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Ian Anderson

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Ian Anderson Walk into Light album cover
2.79 | 152 ratings | 24 reviews | 8% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1983

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Fly by Night (3:51)
2. Made in England (4:57)
3. Walk into Light (3:08)
4. Trains (3:18)
5. End Game (3:17)
6. Black and White Television (3:35)
7. Toad in the Hole (3:22)
8. Looking for Eden (3:40)
9. User-Friendly (3:59)
10. Different Germany (5:22)

Total Time 38:29

Line-up / Musicians

- Ian Anderson / vocals, acoustic & electric guitars, Wal bass, flute, Linn drum machine, producer

- Peter-John Vettese / synthesizers (Rhodes Chroma, Roland ProMars & MC-202), samples, Yamaha CP80 electric grand piano

Releases information

Artwork: John Pasche with Martyn Goddard (photo)

LP Chrysalis ‎- CDL 1443 (1983, UK)

CD Chrysalis ‎- CCD 1443 (1983, UK)
CD BGO Records ‎- BGOCD350 (1997, UK) Remastered

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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IAN ANDERSON Walk into Light ratings distribution

(152 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(8%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(19%)
Good, but non-essential (40%)
Collectors/fans only (27%)
Poor. Only for completionists (7%)

IAN ANDERSON Walk into Light reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
1 stars As ugly as the J T album that came out at the time (under wrap) full of [&*!#]ty keyboards of that era . People who accused Vettese for the crappy Under Wraps album can clearly see that althgough influential at the time, this was a blunder from the Tramp himself
Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars It is so pleasant to hear an album on which all the songs are at least very good! It is the case here. The main attraction here are the keyboards: Peter John Vetteese (Eurythmics) plays very rythmic, catchy, accessible ans melodic modern keyboards, a bit like Eddie Jobson. The keyboards involved are very varied, and all the tracks are quite loaded. The bass rythm is made with synths too. Anderson's outstanding lead vocals are more mellow here, and slightly melancholic, if you compare to some JETHRO TULL albums of the early 80's. It sounds like "Under wraps" and "Broadsword & the beast" - minus the guitars and warm rythms.

My rating: 4 1/2 stars

Review by Syzygy
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars A bit of an oddity, this, in more ways than one. Ian Anderson's first solo venture saw his collaborator, Peter John Vetesse, sharing the writing credits on half of the songs - Anderson had been Tull's sole songwriter (bar the odd fragment) since Stand Up. A further break with the established Tull prototype was the sheer amount of electronic instrumentation used. The majority of the backing tracks were generated on synths and keyboards - Anderson is credited with playing some conventional instruments, but aside from the odd whisper of flute they're well hidden in the mix. When I first heard it I wondered if it just happened to be by some new performer who shared the same name as Tull's mainman, but it really was old Aqualung, the Minstrel in the Gallery himself in a brand new guise for the 80s.

This is emphatically not a Tull spin off, although there are broad similarities between it and A, originally planned as an Anderson solo venture, and particularly Under Wraps. The sound is very 80s, with all the Linn drums and artificial bass lines that you'd expect. It's not his finest hour, but it's not the disaster some have said it was either. At this point in his career Anderson had matured as a songwriter, and on this collection he penned some superb lyrics dealing with aspects of contemporary life that would probably not have worked as Tull songs. He was also in good voice for these sessions, particularly on Made in England and Trains, and he adapts his singing style to a very different musical setting effectively. It's stood the test of time a lot better than the likes of Howard Jones or Nik Kershaw, who were writing similar material with a broadly similar sound in the early to mid 80s.

It's an album which shows a different side of Anderson's songwriting, and as such is worth a listen if you're a Tull fan with an open mind.

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars "Jethro" goes solo

Ian Anderson is of course the major part of Jethro Tull (to the extent that many of the unenlightened think his name is Jethro Tull). Here though he actually undertakes one of his rare solo ventures, assisted only by Peter-John Vettese. Vettese contributes various keyboards and backing (or blouse as Anderson refers to them) vocals, with Anderson performing all else. Song writing duties are either shared, or left to Anderson.

