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Jethro Tull - Benefit CD (album) cover

BENEFIT

Jethro Tull

 

Prog Folk

3.91 | 1002 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars 3,5 stars really!!!

After the resounding success of Stand Up and the non-album hit-singles surrounding it, proving that it was possible to have singles and still be a respected artist with intricate arrangements, Tull released in spring 70 their third album in 18 months. With an unchanged line-up (this rare enough to be mentioned), the quartet chose a hard direction, sometimes foraying in hard rock. The sound is definitely not as slick as on Stand Up, but this helps the album gain its own personality. The album sees the appearance of keyboardist John Evan for the first time, but still as a guest.

Unlike most JT fan, I find this one is not as nice as the sound is not as round (as on Stand Up) and is more aggressive and squarer (as in To Old... and Minstrel ITG). I have a tendency to think that Martin Barre was trying to get more implication with the creation and every time he did so, the overall sound gets tougher, rockier and harder. There are still many fine songs on the album such as "With You", "Play In Time" (with its scarily twisted distortions checking if the needle was not getting wrecked), the great folky "For MC, Jeffrey And Me", "Inside" (bringing us back to their debut) or "To Cry You A Song", but some tracks are relatively weaker (Nothing To Say, Son, Time For Everything?) and make repeated listenings of this album somewhat arduous! Thankfully it ends better than it started.

The remastered version boasts another four bonus tracks, three of which from a December 69 session, the exception being "Singing All Day" closer in time to Stand Up and sounds like it also. If it was not for Inside on the original Benefit album it might sound out of place. Witch's Promise is a delightful and maybe the best thing on the remastered album, while the short "Just Trying To Be" is a charming ditty and Teacher is another catchy track even if I find Anderson's singing very odd at time. All four tracks were previously available on the LITP collection, but add excellent value and quality to the original album. Still a classic Tull album, but I would recommend this album only after you have gotten past the essential albums such as Aqualung, Stand up and TAAB!

Sean Trane | 3/5 |

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