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JEFF BECK

Jazz Rock/Fusion • United Kingdom


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Jeff Beck biography
Born June 24, 1944 in Wallington, Greater London, England Jeff Beck is one of the "Big Three" guitar gods who came from the mid 60's band The Yardbirds (Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page being the other two) Although never quite becoming as popular as his contemporaries, Jeff has maintained considerable respect among guitarists worldwide by diversifying into many different genres. He has experimented with blues rock, heavy metal, and jazz fusion and more recently, dabbled with techno, creating a blend of heavy guitar rock and electronica. He has also been at the forefront of use of guitar effects (as a short series on BBC World Service Radio in 1980, illustrated), and one suggestion that Truth album was the first to feature the Wah Wah (Cry-Baby) pedal extensively.

Starting as a session guitarist in the early 60's, Beck was in a group called The Tridents, before being asked to join the Yardbirds in 1965. Although only recording one album with them it was during his tenure with the Yardbirds that they recorded most of their hits. Beck left the Yardbirds partly for health reasons and partly for his on going problem of not getting along with people in general after 18 months.

In 1967 Beck formed a new band, the Jeff Beck Group, which featured him on lead guitar, Rod Stewart on vocals, Ron Wood on bass, Nicky Hopkins on piano, and Micky Waller on drums. This group produced two albums, Truth in 1968 and Beck-Ola the following year, and are considered the two most influential blues/rock albums. Ths group started the blues/rock format that Led Zeppelin would perfect within a few years - indeed a couple of the members of the future Led Zeppelin were present for the Truth recordings. After Stewart and Wood left the band to join Faces (then The Small Faces), Beck went on to form a second incarnation of the Jeff Beck Group featuring Clive Chapman (bass), Max Middleton (keyboards), Cozy Powell (drums) and Bob Tench (vocals). With this group Beck used the blues as a basis but piled on heavy amounts of R'n'R and R'n'B to the music. They released two albums: Rough and Ready (1971, produced by Jeff Beck) and The Jeff Beck Group (1972, sometimes called the "Orange" album and produced by Steve Cropper). Going Down is perhaps the best remembered song from this era. This was the period when Jeff Beck gained the nickname "The Loner", in particular because of the making and sudden breaking of bands, seemingly when these were just about to break the big time. A major...
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Live +Live +
Rhino Records 2015
Audio CD$4.53
$3.18 (used)
TruthTruth
Extra tracks · Remastered
Sony 2006
Audio CD$4.13
$3.21 (used)
Blow By BlowBlow By Blow
Remastered
Sony 2001
Audio CD$2.92
$1.38 (used)
Performing This Week...Live At Ronnie Scott's [2 CD][Deluxe Edition]Performing This Week...Live At Ronnie Scott's [2 CD][Deluxe Edition]
Eagle Records 2015
Audio CD$10.18
$9.99 (used)
WiredWired
Sbme Special Mkts. 2001
Audio CD$2.57
$2.50 (used)
Beck-OlaBeck-Ola
Extra tracks
Sbme Special Mkts. 2006
Audio CD$2.57
$0.99 (used)
You Had It ComingYou Had It Coming
Sbme Special Mkts. 2008
Audio CD$2.07
$2.01 (used)
Emotion & CommotionEmotion & Commotion
Rhino Records 2010
Audio CD$6.70
$0.79 (used)
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JEFF BECK discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

JEFF BECK top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.30 | 71 ratings
Truth
1968
3.32 | 62 ratings
Beck-Ola
1969
3.30 | 34 ratings
Rough And Ready
1971
3.09 | 39 ratings
Jeff Beck Group
1972
2.60 | 42 ratings
Beck, Bogert, Appice
1973
4.07 | 187 ratings
Blow By Blow
1975
3.84 | 121 ratings
Wired
1976
3.36 | 64 ratings
There And Back
1980
1.82 | 32 ratings
Flash
1985
3.44 | 67 ratings
Jeff Beck's Guitar Shop withTerry Bozzio and Tony Hymas
1989
2.08 | 7 ratings
Frankie's House - Original Soundtrack
1992
2.17 | 6 ratings
Crazy Legs ( with The Big Town Playboys)
1993
3.40 | 44 ratings
Who Else!
1999
3.72 | 37 ratings
You Had It Coming
2001
3.30 | 33 ratings
Jeff
2003
3.08 | 55 ratings
Emotion & Commotion
2010

