Jethro Tull

Stand Up/Benefit

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This is a budget compilation of Jethro Tull's second and third albums. Stand Up (1969) features the debut of guitarist Martin Barre and marks Tull's shift away from blues-based material, although "A New Day Yesterday" and "Nothing Is Easy" both possess noticeable blues components. This album has a predominant acoustic vibe, a Tull trademark that would surface in greater and more creative degrees in later albums. The departure of Mick Abrahams after This Was left all songwriting duties to lead singer Ian Anderson. With the exception of Anderson's jazzy adaptation of Johann Sebastian Bach's "Bourée," he wrote all of the material for these two albums. His songwriting would continue to evolve, particularly in the years immediately following Benefit (1970); however, on that album Jethro Tull emerged as a top-notch rock & roll band. Anderson's songs provided ample opportunity for Barre to showcase his wonderful talent on electric guitar and prepared him for their hard rock masterpiece, Aqualung, the following year. The classic number "To Cry You a Song" is the highlight of Benefit. There are no liner notes to speak of on this release, just the music.