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IAN ANDERSON

Prog Folk • United Kingdom


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Ian Anderson biography
Leader/founder of JETHRO TULL and veteran of the 60's blues-rock scene, this eccentric and highly charismatic minstrel who used to get the most incredible sounds from his golden flute is now in his late 50's, yet shows no signs of slowing down. Indeed, he keeps on touring and churning out albums despite a totally apathetic music industry. In 1983 he decided to go solo and has since graced us with four new albums.

In general, his solo material closely resembles that of traditional JETHRO TULL, although it tends to be more serious and more instrumental. "Walk Into Light" (1983) features Peter John Vetteese (EURYTHMICS) on keyboards; the album suffers from a poor 80's production but Vetteese's rhythmic and catchy play complements Anderson's mellow vocals rather well. "Divinities: Twelve Dances with God" (1995) is the least TULL-like of the lot: basically a classical album, it is totally instrumental and its spiritual theme runs the gamut from Indian to Russian to Celtic Folk. "The Secret Language of Birds" (2000), a rather acoustic album, returns to the 70's roots and dons some particularly memorable melodies. "Rupi's Dance" (2003) is the one that most closely celebrates the old TULL days and will likely be the TULL fans' favourite. Anderson's gentle, self-deprecating wit and knack for writing simple, yet endearing melodies shine through out.

Recommended for JETHRO TULL followers and for progressive folk fans in general.

: : : Lise (HIBOU), CANADA : : :

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Homo ErraticusHomo Erraticus
KSCOPE 2014
Audio CD$9.40
$7.99 (used)
Thick As A Brick 2 Special EditionThick As A Brick 2 Special Edition
Parlophone 2012
Audio CD$15.86
$15.99 (used)
Secret Language of BirdsSecret Language of Birds
Import
EMI Import 2010
Audio CD$8.57
$10.92 (used)
Walk Into LightWalk Into Light
Import
EMI Import 2011
Audio CD$10.34
$10.16 (used)
Thick As a Brick 2Thick As a Brick 2
Parlophone 2012
Audio CD$9.24
$7.85 (used)
Ian Anderson Plays the Orchestral Jethro TullIan Anderson Plays the Orchestral Jethro Tull
Koch Records 2007
Audio CD$4.71
$7.63 (used)
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IAN ANDERSON shows & tickets


  • Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson on 26 Sep 2014
  • Ian Anderson at Ryman Auditorium, Nashville on 1 Oct 2014
  • The Best of Jethro Tull Performed by Ian Anderson on 4 Oct 2014
  • The Best of Jethro Tull featuring Ian Anderson on 18 Oct 2014
  • The Best of Jethro Tull performed by Ian Anderson on 25 Oct 2014
  • The Best of Jethro Tull featuring Ian Anderson on 1 Nov 2014
  • Ian Anderson at Lincoln Theatre, Washington DC on 6 Nov 2014
  • The Best of Jethro Tull prefromed by Ian Anderson on 8 Nov 2014
  • Ian Anderson Homo Erraticus tour on 17 Nov 2014
  • Jethro Tull`s Ian Anderson on 22 Nov 2014
  • Jethro Tullīs Ian Anderson on 10 Apr 2015
  • Jethro Tullīs Ian Anderson on 11 Apr 2015
  • Jethro Tullīs Ian Anderson on 12 Apr 2015
  • Ian Anderson Plays: The Best of Jethro Tull on 14 Apr 2015
  • Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson on 11 May 2015

IAN ANDERSON discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

IAN ANDERSON top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.85 | 90 ratings
Walk Into Light
1983
3.62 | 101 ratings
Divinities: Twelve Dances With God
1995
3.65 | 121 ratings
The Secret Language Of Birds
2000
3.74 | 107 ratings
Rupi's Dance
2003
3.76 | 333 ratings
Thick As A Brick 2: Whatever Happened To Gerald Bostock?
2012
3.63 | 110 ratings
Homo Erraticus
2014

IAN ANDERSON Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.91 | 52 ratings
Ian Anderson Plays the Orchestral Jethro Tull
2005

IAN ANDERSON Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.72 | 26 ratings
Ian Anderson Plays the Orchestral Jethro Tull
2005

IAN ANDERSON Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

IAN ANDERSON Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

IAN ANDERSON Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Homo Erraticus by ANDERSON, IAN album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.63 | 110 ratings

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Homo Erraticus
Ian Anderson Prog Folk

Review by Tristan Zaba

4 stars An absolutely fantastic album. While I also quite liked TAAB2, this is better.

