will no one defend jethro tull?

An airport ride has been arranged; muchas gracias — that means “much thanks,” I think — to Katie.
In other matters: Is there anyone out there who will mount a rousing defense for Jethro Tull?
In my classic rock phase (c. 1987-1993), I listened to a lot of bands I don’t pay much mind to now: Pink Floyd, Skynyrd, hell, even Deep Purple. I’m not embarrassed by any means — there was some great shit in there, and when Floyd comes up in the iTunes shuffle, I’m happy to close my eyes, imagine pot smoke nearby, and mentally reclaim my pimply virginity.
But Jethro Tull? I used to listen to tons of Tull. I remember saving up to buy both their 20th-anniversary box set and their 25th-anniversary box set. I think I owned something like 20 Tull cassettes at one time, all of them now buried in one of those boxes that got sealed three apartment moves ago and hasn’t breathed fresh air since.
But when I hear them now, I’m left to wonder: What in the hell was I thinking?
I mean, it’s just crap, isn’t it? Bloated as the stomach of a beached whale. Full of that weirdly narcissistic English romanticism. And that fucking flute. And the proto-orgasmic yelps after every other flute note. The first couple albums aren’t awful, I guess. But geez, Ian Anderson’s court-jester tights started cutting off the blood to his brain as soon as 1971 hit, didn’t they? Or maybe it was the codpieces.
I mention all this because, just a few posts ago, I hinted that the ’90s band Bush might not be the height of human artistic achievement. For that critical crime, I got a half-dozen readers storming crabwalk HQ with pitchforks and torches, rallying in defense of Gavin Rossdale’s good name. (Although I would point out no one stood up for Silverchair.) So I figure there’s got to be someone out there who, like the 15-year-old me, can tell me why Tull is the best thing since orange Tic Tacs. Anyone?

6 thoughts on “will no one defend jethro tull?”

  1. this time I must come to the defense of my favorite woodwind.. the flute. Why you gotta go ragging on the flute, man?

  2. I think Jethro Tyll’s appeal came from the weird juxtaposition of the odd but ryming lyrics (think Aqualung),the dark, Medival tones, the lead singer’s ultra-long hair AND the flute. Sort of rock and roll for the Stonehedge set.

  3. I liked Aqualung because at the time I was listening to it, I was also reading a lot of dystopian fiction like 1984 and Brave New World, and it reminded me of that. I also like their 1979 album Stormwatch because it came out when we were reading John Wyndham’s novel The Chrysalids and it made a perfect soundtrack. Apart from the books, the music wouldn’t have been half interesting.

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