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Digitally remastered reissue of 1970 album includes four bonus tracks, 'Teacher' (Original UK Mix), 'Witch's Promise', 'Just Trying To Be' & 'Singing All Day'.
Digitally Remastered Reissue. Includes Four Bonus Tracks: The Rarities 'teacher (Original UK Mix) and 'teacher (Original USA Mix)' , plus 'witches Promise', and 'just Trying to Be'.
- "Singing All Day" for sure if you get the bonus tracks + remaster
As the author of the Jefferson Airplane book "Take Me To A Circus Tent" and a former radio disc-jockey, I am often asked to write and or discuss various recordings from the 60's and 70's.
Make sure you are looking at the version with the bonus tracks. If you don't see it here continue searching under Jethro Tull-Benefit. Amazon has plenty of copies for us!
April 1970 saw the third Jethro Tull release "Benefit" hit the record store shelves. The answer is no. Your memory is not going. "Teacher" was a track on the original American vinyl release.
Mixing the roots of folk with Martin Barre's guitar wizardry the end results is a recording that will be preserved in the time machine.
The signature tune is "To Cry You A Song" with a classic riff and Martin Barre's guitar in overdrive is one of the finest tunes ever penned. The intensity from the first note to the last made this a rock and roll radio staple for decades.
The entire journey is a feast. "With You There To Help Me" will stun you with the lyrics and the ability to switch on and off (as if it is a light switch) from the trademark folk to rock sound.
"For Michael Collins, Jeffrey And Me" never sounded better as it does on the remastered version. Ian Anderson's words resonate from the speakers with a new found clarity and brilliance.
"Play In Time" is a blowtorch. The passion is evident. If you overlooked this tune originally listen how the band hums as if it is a fine tuned machine.
If there are any doubts about the rating they are erased with the four bonus tracks. Two of them are tremendous. "Singing All Day" encompasses so much of what made early Tull special. The U.K. version of the brilliant "Teacher" ends the disc. Although you'll want to hear that one another few times.
Enjoy the music and be well,
Author of the Jefferson Airplane book "Take Me To A Circus Tent"
- Remaster Sounds Terrific!
This review is of the newly remastered 2001 pressing of "Benefit". Most Tull albums that were issued on Chrysalis the first time around sounded like crap IMO. Not this one. I CANNOT BELIEVE what I have been missing this whole time. I don't need to convince you of how great this album is, that has already been stated in other reviews. Like fine wine and art, this album is one of life's greatest treasures and gifts. If you already own the first pressing on CD, or have never bought this album, buy this CD. This newly remastered version is THAT GOOD. Enjoy!...more info
- Perfect Remaster
Amazingly mature at their third album, Jethro Tull released Benefit, a bluesy/folksy rock album that still stands the test of time. For someone like me, you like the very old Tull, their blues rock phase was a fantastic period in their career. The album in whatever form is phenomenal, but it's now been digitally remastered, with 4 bonus tracks added, making for a perfect album in every way.
As for the songs themselves they all stand up equally well, in my opinion, but favorites are "with you there to help me", "for Michael Collins, Jeffrey and me", "to cry you a song", and from the bonus tracks my favs are "witch's promise" and "teacher".
This album came out before the Isle of Wight performance in 1970, and yet is just as alive as it was when it was released. A very necessary addition to your cd collection....more info
- Seminal Classic Rock
I can't count the hours I laid in my college dorm listening to this album with headphones (well, not *this* one, the original vinyl) and it introduced me to jazz/rock/metal/prog all in one. So many layers... Benefit is in my Top 5 of all time albums, and I love Teacher and hate to see that Ian Anderson hates it!...more info
- Always a Benefit
Im always suspicious at reworkings/mastering of the orginal tapes...however id did find some things appearing brillant and clearer and other instrumental passages a bit mute then their predecesors. Benefit remains a very dark personal album like Minstrel In the Gallery but still ranks up there with of course Stand Up and Aqualung. To pick a favorite Tull album is difficult and one should sample everything from this innovative genius writer Ian Anderson and Company....more info
- a beautiful album
The third effort by one of the foremost progressive bands to first take hold of the most interesting music coming out of England at that time. Hints of Sgt. pepper and piper at the gates and a more definitive statement than "Stand Up" witch is also brilliant ! But this effort sadly the last with original bassist Glen Corneck who was dumped by Ian @ JFK on christmass eve 1970. His ability as a musician is a major force in the original inception of the band. His long hair and head band was just as trade mark as Ians, maybe thats why the dumping. Guitarist Martin Baree sounds like eric clapton on acid in a good way! Old school friend John Evans joined the band and also made an impact. But the true master Ian Anderson dazzles the senses with his brilliant and intelligent writing and singing of this masterful album!!!!!!!!!!!...more info
- Benefit and Standup
I was in high school when I first heard Jethro Tull. Back in those days I had the vinyl of both these albums. My friends and I watched as Tull transformed into a blues / rock giant! To finally find the replacements after searching off and on for years is amazing. Thank You Amazon! ...more info
- early Tull classic
Most Tullsters have this one, but if you don't......."With you there to help me" is one of their greatest tunes ever. It's worth listening to if only for the flute-echoing-down-from-the-mountains intro, which was a tape loop of Ian's flute played backwards. Glenn Cornick, with the long hair, knee-high boots and Indian headband, didn't just look cool, he basically defined cool. His bass playing on "Nothing to Say", especially backing up Ian's voice on the verses, is nothing short of amazing. In those days, you actually had bassists playing as the lead instrument. McCartney, Entwhistle, Bruce and certainly Glenn. "Sossity" is beautiful and I really miss Ian's love songs. They are always so sincere and heartfelt. I feel that this album has to be in the top 3 or 4 that J.T. ever recorded. There is not one weak tune on this album. Buy it and wear it out.....if you would really like to hear and enjoy early Tull, get the DVD "Living with the Past". The original line-up plays a small mini-concert of their old tunes from the 1st album. Nice to see all of them healthy and having a good time.......and yes, Clive once again has a bit of a bash.............more info
- My favorite Tull!
