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NEW MUSICAL EXPRESS
11 January 1969
TULL WROTE OWN HIT
Like the R 'n' B boom that left behind groups like the Stones, Manfreds and company, the current interest in British blues is shaping up to present the groups that will be left behind to take their place in the pop establishment when the boom has died away. Fleetwood Mac will still be around and so too, I believe, will Jethro Tull, who enter the NME singles Chart for the first time this week with the self-penned 'Love Story'.
Jethro Tull — the original gentleman of that name was a major force in the pioneering of agricultural improvements in the 18th century — consists of Ian Anderson, flute, mouth organ, claghorn, singing; Clive Bunker, drums; Glenn Cornick, bass guitar, and Martin Barre, lead guitar. Martin replaces Mick Abrahams who left the Tull a week ago to form his own group.
Ian Anderson, a 21-year-old native of Blackpool, is a talented writer, a brilliant flautist, a fine singer, and is as honest and unpretentious as a stick of Blackpool rock. He is also an incredible showman on stage who will no doubt take his place alongside the Jaggers and Arthur Browns of this world in time.
The group has been in existence for just over a year and their adept mixing of jazz and blues — they themselves fix no labels — has brought them a strong following from the new audience for the blues and from those looking for something different. Their first single, 'Song For Jeffrey', was good enough to have made the Chart: their first album, This Was, became one of the surprise big sellers of 1968.
When the present blues boom fades away, Jethro Tull will still be around — that is if their musical integrity hasn't broken them up and sent them off in search of other things. They are like that — honest to themselves and their followers, young, demanding, raw — and it shows in the music they produce.
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JETHRO AT FILLMORE
Jethro Tull — who enter the NME Chart this week with 'Love Story' — open a two-month U.S. tour at New York Fillmore East on January 24. During its American visit, the group will begin work on its second album — the first, This Was, appeared in the NME LP Chart for seven weeks at the end of last year and re-enters it this week at No.14.
Co-manager Terry Ellis flew to Los Angeles this week for talks with the Warner-Reprise label, which has signed a contract with the group for the distribution of its discs in America and Canada. The deal is said to carry a guarantee of 250,000 dollars.
British dates for the group before it leaves for the States are Norwich Gala Ballroom (tomorrow, Saturday), Redcar Jazz Club (Sunday), London University (next Tuesday), Keele University (Wednesday) and Manchester University (January 18).
Many thanks to Glenn Cornick for this article