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The 4 Punk Rock bands that Ian Anderson said he likes

Ian Anderson


The 4 Punk Rock bands that Ian Anderson said he likes

The singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Ian Anderson helped to form Jethro Tull in the late 60s, a band that became one of the most influential Progressive Rock groups of all time. With an estimated amount of more than 60 million records sold worldwide, the band helped to expand the boundaries of that music genre and inspired countless artists during the following decades.


By the late 70s, bands like Tull were composing more and more complex music, which was getting really far from the simplicity Rock and Roll had in the early days of its existence. As an answer to that complexity of the music, which was dominated by talented and experienced musicians, Punk Rock emerged with artists who at beginning could barely play their instruments but had something to say.

They wanted to bring Rock and Roll back to the basics again and put all the energy and anger they could in it. That movement was a real threat to groups like Jethro Tull, because they were the enemies for those new bands, but Ian Anderson liked many of them. So Rock and Roll Garage listed the four Punk Rock bands the musician said he likes and what he said about them over the years.

The 4 Punk Rock bands that Ian Anderson said he likes

The Ramones

Although the origin of Punk Rock stars long before The Ramones, the American band kind of organized all the elements that were necessary to make a Punk Rock song. Ian Anderson agreed that it all started with them and said he still likes to listen to the group. He recalled that in an interview with Classic Rock in 2023, saying: “I have a soft spot for the brutal, simplistic music of Motörhead and the Ramones.”

As Anderson told Marc Allen in an interview in 1993, he really started to like them after buying their Greatest Hits album one year before that conversation. The musician is a big fan of compilation albums because it’s easier to really understand what a band is about and then dig deeper into their catalog.

“I speak as one whose recent purchases include sort of Stranglers’ best of and box set and things from those, the Ramones. ‘Cause I go for that, you know. I’m not gonna go and buy all their bloody records ’cause the chances are that eight out of 10 songs are a pile of shit,” Ian Anderson said.

The Ramones broke-up in 1996, announcing their farewell tour and retirement. In the following decade the classic albums members Joey Ramone, Dee Dee Ramone and Johnny Ramone passed away.

The Stranglers

Anderson is also a fan of the British band The Stranglers, as he told The Quietus back in 2010. The group was formed in Guildford, Surrey, England in 1974 and they also had a New Wave sound. Some of their most famous songs are “Golden Brown”, “Always The Sun” and “Peaches”.

As he told Magnet back in 2018, he believed that groups like The Stranglers were influenced by Progressive Rock music. “When the Clash, the Sex Pistols and that whole brigade of British punk bands came about in the wake of the Ramones, it was a movement that lasted only a little while. It evolved very quickly.”

“Then you had bands like the Police and the Stranglers, They owed more to Progressive Rock. Though they took on some of punk’s trappings because that was their entre into making a living in music at the time,” Ian Anderson said.

The Stranglers have been active since their foundation and have released 18 studio albums. The most recent one is “Dark Matters”, released in 2021.

The Damned

Another Punk band that Ian Anderosn likes is The Damned, formed in London, England back in 1976. They have been active since their foundation and already changed their sound a little bit in the 80s, with a Gothic Rock approach.

The Jethro Tull leader said in the conversation with The Quietus in 2010 that they were one of his favorites. “We loved the punk bands… or many of them. I never trusted the swearing and spitting. (I) always thought that Johnny Rotten would be somebody’s son and probably a really decent chap underneath it all. Which soon proved to be the case.”

“What I couldn’t understand about this enforced belligerence was the way they also complained when people took against them. That seemed ludicrous. But I loved many of the band… The Stranglers, The Damned,” Ian Anderson said.

The Damned have released 11 studio albums, the most recent one being “Darkadelic” in 2023.

Sex Pistols

Anderson wasn’t really into Sex Pistols at first because of the way their vocalist Johnny Rotten behaved on stage. But he later learned to appreciate them. He recalled that in an interview with Something Else in 2013. “It’s just part of what happens in the world. Allegiances change, tastes change. A new generation comes about and they want to listen to something that represents their growing years. Not the stuff of their older siblings.”

“It’s understandable. It didn’t particularly upset me. When the punk thing came about, it was in some ways quite a welcome return to basics. I went out and bought my own copy of the first Sex Pistols album. (Also) the first Stranglers album. I quite enjoyed them in a funny sort of way. It didn’t stop me from carrying on what I was going at the time,” Ian Anderson said.

During the same conversation he recalled that Johnny Rotten said he liked Jethro Tull. The classic album “Aqualung” released in 1971 was an influence to him.

The Sex Pistols were active for only 3 years in the 70s. Their reunions happened once in the 90s and twice in the 00s. However, their only album is “Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols” released in 1977. That proves that with only one record they were able to really cause a musical and cultural revolution in the world.

I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG

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