The 10 Best Jethro Tull Albums Ranked

Jethro Tull

Jethro Tull is a British rock band that has been in the music industry for more than fifty years. The original band was formed in 1967 by Ian Anderson, Glenn Corning, Mick Abrahams, and Clive Bunker. Over the years the number of band members has changed due to the different members who have joined or left the group. Before they settled on the band name, Jethro Tull, the band went through a stage of changing their band name almost every week to ensure that they could be rebooked in clubs where they had already performed. They were driven by the need to grow their fame and increase their earnings through music. The name Jethro Tull was suggested by their agent. The band released their first song in 1968 and have progressively released more hit songs over the years.

10. Heavy Horses


“Heavy Horses” was the eleventh studio album released by the band. The albums is characterized by songs that combine folk and progressive rock. It was released in 1978 and peaked at number 19 in the top albums in the US. It was charted at number 20 in the UK. The song’s fame was based on its originality and combination of folk style music with progressive rock. It was among the few albums that utilized this style.

9. This Was


“This Was” debuted in 1968. It was one of the earlier works recorded by the band. The album was released after the band had already gotten a contract to perform at the Marquees Club in London. The song is loved by fans who have been listening to the band since it released its first songs. The different tracks in the album illustrate the foundation of the band’s music and can be used to compare the changes in their style, use of musical instruments, and vocal range. While most of the initial members in the band left, “This Was” can still be used to examine their impressive transformation over the years.

8. Minstrel In The Gallery


“Minstrel in the Gallery” was released in 1975. The songs included in the album combined electric and acoustic styles. It was also the last album to feature Jeffrey Hammond, making it a fan favorite for those who loved Hammond’s work in the band. The album has attracted more attention over the years as more fans look back at the songs that Jethro Tull released in the 1970s.

7. Benefit


“Benefit” was released in 1970 as the third studio album for Jethro Tull. Its uniqueness was based on its incorporation of a pianist and organist, which was not a common trend in the band. “Benefit” was also unique because it was the first album that hit the 1 million mark in sales. After its release it was position 2 in Norwegian, 3 in the UK, and 11 in the US.

6. Songs From the Wood


“Songs from the Wood” was released in 1977. Like “Heavy Horses,” the album also combines folk music styles with progressive rock styles to create folk rock. The album was inspired by English pagan folklores that characterized the 1970s. It became a fan favorite because of its story-telling nature that shed light on the old English folklores while entertaining the band’s fans. This album was more popular in the US than the UK when it was released, and landed on number 8 in the US Billboard chart for top albums and number 13 in UK.

5. A Passion Play


“A Passion Play” was the band’s sixth album. It was released in 1973. The album is characterized by a sequential flow of music and has just the right balance between fantasy and realism. It peaked at number one in the Billboard of the top 100 albums in 1973 after its release. It continues to be one of the band’s greatest hits based on its display of different kinds of songs. Although the album received a lot of critique because of the variation of the songs included in the album, most of the fans were still pleased with it. Critics of contemporary music consider the album one of the best progressive rock albums of all time. In an interview conducted by Loudersound, Steve Harris talked about his love for this song and the memories he had of the time the some came out. He described it as an acquired taste, which could explain why it took so many people quite some time to love it.

4 Living With the Past


“Living With the Past” was released in 1972. The album was a four-sided piece of some of the numerous songs that the band had written in their early career life. Most of the songs included in the album had only been released in Europe. It was later available to fans across the globe. Ian Anderson’s incorporation of the songs “Sweet Dream” and “Witches Promise” made it a unique piece that the people craved to listen to and own.

3. Aqualung


“Aqualung” was released in 1971 and immediately became a fan favorite. It was one of the few albums released by the band that accepted and loved even by individuals who were not a fan of the album. The band sold seven million copies of the album and was number one in the Billboard top 100 albums after its release. Every song in the album is special in its own way.

2. War Child


“War Child” was released by the band in 1974 and exhibited their progressive growth based on the quality of the songs that were included in the album. It was number two on the Billboard chart for the top albums released in 1974. Some of the songs in the album, such as “Bungle in the Jungle” became a top hit in the US and is still considered one of the album’s biggest hit.

1. Thick as a Brick


This album was released in 1972. It contained two tracks. One of the tracks “Thick as A Brick Part 1” played on one side while the other track “Thick as A Brick Part 2” played on the other side. Although it was a satirical piece about an eight-year-old boy who was a genius who was dismissed by judges who doubted his intellect, fans of the band loved the song. It held the number one position on the Billboard top 100 albums in 1972 after its release.


Each of the albums released by Jethro Tull is unique. The band’s albums have been characterized by different band members. Throughout the years, Ian Anderson has been a constant figure in the band. He has worked with a wide range of artists in creating some of the most wonderful musical pieces associated with the band’s name. As the band, continues to produce more music and incorporate younger and upcoming rock music artists, the is hope that the Jethro Tull band name will never die or will at least continue to live for the next few decades.

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