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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jethro Tull's finest hour
Benefit (1970.) Jethro Tull's third album.
It was in 1970 that Jethro Tull would release Benefit, the last release of their, as another reviewer once put it, "early formative" period. The band had released two albums thus far, with their sophomore effort being an improvement over its predecessor. With their 1970 effort, the band strived to push itself in an...
Published on May 12 2004 by Rocker_Man

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars A good cd from the 70ties before the disco.
Jethro Tull is a good band who have made many good songs. So if you like songs like Cry you a song or the Teacher is the cd for you.
Published on May 18 2003


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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jethro Tull's finest hour, May 12 2004
This review is from: Benefit (Audio CD)
Benefit (1970.) Jethro Tull's third album.
It was in 1970 that Jethro Tull would release Benefit, the last release of their, as another reviewer once put it, "early formative" period. The band had released two albums thus far, with their sophomore effort being an improvement over its predecessor. With their 1970 effort, the band strived to push itself in an even more progressive direction still. Did they succeed? Read on for my review of Benefit.
To put it simply, Jethro Tull "came of age" with the release of this album. The band had truly found their sound with this album, and although it was never nearly as its follower, the multi-platinum smash Aqualung, I feel it is actually a better album! The band kicks off their third album with a tune called With You There To Help Me. It's astonishing that this song never became one of the big hits, because it's one of the best songs they EVER recorded! Basically, this song takes everything that you love about the band and rolls it all together into a single song! Who could ask for anything more? Next up we get Nothing To Say. This song is a bit more of a standard rocker than its predecessor, but it's a solid rocker with a distinctive Tull sound nonetheless. With track three, Inside, the band takes on the medieval folk-type sound that they are often associated with. It's a little more "poppy" than the other songs, but a good one nonetheless. Son, my personal favorite track on the album, comes next. Many bands in this era felt it necessary to record "generation gap" songs, and here we get Tull's take on the subject. The end result is a progressive masterpiece, which is a harder rocker than the other tracks (in some ways, the song even reminds me of Ozzy Osbourne's Suicide Solution, from ten years later!) To Cry You A Song, while a strange tune, is good nonetheless. The song tends to focus more on imagery than simply "telling" like most band's song's do. Again, it's weird but good. A Time For Everything couldn't be much more different from the previous track. It's a more straightforward tune, with an excellent message to it - don't waste time. Play In Time is the band's "talk to the audience" song. It's another one of the band's "strange but excellent" songs, and you've gotta love Anderson's flute. Sossity, You're A Woman closes out the album. It's a fantastic song about the way society behaves (Sossity even sounds a lot like society), and it's a shame this one tends to go overrated. All in all, an excellent, non-commercial effort by a great band.
Like the other Jethro Tull remasters, this one features remastering, expanded liner notes, and bonus tracks. However, as other reviewers have stated, the remastering job here could have been done better. On the other hand, the bonus tracks are excellent. Several of them are single tracks that never actually made it onto an album, and for years before this reissue had been nearly impossible to find on CD. Among the bonus tracks is Teacher, which has become a fairly popular Tull song over the years. But as other reviewers have stated, there is only ONE version of it here. Since they had room, they sound have included each one of the different versions. Oh, well.
Benefit is, in my opinion, the finest Jethro Tull album. It's a shame that the mass popularity of the follow-up Aqualung made people forget about this one, because this one is a true Tull masterpiece, and in my mind, it's even better than Aqualung. No Tull collection is complete without this album.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Still retains enough of the edginess and eccentricity, July 7 2004
This review is from: Benefit (Audio CD)
"Benefit" remains my favorite Jethro Tull recording, likely for all the wrong reasons. First, this was the first session where Ian Anderson and his band mates embraced folk music over the blues-tinged sound of their earlier work. Next, Martin Barre sounds engaged, determined, and focused on guitar, and his strong effort here keeps the music well grounded (something that is a failing on some Tull recordings in my opinion). Third, John Evan's returns to the fold and adds some stellar work on keyboards that greatly enrichs the sound. Fourth, I liked Glen Cornick's bass lines better than those by any other Tull bass player. Fifth, Ian Anderson crafted some of his best lyrics for "Benefit," avoiding the ornate and tiring style on both his later and subsequent Jethro Tull recordings. Sixth, Mr. Anderson plays some inspired flute and contributes some excellent acoustic guitar that meshes wonderfully with Mr. Barre's amped up electric guitar.
This recording still retains enough of the edginess and eccentricity that caused Jethro Tull to stand out during the band's early years and that caught my ear way back when. I would recommend getting the remastered CD more for the improved sound quality than the bonus tracks (which aren't bad though).
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy This Disk!!!!!, May 21 2004
By 
David Girod (Westminster, Maryland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Benefit (Audio CD)
If you can appreciate great musicians, at the top of their game, if you enjoy fantastic songwriting, if you want to hear a band on the verge of breaking out, you must BUY THIS DISK! Ian Anderson wrote some of the most memorable Tull on this disk alone. "Cry you a Song" is a masterpiece that will echo in your head for days. Martin Barre's guitar work on this album is simply great. Ian Anderson's vocals and flute work show why Tull has such a loyal following four decades after their debut. "Teacher" is such a fun song, and the instantly recognizable bass line intro still gets the blood pumping! If you thought Jethro Tull's career began with "Aqualung" do yourself a favor and BUY THIS DISK! It's amazing how the quality songs on Benefit still stand up in the 21st Century! This is a heavier Tull than thier debut and I feel a stronger album than the 3rd disk "Stand Up". If you are learning to play guitar or bass, this disk should be required listening!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars To Cry You a Song......, Dec 31 2011
By 
Breadmanwalking (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Benefit (Audio CD)
In my collection of CDs I have one "dodgy disc". It just happens
to be a Russian copy of this album. No bar code....that tells you
something! Years ago I bought it at a used CD shop. Forgot all about
it till now. I have just ordered a "real copy" from a seller at Amazon.ca.
