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Jethro Tull "Benefit" Sound Quality

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by workhorse, Jun 10, 2019.

  1. workhorse

    workhorse Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Richmond, BC
    I have an original pressing on "Benefit", and it sounds quite bad (especially when compared to "Stand Up" or "Thick As A Brick"). The worst offender on "Benefit" is weak and tinny bass. Also, Barre's guitars are shrieking and piercing, unlike the gorgeous tones he lavished upon us on "Stand Up".

    My question is: do I have a bad pressing of that LP, or are all other pressings equally tinny and brittle sounding?
  2. john lennonist

    john lennonist There ONCE was a NOTE, PURE and EASY...

    No, "Benefit", my fave Tull album (and a Top Ten All Time album for me) has almost no bass / low end.

    This was because Chrysalis decided to, in a (short-sighted) attempt to save money, build their own studio.

    They didn't have the kinks worked out when they recorded "Benefit" (or "Aqualung" for that matter).

    That's why "Stand Up," which preceded "Benefit," sounds so much better.

    They got the kinks worked out by "Thick as a Brick," the UK pressings of which sound fantastic.

    You'll hear a lot of praise here for the Steve Wilson remix of "Benefit", and, while it has improved bass, he screwed around with too much of the rest of the mix, which didn't need it, IMO.

    It ended up with too much of a "Modern Sound", IMO.

    From what country is your "original" pressing pressed?

    What are the stamper numbers?

    Some early pressings are better than others.
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2019
  3. Scott in DC

    Scott in DC Forum Resident

    Washington, DC
    Which pressing of Benefit do you have? The original Chrysalis with Island "I" logo at the top of the labels sounds pretty good.

    I agree with you though that Benefit doesn't sound as good as Stand Up which sounds quite good.

  4. Hi Lizard

    Hi Lizard Forum Resident

    Frankfort Kentucky
    The US pressing I had wasn't to my liking, but the pressing from Germany I have seems to me a better overall listen.
    john lennonist likes this.
  5. Larry Geller

    Larry Geller Surround sound lunatic

    Bayside, NY
    All 1st pressing US Reprise copies of Benefit have side 1 pressed out of phase. This was covered in Rolling Stone at the time.
    owsley, tkl7 and DK Pete like this.
  6. alexpop

    alexpop Power pop + other bad habits....

    Modern sound, mystery gone.
    kiddo4 likes this.
  7. recklessczar

    recklessczar Forum Resident

    Bay Shore NY
    I hate the way the drums sound. But the whole album sounds dull with no depth. Even the playing seems to lack swing . Both This Was and Stand Up sound great to me. Benefit was a let down for me.
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2019
  8. workhorse

    workhorse Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Richmond, BC
    When I say "original" pressing, I mean it was pressed in the year when it was released (1970); it's not a reissue. Mine is probably the US pressing (haven't checked).

    I agree with you on "Thick As A Brick"; not only is it the best sounding Tull LP, it's one of the best sounding LPs in my collection. I always put it on when I want to enjoy music that was recorded and mastered with full dynamics, with that warm 'tubey' sound that seems all but impossible to produce nowadays...
  9. folkfreak

    folkfreak The cold blooded penguin


    This is simply doesn't get any more true, even if you continue to write this multiple times on several threads...
    Chrysalis didn't build up their own studio.
    It was Island that did build up a studio and even then Benefit didn't have to do anything with that studio. as it was recorded at Morgan studios.
    Aqualung was recorded at Island studios.
  10. folkfreak

    folkfreak The cold blooded penguin

    Ironically Thick as a Brick was recorded at the same studio as Benefit.
    tootull and John Buchanan like this.
  11. jeddy

    jeddy Forum Resident

    I love steve's work but Benefit didn't sound right to me.
    too futzed with!
    Could have been with Ian's direction since he doesn't have a lot of glowing things to say about the album.
    He probably wanted "this changed" and "that changed" etc.

    my second favourite Tull album so it ……...hurts.....
    yesstiles and john lennonist like this.
  12. tkl7

    tkl7 Agent Provocateur

    New York, NY, USA
    Like another poster said, the album is no sonic marvel to begin with, but the original press US on reprise has side 1 out of phase and sounds especially bad.
    Larry Geller likes this.
  13. john lennonist

    john lennonist There ONCE was a NOTE, PURE and EASY...

    This is the first time I've seen you correct me... sorry, I will misinform no longer on this subject! :hide:

    Given that, why do you think both "Benefit" and "Aqualung" sound so crappy (mostly due to little bass / low end information) while "Stand Up" and "Thick as a Brick" sound so great?
  14. John Buchanan

    John Buchanan I'm just a headphone kinda guy. Mysphere 3.2.

    Benefit always sounded bad. Very midrangey. The remix vastly improved it and Aqualung, IMHO.
    lucan_g, Rick Sims, Plan9 and 6 others like this.
  15. CCrider92

    CCrider92 Forum Resident

    Cape Cod, MA
    Benefit is my Tull favorite followed by Aqualung. I don't hear what you guys hear so that's either a curse, a blessing , or both. When Benefit came out I listened to it non-stop and still do play it frequently. Should I perhaps get the Wilson edition or would I be deaf to that as well?! LOl
    Rick Sims likes this.
  16. Socalguy

    Socalguy Forum Resident

    I have an original pressing of “Benefit“ and it always disappointed me. It could’ve been a much better album if properly recorded.
  17. pbuzby

    pbuzby Senior Member

    Chicago, IL, US
    I had a U.S. Reprise LP with the phase problem on side 1, but found another with the Artisan stamp that sounds better.
  18. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    my original US pressing was quite lacking...I do enjoy what Wilson did with his "Benefit" remix...but, he sticks so close to the original mix and makes the sound kick as it should have!
  19. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    actually back then I loved it as it was, but I was young back then...I just played it LOUD!!! LOL.
    speedracer and recklessczar like this.
  20. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    2 of the best remixes ever...I have no problem with a remix that mirrors the mix and improves the sound!
    John Buchanan, SirMarc and Leigh like this.
  21. owsley

    owsley Senior Member

    A Time For Everything was the only really well produced song on Benefit IMO. Putting Barre's drum kit on only one track was a big mistake and the bass was severely unrecorded as well. Benefit reminds me of the Kinks Village Green lp with its very light, thin (and unsatisfying) sound. I agree with you that the CD remix does beef up the rhythm section quite a bit
  22. John Buchanan

    John Buchanan I'm just a headphone kinda guy. Mysphere 3.2.

    Fixed that for you.
  23. pbuzby

    pbuzby Senior Member

    Chicago, IL, US
    As far as Bunker being on one track, I think they were using 8 tracks, and most songs have doubled guitars and vocals, so unfortunately they didn't have much room for him.
  24. qwerty

    qwerty A resident of the SH_Forums.

    I loved this album as a teenager.
    I never noticed the lack of bass on the record player I had with a ceramic cart, and a 3" speaker pointed towards the underside of the record.
    Grower of Mushrooms likes this.
  25. tootull

    tootull talisman

    :cool: Love the Benefit remix.


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