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Jeff Beck

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Jeff Beck Wired album cover
3.89 | 208 ratings | 17 reviews | 32% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1976

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Led Boots (4:03)
2. Come Dancing (5:55)
3. Goodbye Pork Pie Hat (5:31)
4. Head for Backstage Pass (2:43)
5. Blue Wind (5:54)
6. Sophie (6:31)
7. Play with Me (4:10)
8. Love Is Green (2:30)

Total Time: 37:17

Line-up / Musicians

- Jeff Beck / electric & acoustic (8) guitars

- Max Middleton / clavinet (1,2,4,6,7), Fender Rhodes (3,6)
- Jan Hammer / synthesizer (1,2,5,7), drums (5)
- Narada Michael Walden / piano (8), drums (1,2,6)
- Wilbur Bascomb / bass
- Ed Greene / drums (2)
- Richard Bailey / drums (3,4)

Releases information

Artwork: Edwin Lee and John Berg with Lock Huey (photo)

LP Epic ‎- EPC 86012 (1976, UK)
LP Music On Vinyl ‎- MOVLP133 (2010, Europe)

CD Epic ‎- 32・8P-90 (1985, Japan)
CD Epic ‎- EK 33849 (1990, US)
CD Epic ‎- 502182 2 (2001, US) Remastered by Vic Anesini

Thanks to Garion81 for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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JEFF BECK Wired ratings distribution

(208 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(32%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(42%)
Good, but non-essential (23%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

JEFF BECK Wired reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by erik neuteboom
4 stars When I noticed that Jeff Beck was added to Prog Archives, I took a dive into my rock book collection in order to read some serious comments about him. In John Tobler his book entitled Guitar Heroes I traced a very revealing quote: "His refusal to compromise prevented him from becoming as great a popular hero as he is a critical choice". Indeed, if you look at the average guitar poll in music magazines, Jeff Beck is considered as the Yardbirds guitarist #3 (after Clapton and Page) but if you take a look at his musical curriculum vitae you will not be surprised that among musicians he is hailed and embraced as a very adventurous and creative guitarplayer who delivered a lot of interesting progressive ideas and who played with many excellent musicians: with Jimmy Page in The Yardbirds, with Tim Bogert and Carmine Appice (both ex-Vanilla Fudge and ex- Cactus) in Beck, Bogert & Appice, with Rod Stewart and Ron Wood in The Jeff Beck Group I, with the late drummer Cozy Powell in The Jeff Beck Group II, as a studio musician he contributed on albums by Stevie Wonder (Talking Book), Stanley Clarke (Journey To Love) and Mick Jagger (The Boss) and on his solo albums with ex-UK drummer Terry Bozzio (Jeff Beck's Guitar Shop), Jan Hammer (Wired and There And Back) and Simon Phillips (There And Back). And Jeff Beck is even to be seen in the famous cult movie Blow Up during a short shot on The Yardbirds playing in a bar when he is destroying his guitar so a big hand for Jeff Beck!

This solo album from 1976 is my favorite one, what an incredibly exciting, adventurous and varied sound and how powerful and distinctive Jeff Beck plays, to start with the mindblowing first song Led Boots: amazing interplay between a propulsive and fluent rhythm-section, a swinging clavinet sound, fiery guitar and biting guitar runs and halfway sensational Minimoog synthesizer flights, what a way to start an album! The next song Come Dancing is a progressive blend of rock (spectacular distorted guitar solo), jazz (Fender Rhodes piano) and funk (bass), topped by a sensational Minimoog solo. Then the bluesy Goodbye Pork Pie Hat featuring a guitar sound that varies from tender and elegant to raw and heavy and great work on the tremolo arm, a Jeff Beck trademark! The rest of this album delivers nothing but great, mainly jazzrock inspired tracks: a funky bass, fiery guitar and pleasant Fender Rhodes piano in the swinging Head For Backstage Pass, exciting interplay between fiery electric guitar and flashy Minimoog in Blue Wind (the duo Jeff Beck/Jan Hammer sounds like a four piece powerhouse!), amazing interplay and strong soli in the dynamic Sophie, sensational Minimoog work in the swinging Play With Me and finally warm piano and acoustic guitar in Love Is Green.

Highly recommended!

Review by Guillermo
4 stars Last saturday I played the L.P. version of this album after many years of not doing it. I was testing my late father`s old turntable in a lazy morning. After playing Jean-Luc Ponty`s "Fables" album (also the L.P.) I wanted to listen to more Jazz-Rock music, so I played "Wired" that day too. I also discovered that day that this turntable needs some adjustments (particularly in the "auto-stop" function), but after reading the "operator`s manual" I couldn`t fix these problems. So, I need to call somebody to do these fixes, because I couldn`t do it! Fortunately, I discovered that both records didn`t suffer damages when I played them in another turntable, but I have doubts about the other turntable, so I think it is better to not use it until a "specialist" fixes these problems!

It was a coincidence that today I discovered that Jeff Beck was added to the Prog Archives database. It was more a coincidence when this morning I was "playing in my mind" two songs of this album: "Blue Wind" and "Love is Green"! How I forgot to play again this L.P. for many years, being so good? The main reason was that I don`t have it on C.D., so my old L.P.s were forgotten for a long time, because I stopped listening to L.P.s when I bought my C.D. player. So, the L.P.s became "obsolete". One day I`m going to buy the C.D. of this album.

For this album, Jeff Beck recruited very good musicians who also contributed to the songwriting. In fact, none of the songs was composed by Beck. Drummer Narada Michael Walden composed four of the eight songs, keyboard player Max Middledton composed one song, Jan Hammer composed one song, bassist Wilbur Bascomb co- composed one song, and Jeff also selected Charles Mingus `"Goodbye Pork Pie Hat" song. It was a surpise for me that former The Beatles`producer George Martin produced this album (but Jan Hammer produced "Blue Wind" alone), because I didn`t know that Martin liked Jazz-Rock music.

This album is very good, energetic, played with "feeling" too.

"Led Boots": a song with very good drums by Walden, composed by Middleton, with guitar solos and a very good synth solo by Hammer. An energetic piece of music.

"Come Dancing": composed by Walden, played by himself and Ed Green on drums, Hammer playing "horn sounds" in his synth, and good guitars by Beck.

"Goodbye Pork Pie Hat": a Blues arrangement for this song, with Beck also playing several lead guitars.

"Head for Backstage Pass": co-composed by bassist Wilbur Bascomb, who is a very good bassist and in this song he plays very good Funky bass.

"Blue Wind": composed by Hammer, and only played by himself on drums and synth (the synth really playing the bass notes only) and Beck on several guitars. One of the heaviest musical pieces in this album. Hammer is also a good drummer.

"Sophie": a "Jazz-Rock ballad" (?) with very good drums by Walden, who also composed the song.

"Play with Me": another song composed by Walden with Funky rhythms too.

"Love is Green": until I listened to this album in 1982, the only song that I have listened to from Beck was called "Love is Blue" (in an EMI Capitol Mexico compilation album called "Las que Llegaron al Hit Parade", who curiously also includes The Beatles`"I Feel Fine" song played by the George Martin Orchestra!). Beck hated "Love is Blue" (which wasn`t composed by him and I think that despite having a ver commercial arrangement is not so bad) despite being a hit single for him in 1968! In contrast, "Love is Green" is a very good Jazz-Rock ballad, also composed by Walden, and played by himself on piano, with Beck on acoustic and electric guitars and bass by Bascomb. A very good song, in my opinion.

In conclusion, this is a very good album, with very good musicians. I don`t know why Walden, Hammer and Bascomb aren`t as famous as other very good musicians. They deserve it, in my opinion.

Review by Chicapah
4 stars After garnering universal accolades for the brilliant "Blow By Blow" album, Jeff Beck's status as being much, much more than a gifted rock and roll guitarist blossomed. Those select musicians dwelling in the lofty penthouses of progressive jazz rock/fusion now had no choice but to acknowledge him as one of their own and he understandably attracted the attention of the likes of Jan Hammer and Narada Michael Walden, both formerly with the legendary Mahavishnu Orchestra. Still taking advantage of the unmatched guidance and production skills of Sir George Martin, Jeff went about the business of following up what many consider his best album ever.

"Wired" is the perfect title for this record because the high-voltage electrical charge generated by the all-star band Beck assembled for this project gives you the impression that they had a coaxial conduit linking them together. The opening song, Max Middleton's wild "Led Boots" lets you know up front that this isn't going to be some kind of easy-listening MOR fare with its edgy, syncopated beat slapping you up side the head. Drummer Walden and bassist Wilbur Bascomb lay down a rhythm track that is tighter than the ProgArchives petty cash fund while Jeff supplies a ferocious guitar solo overhead. An added bonus is that Jan Hammer's synthesizer lead at the end sounds amazingly like an electric violin. Walden's "Come Dancing" follows and the infectious groove here is at least partly due to guest Ed Green adding a second drum kit to the beat, creating a funkathon of mammoth proportions. Hammer supplies some very realistic keyboard horn sounds to accompany Beck's incredibly fat guitar licks. After an interesting detour into some rock and roll landscapes during the middle section Jeff and Jan each perform hair-raising rides that will have you shaking your head in disbelief.

