Beck-Ola, the second (and last) album by The Jeff Beck Group, was released in 1969. By that time, Tony Newman had taken over for Micky Waller on drums, and Nicky Hopkins (a skillful musician who kept himself busy in recording sessions with The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, the Kinks, The Who, The Pretty Things, David Bowie, Cat Stevens, Dusty Springfield, and Donovan, among many others) had joined on piano and organ. Beck-Ola has a powerful sound that ably continues the mode of extreme heaviness that was evident on Truth, with particularly strong performances by Jeff Beck and Rod Stewart, and features, among its best tracks, “All Shook Up” and “Jailhouse Rock,” two songs that were hits for Elvis Presley in the 1950s, and “Rice Pudding,” a frantic instrumental.
The Jeff Beck Group broke up shortly after the release of Beck-Ola. (As a result, the band missed a golden opportunity to appear at the Woodstock Festival in August of 1969.) Rod Stewart and Ron Wood soon joined with three members of The Small Faces to become The Faces, and Jeff Beck formed a new band (also known as The Jeff Beck Group) with a different set of musicians. Since those days, both Jeff Beck and Rod Stewart have remained musically active, but among fans there always has been a feeling that the two musicians probably could have, and certainly should have, done more together in the 1960s. It is exciting to hear that they apparently are ready to try again.