Posts Tagged ‘The Jeff Beck Group’

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In 1969, Jeff Beck recorded the album “Beck-Ola”, the second and final album with Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood. Nicky Hopkins who was now a permanent member.

After the release of their previous album “Truth”, by the end of 1968 drummer Micky Waller was replaced by Tony Newman, as Jeff Beck wanted to take the music in a heavier direction and he viewed Waller as more of a finesse drummer. Pianist Nicky Hopkins, who had also played on Truth, was asked to join the band full-time for his work in the studio.

Recording sessions for the album took place over six days in April 1969 – the 3rd, 6th, 8th, 10th, 11th and 19th. Two covers of Elvis Presley tunes were chosen, “All Shook Up” and “Jailhouse Rock”, as well as “Girl From Mill Valley”, an instrumental by and prominently featuring Hopkins. The remaining four tracks consist of band originals, with the instrumental “Rice Pudding” ending the album dramatically cold. The album cover features a reproduction of Belgian surrealist artist René Magritte’s The Listening Room. On the back cover to the original vinyl issue, beside “Beck-Ola” is written the tag “Cosa Nostra”, Italian for “Our Thing”. When it was originally released in June 1969, “Beck-Ola”, the Jeff Beck Group’s second album, featured a famous sleeve note on its back cover: “Today, with all the hard competition in the music business, it’s almost impossible to come up with anything totally original. So we haven’t.

Following the sessions for this album, the Jeff Beck Group toured the United States. They were scheduled to play Woodstock and are listed on posters promoting the festival, but by then internal friction had reached the breaking point and both Ronnie Wood and Rod Stewart were out of the band. Stewart and Wood would go on too form The Faces with members of the Small Faces in 1969, while Hopkins played Woodstock with Jefferson Airplane, joining Quicksilver Messenger Service, and toured the world with The Rolling Stones in 1971, 1972 and 1973.

Beck himself would be out of commission by December due to an automobile accident.

During 1967 the band released three singles in Europe and two in the United States, the first, “Hi Ho Silver Lining”, being the most successful, reaching No. 14 on the UK singles chart; it included the instrumental “Beck’s Bolero” as the B side, which had been recorded several months earlier. The line-up for that session included guitarist Jimmy Page on rhythm guitar, John Paul Jones on bass, Keith Moon on drums, and Nicky Hopkins on piano.

In a contemporary review for The Village Voice, music critic Robert Christgau was unimpressed by the album and facetiously remarked that Stewart and Beck had encouraged Hopkins’ overblown playing. At the time, Beck commented on the album cover the impossibility of coming up with anything original, and that Beck-Ola indeed was not. Although a short album at half an hour, along with its predecessor it is regarded as a seminal work of heavy metal due to its use of blues toward a hard rock approach and the squaring off of Beck’s guitar against Stewart’s vocals, and claims that it was duplicated the same year by Beck’s confederate Jimmy Page with his singer Robert Plant  although in actual fact Zeppelin had been displaying such style since the summer of 1968.

On 10 October 2006, Legacy Recordings remastered and reissued the album for compact disc with four bonus tracks, all of which had been previously unreleased. Included were two early takes of the Presley covers, one done at Abbey Road Studios in January, a jam on “Sweet Little Angel” by B.B. King done the previous November with the Waller edition of the band, and a song intended as a single by producer Mickie Most but never issued

Ronnie Wood: Appeared on Beck-Ola and then quit to join The Faces with Rod Stewart. He went on to recording solo albums in 1974 starting with I’ve Got My Own Album To Do, Now Look (1975), Mahoney’s Last Stand (1976), and Gimme Some Neck (1979). He officially joined the Rolling Stones in 1976 and continues to record the odd solo album.

Rod Stewart: Sang on Beck-Ola and simultaneously pursued a solo career while joining The Faces with bass buddy Ron Wood. Recorded Rod Stewart (1969), Gasoline Alley (1970), Every Picture Tells A Story (1971) and Never A Dull Moment(1972) as a solo artist. As a member of The Faces, he recorded First Step (1970), Long Player (1971), A Nod’s As Good As A Wink… To A Blind Horse (1972), and the swan song, Ooh La La (1973). Became solo superstar; currently sells crooning compilations to grannies.

Nicky Hopkins: One of the most in-demand session men of the 1960s, Hopkins played with everyone from The Beatles, The Kinks and the Stones to Quicksilver Messenger Service, Jefferson Airplane and on his own solo albums. He died in 1994.

