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TRUTH

Jeff Beck

Jazz Rock/Fusion


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Jeff Beck Truth album cover
3.30 | 71 ratings | 8 reviews | 17% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential


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Studio Album, released in 1968

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Shapes of Things (3:22)
2. Let Me Love You (4:44)
3. Morning Dew (4:40)
4. You Shook Me (2:33)
5. Ol' Man River (4:01)
6. Greensleeves (1:50)
7. Rock My Plimsoul (4:13)
8. Beck's Bolero (2:54)
9. Blues Deluxe (7:33)
10. I Ain't Superstitious (4:53)

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Jeff Beck / guitars, vocals, bass
- Rod Stewart / vocals
- Micky Waller / drums
- Ron Wood / bass
- Nicky Hopkins / piano, organ
- Keith Moon / drums (8), tympani (5)
- Jimmy Page / guitars (8)
- John Paul Jones / bass (8)

Releases information

LP Columbia SCX6293 (UK) (1968)
CD Sony (2006) with following bonus tracks:
Bonus Track 11: I've Been Drinking
Bonus Track 12: You Shook Me
Bonus Track 13: Rock My Plimsoul
Bonus Track 14: Beck's Bolero
Bonus Track 15: Blues De Luxe
Bonus Track 16: Tallyman
Bonus Track 17: Love Is Blue
Bonus Track 18: Hi Ho Silver Lining

Thanks to Garion81 for the addition
and to bsurmano for the last updates
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JEFF BECK Truth ratings distribution


3.30
(71 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(17%)
17%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(45%)
45%
Good, but non-essential (25%)
25%
Collectors/fans only (11%)
11%
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)
1%

JEFF BECK Truth reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Chicapah
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars In the late 60s most of us fledgling rock and roll guitarists had come to the conclusion that the Holy Trinity of the Fretboards lived in England and had evolved from the Yardbirds. There was God, Eric Clapton (of course); the Son, Jeff Beck; and the Holy Ghost, Jimmy Page. (Despite having experienced Jimi Hendrix we still didn't know what galaxy he was from). We devotedly devoured every riff that we could get our hands on and prayed for more. By the end of 1968 God had seen fit to bestow us with three fantastic albums from Cream, the Ghost was finishing up his stint with the 'Birds (while developing Led Zeppelin) and the Son was unleashing his solo project upon the masses. One thing that all three titans had in common was a deep-seated love for "da blues" and every one of their band's debut LPs were dipped heavily in that genre, moving in a more progressive rock direction later on. Jeff Beck's "Truth" was no exception.

"Shapes of Things" was a great way to start the album because it gave us something we could identify with yet make it clear that that this wasn't pop music. The slower, heavier sound was what we were craving and it was guitars, guitars and more guitars all the way through. The unknown Rod Stewart was nothing short of a revelation because no one else sounded like he did at the time with that unique rasp that made him sound like he'd been singing in smoky bars for the previous 20 years. "Let Me Love You" is a rocking blues number in which Jeff oozes a guttural guitar tone that sounds like it crawled out of a swamp. "Morning Dew" is more in the prog direction but it suffers from a very loosely performed track by the band. However, Beck's wild wah- wah display goes a long way in saving the song from becoming a total disappointment. On the back of the album cover Jeff offered a few choice words for every cut. For the next tune, Willie Dixon's "You Shook Me," he claimed it's "probably the rudest sounds ever recorded." That's debatable but honestly descriptive. It's obvious that Beck wasn't interested in generating clean, precise notes from his instrument and his intense playing on this number made his every admirer's hair stand on end. As Jeff noted, "the last note of the song is my guitar being sick. Well, so would you be if I smashed your guts for 2:28." That's exactly the rebellious attitude we had been hoping for.

