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(Vocal/instrumental group, 1967–present)

While this group – originally Ian Anderson (vocals, flute), Mick Abrahams (guitar), Glenn Cornick (bass) and Clive Bunker (drums) – rose on the crest of the British ‘blues boom’ in the late 1960s, they absorbed many other musical idioms, principally via composer Anderson. The image of his matted hair, vagrant attire and antics with his flute during early TV appearances was not easily forgotten, for, as well as being a popular album act, especially after the second one, Stand Up (1969), sold well in North America, they were also mainstream pop stars by 1969 when ‘Living In The Past’ all but topped the UK chart. Such entries, however, dried up by 1971 when Aqualung, a ‘concept’ album, appeared. By the 1980s, the group had become Anderson and Martin Barre (guitar) plus backing musicians, whose living depended mostly upon US consumers’ continued liking for 1987’s Grammy-winning Crest Of A Knave and whatever other albums the financially secure Anderson chose to record.

Styles & Forms | Sixties | Rock
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Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rock, general editor Michael Heatley


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