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Ian Anderson

Probably best known as the lead vocalist, flutist, and guitarist in the progressive folk-rock band Jethro Tull, Ian Anderson has also released several albums under his own name. Born in Fife, Scotland, Anderson was interested in music from a young age, gaining influence from his father James' record collection of big band and jazz, as well as early rock & roll by Elvis Presley. The Anderson family later relocated to Blackpool where Ian finished his studies. In 1963, alongside his school friends, he formed the band the Blades, with Anderson on vocals and harmonica. The band went through several name and line-up changes and in 1967, in an attempt to move closer to London, the band moved to Luton. The group quickly fell apart and following a succession of dead-end jobs, Anderson realized that he "would never be as good as Eric Clapton" and decided to sell his electric guitar -- once owned by Lemmy from the band Motörhead -- and instead trade it for a flute. This bold move turned out to create the trademark sound for the basis of his band Jethro Tull, with Anderson learning the instrument quickly and playing in a blues-rock style. Anderson, together with Glenn Cornick (bass), Mick Abrahams (guitar), and Clive Bunker (drums), first toyed with the names Navy Blue and Bag of Blues before settling on Jethro Tull, sometimes misprinted as Jethro Toe. In 1968, the band released their debut album This Was on famous label Island Records. The album was recorded only a few months after Anderson began to play flute. It wasn't a commercial success but it did score them a residency at the Marquee club in London where Anderson would develop his iconic on-stage presence, where he would jump around in an old overcoat and stand on one leg while playing the flute. Jethro Tull went on to record many albums, with most of their success coming in the '70s from the albums Benefit (1970), Aqualung (1971), Thick as a Brick (1972), and Living in the Past (1972). Anderson has also released six solo albums under his own name, starting with 1983's "Walk Into Light," in addition to guest appearances on albums by the likes of Fairport Convention (Portmeirion) and Men Without Hats ("On Tuesday"). He also produced music for Steeleye Span's 1974 album Now We Are Six. Aside from music, Anderson's business activities included owning several salmon farms in the U.K. ~ James Pearce, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography


Track List: Thick As A Brick 2 (TAAB2)

Disc 1
Disc 2


Just saw Ian Anderson Sunday here in Albuquerque. Great stuff from Homo Erraticus, and almost one song from every Tull album. Excellent performance, again. My 10th Tull show since the first one (my very first concert ever) in 1973, the Passion Play Tour. And he played a Passion Play excerpt Sunday night! Love it.
Completely hooked after listening to Minstrel in the Gallery. Probably the most underrated JT album, definitely one of the best!
friend went to concert in N.O. several years ago, Ian had surgery on his leg, was in a cast and in a wheelchair, friend said he was all over the stage as usual, didn't slow him down a bit, but apparently he had a lot less air resistance on his head being that all those long beautiful locks are a thing of the past... love you jethro tull
Ian Anderson deserves a lot more respect from the music industry. Excellent
stage performer who has written more music than many bands put together.
Sept 13 he will be performing Homo Erraticus along with the old Tull songs in the Columbia Gorge at the Mary hill winery a beautiful venue overlooking the river
New album is great! May be hist best solo album yet...
Thank u !!
New album "Homo Erraticus " out April 14th !!
When is Ian's new album coming out ??
To Bruce Eder, please find a job more suited to your talents, maybe greeting cards or menu design as your knowledge of R&R is seriously lacking. To ROVI, please oh please redo the bio of this inimitable man and his music!!! A disservice to all who bother to read your usual bilge water bios, put some effort into it and maybe you'll be enlightened! ! !
best live performance bar none. Even if you were not into Tull, converted a lot friends just by going to a concert.
Up there with the best...have been a fan since '70, finally got to see an abbreviated show at a festival in Pensacola in '04. Ian and Martin Barre, and some other guys....tota l l y captivating. . M a r t i n ' s very unique guitar and Ian's complete mastershowma n s h i p . . . u n b e l i e v a b l e

Life is a long song !!
Wind&heary&s o n g / thid
Like the Email suggests I am an absolute fanatic have seen him over 200 times (seriously)t h e last time the taab2 tour found out another us tour next year can't wait!
this fellow is why I took up the flute some 40 years's been a lovely trip..I hold much gratitude for this wonderful musician.
me too...
Listening to Tull since I was a child,brough t Songs From the Wood to high school bring a song day...Velvet Green. The only song brought in which my music teacher went out and bought the album......I a n
Anderson is without question one of the finest musicians I have ever had the honor of copying.
Love Jethro Tull! Very unique ROCK AND ROLL :):):)KEEP SMILING
great show last night in nashville doing Thick as a Brick
mar2lionlove r
Ian Anderson/Jet h r o Tull has been my all-time favorite since the early 70's. Have gone to their concerts about 10 times and will go again. Most recent was Ian Anderson at the Turning Stone Casino last year.
A lot of energy from this dynamo
I saw Jethro Tull numerious times in the 60s and 70s at the Fillmore East. Ian Anderson used to play his flute and jump and fly accross the stage. He was incredable and the first artist to really do such things.
I have loved this man's poetry and music since 1972. Utter brilliance!
What an in-depth bio for such an influential band. Saw them when they did the Minstrel in the Gallery tour. An amazing show. I'd add ELP and Deep Purple to the list of RHoF oversights.
Got cut off!
Tull’s distinctive sound, sophisticate d music and yes – lyrics has withstood the test of time, and non-plus critics. “Impossibly dense lyrics?” Perhaps if the reviewer spent some time reading, he would find his way through more readily. Anderson gets into trouble for not making music for idiots. It may be tough to take for some people, but Jethro Tull isn’t about snot…
It is way passed time that Pandora pulls their silly review for Jethro Tull down from this site. It says: “Jethro Tull was a unique phenomenon in popular music history.” Was? The next time Anderson and Barre and whoever comprises the line-up plays anywhere, they will out-perform any other musicians on the scene, and I say that knowing that there are still some great musician playing in the world. I can’t think of any other musician(s) that I’ve been listening to intently for 40 years.

