Jethro Tull’s Martin Barre Has Near 50 Years Worth of Music to Remember

The guitarist--currently on a solo tour--has his memory tested in this edition of Rockers' Block


Some music artists have released literally hundreds of songs over the years, to say nothing of the ones deemed too shitty to release. BlastEcho wondered if those involved in recording so many songs could remember them all. Enter Rockers’ Block.

For each Rockers’ Block contestant, we play five random songs from their catalog, each song from the beginning, to see how long it takes for them to guess (well, maybe guess isn’t the right word) the correct song. Then once they do (hopefully), they talk a bit about the song.

It would have been too easy for BlastEcho to play Martin Barre songs off his latest album, Back to Steel, and we’re not about playing it safe on Rockers’ Block. Instead, we went back 46 years for one track–which the former Jethro Tull guitarist got fairly easily–though he had a bit of trouble with some others. Let’s see how he did!


“The Meeting” from Martin Barre’s 1998 solo album, The Meeting

After 5.4 seconds.

That’s the “The Meeting.” I might start playing that again. That reminds me to have a go at learning that one to play live. I just really like that riff. It’s a pressure to come up with riffs that are rhythmic, exciting and rock. I was quite happy with that one.


“Working John, Working Joe” from Jethro Tull’s A (1980)

After 9.1 seconds.


Wow. (Long pause). You got me on that one.

That one’s “Working John, Working Joe.”

Oh right, ok. I know the… off the A album. I didn’t recognize that. I haven’t heard that for a long time. It’s got a great guitar riff that comes a bit later. I probably would have recognized that part of it.


“Black Mamba” from Jethro Tull’s J-Tull Dot Com (1999)

After 9.4 seconds.

I don’t know the title but I’m pretty sure it’s off [1995’s] Roots to Branches.

It’s on J-Tull Dot Com.

Ok, let me have another guess then.

I can play more if you’d like.

It won’t help. “Wicked Windows?”


I’m not gonna get it then.

“Black Mamba.”

What’s it called?

“Black Mamba.”

No, really? That’s outrageous. These are really difficult.


“Nothing to Say” from Jethro Tull’s Benefit (1970)

After 18.5 seconds.

Oh, I know that one very well. That’s “Nothing to Say” and I know that because I’ve been thinking about playing it live. I just love that song. I play in a local band with some friends and my friend who sings, that’s his favorite song so we always play that one. I actually know it and can sit down and play it. Musically it’s not quite right but it’s such a beautiful vocal line against the chords and I always thought it was sort of dangerous but works so well and I love things like that where you’re pushing the boundaries a little bit.


“Thinking Round Corners” from Jethro Tull’s Catfish Rising (1991)

After 12.8 seconds.

I think it’s off “Catfish Rising.”

You’re right.

And I know it. It’s not “Thinking Round Corners?”

It is.

Is it really? I like that song. That was a really good guess. A really good guess. I’ve impressed myself. I think I quite like it. I was quite pleased with it in a modest way. As modest as I can possibly be talking about myself.

Buy Martin Barre’s latest album, Back to Steel, on Amazon


  1. Paul Mac

    April 1, 2016 at 6:47 am

    Martin Barre was the real thrill behind Jethro Tull. I love Anderson to bits but his one big failure was refusing to let the others flourish and lost a lot of great talent from that.
    I’m like most of the “old guard fans” and love the earlier stuff and couldn’t agree more about Nothing to Say … brilliant but difficult. 10 brilliant songs on that Benefit album and at least half of them can be labelled classics!
    Thank you Tull … every damned one of you!

    • Murray Wigutow

      April 1, 2016 at 8:09 am

      I agree. We used to know from Stand Up not too shabby either. It doesn’t get much better than early Tull

  2. Allen Graham

    April 1, 2016 at 9:40 am

    I have to agree with Paul Mac.I knew Ian’s latest shows were missing something.I only realised what it was when I saw the mighty Martin Barre gig in the Flower Pot in Derby.The guitar sound was a fundamental part of the Tull sound that is sadly missing in the Tull tribute band Ian Anderson is touring with.A drummer with arms made of wood does not have a lot of use either.

  3. Wanita

    July 21, 2016 at 8:35 am

    Hey, that post leaves me feeling folihso. Kudos to you!

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