Day" was unsuccessful. 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 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. There were a number of reasons for his departure: he was a blues purist, while Anderson wanted to branch out into other forms of music; Abrahams and Cornick did not get along; and Abrahams was unwilling to travel internationally or play more than three nights a week, while the others wanted to be successful by playing as often as possible and building an international fan base. After auditions for a replacement guitarist in December 1968, Anderson chose Martin Barre, who was playing with Noel Redding at the time. It was rumored that Barre was so nervous at his first audition that he could hardly play at all, but nonetheless Barre would become Abrahams' permanent replacement on guitar and the second longest-standing member of the band after Anderson.

Ian Anderson The line-up consisting of Ian Anderson with Martin Barre on guitar, Glenn Cornick on bass, and Clive Bunker on drums released "Stand Up" in 1969, the group's only UK number-one album. Written entirely by Anderson, with the exception of the arrangement on J. S. Bach's Bourée, this album moved away from the blues, and charted a new direction for the group into the progressive rock genre. It was during sessions for this album that the band recorded one of their best-known songs, "Living in the Past", which was originally issued only as a single, and reached number three in the UK chart. Jethro Tull had further success with their other singles, "Sweet Dream" (1969) and "The Witch's Promise" (1970), and a five-track EP, " Life Is a Long Song" (1971), all of which made the top twenty. In 1970, they added keyboardist John Evan and released the album "Benefit". Bassist Cornick left following Benefit, and was replaced by Jeffrey Hammond, a childhood friend of Anderson whose name appeared in the songs "A Song for Jeffrey", "Jeffrey Goes to Leicester Square", "For Michael Collins, Jeffrey, and Me", and who also is the writer and narrator of "The Story of the Hare Who Lost His Spectacles", later featured in the album "A Passion Play".

 Jethro Tull's best-known work, "Aqualung" was released in 1971. On this album, Anderson's lyrics included strong opinions about religion and society. Though consisting of distinct tracks, the common thread on morality lead some to label it as a concept album. The lyrics of the title song of "Aqualung" portrayed a disreputable tramp, "Cross-Eyed Mary" a young prostitute, "My God" a critique on religious zealotry. The title track and "Locomotive Breath" remain staples of U.S. classic rock stations and, to this day, are rarely left out of Jethro Tull's live act.

 Because of the heavy touring schedule and a desire to spend more time with his family, drummer Bunker quit the group after the Aqualung album, and was replaced by Barriemore Barlow in early 1971. Barlow first recorded with the band for the EP "Life Is a Long Song" and made his first appearance on a Jethro Tull album with 1972's "Thick as a Brick". This was conceived as a concept album consisting of a single track running 43:28, split over the two sides of the LP, with a number of movements flowing together with repeating themes. Thick as a Brick was the first Tull album to reach number one on the (U.S.) Billboard Pop Albums chart. This album's five man line-up of, Anderson, Barre, Evan, Hammond, and Barlow, lasted until the end of 1975. 1972 also saw the release of "Living in the Past" , a double-album composed of remixed singles, and the entire "Life Is a Long Song" EP, which closes the album. The title song, recorded and released three years earlier, would gain even greater U.S. success because of this album.

 In 1973, while in tax exile, the band attempted to produce a double album at France's Château d'Hérouville studios, but unsatisfied with the quality of the recording studio they abandoned the effort, and subsequently mocked the studio as the "Chateau d'Isaster." Returning to England Anderson rewrote, recorded, and released A Passion Play, another single-track concept album and their only other #1 album. A Passion Play continued the diverse instrumentation introduced in Thick As a Brick, and added saxophones to the mix. A Passion Play sold well but received generally poor reviews, including a particularly damning review of its live performance by Chris Welch of Melody Maker.

 "War Child", a 1974, album originally intended to be a companion piece for a film, reached number two on the Billboard charts and received some critical acclaim, producing two more radio mainstays "Bungle in the Jungle" and "Skating Away". It also included a song, "Only Solitaire", allegedly aimed at L.A. Times rock music critic Robert Hilburn, who was one of Anderson's harsher critics. The War Child tour also featured a female string quartet playing along with the group on the new material. While the band's popularity with critics began to wane around this time their popularity with the public remained strong.