JEFF BECK Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.97 | 10 ratings
Beck, Bogert and Appice: Live in Japan
1974
3.31 | 36 ratings
Jeff Beck With The Jan Hammer Group: Live
1977
3.78 | 9 ratings
Live At BB King Blues Club
2003
4.33 | 27 ratings
Performing this week....Live at Ronnie Scott's
2008
3.13 | 5 ratings
Live And Exclusive From The Grammy Museum
2010
4.00 | 3 ratings
Rock'n'Roll Party. Honoring Les Paul
2011

JEFF BECK Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.66 | 56 ratings
performing this week...live at Ronnie Scott's
2008
3.67 | 3 ratings
Rock'n'Roll Party. Honoring Les Paul
2011

JEFF BECK Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.05 | 2 ratings
The Best of Beckology
1992
3.52 | 4 ratings
Best of Beck
1995
2.51 | 3 ratings
The Best Of Jeff Beck - Featuring Rod Stewart
1995

JEFF BECK Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 2 ratings
Beckology: The Sampler
1991

JEFF BECK Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Jeff Beck's Guitar Shop withTerry Bozzio and Tony Hymas by BECK, JEFF album cover Studio Album, 1989
3.44 | 67 ratings

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Jeff Beck's Guitar Shop withTerry Bozzio and Tony Hymas
Jeff Beck Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Magnum Vaeltaja

3 stars 3.5 stars really

After "Flash", "Guitar Shop" definitely shows Jeff Beck back in his element and shows a drastic increase in musical quality. The album isn't a return to his jazz fusion heyday, however; it instead shows a movement towards more straightforward rock sounds.

Musically, much of the album combines funk, big band and hard rock sounds with flashy 80's-sounding keyboards and heavy drumming and Jeff Beck's six string musings sprinkled on top. These songs are somewhat reminiscent of Steve Vai or Joe Satriani's 80's and early 90's rock work, though with a much heavier focus on keyboards. "Sling Shot", for example, wouldn't sound too out of place on "Alien Love Secrets". My favourite of the rock tracks is "Savoy", a funkier song that reminds me mildly of the theme song from Home Improvement (Huu-eeh?)

However, there are three tracks that take on a much different vibe and will appeal a lot more to prog and jazz fusion fans. The first is "Behind The Veil", a softer, reggae groove with atmospheric guitars similar to "The Pump" off of "There And Back". The other two are even more spacey and light in true Beck fashion. "Two Rivers" is a soft, slow-moving ballad and "Where Were You", my favourite track from "Guitar Shop", is a chilling, percussion-less guitar solo piece with light keyboard accompaniment.

Altogether, "Jeff Beck's Guitar Shop" is very good but non-essential listening for prog fans, though fans of Jeff Beck and other solo guitarists will definitely want to pick this one up. I give it 3.5 stars, rounded down to 3 due to the limited prog-like content.

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 There And Back by BECK, JEFF album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.36 | 64 ratings

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There And Back
Jeff Beck Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Magnum Vaeltaja

3 stars The third and final of Jeff Beck's solo fusion albums, "There And Back" is probably the bronze winner of the three. After "Wired", the material on this album seems a little formulaic. It opens with "Star Cycle", a funky, Jan Hammer- led fusion song (think "Led Boots") which is not bad in itself - it's quite good, actually - it's just not new enough to be stellar. The next two songs follow in the same footsteps, mellower fusion tracks with simple melodies that are good vehicles for jamming. Good, and especially the guitars - Beck is in fine form through the whole album - but not masterpieces. Side one ends with one of my favourites from the album, "The Pump". A slower, more ballad-like song that focuses more on the guitar is an excellent platform for Beck to deliver an emotional fastball; his playing is very atmospheric and quite beautiful. Definitely a top-notch accessible fusion number.

As with "Wired", side two opens with an uptempo rock-oriented track. "El Becko" is more cut-and-dry rock and roll than "Blue Wind" was on the last album but it's still a strong track with plenty of interplay between guitar and piano. "The Golden Road" drags along at a near-comatose pace before the next spectacular track picks up the pace again. "Space Boogie" is a marvelous virtuoso performance especially in the rhythm section. Written in 7/8 at breakneck speeds, it's mildly reminiscent of "Scatterbrain" from "Blow By Blow" but it's still fresh and original and makes for one great song before the album draws to a close in "Wired" fashion with the sparse, spacey "The Final Peace".

A three star rating is fair for this album; Jeff Beck fans will likely gain a lot more from it but that should be expected. For anyone who isn't a devout follower they'll hear some pleasant jazz fusion and a couple of high quality but not necessarily memorable moments.

