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IAN ANDERSON
Ian Anderson is best known as the leader and flautist of the British rock band Jethro Tull, but has also become a successful solo artist in his own right. Anderson spent the majority of his childhood in Edinburgh, Scotland and went onto study fine art at Blackpool College of Art in the mid-'60s. After trading in his dreams of playing the electric guitar, Anderson opted to take up the flute, which would become the signature sound of Jethro Tull albums for decades to come. The band would first perform at London's famous Marquee Club in 1968 and would shift between band lineups throughout the years to release a variety of albums. In reality, many of these Jethro Tull albums were extensions of Anderson's solo career, as he moved slowly away from the band's acoustic and vocal-driven formula to more instrumental compositions that make up the large body of his work today.

Although Anderson worked on a variety of side projects in the 1970s, his first true solo album wouldn't come until 1983 with Walk Into Light. While most Jethro Tull fans who picked up the record were hoping to hear an extension of the band's sound, the album sounded little like Tull - or Anderson for that matter - and was really an exploration of non-traditional acoustic and Anderson's rediscovery of the electric guitar. While the album wasn't a huge commercial success, it showcased the growth of Anderson's music away from the tried and true formula that Jethro Tull fans had come to love.

In 1995, Ian Anderson released his second full-length solo album dubbed Divinities - Twelve Dances with God. This record combined a variety of religious and spiritual themes and combined Anderson's remarkable flute skills combined with many other classical musicians and instruments. In 1999, The Secret Language of Birds was released and was the solo acoustic project that Jethro Tull fans had been waiting for. The album showcased a variety of styles and showed Anderson's remarkable growth as an artist.

Over the late '90s and 2000s, Ian Anderson would release a variety of solo albums and shows no signs of slowing down. Unlike other artists who break away from their signature band, Anderson is a unique story in the music business who has found a way to experiment with countless new musical directions and compositions while still maintaining a loyal fan base that is eager to join him along for the ride.

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12/20/2014 12:46:04 AM on TCWEB1