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IAN ANDERSON

Prog Folk • United Kingdom


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Ian Anderson biography
Ian Scott Anderson - Born August 10, 1947 (Dunfermline, Scotland)

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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DivinitiesDivinities
Angel Records 1995
$3.68 (used)
Rupis DanceRupis Dance
EMI Import 2010
$14.54
$8.40 (used)
Homo Erraticus ( Tour Edition - Cd & Dvd )Homo Erraticus ( Tour Edition - Cd & Dvd )
Special Edition
KSCOPE 2017
$16.99
Walk Into LightWalk Into Light
Emi Import 2011
$11.51
$13.85 (used)
Homo ErraticusHomo Erraticus
KSCOPE 2017
$6.95
$5.74 (used)
Plays Jethro TullPlays Jethro Tull
zyx 2005
$6.40
$5.14 (used)
Thick As A Brick 2Thick As A Brick 2
Capitol 2012
$36.96
$7.98 (used)
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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 | 128 ratings
Walk Into Light
1983
3.62 | 128 ratings
Divinities - Twelve Dances With God
1995
3.66 | 160 ratings
The Secret Language Of Birds
2000
3.72 | 146 ratings
Rupi's Dance
2003
3.75 | 403 ratings
Thick As A Brick 2 [Aka: TAAB2]
2012
3.59 | 200 ratings
Homo Erraticus
2014
2.76 | 29 ratings
Jethro Tull - The String Quartets
2017

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

3.99 | 66 ratings
Ian Anderson Plays the Orchestral Jethro Tull
2005
3.31 | 24 ratings
Thick As A Brick Live In Iceland
2014

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

3.88 | 37 ratings
Ian Anderson Plays the Orchestral Jethro Tull
2005
3.26 | 12 ratings
Thick As A Brick Live in Iceland
2014

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)

3.00 | 5 ratings
Fly By Night
1983
2.25 | 4 ratings
The Thin Ice
2007

IAN ANDERSON Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Thick As A Brick 2 [Aka: TAAB2] by ANDERSON, IAN album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.75 | 403 ratings

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Thick As A Brick 2 [Aka: TAAB2]
Ian Anderson Prog Folk

Review by mariorockprog

5 stars 4.5: The fifth album by Ian Anderson and I considered it his best solo album. It is really good balanced and keep you entertained all the way in the album. He maintained his unique folk style mixing it with excellent flute and guitar riffs that makes the music so progressive in the way of changing rhythms all the time, so you never going to get bored. Vocally, I don't know how he achieves to maintain the same voice from his classic years and as always how he sung make the music very delight-able, because he also change the way he do it and add melodies to the music. Finally, a excellent addition to any prog listener, and so close in quality to his masterpiece former album.
 Thick As A Brick 2 [Aka: TAAB2] by ANDERSON, IAN album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.75 | 403 ratings

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Thick As A Brick 2 [Aka: TAAB2]
Ian Anderson Prog Folk

Review by The Jester

3 stars Review # 83. Thick as a Brick was released in 1972, and it was the answer of Ian Anderson to critics and media when they were 'accusing' Jethro Tull of having become a Progressive Rock band. (That's the story I know at least). I believe the whole idea was extremely sarcastic, but finally, TAAB became one of the best and most famous albums ever recorded by the band. On the album's 40th anniversary, Ian Anderson decided to release Thick as a Brick 2. The sequel...

The truth is that further the title and very few tunes that brings to the mind the first album, these two albums are quite different. Thick as a Brick 2 is a concept album, it contains 17 tracks, that most of them are between 2-4 minutes long. (Only exception the song 'A change of horses' that is 8 minutes long).

But the songs are so cleverly placed in order, that the final outcome is very nice. Here Ian Anderson tells the story of the 8-years-old poet 40 years later. The story also includes a few different options of our poet's future, given with the so familiar sarcastic way of Ian Anderson.

For me, part 1 of the first Thick as a Brick was a masterpiece! Here you will not find any masterpiece I'm afraid, just a well-structured album.

