Jethro Tull – Benefit

ARTIST: Jethro Tull 220px-JethroTull-albums-benefit
TITLE: Benefit
YEAR RELEASED: 1970
CHART ACTION: #11 US, #3 UK
SINGLES: Inside
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Teacher
LINEUP: Ian Anderson, Martin Barre, Clive Bunker, Glenn Cornick, John Evan
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Tull more or less sheds the blues and becomes full on folk/progressive with a hard rock kick.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Well, here we are. No more Tull with a foot in the true blues. The addition of keyboard player John Evan enhances the band’s sound, and allows Barre more room to explore guitar riffs and sounds.

The songs seem a little weaker and less memorable than Stand Up. Teacher is an excellent song that positions the band right where they need to be for greater fame to come. “To Cry You a Song” is quite the Barre workout. The rest of the tracks, while decent, don’t have the hooks or immediacy as their past album.

You could call this a transition album in a sense, but it’s decent enough to stand on its own.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: “Teacher” was recorded in two versions – the UK version was the B-side of a non-album single and has no flute and more guitar. The US version is actually on the album itself. In the UK, the track “Alive and Well and Living In” was included on the album.

Two non-album singles, “Sweet Dream” (#7 UK) and “The Witch’s Promise” (#4 UK) hit the UK charts.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, it has the UK album, both versions of “Teacher”, the non-album singles and B-sides and mono mixes of a lot of songs as well.

GRADE: B: Decent, not great. If “Teacher” was on the UK album that’d raise it to a solid B+.

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