It's amazing how they used to make albums in 1969. Thirty-five years later, everything is tweaked, polished and tweezered meticulously into place, but Beck-Ola sounds like a bunch of blokes who've staggered out of the pub, and started jamming and inadvertently stumbled against the on switch on the tape machine. Beck-Ola was the successor to the Beck group's mighty Truth, recorded when this volatile quintet was on the brink of splitting up, and it proved to be the end rather than a new beginning.
Frankly, it's a shambles, especially the raucous bowdlerisations of All Shook Up and Jailhouse Rock, but historically it's fascinating. Beck is in his full fret-wrenching, amp-bursting glory, squirting solos, chords and blasts of jagged noise into any spaces he can find, while if you ever wondered how Rod Stewart became famous in the first place, just listen to the bleeding-throat aggression of his performances here. The square peg is pianist Nicky Hopkins, added - according to Beck - to give the band a nudge in a poppier direction. Hopkins' insipid instrumental, Girl From Mill Valley, sounds as if it crept in from an Engelbert Humperdinck session.