Like other Tull albums, this is not like any other Tull album. (?) If you know Tull, that makes sense. This one happens to be my favorite....more info
- I've Waited So Long
This was one of my favorites from my youth. I had been searching for it for years. I have had it for around a month now and I listen to at least some of it every day. My favorite songs are Teacher and To Cry You a Song. Am I glad I finally found this....more info
- Solid early Tull, sub-reissue.
"Benefit" is not GREAT album. It is a very good one, but very uneven. It was one of the first Tull albums I bought when I firts got into the band about 12 years ago, so I do have a special place for it in my heart. But, time has given me some objectivity.
The lead of track, "With you there to help me" is fantastic... so is "For Michael Collins, Jeffery and Me"... "Inside" and "To cry you a song" are very, very good. From there, throughout the album , you'll find some good bits, but those are definitely the rather obvious high points. The old version of this CD had "Teacher" as part of the album... I've never onwed this on anything other than CD and Tape, so I don't know if it should be an album track or not. Anyway, the included version is great, and "Teacher" is definitely gold-star material.
The reissue is a pretty lean package, but the sound is better overall, although even that might be arguably. The old CD was brighter sounding with more tape hiss. This new issue is darker and more recessed. It has better dynamic, overall, but the "life" seems sucked out of the recording along with all the hiss... matter or opinion, I guess. There are a couple of bonus tracks... would have liked more. They could have filled out the disc. ... Compared to another recent Hollywood and Vine reissue series of another of my favorite groups, The Beach Boys, I give this series the thumbs down: I like how the BB albums are two-on-one CD and full-priced. It's just more convenient. In fact, I don't plan on buying all of the Tull reissue--- just the albums I really love. I'm looking foward to some of the underrated later stuff--- "Heavy Horse", "Storm watch" "Broadsword", etc....more info
- One of my top 10 favorite albums all time
I had never heard this album before, but Jethro Tull is favorite artist so I knew I would like it. Thick as a Brick, Aqualung, and Songs From the Wood are all really awesome albums, but I'd have to say this is about my favorite. 5 stars all day....more info
- For the Benefit of All Who Care to Listen....
Benefit marks the third and the last album of the early formative period of Jethro Tull. (The collection Living in the Past, released a couple of years later, is also from this period.) While the band's music has continually changed during this period, Benefit feels more a leap-forward than a gradual evolution. Much of the album sounds startlingly modern and experimental (particularly, Time For Everything, Play in Time) and must have sounded more so at the time of its release. The music is intricate and multi-layered, and yet somehow natural and organic, a feat that is well demonstrated in the opening song, With You There to Help Me. The crescendo of flute, keys, guitars (both acoustic and electric) and vocals is so carefully crafted, that one marvels at the cohesiveness of the piece. Yet, there is nothing gratuitous about it, with every note seeming to serve some higher aesthetic purpose. The use of instrumentation to convey texture and meaning to the song is indeed a novel aspect of the album. For instance, the introduction of the electric guitar in the otherwise acoustic Alive And Well and Living In provides a gritty feel to the song and serves to awaken the listener to the true import of the lyrics. But, the real revelation is Ian's voice and vocalizations. At times, stentorian and impassioned (Son, Nothing To Say) and, at times, tender and caring (Inside, For Michael Collins, Sossity), he bravely soars over the instrumentation and takes melodic centre stage. His lyrical themes do not depart significantly from previous material and, typically, focus on personal issues of life and love; however, the lyrics are more poetic and hint at the kind of imagery that Ian will turn to more in future work.
Benefit may lack the kind of individual masterpieces (except, perhaps, To Cry You a Song, which I don't much care for) that find everlasting life in "greatest-of" compilations or in live sets, but don't let this mislead you. This is THE album where Jethro Tull and Ian Anderson find their niche. Listen to it carefully, and you will see why Aqualung, Thick as a Brick and Passion Play had to happen....more info
- That was the best cup of coffee I ever had!
The best of the bluesy Jethro Tull years and sadly the last one with the great Glenn Cornick on bass, apparently he was the partyer of the
tee-totalling early to bed band at the time. These 10 songs allow Martin to really crank his Les Paul and Marshall to 11 as he does on "nothing to say", "cry you a song" and "son" and of course the hit single "teacher". according to rumor the Jeffrey in "For Michael Collins, Jeffrey and Me" is Jeffrey Hammond-Hammond, the next bass player waiting in the wings. John Evan makes an uncredited appearance here and is great as ever on the Hammond organ and Piano. I particularly like the song "Inside", it really makes you want to grab a cup of coffee and enjoy this album with a friend on "the inside" ...more info
- For Your Benefit
1970's Benefit strongly follows up 1968's Stand Up with more solid music from rock's minstrels. Ian Anderson has his strongest vocal effort to date and the band is in fine form on such standout songs like "To Cry Your Song", For Michael Collins, Jeffrey & Me" and "Nothing To Say". The best song on the album is the propulsive "Teacher" that ranks among the band's best songs. The album was their breakout in the US peaking at number eleven on the charts....more info
- Why can't he write them like this anymore?
MY COPY HAS A PRINTING ERROR ON THE INSERT.
This is Jethro Tull's third album. This is a remastered version and the sound quality is excellent.
The original album was 10 songs and 42 minutes long. Some bonus material has been added, but it is nothing special. These bonus tracks have been floating around and have been available on other Tull albums, like the 20th anniversary CD boxset.
The CD comes with a nice booklet, but mine was misprinted. The outside cover is OK, but the inside pages are for the album This Was.
Benefit is just a great collection of songs. After this, the group would do Aqualung and then Thick As A Brick. After that, things slowly went downhill. Anderson has written some good songs since then and put out some nice music. But nothing has done has been as strong as what he did with his first 5 albums.
The concert tours to support this ablum were great. The group really played around with the songs....more info
- One of the great early Tull albums
Benefit is, in my opinion, one of Tull's best albums. This is progressive rock a-la Tull without the later foray's into concept albums. And it works wonderfully.
