Born in the late 40s in Dunfermine, Scotland, the Jethro Tull leader, co-founder, multi-instrumentalsit and singer Ian Anderson became over the decades one of the most influential Progressive Rock musicians of all time.
Being the only member of the group who was part of all the records from their discography, Anderson was a fundamental part for Tull’s success, that made them sell more than 60 million albums worldwide.
Although many fans might think that Anderson’s musical taste is more focused on Classical Music and Progressive Rock, it’s not true. He has a very broad musical taste and once even revealed which is one of his favorite Alternative Rock singers, saying that he is one of the most important ones from it’s time.
The 80s alternative Rock singer that Ian Anderson said he loves
Every decade music changes with new bands and artists appearing and remodeling the sound that is being playing on the radio, or now on the streaming platforms. By the time the 80s arrived, Jethro Tull already was very influential group. They had already released famous albums like “Aqualung” (1971) and “Thick As A Brick” (1972).
Throughout the 70s the Progressive Rock music gained the spotlight and by the end of that decade Punk Rock appeared with more strength with the goal to take Rock and Roll music back to it’s roots again, with simple and short songs. So after a a period of turbulence, with many different styles on the scene, the so called New Wave beacame the new thing around. Which was going to show the path for the music business in the 80s.
There were countless groups making that kind of music all over the world. So many famous ones came out of the United Kingdom. At the time, Ian Anderson didn’t paid attention to them. So it was only more than four decades later that he heard their music and became an instant fan.
In an interview with in an interview with Rock Cellar Magazine in 2023, Anderson said that he discovered the singer Morrissey and The Smiths. He stated that the musician is one of the most important singers of popular music.
“I know that I do radically change my views. If you asked me this time last week, ‘What do you think about Morrissey,’ my opinion would have been entirely negative. Not only have I been listening to the music of Morrissey and the Smiths during the last three days intensively and reading Morrissey’s autobiography.
“But completely coming around to the idea that he is one of the more important singers of popular music in the period of time that I’ve been engaged with it. So even at this point in my life I can completely reverse my views and think, ‘Wow, this has a lot of merit. A lot of stuff that is very worthy of my spending hours listening to and thinking about.’ I’ve done that a few times in my life. It just happens to be now I’m a huge Morrissey fan, whereas a week ago I definitely wasn’t (laughs),” Ian Anderson said.
It’s worth noting that Anderson only praised Morrissey’s musical skills. He didn’t gave directly any opinions about the controversial things the musican had said over the years.
Ian Anderson listed a Morrissey record among the ones he can’t live without
The Smiths was formed in Manchester, England back in 1982 by Morrissey (Vocals), Johnny Marr (Guitar), Andy Rourke (Bass) and Mike Joyce (Drums). The group was active until 1987 and released four studio albums. Those records had hits like “There is A Light That Never Goes Out” and “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now”.
Morrissey started his solo career immediately after the group disbanded, releasing his solo debut “Viva Hate” in 1988. He continued active over the decades, releasing 12 more albums. The most recent one being “Without Music The World Dies” in 2023.
Talking with Spin in 2023, Ian Anderson listed which were the 5 albums that he couldn’t live without. One of his choices was the compilation album “The Best of Morrissey” released in 2001. In the inteview, the Jethro Tull leader once again said that he discovered Morrissey not long ago. Since it was after he read some controversial comments that the singer made.
“I didn’t know Morrissey at all until very recently when I read some controversial comments reported in the media. Having then listened to some early songs, I bought his autobiography in which he reveals the traumas and tribulations of childhood. (Also) his early days with The Smiths through to the recent past.”
Ian Anderson continued:
“But his songs have a real elegance. They are built around economical and minimalist melodies. Poetic, insightful lyrics and not half as miserable as people make him out to be! A bit of a humorist, actually.”
“Works with great musicians of that genre and seems to be having a good time on stage. I am a buyer of compilations, generally. They serve as a good introduction to artists of all times and musical styles,” Ian Anderson said.
Anderson said that Morrissey shouldn’t follow the footsteps of Roger Waters
Over the years, Morrissey has made many controversial comments about politics and was also accused of being a racist. Talking with Classic Rock Review in 2023 (Transcribed by Rock and Roll Garage), Ian Anderson praised the musician’s discography. But also said that he shouldn’t follow Roger Waters’ footsteps and talk about everything.
“I was never a Smiths fan or a Morrissey fan until three weeks ago. (It was) when I decided I should try to get to know this character. I now am an enormous fan of particularly Morrissey’s later work. It just shows that sometimes you examine something that you feel is not your cup of tea, is a very profitable exercise. I now have decided that Morrissey is now a man of great innate skill in terms of economy of melody.”
“(Also) his delicate relationship between melody and harmony, and the chordal structure of the music. But, it’s the Apple Mac of that era of Pop music, it’s a great simplicity, economy of style. A great elegance is the way perhaps to describe it.”
“So Morrissey gets my thumbs up (musically). The only reason I started listening to him is because I read some stuff that he reportedly said. Which was again, very politically incorrect. He did that a few years. Apparently he tends to repeat things up until recently I think he’s learned his lesson finally. You know, best to step back and don’t follow the footsteps of Roger Waters,” Ian Anderson said.