Next is a fantastic arrangement of Charlie Mingus' "Goodbye Porkpie Hat" in which Beck magically coaxes every beautiful tone imaginable from his Gibson Les Paul. Here you get a lesson in why Jeff is one of the best ever to pick up the instrument as he displays his immaculate technique and draws on every nuance of his unique style, doing full justice to this bluesy-jazz classic. "Head for Backstage Pass" starts with a torrid bass solo (it was written by Bascomb) before the crackerjack band (led here by drummer Richard Bailey) joins in to create a short but very funky ditty for Beck to set ablaze with his fiery runs. Hot stuff.

One of the highlights of the album is Hammer's eclectic "Blue Wind." The astounding thing about this particular cut is that it's just comprised of Jeff and Jan and nobody else. Hammer provides the intense drums and synthesizers and Beck, of course, unleashes his jet-fueled guitar. Not only does the song feature a contagious melody but both virtuosos get to stretch out on three individual solos, each one topping the other as they create a landmark tune that ranks with the greatest in this genre. It's not to be missed. Walden's "Sophie" follows and it's the most progressive number of all. It starts like a ballad with a complicated but pleasing theme as Jeff utilizes his guitar's tremolo bar like the master he is, then the tune segues into an up-tempo, joyous mood where Max Middleton works absolute wonders on his clavinette. I'm not sure I've ever heard another keyboard sound like this. They then repeat both segments before Beck and Middleton do fierce battle back and forth to the end with Narada playing his ass off on the drums rumbling underneath.

Walden composed the final two tracks, as well. "Play With Me" is yet another funky jazz venture that has a good feel to it but, other than playing on the melody line with Jan, Jeff doesn't even play a lead. Now, don't get me wrong, Hammer does a fine job in the spotlight but the song really doesn't go anywhere exciting. Beck chooses to end things with a quiet number, "Love Is Green," in which he plays both acoustic and electric guitars as Walden supplies the piano and Wilbur the bass. It's a very pretty tune, to be sure, but rather forgettable in the long run.

After getting a writer's credit on four of the cuts on "Blow By Blow," I find it curious that Jeff didn't contribute a single track to this album. Perhaps he just felt the others' material was better than what he had. Not that it matters all that much considering the excellent quality of the music contained here. But what Beck DOES do by the truckloads is deliver some of the best progressive guitar work you'll ever hear. While I don't consider it to be as consistent overall as his previous masterpiece, it still competently holds its own as a powerful, sizzling jazz rock/fusion recording that you can impress your ears with. 4.3 stars.

Review by Flucktrot
3 stars This is a relatively difficult album for me to review. On the one hand, there are seriously talented players, and they play well. On the other hand, there really just isn't much substance to many of these songs as far as melodies and writing. Good players playing well...but that's falls just short here, and doesn't strike me as progressive as Blow by Blow.

Led Boots. A thunderous percussive intro leads into a guitar/keyboard harmony chorus, and that's about what you get for the next 3 1/2 minutes. Beck really cuts it loose, and that's enjoyable, but I lose interest after a while.

Come Dancing. Jeff Beck is stepping in style--we've got some major funk here. Decent melody, and of course nice fills by Beck and Hammer, but the criticism from the opener holds again.

Goodbye Porkpie Hat. Jeff Beck doing blues is really a can't miss. He's going to do some awesome bends and rips, but after that, there's nothing very memorable.

Head for Backstage Pass. A couple minutes of jazz/funk never hurts--one of the highlights of the album, and you can just feel that everyone is on the same page and relaxed on this one--something I can't say about the rest.

Blue Wind. Probably the best tune on the album, with an upbeat yet heavy sound from everyone. Some great howling bass and keyboard/synth moments. Something about this makes me want to yell "Cowabunga, dude!"

Sophie. Another highlight. Now they are in a groove. Alternating between mellow and fast, this one ages well.

Play with Me. Another funky piece, but this has been done better earlier in the album.

Love is Green. A short piano/acoustic tune with a nice electric bit in the middle. Nicely done: a good way to end the album.

I really just don't see much progression here...especially considering some excellent previous work. Good for guitar and/or Beck enthusiasts, but not necessary for those looking for progressive blues/funk/jazz.

