My attempt to blog all of the entries from the book 1001 Albums to Hear Before You Die
Brief Background: Truth was mainly recorded in May of 1968, but a few songs were taken from single releases which were recorded in 1966 and 1967. This is the first of two Jeff Beck albums that feature Rod Stewart on lead vocals and Ronnie Wood on Bass.
What I think: OK, I have a lot of gripes about this album so bear with me. The main thing that bothers me about this album are Stewart’s vocals. Part of the problem is that his voice is so iconic and it seems weird to hear him singing over this early heavy metal/blues sound (I do like Stewart’s early solo stuff as well as his work with The Faces). It just doesn’t seem to fit for me, this is especially true in the first two songs “Shapes of Things” and “Let Me Love You” which feel like Beck completed them as heavy instrumentals and then told Stewart to slap some vocals on them. It just seems like there is no room for them. Things get a little better after that as the songs slow a little and get into some soulish numbers where Stewart’s vocals work fine. This includes “Ol’ Man River”, which is the highlight of the album.
My second gripe with this album is Beck’s blues sound. I just can’t get into these English guys doing Blues music. It sounds really cheesy and wrong to me. Part of it is the sound of these tracks with slick studio production. I really think they are best with a muddy, hissing sound, so why wouldn’t I just listen to the old recordings of these songs (or more correctly their original iterations)? I know there are going to be a lot of these Blues revival albums from English and some American guys coming along in this project and I will try to keep an open mind for each. I’m not expecting to like any of them… though maybe I’ll be surprised.
Do I agree or disagree with the writers as to this being an album you must listen to? As much as I hate to say it, I think this album should be here. It introduced Ron Wood and Rod Stewart to the world, it is an important step in the development of heavy metal, and the personal involved with recording the album is mix of rock greats (including Jimmy Page and Keith Moon).
Rating (Out of 5): 2.0
Amazon Review (Out of 5): 4.5
Is this my first time hearing this album? Yes (107/134)
Percentage of Albums that are new to me: 80%
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