If Steven Wilson’s remixes of albums by Yes and XTC aren’t enough surround sound excitement for you, then check this out: Jethro Tull’s third album, 1970′s Benefit, is being reissued as a 2CD/1DVD set featuring the talents of the Porcupine Tree frontman. Benefit was, perhaps, the first step in Tull’s immersion in the greater world of progressive rock. The quintet moved away from the blues influences of their last two records toward a more heavier sound.
Benefit is the third album by Jethro Tull. It was released in April 1970. It was the first album to feature John Evan on keyboards (albeit as a session player), and the last to feature Glenn Cornick on bass guitar. It achieved number 3 in the UK album charts. The album is heavier than its predecessor, Stand Up, and many of the tracks feature more elaborate arrangements than Tull's earlier material, for example, backwards flute on "With You There To Help Me" and backwards piano and sped up guitar on "Play In Time". Wikipedia
Tull's third album finds them pulling definitively away from their blues-rock beginnings and heading towards the folk-influenced prog-rock that would become their trademark. It captures a brief, crucial moment in the band's life. They hadn't yet adopted the complex, medieval-oriented approach of their most famous works, but they had progressed enough to record some of Ian Anderson's most unpretentious, personal and affecting songs. Instead of courtly prog-rock or Cream-ish electric blues, BENEFIT is full of visceral, electrified folk-rock. The light, acoustic-flavored "With You There to Help Me" and "Inside" are full of thoughtful passion. The harder-edged "To Cry You a Song" and "Teacher" are examples of Tull's ever-present way with a hooky riff. For those distrustful of fancy time signatures and complex song suites, a strong case could be made for BENEFIT as Tull's most satisfying effort.
Jethro Tull was a unique phenomenon in popular music history. Their mix of hard rock; folk melodies; blues licks; surreal, impossibly dense lyrics; and overall profundity defied easy analysis, but that didn't dissuade fans from giving them 11 gold and five platinum albums…
Throughout the '70s, Jethro Tull was one of the world's premier live acts, regularly playing to sold-out audiences in huge arenas all over the world. With his inimitable theatrics and manic flute improvisations, Ian Anderson was always the consummate showman, and he peppers these performances with the relaxed, cheeky stage patter of a seasoned veteran. Recorded live in Europe in 1978.