Ian Anderson will release solo sequel to Jethro Tull's classic Thick as a Brick

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Ian Anderson has followed up his recent announcement of a 19-date concert tour to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Jethro Tull’s Thick as a Brick with something perhaps even more interesting: He plans to release a solo sequel to the 1972 prog-rock classic.

Fans will remember that the concept for the original release, which shot to No. 1 on the Billboard charts, centered on a fictitious child named Gerald Bostock. Anderson’s new song cycle will follow Bostock, who would be 50 in 2012, through the many different paths his life might have taken.

“As we baby-boomers look back on our own lives, we must often feel an occasional ‘what-if’ moment,” Anderson says in pre-release materials. “Might we, like Gerald, have become instead preacher, soldier, down-and-out, shopkeeper or finance tycoon? And those of more tender years — the social media and internet generation — may choose to ponder well the myriad of chance possibilities ahead of them at every turn …”

Anderson’s commemorative North American tour begins April 3. Anderson will be joined by keyboardist John O’Hara, bassist David Goodier, guitarist Florian Opahle and drummer Scott Hammond, as well as other guest performers. They are expected to perform Thick as a Brick in its entirety, as well as elements from this newly announced sequel.

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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