CULTURE

Jethro Tull show you’re never too old to rock’n’roll

Now over three decades into an enduring career, Jethro Tull, one of those groups that managed to impose a distinctive style on the contemporary music scene, is still generating considerable interest, as reflected by the strong ticket sales for its show at the Herod Atticus on Monday. Ticket agencies said yesterday that only a handful of tickets remained, in the higher price brackets of 75 and 77 euros each. Led by frontman Ian Anderson, Jethro Tull has had to weather several storms in more recent years, mostly over stylistic direction, but has nevertheless survived and remained popular. After establishing a signature sound, established mainly by Anderson’s introduction of the flute – an instrument with a classical music past – into the band’s sound, and by extension, rock’n’roll, Jethro Tull later shunned prevailing pop trends in the late 1970s and early 1980s to go the way of heavy metal. Anderson’s decision to harden the sound of the group, which, by then, had undergone numerous lineup changes, almost proved catastrophic as numerous listeners began shunning the act as a rock’n’roll has-been. At the time of the band’s crisis, Anderson, too, was experiencing health problems that severely restricted the band’s artistic activity between 1983 and 1987. A Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Album, received for 1988’s comeback release »Crest of a Wave,» was seen more as consolation for the ailing Anderson than recognition of the project’s artistic worth. But, by the 1990s, Jethro Tull began receiving more favorable treatment, as did other rock veterans, as «classic rock» artists for their career accomplishments. Subsequently, the need for a Top 10 hit, to justify Jethro Tull’s continuation, was now irrelevant. Free from such anxieties, Jethro Tull, in the 1990s, returned as a reinvigorated band in line with its glorious past, which began fading after 1978’s «Heavy Horses» album. Last year, the band released a live DVD, «Living With the Past,» while Anderson, who nowadays lives on a farm in the southwest of England, is preparing to release a solo album, «Rupi’s Dance,» in the early fall.