Rhinofy-Why Jethro Tull Belongs In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame


It’s right there on the opening cut of their debut album, “My Sunday Feeling.” Forget me-too culture, Jethro Tull was original! Name one other band not only dominated by flute, but one where it was played by its frontman! Sure, you occasionally heard the flute on glorious tracks like the Blues Project’s “Flute Thing,” but no one built a whole band around it!

And where is the flute today…

Don’t we glorify the originals? THEN WHY NOT TULL!


Purists are right, the debut is the best. Blues-rock with a twist. Completely lost to the sands of time, “This Was” heralded greatness the same way Led Zeppelin’s first did. Check it out and complain. But you can’t! Because “This Was” still sounds fresh and original today, unlike what was playing on AM radio.


Because IT DID!

Everyone keeps regretting the passage of album art. But Tull were KINGS! “Thick As A Brick” featured a complete newspaper, but there wasn’t a teenager alive who wasn’t wowed by the band popping up in the middle of the “Stand Up” gatefold. And this was long before pop-up books were de rigueur.


At first. There was nothing resembling a hit single on the initial LPs. Hell, until “Living In The Past,” long into their career, there really wasn’t a radio hit at all. Isn’t this what we want to celebrate, those who go their own way, who follow their muse in pursuit of musical greatness?


One of the great record companies of all time was built on Tull’s back. No Tull, no Chrysalis. No Blondie, no so much more.


Because we remember that which touches us, even more than that which moves our bodies. Because we’re only human, we’re confused, we’ve got more questions than answers, and when music is done right it soothes our pain, it rides shotgun as we try to find our way out of quandary and despair.


We celebrate “Smoke On The Water” but not “To Cry You A Song”?

Then again, Deep Purple isn’t in the Hall Of Fame either…

Sure, critics were disappointed in the turn towards the mainstream on “Benefit,” but music is irrelevant unless people listen to it and the truth is “Benefit” was close enough to popular tastes to be widely embraced, it satiated people, and still contained the dark “Sossity You’re A Woman” and the classic “Teacher,” music for headbanging in slow motion.


We don’t want our artists to just repeat themselves, we want them to take us on a journey, to explore, life is all about the new and “Aqualung” was a jump from what came before.


The two key cuts on “Aqualung,” the title track and “My God,” were 6:35 and 7:11 respectively, and despite the dominance of FM this was not a radio-friendly thing to do. Tull was beholden to the music, not the middleman.


How come “Thick As A Brick” has been forgotten? There’s not a baby boomer alive who doesn’t know it, the acoustic intro, the movements…

Sure, Mike Oldfield did it too, with “Tubular Bells,” but that was AFTER!

Furthermore, you had to flip the side in the middle!

CDs play ad infinitum, but no latter day act has duplicated Tull’s feat.


Years after their initial impact, nearly two decades after their debut, Tull had a huge success with “Crest Of A Knave” and its hit track “Farm On The Freeway,” which was just as enrapturing as the earlier work. Imagine Bruce Springsteen writing something as good as “Thunder Road” today…IMPOSSIBLE!

But despite all the foregoing, Jethro Tull has been EXCORIATED! For stealing Metallica’s Grammy, for making music that fit in no obvious genre.

There’s not a chance in hell the Committee will embrace Tull. Because Ian Anderson is not a warm dude, because the band had huge success across all demos and the Committee can only embrace personal favorites that no one else liked, that “influenced” others. Some bands are so sui generis that they can’t be replicated. Come on, front your band with a flute back then and you’d be dismissed as a Tull imitator!

And Anderson shuffled the lineup. Which makes it harder to believe. The leader is supposed to hide behind handlers who take all responsibility, the band must not be at fault for musical changes. But a band is a living, breathing thing. To expect harmony is to expect Zayn Malik to have a string of number ones.

There’s a chance that decades from now, when rock is truly dead and nostalgia creeps in, when those who denigrate Tull have died, that young kids will discover Jethro Tull and embrace the band the same way the Doors were resuscitated. Because like the Doors, Tull tested limits and was very listenable.

Is that such a crime, to make ear-pleasing music?

Don’t hate the success, love the music.

Tull is deserving.

But if you’re waiting to be anointed you’re playing the wrong game.

Jethro Tull won everything. They don’t need no Cleveland coronation to prove that. But they should get one.

Rhinofy-Why Jethro Tull Belongs In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame

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