Jethro Tull — Aqualung
The birth of Aqualung is associated with a series of interesting events, and the man behind it all is Matt Hales. His association with music and his career as a musician had been chosen for him even before he was born - that’s no exaggeration. Aqualung’s Matt Hales was born in January 1972 in a house that was part of a record store owned by his parents in Southampton. He started writing songs when he was 4 years old and he composed his school song at age 11. Matt Hales was awarded a scholarship to study music composition at age 16, in Winchester, and he conducted his first symphony «Life Cycle» that was performed by a 60-piece orchestra at age 17. All these events cannot be purely coincidental and the only way to explain this is that Matt Hales had music in his blood. He earned his music degree at London’s City University with two years of composition experience at Guildhall and developing engineering and production skills at BBC’s Maida Vale Studios.
Prior to the formation of Aqualung, Matt Hales’ first break came with the formation of a band «Ruth», signing their first record deal with the album «Harrison.» The next deal was with Universal in the summer of 2000, after the formation of a new band called «The 45’s.» Somewhat disillusioned and disappointed, Matt Hales decided to pursue music on his own. His creation of the phenomenal album «Strange And Beautiful» gave birth to Aqualung. The title track was used for the Volkswagen Beetle colossal advertisement campaign on the TV and Cinema theatres and music fans went berserk to lay their hands on the THAT song. ’strange & Beautiful’ was the first Aqualung single that was released in the U.K., in September 2002. The song having been the theme of Volkswagen Beetle TV commercial throughout the summer, became an instantaneous hit. Everyone was going nuts trying to find out the creators of this beautiful thirty seconds of music and wanted more of their music. Matt was simply overloaded with calls from record companies and radio stations trying to get more details about him. A month later «Strange and Beautiful» was in the U.K. top ten, and by December, 2003, Aqualung’s first album had sold over 100,000 copies.
The album touches on diverse themes like small children (’Everything changed’), grown-up confusion (’Halfway to the bottom’) and terribly broken hearts (everything else). Some of the songs to his credit are: Memories, A better way, Sideways written and performed by Matt and Ben Hales, I told you so written by Matt Hales, Ben Hales and Matt Simmonds, performed by Matt and Ben Hales, Waiting for an answer (Hales/Hales) performed by Matt Hales, Ben Hales, Matt Vincent-Brown, Justin Blacklock, Matt Raynor, Fear of flying (Hales/Hales), Crash (Hales/Hales), I wish I hadn’t (Hales/Hales), Can’t stop myself (Hales/Hales), I don’t know (Hales/Hales), Waiting for this (Matt Hales), Something real (Matt Hales), Waiting for my heart to break (Ben Hales) performed by Matt Hales, Stephen Cousins, Matt Vincent-Brown, Ben Hales.