29 August 1980
| Jethro Tull|
| 29 August 1980 (UK)
1 September 1980 (US)|
1980 at Maison Rouge Mobile and Maison Rouge Studios in Fulham, London (UK)
Rock music, Progressive rock, Art rock, Electronics in rock music, Synthpop
Jethro Tull albums, Progressive rock albums
A is the 13th studio album by Jethro Tull. It was released on 29 August 1980 in the UK and 1 September of the same year in the United States. The album was recorded in the summer of 1980 using Maison Rouge Mobile and Maison Rouge Studios in Fulham, London. Eddie Jobson guested on the album, playing keyboards and electric violin. The album was produced by Ian Anderson and Robin Black.
A was recorded as an intended Ian Anderson solo album before Tull's record label, Chrysalis, asked that it become credited to the group to help the label get through overall slow record sales. This is the reason for the album's title, as the tapes were marked "A" for "Anderson". It is noted for its more synthesiser-based sound, a fact which created controversy among many of the band's fans. On the other hand, it features a folk-influenced piece, "The Pine Marten's Jig".
A features a dramatically different line-up of Tull from the band's previous album, Stormwatch (1979). Former keyboardist John Evan and organist David Palmer were de facto fired from the group, while drummer Barriemore Barlow left the band due to depression over the death of John Glascock as well as plans to start his own band.
The only members of Tull to appear on both Stormwatch (1979) and A (1980) are Ian Anderson and Martin Barre. This is also bassist Dave Pegg's first appearance on a Tull studio recording, but he had become a member of the band during the Stormwatch tour in 1979, replacing the deceased Glascock. Conflicting reasons have been given for the line-up change. Anderson has stated that he wanted to take the band in a different direction from the folk rock and progressive rock of the 1970s. Barriemore Barlow was unhappy with the direction the band was taking and later stated that he would have left anyway. However, biographer David Rees reports in his book Minstrels in the Gallery: A History of Jethro Tull (2001) that Anderson had never intended to replace Jethro Tull's previous line-up with the musicians who recorded A, but was forced by Chrysalis Records, which had decided to release his 'solo' album under the name Jethro Tull. This claim was further evidenced by Anderson's note in the 2003 re-release of the album.
All tracks written by Ian Anderson with additional music material from Eddie Jobson; arranged by Jethro Tull.The 2004 remastered 2-disc edition includes Slipstream as a bonus DVD. This is the only official release of Slipstream on DVD.
Ian Anderson – flute, vocals, acoustic guitar
Martin Barre – electric guitar
Dave Pegg – bass, mandolin
Mark Craney – drums
Eddie Jobson – keyboards, electric violin, synthesizer
Robin Black – sound engineer
John Shaw – photography
Peter Wagg – art direction
1Crossfire3:55A (Jethro Tull album) Wikipedia
3Working John - Working Joe5:04