Rock and Roll music evolved really quickly in the 60s, going from early Beatles records to more complex Progressive Rock albums made by groups like Jethro Tull. The multi-instrumentalist and singer Ian Anderson helped to form Tull in Luton, England back in 1967 and one year later they released their debut album “This Was”.
The group became one of the most influential Prog band of all time, with an estimated amount of more than 60 million records sold worldwide. But there were also other successful bands from the music genre in the United Kingdom. One of them was Pink Floyd, that achieved a huge commercial succces in the 70s, that made them one of the best-selling bands of all time.
Over the years, Anderson talked about many other groups, including Pink Floyd. He even revealed which is album of the band changed his life and he loves.
The Pink Floyd album that Ian Anderson said he loves
When Jethro Tull was formed, Pink Floyd already existed for two years and would release in that same year their debut album “The Piper at The Gates of Dawn. At the time, the group was formed by Nick Mason (Drums), Richard Wright (Keyboards), Roger Waters (Bass) and Syd Barrett (Guitar and vocals). That record was well-received and reached number 6 on the United Kingdom charts.
In an interview with Classic Rock in 2021, Ian Anderson picked that album as one of the records that changed his life. He said that alongside The Beatles’ “St. Pepper Lonely Hearts Club Band” (1967), that Floyd album caused the evolution of the Progressive Rock music.
“There were two seminal albums in 1967 that carved a path for people like me in the progressive pop context. One was The Beatles’ ‘Sgt. Pepper’, of course. The other was an altogether more surreal and proggy affair, Pink Floyd’s ‘Piper at the Gates of Dawn’. Both albums took elements from lots of different sources and used them in colorful, creative ways.”
“For me, the Pink Floyd album had more meaning. The Beatles were a pop group, so I thought their stuff was a bit contrived, a bit twee. I liked the singer-songwriter element to Floyd more. Syd Barrett’s songs were strange and funny. They perfectly complemented the radical, druggy instrumental stuff the band did. You saw pictures and presented them with words and sound, rather than as paintings,” Ian Anderson said.
Anderson said was a unique experience to listen that Pink Floyd debut for the first time
Although Pink Floyd is often remembered for their most famous albums “Dark Side of The Moon” (1973) and “The Wall” (1979), the band’s debut album was a huge influence for other groups. In an interview with Hyperlocrian in 2022, Ian Anderson talked about that album and said it was a unique experience to hear it for the first time.
“There were definitely things back then that were really groundbreaking. It’s amazing when you listen to the first Pink Floyd album, ‘The Piper at the Gates of Dawn’. It was a unique and new experience to listen to that album. It was a signpost for those of us who wanted to be musicians in 1967. A signpost that said: progressive rock? In this direction. It was the beginning of progressive music,” Ian Anderson said.
In that same conversation he said it was an important experience. However, he noted that he didn’t heard anything equivalent in temrs of music like that over the past years.
He already covered a Pink Floyd song
Anderson already had the chance to cover Pink Floyd on the tribute album “Back Against The Wall”. The all-star tribute record featured other influential Prog Rock musicians. The Jethro Tull leader re-recorded the track “The Thin Ice”. In that song, he was accompanied by Tony Levin, Gary Green, Jay Schellen and Billy Sheerwood.