Listening to it again all these years later I'm remain fascinated at what a good band they were before the break-out. To me this is some of Tull at their best- experimenting but remaining within a conventional format. Benefit remains, for me, one of my favorite Jethro Tull albums....more info
- "And awake to a new day of living"
My review is on the un-remastered version of Benefit which is the one that I own. For some reason, Amazon includes the same reviews for this album under both the remastered and unremastered CDs even though there is definitely a difference between the two. Looking at the extra tracks on the remastered CD, I see no reason to spend my money on another copy of Benefit since I already have the bonus tracks on either Living in the Past or the 20th Anniversary boxed set. From reading the other reviews, the "UK version" of "Teacher" isn't anything special either. Also, why is "Sossity" and "You're a Woman" listed as two separate tracks? I'll stay with my CD copy of Benefit, thank you.
Now, as to the album itself, after putting my top JT albums list together for Amazon, I decided that Benefit is my favorite Tull record. I enjoy this one (and even Stand Up) even more than Aqualung. For the most part, Benefit is brilliant from start to finish. The only weakness is "To Cry You A Song", which is overly repetitive at times and, unfortunately, is the longest track on the album at 6:09. I tolerate that track, though, because the rest of the album is so awesome. "With You There To Help Me" hooked me right away. It is an innovative number which brilliantly balances the edge between art and noise. "Son" is a sarcastic, humorous track about a young man's estrangement from a stereotypical strict father (using all those fatherly clich¨¦s). One gets the idea of what Ian Anderson's relationship with his pop was like when listening to the angry lyrics. Every time I hear "Don't talk like that I'm you're old man" I have to chuckle. "Sossity; You're A Woman" is a soothing ending to the album. "Teacher" is probably the most well-known song from Benefit, being included on the US release and on M.U. The Best of Jethro Tull. Although it is one of the first tracks I ever heard from Tull and I love it, it is really in the middle of the pack in terms of the top songs on Benefit. My favorite is "For Michael Collins, Jeffrey, and Me." Certain parts of this song are too wonderful for words. If your Jethro Tull collection starts with Aqualung, make sure you get their earlier albums Stand Up and this brilliant work. And, since you will probably be hooked on Tull's music and will be buying up their back catalog anyway, don't worry about getting the remastered CD, as you'll get the "bonus tracks" elsewhere....more info
- Nothing to say?
This album, released by Tull in 1970, surely still has much to say. Although it was overshadowed by the more commercially successful Aqualung and Thick as a Brick albums, this is still one of band's most satisfying recordings. If you think their first great album was Aqualung, then you must buy this cd and you will be blown away. I have always loved the way this cd sounds, very full and textured, much better than the Aqualung recording ever did, even after being digitally remastered. On this cd appear prominent themes in Ian Anderson's songwriting, especially aging, which he explored again on Too Old to RockN Roll, too Young to Die. Here also is the unique blend of accoustic/electric guitars and flute that would define Tull's sound for the next decade. The bonus tracks are also worth a listen, especially "Singing all Day" and "just trying to be" which I had not heard before. This album marked great strides in the development of Jethro Tull's musical prowess and hinted at their musical brilliance that would continue throughout the 1970s....more info
- A musical landmark
In the vast Tull catalogue, this 1970 effort stands out as a neglected classic, coming as it did on the heels of the hugely successful Stand Up. Ian Anderson's songs were becoming more complex, and shifting away markedly from his early Blues influences. The maturity of his songwriting, and of the band's playing, are illustrated perfectly by the opening track "With You There to Help Me", a broody and introspective piece that breaks out into a group tour de force. This album also welcomed keyboards player John Evan, who filled out the sound and freed guitarist Martin Barre to assume the leading instrumental role he has played in the group ever since. Listen to his slashing licks, dueling with Anderson's shrieking echoed flute, which climaxes this track. Magic.
Jethro Tull were touring heavily in the States at this time, accused of neglecting audiences back in the UK, and finding the darker side of the music business unpalatable. In the notes written for this reissue in 2001, Anderson talks of "a growing cynicism" and "a sense of alienation". Ironically, it is such conditions that often bring out the best in songwriters, as they lock themselves away in anonymous hotel rooms, escaping the noise outside by drowning themselves in their music. Anderson was no different, resisting the American influences he felt were creeping into many fellow British bands. His flute had endowed Tull with a distinctly Celtic touch from the start, but he now gave full rein to this aspect on songs like "Play In Time", which is a revved-up electric jig that would have given him plenty of opportunity to play the lunatic on stage. In a similar but quieter vein, "Sossity, You're a Woman" displays a strong folk flavour in Anderson's acoustic guitar playing. Bands like the Strawbs and Barclay James Harvest were to follow similar paths in the 70s.
Contrast this with "Alive and Well and Living In", Anderson's flute and Evans' piano combining to take the jazz and rock idioms into areas that were to be explored widely in the decade ahead. It's a strong pointer to the conceptual complexities of Thick As A Brick that were to come two years later.
"Son" is a more acidic view of the generation gap than, for example, the sentimental picture painted by Cat Stevens' "Father and Son" ("If you're good, when you grow up, we will buy you a bike."). "For Michael Collins, Jeffrey and Me" will puzzle anyone born after the 1960s. Collins was the third man in the 1969 Apollo expedition to the moon. While Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin got to go down to the surface and fool around, Collins had to stay behind and keep the orbiting mother ship in trim. It was a song that reflected Anderson's own previously stated sense of alienation ("It's on my mind, I'm left behind when I should have been there, walking with you.").
"To Cry You A Song" and "A Time For Everything" were strong guitar-driven numbers which were precursors to the following album, Aqualung. "Inside", Benefit's single, was arguably the band's last Blues-flavoured song, Anderson's flute motif producing a haunting air over Glenn Cornick's fluid bass lines (it was to be Cornick's last album with Tull).
