Jethro Tull Songs Ranked

Jethro Tull is a British rock band formed in Blackpool, Lancashire, in 1967. Initially playing blues rock and jazz fusion, the band later developed their sound to incorporate elements of hard rock and folk to forge a progressive rock signature. The band is led by vocalist/flutist/guitarist Ian Anderson and has featured a revolving door of lineups through the years including significant members such as guitarists Mick Abrahams and Martin Barre, keyboardists John Evan and Dee Palmer, drummers Clive Bunker, Barriemore Barlow, and Doane Perry, and bassists Glenn Cornick, Jeffrey Hammond, John Glascock, and Dave Pegg. The group first achieved commercial success in 1969, with the folk-tinged electric blues album Stand Up, which reached No. 1 in the UK, and they toured regularly in the UK and the US. Their musical style shifted in the direction of progressive rock with the albums Aqualung (1971), Thick as a Brick (1972) and A Passion Play (1973), and shifted again to hard rock mixed with folk-rock with Songs from the Wood (1977) and Heavy Horses (1978). After an excursion into an electronic rock in the early-to-mid 1980s, the band won its sole Grammy Award with the 1987 album Crest of a Knave. Jethro Tull has sold an estimated 60 million albums worldwide,  with 11 gold and five platinum albums among them. They have been described by Rolling Stone as “one of the most commercially successful and eccentric progressive rock bands”.The last works as a group to contain new material was released in 2003, though the band continued to tour until 2011. Anderson said Jethro Tull was finished in 2014; however, in September 2017 he announced plans for a tour to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the band’s first album This Was. The compilation 50 for 50 was released in 2018. The reformed group—now billed as “Ian Anderson and the Jethro Tull band”—still performs live, and has announced tour dates into 2020. The current band line-up includes musicians who have been members of Anderson’s solo band since 2012. Here are all Jethro Tull songs ranked.

Enjoy listening to this British rock band. Click below and enjoy blues rock and jazz fusion music of Jethro Tull.

20. Songs from the Wood (Songs from the Wood, 1977)

“The perfect tull album, very folky, very progy! Hunting girl has got to be their best underrated song. Songs of wood song is weird, but great to listen to, then there’s the whistler, the biggest hit from this album, and when you listen to it, you can see why. All the other songs fantastic in their own rights”

19. My God (Stand Up, 1969)

“The Aqualung album is full of forceful imagery. Ian Anderson gets it completely right about organised religion on this one. Arguably one of the greatest songs on record.

18. The Whistler (Songs from the Wood, 1977)

“The Whistler” Anderson demonstrated that he could make the re-tooled Tull sound quite commercial too. The only song that falls short is The Whistler, which seems like an attempt at a single that never made the grade.”

17. Skating Away (On the Thin Ice of the New Day) (War Child, 1974)

“Skating Away was a staple of the band in the mid-’70s and Bungle in the Jungle is a good ol’ hit. The trademark instrumentation is there, but there are no really engaging pieces, but the song-writing, if not stellar as on their definitive works is more than solid (solid is a word for 3,5* albums, this is a tad better).”

See more: Jethro Tull Albums Ranked

16. Budapest (Crest of a Knave, 1987)

“The obvious focal point of the record is the slow-burning “Budapest”, which is a bit smoother than earlier Tull epics but easily justifies its 10+ minute runtime.”

15. A Passion Play (A Passion Play, 1973)

“A PASSION PLAY pulls no punches as it takes all the prog attributes of the day and puts them on steroids. A veritable sampling of the sounds and styles that could be experienced on all past and present JT albums, this sixth installment in the JT universe tackled an overarching concept about the spiritual journey of a man named Ronnie Pilgrim who embarks on a totally new adventure after his death where in the afterlife attends his own funeral and traverses a series of destinations before contacting his angel guide in Act 1 and going through the process of being judged by a jury in order to determine exactly where Ronnie will ultimately end up.”

14. Bungle in the Jungle (War Child, 1974)

“Fantastic lyrics with an infectious groove. Showcasing Tull’s heavier side this one rock from start to finish. I thank you for dinner! This one is personally my favorite Jethro Tull song of all time. I could listen to it all day”

13. Hunting Girl ( Songs from the Wood, 1977)

“The perfect Tull song! Mostly when you listen to a splendid song it goes really quickly, as it’s a 5 minute song, it’s the perfect length. Got a great hock to it. This was the song that put Jethro Tull to a band I have heard of, to my all time favourite band. This is the song that made me a prog rock fan!”

