Mastered from the original master tapes and limited to 2,500 numbered copies, Mobile Fidelity’s hybrid SACD puts you in Abbey Road and Olympic Sound Studios with the band. Free of the haze, thinness, and constrained nature of many prior editions, it presents the music with three-dimensional depth, revealing texture, and unmistakable liveliness. Just as crucially, and in line with Beck’s request in the original liner notes, this audiophile release can be played loud without harshness and distortion. Truth is not for the fainthearted; it will help take your system to its limits.
Steeped in blues, swing, heaviness, and firepower, Beck’s six-string voodoo pushed conventions and boundaries at the time – and still does now. As scribe Gene Santoro writes in his essay for Beckology, “The guitar may slash and burn or sigh an aching melody, blaze a fusillade or arc a lyrical air – but from the touch, the phrasing, you know it’s him.” And Mobile Fidelity’s meticulously engineered reissue lets you identify Beck with unsurpassed certainty and intimacy. You can practically hear his fingertips on the frets while savoring the endless tones echoing from his notes, sustains, bends, glissandos, slides, and major and minor chords.
Of course, Beck’s charismatic contributions aren’t the only dramatically elevated features. Truth towers above nearly every other one of the British icon’s records due to the cohesiveness of its songs and chemistry shared by the band members – as well as several choice guests. The full measure of Waller’s foundation-busting percussive thunder, for example, can now be enjoyed without limitations. Ditto Wood’s steadying rhythms, and the grit and grain present in Stewart’s deliveries. The latter’s fabled combination of ragged looseness, soulful shouting, and organic rasp first make their appearance on Truth – and would soon help him land his gig with the Faces, not to mention catapult him to global stardom.
Such commercial success may have eluded Truth, yet few platters remain more revered by listeners, critics, and fellow musicians. Considering it also involves Rolling Stones session/touring pianist Nicky Hopkins, Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page, Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones, and Who drummer Keith Moon – and includes a roof-shaking rendition of Willie Dixon’s “You Shook Me” that inspired Page, given Zeppelin included it on its debut months later – the sheer importance and scope of Truth cannot be over-exaggerated. Neither can the brilliance of the performances or inventiveness of Beck’s approaches.
He slyly traces back to his days in the Yardbirds with an acrobatic rendition of “Shapes on Things” that opens the album and puts listeners on notice that things have changed. Slow, chilling interpretations of “Morning Dew” and “Ol’ Man River” ache with regret. A solo acoustic version of the traditional “Greensleeves” conveys grace and delicacy, while Beck and company demonstrate they can turn on a dime the very next moment with “Rock My Plimsoul.” And that’s saying nothing of Beck’s signature piece, the wordless “Beck’s Bolero,” a tense powder keg further ignited by Page and Moon, with the latter yelling halfway through and smashing the microphone, leading to what you can now hear in stellar clarity – a tidal wave of cymbals dominating the percussion.
By itself, the song justifies Truth, as does the seven-and-half-minute “Blues Deluxe,” which stands up with any blues from any era, and showcases Hopkins’ massive personality on the 88s. And lest we forget, Beck turns his guitar into a carnival of animal and human voices on “I Ain’t Superstitious,” with Stewart responding to every one. From start to finish, there’s not a single lapse. And that’s the straight truth.
1. Shapes of Things
2. Let Me Love You
1. Morning Dew
2. You Shook Me
3. Ol’ Man River
2. Rock My Plimsoul
3. Beck’s Bolero
1. Blues De Luxe
2. I Ain’t Superstitious
Music Vinyl LP's
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You don’t need to be ‘Old & Wise’ to know this is an absolute essential!Mastered from the original master tapes, Mobile Fidelity’s RTI pressed 180g 45RPM 2LP and hybrid SACD versions of Eye in the Sky feature succulent warmth, magnificent balance, low-end heft, and see-through transparency that take you into the studio with Parsons at Abbey Road Studios. Each note seems perfectly placed, every sequence painstakingly considered. Boasting front-to- back depth, concert-hall-level separation, realistic presence, and bang-on accuracy, the reissues illustrate the lasting importance of perfectionist-minded engineering and recording techniques. These releases will test the capabilities of the world’s finest stereo systems. There’s more information, more texture, more nuance— more of everything to be experienced. British progressive rock would never again sound so sophisticated, suave, or steady.
#338 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time: Big Brother and Joplin Convey Fearlessness, Toughness, and Synergy on Every NoteIn many facets, Big Brother and the Holding Company's Cheap Thrills is the quintessential album to spring from the outcome of the Summer of Love. Best known as Janis Joplin's major-label debut, the 1968 set arrived when the countercultural movement was in full swing and before co-optation, drugs, and violence signaled the fall of the era. Ranked #338 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, it puts a female singer in the prominent position traditionally given to a male and showcases a band pouring a potent cocktail of fiery psychedelic, blues, and folk sounds that informed the unfettered creativity of the San Francisco scene. Produced by John Simon, Cheap Thrills also features one of the most iconic and elaborate album covers in history.
Diverse Set Encompasses Ballads, Waltzes, Hard-Swinging BopBill Evans catapulted to the top of the jazz world in June 1961 after reeling off three straight masterpiece sessions at New York’s Village Vanguard with his trio. Yet the emotional highs came to a screeching halt shortly thereafter when bassist Scott LaFaro died in a car accident. Devastated, Evans refrained from playing for nearly a year. If not for an inspirational collaboration of tremendous creative outpouring, one wonders what fate may have befallen Evans. Undercurrent, the outcome of two studio sessions with guitarist Jim Hall, is that project.
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