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27
4.8 out of 5 stars
Benefit (Collector's Edition)
Format: Audio CDChange
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
This is a comprehensive collection of the album Benefit and the singles/B-sides that were produced in 1969-1970.
The main album has been remixed by Steven Wilson once again which improves the sound dramatically from the original CD release I also own.
The 2nd CD has all the mono mixes, singles, B-sides etc and some alternative versions which is ok to have if you are a collector. The big plus for me is the DVD in 5.1 mixed in 96/24 mHz digital audio.
The sound is stunning for a recording that was recorded on 8 track tape. This is a very enjoyable listening experience.
I have played the 5.1 mix several times and continue to hear small things that the CD does not reveal.
A must get for any Tull fans and music fans in general.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 8 November 2013
In my opinion, this release sounds much better than last year's disappointing 'Thick As A Brick' reissue which, sadly, was spoiled by the rather muffled quality of the cymbals and drums.

This new 'Benefit' stereo mix has a very similar soundstage to the original but this time around each individual instrument is more defined and separated. A definite improvement.

The 5.1 version is a real treat to the ears! I hadn't previously realised how many guitar overdubs had been recorded originally, these are clearly audible through the various speakers. I particularly like the way the backwards flute on 'With You There To Help Me' appears from the rear right, while Martin Barre's wonderful guitar solo comes from the rear left. Great stuff!

It's also good to hear '17' in stereo (and 5.1) for the first time....and it's unedited as on the 'Sweet Dream' single (other versions of this song also appear here). The UK and US versions of 'Teacher' are excellent in 5.1.

My only disappointment is that the multitrack tape of 'The Witch's Promise' couldn't be located for this project so there's no remix treatment of this song unfortunately.

There are lots of other bonus tracks though and the booklet's very informative. All in all this is a very worthwhile release for JT fans like me!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 3 November 2013
They've done well with this re-issue. The booklet is very detailed, with interviews and recollections of the band and the album remaster sounds excellent.

The highlight for me is the 5.1 mix that comes with the bonus DVD. The sound is crisp and full, and is a fantastic effort as the liner notes say the original recordings were done on 8 track.
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
Released in April 1970, `Benefit' was Jethro Tull's third album after the successful but unremarkable R&B-themed debut `This Was' and its best-selling follow-up `Stand Up'.

It was on `Benefit' that the band finally found its definitive sound, introducing jazz-influenced syncopated rhythms and changes of pace, more complex song structures and thoughtful, clever lyrics. Flute, acoustic guitar and cascading piano runs share the soundscape with hard rock guitar and a tight but never over-dominant rhythm section. Every track is a star, and the album is a complete listening experience with a distinctive character unlike anything heard before or since; an album you can listen to year after year and always find something in the music you never heard before. It's full of distinctive individual songs, rather than (like the later `Thick as a Brick' and `Passion Play') an attempt at a single-story concept album. The result has more than a hint of that eccentric genius so characteristic of the best English rock music of the period: it stretches the envelope, breaks the rules and is anything but formulaic.

This 2013 `Collector's Edition' is remixed by sound wizard Steven Wilson, who has performed minor miracles with the classic King Crimson `40th Anniversary' series. It's presented in a fine 4-gatefold sleeve with the original vinyl album artwork, with three chunky plastic inserts for the disks (2x CDs & a sound-only DVD) and a fourth slot for a lavish 48-page booklet dominated by a long essay on the history of the recording of `Benefit' by Martin Webb. You also get an exhaustive track-by-track analysis, full details of the 1970 promotional tour, period photos of the band and shorter essays by manager Terry Ellis and Steven Wilson himself.

The first CD is the original album with its 10x tracks, plus 5 bonus tracks:

* Singing all Day
* Sweet Dream
* 17
* Both the UK and US single releases of `Teacher'

The second CD consists of 16x tracks of `associated recordings' including the promotional single `Benefit' issued to US radio stations in April 1970, and several different recordings of `The Witch's Promise' and `Teacher' together with alternative takes of the originally-released album tracks.

The sound-only DVD offers Steven Wilson's 2013 mixes in DTS and Dolby AC3 5.1 surround & stereo 96/24 LPCM, plus a flat transfer of the original LP master in 96/24 LPCM. The sound quality on the CDs is as clear and wonderful as we have come to expect from Wilson's recent work, but sonically the DVD is the star of the show, especially the DTS. Wilson has resisted the temptation to make everything loud, and the music retains all its glorious dynamics whilst (as he says) "preserving that 1969-70 sound".

All in all, this is an exemplary package of a delightful classic. If you're a younger music fan and don't know Jethro Tull's extensive back-catalog that well, this is a great place to start. If you're a Tull fan, then buying this ought to be a no-brainer.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 24 February 2014
Very much one of my big fave albums of Jethro Tull and one that had a much better original recording and production than Aqualung which followed, and strangely enough I always felt as if Aqualung always sounded as if it came before Benefit, and the material on Benefit was more of a way forward more so than what we got on the Aqualung album even thou I love both albums of coarse and everything they did in the 70's which was by far the bands best material.

This one I deffo feel is a must for 5.1 version even though I do feel Steve Wilson as done a superb job on the new mix. Personally I think the amount of bonus material on here is way over the top, and far too much of the same thing, and for me I doubt very much if CD 2 will get much benefit at all for my ears.

Why on earth bother with mono mixes I mean come on are we now expected to live with the dodo's. The fact that the 1st CD has got quite an amount of bonus material on it I think having a 2nd one was far too much, and even though I love the cracking songs that never made it on his studio albums and were mainly singles, I would of felt piling these perhaps on a collectors edition of say the compilation album Living In the Past would of been far more fitting.

Still gets 5 stars from me though and it's a lovely 5.1 mix done here by Wilson and he as utilised all 6 channels very well indeed, and done a superb job.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 12 March 2014
The notes are comprehensive and interesting on the background to the album.
The comments from each band member on each track are illuminating.
I think the Steve Wilson remix makes the guitars a lot clearer and I like it.
Six versions of 'Teacher' is too many.

One for fans and collectors.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 2 November 2013
One of tull's best albums gets the steve wilson makeover and what a great job the man has done! comparing this cd to my 1st pressing lp ( which is mint) I would have to say it is almost as good as it sonically speaking. Lovely 2nd cd of extras also very welcome! can' t comment on disc 3 as I do not have 5.1. Excellent notes round out a little gem of a re issue. Buy it and do yourself a favour! Tull show the way with these great re issues of timeless music. Good one Ian & Steve!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 26 November 2013
This is really a must have release for all Tull fans. My only problem is (as occurred with the Aqualung deluxe anniversary release, too), why on Earth cannot the lyrics be included? Anyway, it should be a must for any progressive rock releases.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 20 November 2013
Quite simply one of the greatest albums ever released by anyone, anywhere.
As powerful today as when I first bought it well over 40 years ago.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 7 November 2013
Revealed...The Best Jethro Tull Album Ever.
With you there to help me, A time for everything?, Inside, Sossity, Teacher. STUNNING.
Thank you so much Steve.
Oh and Glenn.. Well done mate. Brilliant. They should never have let you go.
Great notes Martin.
And Ian... you underestimate your own ingenuity on this one. Finished or not, its a Masterpiece.
THANK YOU
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