Bonuses on this reissue include the classic singles, "The Witch's Promise" and "Teacher" - described as "close cousins" to Benefit by Anderson, having been recorded only weeks before the album. These stand out in my view as two of the finest musical tracks laid down at the end of the 1960s. The former again illustrates Tull's folk roots in an eerie tale of enchantment, while the latter is a hedonistic rock anthem ("Jump up, look around, find yourself some fun") that I can recall making parties come alive as Anderson's fierce flute traded centre stage with Barre's guitar.
Radio DJs referred to this as "underground" music, and later it became "progressive". Whatever the labels, it signalled the emergence of the album as a musical art form in its own right. What followed was a sharp contrast from the innocent-sounding 45s that cranked out of tinny speakers on the beach; this was music that made demands of the listener. You couldn't dance to it - at least not a dance that had a name. It heralded an era when musicians began to rule the studios, telling the fat cat producers to just twiddle the nobs and shut up, and challenging the industry to catch up with the creative flow that defied all the established rules. This music wanted you to listen seriously, and think about what it was saying.
Recorded on the cusp of a new decade, Benefit must now take its place as a watershed in the rock music idiom. What's more, it's worn surprisingly well....more info
- The Jethro Tull Keystone
Once you get past the initial appeal of the popular "Aqualung" and "Thick as a Brick," and decide you want to study Tull music and lyrics more closely, this is the album to get. It is like a coded mission statement for the band, laying out the topics and themes that would reappear again and again in later albums. Particularly in the BEST Tull albums, not coincidentally. This one is like a window into the mind and motivations of Ian Anderson -- once you start looking through it instead of at it....more info
- Great Music
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!...more info
- Jethro Tull at their finest
It is hard to think of a Jethro Tull album that is not excellent but Benefit is tops because it brilliantly demonstrates many different styles.
And, the bonus tracks with this new release are a wonderful bonus!
- Step "Inside" this Flawed Gem...
As a newbie to Tull fanaticism (a casual listener who only recently got into the albums and found that he loved them!), there is probably not much I can say here that has not already been said: very briefly, this is a very good album that has been underrated because of its position between two of Tull's greatest and most popular albums. Like other newbies, I bought Aqualung and Stand Up before this one, and on first listen to Benefit I agreed with the majority that this one did not quite match up. More so than the other two albums, it is not quite "lovable" upon the first listen, or even the first two or three. There is indeed a melancholy dreary feeling that seems to seep from the album, starting with the dark and gloomy album cover, and captured perfectly by the first song "With You There to Help Me", which seems to set the tone for what is to come. This dark mood established at the outset seems to cast a shadow over the album as a whole, coloring each tune that follows, and giving the album an overall mournful, dirgelike feel that is unpleasant at first listen. And, reading Ian Anderson's liner notes, it seems that this dark tone was what he was going for, as he bemoaned life on the road, began feeling the pressures of stardom and commercialism, and felt strong dismay at the current state of the music industry in general and the bland, unoriginal taste of fellow musicians, and their listening public.
Strangely enough, however, a few more listens reveals this album to be a richly textured, dense, fascinating masterpiece that challenges the listener and breaks new ground. It is an album whose experimental nature makes it sound fresh to contemporary ears, very ahead of its time, matching up well against (and perhaps easily defeating) any contemporary alternative music of today. In fact, I would argue that it demonstrates Tull's true nature as the prototypical "alternative" band, long before that label was invented, and long before "alternative" suddenly became ironically translated into "mainstream" somewhere in the late 80s or early 90s. I would strongly assert that the "alternative" aspect of Tull's work is really its essential thrust, as it is never truly folk, heavy metal, hard rock, progressive, jazz, classical, or any other label that you want to place on it...it is primarily just DIFFERENT from anything else out there, and as such cannot be adequately labeled.
This gets to the heart of the main problem with the album, which is also the quality that makes it great: Ian Anderson's giant "F You" to the entire music industry in creating an album that does not follow what might be thought of as the logic of the commercial music industry. This sentiment is not confined merely to this Tull album, as such defiance of logic can be found throughout the Tull catalogue, but perhaps the defining characteristics of this defiance and the acerbity with which they are performed and delivered are perhaps most strongly felt on Benefit. For example, as is the case with much of Tull's work, many of the songs here are what might be considered overlong (including perhaps its three best songs, "With You There to Help Me", "Nothing to Say", and "To Cry You A Song") and thus seemingly incompatible with heavy rotation on the radio. Most of the songs do not follow a standard verse chorus verse chorus bridge solo verse chorus formula, like most contemporary pop or rock songs of the era. Good melodies here are sometimes cut off a bit soon to make way for a sudden shift in the song, good riffs are sometimes spoiled by overrepetition, and both melodies and riffs are often interspersed with discordant or otherwise disturbing sounds which risk disrupting the casual listener's pleasure. All of this makes the album strikingly uncommercial in its sensibilities, and surprisingly so perhaps considering that one might expect the band to expand upon its newly established image, given the recent massive success of the immensely popular album, Stand Up. But it is also what makes it an extraordinarily interesting listen in comparison to its predecessor.
