Top positive review
75 people found this helpful
Superb songs, musicianship and production.
on 28 December 2001
This was the album that turned me on to Jethro Tull back in 1970. It was a time when progressive rock was really getting in to its stride and Tull were supreme exponents. Benefit was an album of superb songs, musicianship and production. Ian Anderson's ethereal flute in the opening bars of 'With You There To Help Me,' grabbed my attention. By the end of the track, with his maniacal, echoing laughter, I was hooked.
There's not a bad track on the album, but high points for me are; 'To Cry You A Song.' - Fades in with Martin Barre's double-tracked lead guitar hook, followed by Ian's processed double tracked vocal. Martin's lead breaks between verses, not only double tracked, but then two complementary melodies in the left and right channels, finally coming together in harmony just before the next verse and then triple tracked toward the end. There's a lot going on here, if you take the time to listen to it carefully. 'Play In Time.' - featuring reverse guitar, reverse piano, it seems there's reverse everything at times, swirling around the stereo soundscape in organised anarchy.
These weren't rock 'n' rollers bashing out a few three chord tunes, these were consummate musicians taking their time to craft an album of intricate rhythms and melodies using the best recording techniques of the time. Every member of the band contributed to a complex jigsaw that fitted together perfectly, not forgetting John Evans' (or Evan as he was credited on the original sleeve) essential contribution on keyboards.
Over thirty years later I can still listen to this album and enjoy every second of it. It just doesn't seem dated to me at all. If I could award more than five stars I wouldn't hesitate to do so.