Anderson recalls acoustic 'attitude' on Aqualung

Ian Anderson has recalled the recording process behind Jethro Tull’s Aqualung – and he calls it an acoustic album with “attitude.”

Next year mark’s Aqualung’s 45th anniversary and Anderson insists it was never his intention to write it as a rock album.

He tells Artisan News: “It’s a very important Jethro Tull album and arguably the most successful selling single album by Jethro Tull. I think of it as being a singer/songwriter album with attitude.

“A lot of the songs were written with an acoustic guitar – and some of them were left that way. They were recorded by me alone in the studio and then we overdubbed some bits to them.”

He continues: “But then there were the rock songs that became more fully arranged rock tracks like Locomotive Breath and the title track. But then, they were written with an acoustic guitar then embellished to make them band pieces.

“It wasn’t necessarily written as a rock album. Aqualung was the one where I was more confident in sitting alone in the studio and recording at least some of the stuff without the band even being there.”

Anderson will play Christmas shows at Lincoln Cathedral on December 10 and St Albans Cathedral on December 11. He’ll appear at HRH Prog IV in Wales next March.

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent more than 30 years in newspapers and magazines as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. After initially joining our news desk in the summer of 2014, he moved to the e-commerce team full-time in 2020. He maintains Louder’s buyer’s guides, scouts out the best deals for music fans and reviews headphones, speakers, books and more. He's written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog and has previous written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky. Scott grew up listening to rock and prog, cutting his teeth on bands such as Marillion and Magnum before his focus shifted to alternative and post-punk in the late 80s. His favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Ned's Atomic Dustbin and Drab Majesty, but he also still has a deep love of Rush.