Ian seems to keep telling people that it's some sort of metal album. I'm not sure why he thinks that, but metal this is not. Stylistically it strays pretty close to a slightly harder rocking Heavy Horses. In saying this, I mean it takes into consideration all those lovely textures and clean arrangements. This album also gets quite inventive, with some interesting rhythms, meter changes, and progressions. In the accompanying deluxe edition documentary, he even mentions Captain Beefheart as providing some inspiration.

I think Ian's voice is sounding better than on TAAB2. It doesn't have that punch it used to have, but it still all sounds quite nice and he interprets the lyrics nicely. His flute-playing seems to get better with every album, which it should. After all, every album contributes to his playing experience. The band plays through the music very proficiently. If anything, they sound a bit too polished for some bits. It might just be due to the fact that most of them are pretty clean-cut jazz and classical musicians. However, they still add a lot of character to the parts and interpret them very nicely.

The concept includes Bostock again, so you know it'll be weird. It chronicles humanity's rise and fall as the dominant species on earth, as told by some guy locked in a sanatorium after an unfortunate run-in with malaria. However, it is quite poignant and sometimes rather unsettling. Pop culture references from all periods are everywhere. You actually really have to pay attention to catch all of them. They work well and are obviously very well thought- out.

Stylistically varied, musically solid, and lyrically curious, Homo Erraticus is a wonder of a solo album from Ian Anderson, and possibly his best outside of Jethro Tull. The one real negative is that having heard so much of his other work, there are moments where it seems a little too formulaic. However, it is still an incredibly enjoyable effort and something I am sure I will find myself listening to on and off for years to come.

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 Homo Erraticus by ANDERSON, IAN album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.63 | 110 ratings

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Homo Erraticus
Ian Anderson Prog Folk

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

4 stars Bursting out!

Like the previous Thick As A Brick 2 (and unlike most other Ian Anderson solo albums) Homo Erraticus is a Jethro Tull album in all but name. While Thick As A Brick 2 was good and enjoyable, it did not overly impress me. In the light of this, I frankly wasn't expecting very much from this follow up. But I was wrong. Homo Erraticus overshadows its predecessor and indeed all of the other albums released under Ian's own name. This new album is easily the best that Ian has created since the 1990's and I would not hesitate to say that it is up to par with many a Jethro Tull album!

Another surprise is that Homo Erraticus has appeared so soon after Thick As A Brick 2, especially having in mind that the last proper (I'm not counting the Christmas album) Jethro Tull album was released fifteen years ago! I'm very happy to see that Ian Anderson is being prolific once again and that he manages to make albums of such a high quality as Homo Erraticus. There is here clear evidence of a new found inspiration and regained energy that I mistakenly thought he had lost (at least as a song writer and recording artist, he continued to be great live during the last decade). The band that Ian has chosen for himself is very good too and I don't really miss anybody. Working with these people seems to have invigorated him.

I must admit that this album didn't impress me on the first couple of listens, but it quickly grew on me over further listens. It has now had a constant presence in my headphones for some time and I don't seem to tire of it, but instead continue to discover new aspects of it. It certainly reveals itself to be a more complex piece of music than a quick glance at the track list might suggest. It is not really just a collection of 15 shorter songs, but rather a three-part concept album about the history of man! The lyrics are intricate and much more interesting than on Thick As A Brick 2.

Homo Erraticus is simultaneously Ian Anderson's best solo album and an excellent Jethro Tull album. Highly recommended!

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 Homo Erraticus by ANDERSON, IAN album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.63 | 110 ratings

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Homo Erraticus
Ian Anderson Prog Folk

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

4 stars "Homo Erraticus" is the triumphant return of prog legend Ian Anderson on the crest of a soundwave, based ambivalently on a concept segmented in three sections; Part 1: Chronicles, Part 2: Prophecies, and Part 3: Revelations. Following the bold "Thick As A Brick 2", that received mixed reactions, is no easy task, but Anderson has done so with admirable flair. The progger is now 66 years old but still sounds refreshing with his inimitable style, some may say too similar in style to Jethro Tull with his storytelling vocals. The flute is here; man, is the flute ever here! It is a constant presence and played brilliantly. Feast your ears on the mesmirising flute on the dark atmospheric 'Puer Ferox Adventus' and 'Tripudium Ad Bellum' that absolutely flourishes with quirky exuberance and dynamic flutters as only one- legged Anderson can perform. He is a masterful musician but his vocals still endear and he captures some beautiful emotive moments such as on 'After These Wars'. His voice is easy on the ears and relaxing these days, mainly straight forward rather than layered or with reverberations.

