TGIF! Classic Rock with Jethro Tull`s “Benefit”!

February 26, 2010 by  
Filed under Music

For me, the third effort of Jethro Tull is their best. For me, Benefit is solid gold classic rock. That`s right, I prefer the 1970 record over 1971`s concept album, Aqualung. A new sound emerges with Benefit. Now with Martin Barre`s exquisite electric guitar work, rock merges with folk to give us something new. Also, the bass player, Glen Cornick, leaves the band after this record. For me, Glen Cornick, with his long hair and headband, helped to define Jethro Tull`s image.

I wore the vinyl grooves of Benefit out when still in high school. Learned the guitar lick on To Cry You A Song and the Teacher. Teacher is the best song-listen for Glen Cornick`s bass here. “Hey man, what`s the plan, what was that you said? Sun-tanned, drink in hand, lying there in bed. I try to socialize, but I can`t seem to find. What I was looking for, got something on my mind.” I could identify with that line as a troubled young man.

Jack Shadoian from The Rolling Stone butchered it. Here`s a link to his original review posted on August 6, 1970. You don`t see those kinds of scathing reviews anymore in rock criticism. Rock critics got down back then! Moribund Art! Robert Christgau loathes the flute-playing Ian Anderson too? Well, I beg to differ. Listen for the backward flute on With You There To Help Me.

Be sure to add Benefit to your collection. Send me a comment to the question: Why are people either hot or cold when it comes to Jethro Tull?