Review by Sean Trane
2 stars 2.5 stars really!!

Another highly acclaimed album from Beck, but I never understood why it was so highly regarded. Yes this album is probably the utmost of technicality in terms of guitar playing: Beck almost goes out of his way just to make things more complicated, but this album is colder than the South pole in the dead of winter. Actually I find it very easy to pinpoint where things went wrong on this album (even if I am the only thinking so). The fact that only two players played almost all the instruments (and of course the usual studio guest), this doesn't make a group effort, but a Beck showcase with little else than pure pretension and virtuoso ideals. Such were the times where DiMeola and others thrived to play faster than McLaughlin (the obvious target), and in the process of trying to emulate him forgot to play the instrument and came out as soulless.

While Beck made some bold cover choice (Pork Pie Hat???), I can't say that his gambling is paying off. Most of these tracks are sounding way too calculated and the best one around (Blue Wind by a mile ahead) is much better in its live form two years later. Spohie and Come Dancing are pure bore IMHO, and the closing Love Is Green just a filler.

Possibly one of jr/f's most over-rated albums around with its predecessor, and strangely enough, many fans forget the upcoming Live album. Again, I'd like to stress I stand in a minority regarding this album, so please don't blindly follow me on these two, make your own mind on them. For this album however, I will stoop lower than the three stars, because I think it is reserved for dedicated fans only.

Review by Kotro
3 stars .featuring Jeff Beck on guitar

Wired features the reunion of Jeff Beck, Max Middleton, Richard Bailey (on a couple of tracks) and Sir George Martin, as well as the inclusion of drummer Narada Michael Walden, bassist Wilbur Bascomb and keyboardist Jan Hammer. It is another venture into jazz-fusion territory after the artistical, critical and commercial success Blow by Blow, but this time fully head on - no space for bluesy guitar or orchestral arrangements.

This is clear from the start: the highly electric Led Boots opens the album with a mighty charge full of pace and vigour, scorching guitar playing above the fast-paced drumming and clavinette playing. A wild synth is introduced towards the end, but Jan Hammer's sound is really not my cup of tea. Come Dancing is a tad bit slower, but still very funky, with the kind of beat you'd more likely find on an Isaac Hayes album. Jeff's guitar appears quieter at the beginning, but it soon gets its own space after an intro dominated by the horn-emulating synths. Towards the middle we finally get to hear (properly) the great Fender Rhodes sound of Max Middleton - not too bad. Apart from bassist Wilbur Bascomb, the Charles Mingus cover Goodbye Pork Pie Hat features the reunion of the Blow by Blowline-up - no Walden nor Hammer in this track, which is a really great rendition of one of the finest jazz compositions by one of the greatest jazz composers. It is the quieter song of the album, and the band really does it some justice, especially Beck with its beautiful and delicate guitar playing. It is also one of the tightest songs on the album, and the only one that wouldn't sound out of place in Blow by Blow. The same line-up is present on the following track, Head For Backstage Pass - this is introduced by a funky bass solo only slightly accompanied by Bailey's drumming. Soon Jeff and Max get into it, the second adding to the beat, the first showcasing just how fast he can play, and how well he plays fast. It's a shame that the tracks fades away not even three minutes into it. Blue Wind follows, a track featuring only Beck and Hammer. Beck's playing is okay, and he does get some good licks out of it, but the higher pitched synthesizer sounds really get on my nerves. Sophie is a nice enough escape from the previous track, starting off more delicately, resuming a faster-paced jazzy rhythm a bit further ahead. Jeff Beck again display's some great guitar work, but once again Hammer steps in and the song is almost ruined. His keyboard work seems to come from nowhere, no inspiration, no feeling, just electric noise. Play With Me has a great clavinette opening, to which Beck soon adds his chops. The clavinette continues producing the rhythm in the background, but the drumming doesn't seem to respects it and is al over the place, just like Jan Hammer's definitely annoying playing will be further on. Love Is Green ends the album on a quiet note, featuring the unusual use of acoustic guitar by Beck and piano playing by Walden. Pleasent, but hardly an impressive closer.

