Thursday, January 3, 2013

Artists I Just Don't Get: Jethro Tull

British rockers Jethro Tull are examined today at The Lost Soul of Rock and Roll. 

Mole Man was a college roommate during the mid to late 90s and he was a big fan of Jethro Tull. Mole Man had Thick As A Brick and Aqualung on heavy rotation. Scumdogs of the Universe by GWAR was also a Mole Man favorite, but I'll save that for another article. I'm somewhat thankful for the endless hours of Jethro Tull I had to endure from Mole Man because that placed them on my 'Artists I Just Don't Get' list.

My high school music listening days of the late 80s and early 90s were dominated by classic rock. Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath, Aerosmith, and The Who were my favorites, plus I spent endless hours listening to WTUE, a classic rock station out of Dayton, Ohio. WTUE had a decent rotation, and I discovered artists listening to that station. They were fans of Jethro Tull and would play 'Aqualung', 'Bungle in the Jungle', and 'Locomotive Breath'.

For those of you not familiar with Jethro Tull, or need a refresher, then let's check out one of their most popular songs 'Aqualung'.

It's a decent song and there is a 60% chance that I won't change the station when it is played on the radio. 'Aqualung', 'Bungle in the Jungle', and 'Locomotive Breath' were the only songs I knew by them for awhile, but I didn't have the interest to buy any of their albums. Also, I remember watching the Grammy's when Jethro Tull won the first Grammy for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance.Alice Cooper and Lita Ford do their best to be happy for Tull beating Metallica, AC/DC, Iggy Pop, and Jane's Addiction.

Seriously, how did Metallica lose? ...And Justice For All was awesome. 

While in college, I rented an apartment with three other guys including Mole Man. As a roommate, Mole Man was a quiet fellow and spent on average sixteen hours a day sleeping. There were days when I would have friendly wagers with my other roommates to guess how many hours Mole Man would sleep. I think his record was eighteen hours, but that's up for debate. When he was awake, Mole Man would play video games and blast his favorite bands on the stereo which were Sabbath, GWAR, and Tull. Sadly, we had more Tull and GWAR than Sabbath.

At first, I was pleased to hear some Jethro Tull, but the pleasure quickly died. The more I listened to them, the less I liked their music. What was the problem? The flute? Yeah, the flute was part of the problem, but the more I heard Tull the more they sounded like a bunch of minstrels from a Renaissance fair. I'm not one for minstrels or for Renaissance fairs. Here is a good example:

I can't dig it, man. The music doesn't connect with me, and Tull at times reeks of Progressive Rock, which is more of a miss than a hit in my rock and roll universe. Tull and most Progressive bands get lumped into a category where they are viewed as intelligent rock. Intelligent music does not have to be grandiose or arty. I've given Tull plenty of chances, and I've never had that "ah-ha" moment where I find their music to be totally awesome. Sorry folks, but I just don't get the popularity of Jethro Tull. I've got respect for the band, but I'm not buying an album.

Also, I have no idea what happened to Mole Man. The last I heard, he was fed to the giant maggot at a GWAR concert. 

TonyDoug Wright is The Lost Soul of Rock and Roll and is also the head writer and owner of Champion City Comics. Follow him @TonyDougWright on Twitter.  

1 comment:

  1. Two words: Living in the Past side 3.