Settling down for the evening with a grilled cheese, a bowl of tomato soup and the ‘Aqualung‘ album by Jethro Tull.
‘Aqualung’ is the 4th studio album by Ian Anderson and co., released in 1971, and despite the band’s disagreement, is generally regarded as a concept album featuring a central theme of “the distinction between religion and God”. The album’s “dour musings on faith and religion” have marked it as “one of the most cerebral albums ever to reach millions of rock listeners”.
Whatever, Kelly’s exact quote was:
What’s with this flute shit?
So, yes, here we are on a Thursday evening listening to “flute shit” and eating grilled cheese and tomato soup.
How very pedestrian of us.
The initial idea for the album was sparked by some photographs that Anderson’s wife Jennie took of homeless people on the Thames Embankment. The appearance of one man in particular caught the interest of the couple, who together wrote the title song ‘Aqualung‘. The first side of the LP, titled ‘Aqualung’, contains several character sketches, including the eponymous character of the title track, and the schoolgirl prostitute ‘Cross-Eyed Mary‘, as well as two autobiographical tracks, including ‘Cheap Day Return‘, written by Anderson after a visit to his critically ill father.
The second side, titled “My God”, contains three tracks – ‘My God‘, ‘Hymn 43‘ and ‘Wind-Up‘ – that address religion in an introspective, and sometimes irreverent, manner. However, despite the names given to the album’s two sides and their related subject matter, Anderson has consistently maintained that ‘Aqualung’ is not a “concept album”.
‘Aqualung‘s success signalled a turning point in the band’s career, who went on to become a major radio and touring act. Encompassing a variety of musical genres, with elements of folk, blues, psychedelia and hard rock, it has since sold more than seven million units worldwide and is thus Jethro Tull’s best selling album and is often included on many music magazine “Best of” lists.
Not so much.