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 Flash by BECK, JEFF album cover Studio Album, 1985
1.82 | 32 ratings

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Flash
Jeff Beck Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Magnum Vaeltaja

1 stars This is a rather disappointing album from the Jeff Beck I've grown to know and love. It is absolutely nothing like his instrumental fusion albums of the 70's and is quite a lackluster accumulation of talent given that it features such stars as Rod Stewart, Jan Hammer, Jimmy Hall and Carmen Appice. Aside from two or three tracks, it is little more than 80's pop rock with Jeff Beck playing on it. I've come to terms with one of the pop tracks, "Gets Us All In The End", which is a comically typical 80's power ballad that can be fun to sing along to. There is only one song that I'd consider strong, which is the first instrumental, "Escape". If you don't have any qualms with 80's-sounding production and drum machines, then it comes across as a very atmospheric guitar-driven piece that wouldn't sound out of place on "There And Back" or "Guitar Shop". To reiterate, if you're a fan of the progressive rock and jazz fusion, this album would not be for you. If you're a fan of Jeff Beck, this album would not be for you. If you fit into either of those two categories, however, give "Escape" a listen and consider downloading the individual song on iTunes; the whole album just isn't worth an investment from anyone.

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 Blow By Blow by BECK, JEFF album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.07 | 187 ratings

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Blow By Blow
Jeff Beck Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Magnum Vaeltaja

5 stars This album was my introduction into the world of jazz fusion and what a way to unravel a genre! "Blow By Blow" is the first solo effort by Jeff Beck and quite possibly his finest work. Together with a superstar team of talented musicians and production and arrangement talent by GEORGE MARTIN, "Blow By Blow" is 45 minutes of virtuosic jazz fusion bliss. The album's mood fluctuates over the course of listening, with funk and blues rockers like "You Know What I Mean" and "Freeway Jam" counteracting soulful and mystical ballads like "Cause We've Ended As Lovers" and "Diamond Dust". However, Beck and the crew are always sure to expand both intelligently and sensitively on musical ideas, blending and balancing technical marvel and emotion into a seamless musical experience, letting the varied styles of the album work to complement each other.

As far as a "track-by-track", there isn't a single track on the album that I'd consider weak, only "well-done" as opposed to "masterfully executed". "She's A Woman", a Lennon-McCartney co-pen, is one of the most inventive Beatles covers I've ever heard and Stevie Wonder's collaborations to the album are great showcases of the songwriting and playing talents of all those involved. The true masterpiece of the album (after great difficulty making the decision) in my opinion would go to the side 1 closer, "Scatterbrain". After a segue from "Air Blower", this track doesn't hesitate to get going right out of the gate and doesn't back down until the side ends. Richard Bailey's drum work is top-notch, the breakneck 9/8 performance is tight from the entire group and George Martin's arrangements do the song great justice. Don't be alarmed, however; the song isn't just a muddled sea of overblown virtuosity, it contains many great musical moments and is a fascinating, profound listen while not a challenging, inaccessible one.

"Blow By Blow" is a special delight for all of those who love jazz fusion, virtuoso guitar performances in general or just anyone looking for a soothing yet interesting album to listen to. A must-have!

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 You Had It Coming by BECK, JEFF album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.72 | 37 ratings

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You Had It Coming
Jeff Beck Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by admireArt
Collaborator PSIKE Team

5 stars That explains the crowd!

I suppose Jeff Beck was inducted into PA"s files, in his "Blow by Blow" jazzy/funky/fusion?, era, and yes maybe Rock. I couldn't think of a less Jazz/Fusion Jeff Beck record, after the Jazz period, than this one, my favorite Jeff Beck record by the way.

"You Had It Coming" 2001, is touched by those kind of muses that turn every single note into something magnificent. Each song holds its own personality, but it is also perfectly "understood" as a whole concept.

Instead of going on a song by song description, which somehow is always futile, I'll try to explain what goes on in this beauty.

For starters, as mentioned it is flawless, if by that we understand, no mili-second is wasted. Jeff Beck since his Yardbrds' years, always stood apart when it comes to guitar "sound effects' that could enhance his aspirations as a composer or as an extraordinary performer. (I myself, admire Jeff Beck the guitar player, not necessarily Jeff Beck the composer, to set things into perspective), therefore another major attribute this project holds is the most refined and trend-setting guitar effects you can imagine, in the hands of a virtuoso of course. Next we have the primary part, of any album, that I will recommend as "masterwork" , I have listened to this album since it was released, at least 50 times, and it still holds my enthusiasm, as the same day a friend presented it to me. It has not aged, opposite to that it gets better and still trend-setting!!

