A real genius! Just every thing he plays has a touch of distinction. I try to get all the albums where he collaborates.
First time I heard him was in some Yardbirds album.
He was real wild at that time. I always liked Rod Stewart, so next step
was to get some of his early Jeff Beck Group albums. WOW! Truth
is great! He performs just what he wants from his guitar. Great blues material,
and really heavy riffs. It's curious how we can compare his first album
and first Led Zeppelin album. Both guitarists, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page,
came from the same band, The Yardbirds, they made a perfect fusion between
blues and hard rock, they even covered the same blues standard, but Led
Zeppelin went to be a world-wide attraction, meanwhile Jeff always kept
on a low profile. That is, real fans LOVE him, but his name is not as famous
(and I'm not sure about this thing being a bad thing!). Maybe this way
he feels with more freedom to perform his career.
Next album I heard by him was Blow by blow. Oh, this was a real change. No vocals, no hard rock, no blues, it was fine fusion music. It includes great covers, such as Beatles' 'She's a woman' (although I prefer his live renditions, when he spoke the lyrics with the guitar, just awesome!), and a fantastic rendition of Stevie Wonder's 'Cause we ended as lovers' (my all-time Jeff Beck favourite), a superb ballad where Jeff puts all his sensibility. His next album, Wired also had powerful playing, with a superb rendition of Charlie Mingus' 'Goodbye pork pie hat', which Jeff was playing long time ago in his concerts.
His live album with the Jan Hammer Band was a bit disappointing to me, maybe too loose, too disperse. Great players there, but the atmosphere wasn't caught. I have some concerts from earlier periods, and Jeff knows how to play better. It's just my 'umble opinion, of course!
His next albums were also great, except one that I don't like too much, Flash. Sorry, some songs are too weird for me.
Apart from his own albums, he plays in lots of other albums, always leaving his superb trademark. You can hear him in album by Mick Jagger, Beverly Craven, Cozy Powell, Jon Bon Jovi, and the common thing to all of them are the superb guitar solos!
I always had dreamed of watching the three Yardbirds guitarists (Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page) playing together. I almost made my wish come true, when I got the live album recorded in 1981, for the benefit of Amnesty International, where Jeff and Eric perform three songs together. GREAT! Later, I got the videotape copy of the concert, but unfortunately, there are only 2 tracks there. But the desire really came to reality in 1983, when all three played together in the ARMS concerts, to raise funds for the great Ronnie Lane, ill of multiple sclerosis. I couldn't find that videotape, and some months ago, I finally got it. It was said, "Eric Clapton with Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page". I bought it, only to realize that Jeff and Jimmy doesn't appear there. It's only the first part of the concert, so Eric is there, but no Jeff or Jimmy! :( I still have to get this concert.
In the late 80s he is still making great albums, such as Guitar Shop, a great effort with Tony Hymas and the powerful Terry Bozzio on drums! Yeah, Jeff, keep on rockin'!
After years of getting Yardbirds compilations, trying to get as many tracks with Jeff as I can, I finally got some tracks recorded in the 60s by Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page, along with legendary drummer Carlo Little (watch below for the link to his own, very interesting website!), under the nickname "The All Stars". These tracks should have been released on their own, not so dispersed here and there...
This year, Jeff appears in the last album by Brian May, Another world. He plays in a track called 'The guv'nor'. To my delight, Jeff appears along with Cozy Powell in that track. I wished it was the beginning of possible future collaborations between them, but Cozy's sad death makes this thing now impossible. :(
Jeff has recently released a new studio album. Hmm, a difficult album... But as a devoted Jeff Beck fan, now it has grown on me. He demonstrates he's always suffering a severe evolution, he'll never play what he's expected to do. He 'plays' with processed effects, modern cybernetic rhythms, but his guitar is always there. The album includes a live blues track, and my favourite is the beautiful ballad 'Declan'.
- Lotus Gem (2CD)
- Arab hoot boot '98
- A tribute to Gene and Cliff
Other albums that I have where he plays:
Tribute albums (he doesn't appear there):
Pages in my site somewhat related
Thanks to: Eino Evald, for many reasons; Bill Armstrong, for his link; Jeff Little, for many things.
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