His voice is in a good form, (or the studio engineers did a very good job), the songs are above average, and the record as a whole is enjoyable. I think 3.0 stars is a good rating for this album...

 Thick As A Brick 2 [Aka: TAAB2] by ANDERSON, IAN album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.75 | 403 ratings

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Thick As A Brick 2 [Aka: TAAB2]
Ian Anderson Prog Folk

Review by Jzrk

4 stars I'm not looking to write an extensive album review here. I have read a lot of the reviews here on site.I just wanted to say that I had listened to this when it came out being a big fan of the original.2 is a pretty good album and follow up to the original after all these years.Could it have been better?Yes.But I think over all it happens to keep the spirit of the original and offer up some of that good old Tull like instrumentation and Ian's witty folk vibe.So worth an occasional listen to when I am in that Tull mood.I happened to listen to Homo Eraticus lately which brought me back to this again.I have read a lot of here like Homo Eraticus better than this,but for me I like this a little better.Maybe because it is pretty much Tull full on.
 Walk Into Light by ANDERSON, IAN album cover Studio Album, 1983
2.85 | 128 ratings

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Walk Into Light
Ian Anderson Prog Folk

Review by SteveG

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, but I do resent his sticking his nose into a musical area that he didn't help to form and develop. If I had to guess, Chrysalis label mates Ultravox would seem to be the prime motivation for Ian's new sound but you could toss in everyone from the Eurhythmics to Erasure as influences.

This outing finds Anderson paired up only with future Annie Lennox keyboardist Peter-John Vettese, while Anderson mans a Lynn drum machine and sampled bass to go along with his occasional and rare sprinkling of acoustic and electric guitars and his ever present flute which, strangely, seems right at home with plastic synth tones.

The songs themselves are not bad and some would have made excellent Tull material if they were written and recorded some 5-8 years earlier, especially "Made In England", Trains", and "Black and White Television." What is probably most annoying to me is the lack of pure musical experimentation or flight of fancy soloing that would have at least shook up the songs from their laid back pacing and carefully measured delivery. Anderson was still in fine voice at this juncture and thoughts of what could have been seem to haunt this era of his work.

To conclude, Walk Into Light would not have been comparable to the artist's work that helped to influence it. In a perfect world where Jethro Tull had never existed before Ian's first solo outing, Walk Into Light would have had no place next to the output from Ultravox, Eurhythmics and Erasure simply because it was not really Anderson's forte and, more importantly, it was simply not as good. 2 stars.

 Thick As A Brick 2 [Aka: TAAB2] by ANDERSON, IAN album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.75 | 403 ratings

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Thick As A Brick 2 [Aka: TAAB2]
Ian Anderson Prog Folk

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Review Nš 121

'Thick as a Brick 2: Whatever Happened to Gerald Bostock ?' is the fifth studio album of Jethro Tull's front man, Ian Anderson, and was released in 2012. It's a follow up or a sequel, as you wish, of 'Thick As A Brick', the famous and highly acclaimed classic conceptual album released by Jethro Tull, in 1972, the mother of all concept albums, according to Anderson. However, before write about 'Thick As A Brick 2', I need to write a few lines about Jethro Tull, Ian Anderson and 'Thick As A Brick', to situate the context, why Ian decided to release this sequel in our days.

Jethro Tull is considered with Genesis, Yes, Pink Floyd, Gentle Giant, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, King Crimson, Van Der Graaf Generator, Camel and Rush, one of the best and most important progressive bands ever. Ian Anderson was always the band's image, the front man of the group, the brain of the band and the eccentric figure of Jethro Tull. 'Thick As A Brick' is in general considered the most progressive and the best release of Jethro Tull and the father of all conceptual albums. It's also in general seen, with 'Selling England By The Pound' from Genesis, 'Close To The Edge' from Yes and 'Wish You Were Here' from Pink Floyd, one of the four best progressive albums ever made. It's also a special album for me. My first contact with this album was in the 70's, at school, where one of my school friends lent me a recording, made on a tape recorder with low mono sound quality. Since I listen to it, since I became amazed with it.

