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Jethro Tull - Benefit CD (album) cover


Jethro Tull


Prog Folk

3.91 | 957 ratings

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Chris H
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Is it possible to make a classic album without including any classics songs? Why of course it is!

Jethro Tull's "Benefit", their 1970 release, was the third album by these rock n' roll giants. this album is really what got their career going, and for me it is the beginning stages of that epic Jethro Tull sound. Glenn Cornick is tight the whole way through, and Martin Barre's intense, sludgy guitar riffs are the perfect compliments to Ian's beautiful flute sounds.

The show kicks off with "With You There To Help Me", an amazing hard rock stunner that features some of the Tull's best early riffs. One of the highlights of the album, could not have picked a better song to start the vinyl. "Nothing to Say" features an excellent rhythm section, and the highly underrated Clive Bunker provides some great beats to match Cornick's bass. Anderson's voice overpowers most the band however, and it captivates you. The good songs just keep flowing! "Inside" is much slower than the first two, more comparable to the melodic, flute driven Tull that cam before this album. Although it is not a bad song, you as a listener will be expecting the heavy guitar riffs and loud singing instead of the atmospheric tones on Anderson's flute and "love-song voice". "Son" is my favorite A-side track by a good mile! From the high- intensity first seconds of the opening verse until the songs radical psychedelic switch, Martin Barre is on top of his game and the whole song just flies. Anderson is at his lyrical peak on the album, and even the slow half of the song is amazing because of the interesting guitar once again presented. "For Michael Collins, Jeffrey, and Me" is comparable to "Inside". Once again, not a bad song, but messing with the flow of the album. The slower opening takes away from all of the energy and action that "Son" created before it. Of course the song picks up in the middle and becomes an excellent song, but the flow is already gone and the intensity is gone.

The B-side starts out with "To Cry You A Song", which is another example of pure excellence! The opening music is intense without being overbearing and the singing is amazing. Can't tell if it is distorted or not, but it is heavily psychedelic. The music in the middle is once again, intense but not overbearing with Martin's amazing guitar solo coming into play. Mr. Barre is steadily becoming one of my favorite guitarists. More soloing leads to "A Time For Everything', the shortest song on the album. The guitar matches the flute every step of the way, which makes for quite an interesting concept. The pairing of the guitar and flute really brings out the good sense in the vocals as well. Another perfect song. "Teacher", the most recognizable song off of the album, is surprisingly one of the weaker songs here. Surely the fans could have picked a better song to represent the album, but this is still an excellent song nonetheless. Another heavy and rockin' guitar riff brings the song up, but the lyrics are a tad bit of a letdown compared with the amazing pen productions on the other songs here. Still an amazing song, don't get me wrong. The flute rave-ups are still a nice touch as well. Speaking of flute rave-ups, that is exactly how the next song, "Play In Time" starts. Barre picks up where Anderson leaves off, and then some more heavy vocals come out and this song is on par with the tone of the album still. I really find it hard to say a negative thing about this album! After the rock-hard outro on "Play In Time", the amazingly beautiful "Sossity, You're A Woman" beings. Very laid-back, this is an atmospheric musical piece that brings a nice ending to a perfect album.

Many have said it before, but I will echo the saying that "Benefit" was the arrow that pointed them to "Aqualung", even if I do prefer "Benefit" of the two. This is undoubtedly the early Tull masterpiece, and one of their career's best. Also, this is a highlight for anybody with ears, let alone progressive rock fans. The mixture of folk and heavy, hard rock brings an interesting concept that made a masterpiece. 5 stars.

Chris H | 5/5 |


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