A complete overview of the band’s lesser-known years
History is a strange animal. Bands with long careers too often get distilled into one or two songs. Case in point: Steppenwolf, who are best remembered for the motorcycle anthem, “Born To Be Wild,” and the psychedelic rocker “Magic Carpet Ride.” You might be surprised to know that the band actually scored eight Gold albums during their heyday, and have continued to release albums and tour to this day. A new, three-disc collection attempts to tell a more complete story of the band in Steppenwolf at 50 from Rainman Records.
Odd Fact: Ian Anderson has had a #1 album every 22 years in the US
Jethro Tull has released over 30 albums in their 50-plus year history, making them a staple on rock radio all over the world, with songs like “Aqualung,” “Living in the Past,” and “Bungle in the Jungle.”
The band has never been afraid to take chances, and their latest project is a perfect example. Jethro Tull – The String Quartets, is a collaboration with the Carducci String Quartet. It’s an opportunity to take many of the most recognizable tracks in the band’s catalog and present them in a classical setting.
This left turn has proven quite successful, as the album has recently hit #1 on the Billboard Classical Albums chart. It’s also the first Tull album to come out exclusively through Pledge Music.
We welcome back to the program Tull frontman Ian Anderson, who talks about the inspiration for this unique project, why they chose to record the album in old churches, and what to expect from an upcoming tour. Plus, Anderson talks about the latest Jethro Tull album to get the deluxe reissue treatment, Songs From the Wood.
Ian Anderson led Jethro Tull for around 40 years, releasing a string of hit albums that endure to this day. A few years ago, he began releasing records under his own name. But, don’t worry – the classic Jethro Tull sound is still intact. Anderson’s latest project is a live rock opera entitled “Jethro Tull.” Yet, it’s not about the band, but rather the original person, who was an English agricultural inventor of the 1700’s. In Anderson’s new story, he imagines that Mr. Tull is transplanted in the future, burdened with the task of feeding an ever-expanding population. The tale is told through the inclusion of many classic Tull songs, as well as brand new pieces that Anderson has written specifically for the project. Also keeping him busy is the ongoing reissue program of his band’s back catalog – most recently with War Child & A Passion Play.
If you’re a rock or metal fan, odds are you’ve seen Hugh Gilmour’s work. He’s been designing the art and layout for CDs, shirts, posters & DVDs for over 20 years now. He’s worked with artists as diverse as Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Emerson Lake & Palmer, and his latest project, Bad Company, where he designed the artwork for the first two CDs, their debut & Straight Shooter, remastered with deluxe editions. Hugh’s got some great stuff here – photos of picture sleeves, reel tape boxes, etc. Let’s find out how he puts it all together.
Nils Lofgren has been a member of Bruce Springsteen’s E. Street Band since 1984. He’s also played in Neil Young’s band, all the while maintaining a successful solo career. Old School, Lofgren’s first full-length album of his tunes in five years, features guest appearances by Paul Rodgers of Bad Company, Lou Gramm of Foreigner, and Sam Moore of Sam & Dave. Icon Fetch talks to the multi-instrumentalist about recording his latest effort at home, his love of dogs, and the passing of his dear friend and bandmate, Clarence Clemons. He also touches on his online guitar classes
Jon Anderson fronted progressive rock legends Yes for almost 40 years before stepping away due to health issues near the end of last decade. He’s just released a brand new solo effort called Survival and Other Stories, which deals in part with some of the struggles that he’s had to overcome recently. Anderson talks with Icon Fetch’s Justine Bevan about collaborating with different songwriters, having his wife as producer of the new record, and his spiritual outlook on life.
John Waite is best known for a couple of #1 hits “Missing You,” and “When I See You Smile” (with Bad English) from the Eighties. He’s just released a brand new disc called Rough and Tumble, which returns him to the rock roots of his late Seventies band the Babys. Icon Fetch talks to Waite about the bare-bones approach he took with the new album, collaborating with Kyle Cook, guitarist for Matchbox Twenty, and the inspiration behind “Missing You.”
Donnie Iris had a monster hit in 1981 with “Ah! Leah!.” Now’s he’s just released his first-ever holiday-themed record, “Ah! Leluiah!” One of the disc’s highlights is a take on Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus” in which Iris overdubbed every single vocal part himself – a total of 81 Donnie’s on that single track! We also chat with him about his new venture King Cool Light beer.
Gary Brooker has led Procol Harum since their 1967 hit “A Whiter Shade of Pale,” which was the first ever song they recorded. His band’s multifaceted output got labeled Prog rock because there was no better name. But, Procol Harum tackled many different styles, oftentimes on the same album; mixing rock with classical, jazz, blues, folk and turn-of-the-century nostalgia. The band’s catalog is getting an overhaul with each album featuring remastered sound and bonus material.
Brooker takes Icon Fetch through the last four albums the band released in their Seventies heyday. He also touches on why the band called it quits originally in 1976 and what led to their regrouping in 1991. Click below to listen to the Gary Brooker Procol Harum interview on Icon Fetch.
Martin Briley, primarily known for his lone hit from ’83 “The Salt in My Tears.” But, what people may not know is that he is a prolific songwriter who has penned songs for a diverse list of artists, including Pat Benatar, Celine Dion, Night Ranger and Barry Manilow. Briley has had a long, interesting career in the music industry, but has shunned the spotlight. He shares some of his experiences with Icon Fetch, from the unwanted fame that came from his video getting played on MTV, to a crazy stalker that traveled cross country to confront him. Click below for the Martin Briley interview.