Dominated by flautist/singer Ian Anderson who wore a ragged overcoat and stood on one foot as he played, Jethro Tull took their name from an 18th century agriculturist. Tull started in the late '60s as a Jazz/Blues fusion band and like many Art-Rock outfits refined their sound as they progressed.
Jethro Tull's debut album "This Was" hit the streets in late '68 and early the following year they made their first U.S. appearance opening for Led Zeppelin at N.Y.'s Fillmore East. Jethro Tull's peak stretched from "Stand Up!" released in '69 to "Too Old To Rock 'n' Roll, Too Young To Die" coming out in '76. A good run to say the least.
Tull continued on and even managed to win an '88 Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance beating out Metallica and AC/DC. By no stretch of the imagination was Jethro Tull a Metal band. Less than deserved recognition, it simply showed how out of touch the Grammy members were.
Anderson was named a Member of the Order of the British Empire as part of Queen Elizabeth II's annual New Year's Honours list. The '07 accolade was in recognition of his contributions to music in the United Kingdom. Anderson seemed to take it in stride. "A lowly MBE . . . requires only a discrete bow or curtsey from friends and family," writes the singer in an online post. "The rest of you can tell me to bugger off."
The next year, Tull commemorated their 40th anniversary with a U.K. tour that began in Swindon and concluded in London.
Another honor came in '13. And unlike the Metal Grammy in '88, this one was deserved.
Anderson received the Prog God Award at the Progressive Music Awards in London. "The innocent voyage of restless souls: that's Prog Rock," said Anderson. "Sometimes bombastic, self-indulgent and worse, it is also an honest, gut-felt reaction to the often simplistic and repetitive nature of much of Pop and Rock."
1968 This Was
1969 Stand Up
1972 Thick As A Brick
1973 A Passion Play
1974 War Child
1975 Minstrel In The Gallery
1976 Too Old To Rock 'n' Roll: Too Young To Die!
1977 Songs From The Wood
1978 Heavy Horses
1978 Bursting Out
1982 The Broadsword And The Beast
1984 Under Wraps
1987 Crest Of A Knave
1989 Rock Island
1991 Catfish Rising
1995 Roots To Branches
1999 J-Tull Dot Com
2003 The Jethro Tull Christmas Album
Though Jethro Tull continued recording into the '90s, the group's creative peak arrived early on. "Aqualung" (with the classic title track) released in '71 was their crowning achievement even though their best known songs, "Locomotive Breathe," "Bungle In The Jungle" and "Too Old To Rock 'n' Roll, Too Young To Die" came later. But Jethro Tull has great albums on both sides of that landmark. The earlier "Stand Up!" has all songs written by Anderson with the exception of a Bach (yes, that Bach) cover and the Blues oriented "Benefit." The album length song "Thick As A Brick" and the double compilation album "Living In The Past" features unreleased and non-album material along with live tracks recorded at Carnegie Hall. Their last great album is "Too Old To Rock 'n' Roll, To Young To Die."