Jethro Tull History
Jethro Tull is a British rock band that was formed in 1967. The band started out playing blues rock and over the years, they have added elements of classical, folk, music, ethnic music, jazz and art rock to their distinctive style.
The front man of the band is Ian Anderson who has a unique vocal style. He started his first band in 1963 in Blackpool, England, and the band was known as The Blades. By 1966, the band was a seven piece white soul band known as John Evan Band. This band was named after the pianist and drummer John Evans. The drummer of the band was Barrie Barlow, who would go on to be the drummer for Jethro Tull.
The John Evan band moved to the London area to get more gigs but this was not to be. And, shortly after moving, the band broke up and most of the members moved back north. However, Ian Anderson, Glenn Cornick stayed back and joined blues guitarist Mick Abrahams and drummer Clive Bunker.
Initially the new band has difficulties getting repeat bookings so they kept changing their name to continue playing in London’s night clubs. Often the names were given by the staff of their booking agent and one of them named the band Jethro Tull after the 18th century agriculturist who invented the seed drill. This name stuck on as the club manager liked their performance and asked them to return. The ended up signing with the upcoming agency Ellis-Wright agency ended up becoming the third band managed by the soon-to-be Chrysalis empire.
After an unsuccessful single, the band released their blues album This Was in 1968. The album was described as progressive blues with a bit of jazz by Anderson. However, after the release of this album, Abrahams parted ways with the band to form his own band called Blodwyn Pig. The split was caused because Abrahams and Cornick did not get on well; Abrahams was not willing to travel internationally or play more than three nights a week; and Anderson wanted to branch out into other forms of music while Abrahams wanted to stick to blues.
In 1969, Jethro Tull released Stand Up, which is the band’s only UK number one album. The album was written entirely by Anderson other than the jazzy rearrangement of J.S. Bach’s Bouree. The album showed that Jethro Tull was forming its own niche which was later categorized as progressive rock.
In order to find a replacement for Abrahams, the band held auditions and chose Martin Barre, who was a former member of Motivation, Penny Peeps and Gethsemane, and was playing at the time of the audition for Fat Mattress.
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