The album consists of ten tracks lasting between three and five minutes each. The opening "Fly by night" sets the scene for the entire album, being a slightly understated, commercial affair. Anderson's vocals are of course unique, and his flute inevitably appears at regular intervals. This naturally means a Jethro Tull feel from time to time, such as on the title track and "Toad in the hole". Overall though, the distinction between Tull and Anderson solo is apparent.

There is a general weakness to the album both in terms of production and the quality of the material. It has an air of being a home made effort, the keyboards in particular sounding like they were played on something you can buy from any catalogue shop. They lack any warmth or depth, causing the album as a whole to suffer in a similar way. The songs sound like Tull rejects, with dull lyrics about train travelling, performing live on stage, and a rather corny PCs vs. relationships comparison entitled "User friendly". Only the Barclay James Harvest tingled final track "Different Germany" rises slightly above the mediocrity, noticeably in the melody department.

There's nothing prog about the album to speak of, and nothing much to excite even ardent Tull fans. Even the sleeve is an unimaginative monochrome affair with a picture of smartened up (!) Anderson, and a colour test card band.

One to avoid.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Please do not expect that this album is in the vein of early albums of Jethro Tull as it has contained a lot of keyboards / electronic instruments compared to old records of Jethro Tull. It's very close with Jethro Tull "A" album which received significant critiques by many rock music reviewers. "A" was actually intended as Ian's solo album but it turned out to be Jethro Tull's. The opening track "Fly by Night" (3:51) is a nice combination of keyboard and flutework in a good composition. "Made in England" (4:57) is techno music with Ludwig drums via Linn Drum. It has a lack of nice melody and too straightforward with little variations. "Walk into Light" (3:08) is good track exploring further the "serious" vocal of Ian Anderson combined with electronic drumming and keyboard work. Indeed, Ian does a serious vocal here because he uses an excellent singing style. "Trains" (3:18) brings the music in similar vein with previous tracks, performed in medium tempo music.

Even though this album brings good memories for me as it was released when prog music was dying, swept by the new wave and punk music, I still only recommend this album for those who really love Jethro Tull and willing to own any release of Jethro Tull and Ian Anderson albums. For me, the music is too boring especially listening to the music loop through programming. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Review by Andrea Cortese
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Appreciable 80's experimental from Ian Anderson, supported by the talentuous Peter-John Vettese, the keyboard player who joined Jethro Tull in the 80s (albums Broadsword And The Beast-1982; Under Wraps-1984). It's surely not a good JT album, but a good Anderson's one! His continuous tendency to elaborate new sounds and styles has always been appreciated by me who am a JT die-hard fan! Fly By Night it's the best here, also with Different Germany, a created one thinking to a different ending to the second world war...

Lots of electronic instruments here...not for JT or Ian's newcomers, good anyway!

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars This album should have been much better. The songs are not bad in themselves, with some very Tull-like flourishes. The problem comes from the cheesy 80's synthesizer sounds and completely flat drum tracks. And playing along with sequencers in lieu of a real band made up of live musicians usually produces a lifeless sound. This is no exception. I wonder what this would have sounded like if it had been released by Tull, and not just Anderson and Vitesse.

But again, if you can get past the synths and sequences, the songs are typical Ian Anderson, well written with witty lyrics, and some interesting musical twists.

I'd really rate this 2.5 stars. I'm rounding up because Anderson deserves it.

Review by Tarcisio Moura
3 stars I must say I approached this CD with great fear. I had already a bad experience with one Jethro Tull album of the period (Under Warps) and I was thinking this was more of the same. Well, in a way it is, but I should also point out that this is NOT a JT record, so I guess Ian Anderson had the right to do some experimentation as long as he did not use the name of his famous band to try to boost sales and fool the fans. Another point that caught my attention was the fact that half of the songs are written with the help of JTīs keyboards man at the time, Peter-John Vetesse. Anderson really wanted to do something different! And Vetesse had the honour of being so far the man who wrote more songs with Anderson than any other JY member over the years.

