Ian Anderson (centre) with Jethro Tull

Jethro Tull Return With First New Album For 18 Years

by Geoff Ford

British progressive rock luminaries Jethro Tull have announced they are to release the group’s first studio album of new material in over 18 years. The Zealot Gene, is set for release on January 28 2022 through Inside Out Music.

A record that began to take shape as early as 2017, The Zealot Gene, in many ways, seeks to defy convention during a time when the business of being a touring and recording artist has never faced more uncertainties. Tull bandleader Ian Anderson holds no reservations about the role for which the mythos and themes of Biblical storytelling played in the lyrical content of the new album.

“While I have a spot of genuine fondness for the pomp and fairy-tale story-telling of the Holy Book,” he says, “I still feel the need to question and draw sometimes unholy parallels from the text. The good, the bad and the downright ugly rear their heads throughout, but are punctuated with elements of love, respect, and tenderness.”

Looking back on the disruption of the Coronavirus pandemic, which ultimately ended the band’s touring plans and hopes of a 2020 release for The Zealot Gene, Anderson adds: “It was so sudden. Amidst the concerns and warnings of the scientific community and a few more enlightened politicians, we all retreated in disbelief to our homes to wait out the storm.”

The video that accompanies the track Sad City Sisters was directed by Iranian film-maker Sam Chegini who previously created a clip for the much-loved classic Aqualung.

Sad City Sisters throws up memories of a Saturday night in Cardiff,” Ian recalls, “when I was on my way home from our concert in St David’s Hall some years ago. It could equally well have been any town in the UK, I suppose, or even most cities of the Western World. What possesses hell-bent and vulnerable young people to slip so easily into that tragic loss of dignity and end up sprawling drunk in a wet and windy street at midnight?”

With more than 30 albums to their credit and sales totalling more than 50 million, Jethro Tull are one of the most successful rock bands of all-time with a catalogue that contains classics that still resonate today. Led by Ian Anderson, who grew up in Blackpool, the recording line-up for The Zealot Gene is Ian Anderson (flute, acoustic guitar, harmonica, vocals), Joe Parrish-James (guitar), Florian Opahle (guitar – album only), Scott Hammond (drums), John O’Hara (piano, keyboards, accordion) and David Goodier (bass guitar). Tull still continue to tour throughout the world, entertaining audiences of all ages.

The Zealot Gene will be offered as a Special Edition Digipak CD, Gatefold 2LP+CD+LP with booklet, Limited 2CD+Blu-ray Artbook and a Limited Deluxe 3LP+2CD+Blu-ray Artbook.

The Deluxe 3LP+2CD+Blu-ray Artbook comes on white vinyl and has a third LP with the rough demos, a slipmat and numbered art print. The blu-ray includes a 5.1 surround sound mix by Jakko Jakszyk (King Crimson).

The Zealot Gene track listing:

1. Mrs. Tibbets (5:54)

2. Jacob’s Tales (2:13)

3. Mine Is The Mountain (5:40)

4. The Zealot Gene (3:54)

5. Shoshana Sleeping (3:41)

6. Sad City Sisters (3:40)

7. Barren Beth, Wild Desert John (3:37)

8. The Betrayal Of Joshua Kynde (4:06)

9. Where Did Saturday Go? (3:53)

10. Three Loves, Three (3:30)

11. In Brief Visitation (3:00)

12. The Fisherman Of Ephesus (3:41)

Please visit https://jethrotullband.lnk.to/TheZealotGene to pre-order the album.