The wait is over: after some pandemic-related delays, a new box set edition of Jethro Tull's Benefit will be released on Nov. 5. And for hardcore fans of the group, it looks to be worth the wait!
Benefit was Tull's third album in three years - a darker prog-folk album that featured more of the hard-rock riffage that contemporaries like Jimi Hendrix and Cream were incorporating into their sound. This time, the band line-up (featuring Anderson, guitarist Martin Barre, bassist Glenn Cornick and drummer Clive Bunker) expanded to feature keyboardist John Evan, who'd be a member of the band throughout the next decade. The album reached the Top 10 around Europe and No. 11 in America, and lead single "The Witch's Promise" would become the band's third song to reach the Top 10 of the U.K. singles chart.
The 4CD/2DVD Benefit (The 50th Anniversary Enhanced Edition) greatly expands on the 2CD/1DVD set that was issued back in 2013. This version includes everything from that original set: stereo and surround mixes of the original album and related recordings by acclaimed engineer Steven Wilson, plus original B-sides and alternate versions in stereo and mono (this time featuring five mixes that weren't on the previous release, including stereo mixes commissioned for the rarities album Living in the Past in 1972).
And there's even more bonus content for your Benefit this time: two additional CDs feature a pair of previously unreleased live concerts recorded at Tanglewood (home of the Boston Pops) and Chicago in 1970. The Tanglewood set has also been newly remixed by Wilson - and his surround sound version features on the set's second DVD, synced to unreleased video of the performance.
Like previous deluxe editions of Jethro Tull albums, the enhanced Benefit comes in a book-style package with 100 pages of liner notes, featuring rare photos and commentary by essayist Martin Webb, band members Ian Anderson, Martin Barre, Glenn Cornick and Clive Bunker; engineer Robin Black, executive producer Terry Ellis, director Joshua White (who helmed the Tanglewood footage) and Steven Wilson.