Ian Anderson will return to Jethro Tull's Thick as a Brick for first time in decades

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Ian Anderson is celebrating the 40th anniversary of Jethro Tull’s Thick as a Brick by playing the progressive rock epic in its entirety for the first time since 1972.

But not with the band with which he once sang and played the flute. Anderson prefers the more intimate settings that a solo tour provides: “The audiences that I attract as Ian Anderson have come to listen to the music and have the sensitivity to keep quiet at the appropriate moments.”

Anderson memorably toured behind Thick as a Brick in the early 1970s, but was so disheartened by the short attention spans of crowds in larger arenas that he vowed never to attempt the album-length saga again: “It turned into the tour from hell,” Anderson adds. His new tour kicks off in April, and continues into November. For a complete list of dates, and ticket information, go to Jethro Tull’s Web site.

Here’s a look back at our thoughts of one of Jethro Tull’s signature tracks, “Locomotive Breath.” Click through the headline for the complete review …

JETHRO TULL – AQUALUNG (1971; 40th ANNIVERSARY EDITION): Aqualung was — and still is — an album that’s simply bursting with strange, forgotten, sometimes unsavory characters (not least of which is the leering homeless man of its title track) as well as blunt questions about faith and its earthly trappings (“My God,” and the closing “Wind Up”). A highlight is “Locomotive Breath,” this chillingly prophetic indictment (recorded, mind you, four decades ago) of over population that kept building — relentlessly, improbably — towards popular music’s most distinctive flute solo. Ian Anderson completely rocks an aerophone on this one, making for a curiously involving, out-of-nowhere delight. — Nick DeRiso

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