Wired was actually my first Jeff Beck album, and one I wasn't to impressed with. Like the previous album (sort of), all songs are instrumental. But unlike the previous album, most of the compositions are not good enough to hold one's attention based on the music only. My view is that this might have something to do with the fact that Beck seems more as a session musician in his own album, having penned NONE of the 8 songs present here. Drummer Narada Michael Walden penned four of those and, perhaps not entirely coincidental, they are all pretty unmemorable. Jan Hammer's only credit Blue Wind is on the other side, highly memorable, but for all the wrong reasons. So we have a situation where the stronger material is the one where the presence of previous line ups is better felt - the Max Middleton penned opener and the two tracks featuring the presence of drummer Richard Bailey and the absence of Walden and Hammer. The only way this album deserves to have Jeff Beck's name on the cover in because he is indeed the finest performer on this album and is guitar work the only thing worth listening to (especially on the Mingus cover). A great let-down after such a wonderful album like Blow by Blow. However, I'm sure greater jazz-fusion aficcionados than me will find more strong spots on this album than myself, hence my final classification.

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars This is about the closest Jeff Beck ever came to making a prog album. This one is all fusion, and it rivals many of the most popular fusion albums of its time. Of course, with Beck, keyboardist Jan Hammer, the great drummer Narada Michael Walden, how could it not? And add in a remarkable performance from the relatively unknown bassis Wilbur Bascomb Jr. and you have a great fusion band.

Beck is in perfect form here, playing over the Funk of "Led Boots", the almost disco sound of "Come Dancing", and especially, the Charlie Mingus jazz classic Goodbye Pork Pie Hat". On Blue Wind, Beck & Hammer blend perfectly, and Hammer also shows he's no slouch on the drums, either.

This is a classic.

Review by Kazuhiro
5 stars He might always be apart from others for the Music's world and the talent that always invents a reformative creation be work that other musicians cannot mimic it. This "Wired" will be able to be counted surely as one of the masterpieces of him in the history of his music as well as "Blow By Blow" that has been announced in 1975.

It is guessed that the time that disappears naturally when Beck, Bogert, and Appice act about the music was time when the place of a hardship and a new creation is requested for Beck. Interim Beck gradually expanded width for the following creation. And, album "Blow By Blow" that had been announced in 1975 became a hit worldwide. The flow becomes a good flow for Beck. The effort that Beck had cultivated was not useless though BBA had disappeared. And, competing with Beck is felt and participation as the guest of the album of UPP that really derived to the band can also feel area and his flexible of Beck challenge to music.

It rushes into including him in the age of Crossover/Fusion in the age by "Blow By Blow" announced in 1975. He is having them establish the road that directionality and he of new music should do by this album. Around Beck at this time, it is also true that those flows existed. The situation in which he was besieged was natural. He doesn't allow them to collect the song and in coming make the album to fight only by the performance, it is also true that the musician who had the element to decide his directionality around Beck existed. And, it is said that album "Spectrum" that drum player's Billy Cobhum had announced in 1973 became an entrance where it influences and Beck creates the album only of the performance to Beck a little in one opinion.

Jeff Beck dared the tour after "Blow By Blow" was announced and led them to the success. It participates in the recording as a guest at almost the same time and "Journey To Love" of Solo Album of Stanley Clarke. It is guessed that the devotion of Crossover/Fusion to the world was established for Beck almost completely. And, Beck begins the production of a new album again. And, the completed album is this "Wired".

A guest variegated as for this album that receives familiar, work with Beatles deep George Martin in the producer and is produced is participating. The Bass player is Wilbur Bascomb. It is Narada Michael Walden, Richard Bailey, and Ed Green in the drum player. Bailey participated in the recording of "Blow By Blow". By the way, Narada is said, "I can be likely never to do the performance done in this album" by the following interview. It is felt that the zeal of Narada is also very wonderful. The keyboard player is Max Middleton. Middleton and Beck are association from the start in the 70's. The tune that had arisen by composing Middleton really supported Beck from the under. Jan Hammer takes charge of the synthesizer. Hammer supports fact Beck creation. The group and Beck of Hammer accomplish competing in live. It might not have been achieved if there was no strong trust.

"Led Boots" It starts by Riff of a strong drum and the exploding guitar. Bass becomes double so that synthesizer Bass by Moog may come in succession, too and supports the soundscape. It can ..the dash feeling.. know the ability of the zeal of Beck and the composition of Middleton.

"Come Dancing" advances with the taste of the rhythm of Funk. If the rhythm is not important, this tune might be a tune not approved. Free Solo of Beck can be satisfied by putting on the rhythm that exists in the basis. The work of the guitar and Hammer of Beck with the element of Blues is a little good each other. A comfortable tension and a steady rhythm will consent the listener.