For the album itself: as one might expected, this is basic an electronic record, with lots of synths and drum machines. However, it is interesting to see that it is also, in terms of sounds and songwriting, a much better effort than Under Wraps. Ian is quite inspired here, and Vetesse did a great job in the programming and playing, with intelligent use of technology and great variety. I really would love if most 80īs electronic experiments done by so many other musicians turned out to be as good as this one. Ok, this is not as good as anything that Anderson has done with his band in the 70īs, but is still very good anyway. The production is also top notch.

Although some stuff here does seem a little dated (how could it not with those synths and e-drums?), all the songs are good. Ian really let his new partner give something new and he didnīt interfere much, just singing, playing the occasional flute and little else. The results are way better than I expected and the selection here has all the trademarks of Andersonīs music (fine melodies, clever lyrics and strong interpretations). If you donīt mind the obvious 80īs cliches, this is a very good album.

Highlights: Flight By Night, Walk Into Light, Different Germany and User-Friendly.

Final rating:3,5 stars.

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Obviously unpopular with Jethro Tull purists, Ian Amderson's first solo project went against all the classic elements that made Tull such a powerhouse, replacing blues-based guitars and mandolins with synths , machines now handling the bass and drums . "Sacrilege", cried out the cod pieced throngs, already angered by the "Under Wraps" album that instituted in 1984 the electronic phase of JT's career. Poor veteran keyboard whiz John Vettese , still hated by so many for daring to take the formula too far removed from the norm (another TAAB!) but those were the times when Roland and Korg ruled the airwaves and if taken in context (SMS message between prisoners?), this is a brilliant progressive album of imperial songwriting and lush sounds, taking Anderson's visions and words into a personal realm where computers giggle and machines laugh. This was the age of Thomas Dolby and conventional symphonic prog was writhing on its self-imposed deathbed. As ELP stated so brightly, "C'est La Vie"!

"Walk Into Light" is mostly a series of bright and upbeat electronic ditties that are extremely melodic and where the rubbery synths seem to be pulsating and whole. Not a single dud on the set list, in fact I daresay, one of the most solid series of tunes on any JT album. Anderson's lyrical material and vocal delivery rank among his best ever, just listen?.. I guess the purists disliked the musical coating in which these stellar songs were packaged. Aw, get over it! Fans have been whining for photocopies of Aqualung and TAAB for 40 years now! For the gloomy times, this was a masterpiece of progressive rock and progressing with the then available technology. Remember the arid year 1982 and look at yourself with tender mercies.

"Fly by Night" has a fluttering synthesized riff that astounds, colliding with crystalline pianos and Anderson's flute, weaving a strong and bold melody. The vocal is one Ian's best ever, deeply passionate and expressive. "Made in England" is brisk and effervescent, the flute driving the almost Barre-esque guitar riff to frenzy, supplied with some suave synth sounds and orchestrations and another dizzying vocal interpretation. The title track displays some seductive and complex drum programming (a rare success in modern music) whereby Ludwig drums are set off via Linn Drum Computer to great effect. Anderson thrashes a few electric guitars into the mix, giving this a harder edge that is most appealing. The chugging "Trains" combines the Kraftwerk style of Trans Europ Express with some choppy and evocative musical commentary that relies certainly more on the Telex or Dolby style of synth music. "Black and White Television" is perhaps the highlight track, a wry commentary on a primitive society that refuses innovation yet embraces MTV and the music is inquisitive and persuasive. "Looking For Eden" and its scintillating mellotron choir background (done on Emulator) and the whistling musings keep this track whizzing along with utter genius. "User Friendly" is quirky and playful, entirely memorable and fun. The lyrics and the vocal are both inspirational and forceful. "Different Germany" is socio-historic look at 'real politik', as concerns over WW3 were starting to grow into a fever pitch in Europe and as such is a brilliantly symphonic piece of music, evoking the spirit of Camel's underrated "Stationary Traveler" released in 1984 , Latimer's look at the oppressive and brutal East German regime of the Stasi and its Vopos. Vettese lets loose a synth solo for the ages, rapid and expressive. Brilliant closer.

