Jethro Tull, Benefit (The 50th Anniversary Enhanced Edition)

Jethro Tull – Benefit (The 50th Anniversary Enhanced Edition) 4CD/2DVD Deluxe Set

by Geoff Ford

Jethro Tull’s 1970 classic album Benefit will be celebrated in a brand-new 4CD/2DVD set, featuring remixes by Steven Wilson, with an abundance of previously unreleased material. The set is packaged within a deluxe hardback book containing 100 pages of commentary from numerous contributors alongside hordes of images of the band creating and performing their first million-selling album. After pandemic-enforced delays, Benefit (The 50th Anniversary Enhanced Edition) will finally be out on 5th November.

Following the successes of This Was (1968) and Stand Up (1969), Jethro Tull returned in 1970 with their third studio album in as many years. For Benefit, Ian Anderson (flute, guitars, vocals), Martin Barre (guitars), Glenn Cornick (bass) and Clive Bunker (drums) were joined by John Evan on piano and organ. Evan would go on to play on all of Jethro Tull’s albums throughout the 70s.

Jethro Tull, 1970

The album featured more advanced studio techniques, such as a backward-recorded flute, on With You There To Help Me, and a sped-up guitar on Play In Time. Although containing a similar mix of bluesy hard-rockers and melodic acoustic numbers to Stand Up, Benefit had, according to Ian Anderson, a ‘harder, slightly darker feel’. Peaking at number 4 in the UK Chart The Witch’s Promise, with B-side Teacher, continued Jethro Tull’s singles’ success, while the album fared equally as well. Benefit charted in the top 10 across six countries, including UK (#3), Australia (#4) and Germany (#5), while peaking at #11 on the Billboard 200 in the USA, being certified Gold in the process.

Benefit (The 50th Anniversary Enhanced Edition) contains a copious amount of expanded material, building upon the 2013 Steven Wilson remixes. CD3 contains a previously unreleased Steven Wilson remix of Jethro Tull performing at Tanglewood in 1970, while DVD2 has the previously unavailable film footage of that show. Further to that, CD4 contains a newly remastered mono version of a previously unreleased concert at The Aragon Ballroom in 1970.

The 100-page book, enclosed within the elegant, hardback book packaging, contains an essay from Martin Webb, who expands upon the 2013 A Collector’s Edition booklet notes. Following that are comments on each of the album’s tracks from, Ian Anderson, Martin Barre, Glenn Cornick and Clive Bunker, together with interviews with Robin Black (studio engineer of Benefit and many other Jethro Tull albums), Terry Ellis (‘executive producer’ of Benefit), Joshua White who directed the 1970 Tanglewood Festival which features on DVD2, and Steven Wilson explaining the mixing of Benefit in 2013. The masses of anecdotes are surrounded by legions of images of the band and memorabilia from the era.

Highlights include:

Original album and associated recordings remixed by Steven Wilson

Additional associated recordings including mono and stereo mixes of various A and B sides

The 1970 Fillmore at Tanglewood concert, with new stereo remix by Steven Wilson

Live At The Aragon Ballroom, Chicago 1970 concert in mono

Steven Wilson’s 2013 remix of the album, 5 extra tracks in DTS and Dolby 5.1 surround and stereo 96/24 LPCM

Flat transfers of the original UK+US LP master in LPCM

Additional tracks Sweet Dream, 17 & The Witch’s Promise

The 1970 Fillmore at Tanglewood concert on video with Steven Wilson’s 2020 audio remix in stereo and 5.1 surround.

Benefit (The 50th Anniversary Enhanced Edition) is out on 5th November – pre-order here: