Ian Anderson will release a new lyric book in June. Silent Singing collects the complete lyrics from all of the Jethro Tull and Anderson's solo albums in one deluxe, landscape hardback book.
It also includes 30 photographs taken by Anderson to illustrate certain songs, specially written introductions specially written introductions to each album and scans of original, hand-written song lyrics
Silent Singing will be published by Rocket 88 books, the publishing company behind recent books about Jethro Tull and Opeth, later this year. Anderson introduces the new book in a teaser video which you can watch below.
"Ian has combed through everything from This Was in 1968 to present day, taking in all of his solo albums and tracks released only on box sets and compilations, to collate more than 300 song lyrics," says the publishers. "After listening to original masters, checking notebooks and song sheets, Ian is confident that this book represents the complete, collected lyrics of his more than six decade-long career."
There will be two hardback editions of Silent Singing, one of which will be signed and come with an exclusive art print of an Ian Anderson original photograph.
Fans can sign up now for a chance to get a copy at a pre-order discount, a name printed in the book and all the news — including the first choice of a Classic or Signature editions.
Ian Anderson Teases New Jethro Tull Album in Video for ‘Silent Singing’ Lyrics Book The Zealot Gene is Tull’s first new album in nearly 20 years By BRENNA EHRLICH
Ian Anderson is prepping a new book, Silent Singing, that compiles all his lyrics, from 1968’s This Was to Jethro Tull’s as-yet-unreleased new album The Zealot Gene. The book, out in June, is now available for preorder.
“There’s a line in [‘The Zealot Gene’], the title track, which says, ‘Bee buzzing in your bonnet/and a wasp right up the bum/a V8 under hood/a cocked hammer under thumb,'” Anderson tells Rolling Stone. “It’s about getting your knickers in a twist, we would say. Getting hot and bothered and agitated. I’m not a Twitter guy at all, but ‘we know who’ is the arch Twitterer of recent years, which was both a success and ultimately his downfall. It’s that kind of vehemence or zealotry, which comes with a point of view and wanting to indoctrinate people with a very polarized and divisive view. There’s a little bit of that in all of us. We all have that capability.”
The Zealot Gene will be Tull’s first album in nearly 20 years, their last being a Christmas album that arrived in 2003. Anderson has been steadily releasing solo records in the interim though, with Homo Erraticus arriving in 2014. The musician says he doesn’t know when Tull’s new album will be released, but he’s about three-quarters of the way through recording it (the band started working on it in 2017). The lyrics to the songs from The Zealot Gene will still be included in Silent Singing though, despite not being officially released at the time of publication.
Anderson has been working on Silent Singing — which also features photos by the musician — during the Covid-19 pandemic. “It’s not that I see it as being poetry,” he says of the lyrics included in the book. “I wouldn’t want to be thought of as a jumped-up poet who, in retrospect, thinks, ‘Oh, my lyrics are really good; they can stand alone without the music.’ It is simply putting on the record the correct, accurately transcribed, entire catalog of songs.”
Anderson listened to each of the hundreds of songs included in the book several times to ensure that he’d copied the lyrics down correctly. “[There was] a lot of work in terms of checking and editing [the songs],” he says. “I had it in mind to do this one day, and it just seemed, in the pandemic year of 2020, a good time to do at least one thing that would potentially be a little income.”
“The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the greatest intention” ― Kahlil Gibran
Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson Talks Poetry, Songwriting in ‘Silent Singing’ Excerpt Tull’s first album in 20 years, The Zealot Gene, is also on the way By BRENNA EHRLICH
Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson has spent much of the pandemic reading and re-reading old lyrics, all in preparation for his upcoming book, Silent Singing, out this June. The book features every single Tull song — from 1968’s This Was through Jethro Tull’s as-yet-unreleased new album The Zealot Gene — and Rolling Stone is premiering Anderson’s intro exclusively Wednesday, April 7th.
“It’s not that I see it as being poetry,” Anderson says of the lyrics included in the book, which also includes photos taken by the musician. “I wouldn’t want to be thought of as a jumped-up poet who, in retrospect, thinks, ‘Oh, my lyrics are really good; they can stand alone without the music.’ It is simply putting on the record the correct, accurately transcribed, entire catalog of songs.”
“[There was] a lot of work in terms of checking and editing [the songs],” he adds. “I had it in mind to do this one day, and it just seemed, in the pandemic year of 2020, a good time to do at least one thing that would potentially be a little income.”
The Zealot Gene does not yet have a release date, but it will be the band’s first new album in nearly 20 years. The lyrics will be included in the book, then, before they’re released as music. Read on for Anderon’s thoughts on songwriting, lyrics, and poetry.
Tricky buggers, song lyrics. They are not like poetry, where it merely has to look pretty on the page. Problem is, you scribble down the words and then the hour of reckoning arrives. Now you actually have to sing the stuff. Does the poet, while writing, think of his work being one day read aloud by himself/herself, or another person? I don’t know the answer, never having knowingly met a poet. I wonder what they are like. Are song lyrics more akin to a movie script? They might appear a little banal or simplistic in plain draft text but when the actor brings to bear the interpretation, delivery and theatricality, it can spark of sheer genius. Or not, depending on whether it’s a good day at the office.
These lyrics were originally written only to be sung rather than passively read as poetry. Sung, their cadence marches in step with the rhythms, phrases and intricacies of the melodies. They may co-exist simply on the page and in the mind but, for me, they enjoy their full resonance when I hear them expressed musically. Depending on whether it was a good day at the office. I am a descriptive writer: not so often a storyteller and almost never a heart-on-sleeve love-rat. Social documentary that you can hum along to. I see something, I want to share it in word and music. That’s about the size of it. There are references and stereotypes in some songs that would be rightly perceived as politically incorrect and insensitive in today’s world. That was then and this is now. I wouldn’t wish to change the essence of the song if writing it today, but I might exercise discreet adjectival discretion!
THE WRITING PROCESS
Which came first: the words or the music? That is a question I have often been asked. I wish I could provide a consistent and easy answer. In an ideal world, words and music would have their moment of conception precisely as one. If pressed, I might think of occasions when some musical elements came first – as in “Nothing Is Easy,” “Aqualung” or “Living in the Past.” Consciously written lyrics without any pre-existing music might include “Baker Street Muse” or “Puer Ferox Adventus,” for example. More often, I really can’t recall how exactly the first elements of a song came about.
Only twice in my life have I collaborated in writing a song. Once was with my first wife Jennie who provided the photographic visuals and lyric text inspiration for the development of the rest of the song “Aqualung.” The other occasion was with Martin Barre on the free-form “Hot Mango Flush,” a song from the album Dot Com. Great result in the first case; not so good in the second. Otherwise, I fly solo. I don’t think I have it in me to be a good collaborator. I can’t readily loosen up emotionally with another person in that creative process. I am shy, repressed, insecure, inclined to self-loathing and prefer to keep all of the royalties.
The great composers and librettists in classical and operatic works may have worked hand in hand in sublime partnership, but it is too often the composer we remember rather than the author of the libretto. In pop and rock music, there were notable partnerships a-plenty: Lennon and McCartney, Elton John and Bernie Taupin, even Jagger and Richards.
Lennon and McCartney, I believe, acted as foils for each others’ songs rather than one being responsible for words and the other the music. I understand that Elton John wrote the music only after being provided first with the lyrics to fire up his musical imagination. On the other hand, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice had a partnership where Sir Tim was presumably the librettist and no more, receiving the music to which he had to then dream up lyrics, albeit with the benefit of a mutually agreed story or theme. But the vocal chorus lines of “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” are, perhaps, what we remember best.
True singer-songwriters are closer to having poet credentials. Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen immediately come to mind. Neither could be said to be masters of the instrument they used for accompaniment or sophisticated musical arrangers and bandleaders. Indeed their limited musical abilities may have been advantageous in allowing them unfettered freedom to take flight lyrically. I know I have always had a flush of excitement when writing a song using an instrument I can play only in simplistic and rudimentary fashion. It keeps you rooted in the basics when too much instrumental expertise can easily take you down overly complex paths.
