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Jethro Tull - Benefit CD (album) cover

BENEFIT

Jethro Tull

 

Prog Folk

3.90 | 685 ratings

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GruvanDahlman
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Jethro Tull, eh? The band that rose from blues origins and went through rapid change and progression, heading straight into legend with a string of mostly genial albums in the 70's? Yes, that's the one. Jethro Tull's debut was anything but classic blues, displaying a wide variety of influences and progression. What they created on This was was in fact an outstanding display of vision. A great album, really. Then the progression went even further on Stand up, in order to reach a sort of pre-progressive/proto-progressive zenith on Benefit.

For a long time I thought Benefit was the best of the lot, even surpassing Aqualung. This was before I discovered A passion play and Thick as a brick. Both of those surpassing Aqualung in quality. My stab at being controversial ends there. I think Aqualung comes in as number three in the ranking of Tull's albums. Anyway, I am rambling as usual. I thought Benefit was the greatest, yes. That's it. My mind has changed since then. Benefit is a marvellous album, really it is. It still is and probably always will. At least I hope so.

When i listen to it nowadays i think I am, in part, struck by nostalgia but foremost I find that this album displays a lot of what Tull stands for. Their standpoint is one of blues, hard rock, folk and classical elements, all poured into that great musical blender and served as a cocktail of unspeakable originality. However, I think that Benefit for the most part lingers back in the progressive blues territory, albeit with several feet in their progressive future. The songs are folky, hard rocking at times and we are served a slice or two of classical cake. That is all very well and the result is very nice. I do think, however, that the album is slightly less genial than I once perceived. If I was to suggest an album to start off with I would, most likely, recommend some later album. Aqualung, I guess.

As a Tull-head, and having been one for over 20 years, I find a lot to love on Benefit and I still think it is one of my favorite albums. Not because I think it is the best work they made, simply because it is a wonderfully charming album, conquering musical territory back in the day. If you are into Tull, this is a great album. If you are about to discover them, go for Aqualung or Thick as a brick.

Conclusion: 3 stars, given with love and affection.

GruvanDahlman | 3/5 |

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