Recorded in 1969, the Jeff Beck Group's second album, Beck-Ola, was apparently hurriedly put together in a rush to cash in on the success of their debut, The Truth. If it was then it doesn't show. Featuring the proto heavy metal sound guitarist Beck was developing, with the effortless vocals of a young Rod Stewart, bass of Ronnie Wood, organ of Nicky Hopkins and drums of Tony Newman, this is a classic album. From the down and dirty opener `All Shook Up', through to the heavy album closer `Rice Pudding' it grabs your attention and gets you involved. Key to the record are Stewart's amazing vocals -he truly sounds tortured, and Beck's guitar wizadry. No flashy pyrotechnics here, just solid, heavy blues workouts that compete with Rod for the limelight, and as often as not win out. And the icing on the cake is the iconic cover, with a copy of Rene Magritte's `The Listening Room'. Anything that uses Magritte as cover art gets extra marks in my book.
This 2006 remaster includes 4 tracks not on the original release, including a cover of a Cliff Richard song, `Throw Down a Line', which is my personal favourite on this album, and in this group's hands has a totally different feel to when the Saintly Cliff and the Shadows did it. The remastering quality is excellent, and there are some interesting liner notes. 5 stars all round.