Martin Barre In 1975, the band released "Minstrel in the Gallery", an album which resembled Aqualung in that it contrasted softer, acoustic guitar-based pieces with lengthier, more energetic works featuring Barre's electric guitar. Written and recorded during Anderson's divorce from his first wife Jennie Franks, the album is characterized by introspective, cynical, and sometimes bitter lyrics. Critics gave it mixed reviews, but the album came to be acknowledged as one of the band's best by longtime Jethro Tull fans, even as it generally fell under the radar to listeners familiar only with Aqualung. For the 1975 tour, David Palmer, who had long been the band's orchestra arranger, officially joined the band on keyboards and synthesizers. After the tour, bassist Hammond quit the band to pursue painting. John Glascock became the band's new bassist.

 1976 saw the release of "Too Old to Rock 'n' Roll: Too Young to Die!", another concept album, this time about the life of an ageing rocker. The band closed the decade with a trio of folk rock albums, Songs from the Wood, Heavy Horses, and Stormwatch. Songs from the Wood was the first Tull album to receive generally positive reviews since the release of Living in the Past.

 The band continued touring, and released a live double album in 1978 titled "Bursting Out" featuring dynamic live performances from the lineup that many considered the golden era of the band. The vinyl LP contains three tracks not found on the initial U.S. single-disc CD edition: Martin Barre's guitar solo tracks "Quatrain" and "Conundrum", which had an extended drum solo from Barriemore Barlow, and a version of the 1969 UK single hit, "Sweet Dream".These tracks were included on the original two-CD UK edition, and were restored in a globally released re mastered two-CD edition released in 2004. During the U.S. tour, because of health problems, John Glascock was replaced by Anderson's friend and former Stealers Wheel bassist Tony Williams.

 The third folk influenced album Stormwatch released in 1979 is considered the end the classic Tull period. The lineup changed dramatically for the next album titled "A". The "A" album was recorded as an intended Ian Anderson solo album before Tull's record label, Chrysalis, asked that it become credited to the group to help the label get through overall slow record sales. This is the reason for the album's title, as the tapes were marked "A" for "Anderson". It is noted for its more synthesizer-based sound. A features a dramatically different lineup of Tull, John Evan, David Palmer, Barriemore Barlow were all fired from the group, and former bassist John Glascock died soon after the recording of Stormwatch. The only members of Tull to appear on both Stormwatch and A are Ian Anderson and Martin Barre. This is also the first appearance of bassist Dave Pegg on a Tull record, he became a member of the band already in 1979, replacing John Glascock on tour. Conflicting reasons have been given for the lineup change. Anderson has stated that he wanted to take the band in a different direction from the folk rock and progressive rock of the 1970s. Barlow was unhappy with the direction the band was taking and later stated that he would have left anyway. However, biographer David Rees reports in "Minstrel in the Gallery" that Anderson had never intended to replace the 'classic' Tull lineup with the musicians who recorded "A", but was forced by Chrysalis Records which had decided to release his 'solo' album under the name Jethro Tull.

 Jethro Tull was left with Anderson (the only original member) and Barre. Tull's first album of the 1980s, A, was intended to be Ian Anderson's first solo album. Anderson retained Barre on electric guitar, and added Dave Pegg (Fairport Convention) on bass, Mark Craney on drums, and special guest keyboardist/violinist Eddie Jobson (ex-Roxy Music, UK, Frank Zappa). Highlighted by the prominent use of synthesizers, it contrasted sharply with the established "Tull sound". After pressure from Chrysalis Records, Anderson decided to release it as a Jethro Tull album. Entitled A (taken from the labels on the master tapes for his scrapped solo album, marked simply "A for Anderson"), it was released in mid-1980.