However, the main area where this giant "F you" poses the greatest problem is in the SONG ORDER, which seems to be designed specifically to resist the logic of the music industry. Whereas Aqualung and even Stand Up have a very appealing flow in their song order, starting with a very strong, rocking song of wide commercial appeal ("Aqualung" or "New Day Yesterday") then mixing it up with acoustic numbers and rockers paced evenly and then ending up with satisfying rockers ("Locomotive Breath"/"Wind Up" or "For A Thousand Mothers"), this one begins with the sad, subtle, and somber "With You There to Help Me" and ends with the relatively quiet acoustic number "Sossity; You're A Woman". Neither song seems immediately likable or even memorable, even though both certainly grow on you after repeated play. That said, they are both very good songs that would probably show up somewhere in the middles of either Aqualung or Stand Up. Moreover, there is no song on Benefit that has the widespread commercial appeal of the two big singles that came out just prior to the release of this album, included here as bonus tracks: "Teacher" and "Witch's Promise". From a purely commercial standpoint it was clearly a huge mistake to fail to include both of these two songs on the original album as they are both standouts. Still, from an artistic standpoint, they are not perhaps in line with the mood that Anderson was going for on Benefit, nor the statement that he was obviously trying to make by resisting commercialism in the music industry. I would actually go as far as to say that with the inclusion of these two songs and a rearrangement of the order of the other songs, this album would have a COMPLETELY different feel and would have probably even be interpreted differently. For example, to rearrange Benefit to follow an Aqualung-like format, imagine beginning with the cynical yet hard rocking winner "To Cry You a Song", followed up another one in "Son" (perhaps the "Aqualung" and "Cross-Eyed Mary" of Benefit), then move to a couple of shorter, quieter, more folky numbers like "Sossity; You're A Woman" and "For Michael Collins, Jeffrey, and Me", and "Witch's Promise". Then you might move to "Play in Time" (maybe the "My God" of Benefit) and and then back to a rocking, commercially appealing song like "Teacher" (possibly the "Hymn 43" of Benefit). Then you might move back again to some of the shorter quieter numbers with "Inside", "Alive and Well and Living In" and "A Time for Everything?". Then you would end on a strong note again with the powerful but underrated "Nothing to Say", a song which might find itself quite comfortable on today's alternative rock stations. This change-up would accentuate the best, most hard rocking songs on the album but would also make the quieter acoustic numbers more refreshing as a counterpoint to the rockers.
To use another analogy, we might say that this is the "Let it Be" of the Tull catalogue, as an underrated collection of songs, oozing with tension and world-weariness, overwrought with layers of production, and suffering from similar problems such as lack of "sensible" song order. In the case of the Beatles, these are problems which were to a large degree corrected on the remastered and reshuffled Let it Be Naked album. Although I understand that there were significant improvements in the albums sound quality in this new remastered version, Tull/Ian Anderson chose not to "correct" the song order, and in fact substituted "Teacher" from the US version with the far less appealing "Alive and Well and Living In", only to tack on "Teacher" at the end as a bonus track (seemingly a strong insult to what is by most accounts a very good song).
In my opinion, this kind of change-up in the song order would make the album more appetizing in terms of commercial appeal, and, using today's technology, one might simply reprogram the song order to achieve such an effect, if they so wished. Still, the brilliance of Ian Anderson's musical and artistic vision might be lost. Much of the album's energy is drawn from its depression and darkness, and its song order magnifies this overall feeling of bleakness and despondency. I highly recommend this album to anyone with the patience to give it a few spins to let the artistic brilliance shine through. For those who prefer a more commercially-oriented album, I suggest reprogramming the song list to give it more of the Aqualung-style pacing that it currently lacks. In either case, it is an album that invites you "inside" its window, and is definitely worth the price of admission. ...more info
- NEW REMASTERED BENEFIT BLOWS
I HATE this new Benefit Remaster -- it [stinks] big time. They castrated this recording, all the rough edges (i.e. Rock) have been "polished" off -- especially the guitar riffs!
For perspective, I LOVE this album, it's one of my 3 favorite Tull albums; I purchased it when it first appeared in the US. Obviously, (in lieu of his recent folkie sound) Ian is trying to "reinvent" the past, making his back catalog easier listening for his Prog/Folkie fans. I liked the hard rock sound of Stand Up, Benefit and Aqualung and lost respect/interest in Tull when he went the "concept" route, with far less success than The Who and the Pretty Things.
Don't sell your old CD, like I did, before you listen to this sell out. I was going to purchase the Remastered Stand Up, but now that I know better -- forget it!...more info
- best Tull album...
Aqualung may be Jethro Tull's most commercially popular album, but it's predecessor, Benefit, is their best album....more info
- Still a great album
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....more info
- For the Benefit of Jethro Tull.... (fans)
Unlike the first two Chrysalis re-masters (This Was & Standup), which I had a really negative reaction to (because the sound was not as punchy or well-balanced between vocals and guitars as on the original albums)....
This is a great album to own for true Jethro Tull fans, of which I've been one since my high school buddy (a jazz guitarist) introduced me to them, as a counterbalance to Hendrix and Beatles, Stones, Pink Floyd, Who, and Little Feat - to name but a few of the huge phenomena of the day. Only now I can see Tull as part of the Traffic and Moody Blues wave of truly melodic music, and as I read Ian Anderson's 2001 liner-note comment, it seems clear they wanted to keep their own voice while being immersed in the explosion of both British and American pop at the time.
All their albums offer some memorable songs, from quirky serenades to more classically inspired "rounds" and some truly wonderful acoustic guitar and flute interludes (not to mention their classic rockers and legendary "Aqualung"), there's much to choose from. Benefit has the benefit (sorry) of recording technology having caught up enough so that this recording is light-years better than the first two re-masters, perhaps having more tracks to balance or re-EQ or whatever. Listening to this beautiful remaster of Sossity, for anyone who has heard it hundreds of times or more, is a pleasure almost worth the price of admission alone. The bonus tracks are from a newer recording age as well, a sweet and playful sound with great fidelity.
This is a winner in terms of the content. It's slightly different than the original LP I still have (and A-B'd against) with extra songs worth hearing, some exceptionally beautiful in their acoustic sound and melody, and some very punchy and clean classic Tull rockers too. It's a winner in terms of making it worthwhile buying the CD rather than keeping an old cassette or LP (or in my case reel-to-reel)... it sounds like Tull and is worth a listen both for old fans and the curious....more info
- Not Tull's fault
Slowly I have been replacing all my original lps with current cd versions. A little dissappointed when I got this only to find the song 'Teacher' had been removed from the original place. Was excited about the extra tracks, but these included the (uk mix ) of 'Teacher'. I would have preferred to have BOTH versions.
Oh well....more info
- Energetic Stuff
The record like its predecessor "Stand Up" is full of great songs. It takes a move up in terms of sound quality, though the production is somewhat idiosynchratic and annoyingly trebly at times.
