Jethro Tull’s Martin Barre Tells The Secret To ‘Aqualung’s Success

Jethro Tull guitarist Martin Barre disclosed in a recent interview with VWMusic which factors led to the record ‘Aqualung’s commercial popularity.

Martin Barre has been a prominent figure on the British rock scene for almost five decades. He had previously played guitar for minor stage performances as a young guitarist, but his breakthrough came in when he joined Ian Anderson and the duo formed Jethro Tull. The band frequented local blues clubs, and as their sound evolved from blues to progressive rock, commercial success followed.

Their fourth studio album, 1971’s ‘Aqualung‘ achieved significant commercial success and became a celebrated work. Even almost fifty years after the record’s initial release, Jethro Tull’s name still attracts many people’s attention. Guitarist Martin Barre is currently on tour with his solo band in North America and has also announced that he will be celebrating ‘Aqualung’s 50th anniversary with a European tour.

Martin Barre joined Joe O’Brien to answer his questions about Jethro Tull’s major commercial success, his current tour plans, and what was next for him as a solo artist. When Barre was asked why ‘Aqualung’ has resonated with so many people and what led to its success, the musician shared his opinion on why he thought their fans ensured the record’s initial popularity.

For the guitarist, the album could have easily been ‘just another album in the pipeline,’ but with the right sound at the right time, the record achieved critical acclaim. He also revealed that the dynamics of the album worked out well with live performances and this also encouraged the album’s commercial success.

Barre’s views on how the album has managed to resonate with so many:

“The answer is more with the fans because they’re the ones that made it what it is. It could have been just another album in the pipeline. It could have been an album that people didn’t take to, but they did. It was the right thing at the right time. There’s always an element of luck or circumstance. I don’t analyze it myself. I like the music. It really works great as a live performance.

There isn’t another album besides maybe ‘Stand Up’ or possibly ‘Benefit’, where you could play the whole album, and it would work in concert. It’s a rarity. It’s a nice sort of combination of light shade and a lot of dynamics – a challenging and rewarding piece of music.”

Jethro Tull is currently on a European tour with the vocalist Ian Anderson, and their next show will take place in Greece. The band released its 22nd studio album ‘The Zealot Gene’ on January 28, 2022. Martin Barre has his own solo plans for the time being as he will celebrate ‘Aqualung’ with his own respective band.