Often, I wake in the night with a snippet of an idea, either words or music. Or it could be while walking down a street, traveling on a train, in a plane, or a bus. As a songwriter searching for the muse who has not yet deigned to visit, I sometimes wonder: is that precious eventual visitation merely a chance, fleeting encounter with the subconscious mind-store of personal — perhaps childhood — experiences? Or are these images and ideas in some way a channeling of creative and emotional notions received mysteriously from the ether? Do they arrive as if from a crackly old valve radio randomly tuning in to messages from far-off radio transmitters outputting faint signals of wisdom and wonder? Perhaps the painter, writer and composer are born with, or have acquired, more refined mental radio receivers, more precisely tunable to those elusive frequencies. Or maybe we self-proclaimed artist types just have a low boredom threshold and an overworked imagination. I’ll settle for that.
‘Silent Singing: The Complete Lyrics Of Ian Anderson And Jethro Tull’ is published in June by Rocket 88 Books. Fans can get their name printed in the book by pre-ordering before Mon 12th April. Visit jethrotulllyricbook.com
“The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the greatest intention” ― Kahlil Gibran
theothertull: WNY mental health guru: The power of song brings clarity, eases pandemic stress
Apr 1, 2021 13:08:21 GMT
steelmonkey: Music IS the best medicine...and Tull the best of the best. If Tull lyrics were studied like religious texts and Tull songs picked as national anthems, I would at least believe I had been sent to the right planet.
Apr 2, 2021 17:37:59 GMT
steelmonkey: Mexico bound in a couple days. Flying to La Paz ( in Baja, not Bolivia) for sole purpose of hitchhiking 1200 miles back north to land border and hopefully not get trapped and unable to catch planned flight back from San Diego.
Apr 5, 2021 1:14:18 GMT
tetval36: Yeah i know Tulls stuff inside out and know its definitely NOT Tull as i said.Maybe PFM or some other Italian Prog band?
Apr 8, 2021 13:08:10 GMT
steelmonkey: Back from sunny Mexico. Sanity oasis was nice...return to work and baseline California hysteria less so. Covid response without media shark-a-nado clickbait and politicians who are either deniers or saviors was an eye opening perspective.
Apr 16, 2021 0:40:14 GMT
nrg: Just got the A box. "A"mazing! The Steven Wilson mix is incredible. Enjoyed the Slipstream video as well. I just wish they offered the entire show on video.
Apr 17, 2021 19:34:34 GMT
botanicman: Hey folks- Am I the only one among us that likes the extended version of "Orion"?
Apr 28, 2021 13:46:36 GMT
steelmonkey: I love long Orion !
May 1, 2021 15:53:46 GMT
rredmond: Orion is good stuff.
May 6, 2021 13:53:56 GMT
jackinthegreen: I'm having a memory blank......has Benefit had the book version done yet?
May 6, 2021 23:50:23 GMT
Catqualung: jackinthegreen, as far as I know the book box set of Benefit is still due to be realized, but it has not appeared yet, as well that of Broadsword and the Beast, they should be the next in the row
May 8, 2021 7:36:47 GMT
jackinthegreen: Thanks Catqualung, yes, I'm sure that's the case, it will be out this year I would think
May 8, 2021 8:48:53 GMT
theothertull: Didn't know if I should laugh or cry, pathetic or what, "I played with Paul McCartney; well like a demo, no one has ever heard it, but it's big Japan. Can't remember if Paul was in the studio at the time of the demo, but ya mate, John, Paul, Ringo and I."
May 8, 2021 14:58:23 GMT
distantre: Hello Everyone and Happy Spring if it has reached where you live yet.
May 11, 2021 16:53:18 GMT
steelmonkey: Spring has sprung in California...or, at least, here in the land of two seasons, 'not rainy season' has begun.
May 15, 2021 20:48:54 GMT
steelmonkey: 'Walk Into Light' cued up as my headphone delivered soundtrack for bike ride home on empty streets at 3:00AM after 10 hour shift ends in 5 more hours.. True reward.
May 17, 2021 4:30:04 GMT