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  • Truth
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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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Jeff Beck's debut solo LP was always going to be a barnstormer - and with a band featuring talent like Rod Stewart on the microphone and Ronnie Wood on second guitar - plus contributions from friends like Jimmy Page, Nicky Hopkins, Aynsley Dunbar and Keith Moon - that's what 1968's "Truth" gives you – a staggering start. Never mind that some claim it even kick-started a subtle but definite move away from Blues-Rock to Hard Rock into the bargain. There's a lot to assess...so once unto the riffage...guvnor...

UK released May 2005 - "Truth" by JEFF BECK on EMI 873 7492 (Barcode 724387374928) is an 'Expanded Edition' CD Remaster with eight Bonus Tracks and plays out as follows (70:37 minutes):

1. Shapes Of Things
2. Let Me Love You
3. Morning Dew
4. You Shook Me
5. Ol' Man River
6. Greensleeves [Side 2]
7. Rock My Plimsoul
8. Beck's Bolero
9. Blues De Luxe
10. I Ain't Suspicious
Tracks 1 to 10 are his debut LP "Truth" - released July 1968 in the UK on Columbia SX 6293 (Mono) and Columbia SCX 6293 (Stereo) and in the USA on Epic BN 26413. Produced by MICKIE MOST - it peaked at No. 15 in the US LP charts ((no UK chart placing).

11. I've Been Drinking (Stereo Mix) - originally the Mono UK B-side to "Love Is Blue" released as a 7" single on Columbia DB 8359 in February 1968
12. You Shook Me (Take 1) - First take without piano that was overdubbed on the Final Version - Take 7
13. Rock My Plimsoul (Stereo Mix) - originally the Mono UK B-side to "Tallyman" released as a 7" single on Columbia DB 8227 in July 1967
14. (Beck's) Bolero (Mono Single Version with Backwards Guitar) - originally the Mono UK B-side of "Hi Ho Silver Lining" released as a 7" single on Columbia DB 8151 in March 1967
15. Blues De Luxe (Take 1) - Previously Unreleased (Take 7 is the Master)
16. Tallyman - originally the Mono UK A-side - released as a 7" single on Columbia DB 8227 in July 1967
17. Love Is Blue - originally the Mono UK A-side - released as a 7" single on Columbia DB 8359 in February 1968
18. Hi Ho Silver Lining (Stereo Mix) - originally the Mono UK A-side - released as a 7" single on Columbia DB 8151 in March 1967

JEFF BECK - Electric Guitars, Steel Guitar on 1, Acoustic Guitar on 6, Bass on 5 and Lead Vocals on 16 and 18
ROD STEWART - Lead Vocals
MICKY WALLER - Drums and Percussion

KEITH MOON of THE WHO - Drums on 8 and 14 - Tympani on 5
JIMMY PAGE of LED ZEPPELIN - 12-String Electric Guitar on 8 and 14
JOHN PAUL-JONES of LED ZEPPELIN - Organ on 4, 5 and 12 - Bass on 8, 14 and 18 - String Arrangements on 18
NICKY HOPKINS - Piano on 3, 4, 8, 9, 11, 14 and 15
AYNSLEY DUNBAR - Drums on 13 and 16
CLEM CATTINI - Drums on 18
MADELINE BELL - Backing Vocals on 11
JOHN CARTER & KEN LEWIS - Backing Vocals on 16

The 16-page booklet is a very tasty affair - new liner notes from noted writer and music historian CHARLES SHAAR MURRAY with contributions from the Guitar Maestro himself - black and white photos of the band (Rodders in full microphone manhandling pose) - guests like Nicky Hopkins - and a wonderful Modtastic photo of the pre "Truth" band with Aynsley Dunbar on Drums instead of Mick Waller (he features on Page 8). CSM keeps it light and witty whilst pouring on the factoids - guitar beginnings with The Yardbirds - the 'Jeff-Rod' writer's credits Beck and Stewart used on the album sleeve - both Zeppelin's John Paul Jones and The Who's Keith Moon contributing so much to that old Paul Robeson chestnut "Ol' Man River" (Organ and Tympani) - an unlikely and very unhip choice for a cover version - and yet one that 'so' works. Long-standing EMI/Abbey Road Audio Engineer PETER MEW carried out the fantastic Remaster - all that latent power now suddenly to the fore - threatening almost all of the time to get snotty, rowdy and salacious with your amp and speakers. Great stuff...