So, forty years have passed since 'Thick As A Brick' was released and as most of you can remember, when it was released, it was involved in some controversy. The album was a collaboration between the band and an eight years old child, who wrote a complex poem that talks about the challenges of to get old, for a contest about a fictional kid, Gerard 'Little Milton' Bostock. In those time, and even today, many belie that Gerald Bostock was a real person. However, the child was disqualified because the judges considered that the poem, had little moral, and talked about the sexual life of father and son and the problems of their relationship. So, the judges preferred give the prize to a twelve years old girl, who wrote a simple essay about the Christian ethical values entitled, 'He Died To Save The Little Children'. So, Ian Anderson became very upset with that and he picked up in the child's poem and created a notable piece of music.

According to Anderson, when in our days he was thinking about the original album 'Thick As A Brick', he began to think: 'I wonder what the eight-year-old Gerald Bostock would be doing today? Would the fabled newspaper still exist?' So, it was in this context that appeared 'Thick As A Brick 2'. This new album is completely focused on Gerald Bostock, the fictional boy genius of the original poem on 'Thick As A Brick'. The story presents five divergent hypothetical life stories for him, including a greedy investment banker, a homosexual homeless man, a soldier in the Afghan war, a sanctimonious evangelist preacher and a most ordinary man who runs a corner store. By the end of the album, all five possibilities of live seem to converge in a similar concluding moment of gloomy of pitiful solitude.

It's also important to be said that Anderson and his fellow musicians delivered a finest progressive piece of music with this release. Certain musical themes taken from the original album make this second part very recognizable, but you never get the idea that the music sounds outdated. A modern approach and new recording facilities prevent you from listening to a 70's album. The flute playing of Anderson has always been his trademark and also this time it's prominent in the music. Maybe he doesn't sing as good as forty years ago, but the way he sings nowadays actually suits the music quite well. Compared to almost all of the albums of Jethro Tull recorded after 'Crest Of A Knave', the music has much more progressive rock elements. For instance, outstanding keyboard and electric guitar parts can be enjoyed throughout the album. Just like the first part of 'Thick As A Brick' the music sounds as if it's only one solid piece.

Conclusion: Anderson made a great job here. Inevitably, comparisons will be made with the original album. But this sequel has to be judged on its own merits. It's a very valuable successor of the first one and a wonderful addition to any prog collection. But it's a puzzle for me why Anderson decided to release this work as a solo album. By The way: Whatever happened to Mr. Barre? I really don't know. He's sorely missed, but his young replacement Florian Ophale acquits himself more than adequately. But, what made Anderson release 'Thick As A Brick 2'? I think that are two main reasons. First, his great love for music and his consciousness about the importance of 'Thick As A Brick'. Second, there is the philosophical existential question, which many of us have done for so many times. What would happen to me if I had followed another path in my life? Who would I be today? Of course, there aren't answers for these questions. However, I think I'm able to answer to one question. What would happen to progressive music if Anderson had followed another path? Surely, the progressive world was poorer, today. So, god blesses you Ian, for you are what you are.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Jethro Tull - The String Quartets by ANDERSON, IAN album cover Studio Album, 2017
2.76 | 29 ratings

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Jethro Tull - The String Quartets
Ian Anderson Prog Folk

Review by BarryGlibb

2 stars Did we really need this? Maybe; but then again, probably not. I was intrigued a little...just a little. So I bought the CD thinking that I can listen to a string quartet arrangement of some Tull classics without too much input from Mr Anderson...how wrong I was.

You would think that Ian would let the String Quartet do its own thing? But no; IA couldn't help himself and had to "stick his bib in" and do overdubs with flute (not so bad) and his recently (i.e. 1987!) acquired appalling vocals on 6 of the 12 tracks. Listen to me Ian..... "YOU DID NOT NEED TO OVERDUB YOUR VOCALS ON THIS RELEASE, IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE A STRING QUARTET ALBUM!!!!!!"

