Jethro Tull Singer Compares Pink Floyd To The Beatles And Calls One Of Them A ‘Pop Band’


During his interview with Louder Sound, Jethro Tull lead vocalist Ian Anderson talked about Pink Floyd’s debut studio album and The Beatles’ eighth studio album, which were released in the same year, and compared them. He also said that Pink Floyd’s words were more meaningful.

The Beatles released their eighth studio album entitled ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ on May 26, 1967. It became one of the band’s most popular and best-selling albums and stayed at No. 1 on the Record Retailer chart in the UK and on the Billboard Top LPs chart for months.

A few months later, a brand new band named Pink Floyd started their musical journey by releasing their debut studio album ‘Piper at the Gates of Dawn.’ The band proved that they would stay in the rock scene for years with their legendary works and musicians as soon as they released the album. The record was featured on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

In his interview, Ian Anderson shared his thoughts about these two albums, often considered opponents, by drawing attention to their influence on his career as a rock musician. He compared the two albums saying that he found Pink Floyd’s album more creative and surreal. He then defined The Beatles as a pop band with contrived and twee music. Tull also stated that Barrett’s harmonious words and sounds can be interpreted as a painting.

Anderson said in his interview that:

“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, and 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, and 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.”

Consequently, Ian Anderson chose Pink Floyd’s groundbreaking and unique debut album over The Beatles ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ by stressing Pink Floyd’s meaningful sounds and lyrics as the reason behind his decision.