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The 10 most important albums in Jethro Tull's career

Acclaimed writer and font of all Jethro Tull-shaped knowledge, Martin Webb guides us through the 10 most important albums in the band’s ever-evolving career…

THIS WAS (1968)

For many new bands in the late 1960s, playing the blues was a matter of expediency, and the fledgling Jethro Tull’s presciently titled debut This Was Jethro Tull was effectively a record of 1968’s live set. The late Glenn Cornick thought it “naïve” and “amateurish”, but therein lies its enduring appeal. In contrast to the ‘conventional’ white man’s blues of the likes of John Mayall, Fleetwood Mac and Chicken Shack, This Was’ exciting blues-jazz-rock hybrid, driven by the distinctive rolling licks of Mick Abrahams and the breathy, frantic Roland Kirk-esque flute of Ian Anderson, was – and is – startlingly unique. It’s unrepresentative of what Tull became, but it remains a fascinating time capsule.

From the archive

From the archive


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