The band and production infuse the material with fine energy and nice instrumental flourishes. Lots of great stuff here but to me the best track of all is and has been "For Michael Collins, Jeffrey, and Me" - awesome. ...more info
- NOT HEAVY METAL
While I believe that 'Benefit' IS the best of all Jethro Tull albums, it is extremely misleading to shoppers looking for positive reviews and suggestions of what to buy to call it a HEAVY METAL album or JETHRO TULL a HEAVY METAL band.
The band's roots were in BLUES and they were initially a Blues/Rock band. 'Benefit' itself is a transitional album. It is a brilliant mix of blues, rock and some folk and even jazz influences that would become more important for the band, particularly after 'Aqualung'. But it is NOT, in any way, HEAVY METAL.
If you are looking for a top-quality album, certainly one that belongs in anyone's collection, check this out. If you are only looking for an addition to a Heavy Metal collection---don't bother....more info
- Ever Improving
With their third studio album, "Benefit", Jethro Tull continued to improve upon their previous work. After purchasing their first 2 albums, I remember how eagerly I awaited their next album. Then one day while hanging out with some friends listening to a local FM station, the song "Teacher" was introduced as a new cut from their latest release "Benefit". The song, of course, is fantastic and immediately became an instant favorite. Much to my surprise, once I purchased the album, I discovered it was magnificent and "Teacher" was just one of many tremendous songs. My personal favorites include "With You There to Help Me", "Alive and Well and Living In", "To Cry You a Song", "A Time For Everything?", "Play in TIme", "Singing All Day" and, of course, "Teacher".
This is truly a rock classic and a must CD for any Tull fan....more info
- WHAT A BENEFIT!!!
For you real Tull fans, this album is just like the original, but sounds better and contains four other tracks. You might be surprised not to see "Teacher" as track 8. That is because in the original release (1970) "Teacher" was not on it. "Alive and Living Well" was track 3 and Inside was track 8. The UK mix of "Teacher" is exactly the same as the original cd release. So if you like the album, Benefit, and you want it but you want it to sound better, than buy this album. Hey, Ian Anderson, when are you going to release the rest of the Tull Cd's remastered? For example, Songs from the Wood, Passion Play....more info
- There's really no such thing as a "bad" Tull album
Any Jethro Tull album from their classic line-up era is going to be "good music" because they were a great band. I really like Martin Barre and of course saying Ian Anderson is a musical genius is not overstating his talent. In between their "real" debut and the "masterpiece" Aqualung the band released Benefit in 1970. While Benefit is not a bad album by any stretch it does pale in comparison to both its predessor and of course the famous follower. Benefit is a solid performance of what are really just average songs by the high standards Tull set for themselves over their career. My favorite track is the single "Teacher," and the rest are all OK but nothing jumps out to me as WOW or really blows me away, where most of Stand Up and Aqualung do in fact blow me away after years of consistant listening. Should a Tull fan get Benefit, yes. Should the casual listener rush out and get this expecting the same level of greatness found on some other Jethro albums, no. For the record I have the old original issue 10-track no-bonuses CD not any remastered version....more info
- A Tull Classic reborn?
First off, this is my favourite Tull album of all time. There was never another album that sounded quite like this one, and that puts it in a class by itself. First the positive: A great cd to be sure plus bonus tracks. Now the negative: Amazingly, there is no deluxe booklet(which there should have been)no lyrics and no information about the remastering, just some brief notes by Ian Anderson and that's it. The sound is both a blessing as well as a curse. The newly remastering breathes life into this gem by clarifying the instruments. Unfortunately, the curse is increased grunge and distortion(intentional?)as well as a overall muddy soundstage. The 80's remastered copy suffers the same fate with increased tape hiss. Now granted, this is a 32 year old recording and perhaps this is as good as it will ever be. But since this is my favourite cd by Tull, I was expecting a complete remastering clean-up. Sadly, it was not to be. I still love this cd and would never give it up but if you are a Tull fan of this title, don't expect miracles with the sound quality. 14 Tracks/54.55....more info
- jethro tull NOT trying too hard
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....more info
- Benefit Indeed!
This is, in my opinion, Jethro Tull's best album. It is far superior to Tull's more well known "Aqualung"....more info
- Everything I love About Tull is here
This is one cd that I just totally love. Tull,in the earlier days was more bluesy but on the brink of art rock at its finest. Benefit is one album that I never get tired of hearing,unlike Aqualung it is all around complex and varied. The music is raw and fresh. Old meets new with much to study.
Barre is simply genius as always. Anderson has some of his best vocal inflections in this cd,by far a very unique voice.Yuo can't go wrong and if you don't like this one well ,you shouldn't be listening to Tull at all....more info
- The Benefit Of a Brilliant Album
This album brings back so many memories, although I was born in 1970. I was raised on my parents music and one winter day, my dad's friend brought a batch of vinyl over in a box because he was moving. I pulled out a very aged Aqualung album (this is 1981) and out pops another record, Benefit. What I loved about Aqualung was that it sounded like it was recorded in the 17th century (especially with all the scratches & pops), which intrigued me to no end. Benefit, however, sounded like a younger, fresher, bigger and fatter sounding album (with hardly any scratches or pops). I loved every song deeply and found it to be highly consistent with infinite repeated listenings. Of course, I bought the cassette format twice.
I was actually pleased with the new song list, moving "Inside" toward the end & putting "Alive & Well..." in its place. I think I like the new song order even better. Plus the remastering job really beefs up the mix, making this album that much more potent. Needless to say, this new CD release is an absolute must for the Tull fan and a great place to start for the uninitiated....more info
- A GREAT THIRD EFFORT
My first exposure to Jethro Tull was this album way back in late 1970. I was hooked from the get go by the first two songs, "With You There To Help Me" and "Nothing To Say". Soon after, I added "Stand Up" to my collection. "Benefit" is more straight ahead Rock than "Stand Up", but not quite up to it as a whole, and not quite as good as "Aqualung", which got overplayed by commercial radio to the point of annoyance. There's not a really weak track here, just some that are head and shoulders above the others. The first 6 tracks are my favorites, though I do really like "Teacher", which is another song that repetitive commercial radio ruined for me. The playing is brilliant without the over production that marred later works. Martin Barre really steps out here into Rock guitar hero status.
