All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

212

Jeff Beck: Truth & Beck-Ola

David Adler By

Sign in to view read count
Next to Hendrix, Clapton, and Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck stands as something of an underdog in the pantheon of guitar gods. But these early solo efforts, now reissued by Epic, remain classics of the quirkiest kind. On 1968’s Truth we hear a 23-year-old Rod Stewart wailing the blues, giving Robert Plant a run for his money. And we hear Beck displaying some of the most sonically radical guitar work of the era. The affinity with Jimmy Page is quite striking. In particular, the vocal/guitar call-and-response episodes on "Let Me Love You" and "Rock My Plimsoul" predate Led Zeppelin’s "The Lemon Song" by more than a year. Beck’s solo acoustic rendition of "Greensleeves" also portends folkish excursions by Page that would soon crop up on nearly every Zep record. Overall, however, the emphasis is on hard-driving blues-rock, with enough curiosities thrown in to make it totally unique. The psychedelic instrumental "Beck’s Bolero" (by Jimmy Page, as a matter of fact) remains a delight, as does "Ol’ Man River," with an uncredited Keith Moon on timpani.

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

Title: Truth & Beck-Ola | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: Epic Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Fat Daddy CD/LP/Track Review
Fat Daddy
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 19, 2018
Read Short Stories CD/LP/Track Review
Short Stories
by Gareth Thompson
Published: September 19, 2018
Read UHHM CD/LP/Track Review
UHHM
by John Bricker
Published: September 19, 2018
Read Decoy CD/LP/Track Review
Decoy
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 19, 2018
Read Paul Heller Meets Roman Schwaller CD/LP/Track Review
Paul Heller Meets Roman Schwaller
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Change In The Air CD/LP/Track Review
Change In The Air
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 18, 2018
Read "Breathe" CD/LP/Track Review Breathe
by Geannine Reid
Published: June 18, 2018
Read "Starebaby" CD/LP/Track Review Starebaby
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 6, 2018
Read "Dear Friend" CD/LP/Track Review Dear Friend
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: July 31, 2018
Read "More Songs About Error And Shame" CD/LP/Track Review More Songs About Error And Shame
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 24, 2018
Read "Paimon: Book of Angels Volume 32" CD/LP/Track Review Paimon: Book of Angels Volume 32
by Don Phipps
Published: December 13, 2017
Read "We Out Here" CD/LP/Track Review We Out Here
by Chris May
Published: February 24, 2018