Here we go! From Electronica Hard Metal Rock, to high strung Rockabilly, to his guitar experiments and explorations (explotations) filled with sexual nitty gritty inuendos, to his famous "space-boogies", to his dexterity with the acoustic sister, to extremely touching electric guitar symphonic pieces (to call them somehow). Whew!! (the whole album lasts less than 40 minutes, which also explains why there is no place for fillers or gaps.)

So we get the best of Jeff Beck, as performer but also Jeff Beck's best, songwriting wise. And of course with its usual extreme dossages of highlights of peak beauty to down to the bottom pits emotions. With the "greasy, rebelious, misfit" attitude this fellow is well known for.

*****5 PA stars, in accordance that more than prog or jazz or rock, this is simply a Jeff Beck's masterpiece!

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 Flash by BECK, JEFF album cover Studio Album, 1985
1.82 | 32 ratings

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Flash
Jeff Beck Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

1 stars Another album which suffers a lot from the eighties typical production, a production style which was very characteristic of a lot of albums produced during that decade, a decade of "artificial sounds", drum machines, excess in the use of synthesised sounds, reverb, and a "plastic sound", if a thing like that could be defined in some way. A lot of albums from that decade sound like very "sophisticated" things, with more emphasis in how the musicians looked at that time using the fads in their clothes and hairdos more than in the music authenticity. Look, posing and image above musical quality.

Well. This album unfortunately is another typical "product" of that decade. Jeff Beck obviously dislikes this album, and I can understand why. He said that this album was more a record company product and that the time of the recording of this album was a very unhappy time for him. Apart from his very good guitar playing, which is very much recognizable from him, this album does not sound as a Jeff Beck album. The only song which deserves a good commentary is "People Get Ready", a song from 1965 composed by Curtis Mayfield and originally recorded by him with the band "The Impressions". A song Beck recorded for this album with Rod Stewart on lead vocals, which, despite the very eighties drums sound, still shines by far as the best track on this album. The rest of the songs, most of them composed and produced by Nile Rodgers (at that time one of the most sought after record producers, and one of the founders of the Disco band "Chic" in the seventies, one of the few Disco bands which I like from that musical era) really sound more suitable for "Chic" than for Beck. Other tracks sound like recorded by some Arena Rock bands with a lead singer which sounds a lot like GTR`s Max Bacon or the lead singer from the band "Europe" (whose name I don`t remember now).

Another very good musician from the sixties and seventies who unfortunately had to listen to the "fad whims" of some of the record company executives of the eighties, and found his work marred by them.

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 Blow By Blow by BECK, JEFF album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.07 | 187 ratings

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Blow By Blow
Jeff Beck Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Argonaught

5 stars It's interesting how those things work: I have known (and had) the Blow By Blow record for a long time, and I always liked it, but haven't listened to it in a while. And now I understand why: there is a huge scratch on Side B, which prevented me from playing it, so it has been a kind of "half-album" for me .. until now.

I bought the Blow By Blow for $0.50 at the flea market, because the cover was in remarkably good shape for a 40 year old paper item. Brought it home, cleaned it up, and played - probably, for the first time in X years - both sides. I and I saw that it was good :) .. very good indeed.

The side A has some of the best fusion material there was in the 1970s - joyful, energetic, well-played and well-timed. All the right attributes.

Now, the newly (re-)diiscovered Side B, apart from from syrupy B1, turned out to be the same great quality fusion and SIde A, QED.

I guess this is more one of those stories about the musical serendipities that all of us are fortunate enough to discover, as long as we keep our minds open, and remember to visit flea markets once in a while.

*5 stars confirmed*

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 Blow By Blow by BECK, JEFF album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.07 | 187 ratings

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Blow By Blow
Jeff Beck Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Anchored in the heart of jazz-rock, Jeff Beck's first Group-less solo album finds our hero veering between dirty funk, mellow blues, and even some soul (helped out in this regard by none other than Stevie Wonder, returning the favour after Beck's contribution to tracks such as Superstition). Although Jeff's technical skills are what are really showcased on this album, he also shows remarkable discipline, never indulging in empty technical showboating to the detriment of the intended emotional impact of a composition. He also clearly doesn't take himself too seriously - as witnessed by track titles like Constipated Duck - and allows his backing group a fair share of the spotlight to boot. (Max Middleton, in particular, does some really neat work on the keyboards). A solid set of technical exercises, the album's real failing in my eyes is that it seems to have no artistic statement to make beyond "Hey, this Beck guy can really cook on the guitar".

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 Who Else! by BECK, JEFF album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.40 | 44 ratings

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Who Else!
Jeff Beck Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Progosopher

4 stars D'yo hear what Mama said?