Well, like it or not, Anderson has discussed his reasoning for both this album and the follow up 'Under Wraps' , knowing full well the controversy it spawned but it's the artist who decides and not the public. After all, the demise of prog in the late 70s was caused by music fans unwilling to adapt to new realities and a media demanding hit singles again, which explains why punk did so well for a while. Anderson, to his credit, followed his own conscience and muse, for better or worse.

4.5 sampled chips

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
2 stars 'A part 2' or 'Prelude to Under Wraps'

The early 80's was a turbulent time for Jethro Tull, and indeed for most classic Prog bands. Ian Anderson had already planned to release a first solo album called A (for Anderson) a few years earlier, but as we all know this was eventually released as a Jethro Tull album in 1980 (but strangely it was not given a different title!). Eddie Jobson, who played on A, would not stay for another album and would be replaced by Peter-John Vettese who also plays on the present album. Released in between the two Jethro Tull albums Broadsword And The Beast and Under Wraps, Walk Into Light became the first album that was released under Anderson's own name. Anyone who heard this at the time of its release could not have been too surprised when hearing Under Wraps, as these two albums have a great deal in common. Indeed, it is hard to see any justification for why this one is an Ian Anderson solo album and Under Wraps is a Jethro Tull album. In my opinion, it would have been better if the mediocre Under Wraps too had been released as an Ian Anderson album.

Like Under Wraps, the present album too sounds very much of its time. Both albums are dominated by Peter-John Vettese's synthesisers and drum machines and Ian's vocals. Guitars and flutes are present but they take a back seat throughout. This gives the album a strongly electronic sound. The warm and organic feel of albums like Heavy Horses is completely absent here. The material is not particularly memorable and I am inclined to say that even Under Wraps has better songs!

Only recommended for fans and collectors of everything Tull

Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
2 stars Time ago I have written that Ian Anderson may sing "The Qua-qua dance" and be still recognisable as Jathro Tull. Well, on this album he is very close to the Qua-qua dance. I won't rate it one star only because there's something that can be saved, but I would have been happier if I had miss it.

I wasn't aware of his solo releases back in the 80s, and I have attempted it only now and just by coincidence. Now let's see what's inside:

Fly By Night gave me a sense of "already listened", and "quite disgusting". Thinkig better, the theme has been copie/reused in the 20s by one of the worst Italian pop groups. Casual? Who knows. The album's worst.

The album is full of sounds and passages that I relate to the lowligths of the Genesis of the same years. But let's just speak of what can be saved:

"The train", even if using the same 80s "plastic" sounds has a non-trivial structure and is quite enjoyable. The following track "End Game" gives the illusion of things going better, but we have to wait for the only really good song of the album: the closer "Different Germany". Here's a bit of Jethro Tull behind the electronics and Ian's voice is not dispersed into the Yamaha like dynamics as in the rest of the album.

These three tracks are the reason why I can't just say "avoid it", but it's nothing more than a collector's item.

Latest members reviews

2 stars This album marks a radical departure from the Classic Jethro Tull sound which in itself is not such a bad thing as the band were starting to sound a little tired with "Stormwatch".Of course it is a solo Anderson project so it would be unfair to compare it to a Jethro Tull album. In Fact the albu ... (read more)

Report this review (#2529237) | Posted by Lupton | Monday, March 29, 2021 | Review Permanlink

2 stars In a perfect world... Ian Anderson's obsession with early eighties' synths and drum machines reached it's climax with the 1982 Tull album Under Wraps and this solo outing from Anderson titled Walk Into Light. I don't resent Anderson's gravitation towards the music machines of the New Wave, bu ... (read more)