This is essential work from Ian and the band, along with their first two albums, "Aqualung" and "Thick As A Brick"..........more info
- Along with "Stand Up", their best work
Unlike the other reviews on this page, I'm not rating the quality
of the remaster (which I think is fine anyway; yes it could've
had more photos or bonus tracks, but what is there is fine and
the sound quality is superb) so much as the album itself. And
"Benefit" is one monster of an album from when Ian Anderson was
operating at the very peak of his abilities. Having made
what remains their greatest work "Stand Up" and just a few
months away from their acknowledged 'big one' "Aqualung", it
should be no surprise that "Benefit" is magical from beginning
to end. And with the advantage of the CD format, one can
program the bonus track "Teacher" (which was on the US version
of the album anyway) to replace the only weak track here, "Son"
(try it--it flows seamlessly with the other tracks on side one).
Otherwise, the album is very similar to "Stand Up" in that
it presents a winning combination of blues-based hard rock with
progressive touches; nowhere is this better demonstrated than
on the opening "With You There To Help Me", which closes with
a stunning tradeoff jam between flute and guitar that just might
be my all-time favorite Tull moment. Songs like "Inside", "Alive
And Well And Living In" and "For Michael Collins, Jeffrey And
Me" display the same kind of affecting warmth in the vocals
and lyrics that made "Stand Up" such a joy, a warmth that would
disappear in the midst of the grandiose concept ambition of
the next album.
Although out of all Tull albums "Benefit" is most similar to
its predecessor "Stand Up" (and a great thing that it is!),
there are differences which foreshadow what was to come. The
album has darker themes and a heavier guitar sound than anything
on "Stand Up", the addition of John Evan on keyboards and the mix is a little rougher (although the remaster makes it sound more polished than it has ever been, which is another reason why I give it a thumbs up). For example, there is nothing on "Stand Up" like the heavy backwards interlude in "To Play In Time". Anderson also forgoes the flute on "Nothing To Say", "For Michael Collins", "To Cry You A Song" and the closing beauty "Sossity". The songs on what used to be side two (tracks 6-10) also seem to have a kind of thematic connection, making for a mini-concept which again foreshadows the increasing ambitions of "Aqualung", "Thick As A Brick" and "Passion Play". However, on those later albums Anderson would never again sound as personal and human as he does here. Taken together, "Benefit"
along with "Stand Up" remains the peak of Tull's career, although
that's not to say that one should ignore their 70s work.
One last note--the bonus tracks "Singing All Day", "Witch's
Promise" and "Just Trying To Be" (as well as "Teacher", but I always program that one with the album) are equally
terrific and masterpieces in their own right....more info
1) Sorry, a decision not to "schedule" "Living in the Past" in "the remastered catalogue" does NOT "justify" the "inclusion of those tracks from ["Living in the Past"], here" or "in the other remastered CDs". One crime against art does not justify another. Two wrongs don't make a right.
2) Even if it is true (and I'm dubious) that the ordering of the songs we find here was the original "British" ordering, in contradistinction to the U.S. ordering, it is still very reasonable to fault the ordering we find here. The "U.S." ordering, if U.S. ordering it be, is distinctly superior to this.
3) Contrary to what one may hear from the Jethro Tull camp (or hear from those who claim to hear it from the Jethro Tull camp), the "Living in the Past" songs were originally excluded from various Jethro Tull records because they were judged inferior: Jethro Tull didn't suddenly discover anew at each recording session that a vinyl disc can only hold so many songs. They are not so inferior that that they aren't worth owning collected together onto one record, but they are inferior to the original (and TRUE) "Stand Up", "Benefit", "Aqualung", "Thick as a Brick", and "A Passion Play".
4) Neither Jethro Tull, nor its record company, nor anyone, is authorized by the Gods of Time to rewrite the past....more info
- Cupidity has devoured another classic recording.
1) We've already got "Singing All Day", etc. They're on "Living in the Past".
2) "Teacher" does NOT belong at the end of "Benefit".
3) "Benefit" is one work. You cannot change the order of its songs or append other songs to it without destroying the integrity of that work.
4) This record company is not appending "bonus tracks" because it wants to please you. It is doing it because it cares about MONEY at the EXPENSE of art. It is G-R-E-E-D-Y.
5) If you prefer "bonus tracks", this is because you are a brainwashed tasteless bonehead....more info
- for this album's benefit
The music: in a word, groovy. The band's evolution continued apace, and the addition of John Evan on keyboard allowed textures that the band hadn't previously been capable of. It's a curiously dark, introspective album, and on the best songs that darkness can be quite beautiful.
The remaster: the best remasters series out there (such as the Who's and the Kinks', and anything on Rhino) include lengthy, detailed essays, reproductions of single sleeves, ads, band photos and other memorabilia, and try to round up all available rare tracks from the period covered by the album in question.
The new Tull remasters fall a bit short on these counts. They include nice essays by Ian Anderson, but these are a bit sketchy and could have been complemented by more information from another expert. All original album art is restored, but no other period photos or memorabilia are reproduced. And while the extra tracks that are included are wonderful and necessary, there is a little more out there that could have been included. It would have been nice if they could have rounded up some unreleased or live material, but the biggest omission here is the alternate version of "Teacher." Contrary to what the Amazon description says, this reissue only includes ONE version of the song, what is called the "original UK mix." This is the version that was on MU and other Tull compilations, and was on the US version of the album (at least the cassette I had in the '80s). There is another version, quite different and quite wonderful, which was released as the b-side to "Witch's Promise" and included on the 20 Years Of Jethro Tull box set. Since the box has been out of print for many years, it would have behooved the record company to include this version on the remaster, as well. It's a glaring omission. --Quibbles, yes, but a well-done reissue is such a joy...
That said, the sound and packaging are a vast improvement over the previously-available CD....more info
- Music That Saved My Life!
