Six Badass Flute Bands That Aren't Jethro Tull

Categories: Nitpick Six

Ian Anderson: Hero to flute-rock enthusiasts everywhere.
I remember in the sixth grade when we were all arbitrarily assigned instruments to learn. It was hell for broke parents who were now forced to buy or rent instruments they knew were just going to collect dust in a broom closet. And it was hell for us kids, as when you are a young boy, everything around you is considered to be a weapon. Myself, I got a trombone that I would use the arm of to smack the kid in front of me. It was relatively neutral and genderless, rendering me safe from Ross, the gigantic twelve-year-old Italian kid with the thin mustache. Others were not so lucky, and had to endure the torment that comes with playing the soft, emasculating flute.

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But the flute is some serious business. The shakuhachi, for example, is a bamboo flute from Japan, designed by traveling zen monks to play songs and beat their enemies up with. They're still used today for defense. In China, martial artists carried flutes and hid daggers in them, or rigged them up to shoot darts. Or for a modern example, turn to the sacred land known as "Tampa Bay," where recently two rocket launchers and a FLUTE GUN were turned into authorities for $75 and some baseball tickets.

So in tribute to the disrespected woodwind instrument, here are six of the most badass flute bands that aren't Jethro Tull. Because let's be honest, you already knew about that one.

6. Genesis

Peter Gabriel played the flute. Not all the time, but sometimes. If you can tear your eyes away from how scary Peter Gabriel is, notice that Phil Collins is wearing a shirt that says "Genesis" on it, and is also playing a whistle. Despite the incredible energy of this performance and the intensity of that flute, Genesis would later go on to suck ass and never use the flute.

5. Traffic

He'll probably deny it now, but growing up, my dad forced me to listen to Steve Winwood a lot. And the Pointer Sisters. But before Steve Winwood was ruining my life with that song and that haircut, he was playing in a band called Traffic, alongside the legendary and now deceased flutist Chris Wood. This song, "Forty Thousand Headmen," will incinerate your ears with the heat of a thousand denim shirts burning in Winwood's mind's eye.

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I can appreciate most of the other songs mentioned with some flute, but to compare Ian Anderson to any of those flute players is laughable. Ian can play circles, squares and triangles around those posers.  Maybe I should rephrase that :)...IMHO, Ian is a considerably better flute player.  Just listen to My God from Aqualung, Budapest on Crest of a Knave, and a couple from the more recent Ian Anderson Plays the Orchestral Jethro Tull.   Speaking of Crest of a Knave, that is the album that beat out Metallic for the '89 Best Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Grammy.  Tull was the obvious choice....Martin Barre can play electric guitar as well as anyone in Metallica, and the flute is a heavy metal instrument.  In all seriousness. it was just a better album.

Anyway, Marshall Tucker is an ignorant Fox loving asshole teagabber, but I like a couple of his flute songs (I play the flute on occasion).  Please give Ian his due when comparing him to other rock flute players.  Thanks.  

Marrio Grimm
Marrio Grimm

There was a guy in the Delmar Loop killin it on the flute about a week ago

Jim Descher
Jim Descher

I would say Marshall Tucker had the best flute playing of all. I was a big fan and their mid of country rock and jazz still gets my foot tapping. "Heard it in a Love Song" is just one example of some fine flute in their music

Eammon Azizi
Eammon Azizi

The flute players in November Rain were really good. But Tommy Stinson wasn't playing bass in Guns N' Roses at that time.

Scarlette Junior
Scarlette Junior

Better not be any Blood Ceremony on that list!!! Still scared


now how about a list of Recorder songs lol I think those tend to show up more than actual flutes

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