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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 1/2 * Good, but not Great Follow-Up Still Worth Getting
Beck-Ola has a very different sound than "Truth," the Jeff Beck Group's classic first album. On "BEck-Ola" the musicians sound more self-assured, the playing more uniformly aggressive. OF course, you expect that from Jeff Beck, who has the angriest sounding guitar in all rock, but Ron Woods (bass), Nicki Hopkins (keyboards), and the new percussionist play less...
Published on February 28, 2008 by M. Allen Greenbaum

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Friend told me it was good
We have different tastes in music I guess. Older generation may like it more than the newer. It must bring back memories. I only liked 1 or 2 of the songs.
Published 20 months ago by Linda Prater


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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 1/2 * Good, but not Great Follow-Up Still Worth Getting, February 28, 2008
This review is from: Beck-Ola (Audio CD)
Beck-Ola has a very different sound than "Truth," the Jeff Beck Group's classic first album. On "BEck-Ola" the musicians sound more self-assured, the playing more uniformly aggressive. OF course, you expect that from Jeff Beck, who has the angriest sounding guitar in all rock, but Ron Woods (bass), Nicki Hopkins (keyboards), and the new percussionist play less tentaively, all of them have a certain cocky flair. Wood and Hopkis take more extended, showy solos: Beck is not the only flash this time around.

THe album is also more prototypically hard rock (closer to metal, though neither Truth or this album are its progenitors, as some journalists/publicists would like you to believe). The sound of each soloist is more foregrounded, though not nearly to the same extenet as Led Zep. This is still blue-based interplay, but there's more bravado here, and the engineering favors the upfront sound of each soloist.

While Stewat isn't nearly as playful as he was on "Truth," he and his mates have a gloriously good time on the over-the-top "Jailhouse Rock," and his slurring butchery of some the words on "Spanish Boots" is especially delightful. To some extent, however, this highlights what's missing from the album, the sort of playful, making it look easier than it is, more spontaneous feeling of Truth. You can almost feel them pushing hard on this album, and while this plays well on most songs, there's a kind of forced feeling to "The Hangman's Knee" and (I hate to say it, because it was an early fave song of mine), the long power song, Rice Pudding.

Hangman's Knee has a jerky start and stop rhythm to it probably intended as a contrast to Beck's playing, but it seems to get in the way of itself, and it becomes fairly boring after awhile (of course, this is all relative to the superb playing that precedes it). The arrangement bogs down the players, and the background riff--en importnat element of later metal music--doesn't satisfy. COnversely, RIc Pudding, while using a similar power riff--and doing it more effectively--languishes in it's own length. Two minutes cut off of the song (especially, the slower, quieter piano sections) would have reduced the dynamic and tempo contrasts but made for a more tightly constucted, compelling number. THe song has some great Beck guitar though, and hints of his later jazz and rock experiments cme through.

The song that best shows the band's strengths is the superb "Plynth (Water Down the Drain)." It also has a basic rock riff, but its funky sound meshes better with Beck's riffs, solos, distortions, and the snarling guitar sound that he commands better than anyone else. It has the complexity of a Jeff Beck song (as opposed to, say, Zepp's more single-minded sound and lyrics), but it's very powerful as well. BY the way, "Girl fom Mill valley" showcases Hopkins in a pretty gospel-influenced instrumental, heavy on the sustain but very sweet and realtively light. One begins to imagine that Jeff Beck, who included "Greensleeves" on "Truth" (ummm, we won't touch on the treacly, unexplainable, "Love is Blue") has a soft, romantic side, or perhaps early exposure to church or music hall sounds. At any rate, it's a nice change of pace after the very energetic opening two numbers.

