Jethro Tull: Ian Anderson (vocals, flute); Martin Barre (electric guitar); John Evans (keyboards); Glenn Cornick (bass); Clive Bunker (drums).
Additional personnel: John Evan (piano, organ).
Producer: Ian Anderson.
Reissue producers: Jo Brooks, Nigel Reeve.
Principally recorded at Morgan Studios, London, England. Includes liner notes by Ian Anderson.
All tracks have been digitally remastered.
Audio Remixer: Steven Wilson.
Liner Note Author: Martin Webb.
Photographer: Wolfgang Heilemann.
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.
Q (11/01, p.139) - 4 out of 5 stars - "...A steady consolidation of its predecessor....File not alongside Yes or ELP but Fairport Convention and The Crazy World OF Arthur Brown..."