The album features some glorious Tull throwbacks such as on heavy handed killer opener 'Doggerland' and the divine showstopper 'The Turnpike Inn'. Martine Barre is a thing of the past nowadays but I still love the lead work by Florian Opahle such as on 'After These Wars'. The Hammond is given a workout by John O'Hara augmenting a 70s sound to the musicscapes as on 'New Blood, Old Veins'. There are some ironic moments such as on 'Heavy Metals' where there are folk acoustics and not a shred of distorted metal. 'Enter The Uninvited' has beautiful harmonics sounding similar to Sigur Ros' 'Staralfur' in the intro. The flute is lilting and the time sig is fractured, with some of Anderson's more aggressive vocals and an endearing melody follows on this definitive highlight. I like the clever lyrics referring to many familiar pop culture icons such as Burger King, GI Joe, Elvis hips, bubble gum, facebook, Apple Mac, Star Trek, Baywatch, Friends, West Wing and Walking Dead.

The album features some transition points with very short musical breaks like 'In For A Pound', but that works as a kind of evolving storyline. 'The Browning Of The Green' has a more distinct rock feel and some wonderful keyboard work over a riffing guitar distortion, and I love the flute and guitar break. The music is often laced with pompous medievalism, even lapsing into dialogues and off kilter effects such as with 'Per Errationes Ad Astra', but it captivates, growing on the ear with every listen. 'Cold Dead Reckoning' is one track that really stayed with me with its atmospheric melodies and pounding rhythms.

I found this latest Anderson release to be a very enjoyable album musically and conceptually. I admire the man for continuing to create the music he has become known for without compromise or remorse. Anderson does what he does and he does it well, so if you are a fan you need look no further as you know what to expect, flutes storytelling and catchy melodies; there are no surprises. This is a throwback to the Tull years and it is very welcome as far as this reviewer is concerned.

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 Homo Erraticus by ANDERSON, IAN album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.63 | 110 ratings

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Homo Erraticus
Ian Anderson Prog Folk

Review by Second Life Syndrome
Collaborator Post/Math Rock and Crossover Teams

3 stars Flutes and medieval melodies can only get you so far. Ian Anderson, renowned for his work in Jethro Tull, has released a new solo work entitled "Homo Erraticus". That's quite an interesting title, as you can probably tell that his focus here is on revealing the inconsistencies and illogical nature of humanity. So far---so good, in my book. Yet, there is so much in this album that just screams "Mediocre".

Clocking in at around 51 minutes, "Homo Erraticus" seems to go on forever. You already know what the music sounds like: It sounds like Jethro Tull. Flutes and organs and I'm sure quite a bit of frolicking are all involved here. Anderson is wonderful on the flute, and there are certainly some great flute solos here and there. The rest of the band, in all honestly, barely exists. Oh, sure, there's the bass player (barely) and there's a drummer (beat keeper extraordinaire), but none of them really make any significant contribution. For the most part, this album is about Anderson and his flute.

Anderson's strange voice is on display, as well. The lyrics and vox are very folksy in nature, and they don't really require much skill or range. Indeed, this whole album sounds like I should be sitting at a Renaissance festival or something. I mean, I love that kind of stuff, but Anderson composes his music with such dullness sometimes that the added thrill of the medieval flair is lost.

As I said, flute solos won't always save you from mediocrity. "Homo Erraticus" is average in just about every way possible, besides flutes, obviously. The album is cheesy as hell, hippy, and just plain cringe-worthy sometimes. Every single song seems to follow the same structure, which is strange for a supposed "progressive" release. Heck, the songs barely have any structure, as they're mostly very short. Anyways, Anderson just loves to give us choruses that sound all the same wherein he says the title of the song very plainly and dully. Basically, every song follows some sort of boring pattern of a verse + chorus + flute solo combination. It gets pathetic after just a few songs.

