Song of the Day: Jethro Tull – “She Said She Was a Dancer”

On this day 29 years ago, Jethro Tull scored a shocking Grammy upset when they were awarded with first ever Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance Vocal or Instrumental Grammy for their album Crest of a Knave over the favorite to win, Metallica’s …And Justice For All. The decision was criticized due to the belief Jethro Tull’s album didn’t fit into the Grammy category, which frontman Ian Anderson agreed with in an interview with Eon Music in 2017.

“We were nominated in that year strangely, in what was a new category, and whilst we knew that we could not be classed as ‘hard rock’, let alone ‘metal’, it was a nomination that just seemed to sneak under the radar,” Anderson said. “The record company said they didn’t think it was really worth the expense of flying us over to Los Angeles because Metallica were favourites to win it, which suited me fine because we were working in the studio at that time. But we got the news while we were sitting in the studio; a representative from Chrysalis Records called us and said: ‘Congratulations, you’ve won the Grammy!’, and I’m not sure if we could hear the boos at that point, but clearly it was a very unpopular win. Poor Alice Cooper, being the presenter had to step to make a rather dubious acceptance speech on my behalf. But Metallica took it in reasonably good grace, and took out an ad the next year when they did win the Grammy, thanking Jethro Tull for not bringing out a new album that year.’

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Jethro Tull also showed a sense of humor over the win when they took out an ad in Billboard that read, “The flute is a heavy, metal instrument.” Here’s a Dire Straits-esque song off Crest of a Knave which isn’t hard rock or heavy metal but is still an enjoyable listen.

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