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JEFF BECK GROUP

Jeff Beck

Jazz Rock/Fusion


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Jeff Beck Jeff Beck Group album cover
3.10 | 37 ratings | 3 reviews | 5% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential


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Studio Album, released in 1972

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Ice Cream Cakes (5:40)
2. Glad All Over (2:58)
3. Tonight I'll Be Staying Here with You (4:59)
4. Sugar Cane (4:07)
5. I Can't Give Back the Love I Feel for You (2:42)
6. Going Down (6:51)
7. I Got to Have a Song (3:26)
8. Highways (4:41)
9. Definitely Maybe (5:02)

Total Time: 40:26

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Bob Tench / vocals, guitar
- Jeff Beck / guitars, bass, production
- Max Middleton / piano, keyboards
- Clive Chaman / bass
- Cozy Powell / drums

Releases information

LP Epic KE 31331 (1972 US)
8-Trk Epic EAQ 31331 (1972 US) (quadraphonic)
Cass Epic PET 31331 (1972 US)
LP Epic S EPC 64899 (1972 UK)
LP Epic ECPL-33 (1972 Japan)
LP Epic EQ 31331 (1972 US) (quadrophonic version)
CD Epic/Sony ESCA 5226 (1991 Japan)
CD Epic 471046 2 (2000 Europe)
CD Epic MHCP-584 (2005 Japan) (remaster)
LP Audio Fidelity AFZTL 1515 (2012 US)

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JEFF BECK Jeff Beck Group ratings distribution


3.10
(37 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(5%)
5%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(32%)
32%
Good, but non-essential (46%)
46%
Collectors/fans only (14%)
14%
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)
3%

JEFF BECK Jeff Beck Group reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Chicapah
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars The original Jeff Beck Group, whose core members included Rod Stewart, Nicky Hopkins and Ron Wood, were a volatile, rowdy and explosive band of musicians that helped to pioneer the genre of hard rock that came to be dominated by groups like Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple. The big drawback of inspired but combustible combinations of high- strung personalities is that sometimes they combust and that's what happened to those guys after they made two groundbreaking albums together. While Rod and Ron ran off to be in The Faces and Nicky went back to being a coveted session rat, Jeff almost joined up with the former Vanilla Fudge rhythm section of Tim Bogert and Carmine Appice. But then he fractured his skull in a bad car accident and his rehab forced him to be out of commission for a year and a half. Starting over from scratch in 1971, Beck started a new band and veered off in a musical direction that had substantial R&B influences while retaining his trademark heavy rock mannerisms. After "Rough and Ready" was greeted with mixed reviews Jeff took the group to Memphis, Tennessee and hired the seasoned guitarist and arranger Steve Cropper to produce a fresh batch of songs, attempting to capture some of the soulful flavor of Dixie on their 2nd LP. Like the previous album, however, it turned out to be an inconsistent, hit and miss affair.

Jeff's "Ice Cream Cakes" is an enticing opening song that leads you to think they might really be on to something this time. Bob Tench's raspy vocal is relaxed and he seems more comfortable than before. Beck's ever-unique guitar work is stellar as he works his magic throughout the tune. Cozy Powell's drums are interesting but there's still a slight unsteadiness in his technique that has always bugged me about him. Max Middleton's solid electric piano ride adds a nice touch toward the end. "Glad All Over" is next, a barrelhouse rock and roll ditty that's mildly entertaining but nothing to write home about. Their competent version of Bob Dylan's "Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You" follows. They put a bluesy, gospel-tinged spin on it and it gives Tench a chance to display his versatility. "Sugar Cane" is a Beck/Cropper tune performed New Orleans style ala Dr. John but there's not much originality here when all is sung and done. "I Can't Give Back the Love I Feel For You" is their instrumental rendition of an Ashford/Simpson number and Jeff pulls out his bottleneck slide for this one, creating some interesting harmony lines but the short song is over before it gathers any real momentum.

"Going Down" is the best track on the album by far and one of my all-time favorite Jeff Beck recordings. It's an unabashed rocker from one end to the other and brings to mind the kind of raw energy and electricity that characterized "Truth" and "Beck-Ola." Middleton's wonderful upright piano intro sets up the tune perfectly and it's one primo Beck-lick after another from then on. It generates a motivating, tight groove and easily stands the test of time as almost seven minutes of driving blues-rock at its finest. Unfortunately the remainder of the LP fails to impress. Their ill-advised offering of Stevie Wonder's "I Got To Have A Song" is an embarrassingly weak attempt at manufacturing a hit single. "Highways" is Jeff's awkward mix of rock and contemporary jazz that never finds the road to fulfillment as it meanders without purpose for almost five minutes. Max comes in towards the end with some tasteful electric piano but it's a case of too little too late. Still, it's better than the album ender, Beck's "Definitely Maybe." While somewhat indicative of the jazzier direction he was to take in the years ahead, this tepid instrumental never gets off the ground and some of the tinny harmony guitar parts are downright annoying. As producer, Cropper should have put a cap in this one.

There's very little material that can be called prog included here (if any) but I consider this period of Jeff Beck's musical journey as little more than a brief detour that he needed to explore before moving on to bigger and better things. In 1972 this group disbanded and Jeff finally assembled the long-anticipated Beck, Bogert and Appice power trio that returned him (briefly) to his heavy rock roots. This album (featuring an unexplained orange on the front and back cover) isn't terrible but it's very mediocre. If not for "Ice Cream Cakes" and "Going Down" it would be a blemish on Jeff's admirable career but those two songs elevate it to just barely above average quality. 2.6 stars.

