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  • Truth
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Truth
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on December 16, 2017
This review is for the Audio Fidelity SACD/CD hybrid (released 12/8/17) mastered by Steve Hoffman. The sound quality of this release blows away every previous analog and digital version of 'Truth' that I've heard. I have two different vinyl pressings and three previous digital masterings. This leaves them all in the dust. Finally, we can hear the true 'Truth' without the noise-reduction problems of previous digital masterings. There is magic and a lot of life in the master tape. Thankfully, a person who knows how to reveal that magic and life was employed to master this disc. For me, this is the definitive edition and I could not be happier with it.
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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).

BONUS TRACKS:
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

Musicians:
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
RON WOOD - Bass
MICKY WALLER - Drums and Percussion

Guests:
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 February 4, 2018
Some real good songs , Shapes of Things, Morning Dew, Rock my Plimsoul, I Ain't Superstitious, and the fantastic Beck's Bolero stand out for me. But the other tracks are just OK. Great guest musicians on this disc include Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, Keith Moon, Nicky Hopkins, and Aynsley Dunbar. The re- mastering, bonus tracks and CD booklet make this worth considering if you are a fan of blues based rock from this time period. Overall, I would rank this comparable to records by Cream or Hendrix.
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on April 27, 2017
Saw The Jeff Beck Group in 1968 in Alexandria, Virginia where they were the warm-up band for Big Brother and the Holding Company with Janis Joplin. Enjoyed Big Brother but they should have opened for Jeff Beck! Jeff at one point was making barnyard animal sounds on his guitar which I've never forgotten. They played most of what was on Truth during their performance. This is one GREAT album which I play often. Highly recommended.
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on June 1, 2015
One of my favorite albums and a source of controversy. Actually I won this album for a quarter on the Seaside Boardwalk in 1968 based on a review that stated Jeff Beck was producing some excellent music after his departure from the Yardbirds. Loved it on the first playing especially some of the vocals by a very young Rod Stewart, soon to become a star on his own. Brought the LP back to school in Virginia and a couple of months later one of my buddies rushed in to the frat house with Zeppelin 1. From then on it was an endless debate. Both fantastic albums but Truth has never been given its due recognition. Really surprised that Zeppelin would include Willie Dixon's "You Shook Me" since Beck had released it a few months earlier. Obviously I was prone to Beck's offering, but agreed that the LZ disk was equally fantastic.

One thing Beck did differently was to include the traditional "Morning Dew and Greensleeves", a Broadway Classic- "Old Man River" and finally toss in Ravel's Bolero in his own style. That sold me on which album I preferred.

Have seen Beck live 3 times and he continues to surprise. At Crossroads 2010 he blew me away with a piece that filled the stadium that I could not identify, 'Nessun Dorma". It's from Puccini's opera, Turandot. So fabulous I burned a disk with Beck's take on it followed by Pavarotti's version. Now 70 he continues to amaze. Buy this album if you haven't already. If you're reading this you probably already have LZ1. My debate never really got settled. Both classic.You need both and maybe also download the Pavarotti. Great music
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VINE VOICEon December 30, 2006
When I was a younger guy, worshipping at the temple of Aerosmith and Joe Perry, hungrily devouring every little snippet of info about them, I would always come across Perry's idoltry of Jeff Beck and how influential Beck and the Yardbirds (among others obviously) were to his sound and devotion to music. Like any good history student, I did some research and came across a double lp of this album and the follow-up Beck-Ola. It didn't take long to figure out what all the fuss was about.

This is a Beck tour de force from the simple elegance of Greensleeves to the galloping intensity of Beck's Bolero, the sheer sickness of You Shook Me, and the blues workouts on Blues De Luxe, Let Me Love You, Rock My Plimsoul, and I Ain't Superstitious, this is a lethal collection of Beck's genius and guitar mastery. The bonus edition was worth replacing my old cd with because of the rarity of Beck outtakes and the frank commentary provided by the man himself in the liner notes. I know some have slagged it off, but I really enjoy the cheesy Love is Blue most of all!

The man is one of a handful of guitarists from the rock world to have influenced guitarists across the genres and his refusal to go quietly into that good night of laurel resting, blues retreading, or commercial banality, proves more and more that Jeff Beck remains as fresh and vital as he did in his groundbreaking days over four decades ago. If you really want to know why this guy is (or should be) mentioned in the same breath as Jimi Hendrix, give this a listen. Thanks for the tip, Joe Perry.
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on November 7, 2010
Historically speaking, Jeff Beck rates as one of the greatest guitarist of all time. Making his mark in the late 60's while playing with some of the gods of rockNroll, he earned his respect and still perfoms quite well to this day. I used to listen to this album as a teenager in the early 70's. I recently purchased the CD, and as I rembered it is a priceless recording. A couple of things make this recording unique. Number one,,, guess who the singer is???
YOUTHFUL ROCKING ROD STEWART. Perhaps his first major gig. His voice is as pure as ever, if not his sweetest. He does sing with more of a true rock style than in his later career as a pop singer. The second thing that takes this recording to another level is the song selections. Can you imagine Jeff Beck playing Old Man River, and having Rod Stewart singing the song.
How about "Zeppelin's, You Shook Me".

This music is timeless as is Ellington and Bach
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on July 4, 2007
When I was a kid, some older musician friends turned me onto this record, and the musical world opened up a little more for me. Even as a young whelp, I could recognize that Jeff Beck was doing something different with the guitar, making him stand out far above the masses of other guitar players. The fact that he had gathered other greats such as Rod Stewart and Ron Wood only served to make the music that much greater. Fans of classic rock will also want to note this album also features appearances by such illuminaries as Keith Moon, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, Nicky Hopkins and Aynsley Dunbar.

All that said, there are a few misfires here (mostly in the bonus tracks.) There is a tad too much emphasis on blues rock, understandable for the time, but a bit overdone by modern standards. Most of the alternate takes are decent enough, but not quite as good as the original selections. However, the bonus tracks do include a couple oddities that are fun in "Tallyman" and "Hi Ho Silver Lining."

But when the group is hitting on all cylinders, the music they make is great. Particular highlights are their version of "Shapes of Things" and "Greensleeves," along with "Beck's Bolero" and "Rock My Plimsoul" and the awesome blues rocker "I Ain't Superstitious." The combination of Beck's guitar and Stewart's voice is terrific and very memorable. All in all, a very worthwhile record.
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on July 14, 2017
With bonus tracks too.....winner!!!!
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on February 21, 2018
Rod Stewart vocals, before he went solo. "Ain't Superstitious" and "Morning Dew", made it a good LP.
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