Six long years after he released his tribute to Gene Vincent and Cliff Gallup, and ten even longer years since he released what many including myself consider a proper album, Jeff Beck decided to leave the auto shop and go back into the guitar shop. With him, he brought a host of notables including Manu Katche, Jan Hammer, Tony Hymas, Pino Palladino, and others to give us a new blast of that hurricane of guitar madness that only he is capable of. This is not to say that it is all heavy riffing and speed. On the contrary, Beck shows a remarkable sense for melody and has a unique way of leading the music along in a variety of directions. Moving beyond the hard and classic rock stylings he had been presenting over the previous twenty years, Beck demonstrates his new found interest in techno. The first track, What Mama Said, blasts out like a souped up Astin Martin, complete with sound bites from the classic comedy It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (which you should see if you haven't, it's very funny). The next track, greatly titled Psycho Sam continues in the same vein. But this is a Jeff Beck album, a man whose true peers are Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, and Jimmy Page; this is a guitarist of the highest stature, and one who simply refuses to limit himself to any one style or genre. So after the nine minute long techno fest, he moves into some straight blues, that is straight for Jeff Beck. After this, we get the hard rock/fusion piece, Blast From the East, and then the robotic (in a good sense) Space for the Papa. Angel (Footsteps) reveals his gentler side, believe it or not, and then we go back to a couple of harder pieces, THX138, which really kicks it, and the appropriately named and altogether not sleep inducing Hip-Notica. The album ends with two more gentle pieces, the lush Declan, composed by Celtic great Donal Lunny, and the elegant Another Place. So, to follow the title, who else would give us techno combined, with the blues, combined with hard rock, combined with fusion, combined with Celtic, combined with space rock? Jeff Beck, of course. Who else were you thinking of?

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 Who Else! by BECK, JEFF album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.40 | 44 ratings

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Who Else!
Jeff Beck Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The very modern sound of this (yet again) overdue album probably surprised a lot of fans, but really it shouldn't have. The change in musical direction (actually, more an update) had already been suggested a decade earlier in the bright digital gleam of "Jeff Beck's Guitar Shop", with its extended arsenal of guitar effects and the pile-driver fills of drummer Terry Bozzio.

On that album it was all merely part of the typically '80s overkill sound mix. Whereas here, at the end of the 20th century, Beck was actually challenging himself (and his followers) to look ahead, blending his well-worn Blues Rock instincts with emerging trends in techno and electronica. Needless to say, it was a wide departure from his highly regarded Jazz Rock fusions of the 1970s ("Blow By Blow", "Wired"). But as he would prove in subsequent albums Beck wasn't a musical tourist on a ten-day package holiday in unfamiliar territory; he was committed to learning the language and customs of this Brave New World, and then becoming its master.

The new album wasn't some sort of evolutionary mutation, either. Because much of techno is so coldly automated, adding the organic flame of Beck's guitar really brings it to life. That much ought to be clear from the first salvo of the album opener "What Mama Said", with its dynamic mile-a-minute electronic percussion and sampled voice interjections (I didn't recognize the Dick Shawn quote until reading about it elsewhere on these pages).

That immediate declaration of intent is followed by the industrial dance beat of "Psycho-Sam", and later refined in the trance-like mantras of the aptly-titled "Hip-Notica" and "THX138", the latter named after the 1971 George Lucas sci-fi movie (but missing a digit, perhaps to avoid any issue of royalties **). Along the way there's an unexpected throwback ("Brush with the Blues"), featuring some of Beck's purest-ever guitar wizardry over a simmering, slow-burn rock rhythm. This one track, one of the highlights of the album, was recorded live in concert: so where's the tape for the rest of the gig? And hold your breath for the swaggering "Space for the Papa", a jaw-dropping back-of-the-bayou rifferama swamp monster transported to the 21st century, maybe the best expression yet of Beck's guitar machismo.

By the time the last, lush chords of "Another Place" have faded to silence the listener will have been given an excellent introduction to the once-and-future Jeff Beck, with a tacit invitation toward further exploration (for me, it led to the guitarist's back catalogue of classics).

...a final note: before jotting down these comments I took the liberty of correcting the Progarchives database, replacing an erroneous question mark in the album title with the more authoritative (and accurate) exclamation. A small edit, but an important one: Beck wasn't asking us who else might be playing these high-tech vamps; he was telling us, and emphatically!

[ ** a belated postscript: after revisiting the movie "American Graffiti" I noticed that THX138 was actually the license plate number on Paul Le Mat's hot rod, a nod by director George Lucas to his earlier film. So the the tune was really another quintessential Beck homage to early '60s car culture. ]

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Thanks to Garion81 for the artist addition. and to Dick Heath for the last updates

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