JETHRO TULL/IAN ANDERSON Thick As A Brick (1972) & Thick As A Brick 2 (2012)

Thick As A Brick

Thick As A Brick 2: Whatever Happened To Gerald Bostock?
Whatever Happened To Ian Anderson?

I’ve always imagined that Ian Anderson is roundly pissed about how his career has evolved. Not his legacy as a blues-rock/prog showman, of course. The early years of Jethro Tull were marked by invention and innovation almost from the get-go. And, certainly not the quality of said invention, which would make any working musician proud. While it’s true that time and tastes have left Jethro Tull behind in the minds of all but the most ardent fans, Ian Anderson has made attempts to establish his own brand, branching out under his own name to create a musical thread that’s less about the past, and more about where he needs to go in the future. And… that future is not dancing on one leg like a circus animal anymore. Unfortunately, most people, even casual Tull fans, barely recognize his name. So, what’s a legend got to do to get some attention and respect? Anderson has been artistically successful in the new millennium (see The Secret Language Of Birds), but who’s noticed? Irregardless of his talents and temerity, the faithful that routinely filled the cheap seats in arenas all over the world still seem to crave only another encore of “Locomotive Breath.” So, excuse me if this new 2012 release, a sequel to one of Jethro Tull’s most celebrated albums, seems to verify all of the above. Instead of Jethro Tull, the album is credited to “Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson,” in a last-ditch attempt to connect the dots for all those who only respond to the Pavlovian ringing of “Aqualung.” Like a majority of aging artists, Anderson’s grander days may be behind him, but he’s far from artistically spent… and Thick As A Brick 2: Whatever Happened to Gerald Bostock is a fine example. Since “concepts” tend to bore me, I haven’t analyzed the storyline, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it’s secretly about himself, as in… whatever happened to Ian Anderson? Acoustic based, TAAB2 isn’t as sprawling or dramatic (or new) as its predecessor, but it’s a work that’s pleasingly less earnest and wears well on the aging veteran. It’s just sad that an artist of his stature is forced to reference past glories just to get noticed. The original Thick As A Brick posted here is the 1997 reissue, featuring a live, 11 minute rendition, along with band member interviews. Find TAAB1 & TAAB2 (2CD Edition with 5.1 Surround Mix) at Amazon. Check the archives for our other Jethro/Anderson stuff; Carnegie Hall, NY (1969), The Chateau D’Isaster Tapes (the shelved follow-up to TAAB) and Ian’s excellent The Secret Language Of Birds.

Thick As A Brick (Side 1) (22:40)
Thick As A Brick (Side 2) (21:10)
Thick As A Brick (Live At Madison Square Garden 1978) (11:50)
Interview With Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson, Martin Barre and Jeffrey Hammond (15:07)

From A Pebble Thrown (3:06)
Pebbles Instrumental (3:30)
Might-Have-Beens (0:50)
Upper Sixth Loan Shark (1:13)
Banker Bets, Banker Wins (4:28)
Swing It Far (3:28)
Adrift And Dumbfounded (4:25)
Old School Song (3:07)
Wooton Bassett Town (3:44)
Power And Spirit (1:59)
Give Till It Hurts (1:12)
Cosy Corner (1:25)
Shunt And Shuffle (2:12)
A Change Of Horses (8:04)
Confessional (3:09)
Kismet In Suburbia (4:17)
What-Ifs, Maybes And Might-Have-Beens (3:36)


  • Willard
    August 15, 2012 - 10:02 | Permalink

    Search HERE

  • jayway
    August 15, 2012 - 18:23 | Permalink

    Thanks I appreciate this. I was thinking about this the other day. I recalled it blasting out of his 8track in his Camero. Will Passion Play be making an appearance as well?

  • Willard
    August 15, 2012 - 18:55 | Permalink

    Don’t even own a copy of APP anymore.

  • Mike
    August 17, 2012 - 11:22 | Permalink

    I never understood the appeal of TAAB.. to me one of Tull’s lesser albums. For labyrinthine progginess A Passion Play is better, for bluesiness Stand Up, for folky-rocky Roy Harper imitations Too Old to Rock ‘N Roll, for social commentary Aqualung, etc. Plus I don’t really care what happened to Gerald Bostock, he always seemed like a little twat anyway.

  • Rick
    August 20, 2012 - 19:33 | Permalink

    Well, I for one have always enjoyed Anderson’s songwriting and he’s one of the best acoustic guitarists around. This one looks worth a listen. Thanks Willlard.

  • K.C.
    August 25, 2012 - 18:22 | Permalink

    TAAB2 is released as an Ian Anderson CD/tour because longtime Tull guitarist Martin Barre decided to split ways with Anderson prior to the recording. Anderson has long stated that without Martin there is no Tull. So it appears that he is being true to his word.

  • Willard
    August 25, 2012 - 18:30 | Permalink

    Quite possible… though it does state “Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson.”

  • K.C.
    August 26, 2012 - 17:26 | Permalink

    In either case I agree with your observation that Ian must be royally pissed at the direction his career has taken. A long overdue thanks to you and your great website. Cheers.

  • Willard
    August 26, 2012 - 17:33 | Permalink

    And thanks to you for stopping by and commenting.

  • September 4, 2012 - 14:40 | Permalink

    I like Jethro Tull’s first two album best because of the tints of jazz & blues. I would have like to have seen them get more into those two styles rather than the BIG CONCEPT bugaboo (which also almost sabotaged The Who).

    • Willard
      September 4, 2012 - 17:17 | Permalink

      Good point. It really weighed these guys down as they tried to move forward.. and they never really found a way back to their blues roots.

  • Sid
    September 12, 2012 - 02:12 | Permalink

    Many thanks for this – and for a great blog.

  • Rhod
    October 20, 2012 - 17:00 | Permalink

    Thanks Capt

    Always thought the first Jeffro Tull album was the best but Thick as a Brick was a close second. I dont know if the stories are true that Ian Anderson made up TAAB1 as he went along. If that is true them the man is a genius.



  • Rhod
    January 2, 2015 - 18:07 | Permalink

    Great share, I enjoy all the Jethro Tull offerings, they were different from what was being played in the late 60’s. Flute as a lead instrument ? I still think This was as the best of Tulls albums but I change every so often to Aqualung Passion Play always something to discover.



  • Hugh
    February 20, 2015 - 16:22 | Permalink


    I spent a few hours perusing this website and went to the ‘Home’ page to find out what it was all about. No real explanation. But never mind – lots of fun to be had anyway.


    As this is a Tull thread – I bought my first Tull album (Aqualung) in 1971 at the tender age of 14.



  • May 28, 2015 - 18:13 | Permalink

    I hated Brick 2. Actually I pretty much hated everything after Minstrel and I say hated because before that I worshiped so when Too Old came out I was stunned, betrayed! Songs From The Wood has some great moments but it was back to downhill all the way with Heavy Horses for me. It’s not something I could easily put my finger on either, because the adjectives that describe Tulls music could certainly still be used, the musicianship was still there even in the later configurations of the band but something radical and immediately felt seemed lost to me. Ian wasn’t snide anymore overnight, his entire delivery of a song was somehow altered. They rocked, yet they just sucked. Sorry, I just can’t take Anderson anymore. (Homo Erraticus, ugh what another dreadful bomb) ha ha

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