Mickey Waller: Played with many bands including Georgie Fame, Charlie Watts’ Rocket 88, recorded with Paul McCartney in the noughts, but died in 2008.

Jeff Beck  moved on to his R&B period with the JBGII and a pair of albums titled Rough And Ready (1971) and Jeff Beck Group (1972). A studio album (1973) with ex-Vanilla Fudge rhythm section Tim Bogert and Carmine Appice called Beck, Bogert & Appice and a Japan-only live album release followed. In 1975, Jeff then entered the instrumental phase of his career with the wondrous Blow By Blow, followed by 1976’s Wired and 1977’s Jeff Beck With The Jan Hammer Group – Live! There And Back [1980], the shaky vocal/instrumental Flash [1985], and Guitar Shop [1989] formed the next group of releases. In 1992, Epic released the three-CD Beckology set. Jeff continues to record mainly guitar records to this day.

Beck-Ola stands as a prime example of late-’60s British blues-rock and one of Beck’s best records.

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In BECK01 Jeff Beck takes us on the journey of a lifetime. Over five decades, he has blazed a trail forging a unique style lauded by critics, fans and fellow guitar legends. Telling the story behind the music, Beck’s twin inspirations – hot rodding and rock’n’roll – are now bound together in the official signed limited edition book of his career.

‘Right from the beginning, I’ve tried to do something with anything I’ve got hold of. At the age of 13, I built two or three of my own guitars. I painted the frets on. It was fun just to look at it and hold it… I knew where I was headed.’ Jeff Beck

In an original text spanning more than 350 pages Beck shares anecdotes from his early bands The Yardbirds, The Jeff Beck Group, Beck, Bogert and Appice and his multi-award-winning solo career.

Read stories of disappearing hot rods, stolen guitars, secret studio sessions and near-catastrophic car crashes. Beck tells of playing with Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Wonder, Jimmy Page, Ronnie Wood, Eric Clapton, John McLaughlin, Tina Turner, Rod Stewart, Diana Ross, Scotty Moore, Pete Townshend and many more. His new limited edition is introduced by guitar virtuoso John McLaughlin.

‘When asked to write the introduction to this book about Jeff, I thought to myself who better? So I wrote, “Jeff Beck is my all time favourite electric guitarist”… What do I say after that?’ John McLaughlin

The first 350 books in Beck’s limited edition are Deluxe Copies. Each is lovingly handcrafted in Italian leather, presented in an archival solander case and includes an exclusive signed print suitable for framing. Each Deluxe Copy is numbered and individually signed by Jeff Beck.

Beck has opened his archives specially for the making of his book. Family photos are included alongside personal letters from friends and heroes including Charles Mingus BB King and Les Paul.

‘I had no idea that this many photos existed until we found them during the making of my book. The pictures of the disappearing hot rod are going to blow people’s minds.’ Jeff Beck

Beck’s remarkable life in music is documented through the work of top photographers including Robert Knight, Baron Wolman, Bob Gruen, Michael Putland, Barrie Wentzell, Gered Mankowitz, Neil Zlozower and Michael Zagaris.

Influential magazine spreads, set lists, posters and record sleeves further illustrate Beck’s words.

Jeff Beck is one of musics true innovators. The release of BECK01 celebrates the anniversary of his debut solo album Blow by Blow produced by George Martin 40 years ago.

‘Jeff is quite simply a “born” guitarist. Not only does he have the mysterious talent that is innate, he has not stopped evolving over the years. He has forged a unique and wonderful style of playing that is instantly recognizable. He has the most fluid style of playing I’ve ever heard.’  John McLaughlin, in his foreword

‘Jeff Beck has been a hot rodder for decades. Upon first examination this seems at odds with our image of Jeff Beck, the musician. But to Jeff, it makes perfect sense. The common thread is that in the post WWII world in which he grew up, all roads led to an America flush with a new energy fuelled by the youthful adrenaline of rock-and-roll music and hot rod automobiles.’ Steve Coonan, hot rodder magazine editor and author.

BECK01

Truth is the debut album by Jeff Beck, released in 1968 released on Columbia Records and in the United States on Epic Records. It introduced the talents of his backing band the Jeff Beck Group, who were specifically Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood, to a larger audience.