Totally agree. RHoF is a total waste of time. The real test is time. Tull, Rush, Yes, and others have outlasted many. Their music is time-less.
agree. (the Rock hall of fame is a joke. There are one hit wonder bands in there, but not Jethro Tull, Yes, or rush.) Tull is perhaps the most creative group ever, save the Beatles. Seen them many times since 1975. Always great. Ian is a genius.
Agree with thom
thomasterry8 6
I just do not understand this .By far the best most Complicated passionate and out standing music ever .No band even comes a close second yet.Not even in the rock and roll hall of fame? .Ian is the best ever- bottom line no arguments in my book .
Ian almost defies definition. An historic rocker, wonderful storyteller and touching poet... now, later in life, he seems to have re-invented himself. The mans' humility and humor are, sadly, almost unique in his profession. I have listened to him(them) for 30 years now. It never gets old. He is hte only celebrity I want to meet.
I love this music, i remeber my high school time, is a mix of creativity and excelent performance, with a perfect armony...JMP
To barry.mensh --> I couldn't agree more. Ian Anderson, a grandmaster in every sense of the word. As you say Per h a p s , IMHO, the greatest singer/story t e l l e r / m i n s t r a l / m u s i c i a n / r o c k e r EVER....Ian Anderson!
Went to my first Tull concert in 1972........ . . . s e e n them almost every year since then.....Per h a p s , IMHO, the greatest singer/story t e l l e r / m i n s t r a l / m u s i c i a n / r o c k e r EVER....Ian Anderson!
C'mon, that's the bio you have for Ian Anderson? You might as well spit out a two sentence blurb on Duke Ellington; both world heros, class A musicians and profoundly inspirationa l composers. Ian is also my lifetime poet lauriette choice of the 20th century.
Why don't they have Divinities? it's his best solso!
Just listening to "TULL" while I do laundry and housework
one of my favorite Tull songs ever!
I took my then 11-year-old to see Ian at Park West in Chicago. At intermission , we bumped into him coming out of the gents room. What a hoot for my son! What a great show and a great guy!
Saw Ian at Penn's Peak here in PA, and must say it was the one that touched me most. Perfect as ever on flute, and leading a whole group of young ones with respect for them!. It was the best concert I have ever seen.
I have been a Tull and Ian Anderson fan since the late 70's. I saw Jethro Tull in concert in the 1990's. The concert was one of my favorites, even though it was close to 100 degrees out at Alpine Valley.
Been a Tull fan since 1968 "This Was" arrived on the scene. Being a product of the 70's, I wish i can remember the total number of times I've seen Jethro Tull in concert, bit I believe it approaches 6-7. From the early 70's-2000's. Even though my music taste change a bit over the years,Being a STAND_UP guy, I seem to ALWAYS come back to my roots, and those roots (to branches LOL) inevitably find there way back to Mr. Anderson and Jethro Tull. If not This WAS a Benefit and Living in the Past,is c
Saw Ian Anderson as Jethro Tull 1976-77 in Binghamton NY , He played the entire concert on one foot while the oher sat perched on his standing leg knee. HE NEVER LOST HIS BALLANCE THE WHOLE CONCERT. I could not belive it.
Love you talent and wonderful humor. Can't wait to see you in the US. To you and your group, "HAPPY NEW YEAR"
Was at a "Rubbing Elbows w/ Ian Anderson" concert in San Diego 6 years ago. He allowed the audience to ask him questions, which I did. Asked if he was on a desert island what ALBUM would he take (said Beethoven's 9th), what MOVIE (Spinal Tap), what BOOK (some espionage novel) and what person (said of course, his good sister Pamela Anderson .... tongue in cheek) ;-)
He has always been my favorite artist. I was almost named Ian in honor of him! Tull & Ian Anderson have inspired much of my musical tastes throughout the years.
love ian anderson, love jethro tull
Ian Anderson is one of the most brilliant artists of all time. Who is making music today that remotely comes close to Thick as a Brick, Passion Play and the rest to Jethro Tull's masterpieces . Ian and Tull will go done in history as one of the best of all time.
For a man his age, he still is a great performer. Although he has lost some of his vocal range over the years he is as entertaining as ever. Seeing him in concert last night in York Pa, was like going to concert and getting a comedy act as a side show. You can see he enjoys what he does. He is a refreshing change from the norm.
Awesome concert... best I've seen.
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