Jethro Tull Releases ‘The Zealot Gene,’ 1st New Studio Album in 2 Decades

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Jethro Tull today

Jethro Tull has released the group’s first studio album of new material in over 18 years. The new title, The Zealot Gene, officially announced on Nov. 5, 2021, first made headlines in March of that year. It arrived on January 28, 2022, in a variety of CD and vinyl packages, via Inside Out Music. The group, still led by Ian Anderson, is instantly recognizable.

You’d have to go back to the band’s 2003 Christmas album for the last time Tull released a new studio effort. Their last album of all-new, original material was in 1999.

Of the title track, he says, “As a song lyric, it sums up, for me, the divisive nature of societal relationships and the extreme views which fuel the fires of hate and prejudice, more so today perhaps, than at any time in history. Perhaps you think you know who I might have been thinking about here but, in reality, there are probably right now at least five prominent, dictatorial national figures who could fit the bill.”

Watch the video for “The Zealot Gene” depicting Anderson as a sketched character in the animated clip

From the original Nov. 5 album announcement: 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, saying, “While I have a spot of genuine fondness for the pomp and fairytale story-telling of the Holy Book, 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.”

Listen to “Mrs. Tibbets”

The first release, “Shoshana Sleeping,” arrived in November 2021, accompanied by a haunting visual created by Thomas Hicks.

Watch the video for “Shoshana Sleeping”

The album’s art book editions feature a second CD of demos and initial ideas, plus extended liner notes and an interview with Anderson.

Of the second release, Anderson says, “’Sad City Sisters’ throws up memories of a Saturday night in Cardiff, Wales 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?”

The Zealot Gene Tracklisting
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)

Listen to “Jacob’s Tales” and “Three Loves, Three”

Jethro Tull‘s lineup features 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).

Can’t decide which format you want? Let Anderson help you decide.

The band has an extensive 2022 tour. Tickets are available here.

Related: Our Album Rewind of Tull’s 1971 classic, Aqualung

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  1. Jethro Tull (RIP 1/28/2022)
    #1 Jethro Tull (RIP 1/28/2022) 10 November, 2021, 00:48

    Just listened to “Shosana Slleping” and feel empty. Very simple song with the flute as the main instrument and a bit of drums. If this is the best lead in song to want to make me buy the album then it’s failed. Gone are the guitar riffs and dueling battles between the flautist, guitarist and drummer. I’m always up for something new but nothings seemed to inspire in 2 decades so maybe it’s time to get back to the original blues hard rock format that made Tull famous. Ian’s transformed the band into English folk music and ignores the real hard raw rock that made them big. Tull has seen its best days 45 years ago so I’m passing on this album. RIP J.T.

    Reply this comment
    • jgelis
      jgelis 1 February, 2022, 02:04

      I am not sure he is able to go back to his youth in musical composition and presentation. He now lacks the energy or the voice to do what he once did.

      Reply this comment
  2. Da Mick
    #2 Da Mick 10 November, 2021, 08:36

    It may be Ian Anderson’s band, songs, voice, and flute, but without Martin Barre, it ain’t Jethro Tull.

    Reply this comment
  3. Russ
    #3 Russ 13 January, 2022, 09:10

    Just heard and watched the title track yesterday, and it is nothing but pure brilliance IMHO. And to those who say it is not JT anymore, I say that you are not really listening and still yearning for JT of the 70s Living In The Past so to speak. The band members may change, but the core sound remains very much JT. Especially with this release. Jethro Tull was one of the first big bands I ever saw way back in 1969 on the “Benefit” tour. I also saw the original “Aqualung” tour. So I am very familiar with the original lineup, however to my ears, this new record is all of that, and then some. I haven’t heard the whole record yet, but I trust that the rest will be as good as what I have heard so far. Congrats to Ian Anderson for creating what is sounding like a new masterpiece. The title track is sublime.

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  4. son of mcleansteve
    #4 son of mcleansteve 1 February, 2022, 01:21

    “do stonehenge!”

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