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While Ian Anderson hasn’t exactly been idle when it comes to releasing albums in recent years, solo or otherwise, The Zealot Gene is the first new studio Jethro Tull album since 2003 – and while band members come and go, including while recording this album, Ian continues to lead the band in whatever direction he decides is right at the time. And this appears to work because, after all, Tull have sold over 50 million albums and are one of the most successful bands of all time. Going right back to the late sixties, Jethro Tull has never been a formula band.

So, what is a Zealot Gene? Apparently it’s ‘that which sums up the divisive nature of social relationships, and the extreme views which propel hatred and prejudice’. The album began to take shape as early as 2017 and, while it isn’t a concept album as such, the theme running through the album is one of taking a critical look at the extremities which now appear to be dominant in society. As Anderson says, ‘Music and the arts must surely have the right to question and critically examine all topics, so long as it’s done with respect and sensitivity. There has to be a place for commentary and interpretation’.