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Jeff Beck

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Jeff Beck Jeff album cover
3.29 | 67 ratings | 5 reviews | 5% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 2003

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. So What (4:19)
2. Plan B (4:49)
3. Pork-U-Pine (4:06)
4. Seasons (3:48)
5. Trouble Man (3:34)
6. Grease Monkey (3:34)
7. Hot Rod Honeymoon (3:33)
8. Line Dancing With A Monkey (5:18)
9. JB's Blues (4:20)
10. Pay Me No Mind (Jeff Beck remix) (3:18)
11. My Thing (4:10)
12. Bulgarian (2:00)
13. Why Lord Oh Why 4:41)

Total Time 51:30

Line-up / Musicians

- Jeff Beck / guitar

- Samantha Sprackling "Saffron" / vocals (3)
- Andy Wright / vocals (3)
- Ronni Ancona / vocals (4)
- Nancy Sorrell / vocals (6,7,11)
- Baylen Leonard / vocals (7)
- The Beached Boys / vocals (7)
- Apollo 440 / vocals (7)
- Eric Martin / vocals (10)
- Tony Hymas / keyboards (9,13)
- Dean Garcia / performer (1,2,4,5,8,9,11)
- Steve Barney / drums (2,4,5,8,11)
- Paul Kodish / drums (7)
- Wil Malone / orchestral arrangements (4,12)
- London Session Orchestra (4,12,13)

Releases information

Artwork: David Coleman with Greg Watermann (photo)

CD Epic ‎- 510820 2 (2003, Europe)

Thanks to Slartibartfast for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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JEFF BECK Jeff ratings distribution

(67 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(5%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(42%)
Good, but non-essential (39%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (6%)

JEFF BECK Jeff reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Neu!mann
4 stars I'm not convinced the music of Jeff Beck has a place on a web site devoted to Progressive Rock, but then again this is a musician who has never been content to rest on his laurels. And isn't that a part of what Prog is supposed to be about?

Judging by his scores here at Prog Archives, Beck has certainly been pushing the envelope with his latest change of pace. Classic Rock purists (and doctrinaire Progheads) might cringe, but this current musical detour could be his most rewarding yet, embracing (with a vengeance) all the energy of the emerging 21st century in a sequel of sorts to his electronica-laced 2001 mini album "You Had It Coming".

He can still play the role of the blue-collar grease monkey, explicitly in the song of the same name, and as a tongue-in-cheek lampoon in "Hot Rod Honeymoon" . And that lyrical guitar style is more fluent than ever, soloing gracefully over "JB's Blues", and (with spiky percussive accents) in the hip-hop pastiche "Pay Me No Mind".

But elsewhere the album shows his affection for the same post-modern cyberpunk pulses championed by (among other trendsetters) KING CRIMSON's virtual drummer Pat Mastelotto. You can hear it in the staccato cut-and-paste rhythms of "Line Dancing With Monkeys", and also in the lush orchestral veneer of the climactic "Bulgaria"/"Why Lord Oh Why" medley closing the album.

Rated strictly as Progressive Rock I can understand how the album might ruffle the feathers of diehard Prog aficionados, perhaps deserving no more than two stars (for fans only). But on the merits of the music itself, and ignoring the sometimes wacky sub-genres of the Prog Rock hierarchy (Eclectic Prog, Crossover Prog, Heavy Prog, you name it) this is simply another sharp effort from a guitarist always somewhere close to the cutting edge.

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Short on good vibrations

Released in 2003, this was until this year's "Emotion & commotion" Jeff Beck's latest album. While it received critical acclaim, including a Grammy award for the track "Plan B", the album failed to find commercial success on either side of the Atlantic. This lack of recognition in terms of sales can most easily be explained by the fact that while the tracks bear the Beck (guitar) watermark, they remain largely annonymous.

Here we have what essentially boils down to 13 or so variations of Edgar Winter's "Frankenstein", overdubbed with guitar pyrotechnics by the legendary maestro. The tracks offer a limited diversity, but remain rooted between the jazz fusion of "Plan B" and the whimsical west coast pastiche of "Hotrod honeymoon", complete with Beeched boys (sic) backing vocals.

Beck's mastery of his instrument is never in question, but while the funky electronica which prevails here is admirable from a progression point of view, it rather seems to indicate Beck is wandering up an industrial cul-de-sac. On the plus side, I do get the impression that the man is enjoying himself, while drawing heavily on the influences of the many guests who appear throughout. Whether though this translates into a satisfactory album is certainly debatable.

Rather perversely, I actually found this album made better background listening than something to sit in a darkened room with. Tracks such as the slightly more orthodox "JB's blues" would offer a budding documentary maker some fine accompanying music for a travelogue or natural world film.