 Anderson's first "official" solo album appeared in 1983, in the form of the heavily electronic "Walk into Light". Although the album featured electronic soundscapes and synthesizer voicings advanced for its time, as well as cerebral lyrics about the alienating effects of technology, the release failed to resonate with long-time fans or with new listeners. However, as with later solo efforts by Anderson and Barre, some of the Walk Into Light songs, such as "Fly By Night", "Made in England" and "Different Germany", later made their way into Jethro Tull live sets.

  In 1984, Jethro Tull released "Under Wraps", a heavily electronic album with no "live" drummer (instead, as on Walk into Light, a drum-machine was used). The album was not well received, particularly in North America. However, the video for "Lap of Luxury" did manage to earn moderate rotation on the newly influential MTV music video channel. Also, the acoustic version of the title track, "Under Wraps 2", found some favor over the years and a live instrumental version of the song was included on the A Little Light Music concert CD of 1992.
  As a result of the throat problems Anderson developed singing the demanding Under Wraps material on tour, Jethro Tull took a three-year break returning strongly in 1987 with "Crest of a Knave". Anderson contributed the synth programming and the band relied more heavily on Barre's electric guitar than they had since the early 1970s, the album was a critical and commercial success.

Heavy Metal Flute  The band won the '89 Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance for Crest of a Knave, beating the favorite Metallica. The award was somewhat controversial as few had considered Jethro Tull hard rock, let alone heavy metal. Under advisement from their manager, who told them they had no chance of winning, no one from the band attended the award ceremony. In response to the criticism they received over the award, the band took out an advertisement in a British music periodical with a picture of a flute lying amid a pile of iron re-bars and the line, "The flute is a heavy metal instrument." In response to an interview question about the controversy, Ian Anderson quipped, "Well, we do sometimes play our mandolins very loudly." In 2007, the win was named one of the ten biggest upsets in Grammy history by Entertainment Weekly (In 1992, when Metallica finally won the Grammy in the category, Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich joked, "First thing we're going to do is thank Jethro Tull for not putting out an album this year".

  1988 saw the release of "20 Years of Jethro Tull", a five-LP theme/ three-CD set consisting largely of rarities and out takes from throughout the band's history, as well as a variety of live and re mastered tracks. It also included a booklet outlining the band's history in detail. Multi-instrumentalist Martin Allcock, joined the band mainly as keyboard player, starting with the 20th Anniversary tour, though proficient on all manner of stringed instruments, Allcock had never previously played keyboards professionally with any band.

 In 1989, the band released "Rock Island", which met with less commercial and critical success than Crest of a Knave. The lead-off track, "Kissing Willie," featured bawdy double-entendre lyrics and over-the-top heavy metal riffing that seemed to take a satiric view of the group's recent Grammy award win. The song's accompanying video found difficulty in receiving airplay because of its sexual imagery. Rock Island contained two more fan favorites and radio staples, "Big Riff and Mando" reflecting life on the road for the touring musicians, giving a wry account of the theft of Barre's prized mandolin by a fan, and "Another Christmas Song", an upbeat number celebrating the humanitarian spirit of the holiday season.

 1991's "Catfish Rising" was a more solid album than Rock Island. Despite being labeled as a "return to playing the blues," the album actually is marked by the generous use of mandolin and acoustic guitar and much less use of keyboards than any Tull album of the Eighties. Notable tracks included "Rocks on the Road", and "Still Loving You Tonight". Allcock, who had played on the Catfish Rising tour, although not the album itself, quit the band at the end of the year to pursue solo work. 1995-present: World music influences

 After the 1992 tour, Anderson had re-invented his technical skills on the flute, and begun writing songs that heavily featured world music influences. Dave Pegg also left the band to concentrate on Fairport Convention. He was replaced by Jonathan Noyce. 1995's " Roots to Branches" and 1999's "J-Tull Dot Com" are less rock-based than Crest of a Knave or Catfish Rising. These most recent original Jethro Tull efforts reflect the musical influences of decades of performing all around the globe. In songs such as "Out of the Noise" and "Hot Mango Flush", Anderson's imagery of third-world streets, and the introspective's on "Another Harry's Bar", "Wicked Windows", and "Wounded, Old, and Treacherous," give some insight into the perspective of an aging rocker.

