English rock group. Formed in 1967 in Blackpool, it began as a blues-based rock band led by Ian Anderson (b Edinburgh, 10 Aug 1947; flute, guitar and vocals). The group’s style soon developed away from its blues roots as it became one of the leading groups in British progressive rock between 1970 and 1977. After early successes with This Was (Isl., 1968), Stand Up (Isl., 1969) and Benefit (Isl., 1970), the band released their most commercially successful album, Aqualung (Isl., 1971). With thoughtful lyrics and complex arrangements, it was Jethro Tull’s first album in the progressive style; it became a staple of 1970s FM radio and was very influential. Thick as a Brick (Chrysalis, 1972) is one of the decade’s most important and ambitious concept albums, consisting of one long track of over 40 minutes, based on a poem by the precocious but fictitious eight-year old, Gerald Bostock. Thick as a Brick offers a stinging critique of provincial British life, and the LP was originally packaged as part of a fold-out 12-page newspaper, The St. Cleve Chronicle. A Passion Play (Chrysalis, 1973) focussed on life after death and rebirth, and was packaged with a theatre programme containing the lyrics. Songs from the Wood (Chrysalis, 1977) saw the band returning to a simpler style, influenced heavily by traditional British folk music. Jethro Tull has remained active in the 1980s and 90s, even winning a Grammy Award for Crest of a Knave (Chrysalis, 1987).