Broadly speaking, you have 5 gems out of seven, with Jeff Beck playing as only he can, and a more forceful group nacking him up. Rice Pudding is excellent, but perhaps overly long, and cut 6, Hangman's Knee redundant. I'd throw down the extra change might be necessary and get the 2004 version of "Beck-Ola" with the 4 additional tracks (ASIN: B000I0QKDI), two of which are new, and alternate versions of "All Shook Up" and Jailhouse Rock." Then, if you haven't already, you must get "Truth," both because it's one of the top rock albums ever made, and to make your own comparisons with "Beck-Ola."
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41 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ouch! My Ears!, March 29, 2007
This review is from: Beck-Ola (Audio CD)
To better understand Jeff Beck's Music, you must better understand Jeff, first. Considered by many to be the best Rock guitarist of all time, he didn't always receive the recognition that he thought that he deserved. Having to step in as a replacement guitarist for Eric Clapton when he joined the Yardbirds may have fanned the flames in the beginning. And after pioneering in Distortion, Feedback, and Fuzz Tone, he dropped out and formed his own band, but before the TRUTH album was released, Jimi Hendrix came to town and stole some of Jeff's thunder, doing exactly the same things Jeff was doing on stage years earlier with the Yardbirds. If that wasn't bad enough, Jeff had a fit when he heard those early Led Zeppelin records. His good pal, Jimmy Page, stole alot of his ideas and drove them into the ground! (By the way, whatever happened to "Pagey"?) So Jeff really had an ATTITUDE by the time BECK-OLA was recorded. There's alot of Thunder and Lightning on this record! Perhaps those Zeppelin Lps helped steer Jeff in this direction after all, because it was a complete departure from the TRUTH album. BECK-OLA has a Live feel to it, and alot of noise, too. There was alot of tension within this group at the time, getting ready to explode, and it did. Too Bad.
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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beck-Ola Redux, March 6, 2007
By 
J P Ryan (Waltham, Massachusetts United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Beck-Ola (Audio CD)
Look, I've reviewed this incendiary slab of raw power at least twice for amazon (the US edition from 2000 and the UK EMI from 2004 on which this version is based), and to keep it short and simple: Jeff Beck, Ron Wood, Rod Stewart, Nicky Hopkins, and Tony Newman's 1969 classic gets better with age, presages skronk, grunge, hard rock and "metal" (without the illusion of control), and injects funk into its punk: the Stooges' "Funhouse" meets Led Zep circa disc one of "Pyisical Graffiti"... The unparalleled, explosive, apocalyptic intensity of the former crossed with Zep's musicianship (but utterly lacking Page's innate sense of calculation, which is partly why the JBG aren't "classic rock" radio staples). 1968's "Truth" was of course the template for the Zep debut, but this is something altogether wilder, crazier, a go for broke recording that seems to end violently, suddenly (the tape splice at the end of 'Rice Pudding' famously appropriated by the Beatles on "Abbey Road"). Crank this loud enough, pedal to the floor (Beck's band fits the idea of the guitarist's passion for racing souped up cars) and you might imagine that splice is an inevitable power outtage.

Ok, more in the other "Beck-Ola" reviews, but here's the rub: I'd swear this is cut from a different master from that 2004 (UK) EMI edition, which features the very same bonus tracks. There's a smokey haze in here, a subtle air of containment that gets in the way - this Legacy edition smolders, but it lacks the fire of the EMI, that reaches right out and scorches you through your speakers.(The bonus cuts, all worthwhile, interestingly sound the same - hence my feeling that the UK and US 'original masters' are different. Other indications include the fact that the timings vary by a few seconds on at least a couple songs). The difference is right there on Beck's vicious SKWAAAOW emitted right before Wood's phat bass solo on "Spanish Boots" - he's in the room with you on the EMI.

This is wild, truly "alternative" stuff, the inevitable violent crash was right around the next hairpin turn: "Beck-Ola" was recorded in April '69, the JBG was in pieces by the end of July, Ron and Rod off to the Faces, Hopkins to the Stones and the Airplane, and Beck of course battered and bruised in a real car crash, caused, it is rumored, by a hallucination he experienced in which he BELIEVED Vanilla Fudge was revealed to be rock 'n' roll's great white hope and where his very own destiny lie.

Oh well, click on over and get those two UK Beck Group classics while they last!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beck To The Future, May 17, 2008
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This review is from: Beck-Ola (Audio CD)
If there is anyone who doubts Jeff Beck deserves a seat at the table with Hendrix and Clapton in the pantheon of rock-guitar deities, s/he should get a grip on this CD right quick - after putting on asbestos gloves. From his pile-driving days with the Yardbirds through the two Jeff Beck Group efforts, (this is the second), and various collaborations afterwards, Beck has been a fearless innovator, axe murderer, and prototypical rock and roll monster. Much has been made of the Yardbird guitar troika - Clapton, Beck, Page - and while it makes an interesting rock footnote, Beck was responsible for their highest highs, the Clapton/Page contributions were far less interesting. Beck was as much of a pioneer as he was technically overpowering.