Got a great price, about $9.00 delivered. I love this Tull album. The guitar
work is a tripper's dream come true. "Stand Up" and this, are the best of JT.
You start here and then check out some of the other early material, pre 1975.
I only mention this, for your Benefit.....
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5.0 out of 5 stars Third Time does the Trick, June 16 2004
This review is from: Benefit (Audio CD)
For starters, I'm not crazy about remasters of original releases, especially with new tracks. I mean, the original is the original. If I wanted an extension, I'd buy a "best of" and be really happy. But still...
Imagine 1970, a house on a lake in the woods with nothing to do for a day. My true introduction to Tull was in Columbia, MO. "Stand Up" was an eye opener. But "Benefit"? That's where the house on the lake comes in. Nothing to do but listen to Benefit over and over and over and so on. Remember, it was 1970, the house was in New Hampshire and everybody I knew was on some sort of jag. Ten tracks of angst, anger and re-or-un requited romance. all set to the edged voice and whispering like thunder flute of Ian Anderson, bash-about drums of Clive Bunker, the strong bass rythym of Martin Barrre and the co-lead-work of Mick Abrams. After 18 hours straight, these guys were inside my head.
For openers, "With You There To Help Me" plaintively weaves the story of someone who's just about had it. The saving grace is you, probably. The lyrics are cleverly twisted while the melodies segue through a plodding set up and end the song with joyful whispers.
"Inside" is a marvelous desription of relationships and the comforts of home, while "Son" is a true teen tirade. "To Cry You a Song" sums up the regrets for the night before.
The seven remaining cuts are just a strong. The album closes with "Sossity, You're a Woman" is the tenderest of "its not me, its you" breakup tunes.
All in all, this is one of my most loved recordings. Too bad the "new age" re-releasers of this gem had to add the bonus tracks.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Album, Feb. 20 2004
By 
Morten Vindberg (Denmark) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Benefit (Audio CD)
The early Tull albums are more bluesy and hard rocking than their later albums from the late 1970's till today.
This also goes for "Benefit" their 1971 album. Many of the tunes are based on guitar riffs such as "To Sing You a Song", "Teacher" and "Play in Time" .
This is one their most consistent albums, with no filler/weak tracks, though some of the songs may sound a bit dated to young listeners. Most of the tunes are both melodic and rocking, a few quiet songs there too; among them 3 of the bonus tracks "Just Trying to Be", "Singing All Day" and "Witch's Promise" which were originally released on the compilation album "Living in the Past". The last bonus track "Teacher" comes from the American version of the original Benefit album.
Jethro Tull was always Ian Anderson's project with many changes in the line-ups; but he always chose brilliant musicians, and allowed them to show their skills. On this album especially exquisite guitarist and long-time member Martin Barre.
My favourites: "Son", "For Michael Collins", "To Cry You a Song" and "Sossity, You're a Woman"
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5.0 out of 5 stars Benefit is Tull's best album along with Living in the Past, Feb. 15 2004
By 
T. H McClellan (Tampa, FL USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Benefit (Audio CD)
This is a terrific album. The quality that I find so striking about this album is how it is both uncommercial and full of catchy tunes. My favorite is "for Michael Collins, Jeffrey and me" with its incredible hook chorus "I'm with you LEM, thought it's a shame it had to be you." (LEM stands for "Lunar Entry Module, the astronaut on the first landing on the moon Appolo mission who didn't get to walk on the moon.) Inside, Son and Teacher are also solid efforts. Some fans may quibble, but I think Clive Bunker and Glenn Conrick are Tull's best rhythm section, except perhaps for Barrymore Barlow and John Glascock. Benefit turns up all aces.
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5.0 out of 5 stars jethro tull NOT trying too hard, Dec 21 2003
By 
Steven D. Bloom "Somebody" (Farmville, VA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Benefit (Audio CD)
I've always considered this to be one of the better Jethro Tull recordings simply because they aren't trying too hard to sound like something in particular (Songs from the Wood) or get out some sort of cryptic deep message (Thick as A Brick or Passion Play). It also features a particularly talented line-up of Tull, which, for various reasons, was ill-fated (as were nearly all line-ups of Jethro Tull!). Its really some of Martin Barre's
best (the solo on Too Cry You A Song; the background guitar on Jeffrey,Michael Collins and Me)
So, if you want Tull after they stopped listening to Roland Kirk, but before they started listening to Martin Carthy, get this album.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Music, Dec 10 2003
By 
Trevor Thatcher (St. Paul, MN USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Benefit (Audio CD)
Benefit is one of the finest albums I have ever heard. If you enjoy the creative sounds of Jethro Tull, then you MUST BUY THIS ALBUM. Its that good!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Still a great album, Oct. 22 2003
By 
Billy Bob Page (Beaverton, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Benefit (Audio CD)
Thirty years later, this is still a great album. On my second listen through I decided to do an A/B comparison to the Canadian release on Vinyl because somthing sounded wrong on my first listen.
It was, of course, only the order of songs. "Alive and.. " was not on the vinyl, but "Inside" took its place. And on the second side, "Teacher" took the place of "Inside". Like many children of the sixties, I am just as sensistive to the continuity of the album as to the individual songs themselves. This mix really throws me for a loop,hence the 4 stars instead of five. I just hope I can get used to the new order because the mastering is very clean, none of the pops and clicks that the vinyl has accumulated over the years.
Overall, this is still a great album.
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