Ian Anderson

Strongly influenced by his father's jazz and big band record collection, Ian Anderson was always something of a musical rebel, creating highly individual and often idiosyncratic music, both with his band Jethro Tull and in his solo work. After his family moved from Scotland to England, he was expelled from Blackpool Grammar School and studied fine art before turning to music, forming his first band The Blades with some old schoolfriends. He demonstrated his individuality early, abandoning the electric guitar - purportedly because he felt he'd never be as good as Eric Clapton - and famously taking up the flute instead; later adding mandolin and saxophone to his repertoire. Anderson formed Jethro Tull in 1967, absorbing jazz, folk, classical and many other supposedly unfashionable musical styles in a progressive band that went on to have a long and hugely successful career as one of Britain's top outfits, selling over 60 million albums. He has undertaken many solo projects along the way, too, guesting on other people's records and releasing the solo albums Walk Into Light (1983), Divinities: Twelve Dances With God (1995), The Secret Language Of Birds (2000), Rupi's Dance (2003) and Thick As A Brick 2 (2012). In 2004 he starred at a concert in Germany with the Neue Philharmonie Frankfurt, playing symphonic versions of Jethro Tull songs, resulting in the live album Ian Anderson Plays The Orchestral Jethro Tull. Anderson is also an active conservationist.

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