There are some tracks I like. I like "The Turnpike Inn" quite a bit for what it is, and I like the opening track "Doggerland", too. The rest of the album blurs together unforgivably. The promising lyrical content, too, disappoints. It never gets any deeper than the skin, and ends up wandering off in rabbit trails that don't interest me.

Ian Anderson's newest solo effort is just another album in a line of disappointments and bores for me this year. The last couple months have been very lackluster in the prog world, and I'm hoping that something will pick up soon. If you like an hour's worth of the same flute solos and songs that all sound exactly the same, "Homo Erraticus" is for you. If not, don't buy it, and maybe Ian Anderson will just go away soon.

2.5 stars

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 Homo Erraticus by ANDERSON, IAN album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.63 | 110 ratings

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Homo Erraticus
Ian Anderson Prog Folk

Review by Evolver
Special Collaborator Crossover & JazzRock/Fusion Teams

4 stars I have a theory about the breakup of Jethro Tull. Well, really the split of Ian Anderson and Martin Barre. Anyone who has seen Tull in concert in the past twenty years has been witness to the obvious decline in Anderson's vocal range. Face it, the guy has been belting out these songs for almost a half a century. And on top of that, the medical issues surrounding his voice have been no secret. Breaking with Barre allows Anderson an excuse to not have to perform the greatest hits of Tull every night, highlighting the fact that his 120 year old vocal chords just aren't the same. With this "new" band (most of whom have already toured with both Tull and Anderson), he is free to pick and choose which of the classic tracks, and even rearrange them for comfort, without having to defend the Jethro Tull legacy.

But speaking of legacy, just as his "Thick As A Brick 2" had that Tull sound, this new album fits like an old pair of shoes to the ears of a lifelong fan of the band. And yes, many of us are crazy enough to wear old shoes on our ears. Even without Barre, the songs have that Tull feel. There are classical based symphonic prog songs, medieval madrigal rock songs, british folk rock, and of course, some hard rockers (what the geezers at the Academy of Arts and Sciences might mistake for heavy metal).

Sure, Anderson has been famous for poking fun at the prog rock label, but here he has embraced the form for which he has been a master. The album is yet another concept album from the man that jokingly disdained the form. He uses his music to give his version of the history of man, from 7000 BCE to the year 2044. Lyrically witty throughout, the album is an absolute joy from start to finish (and the liner notes are a must-read).

The music harkens mostly to two of Anderson's strong compositional periods. The main styling, is the understated and elegant nineties sound of Roots To Branches (my favorite of the later Tull albums) and the folky, but complex Songs From The Wood / Heavy Horses period. Anderson intersperses classic sounding Tullish pieces with songs that use many of the sounds from the period for which they represent. Honestly, after many spins in my CD player, I still hear new facets of the songs every time I play it.

It makes me wish that Anderson could keep on recording for another hundred years. Who knows? Modern science might make that possible...

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 Thick As A Brick 2: Whatever Happened To Gerald Bostock? by ANDERSON, IAN album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.76 | 333 ratings

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Thick As A Brick 2: Whatever Happened To Gerald Bostock?
Ian Anderson Prog Folk

Review by SteveG

1 stars Returning to the scene of the crime. Ian Andersons first foray back with a concept album that has led to the equally dismal Homo Erraticus. TAAB2 fails in both achieving a memorable and enjoyable musical theme that the band could deviate from and return to as well as an interesting concept. The surrogate "Tull" band sounds like studio musicians that are out of their depths without showing the slightest bit of passion for or understanding of the parent material. Did Anderson forget that all of the band members require passion and inspiration in order to make a good album? Furthermore, if any other 70's prog group/artists wanted to make a follow up to their classic albums such as the present day version of Yes making Close To The Edge Part 2, the premise would be dismissed out of hand and rightly so. (Can anyone imagine Gilmour and Mason, right now, making Dark Side Of The Moon Part 2? I thought not.) If Ian Anderson wants so desperately to be remembered as more than just a member of a rock band named Jethro Tull, he needs to do much better than offering up TAAB2 and it's 2014 follower.

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 Homo Erraticus by ANDERSON, IAN album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.63 | 110 ratings

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Homo Erraticus
Ian Anderson Prog Folk

Review by phillihp

4 stars I was not too much enthusiast with this year offerings (2014) so far but my point of view has changed now with the arrival of this new album from Mr. Anderson paired with the new Gazpacho album, Demon. To be honest I did not fully appreciated Homo Erraticus at first. I felt it lacked complexity and it was too rough around the edges. After a few weeks my appreciation has changed though.

