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Benefit Original recording reissued

4.5 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (14 Sept. 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording reissued
  • Label: Emi
  • ASIN: B00000K44V
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 119,274 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. With You There To Help Me
  2. Nothing To Say
  3. Inside
  4. Son
  5. For Michael Collins, Jeffrey And Me
  6. To Cry You A Song
  7. A Time For Everything?
  8. Teacher
  9. Play Time
  10. Sossity; You're A Woman

Product Description

JETHRO TULL

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
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.
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Format: Audio CD
When I first discovered Tull's Benefit in 1974 I thought it must be some obscure live bootleg but over the years it has given me more satisfaction than most of Tull's other albums. The songs are uniformly well written, arranged and played - the production is much tighter than Stand Up and with John Evan making his first major contribution this was arguably Tull's strongest ever line-up. Anderson's flute takes a bit of a back seat for most of the ride - more subtle and melodic, with only a few sporadic wild breathless outbursts and it is very much a multi-layered guitar album. Anderson's acoustic guitar work is superb - listen to Sossity and Michael Collins and his singing was maturing into that distinctively melodious voice which is such a feature of Jethro's best work. Cornick and Bunker were a fantastic rhythm section, tidy, inventive but solid. Barre's solos are controlled and excellent but there are lots of little flourishes and tasty accompaniment which is just as important. Stand out songs, apart from those mentioned are With You There to Help Me, Alive & Well & Living In (replaced by Teacher on the US release) and Inside, although they are all good. Benefit is a class album, ranking along with Stand Up and Thick As A Brick as my Tull favourites. Essential really.
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Format: Audio CD
Tull's finest and most underrated album; a strangely introspective and bitter record that, conversely, uplifts with every listen - check out the extended coda to 'With You There To Help Me', the joyous contrasted major key chorus to 'For Michael Collins, Jeffrey And Me' or the simply glorious 'Sossity' for example. Very much in the mould of its predecessor 'Stand Up', but with a more melancholy feel and an understated production that enhances that mood. A classic.
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Format: Audio CD
After hearing a few Jethro Tull tracks (and obviously loving them from the start!) I decided to purchase an album and chose Benefit purely on the simplicity of the cover. I'm so glad this was my first proper introduction to Tull - I LOVE THIS ALBUM! Every song is simply amazing and beautifully well written. I especially like 'Play In Time' , 'With You There To Help Me' and the suitably placed last track 'Teacher'. 'To Cry You A Song' always makes me think of the wonder that is mushrooms! Having purchased Songs from the Wood, Stormwatch, and Minstrel in the Gallery since (all bloody great albums!), Benefit still remains my firm favourite and is a must have for all Jethro Tull fans.
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Format: Audio CD
This, the third Tull album, followed This Was and Stand Up. In its time, Benefit as well-received and it sold well, although Stand Up did perhaps have a little more popular acclaim. Stand Up had been an album of rather more gentle melody but Benefit was a little harder-edged: an album with rather more electric guitar. Although not fundamentally a blues album as had been This Was, one can still hear that the band is really not that far removed from the blues, especially on the track 'to cry you song,' which is Tull at their best, and not in the least dated.

I always remember a contemporary 'top 100 of all time' list which contained a review of Stand Up and Benefit in which these albums were described as containing 'tight, riffy songs, full of melody and ripe with wit.' This is still the best description of Tull that I have ever heard, and one which I still retain in my memory. Without doubt, this was the fresh, golden age of the band. Benefit, for me, is still their pinnacle, and along with Stand Up, Living in th Past, Aqualung, Songs from the Wood and Heavy Horses, contains their best work. I regret tht I am not keen on the mediocre albums from the mid seventies ('Brick' Warchild, Minstrel and Passion Play), nor on the very heavy and muddy style found on Stormwatch and Broadsword. I do quite like the lighter and more clean melody of Under Wraps, but the rest of the eighties stuff leaves me cold. If you are starting to listen to Tull, go for Benefit, Stand Up and Living in the Past. These I have never tired of, not even after 35 years.
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