By Ray Shasho
The army’s up the road
Salvation a la mode
And a cup of tea
Aqualung my friend
Don’t start away uneasy
You poor old sod, you see, it’s only me.
Can you believe it’s been almost 40 years since we first heard Ian Anderson singing that whimsical verse while strumming his acoustic guitar? Jethro Tull released one of the greatest albums in classic rock history on March 19th in the UK and May 3rd of 1971 in the US. It is the bands most commercially successful album ever- selling over seven- million copies.
The critics called it a concept album, but Anderson disagreed, he said the album was simply, “just a bunch of songs."Anderson examined the plight of the downtrodden with tunes like “Aqualung,” “Cross-Eyed Mary,” (A song about a prostitute) and “Up to me.”
Tull’s “Wind up,” and “Mother Goose” were about teenage anxiety and troubles with school.
“Cheap Day Return” was a song surrounding Anderson’s feelings as he visited his sick father.
“Aqualung,” “Locomotive Breath,” “My God,” “Cross-Eyed Mary,” and “Hymn 43,” are firmly cemented in classic rock- infamy.
The Aqualung- 40th Anniversary tour kicks off on June 8th at the Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison Colorado. Kansas will be opening for JethroTull there.
No Florida dates yet but there are still a lot of shows to be announced. You can check back here for possible Florida dates.
Ian Anderson’s latest album is called “Rupi’s Dance.”
Longtime Tull- guitarist Martin Barre’s latest solo effort is called “Stage Left.”
No news yet of a new Tull album.
Jethro Tull is still one of the most talented bands ever, and their style remains- untouched. Ian Anderson is a musical genius. But he also reminds us of what it was like to be cool. His onstage persona mesmerized us, as we wondered how cool it would be to be Ian.
I'm still wondering when they'll induct Jethro Tull into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
I never write about the Grammy’s. But I’ll leave you with the winners for the Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance Vocal or Instrumental for the 31st Annual Grammy Awards in 1988.
And the winner is…Mettal- wait! It’s Jethro Tull for “Crest of a Knave.”
Got a classic rock story or suggestion? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org