Truth (Jeff Beck album)
|Studio album by|
|Recorded||14–26 May 1968|
|Studio||Abbey Road Studios, London; Olympic Sound Studios, London; De Lane Lea Recording Studios, London|
|Label||EMI Columbia (UK), Epic (US)|
|Jeff Beck chronology|
Truth is the debut album by Jeff Beck, released in 1968 in the United Kingdom on Columbia Records and in the United States on Epic Records. It introduced the talents of his backing band the Jeff Beck Group, specifically Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood, to a larger audience, and peaked at number 15 on the Billboard 200.
Content and background
After leaving the Yardbirds in late 1966, Jeff Beck had released three commercial singles, two in 1967 featuring himself on lead vocals, and one without vocals in 1968. All had been hits on the British singles chart, and all were characterized by songs aimed at the pop chart on the A-side at the behest of producer Mickie Most. Harder rock and blues-based numbers were featured on the B-sides, and for music on the album, Beck opted to pursue the latter course.
Recording sessions for the album took place over four days, 14–15 May and 25–26 May 1968. Nine eclectic tracks were taken from these sessions, including covers of "Ol' Man River" by Jerome Kern, the Tudor period melody "Greensleeves", and Bonnie Dobson's "Morning Dew", a 1966 hit single for Tim Rose. Beck acknowledged two giants of Chicago blues in songs by Willie Dixon – Muddy Waters' "You Shook Me" and Howlin' Wolf's "I Ain't Superstitious". The album started with a song from Beck's old band: "Shapes of Things". Three originals were credited to "Jeffrey Rod", a pseudonym for Beck and Stewart, all reworkings of previous blues songs: "Let Me Love You" the song of the same title by Buddy Guy; "Rock My Plimsoul" from "Rock Me Baby" by B.B. King; and "Blues Deluxe" similar to another song by B.B. King, "Gambler's Blues". "Plimsoul" had already been recorded for the B-side to the 1967 single "Tallyman", and the tenth track, an instrumental featuring Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, Keith Moon, and future Beck group pianist Nicky Hopkins, "Beck's Bolero", had been edited and remixed for stereo from the earlier B-side to "Hi Ho Silver Lining". Due to contractual conflicts, Moon had been credited on the original album as "You Know Who".
Reception and legacy
|Retrospective professional reviews|
|Encyclopedia of Popular Music|||
|The Great Rock Discography||6/10|
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
Reviewing for Rolling Stone in 1968, Al Kooper called Truth a "classic" and a contemporary version of the 1966 Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton LP, saying the Beck group "swing like mad on this record."
Truth has since been regarded as a seminal work of heavy metal because of its use of blues toward a hard rock approach. According to Pete Prown and HP Newquist, "although some have claimed that this disc was the first metal album, the sound actually leaned more towards a heavy brand of blues rock." Classic Rock magazine ranked Truth eighth on its list of the 30 greatest British blues rock albums; an accompanying blurb read, "it was an album that not only helped establish the British blues rock sound, but featured many of its best exponents." Tom Scholz of Boston has listed it as his favorite album on Gibson's online magazine, stating, "I knew Jeff Beck's Truth album inside out..." The album's title inspired the name of Iowa band Truth and Janey.
Blues guitarist Joe Bonamassa recorded a studio version of "Blues Deluxe" on his 2003 album Blues Deluxe and recorded live versions on Live at Rockpalast (2005), and Live from the Royal Albert Hall (2009). Bonamassa also played "Beck's Bolero", "Let Me Love You Baby" (and "Spanish Boots" and "Plynth (Water Down the Drain)" from the Beck-Ola album) in his Salute to the British Blues Explosion tour featuring the music of Beck, Clapton and Page in July 2016.
