News Update: May 1999
Jethro Tull are back on the road after four months of work in the studio writing, rehearsing and recording the new Tull album, named after this web site, j-tull Dot Com.
The release date is to be August 24th. The record companies are Fuel 2000 in the USA and Canada, (distributed, sold and marketed by the mighty Universal Records) and a brand new Chrysalis label to be unveiled in the next two weeks and which will handle Europe and the rest of the world.
Now, it is important to realise that this Chrysalis label is not the EMI owned Chrysalis, but will be part of the main Chrysalis Group of Companies still controlled by Chris Wright who signed Tull to the Ellis-Wright agency in 1968. The agency became The Chrysalis Agency and this was added to by Chrysalis Records, and Chrysalis Music Publishing in 1969/70. When EMI bought Chrysalis Records a few years ago, it was soon closed down as an independent force and the name kept on as a pop label identity within EMI Records. Artists like Tull found themselves in limbo, with their contracts owned by EMI but their futures in doubt with what used to be a great company, now suffering an identity crisis and itself strongly rumoured to be up for sale as soon as the price is right.
In the meantime, Chris Wright’s original Chrysalis Group of Companies went from strength to strength with new developments in television productions, sport and music publishing and returned, in a smaller way, to the record company business with Echo Records, a pop/rock label for new acts and the Hit Label, mainly concerned with compilations and catalogue.
The soon to be officially announced Chrysalis owned label is to be built around new and re-issued material of classic Rock acts of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s and Tull have become the first signing, returning to the Chrysalis fold where they were the first act to be signed 30 years ago. Of course, the new label can not be called simply “Chrysalis Records” since EMI own the name, but the new label management team will feature names from the early days of Chrysalis and whose links with Tull go back almost to the beginning. For the time being, the Tull back catalogue will still remain with EMI who promise to keep the flag flying and do a good job of making the vast Tull collection available. We hope and trust that this will be the case.
The European summer tour now under way has already visited Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland, moving to Germany for June and the first part of July. See dates posted elsewhere on this site.
Several “new” old songs and some really new songs have made their appearance already. Steel Monkey, Witch’s Promise, For A Thousand Mothers, Hunting Girl, To Cry You A Song and This Is Not Love have joined the current nightly set. From the next Tull album, Spiral and AWOL have been played, along with The Secret Language Of Birds from the Ian Anderson Album to be released next February under the new record contracts. Rehearsals also included two other new Tull songs, Hunt By Numbers and Wicked Windows and another IA solo track, Montserrat. The set list will change from time to time as the tour progresses. The greater emphasis on new material will not start, of course, until the US dates immediately following the release of j-tull Dot Com.
Discussions are under way to undertake further tours in February through June 2000, with more US dates in the South-east, Central States and South-west together with some Canadian shows. Other European shows may be added in Scandinavia, Spain and Italy. The possibilities of South and Central America, Australia and New Zealand will be looked at.
Look out for new web site features in the coming weeks as audio files of new album tracks are added and song lyrics posted. The new “Postcard From The Front” will keep you up to date with where we have been and what we have been up to on a more frivolous level.
We hope you enjoy the way the site is developing and we will try to keep things ever-changing.
30th May, 1999.