Rolling Stone (11/25/71, p.57) - "...a suprising, fine piece of work from a man who wasn't really expected to come back..."
Personnel: Bob Tench (vocals); Jeff Beck (guitar).
Liner Note Author: Paul Myers .
Photographer: Clive Arrowsmith.
ROUGH AND READY is an important transitional album for Jeff Beck. Moving away from the amped-up blues of BECK-OLA and presaging the cutting-edge fusion of BLOW BY BLOW, ROUGH AND READY is a mixture of gutsy, funky R&B, slicing, distortion-heavy rock, and progressive, jazzy flourishes. The addition of keyboardist Max Middleton changes the sound of the Group, hinting at its future fusion experiments, yet vocalist Bob Tench keeps thing firmly grounded with his mainstream-styled blues-rock singing.
The uptempo "Situation" shows the band's pop prowess, as do driving rockers like "I've Been Used." Yet there is evidence here of the sophisticated, streamlined sound that would define Beck's later (and arguably best) work, especially in Middleton's solos and the moments where Beck's six-string prowess is shown to excellent effect. Though not an essential purchase, fans of Beck's early music and his blues-influenced playing will find much to appreciate here.