A2Z 2021 Jethro Tull Songs Day 6 – (Back to the) Family, from Stand Up (1969)

F letter_scaled

 

Back to the Family” is from Stand Up, their second studio album, released in 1969. It was the first Jethro Tull album to feature guitarist Martin Barre, who would go on to become the band’s longtime guitarist until its initial dissolution in 2012. Before recording sessions for the album began, the band’s original guitarist Mick Abrahams departed the band as a result of musical differences with frontman and primary songwriter Ian Anderson; Abrahams wanted to stay with the blues rock sound of their 1968 debut, This Was, while Anderson wished to add other musical influences such as folk rock.

Stand Up represents the first album project on which Anderson was in full control of the music and lyrics. The result was an eclectic album with various styles and instrumentation appearing in its songs. The album quickly went to No. 1 on the UK charts, further launching the band’s career, while the non-album single “Living in the Past” peaked at #3.

Anderson has described the album’s lyrics as composed of a mixture of made up scenarios, occasionally mixed with biographical anecdotes or experiences from his personal life. Songs like “Back to the Family” … were influenced by Anderson’s rocky relationship with his parents at the time.

Bruce Eder at allmusic.com said, “As a story song with opaque lyrics and jarring tempo changes, “Back to the Family” is the forerunner to Thick as a Brick.”

Source: wikipedia

My telephone wakes me in the morning
Have to get up to answer the call
So I think I’ll go back to the family
Where no one can ring me at all

Living this life has its problems
So I think that I’ll give it a break
Oh, I’m going back to the family

Cause I’ve had about all I can take
Master’s in the counting house
Counting all his money
Sister’s sitting by the mirror
She thinks her hair looks funny

And here am I thinking to myself
Just wond’ring what things to do
I think I enjoyed all my problems
Where didn’t I get nothing for free
Oh, I’m going back to the family
Doing nothing is bothering me

I’ll get a train back to the city
That soft life is getting me down
There’s more fun away from the family
Get some action when I pull into town
Everything I do is wrong
What the hell was I thinking?
Phone keeps ringing all day long
I got no time for thinking
And every day has the same old way
Of giving me too much to do
Songwriter: Ian Anderson

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21 Comments Add yours

  1. I’m pretty sure I purchased this album back then which makes me feel rather old! I wish I’d kept it.

    Here’s my F!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      What happened to your album(s)? Thanks for listening!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I sold them when they went out of fashion. I only wish I’d known they were going to become thing in thing again! I still have a few including the Beatle’s Seargent Pepper in mono which I queued for on the day it was released!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. msjadeli says:

          Sorry you sold them 😦 I let my ex have them when we divorced in 94 and am still kicking myself for it. I have bought a few vinyl since then but most of my music is on CD or stored digitally on my computer.

          Like

        2. msjadeli says:

          Sgt Pepper, yeah!

          Like

  2. Liam says:

    I like the English folk music influences. I don’t like the mumbled lyrics all too much, though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      With the live versions it’s not as easy to hear the lyrics. You can find a studio version out on youtube if you want to hear them better.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. badfinger20 (Max) says:

    It won’t surprise you but this and through the mid-seventies is my favorite period of them. You can’t help but listen to his voice…it could go anywhere at any time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      I also love that period. Anderson ain’t no slouch!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. badfinger20 (Max) says:

        No he is not…and he is so unique.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Iain Kelly says:

    Catching up on my Jethro reading! Enjoying learning about them and their music, I feel I will be an expert by then end of April!

    THE STATE TRILOGY A-Z GUIDE: F

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thanks, Iain! Yesterday was a bad traffic day for me and I got behind on my reading.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Another good Jethro Tull tune I had not heard before. In fact, and you may have seen this, there are actually two other tunes on the same album, which start with the letter “F”: “Fat Man” and “For a Thousand Mothers.” I’m only aware of this because I’m a music nerd and looked it up! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Fat Man is a good one! Did you listen to it? Not sure I heard the other one. I didn’t use Fat Man because I didn’t want to offend anyone and I like this song and wanted it to be in the line-up. Thanks for the heads-up, Christian, you music nerd, you 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ha! I briefly listened into both tunes and think I like “For a Thousand Mothers” better.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. memadtwo says:

    His voice works well with all kinds of music. He was right to expand his horizons. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Yes it does. I love his voice and his energy.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Lisa,

    This might be my least favorite in this series. I’m not sure why but I can’t connect musically with it for some reason. Still it’s very nice to hear this older tune that came out when I was 8-years old. 🙂

    Stop by when you get a chance to check out my Looney Tunes Foghorn Leghorn art sketch on Curious as a Cathy. 😉 Happy A2Zing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thanks for listening and your honest opinion on the song 🙂

      Like

  8. ahtdoucette says:

    Interesting. Jethro Tull is very unique and eclectic.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Anne, I agree, they don’t have just one sound.

      Like

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