My uncle Bob is 10 years older than me and, growing up, I remember him liking Jethro Tull. I had no idea why, but if my uncle liked Tull, then I liked them. Of course, I came to appreciate Tull very much, and to this day, I'm a big Tull fan. So what does it for me?
First, how cool is it to have flute in a rock band?? It's charming on the acoustic songs and hypnotically and oddly appropriate on the rockers.
Second, the ensemble playing is just tremendous. This is true both on songs where it appears everyone is doing their own thing as well as band members are all moving together.
Third, the varying musical styles. Jethro Tull started out as a blues band, and are categorized now as everything from classic rock, to folk-rock, to hard rock, and they also play the charming acoustic numbers that somehow manage to contain bits of all these other styles.
Some of my favorite songs are:
Witch's Promise from Benefit
Back Door Angels from War Child
Farm on the Freeway from Crest of a Knave
Wond'ring Again from Living in the Past
This list could go on for quite a while. As I type this, it strikes me you must hear "Mother Goose" and "My God" from Aqualung. As for entire CDs, Benefit, Songs from the Wood, and Thick as a Brick are all remarkably satisfying from end to end.
Although they don't play large arenas or stadiums anymore, their core fan base is intensely loyal. As of this entry, there are 565 Jethro Tull related items for bid on eBay. For deep minutiae on the band, check out the message boards at jethrotullchat.com. The rest of the website jethtotull.com is pretty good too except, surprisingly, the discography section is incomplete. For that, check out allmusic.com.
Thanks, Bob for making me those cassette tapes when I was growing up and in later years, right up to today, taking me to all those concerts.
Jethro Tull -- Music You Need to Hear.