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03 September 2021

Jethro Tull Celebrate 50th Anniversary Of ‘Aqualung’ With Reissue

Jethro Tull Aqualung reissue
Photo courtesy of Rhino
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Jethro Tull are set to reissue their classic album, Aqualung, on limited edition transparent vinyl to celebrate its 50th anniversary. The pressing features the 2011 Steven Wilson remix.

For many fans, Aqualung is one of Tull’s and rock’s masterpieces. It was Jethro Tull’s fourth studio album following on from This Was, Stand Up and Benefit, all of which were released in the three years prior to Aqualung’s original release in 1971. The album is often referred as one of the great concept albums, a label that Jethro Tull founder, songwriter and frontman Ian Anderson has rejected. That classification led to creating a true concept album as a follow up to Aqualung, in the form of Thick As A Brick a year later.

Aqualung weaves together several different themes, with religion at the fore. Tracks such as Locomotive Breath, Hymn 43 and the title track, Aqualung, are much loved for their catchy riffs, with the album as a whole benefitting from a more acoustic feel compared to their previous work. The result was a top 10 album across the world, including in the UK, US, Australia, as well as being certified three times Platinum in the US, and Gold in both UK and Germany.

In an interview for ABC News earlier this year, Anderson reflected on the title track, suggesting that the song was inspired by a photo of a London homeless man taken by his then-wife Jennie, who also co-wrote the lyrics. “It was the humanity and the sadness, the vulnerability of this person that made me say…’Let’s write a song about this character. Let’s imagine who he is. Whether he has a name. What does he do? Where does he live?’ But more importantly, it’s not just about him. It’s about our reaction to the homeless. Our feelings of compassion, of fear, of discomfort, of sometimes disdain.” Anderson went on to say the album, “Is defined by that song, in the sense of drama and the sense of dynamic variation between loud and quiet, and slow and fast.”

Buy the new edition of Aqualung here.

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