 In 1995, Anderson released his second solo album, "Divinities: Twelve Dances with God", an instrumental work composed of twelve flute-heavy pieces pursuing varied themes with an underlying motif. The album was recorded with Jethro Tull keyboard player Andrew Giddings and orchestral musicians. Anderson released two further song-based solo albums, "The Secret Language of Birds",(2000), and " Rupi's Dance", ( 2003). "The Jethro Tull Christmas Album", a collection of traditional Christmas songs together with old and new Christmas songs written by Jethro Tull was also released in '03.

 

Jethro Tull Lineup, with Ian Anderson & Martin Barre

1967 - Mick Abrahams - guitar, Glenn Cornick - bass, Clive Bunker - drums, percussion

1968 - 1970 - Martin Barre - guitar, flute, Glenn Cornick - bass- Clive Bunker - drums, percussion
1970 - 1971 - Jeffrey Hammond - bass, recorder, Clive Bunker - drums, percussion, John Evan - keyboards
1971 - 1975 - Jeffrey Hammond - bass, Barriemore Barlow - drums, percussion, John Evan - keyboards, synthesizers
1976 - 1977, 1978 - 1979 - John Glascock - bass, Barriemore Barlow - drums, percussion, John Evan - keyboards, David Palmer - keyboards, synthesizers
1979 - 1980 - Dave Pegg - bass, mandolin, Barriemore Barlow - drums, percussion, John Evan - keyboards, David Palmer - keyboards, synthesizers
1980 - 1981 - Dave Pegg - bass, mandolin, Mark Craney - drums, Eddie Jobson - keyboards, synthesizers, violin
1982 - Dave Pegg - bass, mandolin, Peter-John Vettese - keyboards, synthesizers, Gerry Conway - drums
1982 - 1983 - Dave Pegg - bass, mandolin, Paul Burgess - drums, Peter-John Vettese - keyboards, synthesizers
1984 - Dave Pegg - bass, mandolin, Doane Perry - drums, Peter-John Vettese - keyboards, synthesizers
1985 - 1987 - Dave Pegg - bass, mandolin, Gerry Conway - drums, Doane Perry - drums, Peter-John Vettese - keyboards, synthesizers, Dave Palmer - keyboards, synthesizers (briefly returned in 1986), Eddie Jobson - keyboards, violin (in March 1985 for a concert in Berlin)
1987 - 1988 - Dave Pegg - bass, mandolin, Doane Perry - drums, Don Airey - keyboards, synthesizers
1988 - 1991 - Dave Pegg - bass, mandolin, Doane Perry - drums, Martin Allcock - keyboards, acoustic guitar
1991 - 1992 - Dave Pegg - bass, mandolin - Matthew Pegg - bass (filled in for his father on some dates in 1991), Dave Mattacks - drums, Andrew Giddings - keyboards
1992 - 1995 - Dave Pegg - bass, mandolin, Matthew Pegg - bass (filled in for his father on some dates in 1993), Doane Perry - drums, Mark Parnell - drums(filled in for Perry briefly in 1993), Andrew Giddings - keyboards
1995 - 2006 - Steve Bailey - bass (played on Roots to Branches in 1995), Jonathan Noyce - bass, Doane Perry - drums, Andrew Giddings - keyboards
2007 - present - David Goodier - bass, Doane Perry - drums (James Duncan as a frequent fill-in), John O'Hara - keyboards

 

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Discography

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Through The Cracks
Clouds | Danny Gatton | Roy Buchanan | TimeBox - Patto | Joe Stanley

On The Boards
The Beatles
| Pink Floyd | Fleetwood Mac | Moody Blues | Jethro Tull | Les Paul | Tina Turner | Cyndi Lauper

 

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