London's Hammersmith Odeon was used for exterior scenes, but the main concert footage was actually from an American performance in Los Angeles, at the Los Angeles Sports Arena (as heard on the Magic Piper ROIO), filmed in November 1980. The video, released in 1981, was directed by David Mallet, who has directed numerous music videos, including the pioneering "Ashes to Ashes" video for David Bowie.
Jobson and Craney returned to their own work following the A tour and Jethro Tull entered a period of revolving drummers: Gerry Conway, who left after deciding he couldn't be the one to replace Barlow, Phil Collins (as a fill-in for the recently departed Gerry Conway, played with the band at the first Prince's Trust concert in 1982), Paul Burgess (for the US leg of the Broadsword and the Beast tour, and who left to settle down with his family) and permanent drummer Doane Perry.
1981 was the first year in their career that the band did not release an album; however, some recording sessions took place (Anderson, Barre, Pegg, and Conway, with Anderson playing the keyboards). Some of these tracks were released on the Nightcap compilation in 1993.
In 1982, Peter-John Vettese joined on keyboards, and the band returned to a somewhat folkier sound—albeit with synthesisers—for 1982's The Broadsword and the Beast. The ensuing concert tour for the album was well attended and the shows featured what was to be one of the group's last indulgences in full-dress theatricality. The stage was built to resemble a Viking longship and the band performed in faux-medieval regalia.
An Anderson solo album, which was in fact a collaborative Anderson-Vettese effort, appeared in 1983, in the form of the heavily electronic Walk into Light. As with later solo efforts by Anderson and Barre, some of the Walk into Light songs—such as "Fly by Night", "Made in England" and "Different Germany"—later made their way into Jethro Tull live sets.