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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 15 January 2012
I have always thought Benefit to be Tull's high water mark - with Stand Up close behind. The song writing is tight, inventive and deeply evocative - and the musicianship, particularly Martin Barre's brilliantly conceived guitar work, is definitive of the era. Alternatively brooding and uplifting, these tracks are fully developed jewels that still sparkle and charm. I listen to Benefit frequently, and have done so, since its initial release (my God, 40+ years!). If the music of this era ever develops into a 'classical' state, this band, and particularly this album, will be part of the catalogue. Absolutely perfect.
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on 28 October 2009
I've just listened to "Benefit" twice through on my iPhone (wish I'd had one of those in 1972) and I have to give it props for being a genuinely brilliant album.

When I first bought "Benefit" on vinyl back in '72, I was a bit disappointed with it, as I'd just about worn out the grooves on my copy of "Stand Up" I'd played it that many times. I was even in a band at the time that mimicked Tull's line-up (though sadly not their musicianship!).

But listening to "Benefit" again in 2009, I've realised that it wasn't inferior to "Stand Up" - just different. In a good way. And though other Tull albums - "Aqualung", "Thick as a Brick" and, of course, "Stand Up" - are feted above "Benefit", it would be a grave mistake to dismiss this as in any way a runner-up to Tull's other masterpieces.
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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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on 30 January 2012
I used to love the band when I was a teenager. The albums I heard most were Stand Up,Thick As a Brick,This Was: Remastered,Aqualung: 25th Anniversary Edition and this one. I instantly loved the first three on this list, but perhaps that was because my brother and I owned those three Aqualung I got to like, my pal Neil had that and I heard it a fair bit, but another pal Donny had Benefit and I always found it really dull. "Nothing To Say" really said it for me, they seemed at this point to have nothing musically or lyrically to say. When Donny enthusiastically put this on the turntable I used to brace myself for a period of dirge in the background.

So why the hell did I cave in and buy this on CD? well I had revisited a number of old, or as the record industry insists on calling them, "Classic" albums that I liked a lot more with hindsight and I was loving the other Tull reissues. To my surprise I really like this album now. It will still never rival the other 4 early albums but way ahead of anything else post Thick as a Brick.
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on 9 February 2010
The addition of John Evan's piano and organ to the Jethro Tull mix, produced an album of musical excellance that has not dimished the the 40 intervening years. It is still one of my favourite Tull (Or anynoe elses for that matter) albums of all time.

The album has a much darker in atmosphere than its predecessors with songs dealing with the relationships, sensitivies and hardships of life.

The addional tracks somewhat enlighten the proceedings but still manage to feel at home. On a personal note I long for the version of "Teacher" first encountered on the flipside of the 7 inch vinyl of "The Witches Promise".

PS: Does anyone know the meaning of "sossity"?
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on 15 November 2010
Hard to categorise this one and I suspect Ian Anderson probably doesn't rate it too highly. I think you have to be a real Jethro Tull fan of the early years to get the full depth of this, and it does have some serious weaknesses. But when I followed the band for the first half dozen or so early albums, this was probably my favourite. It's something to do with the sound world that Ian Anderson and the band created and somehow it's curiously at its most personal and affecting on Benefit. Ian's creativity in these early years was almost unmatched and I prefer his more straight ahead song writing of the period to the later concepts and conceits that were soon to follow. There was a real charm and whimsy to some of the writing that, unlike some of the later stuff, was unforced and effortless, an almost child-like innocence that seemed to echo the England of Lewis Carroll and Kenneth Grahame, cricket, cream teas, holidays in Blackpool and friends called Jeffrey. Anderson with his flute and acoustic guitar could sometimes charm things of great beauty and simplicity, and with the permanent addition of John Evan on piano ushering in the classic Tull line-up, the nursery was complete. It's an album of real rainy day introspection that leaves the American blues influences of This Was behind for a more English wistfulness and longing. Perhaps my favourite Jethro Tull track of all is the very minor and very Beatles influenced 'Inside', not a well known song in their catalogue but I find it very affecting. There was nobody quite like Jethro Tull back then and they hold a very special place in English rock music. If you can get into Benefit then its finest moments take you to the very heart of what they were about.
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on 28 July 2010
i have bought the vinyl version of this album many years ago and it was always kept as part of my collections until i have moved house and somehow mislead this fantastic album.
recently i have bought the cd version which was remastered with 3 extra bonus tracks.

if you like the music of the 70s with a full sound of real talent of musical instruments being played include the use of flute (which is sadly to say, the modern pop music has lost all talents in utilizing those exquisite musical instruments), then Benefit is recommended to be part of your cd collection.
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on 17 October 2008
This album is 50% bliss. Half of the tracks are just good, but the other half are stunning. As was to become the norm with Tull you do need to get to know each track to appreciate it, but they really do repay the effort. Certainly the first three on side 1 are masterpieces. To Cry You A Song is also great. Sossity is beautiful and Play In Time is the answer to Blues.

Buy it now. When you receive it sit down on your own with some headphones on and play it three times. And really listen (really listen). People rave about Aqualung, but Benefit is sublime.
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on 16 September 2013
There is no doubt in my mind that 1970's 'Benefit' album is one of Jethro Tull's finest with the opening quartet of 'With You There To Help Me', 'Nothing To Say', 'Alive And Well And Living In...' and 'Son' standing out as Tull classics in my mind. Yes, there were possibly more famous and more sophisticated Tull albums to follow but for sheer power alone this takes some beating. Buy this and turn the volume up loud!
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on 28 October 2008
Tull`s Third album and still my favourite blimey can you count just how many this band have knocked out over the years , it must be at least twenty five or so and even now I find that the eight albums I have this is their best to my ears.. if you are thinking but he hasnt got them all so how does he know? . I have heard them all but only buy the few I really like. Benefit is Tull`s guitar rock album and its a scorcher great writing, musicianship, tounge in cheek lyrics a great package nicely wrapped up.
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