Truth – Jeff Beck’s Amazingly Well Recorded Masterpiece

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A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock Hall of Fame.

One of the most surprising things we learned during this shootout was how well recorded the album is. It’s yet another triumph from one of our favorite engineers, KEN SCOTT.

An interesting bit of trivia: most side twos earned a sonic grade that was a full plus higher than any given copy’s grade for side one. Side two most of the time just plain sounds better than side one, so when evaluating your copy be sure to check side two first to hear what is probably going to be the best sound on the album. 

The soundstage is absolutely HUGE, while the presence and transparency of this copy go way beyond most pressings. Great rock and roll energy too of course — without that you have nothing on this album.

Note how spacious, big, full-bodied and DYNAMIC both sides are. That’s why they’re White Hot or close to it. I am pleased to report that the whomp factor on these sides was nothing short of MASSIVE. With tons of bass these sides have what it takes to make the music ROCK.

In many ways it sounds like the first Zep album, and that’s a good thing. The sound is a perfect fit for the music. In recent interviews Jeff Beck has been saying that Jimmy Page stole his idea for a Heavy Rock Band playing electrified blues. Based on the evidence found on the two sides of this very album I would say he has a point.

Ken Scott, Engineer Extraordinaire

In 2008 I had the opportunity to hear Ken Scott speak the night before at an AES meeting here in Los Angeles. This is the man who recorded some of the All Time Great Rock Albums, the likes of Ziggy Stardust, The White Album, Honky Chateau, All Things Must Pass, Son Of Schmilsson, America’s debut, and this powerhouse of Heavy Blues Rock.

This is one seriously talented guy! (I won’t bore you by trying to recap his talk, but if it ever comes out on youtube or the like, you should definitely check it out. The Behind-The-Scenes discussion of these artists and their recordings was a thrill for someone like me who has been playing and enjoying the hell out of most of his albums for more than thirty years.)

TRACK LISTING

Side One

Shapes of Things 
Let Me Love You 
Morning Dew 
You Shook Me
Ol’ Man River

Side Two

Greensleeves 
Rock My Plimsoul
Beck’s Bolero 
Blues Deluxe 
I Ain’t Superstitious

AMG 5 Star Review

Truth was almost as groundbreaking and influential a record as the first Beatles, Rolling Stones, or Who albums. Its attributes weren’t all new — Cream and Jimi Hendrix had been moving in similar directions — but the combination was: the wailing, heart-stoppingly dramatic vocalizing by Rod Stewart, the thunderous rhythm section of Ron Wood’s bass and Mickey Waller’s drums, and Beck’s blistering lead guitar, which sounds like his amp is turned up to 13 and ready to short out.

The Story of Truth

After leaving The Yardbirds in late 1966, Jeff Beck had released three commercial singles, two in 1967 featuring Beck 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, the 14th and 15th and the 25th and 26th of May, 1968. Nine tracks were taken from these sessions, including eclectic covers of “Ol’ Man River” by Jerome Kern, the traditional ballad “Greensleeves,” the modern ballad “Morning Dew” by Bonnie Dobson, acknowledgment of 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 starting off 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.”

Truth is regarded as a seminal work of heavy metal due to its use of blues toward a hard rock approach. This was confirmed in 2010 by Rhapsody, which called the album one of the all-time best “proto-metal” records. 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…”

Wikipedia