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Jethro Tull - Benefit CD (album) cover

BENEFIT

Jethro Tull

 

Prog Folk

3.91 | 693 ratings

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fuxi
Prog Reviewer
5 stars This album has received a lot of glowing reviews, almost invariably from people who say it's just as good as STAND UP and nearly as good as AQUALUNG. So let me add my halfpennyworth.

I simply love BENEFIT, and I believe there is not a single weak song on the entire album. Tracks like 'With you there to help me', 'Nothing to say', 'To cry you a Song' and 'Sossity; you're a woman' are as charming and tuneful as anything Jethro Tull have ever done. If the album has remained underexposed in Tull live shows or on compilation albums, there are several possible reasons I can think of. (1) Strange to say, none of the heavier tracks included have attained the (semi-)classic status of 'A new day yesterday', 'Locomotive breath' etc. (2) The album was recorded during a grim period in Ian Anderson's life. I enjoy the way he sings its mournful melodies, but apparently he was not yet capable of writing irresistibly jolly tunes like 'Mother Goose', or deeply felt acoustic songs like 'Wond'ring aloud'. (3) On many of the tracks, lead guitarist Martin Barre performs a surprisingly prominent role. (With double-tracked wah-wah solos and all!) BENEFIT is Martin's album as much as anyone's - something I find highly refreshing, since Martin was still using an old-fashioned blues-rock idiom. This doesn't mean BENEFIT is a guitars-only album: John Evan's keyboard contributions are tasteful and unforgettable.

Every Jethro Tull fan should have a copy of this album, which is far more enjoyable than the turgid THICK AS A BRICK. It's now available with four bonus tracks, all of them superb. For me, BENEFIT firmly belongs to the top five of Tull albums.

fuxi | 5/5 |

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