Slightly biased, i guess, because i found this, along with some other albums in the trash! i took them home, and listened. for years!!! this is such an album: one you could listen to over and over, like paintings or movies or books or letters of this type that absorb you - and allow you to discover NEW things every time you experience them again. that's what constitutes a classic in my mind: something that never loses value, only gains. the production, composition, musicianship and creativity overflows in this album like good wine that is poured into the glass and cannot be contained because there isn't enough room. LOL. or something like that. i'm not a poet, i'm an educated musician. this record is earned well all scratches that are etched into its worn out surface. simply amazing, particularly Sossity You're A Woman!...more info
- Superb Remaster - What's with "Teacher"
This is one of the finest remasters of original analog material I have ever heard. I give it 4-stars simply because I don't give -anything- 5-stars.
If Ian Anderson wants to bring the guys over to my living room and play, I'll give 'em 5-stars.
Although the remaster is superb, the enhanced presence does alter the flavor of the original somewhat. The "Teacher" track retains the original tonal content that one would have heard if they were to play the -original- vinyl album on a pro-quality turntable.
I loved it - This should answer some questions. Beyond that - Just enjoy!...more info
- The Soundtrack of My Teens
I am very pleased to see the wonderful reviews of this record. Twenty-eight years ago, when I was right in the middle of high school, I discovered the incredible Jethro Tull. Such sublime alienation! Such sweet melancholy! This, and "Stand Up", are my favorites from Ian Anderson & band. There is nothing like remembering rainy afternoons when I was 16, sitting in my room with poetry books, listening to this record -- identifying with Ian Anderson as the "moody intellectual". I have gone on to love all kinds of music, but these songs retain a unique place in my heart. This recording is a time machine that can instantly take me back almost 30 years. Extraordinary....more info
- The Best of Pre-Aqualung Jethro Tull
This is a classic. The best of Jethro Tull prior to the Aqualung album....more info
- Benefit is Tull's best album along with Living in the Past
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....more info
- Takin me back..,
I spent my childhood following my older cousins around everywhere. They would take away my Partridge Family albums and make me listen to Mott the Hoople,Hendrix, Cream, Black Sabbath and of course Jethro Tull. This was a classic in their collection and it really took me back.
Thanx for making it available to me.
Ian Anderson offered me a beer backstage a few years back and I stood trembling in front of him. Greatness like that lasts forever....more info
- LOVE THIS ARTIST
It is great to hear this music again ! This group is truly one of the best artists of our time !!
- Solid Tull - Strictly Non-Commercial
I am fortunate to not have the more recently re-mastered version of this CD, if I am to believe the comments of other reviewers. Regardless of other comments, this CD is among the best of Jethro Tull's music, showing elements of progressive rock, rock, jazz and folk.
The CD kicks off with "With You There to Help Me". The opening flute and harmonized vocal are pure folk or blues, but when the bass guitar and lead guitar slowly increase their participation in the song, it becomes folk-rock. The harmonized vocals that are lead-ins to each verse are awesome. The riffs are very characteristic of Tull. Ian Anderson's vocals were so down-to-earth and fresh in 1970. The bizarre stylings of Anderson's flute are without equal, and they are used very effectively in this song. Near the end of the song the flute trades off with the lead guitar in a style that is unique to Tull.
"Nothing to Say" is less layered than the first cut, and has a more basic and raw sound. The music is pure rock with a harder edge than track 1. As usual though, the Tull sound is distinctive and unique.
The third song has more of the Renaissance sound that is often associated with Jethro Tull. "Inside" is a LOVE song, if you can believe it. It may not sound like a love song, but it is about getting a house and settling down. Lots of flute and vocals, nearly pop, but with the classic Tull sound that is nearly impossible to pin down as one particular category of music.
On the next song, "Son", a flavor of progressive is felt more strongly than on the earlier songs. However, before dismissing any of these songs as other than progressive, recall that this album was recorded in 1970, when progressive rock had yet to be truly defined. This song starts out as rock, a youth protest song. Then it transitions to the son's point of view, all mellow and laid back.
I haven't decided whether "For Michael Collins, Jeffrey and Me" is a lament that Ian Anderson didn't get to go on a moon walk, or whether he is lamenting the expenditure of time and money it took to get to the moon. The middle verse seems to be envious, but the surrounding verses seem a bit more satirical. Regardless of the meaning, solid song, good rock beat.
"To Cry You a Song" is a rock song that relies on impressionistic imagery rather than comprehendible lyrics. No matter, the solid rock beat and the sound of the words carry the song. Perhaps Ian Anderson was taking lessons from Jon Anderson regarding the use of word sounds rather than meaning to form lyrics.
"A Time for Everything" is much more straight forward. It's a song about thinking you have time for everything, when in fact if you waste time, you have time for nothing. An amazing lesson from a group of guys that were very young in 1970.
The next song is a standard for Tull, recognized by Tull fans everywhere. "Teacher" is a story about lessons learned in ways other than the classroom; solid rock with enough unusual elements to be borderline progressive. Anderson's flute is a key part of this song.
Sooner or later Tull has to talk to the audience. "Play in Time" is Tull, and especially Ian Anderson, talking to his audience. The song says that while he's trying to find a style, he's also trying to reach people with his music. Are you listening? This song is another rocking number; and that flute.
The last song is great. The song seems to be more about society, and the constraints of society, versus the story about the singer and Sossity that the song initially seems to be. The song appears to say that society tries to make people conform to a norm, putting up appearances for appearance's sake, and because of the way society behaves, it behaves as a woman. The style is mellow and laid back, a very strong folk-renaissance sound (though I've sometimes had a hard time defining exactly what that means, which means it's likely sort of progressive).
The music here is Jethro Tull at their non-commercial, classic, best. The sound has a raw exuberance to it. The lyrics run from plain to completely cryptic. The music goes from a hard-edged rock to acoustic folk. In short, this is the Tull we remember from their incredibly creative early days. If you are a fan of Tull's early music, this CD is a must have. If you object to the later release with the "extras" on it, look for the previous version without. Awesome music worth 5 stars....more info
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