Sunday, April 8, 2007

JEFF BECK - Truth @320

After leaving the Yardbirds in late-1966, Jeff Beck hooked up with popmeister Mickie Most (Herman's Hermits, Donovan) but had little luck with the UK singles chart. By 1968, Beck enlisted vocalist Rod Stewart, bass player Ron Wood, and drummer Mickey Waller. Their debut Truth would would be the most consistently satisfying album of Beck's career. The album kicks off with a reworking of the 1966 Yardbird's hit "Shapes of Things" and from there presents a string of blues-based songs that would become the framework for heavy metal in general and Led Zeppelin in particular. The only serious misstep is the inclussion of "Old Man River" from the 1951 musical Show Boat. It may help show us Stewart's range as a vocalist, but it's not much of a showcase for Beck's virtuosity as a guitarslinger. The only other out-of-character tune is Beck's solo rendition of the traditional "Greensleeves." But as he remarks in the liner notes, "Aye that's a lovely 'toon'," and his acoustic reading is a reflective counterpoint to most of the rest of the material contained on the album.Highlights include "You Shook Me," "Rock My Plimsoul" and the guitar workout "Beck's Bolero," but the standout track is "I Ain't Superstitious." As a bandleader, Beck could be temperamental and his bands tended to not last for more than one or two albums. [The follow-up "Beck-Ola" featured a diferent drummer plus the addition of keyboardist Nicky Hopkins and would be that group's last.] Beck's post-Sixties work always showed flashes of brilliance and as such I would highly recommend the 3-CD Beckology as a terrific overview, but Truth belongs in any serious music collector's library. - Steve Vrana

1. Shapes Of Things
2. Let Me Love You
3. Morning Dew
4. You Shook Me
5. Ol' Man River
6. Greensleeves
7. Rock My Plimsoul
8. Beck's Bolero
9. Blues Deluxe
10. I Ain't Superstitious

Highly recommended!!!

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1 comment:

Nemmeth said...

Thanx a lot. I only knew Beck from Blow by blow, and of course, the later things, 80's & 90's records ("Guitar shop" is thrilling & "You had it coming" was a hit). I've never had a blink to his late career material. That's now done. Thanx again.