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 request 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, 14th–15th May and 25th–26th May 1968. Nine eclectic tracks were taken from these sessions, including covers of “Ol’ Man River” by Jerome Kern, the Tudor period melody “Greensleeves”, and Bonnie Dobson’s “Morning Dew”, which had been a 1966 hit single for Tim Rose. Beck acknowledged 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 started 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”. This album was Rod Stewart’s first-ever album-length lead vocal showcase as an artist, and is regarded, along with ‘Beck-Ola’ as a musical touchstone for hard rockers in the years that followed.

Truth is regarded as a seminal work of heavy metal because of its use of blues toward a hard rock approach.

On 10th October 2006, Legacy Recordings remastered and reissued the album for compact disc with eight bonus tracks. Included were two earlier takes of “You Shook Me” and “Blues Deluxe”, the latter without the overdubbed applause, and the six tracks making up the three singles by Beck. The B-side to the 1968 single “Love Is Blue”, “I’ve Been Drinking”, was another “Jeffrey Rod” special, this time reconfiguring the Johnny Mercer song “Drinking Again”

  • Jeff Beck – electric guitars, acoustic guitar on “Greensleeves”; pedal steel guitar on “Shapes of Things”; bass guitar on “Ol’ Man River”; lead vocals on “Tallyman” and “Hi Ho Silver Lining”,backing vocals on “Let Me Love You”
  • Rod Stewart – lead vocals,
  • Ronnie Wood – bass guitar
  • Micky Waller – drums
  • John Paul Jones – bass guitar on “Hi Ho Silver Lining” and “Beck’s Bolero”; Hammond organ on “Ol’ Man River” and “You Shook Me”; arrangements on “Hi Ho Silver Lining”
  • Nicky Hopkins – piano on “Morning Dew”, “You Shook Me”, “Beck’s Bolero” and “Blues Deluxe”
Ronnie Wood in 20 Songs

Ronald David Wood, artist, songwriter, and one of Britain’s finest, and possibly most underrated, guitar players was born on 1st June 1947. His is a musical family: Ronnie’s older brother Art formed the Artwoods, who included Jon Lord, later to a co-founder of Deep Purple, and drummer Keef Hartley, who played with John Mayall and later had his own band.

Ronnie Wood’s first group was a West London R & B outfit that he co-founded as a 16-year-old. The Birds released a string of singles, with much of their material written by Ronnie, but by 1967 he had joined The Jeff Beck Group, as the bass player, along with singer Rod Stewart and Micky Waller on drums. The Beck group recorded two classic albums, and ‘Plynth (Water Down The Drain)’ is a track from their second, Beck-Ola. He also briefly played with The Creation, a band formed by ex-Bird Kim Gardner.

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In 1969 Art Wood formed Quiet Melon, with Ronnie, Rod Stewart, Ronnie Lane, Kenney Jones, Ian McLagan and Kim Gardner. They cut four songs for Fontana but they went unreleased and soon after the band split with the two Ronnies, Rod, Kenney and Ian going on to form The Faces. Ronnie Lane, Ian and Kenney had of course played together in the Small Faces.

Just prior to the Faces forming, Rod Stewart got a solo contract with Vertigo Records and recorded An Old Raincoat Won’t Ever Let You Downon which Ronnie played guitar and bass, as well as harmonica on ‘Dirty Old Town.’

A month later, The Faces released their debut album and it featured several Ronnie Wood co-written songs, including ‘Around The Plynth’ which showcases Ronnie’s excellent slide guitar playing. The album “Long Player”which followed in 1971, included ‘Sweet Lady Mary’;A Nod Is As Good As a Wink… To A Blind Horse, later that same year, included the Faces anthem ‘Stay With Me’, again co-written by Ronnie. The Faces swansong was 1973’s “Ooh La La” , which had another of Ronnie’s songs, written with Ian McLagan and Rod Stewart, ‘Cindy Incidentally’.

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In between making the Faces records, Rod Stewart also recorded his own solo albums, with the second, Gasoline Alley in 1970, breaking through into the UK album chart, with its title song coming from the pens of Rod and Ronnie; it again features Ronnie Wood’s by now trademark slide. 1971’s Every Picture Tells A Story was the big one for Rod Stewart, topping the charts in both Britain and America. Once again the title song is a Ronnie and Rod co-write. In 1972 “Never a Dull Moment” came out, which included Ronnie’s co-write,‘True Blue’ as its opening track. Rod and Ronnie’s last collaboration was on “Smiler” (1974). ‘Sailor’ comes from this album and it’s so typical of their recording together.