Report this review (#1783351) | Posted by SteveG | Sunday, September 17, 2017 | Review Permanlink

2 stars "Fly By Night" - I like this track a great deal. It is very much up beat electronic music accompanied by Anderson's warm vocals. "Made in England" Is a sort of majestic track that is very powerful in parts. "Walk into Light" - I don't really go for this track at all, it's too bop pop for me. " ... (read more)

Report this review (#943205) | Posted by sukmytoe | Saturday, April 13, 2013 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Even fans are known to savage this album which is understandable for its heavy contribution from Vetesse's keyboards. The typical 80's electric synth sound is similar in some ways to the Jethro Tull effort "Under Wraps" released the following year, but this is mellower. The over all sound cert ... (read more)

Report this review (#564177) | Posted by Frankie Flowers | Tuesday, November 8, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Ian Anderson got plagued by the eighties in the same vein Peter Hammill was: trying to catch up with a way of music-making that wasn't possible back in the sixties and seventies and, worse, seemed to be leaving them behind. There's nothing really wrong with playing catch up, sometimes, and yet, the ... (read more)

Report this review (#478703) | Posted by JackFloyd | Friday, July 8, 2011 | Review Permanlink

1 stars Very poor release indeed, with that awful 80's aesthetic (a sort of spiritual plainness, evil keyboards and daemonic drum machines). Very little can be said about this album. Some good melodies here and there that last only a few moments -- in fact, none of the tracks can be considered truly nice. F ... (read more)

Report this review (#303743) | Posted by julianobruni | Wednesday, October 13, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I think one should have in mind the tendencies of the time when Walk Into Light was issued. There were no serious prog rock efforts in Europe - even the giants like Yes and King Crimson were struggling to accommodate and survive in the new world of electronics, rhythms and videos. For me the appe ... (read more)

Report this review (#254430) | Posted by Bilkaim | Saturday, December 5, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Ian Anderson's first solo album has been slagged by many die-hard Tull fans who seem to think that a solo album should sound much like the band the musician sprung from. This album does not sound like Tull at all, true. Nor should it. Flute, acoustic guitar and folky songs about Jacks In The Green ... (read more)

Report this review (#212036) | Posted by Progatron | Tuesday, April 21, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Tend to agreee with the overall grade for this outing, the weakest probably by some good little bit of all of IA's solo efforts, but as very literally always there are bold exceptions. Not enough mention of Looking for Eden, a proud and quite beautiful offering which I wouldn't mind at all see ... (read more)

Report this review (#84958) | Posted by tullist | Thursday, July 27, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars It's not the best Tull/Anderson album, but it has its moments. Fly By Night, B&W Television have that true dim and uncopiable eighties sound, but they also have that interesting synth-feeling that it gets under your skin. Anderson's political responsiveness may offend some people, but I think it ... (read more)

Report this review (#83573) | Posted by nandika | Wednesday, July 12, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Along with Under Wraps and 'A', this album contains more new age synthesizer than your average Tull album. It is not really all that progressive. But, in my opinion, there are a lot of really good tunes on this album. You can't go wrong with 'Fly by Night' or 'Looking For Eden'. As others ... (read more)

Report this review (#38412) | Posted by digdug | Sunday, July 3, 2005 | Review Permanlink

3 stars It was a surprise when it came out, and a daring one. Once the shock swallowed, one can actually sit back and enjoy this album for what it is, not what it was expected to be. All the songs are good, some are excellent, like Fly By Night, End Game and Made In England. ... (read more)

Report this review (#24892) | Posted by | Friday, March 4, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars At the time Ian declared he wanted to do something different than in JT. Actually it's prelude to Jethro's Under Wraps, but certainly not better than Jethro album. Anyway we have really interesting songs here, sounding is what it had to be in '83. Great record. ... (read more)

Report this review (#24888) | Posted by l-s-d | Thursday, March 4, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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