Jeff Beck: Truth & Beck-Ola
Beck-Ola followed a year later. Only half an hour long, the record is less substantial but also features the strong interplay of Beck and Stewart, with Ron Wood again on bass, Tony Newman replacing Mick Waller on drums, and Nicky Hopkins remaining on piano. The record begins with — what else? — an Elvis tune, "All Shook Up," and goes on to include yet another, "Jailhouse Rock," taken at an in-your-face, half-time tempo. The group’s trademark blues-rock returns on "Plynth (Water Down the Drain)" and "The Hangman’s Knee," while "Spanish Boots" and "Rice Pudding" are based on crushing riffs that surely qualify as some of the earliest heavy metal on record. In the middle of it all appears Hopkins’s quaint, piano-based folk melody, "Girl from Mill Valley."
These post-Yardbirds, pre-Faces outings are vital documents in the history of British hard rock, and they also stand up as essential examples of Beck’s guitar style. There’s little here that would seem to predict Beck’s turn to jazz-rock fusion a mere six or seven years later. But in terms of how Beck uses the guitar to lead a band, there’s a lot of continuity between these and future efforts. Curious as to what the elusive six-string hero sounds like lately? If you’re in New York, catch him at Roseland on March 22.
Track Listing: Truth: 1. Shapes of Things 2. Let Me Love You 3. Morning Dew 4. You Shook Me 5. Ol
Personnel: Truth: Jeff Beck, guitar (bass, 5); Rod Stewart, vocals; Ron Wood, bass; Mick Waller, drums; John Paul Jones, Hammond organ (5); Nicky Hopkins, piano (3, 9)
Beck-Ola: Jeff Beck, guitar; Rod Stewart, vocals; Ron Wood, bass; Nicky Hopkins, piano; Tony Newman, drums
Record Label: Epic Records
Style: Fringes of Jazz