"Goodbye Pork Pie Hat" is this album and the only cover. It has the element of slow Blues and the creation of Beck makes us listen to a threat technology. How to use of the volume. And, I think that only he is good at his Bending.

"Head For Backstage Pass" gives the impression that Bass of Wilbur Bascomb performed in fast Passage is comfortable. Bass and the drum are taken an active part to this tune. Bascomb takes charge of the composition. Therefore, it is guessed the tune that arose from his idea.

"Blue Wind" is a tune with which the talent of Jan Hammer overflows. This tune became one of the tunes of the representative of Beck. The credit of the tune is two people (Beck and Hammer). Two tunes that made it have overwhelming magic. The battle of the guitar and the synthesizer will excite the listener.

"Sophie" flows with the element kept from the melody with which the anacatesthesia overflows. Narada that makes such a tune really has the talent. Riff of the guitar that adds a sensual melody to an intense rhythm is wonderful. The flow that twines Clavinette of Middleton and puts fast and slow has succeeded, too.

The guitar and the synthesizer of "Play With Me" are masterpieces. The humour of Hammer that mimics the habit of the melody of Beck is put on the pleasing rhythm and progresses a little. The part where the condition of the melody changes from the part of Funk is a comfortable element. Impressive Riff on the way also has [**] indeed well.

A moving melody of "Love Is Green" is a beautiful tune that can recognize the existence of Beck again. His talent will be shown and the piano that Narada plays be asked to the listener renewing saying that it is a person necessary for this album.

The listener might be good and it know whether it is an album "Blow By Blow" and "Wired" are very important for Beck. And, the magic that the musician who had surrounded Beck caused is carved for people's minds with the shine still.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Jeff Beck is certainly an accomplished guitarist and is famous for his jazz rock style and incredible dexterity on the guitar making him one of the most popular axe men of all time. On "Wired" Beck works alongside the likes of The Beatles legendary George Martin producing the album to an excellent standard. He is joined by bassist Wilbur Bascomb. Max Middleton is wonderful on clavinet, Rhodes piano, and keyboards. There are multiple drumming prowess by Jan Hammer, Richard Bailey, Ed Greene and Narada Michael Walden. The album features some of Beck's most beloved tracks played live on many occasions.

Beck is a very prolific artist having played in many bands and with some of the legends of rock over the year. He has played alongside the likes of Led Zeppelin guitar hero Jimmy Page in The Yardbirds; in fact Beck appeared in cult movie classic "Blow Up" in the scene where The Yardbirds played live in a sleazy pub and Beck systematically destroyed his axe. Beck also played with members of Vanilla Fudge and Cactus, Tim Bogert, and Carmine Appice, and even with drummer extraordinaire Cozy Powell in The Jeff Beck Group II. Beck has occasionally appeared on various artist's albums as a guest guitarist such as on Stevie Wonder's "Talking Book", Mick Jagger's "The Boss", and Stanley Clarke's "Journey To Love". On his solo albums Beck uses all his experience and skill to produce unforgettable compositions that focus on nimble fingered guitar skills and atmospheric blues meets jazz.

One such song that has become a definitive Beck classic is 'Led Boots' with bass augmented by low Moog synthesizer. Beck is magnificent on guitar and blazes with some searing riffs. 'Come Dancing' is more funky and has a free form blues guitar solo passage. 'Goodbye Pork Pie Hat' is a cover version of jazz virtuoso Charlie Mingus and has slow phrases and incredible string bends, helped by tremelo arm trademark work and soulful guitar licks on the Gibson Les Paul. 'Head For Backstage Pass' with a loud drum and Bascomb's bass solo figure gives Beck a chance to let rip with improv playing and technical fret work. The Fender Rhodes piano played by Max Middleton has a great sound.

Side two begins with 'Blue Wind' that features powerful percussion by Hammer, and is a true fan favourite of Beck's lengthy repertoire. The synth and guitar trade off beautifully competing for the spotlight and it rocks hard with an electrifying atmosphere. 'Sophie' is a melodic piece with rhythmic tempo, tremelo bar guitar notes and sweet clavinet embellishments. 'Play With Me' is a sensational track with Hammer and Beck amusingly enjoying the rhythmic time sigs playing along with each other sporadically. The MiniMoog sound is always a welcome addition to the music. 'Love Is Green' is a melancholy gentle piece that ebbs and flows with acoustic and piano beauty.