The first Jeff Beck Group album, Truth, is an absolute essential. Rod Stewart's vocals suit the material perfectly, Nicky Hopkins on piano is ideal, Ron Wood holds down the bass, and Mick Waller kicks skins. Songs like Blues De Luxe and I Ain't Superstitious pretty much define the Brit-blues-band sound. (Beck-Ola has one song that would have fit there - a bonus track - Sweet Little Angel.) However, for the most part, Beck-Ola is an entirely different animal, a wild studio jam made in an atmosphere of rage. Wood, Waller, and Stewart were getting ready to break up TJBG by jumping ship to form Faces. Worse still, the least worthy guitarist to play with the Yardbirds, Jimmy Page, was stealing Beck's thunder as their mutual management helped assemble an absolutely awful group destined to pollute the airwaves for years under the name Led Zeppelin. Beck was furious, and you can hear it in the music.

Two Elvis hits, All Shook Up and Jailhouse Rock, are amped-up and slapped around so rudely as to be unrecognizable; both are highlights. Spanish Boots, Plynth, Hangman's Knee, and Rice Pudding are originals. All are rude enough to kick a hole in the barn, Hangman in particular grinds raw and hard. Stewart should get a Purple Heart for his ability to sing over this mayhem; his raspy, harsh insistence is superb. While everything here demands listening - even the oddly melancholic Nicky Hopkins number - Girl From Mill Valley - which seems to belong on a different album - Rice Pudding will actually change your life. The level of intensity and raw rock energy are at the point where you're quite certain your speakers - and head - will explode. It's as though Beck won't be satisfied until he has pushed his fellow musicians, and the music itself, right to the point of no return, the vanishing point.

After a particularly dazzling flute solo, Roland Kirk would sometimes say, "Try that Herbie Mann." Listen to this CD a few times and imagine Jeff Beck Saying, "Try that Jimmy Page." It's a quirky one, granted, but Beck-Ola is a must-have all the same.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rock the remasters!, December 30, 2006
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This review is from: Beck-Ola (Audio CD)
Along with it's predecessor Truth, this is the one-two punch of blues butt kicking that Jeff Beck unleashed on the world in the days before Led Zeppelin exploded globally and buried rock and blues in an avalance of heavy-handed overkill. This new release with the excellent inclusion of Sweet Little Angel is worth the replacement of your oldie, especially at the budget price. It's pretty much the same format as Truth, e.g. blues covers and what not, but there is great original stuff in Plyth and Rice Pudding (check out the riff stolen by Hendrix for In From the Storm) as well as some fun and grooving covers of stuff made famous by Elvis. The liner notes again have some good Beck wit and guitarists will find plenty of coursework to learn and master.

So many "experts" are quick to mention Stevie Ray, Clapton, Page, Van Halen, and Jimi as the big guitar gods, but if this guy isn't one of the first names out of your mouth, then you really don't know what you're talking about.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars this is your dady's rock n roll, February 2, 2007
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This review is from: Beck-Ola (Audio CD)
What made these musicians famous is brillant, and crystal clear. This is the group that brought an 18 yr. old rod stewart to the states and taught him how to put together the music and the show to go with it. This is the group that gave birth to Cactus, the american version of Led Zep. No where else have I been able to appreciate Ron Woods as the consumate rock bass player then on this album. Without the work of nikki hopkins and ansley dunbar to carry the engine this could not have been the high performance vehicle it was. And last of all and best of all is Jeff Beck at his young best. Want to play lead guitar? Learn every lick on this recording and you might be ready to learn some Jimmie Hendrix. Hendrix and Beck are twin suns in the same universe, the rest of us just get to watch!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beck's Best, September 10, 2008
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This review is from: Beck-Ola (Audio CD)
For my money, this recording presents Jeff Beck at his best and represents an extension of the work he did with the Yardbirds, except that it's even tougher sounding thanks to the contributions of the other band members: Rod Stewart's wonderfully raspy vocals always draw praise, but the pile-driving drumming of Tony Newman also deserves notice, and the value of Ron Wood's energetic bass playing can't be over-estimated (he should have stuck with the bass). The only weak track from the original release is Nicky Hopkins' "Girl From Mill Valley", which, regardless of how pretty it may be, just doesn't belong on this album: it's like finding a daisy growing in the midst of a bunch of huge boulders. Aside from that, everything else pretty much rips, and their version of "Jailhouse Rock" may be the single best thing Beck has ever recorded: it's absolutely KILLER stuff (with "Rice Pudding" coming in a close second). Also of value here is a very nice booklet with interesting, informative, and amusing commentary by Beck regarding these recordings and what the band was going through in general at that time.

