Fans aren’t the ones who are a little nervous about the idea of Ian Anderson releasing a sequel to Jethro Tull’s classic Thick as a Brick. Anderson himself admits he’s “in a state of abject terror.”
The original album, Jethro Tull’s fifth long player, was released in 1972 to critical acclaim for its nervy conceptual bravado: Thick as a Brick is presented as one single, continuous song – clocking in at nearly 44 minutes. Its lyrics were based on a poem written by a fictitious boy named Gerald Bostock. Anderson recently announced that he’s returning to the theme, hoping to catch up with the Bostock character as a grown man.
“Our expectations artistically are high,” Anderson said. “Our expectations commercially, and in terms of approval rating, are tempered by reality. It will emerge to a resounding symphony of silence from most people. They’ll just go: ‘What?’”
Anyone would approach a follow up with some amount of trepidation.
“Well, ‘trepidation’ is one way to describe it,” Anderson continued, in an interview with The Examiner’s Sterling Whitaker. “I think I would choose my words more carefully and describe it, for me and the other guys, as being in a state of abject terror.”
Anderson says Thick as a Brick 2 is due in April, to be followed by a tour to follow. The famous flautist is expected to perform both the Jethro Tull original, as well as the new sequel, in their entirety on stage.
“I think they’ll think: Wow, this is really great, something to get our teeth into,” Anderson said. “This is a great, meaty thing that we can really listen to. We can think about it, we can ready the lyrics in all these different languages. We can get involved in it — in a way, that perhaps they haven’t been involved in the listening experience for a long time.”
Here’s a look back at our recent thoughts of Jethro Tull. Click through the headline for the complete review …
JETHRO TULL’S IAN ANDERSON REMEMBERS WINNING HEAVY METAL GRAMMY OVER METALLICA: Jethro Tull’s unexpected 1989 Grammy win over Metallica in the newly created Hard Rock/Metal Performance category still resonates, decades later. For his part, frontman Ian Anderson thinks the nod was more about paying tribute to the band’s lengthy history than necessarily designating Jethro Tull as a better metal band than Metallica. “When it was ordered to Jethro Tull, to a barrage of boos and hisses and gasps of disbelief, I’d like to think that it wasn’t that the six thousand voting members of the National Academy Of Recording Arts And Sciences were voting for Jethro Tull as a heavy rock band or a heavy metal band,” the flute-playing Anderson says. “They gave us the award because we were a bunch of nice guys who never won a Grammy before.”
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.