"Old Man River" is a curious inclusion but it serves well as a respite from the blues parade. Most likely a showcase for Stewart's expressive vocal, the booming timpani gives it a feeling of grandeur instead of Broadway camp. Just in case we thought Beck could only play hard and loud, a very short acoustic rendition of "Greensleeves" is injected for sensitivity purposes. "Rock My Plimsoul" is another traditional blues progression but drummer Mick Waller does play around with the beat, adding some interesting accents. Jeff shows that he's not necessarily a stickler for authentic blues guitar techniques because what he does here is definitely a portent of unorthodox things to come. The call and answer segment between him and Rod near the end is excellent. "Beck's Bolero," with Jimmy Page credited as ghostwriter (sorry, I couldn't resist the pun) is as far from the blues as you can get as Beck puts on a virtual guitar clinic. Guest Keith Moon's drums fit the bombastic mood perfectly. The live "Blues De Luxe" follows and it is nothing more than slow blues but that doesn't keep it from being spectacular. Nicky Hopkins' piano ride (especially when he tickles the upper ivories) is one of the best you'll ever hear and Ron Wood's bass work rivals Jack Bruce as far as expertly filling in the holes. They saved the best for last, though, with a seminal version of Dixon's "I Ain't Superstitious" that provided a lot of clues as to where Jeff's music was headed. While Clapton and Hendrix had mostly used the wah-wah to accent the beat, Beck treats it as a tone modifier, allowing him to express feeling and emotions much like a vocalist. As he commented candidly, the song is "more or less an excuse for being flash on guitar." (Hey, if you walk the walk you can talk the talk.) The group was able to capture a very "live" atmosphere in the studio for this one, complete with a big, noisy concert ending from Waller. Play this tune at high volume for best results.

I've often wondered why this band didn't become as wildly popular as Led Zeppelin would just a year or so later when they were both playing basically the same bluesy style. Part of the answer lies in the fact that Mickie Most's production left a lot to be desired and, therefore, the album isn't as consistent as it should have been sound- wise. (Listen to the out-of-proportion guitar lines that barge in and out of "Old Man River" for proof.) Also, Led Zep would incorporate more of a rock feel to their music and that appealed to a broader spectrum of listeners. Nevertheless, "Truth" still stands tall as a landmark in the evolution of progressive electric guitar stylings. It was here that Jeff Beck showed us all that the sky was the limit when it came right down to it. 3.4 stars and a must have for guitar historians.

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Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
3 stars After his leaving the Yardbirds, Jeff Beck (easily the best of the three legendary guitarists to have played in the group) formed his own unit that appeared as a supergroup, with Smallfaces' Ron Wood on bass, Steampacket's Rod Stewart, Mayall's Aynsley Dunbar on drums and of course himself on guitar. Although the awesome Dunbar would depart soon, replaced by Micky Waller, the group achieved incredible success with a stupendous blues-rock album that is still a reference nowadays. NB: the original plan was for Beck to get together with Vanilla Fudge's bassist Tim Bogert and drummer Carmine Appice, but although they talked of it many times and Beck's bad traffic accident, it wouldn't happen until 74.

What can be said about this most definitive power blues-rock album, that hasn't been said 1000 times before? Everyone knows this album was the very reason why Page created Zeppelin and even covered the Willie Dixon tune You Shook Me (prefer the present version). Although beck was a gifted musician, character-wise the man was difficult and probably driven by a solid ego, as can be seen with the good but overdone Beck's Bolero. . Elsewhere the old Yardbirds tune Shapes Of Things is excellent (one might even say that the Yardbirds under Beck's tenure were proto-progressive) and Greensleeves is simply delightful. Morning Dew and Blues Deluxe being my highlights of this album.

While this kind of album is easily recommendable to almost anybody that likes quality music; it really isn't addressed to those that look at the progressive side of music, even if the album was a bit of a groundbreaker back then.

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Review by Guillermo
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars I listened to this album for the first time in late 1992 in a EMI British CD which also included the "Beck- ola" album. Jeff Beck`s first album is really not very Progressive. I think that at the time the "British Blues Boom" was still very popular, and this album has a mixture of that British Blues style and some Rock Pop influences. The first track, "Shapes of Things", is a song originally recorded by THE YARDBIRDS years before, here arranged again by Jeff Beck and his band collaborators. The most closer to Prog Rock tracks, in my opinion, are "Beck`s Bolero", recorded with a star line-up which included Keith Moon, Jimi Page and John Paul Jones, and a version of "Greenslevees". Among the Blues-Pop songs there are "Morning Dew", "You Shook Me", "Old Man River" and "I Ain't Superstitious" . I think that the producer of this album and Beck himself were still trying to find the right style for him, so this first album and the second are still in this search. He became more Prog influenced in his albums which he recorded in the mid-seventies.

