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Jeff Beck - Jeff Beck Group: Beck-Ola CD (album) cover


Jeff Beck


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.34 | 91 ratings

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5 stars Much like Larry Coryell had Jeff Beck exploited his fretboard prowess to it`s full potential he might have enjoyed much more commercial success. Of the three Yardbird guitarists he was certainly closer to Hendrix. Beck-OLa was unmistakingly one of the heaviest albums during the time Hendrix still roamed the Earth and had similar qualities to his visionary musical outlook. While other bands such as Deep Purple, Uriah Heep and more notably Led Zeppelin which spawned from this era and continued on their merry paths of heaviness The Jeff Beck Group departed in 1969 with Beck-Ola leaving fans grappling with many "what ifs".

Beck-Ola is a monumental jamming blues-rock extravaganza which bleeds with Beck`s psychedelic guitar lines, Ron Woods`loud compressed bass, sprinkled with Nicky Hopkins`piano backdrops & Tony Newman`s power drumming. Many critcs have dowplayed the album as being a mis-match of Rod Stewart`s vocals to Beck and the rest of the group. Save for the bluesed out Elvis covers, Jailhouse Rock and All Shook Up, Stewart really sounds like he could have been another Robert Plant on tracks like Plynth ( Water Down The Drain ) and Hangman`s Knee which were just as powerful as any early metaled out blues by Led Zeppelin.

It was personality clash rather than music flow which led to the dissolution of the band following the release of the album and this is more than evident on the final blues-rock fusion blowout, Rice Pudding which is so intense you can almost taste it. Beck twangs, screams, convulses here as he accompanies himself through overdubs and also shows off his compositional skills with some nice counterpoint on the softer sections of the 7 minute 22 second piece which then culminates into up into a sudden still silence.

It has also been considered to be a prototypical heavy metal album by many but the overall feel here is just too groovin` for it to be considered as such. Beck`s complexities even at rthis early stage of his career seemed to indicate his leanings more toward the realm of jazz-rock which he would eventually realize in the not too distant future. An early masterpiece from a guitar icon which in retrospective will still nag the new and old coniseuers of this outstanding work into asking the question " what if?".

Vibrationbaby | 5/5 |


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