It opens with an oldie done in a new way - a cover of The Yardbirds 1966 hit "Shapes Of Things" - Beck's witty liner notes advising that you crank the track - even if you have the vicar over for afternoon tea. Immediately your struck by the updated heavier guitar sound and Rod's ridiculously good voice – wow – what a combo this band made. The original song "Let Me Love You" starts the first of four 'Jeffrey Rod' writer credits - two more originals in the shape of "Rock My Plimsoul" and "Blues De Luxe" with the last being an 'Arrangement' credit on the old madrigal "Greensleeves". His playing on "Let Me Love You" is fantastic - Stewart singing along with Beck's playing and vice versa. They then take a stab at Tim Rose's "Morning Dew" - a track on his explosive "Tim Rose" debut album on Columbia Records. You can hear why Rod wanted the song - it has that 'soulful' rock thing at its core. The remaster brings up that great wah-wah playing and Ron Wood's sweet bass playing. While you can just about catch Nicky Hopkins Piano tinkles if you listen real close - we still don't seem to know who the 'mysterious Scottish bloke' is on the Bagpipes?

Their brilliant cover of Howlin' Wolf's "You Shook Me" (penned by Willie Dixon) keeps in lean, hard-hitting and dirty - 2:31 minutes of great Blues-Rock. The old nugget "Ol' Man River" gets a kick in the privates too - Moonie's huge tympani drums giving it an epic feel while Zeppelin's JPJ gives it tasteful organ fills. I'm still not convinced if I admire the track more than I like it - but Rod's vocals are truly awesome and Beck's speaker-to-speaker guitar slides are worth the admission fee. Side 2 opens with a clever and beautiful Acoustic Guitar interpretation of "Greensleeves" - Beck sounding like he's Gordon Giltrap all mellowed on a pile of mushrooms. One of my raves is "Rock My Plimsoul" - a Rodders/Beck boogie tune said to bare a close resemblance to B.B. King's "Rock Me Baby". Beck's guitar fills are superb - panning your speakers like Page gone Bonzo on his axe (I love those "over here" calls from Rod). It ends on a one-two - the Slow Driving Blues of "Blues De Luxe" and a fabulous guitared-up cover of Willie Dixon's Wolf showcase "I Ain't Superstitious". It ends the album on a high...

Excluding the awful pop of "Hi Ho Silver Lining" (even if it is Stereo here) - the Bonus Tracks offer up a very cool selection - most of which is killer. The Take 1 version of "You Shook Me" contains Organ instead of Piano and wild guitar playing - someone clearly devouring too much Hendrix for breakfast. "Blues De Luxe" has Rodders laying into the vocals with a passion and at 7:31 minutes - Beck gets to stretch out while Hopkins lays down a Mississippi piano background dripping with ache and feel. The rare single sides are good too and make for quality fan-pleasing extras.

Beck would briefly dent the LP charts with the even heavier "Beck-Ola" in July of 1969 - but my heart has always been with this raucous, rough and ready starter album - "Truth". And what it must have been like to see this line-up 'live' - giving those tunes what for in some sweaty bar...lost in the music they loved...
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on 29 August 2017
It's OK, but you would either have to be a "collector" like me or an avid Jeff Beck fan. It is very mediocre, dreadful version of "Shapes of Things", I wouldn't rate any track at more than 5 out of 10 and those would only be Love is Blue and Hi Ho....The rest are pretty poor.
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on 9 April 2017
If you like Jeff you'll enjoy this
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on 13 August 2017
He liked it
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on 18 March 2017
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on 28 April 2017
Great album
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on 26 June 2017
excellent discovery
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on 10 April 2017
Great record, super service from seller.
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on 27 February 2017
Ace album
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VINE VOICEon 20 April 2009
The first version of the Jeff Beck Group existed in a transitional period in time, before bands like The Faces and Led Zeppelin came into being, and after Jeff Beck's ejection from the Yardbirds. It's all in the timing because it also followed the folding of bands like the Shotgun Express and the Birds, from which he recruited Rod Stewart and Ron Wood, then both still relatively unknown. Mick Waller on drums had known Rod Stewart from earlier Steampacket days and came to the band from the Brian Auger Trinity.