Now the bad news: I was excited by the prospect of hearing some additional tracks from this time period, but my excitement was sadly misguided. "Sweet Little Angel" may be the absolute worst blues I have ever heard: eight minutes of slop; "Throw Down A Line" is a mediocre bit of pop/rock performed by a band that sounds like they're completely indifferent to it; "All Shook Up" is totally inferior to the original album version; "Jailhouse Rock": if you had never heard the blistering album version, you would probably think this was pretty good, but once you hear that version, this one becomes pointless. I'd give this CD 5 stars, but I feel I need to take one away because of these weak tracks.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Strong follow up to debut album "Truth" expanded with four bonus tracks, February 6, 2011
This review is from: Beck-Ola (Audio CD)
Rushing back into the studio to record their second album so they would have something to promote in concert, Jeff Beck and his band featuring Rod Stewart on lead vocals, Ron Wood on bass, session player the late Nicky Hopkins on piano and new drummer Tony Newman produced a second album that nearly equalled their first.

What makes this edition essential are the four bonus tracks that were remixed in 2003 by Peter Mew for this edition. "Sweet Little Angel" should have made the album as should have "Throw Down a Line" but, curiously, both were left off the album.There are also two early versions of album tracks that have slightly differing arrangements than the album versions--"All Shook Up" and "Jailhouse Rock". All four tracks are essential additions to this album and will be essential for fans to own.

The booklet has extensive liner notes that discuss how the band's career was derailed when they missed their chance to play Woodstock (it was due to drug induced illness on the part of Stewart, Wood and Hopkins when the trio had their pot spiked with something else that incapacitated them)and a year later Beck was laid up for nearly a year after a car accident. Stewart and Wood joined The Small Faces (which revised their name to Faces)replacing Steve Marriott and whatever momentum the band had gained they lost. Beck returned with a new line up but Beck didn't quite regain the ground he had with the first line up of the band.

This new edition of "Beck-Ola" remastered by Vic Anesini (the UK counterpart was remastered by Peter Mew and Mew remastered the four bonus tracks here)sounds extremely good. The previous edition by mastering engineer Chris Athens sounds slightly better to my ears (for those audiophiles out there it appears that there was some peak limiting applied to this edition which wasn't applied to the 2000 version)but they are very similar to each other in terms of the over all sound of the album.

This is an essential addition to any fan of The Jeff Beck Group.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beck and Rod Stewart......good times, July 24, 2012
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This review is from: Beck-Ola (Audio CD)
This is not as good as "Truth" their first album but it does rock in a powerful way. Some of Stewart's best vocals and Beck as usual played blistering solos throughout. Nickey Hopkins did very well here. Good and very different versions of a couple of Elvis hits. I had both of these albums when they were first released. It's good to hear them again.

The overall sound is loose and sounds live in the studio. Great remastering job!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Raw and rockin'!, November 15, 2013
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This review is from: Beck-Ola (Audio CD)
My favorite performances by Rod and Jeff, apart or together. Beck is obviously a virtuoso, perhaps without equal in his inventiveness and skill. While Stewart went through many changes and I got off the boat when he left the Faces, these early tracks show him in his raw and brash best! I especially love the Elvis covers:)
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Beck-Ola
Beck-Ola by Jeff Beck (Audio CD - 2006)
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