Both "Blow By Blow" and "Wired" are essential Beck albums and both deserve recognition among jazz fusion and guitar instrumental artists. Beck's style may be considered close to that of Steve Hackett or Andy Latimer in the fact that he focuses on a melodic style and rather than fret melting speedy arpeggios, Beck aims for the emotions and touches the soul with his excellent guitar work. I would prefer the more progressive Steve Hackett, or the blistering fret shredders Yngwie Malmsteen or Steve Vai, but Beck still has his place among the guitar greats.

Review by Neu!mann
4 stars Jeff Beck's celebrated 1976 album sounds like the delinquent cousin of the 1975 classic "Blow By Blow", taking the same, sinuous Jazz Funk of the earlier effort and adding a few amplitudes of energy and power. The more relaxed vibe of its predecessor is missed, but the extra kick of adrenalin makes it a fair exchange.

The immediate difference between the two LPs is in the playing. Synthesizers are more prominent, courtesy of ex-Mahavishu Orchestrator Jan Hammer. And veteran drummer Narada Michael Walden (also ex-Mahavishnu) provides his typically nimble groove to half the titles here. The lack of such fluid rhythmic grace would arguably hurt future Beck albums, anchored more by the rock-solid backbeat of Simon Phillips and Terry Bozzio.

But here the guitarist was still at (or very near) the peak of his Fusion period, with a surplus of rock 'n' roll dynamics rising into the mix. Thus the erratic drive of "Led Boots"; the strut and swagger of "Come Dancing"; and a sultry cover of the Charlie Mingus standard "Goodbye, Pork Pie Hat". And of course the Jan Hammer anthem "Blue Wind" remains one of those innate road tunes that any fan over a certain age won't fail to recognize: the perfect accompaniment for high-speed interstate travel, windows down and volume up (Hammer does his own drumming on the track, by the way).

The final three cuts, all composed by Walden, are by comparison rather undistinguished Jazz Rock instrumentals, even with the unexpected (but not unwelcome) shift to acoustic guitar and grand piano for the lyrical closer "Love is Green". But the album in total was another valuable jewel in the crown of an undisputed rock guitar monarch.

Review by Magnum Vaeltaja
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The second of Jeff Beck's solo fusion albums, "Wired" makes a great follow-up to his stellar debut. There are definitely same changes this time around, though. The album's structure is tighter, with less of the free-flowing segues on "Blow By Blow" and, as the name suggests, delivers a more rock-inspired, electrical performance. The line-up on this album is entirely different, with only Beck remaining. Jan Hammer takes on Max Middleton's spot on the keys, Narada Michael-Walden takes to the drummer's stool and Wilbur Bascomb plays the bottom end. Though a very different line-up, the chemistry between the four is obvious and the finished product, while not quite as wonderful as "Blow By Blow", is a solid jazz rock album.

Side one delivers a killer set; "Led Boots" kicks it off with its raucous funky drum beat and heavy, fuzzy keyboards and guitar quickly set the album's tone as a heavier, more hard-hitting Jeff Beck album. "Come Dancing" continues the funk and "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat" show off Jeff's fretboard wizardry in a slow blues standard setting. "Head For Backstage Pass" ends side one energetically, with a grooving bass solo and fun interplay between the four.

Side two opens with the uptempo rock song "Blue Wind", which is a vehicle for extended guitar and synth soloing and features tight drum performances by Jan Hammer. "Sophie" and "Play With Me" are weaker tracks but still good fusion fare and "Love Is Green" ends the album with an acoustic guitar and piano duet.

"Wired" would go on to set the structure for Jeff Beck's next album, "There And Back" and is certainly the stronger of the two. It's no "Blow By Blow", but it still offers great listening for guitar and fusion lovers.

Review by siLLy puPPy
4 stars After striking gold on his masterwork "Blow By Blow," JEFF BECK had finally found his voice as a jazz-fusion guitarist after nearly a decade of being stuck in a Yardbirds influenced blues rock paradigm. "Blow By Blow" was a huge international hit which naturally was followed by extensive touring. Once again BECK suffered the implosion of his lineup but now with a new found fame under his belt had a bit more leverage in attracting new recruits. After supporting the second incarnation of the Mahavishnu Orchestra, BECK asked drummer Narada Michael Walden from the "Apocalypse" era of the Mahavishnus as well as bassist Wilbur Bascomb who had worked with James Brown. Once again Max Middleton stuck it out for the fourth album in a row. None other than Jan Hammer made a cameo appearance as did jazz veteran Richard Bailey on drums.