Homo Erraticus is an assortment of relatively short songs but this is a concept album so the history jumps throughout the different songs and the short length of most of the compositions is by no means an issue. Regarding its parent album, just don't expect Thick As A Brick because you will be disappointed. Only 'Tripudium Ad Bellum' has a strong link with the classic album. But we don't want a mash up of old songs, we want new melodies right?

So the rating is four stars and it is well deserved for this excellent recording. Let it grow on you and enjoy!

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 Homo Erraticus by ANDERSON, IAN album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.63 | 110 ratings

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Homo Erraticus
Ian Anderson Prog Folk

Review by fraanco3

5 stars The 21st century music of Ian Anderson has been pleasantly good (The Secret Language of Birds, Rupi's Dance, Jethro Tull Christmas Album, etc.), surprisingly good (Thick as a Brick 2) and now, incredibly good (Homo Erraticus). Homo Erraticus is truly a great rock record and harkens back to Tull rock classics like War Child, Minstrel in the Gallery and Stormwatch. Rock, in a progressive way as only Ian Anderson can do it. Each track is fresh, the story he tells is compelling and challenging, and the replays reveal more and more each time.

Tracks that you think are merely pleasing build up into rocking composites of multiple instruments, time signature changes, thrilling vocals and twisted lyrics. Great flute, organ/piano, harmonies, solid bass lines and powerful drumming. A thrill ride through history, Homo Erraticus is light/dark/heavy/gentle. It is all there.

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 Homo Erraticus by ANDERSON, IAN album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.63 | 110 ratings

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Homo Erraticus
Ian Anderson Prog Folk

Review by epictetus

2 stars I have been a huge fan of Ian Anderson/Jethro Tull for over 40 years (yes, I'm that old) so what I'm about to say feels a little like scolding your favorite child. Just my opinion, but Homo Erraticus seems more like a necessary vehicle to have a reason for a 2014 tour, rather than something created out of musical inspiration. Ian seems to have gotten a bit lazy and selfish. By "lazy" I mean he relies more on a formula for producing music. There's nothing new...nothing is "out of the box". The same instruments are used from album to album (I suppose orchestrations are too costly and can be covered by the cheesy synthesizer sounds). By "selfish" I refer to Ian's tight reign on his band mates (if you can even call them that). There is no room allowed for contribution or improvisation by the other players, so the record sounds very similar to recent efforts and almost as if it was generated by a computer program written by Ian. I'm not even sure you can call this work progressive. Is there even one moment where you are surprised by the music? Sorry, but this effort seems more like a business decision than a work of art. But I still love you Ian!

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 Homo Erraticus by ANDERSON, IAN album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.63 | 110 ratings

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Homo Erraticus
Ian Anderson Prog Folk

Review by SteveG

2 stars Starts off with a bang but ends with a wimper. No doubt many will laud this album simply because it's prog. Ian Anderson is a great prog musician and songwriter but his concept albums after 1972's Thick As A Brick simply don't work. Concept albums, like great stories, require great conclusions. For example: a moral, an ironic twist, a revelation of some kind, a feeling of growth and transcendence, etc., whether conveyed by lyrics or music. Marillion found this out when they first came to the anti-climatic ending of Brave. (The song Made Again was hastily assembled and tacked on to the end of Brave in order to give the album a sense of closure. The result was less than stellar.) TAAB worked because it was a lampoon of the concept album and, believe it or not, prog music with it's self indulgent grandstanding and it's deep impenetrable poetic lyrics (hence the Bostock character). Once Ian and Co. took this concept album business seriously, the result was the ill-fated A Passion Play album. The music on Homo Erraticus is actually pretty enjoyable, if vaguely familiar, because it doesn't sound contrived. However, if anyone can make pre-conceived early era Tull-like music sound spontaneous, it's Anderson. Unfortunately. the music starts off with a bang but runs out of steam pretty quicky too. As far as concepts go, a quick gallop through the ages doesn't work either (unless you're Billy Joel making a corny trite pop song.) I hope Ian Anderson sticks with prog in the future but goes back to stand alone song albums. If I remember correctly, Songs From The Wood, Roots To Branches and The Secret Language Of Birds were worth a listen or two.

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