This release might have been a winner if Ando (baby) had abandoned the idea of overdubbing his horrific vocals......Steven Wilson to the rescue in 2057 with the 5.1 Surround Sound 5CD and 2DVD 40th Anniversary Auditorium Edition, minus vocal and flute overdubs!

After the track "Pass The Bottle" had finished, the only thing that came out of my mouth was the word "atrocious". Honestly!

The only really, really good thing on this CD is "Songs and Horses" ...brilliant! Oh, guess what? No vocals on that track!

2 stars out of 5.

 Homo Erraticus by ANDERSON, IAN album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.59 | 200 ratings

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Homo Erraticus
Ian Anderson Prog Folk

Review by CapnBearbossa

4 stars Is liking this album a sign of my being an ageing Tull fan? Probably....

When Mr Ian Anderson of JETHRO TULL fame was presented the "Prog God" award in 2013 (proclaiming "Prog is Fun!") , fans of his colorful stage persona and unique musical talent already knew he had promised a "progressive folk metal" album for the next year. I think anyone could have predicted that reactions and reviews would run hot-and-cold, as they do for any new progressive music long past the era in which this kind of thing was fashionable, and anyway wasn't the controversial Rock Island the last overt attempt at folk-metal on Tull's part? But prog fans are as odd as they are fickle, and seeing this album appear in April of 2014, I gleefully scooped up a copy and immediately spun it the three or four times it took to really understand it, and really like it. (After all, hasn't this always been the way on that rocky roller coaster of Tull/Anderson fandom?)

It's an undeniable testament to Ian's enduring talent -- and spirit -- that he is still driven to produce this kind of multilayered, melodic, folksy rock music. I don't know if it is rightly "metal" however, nor does it seem a proper attempt at such; and, here again, the detractors of Crest Of A Knave (of whom I am not one) might say that's a good thing. No, if metal is meant to seriously kick your a** the way Tequila does on a wild friday night, Homo Erraticus is more of a fruity, late vintage wine enjoyed in moderation ... long about a relaxed and studious saturday evening.

And now how about a little something of the meat of this album, to go with that wine?

Mr Anderson hits us right off with a song in the best of Tull traditions, namely "Doggerland." It struck me immediately as one of the more likeable tunes, but with that caveat I must also say that the album gets better from there, once you have learned to appreciate it on Ian's terms. What he is actually doing is relating to us - musically - the history of Great Britain and, in a way too, a good portion of the rest of the world. With tunes such as "Heavy Metals" (referencing the blacksmith and his trade) and "Meliora Sequamur" (treating monastic and priestly endeavors), he applies the sort of light musical touch you might expect from his two solo albums just prior to TAAB2. And with" Puer Ferox Adventus" (the story of Christianity, more or less) and "The Turnpike Inn" (an ode to the kind of nightly respite, pleasant or otherwise, our species has historically found when travelling potentially dangerous territory), things get a bit roudy in the libretto -- with some amazing flute interludes to match. It certainly sounds, in places, a lot like the Tull of old times, although by now we've learned that Florian Opahle's lyrical electric guitar passages remain the singular opiate to soothe our longing for those spectacular, searing blues-metal solos Martin Barre was so keen on delivering.

Oh well, you can't have it all, can you? On that note I will say that this is more of a love letter from Ian, thanking his worshipping throngs of long-time devotees for voting him "Prog God", than anything that will win converts. As one of that cohort of Tull fanboys-of-old, I will also promise that Homo Erraticus has rewards for those who care to listen for them. How's that for treading the safe middle ground?

