Jethro Tull: “Cross-Eyed Mary”

ALBUM: Aqualung

YEAR: 1971

WRITER: Ian Anderson

Never released as a single.

Aqualung was Jethro Tull’s first Top 10 and first multi-platinum album. Guitarist Martin Barre recalls how frontman and songwriter Ian Anderson brought the band together to teach them “Cross-Eyed Mary,” a song about a sort of female counterpart to the album’s title character.

“‘Cross-Eyed Mary’ we learned in Ian’s flat in London. I sort of remember us all meeting up there – Jeffrey Hammond, John Evan, me and Ian – and that’s where we learned ‘Cross-Eyed Mary,’ which is basically a fairly simple riff, but an enduring one. It just fell into the sort of tempo that’s always been good to play live on stage. So over the years it’s probably one of the most frequently played tracks live.”

Jethro Tull guitarist Martin Barre celebrates his 71st birthday today (November 17th).


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