WIRED was born out of this new cast of characters and was released the very next year in 1976 riding the momentum that "Blow By Blow" had generated. Noticeably less cohesive and a bit more energetic and flashy than its predecessor, WIRED sounded less original as it adopted some of the characteristics of the original lineup of the Mahavishnu Orchestra. Apparently all that touring with John McLaughlin rubbed off. BECK struts his might with beefier guitar soloing that take more daring leaps and center stage in a much more prominent manner with the rest of the band sounding more subordinate this time around. Also for once in his career BECK wrote none of the songs on the album with every track being written by the rest of the band. The only cover tune wasn't plucked from the world of R&B this time around but by a true jazz giant Charles Mingus.

With more emphasis on energetic flashy soloing over various musical motifs, WIRED took the foundation of "Blow By Blow" firmly in place and put it on steroids. Beefy bass grooves with more varying passages allow dreamy Hohner clavinet antics and Fender Rhodes finger breaking gymnastics to soar high while BECK himself unleashes the most ferocious guitar workouts of his entire career. The result of all this increased energetic attack meant WIRED sounded like a hybrid of BECK's own "Blow By Blow" with the Mashvishnu's classic "The Inner Mounting Flame." While the premise was warranted, the execution makes the album feel less original and more like a tribute album of some sort albeit an excellent hero worshipping session. Likewise the material feels a bit less uniform and the divine sheer perfection of "Blow By Blow" had been sacrificed for chunkier speedfests.

Despite the inferior results of WIRED, the fusion hungry public was still reeling from the breakup of the original Mahavishnu Orchestra lineup and found WIRED to be a palatable substitute. The album was the second great success of JEFF BECK and hit the top 40 in both the UK and US, the latter of which it easily went platinum. Despite the the need for speed on this one, BECK sacrificed none of his classic signature tone juggling nor his note bending expertise. While the majority of the album from the feisty opening "Led Boots" to the equally manic "Play With Me" is boosted by a bopping bass bantering session with the other instrumentalists following suits seemingly in a queue for glory, the closing "Love Is Green" offers a respite from the dynamism of excess and allows a lush acoustic guitar and softer piano to cool off this scorching hot series of sessions.

WIRED was about as close as JEFF BECK would ever get to the sheer perfection of "Blow By Blow" and together these albums highlight BECK at his absolute peak in terms of both compositional majesty as well as his status as a guitar god. Definitely a close but no cigar moment here but WIRED remains a pillar of late 1970s fusion work that kept the genre relevant on a changing musical landscape. BECK would release one more fusion album before falling into the trap of most progressive artists that seriously suffered losing their way in the 1980s. WIRED may not be the magnum opus that was its predecessor but for fusion lovers there is plenty to love about this one despite the wow factor now longer a part of the equation.

Latest members reviews

4 stars In the late Seventies I stumbled upon Jeff Beck when I was exploring the jazzrock genre, after discovering Jean-Luc Ponty and Al DiMeola, this solo album from 1976 is my favorite one. Led Boots delivers amazing interplay between a propulsive and fluent rhythm-section, a swinging clavinet soun ... (read more)

Report this review (#2986874) | Posted by TenYearsAfter | Monday, January 29, 2024 | Review Permanlink

4 stars New line-up with Narada Michael Walden and Jan Hammers brings new dimensions to this album. The songs are generally calmer than on its predecessor album. I feel that the guitar is less present on this album than before also because the keyboards are sometimes handled by both Hammer and Middleto ... (read more)

Report this review (#1939903) | Posted by sgtpepper | Tuesday, June 19, 2018 | Review Permanlink

5 stars What I like about "Wired" is that Jeff Beck can take a funky song and make something wierdly beautiful out of it by putting a fusion twist on it. Jeff makes full use of his creative talents here and he get unusual and exciting results. Every song is ear pleasing. I think Jeff Beck is the reaso ... (read more)

Report this review (#278735) | Posted by Keetian | Tuesday, April 20, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars A good album to listen to sparingly Jeff Beck is a great guitar player, and the entire group plays their parts well, Beck doesn't steal the show here, all musicians are given a time to shine. Its a quick and pleasant listen comprised of mostly upbeat songs with really smooth jazz/funk style ... (read more)

Report this review (#142833) | Posted by therevelator | Tuesday, October 9, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Although on par with the equally classic 'Blow By Blow', 'Wired' stands as my favorite Jeff Beck album of all time. Song for song, it is a stronger release than 'Blow By Blow'. Again, as with the previous album, we get to hear Beck at his absolute peak. No had played with more fire and emot ... (read more)

Report this review (#118688) | Posted by Disconnect | Tuesday, April 17, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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