And More Again...

The initial Jeff Beck Group tour of the States started with four shows at Fillmore East, opening for and apparently upstaging The Grateful Dead and finished on the other side of the continent at the Fillmore West, by which time Grant had negotiated them an album contract with Epic.

An album contract, of course, means that you need to record an album, and the basic tracks for Truth were recorded over two weeks, with overdubs going over the top in more ways than one the following month. 

Mickie Most was more concerned with other projects at the time (and probably hadn't appreciated what Grant was aiming for) so production duties were largely left to Ken Scott who set about recording Beck, Stewart & Co. playing their live set in the studio.

Looking at the album's track listing, it's fairly obvious Beck's live set had been cobbled together from a variety of sources.

The album opens with a cover of the old Yardbirds number Shapes of Things, but where the original version was a fairly polite inquiry as to whether time would make men more wise Beck's version, launched off a thunderous riff, has Stewart demanding an answer. If the Yardbirds original was a group of folkies linking hands and singing Kumbaya, the rendition on Truth is standing on the barricades, fist raised and demanding action. 

Up against the wall, in other words…

And, on my first hearing, if the riff and the vocal attack didn't pin me to the wall, Beck's two-part solo certainly did.

There's no mucking around on the second track, a Buddy Guy & Junior Wells cover, either. Let Me Love You mightn't have the whammo riff to start off, but as soon as Stewart's finished the first line there's Beck back in full nail the listener to the wall mode.

The tempo drops on track three, Tim Rose's Morning Dew. There are skirling bagpipes as Stewart starts the request to walk me out in the morning dew, my honey but Beck's there lurking behind the vocal line, restrained but punctuating the vocal line with bursts of effects pedal enhanced notes, dropping back to the same melody line that started it off.


B© Ian Hughes 2012