In late 1973, the seeds of Ronnie Wood’s future career were sown when, along with Mick Jagger, David Bowie as backing singer, Willie Weeks on bass and Kenney Jones on drums, they recorded the basic track that became ‘It’s Only Rock ‘N Roll (But I Like It)’ in the studio at Wood’s house, “The Wick” in Richmond, London. In 1974 both Jagger and Keith Richards played on Ronnie’s first solo album, “I’ve Got My Own Album to Do”.

After Mick Taylor quit the Rolling Stones in December 1974, Ronnie helped with the recording of their album “Black and Blue” in the spring of 1975. From this album comes ‘Hey Negrita,’ on which Wood plays lead and is credited on the album as ‘inspiring’ the song. Two days before Ronnie’s 28th birthday he played his first live gig with the Stones on their 1975 Tour of the Americas…and he’s been with them ever since.

From 1980’s “Emotional Rescue” the title track, which features Ronnie’s distinctive ‘lead bass playing’. A year later from “Tattoo You” is ‘Black Limousine,’ a co-write from Ronnie Wood with Mick Jagger and Keith Richard. According to Ronnie, “‘Black Limousine’ came about from a slide guitar riff that was inspired in part by some Hop Wilson licks from a record that I once owned… And there was another guy called Big Moose, who I’ve never heard of before or since…he was an old slide guitar guy who had one particular lick that he would bring in every now and again. I thought, ‘That’s really good, I’m going to apply that’ – and so subconsciously I wrote the whole song around that one little lick, building on it, resolving it and taking it round again.” It’s an outstanding song

From the same year we’ve included one of Ronnie’s songs from his solo album,”1234″. ‘Fountain of Love’ shows Wood’s love for R&B; the album also featured Bobby Womack on guitar.

With the Rolling Stones hiatus in the 1980s, Ronnie worked with Keith Richard as the New Barbarians and collaborated with others including, including Prince, Bob Dylan, David Bowie, Eric Clapton,Ringo Starr and Aretha Franklin. By 1990 when the Rolling Stones were back on the road with their Steel Wheels/Urban Jungle tour, Ronnie Wood’s guitar was integral to both their live shows and their albums recorded over the last two decades.

The Rolling Stones’ 1995 “Stripped” project features Ronnie’s deft slide guitar on ‘Love In Vain,’ the song had been included on the album “Let It Bleed”. When Ronnie’s slide guitar comes in about half way through the number, it turns it into one of the finest readings of this classic blues tune. We’ve also featured ‘Happy’ from Live Licks, which Keith Richard sings but Ronnie Wood helps to make such a great song with his excellent slide playing.

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In 2010 Ronnie released “I Feel Like Playing”, his seventh studio album; naturally, he did the cover art, and it is a great record. It features a string of guests and opens with Ronnie’s song, ‘Why You Wanna Go And Do A Thing Like That For’ which shows his love for Dylan but also his skill as a songwriter. It sounds like a song that must have been recorded by everyone and deserves to be more widely heard: a 21st century classic.

We finish our Ronnie Wood In 20 Songs with ‘Forever’, the closer from I Feel Like Playing, which features Slash on second guitar and we thought it the best way to go out. Get the low down on Ronnie’s exciting new book from the man himself. To pre-order a copy head over to Genesis Publications here:http://bit.ly/1QIJhLT

With his new book launch ‘How Can it Be? A Rock & Roll Diary’. The book is a deluxe reproduction of his ‘lost’ 1965 diary that chronicles a pivotal year in his life, playing in his first band The Birds and includes encounters with Jeff Beck, The Who, and Eric Clapton to name just a few.

Annie Nightingale & Bob Harris joined Ronnie on stage sharing in the stories and memories as everyone was treated to some great insight into the year that shaped his future. Also, on hand was Ali McKenzie, lead singer of The Birds, who was swapping tales of rehearsing in shop windows, gigs in Ealing and most importantly getting paid.

Ronnie Wood also previewed his new single, ‘How Can It Be?’, as well giving the audience a first look into some of the diary pages and the exclusive artwork he created for the book. Hats off to Ron’s mum for keeping the diary in the back of a drawer for all these years and the guys at Genesis Publications for creating a wonderful keepsake of an important part of rock history.

We hope Ronnie Wood plays forever, and continues to gather plaudits for his playing, just as he is on the latest Stones tour, on which his guitar playing has been described as “Awesome”. That’ll be seconded by all

Happy birthday, Ronnie.