12. Teacher (Benefit, 1970)

“This version of “Teacher” differs strongly from the better-known one on the Benefit album – most strikingly, there’s no flute on this version. It’s a completely different take, arrangement, and mix as well. You can find it on the 20 Years of Jethro Tull compilation.”

11. To Cry You a Song (Stand Up, 1969)

“The most under rated lp of the70’s just an amazing album. I never get tired of benefit,remember benefit aqualung and thick as a brick not bad ian you did well”

10. Hymn 43 (Aqualung, 1971)

“Star of the show here is the vocals and drums, I agree this should have been a hit here in these United States of America but alas it was just not meant to be. But how many times have the record execs failed about 289,987,125,094 times probably. They were like you want this to be a hit, “fuck no, this shit is way to good”. The flutes are great, the drums are going like a jazz fusion thing, and the flutes, piano’s and guitars are strictly prog.”

9. Living in the Past (Living in the Past, 1972)

“The first song I ever heard of Jethro Tull.. A weird 5/4 beat, with the flute transitions. Possible the best progressive I’ve heard. Anderson manages to put you to sleep with his calming flute, then as soon as the bridge hits, your in another world.”

8. Bouree (Stand Up, 1969)

“The only time in history when a flute has been unquestionably badass. Bouree is simply one of the coolest translations of classical music ever recorded. The flute here obviously isn’t as hard-driving or technical as the bridge to “Locomotive Breath”, but it’s seductively sexy, and perfect for this song.”

7. A Song For Jeffrey (The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus, 1968)

“If memory serves, this is the song the group performed on the Stones “Rock and Roll Circus” as the opening act. Ian Anderson’s treated vocal and unexpected harmonica, with just the odd phrase on the flute are matched with slide guitar and a pounding rhythmic beat to create a quirky, distinctive single which put down a further marker for the group’s commercial breakthrough in the near future.”

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6. Heavy Horses (Heavy Horses, 1978)

“By no means do I agree with all Ian Anderson’s views, but Heavy Horses is a magnificent song both musically and lyrically, a sweeping symphonic heavy folk-rock with a visionary ecological message, the preservation of the gene pool of the English workhorses, in order that “one day when the oil barons have all dripped dry” and civilization as we know it has collapsed, we might rebuild a sustainable agrarian society. A message I gather Ian practices as well as preaches, with his interest in horse-breeding.”

5. Too Old to Rock ‘N’ Roll: Too Young to Die (Too Old to Rock ‘N’ Roll: Too Young to Die, 1976)

“A fairly ironic title given the punk/new wave storm which was waiting just around the bend to blast away at BOF’s like Tull and many others. The song’s okay though and at least Ian Anderson is asking the question about the relevance of ageing rockers in what should theoretically always be a young man (or woman’s) game. The rock and roll pastiche at the end takes things a little too far, mind you.”

4. Cross-Eyed Mary (Aqualung, 1971)

“I pretty much just started listening to this amazing band and THIS could very well be the best song I ever heard, ever. Of course I realize they got a lot of songs with greater versatility/complexity/creativity, but honestly, this one is just too damn catchy and charming to not take the first place.”

3. Locomotive Breath (Aqualung, 1971)

“By far one of the best of Jethro Tull. Perfectly arranged to combine both jazz and rock. Personally, I got shivers down my spine when I heard it for the first time… I advise anyone who reads this to listen to the song. The piano intro and transition into the more intense part is perfect. The song has a very jazzy feel and is wonderfully arranged.”

2. Thick as a Brick (Thick as a Brick, 1972)

“Such a beautiful song! The acoustic guitar at the beginning and end is just so simple yet effective and perfect, and everything in between is amazing as well. I love watching live versions of this song!”

1. Aqualung (Aqualung, 1971)

“That iconic riff from “Aqualung” lives up to its hype, but the song itself is incredible as well.  It is about a bum named Aqualung, who lives in the streets eyeing up girls with panties.  It is very weird, but somehow Ian Anderson makes it work, and the song is one of Jethro Tull’s most popular, and best as well.”