Writer: Willie Dixon
Producer: Mickie Most
Recorded: Spring 1968 at EMI Studios, London
Released: Late summer 1968
|Players:||Jeff Beck — guitar
Rod Stewart — vocals
Ron Wood — bass
Mick Waller — drums
After leaving the Yardbirds in November 1966, Jeff Beck recorded the song “Beck’s Bolero” with Jimmy Page and bassist John Paul Jones — who would later form Led Zeppelin — and the Who‘s Keith Moon. He then went on to form the first edition of the Jeff Beck Group, with himself on vocals.
The most famous lineup of the Jeff Beck Group came together in early 1968, when he recruited singer Rod Stewart from Steampacket and bassist Ron Wood from an assortment of club bands.
Beck approached Stewart to join his band after finding the singer in a bar “plowing into some food and getting drunk on his own…He was really drunk. So I asked him whether he was still playing with Steampacket — I’d seen him with them, and he was outrageous. He said, ‘No, I’m not gonna stay with them.’ So I said, ‘If you ever want to put a band together…’ He said, ‘You’re joking.’ I said, ‘No.’ He said, ‘You ring me tomorrow. I’ll leave Steampacket.’ So I rang him, and that was it.”
Wood recalled that he made the first move to get into the group: “I knew Jeff from meeting him at various clubs, so I rang him when he left the Yardbirds.” Wood joined the band as a second guitar player, but when Beck fired original bassist Dave Ambrose, Wood said, “He asked me, ‘Would you mind switching to bass?’ I’d seen the Yardbirds a lot at the Crawdaddy in Richmond, so I picked up a lot about bass from watching Paul Samwell-Smith. But I also learned from sticking with Jeff’s licks.”
Beck says the group’s cover of Willie Dixon‘s “I Ain’t Superstitious” was intended as “an early wah-wah novelty. I liked the Crybaby pedal but it was bloody irritating after a while. (Eric) Clapton and (Jimi) Hendrix were using it differently — I wanted it more like a war club, so I found the holes for it. I put slap echo on it to accentuate the edge in it.”
The Truth album has come to be seen as a landmark, but Stewart said, “We didn’t know at the time how important this album would become, creating a little bit of rock-and-roll history, influencing musicians and singers. Truly great stuff.”
Truth reached Number 15 on the Billboard 200, but it didn’t chart in the band’s native England.