Truth was the first album by the group although it was released under the name Jeff Beck, who was simultaneously "enjoying" a solo career, masterminded by producer Mickie Most, and having hits with songs such as Hi Ho Silver Lining, Tallyman and Love Is Blue (shudder).

The truer heart of Jeff Beck was to be found on the B-sides and on this debut album, which was mostly left to Ken Scott, the engineer, to handle, whilst Mickie Most no doubt dreamt of one day discovering elfin girls in black leather cat suits with bass guitars.

After eighteen months of grafting on the road the band were pretty hot. It is a classic album, though the shortage of material does show, with versions of Ol' Man River and a throwaway filler in Greensleeves. This was inspired by Chet Atkins' version, though Mick Waller had previously recorded a rocked-up version of it for Joe Meek with the Flee-Rekkers back in 1960 as Green Jeans. Carrying on that tradition, several of the tracks are thinly disguised rewrites of well-known blues songs. Let Me Love You is essentially Buddy Guy's Let Me Love You Baby; Rock My Plimsoul is clearly BB King's Rock Me Baby (although BB himself nicked it from Lil' Son Jackson) and Blues De Luxe owes more than a little to BB's Gambling Blues.

There's also a reworking of Shapes Of Things, a Yardbirds hit that Jeff played on; a cover of Tim Rose's arrangement of Morning Dew; a version of Muddy Waters' You Shook Me with John Paul Jones (soon to be of Led Zeppelin) guesting on Hammond; and a rip-roaring rendition of Willie Dixon's I Ain't Superstitious, as recorded by the great Howlin' Wolf.

The album set a sort of blueprint for a genre that came to be known as heavy rock, made possible by developments in the technology of electrical musical instruments, amplification and recording equipment, of which Jeff and his sidemen were early adopters and experimenters. In the Yardbirds, of course, he had been a pioneer of feedback. The sound was developed on the second album, Beck-Ola, but with less light and shade than is found on Truth.

Rounding out the album is the instrumental Beck's Bolero, an earlier recording from July 1966. It had previously appeared on the B-side of Hi Ho Silver Lining and has the unique line-up supporting Jeff of Jimmy Page (12-string electric guitar), Nicky Hopkins (keyboards), John Paul Jones (bass) and Keith Moon (drums)! The tune is credited to Jimmy Page, though Maurice Ravel may have had a hand in it. On the album it is shorn of the backwards guitar part at the end but is newly mixed into rudimentary stereo.

This edition of the CD comes with 16 pages of booklet notes including an informative essay by Charles Shaar Murray, and a number of bonus tracks (all stereo except where stated): I've Been Drinking had been the B-side of Love Is Blue, and so was unlikely to have been heard by legions of Jeff Beck fans who would have avoided the single like the plague, and was an adaptation of Dinah Washington's Drinking Again. There are the first takes of All Shook Up and Blues De Luxe, the latter without the fake live effects that were overdubbed to the eventual master; the excellent 1967 single Tallyman (in mono) and its B-side, an earlier recording of Rock My Plimsoul, both from a time when Aynsley Dunbar was the drummer; and Hi Ho Silver Lining, first recorded by the Attack, and its B-side, the original mono, backward guitar mix of Bolero.

Finally, it includes the dreaded Love Is Blue (in mono). Where to begin with this blot in Jeff Beck's discography? It began life as L'Amour Est Bleu by the Paul Mauriat Orchestra, and with words added became Luxembourg's 1967 entry in the Eurovision Song Contest as sung by Vicky Leandros. It came fourth but was popular enough to be recorded by the likes of Andy Williams and Claudine Longet. It falls way outside Jeff Beck's comfort zone and suggests that Mickie Most must have had a very persuasive tongue.
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