Living In The Past
I was never really a fan of Folk music. Men wearing thick sweaters, looking earnest as they sung traditional laments or modern protest songs never really worked for me. Female folk-singers,usually with flowing hair to match flowing dresses, they also didn’t really grab my attention. But there came a time when this musical genre merged with Blues or mainstream progressive music, and on many occasions, began to deliver some startlingly original results.
Ian Anderson formed the British group Jethro Tull in 1967. It was named after the 18th century inventor who revolutionised farming techniques in the UK. Anderson fronted the band on lead vocals, and unusually for the time, played a flute as his main instrument. In 1969, they released the track ‘Living In The Past’. When I heard it introduced, I didn’t expect to like it at all, given the type of group performing. But I was wrong.
The haunting flute, the unusual construction and mix of genres, and Anderson’s competent vocal all combined to win me over. I often think of this song now, and it still gets in my head.