 Homo Erraticus by ANDERSON, IAN album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.59 | 200 ratings

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Homo Erraticus
Ian Anderson Prog Folk

Review by hegelec

1 stars As Ian Anderson explained to Billboard in 2014, "To me, Jethro Tull is...the vast body of repertoire that's Jethro Tull, the record catalog, the music, and I think that, if we look back on it, it kind of came more or less to an end during the last 10 years or so (with) a couple of live albums and a studio album of Christmas material. That might define the last albums under the name Jethro Tull. It's a body of work I rather think is now kind of historical, since the weight of it lies back in the 70s and 80s in terms of volume. And I rather think it's nice to kind of leave that as legacy."

So Tull is dead, though it truly died as a band in the conventional sense in 1979, persisting thereafter in name only as a musical prosthetic for Anderson, impersonal and robotic. This album foreshadows the musical future for Anderson post-Tull.

If you want a picture of the future, imagine a flute, stamping on a human face, forever.

 Thick As A Brick 2 [Aka: TAAB2] by ANDERSON, IAN album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.75 | 403 ratings

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Thick As A Brick 2 [Aka: TAAB2]
Ian Anderson Prog Folk

Review by Progfan97402
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This is the sequel to the well-loved Thick as a Brick, released 40 years later. A lot has happened, including Ian Anderson apparently retiring the Jethro Tull name (with Martin Barre parting ways). So unless things change and Martin Barre returns, thereby bringing back the Jethro Tull name, Ian Anderson will likely be recording as a solo act, as in this sequel. So he gets a German guitarist Florian Opahle (who wasn't even 30 yet when this came out) and some other musicians, making it a five piece. This is a concept of what might have happened to Gerald Bostock, the fictional kid responsible for the original (actually Ian Anderson, as it's so obvious the lyrics have Ian Anderson written all over it). That meant as he became an adult, he could have ended up several different paths, and that's addressed by each of them. Let's be honest here: the album never reaches the amazing heights of the original, it doesn't quite have the energy of the original, the music has a more calm vein, more in tune with later Tull, like Catfish Rising. It's still very good, though, in fact it still has that Tull spirit going on, which is a good thing. Occasional themes from the original pop up, as well as passages that resemble the original, as well as parts that remind me of Heavy Horses, and even a reference to "Locomotive Breath".

This sequel isn't likely to set my world on fire, and it's in no danger of taking over the Tull classics, never mind the original Thick as a Brick, but it's nice to have.

 Thick As A Brick Live in Iceland by ANDERSON, IAN album cover DVD/Video, 2014
3.26 | 12 ratings

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Thick As A Brick Live in Iceland
Ian Anderson Prog Folk

Review by rdtprog
Special Collaborator Heavy / RPI / Symphonic Prog Team

3 stars Ian Anderson has been in Iceland for 9 shows, mostly in Reykjavik where this show was recorded. The musician feel the presence of music here, because a lot of people plays an instrument or sings. Here on this concert, the band took the same instruments to recreate the first concept album "Thick as A Brick", originally from 1972. The performance has some additional theatrical input with actor, singer and dancer Ryan O'Donnell which allowed Ian Anderson to add some more flute to the music. Even is this album is a kind of parody, I was surprised to see Ian invite 2 peoples from the audience to make a standup comic stunt of a fake prostate test. But it didn't last long before the band were back to the music. The performance of this concept album let some space for a bit of improvisation and some added violin and flute. After 40 years, it's still a enjoyable piece of music where some theme are repeated a few times during this 50 minutes to keep the concept alive. As for the second part of the show "Thick As A Brick 2", if it's the suite of this concept about this young boy, it's different because we feel that each songs are independent to each others, the concept being to present 5 hypothetical stories around this boy. You can only identify a connection musically with the first album, when some short segments of this album have been included to the second album. Unfortunately, I didn't feel the same magic here that I found on the first album.

The theatrical aspect of the show didn't bother me much, except for the standup comic part. A better idea was to see and hear the violin of Anna Phoebe direct with Skype from her bedroom in London. The picture is ok, not the best for a high definition show, but the surround sound is really immersive. Is it a nice addition to a Prog rock collection when we already have heard the album? I would say probably not, but also because the second part was not as good as the first one.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to E&O Team for the last updates

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