Benefit (album)

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Benefit
Studio album by Jethro Tull
Released 20 April 1970 (US)
1 May 1970 (UK)
Recorded December 1969 – January 1970 at Morgan Studios, London
Genre Progressive rock, hard rock[1]
Length 42:49
Label Chrysalis, Reprise
Producer Ian Anderson
Jethro Tull chronology
Stand Up
(1969)
Benefit
(1970)
Aqualung
(1971)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]
Rolling Stone unfavourable[2]
Robert Christgau B−[3]
Disc & Music Echo (Mixed)[4]
Sputnik Music 4/5 stars[5]

Benefit is the third album by Jethro Tull, released in April 1970. It was the first Tull album to include pianist and organist John Evan – though he was not yet a permanent member of the group – and the last to include bass guitarist Glenn Cornick. It reached No. 3 in the UK album charts.[6]

Almost as hard-rocking and blues influenced as its predecessor, Stand Up (1969), it incorporated more studio techniques, such as backward-recorded flute (on "With You There to Help Me") and piano, and sped-up guitar (on "Play in Time").

Critical Reception[edit]

Benefit reached No. 3 in the UK album charts; No. 11 in the US and No. 2 in Norway.[7] Despite selling well, critics were generally unimpressed with Benefit. Rolling Stone called the album "lame and dumb".[8] Disc & Music Echo, on the other hand, was also unimpressed, but recognized the band quality: "This album doesn't advance by such a drastic leap as Stand Up did from This Was. It's more like the Jethro Tull we've seen and heard for the past year. It seems to be a remarkably long album, and shows what an exciting group this is. Exciting because they can have quite long guitar breaks and still retain a very tight and together sound".[9] AllMusic review came more benevolent and accepting the album' style. Bruce Eder state that: "Most of the songs on Benefit display pleasant, delectably folk-like melodies attached to downbeat, slightly gloomy, but dazzlingly complex lyrics, with Barre's guitar adding enough wattage to keep the hard rock listeners very interested. 'To Cry You a Song', 'Son', and 'For Michael Collins, Jeffrey and Me' all defined Tull's future sound: Barre's amp cranked up to ten (especially on 'Son'), coming in above Anderson's acoustic strumming, a few unexpected changes in tempo, and Anderson spouting lyrics filled with dense, seemingly profound imagery and statements."[10]

Releases[edit]

In 2013, The Collector’s Edition of Benefit was released. It contains bonus tracks mixed by Steven Wilson. This edition also contains a disc with mono and stereo mixes of rare and previously unreleased versions of tracks and singles, and an audio-only DVD that includes a surround sound mix of the original album. The Collector's Edition also includes a booklet featuring an 8,000-word essay written by Martin Webb, as well as interviews with band members and a selection of photos, some of which are rare and previously unseen.[11]

UK track listing[edit]

All music composed by Ian Anderson.

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "With You There to Help Me"   6:15
2. "Nothing to Say"   5:10
3. "Alive and Well and Living in"   2:43
4. "Son"   2:48
5. "For Michael Collins, Jeffrey and Me"   3:47
Side two
No. Title Length
6. "To Cry You a Song"   6:09
7. "A Time for Everything?"   2:42
8. "Inside"   3:38
9. "Play in Time"   3:44
10. "Sossity; You're a Woman"   4:31

US track listing[edit]

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "With You There to Help Me"   6:15
2. "Nothing to Say"   5:10
3. "Inside"   3:46
4. "Son"   2:48
5. "For Michael Collins, Jeffrey and Me"   3:47
Side two
No. Title Length
6. "To Cry You a Song"   6:09
7. "A Time for Everything?"   2:42
8. "Teacher"   3:57
9. "Play in Time"   3:44
10. "Sossity; You're a Woman"   4:31

Credits[edit]

Additional personnel
  • David Palmer – orchestral arrangements
  • John Evan – piano and organ
  • Robin Black - Engineer
  • Terry Ellis - Cover Design, Executive Producer
  • Ruan O'Lochlainn - Cover Design, Photography

References[edit]

External links[edit]