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Thick As A Trick

from Louder Sound

Jethro Tull: the story behind Thick As A Brick

In 1971, Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson set out with tongue-in-cheek to make “the mother of all concept albums”. With Thick As A Brick, he ended up fulfilling his ambition – and then some

By Malcolm Dome

Monty Python. It might seem a little odd to mention the influential British comedy troupe as we begin a journey through the story of the groundbreaking album Thick As A Brick. But Jethro Tull mainman Ian Anderson believes there’s a common thread.

“Monty Python lampooned the British way of life,” says Anderson. “Yet did it in such a way that made us all laugh while celebrating it. To me, that’s what we as a band did on Thick As A Brick. We were spoofing the idea of the concept album, but in a fun way that didn’t totally mock it.”

It’s often been said that the seeds for 1972’s Thick As A Brick (the band’s fifth album) were sown when its predecessor, ’71’s Aqualung, was wrongly perceived as a fully-blown conceptual piece. Myth has it that Anderson was angry about this misconception.

“Not angry, no,” explains the man nearly four decades on. “I was actually mildly irritated and wryly amused. However much I insisted that Aqualung wasn’t a concept album, the media still persisted in treating it as such. They seemed to believe the whole record was a major religious story. The truth was that three or four songs were linked by questioning the nature of religion. But the rest were stand-alone tracks. So, after this whole scenario, I thought, ‘OK, we’ll not only now do a real concept album, but we’re going to make it the mother of all concept albums!’.”

[ click to continue reading at Lounder Sound ]

Posted on October 23, 2021 by Editor

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