In all, an album which will satisfy those who enjoyed Beck's more recent albums, but not one for those wishing to discover the great man's true identity.

Review by siLLy puPPy
3 stars After setting the world on fire in the 1960s with the Yardbirds and as a solo act as a part of the hard rock JEFF BECK GROUP, the liberated JEFF BECK stunned the world with his trilogy of jazz-fusion albums in the 1970s however BECK was always looking for new musical avenues to explore and unlike many other old timers never got stuck in a rut. Fast forward to the end of the millennium and BECK was at it again, that is finding uncharted soundscapes to insert his feisty bluesy guitar licks into and after recruiting some young and suitable talent, BECK released another trilogy of albums, this time in the context of industrial electronica meets old school blues guitar rock. Revered by some and loathed by many, BECK was always about pursuing music he found interesting and didn't let public expectations pigeonhole his talents.

"Who Else!" emerged in 1999 just in time for the first Matrix film and given its Nine Inch Nails meets John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers effect very well could've made the cut for inclusion! The album was followed by "You Had It Coming" which streamlined the cross-pollinating effect even more tightly and finally in 2003 BECK released the last of this style of fusion with the silly titled album JEFF. Despite the generic almost self-gratuitous album title, the music continued the electro-blues world into a satisfying conclusion, well at least for those who were as opened minded as Mr JEFF BECK himself! For some reason the music industry ate these albums up and another Grammy was awarded in 2004 for Best Rock Instrumental Performance. It makes me think that that association doesn't listen to a lot of instrumental rock albums therefore by de facto Mr BECK was awarded a sort of lifetime achievement award or something!

Another album, another cast of members. Of course BECK himself handles all guitar duties but the bulk of the album's creation was given to many other hands. The emphasis on JEFF like the previous two albums was placed squarely on the production, engineering and mixing. These were designed to sit side by side by all those cutting edge albums of the time like artists such as The Prodigy, The Chemical Brothers and Apollo 440, the latter of whom appears on this album as a vocalist, engineer and producer. The album features eight guest vocalists, a cameo orchestration from the London Session Orchestra, 11 mixers and engineers and a couple drummers, a seat that was filled mostly this time by Steve Barney. Tony Hymas also made a cameo but only as a mixer of one track. The result of all the vocalists rotating gives the album more of a various artists type feel than the more uniform "You Had It Coming."

JEFF pretty much continues where "You Had It Coming" left off. The opening "So What" features the same techno-infused blues rock guitar fusion effects of the previous two albums so any wow factor is completely absent. With the novelty of it all out of the way the focus on the music becomes primary. This album features 13 tracks at a running time of 51 1/2 minutes and is a bit more playful than the previous offerings. With a bit more emphasis on blues guitar riffing, the techno and electronica become a bit more subordinate to BECK's guitar playing rather than him adapting to the electronic wilderness. The track "Hot Rod Honeymoon" sounds like something The Beach Boys would have crafted in their surf rock days only set to the contemporary tastes. "Line Dancing With A Monkey" is more trance than techno with a hypnotic groove with squalling guitar cries emerging. Although the percussion is electronic, they often take on tribal drum circle vibes.

Overall this just isn't as consistently good as "You Had It Coming." JEFF reverts back to what was flawed on "Who Else!" which was basically not enough high energy adrenaline fueled tracks and too many mellow tracks that all sound too similar. This album should've been trimmed down and edited a bit more and it would've been much better. Also i absolutely hate album titles that only use the artist's first name especially when the album at hand is the result of a massive team effort. The album should've been called "Techno Blues Ecstasy" or something more in line to what's offered. All in all not a bad effort but i don't find the vocal tracks to work so well on this one. An all instrumental affair may have served better. Wisely BECK would ditch the techno blues and return to his hard rock / blues rock roots on his next album "Emotion & Commotion."

Latest members reviews

5 stars This is as heavy an album as you will hear from Jeff Beck with thundering guitar assault, at times an industrial rythm section, and yet a sophistication that may leave some listeners confused or just plain unable to understand or comprehend. Where "So What" opens the album with an all out gu ... (read more)

Report this review (#123274) | Posted by madgo2 | Thursday, May 24, 2007 | Review Permanlink

1 stars Jeff goes undustrial. Jeff does a lot of computer-generated songs, similar to King Crimson's modern stuff. Only, his is much worse. It painfully repeats the same useless passages endlessly. (Mostly) simple guitar pieces are distorted and completed by dull effects, and twisted spoken phrases. The ... (read more)

Report this review (#118660) | Posted by Shakespeare | Tuesday, April 17, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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