Ian Anderson reveals Jethro Tull: The String Quartets album

Ian Anderons
Rather unlikely: Ian Anderson (Image credit: Ian Anderson)

Jethro Tull leader Ian Anderson has unveiled an album of reworked classic tracks with string quartet.

He’s collaborated with the Carducci Quartet, along with longtime colleague John O’Hara, to create 12 reinterpreted pieces for Jethro Tull: The String Quartets, to be released on March 24 via BMG.

In the video below, Anderson explains how he encountered violinists Matthew Denton and MIchelle Fleming, violaist Eoin Schmidt-Martin and cellist Emma Denton via a “rather unlikely” contact, and how he went about “putting them to the test” creating “quite authentic classical-style arrangements.”

Anderson also says: “A couple of years ago I came up with the idea of recording a dedicated string quartet album in a contemporary but classical setting, with brief appearances from myself.

“John came up with a few suggestions of his own which presented challenges. All had an intimacy and presence which I looked forward to recapturing in the cosy and very personal space of my office desk where I did the overdubs.”

O’Hara adds: “There seemed little point in transcribing the band parts and distributing them to the players. I felt a responsibility to delve deeper and offer a new imagining of each piece.

“I also felt a responsibility to the Jethro Tull listeners who cherish this material, and may not welcome a radical rendition of a beloved song. My ambition was to create a thought-provoking album that remains true to Ian’s compositions.”

Most of the reworked pieces have had their titles changed from their originals.

A PledgeMusic campaign is launched today, offering fans the chance to pre-order the album on signed CD and double-vinyl with pictorial printed art on the fourth side. Digital pre-ordering is also available with an instant download of new single Pass The Bottle, via iTunes.

Jethro Tull: The String Quartets tracklist

  1. In The Past (Living In The Past)
  2. Sossity Waiting (Sossity: You’re a Woman / Reasons For Waiting)
  3. Bungle (Bungle In The Jungle)
  4. We Used To Bach (We Used To Know / Bach Prelude C Maj)
  5. Farm, The Freeway (Farm On The Freeway)
  6. Songs And Horses (Songs From The Wood / Heavy Horses)
  7. Only The Giving (Wond’ring Aloud)
  8. Loco (Locomotive Breath)
  9. Pass The Bottle (A Christmas Song)
  10. Velvet Green (Velvet Green)
  11. Ring Out These Bells (Ring Out, Solstice Bells)
  12. Aquafugue (Aqualung)

Ian Anderson tour dates 2016, 2017

Dec 07: Reykjavik Hallgrimskirkja Church, Iceland
Dec 08: Reykjavik Hallgrimskirkja Church, Iceland
Dec 14: Worcester Cathedral, UK
Dec 15: Derby Cathedral, UK
Dec 16: Winchester Cathedral, UK
Feb 17: Kosice Spolocensky Pavilion, Slovakia
Feb 18: Budapest Congress Hall, Hungary
Feb 19: Timisoara Filarmonica Banatul, Romania
Feb 21: Bucharest Sala Palatului, Romania
Mar 09: Kiev International Centre, Ukraine
Mar 10: Vilnius Compensa Concert Hall, Lithuania
Apr 11: Perth Concert Hall, Australia
Apr 13: Melbourne Hamer Hall, Australia
Apr 15: Sydney State Theatre, Australia
Apr 16: Byron Bay Bluesfest, Australia
Apr 18: Dunedin Regent Theatre, New Zealand
Apr 19: Christchurch Isaac Theatre Royal, New Zealand
Apr 20: Wellington Michael Fowler Centre, New Zealand
Apr 22: Auckland ASB Theatre, New Zealand
Jul 01: Barcelona Be Prog My Friend Festival, Spain

Freelance Online News Contributor

Not only is one-time online news editor Martin an established rock journalist and drummer, but he’s also penned several books on music history, including SAHB Story: The Tale of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band, a band he once managed, and the best-selling Apollo Memories about the history of the legendary and infamous Glasgow Apollo. Martin has written for Classic Rock and Prog and at one time had written more articles for Louder than anyone else (we think he's second now). He’s appeared on TV and when not delving intro all things music, can be found travelling along the UK’s vast canal network.