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Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
3 stars Sometimes referred as the Orange album (due to the fruit's presence), this second self-titled album is in the same mould as its predecessor, but I seem to like it better due to songs that move more than on R&R. With a no-less boring artwork than his preceding album and an unchanged line-up, I find that Orange holds some much better "tunes", but also some relatively weak ones as well, making it a rougher ride than the R&R debut album.

Starting on the delightful Ice Cream Cakes (hear Beck's genius in his opening wails) and all the way to the exhilarating Going Down (these two tracks with a more expressive singer would've been complete and utmost killers), this album shows a group that is now become even tighter. More concise songwriting a bit at the expense of the instrumental prowess (even though highways leave Jeff and Max some real space to expand. Sugarcane is a good funky track, but no more. The closing Definitely Maybe is also an apt closer with its slow pace and slowly evolving into a jazzy floating ending: good end but not really in phase with the rest of the album.

Somehow, this album sounds like it is the group's last one, as if they were emptied from ideas (let's face it, there are more than a few fillers on this album) and about to collapse. Jeff Beck would then go on to form the much-awaited group (since 69) with Carmine Appice and bassist Tim Bogert (ex-Vanilla Fudge and Cactus), but alas this group would not succeed artistically any better than this one. Still worth getting an ear on it as with its predecessor! Try finding these two albums on a 2 on 1 Cd deal.

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Review by Kotro
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars This is the end... again.

Just like the second album from the first incarnation of The Jeff Beck Group proved to be a less thrilling experience than the first, so too happens in this second album by the second coming of Beck's ensemble. A poor selection of songs to cover, allied to a couple of less inspired compositions, is partly responsible for this. But let's give it a quick run-through.

One of the originals is in charge of opening the album: Ice Cream Cakes showcases some great drumming and rhythm guitar, and probably the best vocals you will get out of Bob Tench in the whole album. It is nothing to get excited about, just your average rock track, will some good soloing by Jeff Beck thrown in the middle and a lovely Fender Rhodes solo by Middleton towards the end. The track could have a greater entertainment potential is it didn't drag for so long. Glad All Over follows it, a track inspired more by 50's Rock n'Roll, punched up by the band's heavier approach. Somewhere in the middle it slows as Jeff solos out accompanied by a piano and drum beat. Towards the end it gets funkier, but again, not necessarily exciting. Next up is a Bob Dylan cover, Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You, a slower track, with Tench sounding good - the rest of the band pretty much accompanies the singer and his background choir. The slow tempo of the song allows for some mellow guitar soloing, again of very good quality (one doesn't really expect less than very good from Jeff Beck). Sugar Cane is a more Funk/Rn'B-driven song, the kind that wouldn't look out of place on an album by Funkadelic. Personally, I think it's a poor track, borderlining on annoying. It has some added flavour, if only a bit, due to some very interesting guitar work. Side One ends with another cover, Ashford & Simpson's I Can't Give Back The Love I Feel For You. Can't comment on the quality or differences of the cover as I have never heard the original. I can say that it features a excellent guitar work throughout its instrumental two and a half minute length.

Side Two, I feel, is a bit stronger than the first one, apart from one small glitch (we'll get to it). It is opened by two cover songs, the bluesy Going Down, originally by Don Nix, and the Stevie Wonder cover I Got To Have A Song. While the first is an great rendition, whose raw energy and exciting performance from all members (excellent piano intro, guitar work and rough vocals throughout, not to mention Powell's brutal drumming) fit perfectly in the hard-rock mood of the album, the second falls flat, it's Rn'B appearing completely out of place in the album (and I won't even dwell about how bad the material is - there is nothing Beck could do about it, except perhaps NOT TO FREAKIN' COVER THE DAMN SONG IN THE FIRST PLACE). Anyway, the last two songs of the album (both penned by Beck) really make up for that shot in the foot: Highways follows it not a minute too soon, another really good rock track, opened by excellent guitar soloing and drumming. Bob Tench's vocals are simply ok on this song, where the spotlight really is on Jeff Beck's great guitar work, sometimes fast, others slower, but always filled with the passion of someone who really is in love with his guitar. Definitely Maybe ends the album, and is another showcase of this love affection. It's a slower track, instrumental, and probably the jazzier and closest to Beck's later works found on this album. The first part is mostly dominated by the guitar work, displaying the use of whawha to slide to fuzz guitar. The rest of the band don't exactly sit in the corner (well, I guess Bob Tench does) - Max Middleton takes over after a smooth transition, and is given the chance to showcase his Fender Rhodes playing before the music fades-out - a shame considering that it still sounded like it had much more to offer.

This last album by The Jeff Beck Group(s) is definitely not my favourite - in fact, I would rank my appreciation of the albums chronologically, which would make this my least favourite, with Beck- Ola and Rough And Ready more or less tied in second spot. But it does have some great gems, especially on the second side, with three excellent tracks. Overall, it is (once more) an album that will not be of much interest to anyone in search of more adventurous music, but that doesn't take anything away from the fact that it is still a pleasant listen.

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