On 10 October 2006, Legacy Recordings remastered and reissued the album for compact disc with eight bonus tracks. Included were two earlier takes of "You Shook Me" and "Blues Deluxe", the latter without the overdubbed applause, and the six tracks making up the three singles by Beck. The B-side to the 1968 single "Love Is Blue", "I've Been Drinking", was another "Jeffrey Rod" special, this time reconfiguring the Johnny Mercer song "Drinking Again".
|1.||"Shapes of Things"||Jim McCarty, Keith Relf, Paul Samwell-Smith||3:22|
|2.||"Let Me Love You"||Jeffrey Rod||4:44|
|3.||"Morning Dew"||Bonnie Dobson||4:40|
|4.||"You Shook Me"||Willie Dixon, J. B. Lenoir||2:33|
|5.||"Ol' Man River"||Jerome Kern, Oscar Hammerstein II||4:01|
|2.||"Rock My Plimsoul"||Jeffrey Rod||4:13|
|3.||"Beck's Bolero"||Jimmy Page||2:54|
|4.||"Blues De Luxe"||Jeffrey Rod||7:33|
|5.||"I Ain't Superstitious"||Willie Dixon||4:53|
- Sides one and two were combined as tracks 1–10 on CD reissues.
|2005 CD bonus tracks|
|11.||"I've Been Drinking" (stereo mix)||Jeffrey Rod||3:25|
|12.||"You Shook Me" (take 1)||Willie Dixon, J. B. Lenoir||2:31|
|13.||"Rock My Plimsoul" (stereo mix of single version)||Jeffrey Rod||3:42|
|14.||"Beck's Bolero" (mono single mix)||Jimmy Page||3:11|
|15.||"Blues De Luxe" (take 1)||Jeffrey Rod||7:31|
|17.||"Love Is Blue"||André Popp, Pierre Cour, Brian Blackburn||2:57|
|18.||"Hi Ho Silver Lining" (stereo mix)||Scott English, Laurence Weiss||3:46|
- Jeff Beck – electric guitars, acoustic guitar on "Greensleeves"; pedal steel guitar on "Shapes of Things"; bass guitar on "Ol' Man River"; lead vocals on "Tallyman" and "Hi Ho Silver Lining", backing vocals on "Let Me Love You"
- Rod Stewart – lead vocals, possible backing vocal on "Tallyman"
- Ronnie Wood – bass guitar
- Micky Waller – drums
Additional credited personnel
- John Paul Jones – bass guitar on "Hi Ho Silver Lining" and "Beck's Bolero"; Hammond organ on "Ol' Man River" and "You Shook Me"; arrangements on "Hi Ho Silver Lining"
- Nicky Hopkins – piano on "Morning Dew", "You Shook Me", "Beck's Bolero" and "Blues Deluxe"
- "You Know Who" – drums on "Beck's Bolero"; timpani on "Ol' Man River"
Additional uncredited personnel
- Madeline Bell – backing vocals on "I've Been Drinking"
- John Carter and Ken Lewis – backing vocals on "Tallyman"
- Clem Cattini – drums on "Hi Ho Silver Lining"
- Aynsley Dunbar – drums on "Tallyman" and "Rock My Plimsoul (single version)"
- Jimmy Page – 12-string electric guitar on "Beck's Bolero"
- Unknown Scottish bagpipe player – bagpipes on "Morning Dew"
- Unknown studio orchestra – orchestra on "Love Is Blue"
- UK Chart Stats retrieved 04/02/11
- Charles Shaar Murray. Truth, 2006 reissue, Legacy Recordings 82876 77352 2, liner notes.
- Murray, Truth reissue liner notes.
- Murray, Truth reissue liner notes.
- Eder, Bruce. "Truth - Jeff Beck | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic.
- "Truth". Acclaimed Music. Retrieved April 12, 2019.
- "Jeff Beck: Album Guide". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on September 3, 2013.
- Kooper, Al (28 September 1968). "Truth". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
- Nick Logan and Bob Woffinden, editors. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rock. New York: Harmony Books, 1977, p. 137.
- Prown, Pete; Newquist, Harvey P. (1997). Legends of Rock Guitar: The Essential Reference of Rock's Greatest Guitarists. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 62. ISBN 0793540429.
- "The Top 30 British Blues Rock Albums Of All Time". Classic Rock. Future plc. 23 March 2007. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
- Tom Scholz Top 10 Favorite Albums retrieved 04/02/11
- Iowa Rock 'n' Roll Music Association retrieved 11/02/11