Jeff Beck – Beck-Ola

Originally released in September 1969, left Beck's second album read like a superstar summit meeting, but for the guitarist it was just another day at the office. He'd already replaced Eric Clapton in The Yardbirds, supported The Beatles in Paris, and appeared in Antonioni's movie Blow-Up, livening up the psychedelic club scene with some extreme axe-mangling GBH.

Trending Now

Richard Thompson on the flowering of Fairport Convention

"There was a musical explosion – you could play almost anything and be accepted"

My Bloody Valentine: “We were like the Partridge Family on acid”

With the news that My Bloody Valentine have released their catalogue across streaming services for the first time, it...

Alan Horne on the resurrection of Postcard Records

"There’s no conceivable excuse to be whoring yourself off to any crooked corporate malarkey"

Introducing the Deluxe Ultimate Music Guide to Neil Young

Updated with a deep dive into Archives II and more

Originally released in September 1969, left Beck’s second album read like a superstar summit meeting, but for the guitarist it was just another day at the office. He’d already replaced Eric Clapton in The Yardbirds, supported The Beatles in Paris, and appeared in Antonioni’s movie Blow-Up, livening up the psychedelic club scene with some extreme axe-mangling GBH. Featuring JB Group regulars Rod Stewart, Ron Wood, Nicky Hopkins and Tony Newman, Beck-Ola signified an ability to fuse guitar heroics with post-British blues boom vitality, plus a side order of West Coast whimsy?he’d just guested on Donovan’s Barabajagal?and a nod at something folky.

“All Shook Up” and “Jailhouse Rock” were retooled and raw, although Stewart’s whelpish growl with gravel in his tubes appalled rock’n’roll purists. In fact, Beck’s roots were as art school as anyone’s. His sparkling lead lines on the hippified “Girl From Mill Valley”, enhanced by Hopkins’ delicious keyboard melodies, seem inspired by Swinging London and the R&B movement.

Hanging with Rod and Ron just before they joined The Faces tested Beck’s poker-faced demeanour. The jammy “Rice Pudding” and “The Hangman’s Knee” almost have a smile around the edges. With takes on Elvis and assaults on BB King covers, Beck-Ola stands strong, without ever indicating it satisfied the mainman’s restless spirit.

Advertisement

Latest Issue

The Velvet Underground, The Black Crowes, Bunny Wailer, Richard Thompson, Nick Cave, Rhiannon Giddens, Laurie Anderson, Blake Mills, Postcard Records, Mogwai and The Selecter
Advertisement

Features

Advertisement