This Was by Jethro Tull released on Island Records label 1968, value £350 mono; £150 stereo with laminated sleeve.

THE real Jethro Tull (1674-1741) was an agriculturist credited with inventing a horse drawn drill that sowed crop seeds in furrows with neat formation, writes MICHAEL BROOKS. He became one of the most influential engineers of the early 18th Century.

The band Jethro Tull was formed by frontman and main songwriter Ian Anderson who was born in Dunfermline, Scotland, and grew up in Edinburgh before moving to Blackpool. His first band began in 1967, and in order to gain recognition and maintain new bookings, they continually changed their name. The name Jethro Tull was chosen by a booking agent/promoter who liked their performance so much he invited them back to play at a later day.

After a residency at the Marquee club in London, they were signed by Island Records. The production cost of This Was was £1,200 and the

entire album was recorded in under a week. The cover represents an image of the band as a medieval folk group. Fast forward to present day, and they have released 33 singles, 21 studio albums, 15 of them achieving gold/platinum status amassing sales of 60 million. Album ratings have put this particular one at number 9; but it is their first release, and was successful, that is why it is so collectable.

This was the first rock band who had an extrovert flute player as the leader, Ian Anderson. With his exaggerated gestures, long wiry hair, ragged coat and distinctive one-legged stance, Ian cultivated a compulsive stage personality to the extent that, for many spectators, this was indeed Jethro Tull and the other musicians merely underlings. To date approximately two dozen musicians have appeared as former members, notably Mick Abrahams, Tommy Iommi, Roy Harper, Dave Pegg and many more. JT's music has influenced such bands as Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Pearl Jam, Nick Cave among others; Nick Cave having named one of his sons Jethro in honour of the band.

The success of albums Thick As A Brick and Aqualung elevated them to supergroup level performing in top venues. Their 1978 Madison Square Garden concert was beamed around the world by satellite, and is still available as a live recording. JT are back on the road again, their tour, called 50 x 50, celebrating the band's 50 years of music. They are acknowledged as one of the greatest bands in progressive rock history.

Michael B. Sent in Sunday October14th for WG edition Thursday October 25th,

Album image to follow