Jethro Tull, winding up the week of Prog/Glam/musical revolutions. Together since 1967, Jethro Tull were initially a Blues-Rock band, with a certain leaning in the direction of Herbie Mann and Jazz flute (via Ian Anderson). By 1969, the Blues-Rock imprint gave way to a Progressive Rock – which represented more musical freedom for the band, as it did for a number of bands around this time.
For all the misgivings a lot of press had with Progressive Rock in the day, the fact that it existed and became the proving ground for a lot of experimenting in Rock was vital. For the most part, much of the press (particularly in the U.S.) tended to toss the bands into camps; Progressive got the stereotype as being pretentious and self-indulgent; that the music being made had a rarified air to it only musical scholars and snobs would understand.
Fortunately for everyone, not the least Jethro Tull – they transcended the stereotypes and happily straddled numerous musical influences, becoming a huge success in the process. Not to mention that by the time the 70s rolled around, Jethro Tull was packing arenas all over the world. And most record collections, whether you had Led Zeppelin or Yes, you undoubtedly had Jethro Tull in there too.
This session was the third the band did for John Peel – it comes around the time Stand Up was being recorded and it signaled a change the band was undergoing. This would be their breakthrough and would pave the way for Aqualung, which became one of the essential Rock albums of all time. 1969 would be a watershed year for the band. Going on a landmark U.S. tour, which included playing The Newport Jazz Festival, and being invited to play Woodstock (which they declined out of fear of being pigeonholed), they were rapidly becoming a household name and big times were indeed ahead.
To give you a taste of band at the threshold, here is that third Peel session, recorded on June 16, 1969 and broadcast on June 22.