Jeff Beck Group (album)

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Jeff Beck Group
Studio album by The Jeff Beck Group
Released 1 May 1972
Recorded TMI StudiosMemphis, Tennessee, January 1972
Genre Blues rock
Length 40:29
Label Epic
Producer Steve Cropper
The Jeff Beck Group chronology
Rough and Ready
(1971)
Jeff Beck Group
(1972)
Beck, Bogert & Appice
(1973)

Jeff Beck Group is the fourth studio album by The Jeff Beck Group and the second album with the line up of Jeff Beck, Bobby Tench, Clive Chaman, Max Middleton and Cozy Powell.[1] The album was produced by Steve Cropper and often referred to as the Orange Album, because of the orange which appears prominently at the top of the front cover.

History[edit]

During January 1972 the second Jeff Beck Group flew to the US and joined Beck at TMI Studios[2] in Memphis, Tennessee. Some of the songs they worked on were already in their stage act and unlike Rough and Ready they also recorded five cover songs for this album, including a new version of Ashford & Simpson's "I Can't Give Back the Love I Feel For You" and Carl Perkins's Sun Records release, "Glad All Over" (1957). The Cropper and Beck collaboration "Sugar Cane" was one of several songs written whilst in the studio. At an "end of recording party", Beck was congratulated by Don Nix on his version of "Going Down", which Nix had written and was originally released by the band Moloch in 1969.[3] Freddie King had covered the song in 1971. The album was released in the US on 1 May 1972. The UK release was held back until 9 June the same year[4] and tours of the UK and the US followed.[5] There were no singles taken from this album.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[6]
Robert Christgau C+[7]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 2/5 stars[8]

Jeff Beck Group were not well received by contemporary music critics.[6] OZ magazine's Charles Shaar Murray gave it a negative review,[9] while Billy Walker of Sounds found it inferior to Rough and Ready,[10] and NME '​s Roy Carr felt that the quality of the performances "far exceeds that of the material".[10] In his review for Rolling Stone, John Mendelsohn was highly impressed by Beck's "genius" playing, but found it hampered by the rest of the band: "When either Bob Tench's vocals or Max Middleton's usually pleasant but seldom arresting and never-smoothly-integrated jazz piano are basking therein, Jeff Beck Group's music is mostly just dull — commonplace and predictable."[11] Rob Mackie from the Record Mirror expressed a similar sentiment and said that listeners would not be able to tell whether they are "listening to the band led by one of Britain's best ever guitarists".[10]

In a positive review, Chris Welch from Melody Maker hailed Jeff Beck Group as "the boldest Beck guitar we've heard for a long time" because of Beck's technical ability and suspenseful phrasing. David Hughes wrote in Disc Music Echo that "..the mood and tempo changes and you are hooked to the end".[10] On the other hand, Robert Christgau expressed contempt for how Beck's technical abilities were praised in a 1981 review: "I agree that Beck's choppy chops occasionally surprise, but that's only because he wastes so much time refining heavy (not blues or even blooze) clichés."[7]

Track listing[edit]

Side One[edit]

  1. "Ice Cream Cakes" (Beck) – 5:40
  2. "Glad All Over" (Aaron Schroeder, Sid Tepper, Roy Bennett) – 2:58
  3. "Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You" (Bob Dylan) – 4:59
  4. "Sugar Cane" (Beck, Steve Cropper) – 4:07
  5. "I Can't Give Back the Love I Feel For You" (Valerie Simpson, Nickolas Ashford, Brian Holland) – 2:42

Side Two[edit]

  1. "Going Down" (Don Nix) – 6:51
  2. "I Got to Have a Song" (Stevie Wonder, Don Hunter, Lula Mae Hardaway, Paul Riser) – 3:26
  3. "Highways" (Beck) – 4:41
  4. "Definitely Maybe" (Beck) – 5:02

Band members[edit]

Discography[edit]

Original release[edit]

  • Epic EQ-31331 1972

Reissues[edit]

  • Epic 31331 (1990)
  • Epic MHCP584 (2005)
  • Sony 4710462 (2006)
  • Sony Japan 961 (2007)
  • Sony Japan MHCP584 (2008)
  • Audio Fidelity AFZTL 1515 (2012, remastered 180 gram)

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Also used several TMI studio musicians.Jeff Beck Group album credits at Allmusic
  2. ^ TMI studios=Trans-Maximus Incorporated studios owned by Steve Cropper
  3. ^ Second Hand Songs: Going Down.
  4. ^ Graves, Tom. "Jeff Beck Group album review". allmusic.com. 
  5. ^ Hjort and Hinman. Jeff's book: A Chronology of Jeff Beck's Career 1965-1980. pp. 115 and 120. 
  6. ^ a b Graves, Tom. Jeff Beck Group (album) at AllMusic
  7. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (1981). Rock Albums of the '70s: A Critical Guide. Da Capo Press. p. 42. ISBN 0306804093. Retrieved 18 July 2014. 
  8. ^ Jeff Beck: Album Guide at Rolling Stone
  9. ^ Oz magazine #43, July 1972
  10. ^ a b c d Hjort and Hinman. Jeff's book: A Chronology of Jeff Beck's Career 1965-1980. p. 120. 
  11. ^ Mendelsohn, John (8 June 1972). "The Jeff Beck Group". Rolling Stone (New York). Retrieved 18 July 2014. 

References and further reading[edit]

  • Carson, Annette (2002). Jeff Beck: Crazy Fingers. Backbeat books. ISBN 0-87930-632-7. 
  • Hjort, Chris and Hinman, Doug (2000). A chronology of Jeff Beck's career 1965-1980 : from the Yardbirds to Jazz-Rock. Rock 'n' Roll Research Press. ISBN 0-9641005-3-3.