JEFF BECK — Rough and Ready

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JEFF BECK - Rough and Ready cover
3.39 | 8 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 1971

Tracklist

A1 Got The Feeling 4:38
A2 Situation 5:04
A3 Short Business 2:30
A4 Raynes Park Blues 8:25
B1 I've Been Used 3:38
B2 New Ways Train Train 5:50
B3 Jody 6:06

Line-up/Musicians

- Bob Tench / vocals, guitar
- Jeff Beck / guitars, bass, production
- Max Middleton / piano, keyboards
- Clive Chaman / bass
- Cozy Powell / drums

About this release

Epic – KE 30173 (UK)

Thanks to Sean Trane for the addition and snobb, JS for the updates

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JEFF BECK ROUGH AND READY reviews

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Members reviews

as1978
I can't find a true identity for this second Jeff Beck Group.I know it's common thing but I'm a Cozy Powell fan and Jeff Beck is one of my favorite guitarists. Also here plays Max Middleton, one of the best keyboard players of that era. Bob Tench is too underrated a singer and bassist, Clive Chaman, is certainly no fallback. It must be said that Jeff Beck was a fantastic innovator and without him there would be no Heavy Metal. But it is equally true that here, in this "Rough and Ready", he drastically breaks with the past to devote himself to a sort of POP Jazz Rock that has Soul and Funk moments that I don't mind at all. Only that POP component does not help to understand this choice.And today it also destabilizes the fact that the next album, "Jeff Beck Group", is a really beautiful and compelling Blues Rock album and more in line with what Jeff Beck was known for.

Musically I think that "Rough and Ready" is more interested in an audience open to certain contaminations of Progressive Soul and certainly Blues Rock than a Jazz audience, although it is, in truth, a Jazz Rock album with various digressions in other musical genres (and well blended). In my head, although "Rough and Ready" is certainly a good album ... It just doesn't convince me as an album. Great music in general. Which convinces me, as single songs. But that leaves me very bitter in my mouth. And that makes me say "Rough and Ready" is a wrong album.
Sean Trane
Traditionally Beck’s second group is overlooked and even often a bit derided by fans (casual or confirmed), which I find tremendously unjust, because this group actually rocked quite hard. I guess some people tend to over-rate the Stewart/wood line-up and most progheads will directly look up to the future JR/F albums such as Blow, Wired etc... But get a load of this line-up for a second: Cozy Powell as a drummer, Max Middelton a jazzy keyboardist and a solid funky Clive Chaman on bass, leaving the uneven Bob Tench on vocals. Indeed this might be where the problem lied in this group, Jeff Beck being unable to find a better singer, even if Tench is far from catastrophic, but I wouldn’t call anything more than apt. Very boring and sinister artwork, BTW: couldn’t the Epic label find something better?

Musically speaking we have a fairly typical 70’s rock, a cross between hard rock, funk/blues/jazz and commercial rock that has many pleasant moments, but once the needle lifts away from the wax, no real urge to replay it soon, but you know that next time you will, it will be another pleasant but unfocused ride. Indeed, between the funk rock of Got The Feeling (Middleton’s jazz piano solo rocks my socks off), and the funky-jazzy Situation (the most attractive track commercially on the album) with Middelton’s superb Fender Rhodes excursion the rough New Ways/Train Train (good Beck solo) and the closing Jody on the one side and the lesser tracks like Short Business (still too long) and Been Used (I’d say wearied and worn) on the other, the album glides effortlessly but a bit passionless as well.

But I shall not forget the album’s highlight, the superb Max’s Tune (8.5 mins long too), where the whole group shows the incredible delicateness of Brian Auger’s Oblivion Express’ better moments (let’s call it the Chaman factor) and some definite hint as to where Beck would head in the second part of the decade. Middleton is the hero of the album, but Powell’s powerful but jazz inclined drumming is amusing (who would’ve thought this jazz touch from the hardest hitting drummer around) and Beck being his usual himself >> couldn’t possibly be a bad album, either.

Not exactly worth the detour/acquisition, but it is much worth lending an ear to it. But again, the songwriting and the singing are what keeps this album from being better known.

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