''War Child'' is the seventh studio album by Jethro Tull, released in October 1974.
Originally meant to accompany a film project (the album was planned as a double-album set), it was reinstated as a ten-song, single-length rock album after failed attempts to find a major movie studio to finance the film.
The "War Child" movie was written as a metaphysical black comedy concerning a teenage girl in the afterlife, meeting characters based on God, St. Peter and Lucifer portrayed as if shrewd businessmen. Notable British actor Leonard Rossiter was to have been featured, Margot Fonteyn was to have choreographed, while Monty Python veteran John Cleese was pencilled in as a "humor consultant".
Tracks slated to accompany the film such as "Quartet" and "WarChild Waltz" were unearthed and released in Tull's ''20 Years of Jethro Tull'' boxed set in 1988, in several Tull compilations since, and finally on the 2002 CD reissue.
Three of the songs, "Only Solitaire", "Bungle in the Jungle" and "Skating Away on the Thin Ice of a New Day", were left over from the 1972-1973 writing sessions for what was to have been the follow-up to ''Thick as a Brick''. Ian Anderson told Songfacts: "It was actually late '72 or early '73 when I was in Paris recording an album that never got released, although one or two of the tracks made it out in 1974, but that was at a time when I was writing an album that was exploring people, the human condition, through analogies with the animal kingdom." "Two Fingers" is a rearrangement of "Lick Your Fingers Clean", a track from the ''Aqualung'' recording sessions that was not included on that album's original release.
The back cover of the album contains images of people, including the five members of the band, friends, wives, girlfriends, Chrysalis Records staff, and manager Terry Ellis, all related to the song titles. Anderson's personal touring assistant (and future wife) Shona Learoyd appears as a ringmaster, while Terry Ellis appears as a leopard skin-clad, umbrella-waving aggressive businessman.
The front cover is a picture of Melbourne, Australia