From the Bonus Tracks, I only have listened to "Love is Blue", a song which I have in an old LP (made in my country) which is a compilation of Hit Parade songs from the sixties called "Las que Llegaron al Hit Parade" which I think it was specially released by Capitol /EMI in 1969 as ordered by an old (and still in existence!) AM Radio station in my city. "Love is Blue" is a cover from a successful song originally recorded in the same year (1968) by French Easy-Listening musician Paul Mauriat and by other musicians in different countries (in Mexico it was recorded by a "duet on pianos plus orchestra" called "Los Pianos Barrocos", if I remember well). Despite being a British Hit for Beck, he didn`t like the song. Well, I think that the song is very Easy Listening in style and in arrangements, but the simple melody of the song was played by Beck in a very good Rock style, with him using different sounds from his guitar. He maybe hated the choral arrangements and the "sugar" orchestral arrangements (which include a harpsichord), but the song doesn`t sound bad thanks to Beck`s guitar, in my opinion.

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Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
2 stars I've had this album ever since I can remember listening to music and although it's a definite classic Truth is by no means a great album. It's weird realizing this after having this album in my collection for so long but it's a realization that I'm sticking to from now on.

I've never really been a fan of straight-forward blues compositions and Rod Stewart's voice can get somewhat irritating after the first few tracks. This criticism is only strengthened by the fact that the album has some really great material on it. Shapes Of Things and Let Me Love You are two nice opening tracks that work well but that doesn't really say much because most of these compositions would probably have worked no matter of the performing artist. Still it's the artist's responsibility to polish the material and make it shine, but that's where Truth is missing the mark for me.

A good example of this is You Shook Me. Although this album was released five months before Led Zeppelin released their version of the track on their debut album there isn't any comparison between the two versions. It's almost as if these takes were polar opposites of each other where Led Zeppelin were pushing for a new over-the-top approach while Jeff Beck's album had the more straight forward and really uninspired take.

Having said that this album does have some rare instances where the material really shines. Beck's take on Greensleeves is the most emotionally charged piece on this entire album and together with Beck's Bolero they make me wish for an entirely instrumental set for this release. This was of course not to be and what we are left with is a mixed bag that will most probably be more appreciated by rock/blues enthusiast than fans of progressive music.

Still I wouldn't call Truth a completionists only release because I believe this album could appeal to enthusiast of the early rock music and its development. Although one definitely would have to be a huge genre fan to truly appreciate this material.

***** star songs: Greensleeves (1:51)

**** star songs: Shapes Of Things (3:21) Let Me Love You (4:45) Ol' Man River (4:02) Beck's Bolero (2:55)

*** star songs: Morning Dew (4:43) You Shook Me (2:33) Rock My Plimsoul (4:15) Blues Deluxe (7:34) I Ain't Superstitious (4:57)

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Latest members reviews

4 stars It is apparent that Jeff Beck found a sound that many had been looking for at the time, a sound that would influence virtually everybody who was ever interested in heavy music. When I use that term though, remember this is 1968, not 1969, 70, or beyond. In an era of ever stretching out the s ... (read more)

Report this review (#519325) | Posted by Progosopher | Saturday, September 10, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars A magnificent blues rock album. There's Jeff Beck, one of the best guitarists ever. Accompanied by Rod Stewart and his great voice. Bass played by later to be Rolling Stone Ron Wood. Rounded out by drummer Micky Waller. With guest appearances from Nicky Hopkins, The Who's Keith Moon and (soon ... (read more)

Report this review (#135342) | Posted by Jimsey | Wednesday, August 29, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars A good debut album by a group whose format was copied/imitated/stolen (however you want to phrase it) when Jimmy Page chose to form Led Zeppelin shortly after this first Jeff Beck album was released. Although this version of the Jeff Beck Group would quickly fade into memory after the subsequ ... (read more)

Report this review (#118685) | Posted by Disconnect | Tuesday, April 17, 2007 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Truth is Jeff Beck's debut album. It isn't overly progressive - I assume that side of him developed later in his career. It's a good blues/rock album with some ups and downs. Rush's version of Shapes of Things from the Feedback EP is actually much different, I find. It's a Jeff Beck classic. Or ... (read more)

Report this review (#118604) | Posted by Shakespeare | Monday, April 16, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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