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David Lindquist <email@example.com> (15.03.2000)
Looks like its time for you to revise your overly critical assessment of Jeff's legacy. For example, you might "check out the 'latest lists' of the best guitar players on the planet" to see that Jeff received the top award from Gibson guitars this year and placed number two on I believe it was "Guitar World" list of 100 most influential rock guitarists.For someone who has an awful lot to say about Jeff, you seem to be missing the mark just a wee bit!
Mark Starling <firstname.lastname@example.org> (02.11.2000)
Firstly, I find your writing lucid and interesting. Thank you for your endeavour. I wonder whether you play guitar yourself? I do, which gives me a persepective on comparisons between guitarists. For example, there isn't much that Clapton plays that I couldn't play myself, and, while I truly appreciate Eric and all he has done, he doesn't electrify my soul like Jeff Beck, who plays stuff that I know I'll never be able to get in a million years of practise. (Writing that is a tad depressing, but on to my main point.) I think that it's important to state that, whether you like his music or not, Jeff Beck is one of the technically greatest exponents of electric guitar playing, and I'm sure you'll find many of his peers that would agree. In fact, in a UK national newspaper a while back, they ran an 'expert's expert' feature every week. When they ran the Guitarist's Guitarist issue, Jeff was, I was pleased to see, almost unanimously voted the best by some pretty nifty and well-known players. I remember that Brian May was particularly complimentary. Though I can't quote verbatim, it went something along the lines of: "When I listened to one of his albums, I thought 'lucky devil' to get a fluke like that in the studio. When I saw him live I thought, wow, he did it again." I know exactly what he means! Technically, Jeff Beck is stunning.
Just some general comments about Jeff Beck.... I am a huge guitar fan and I like all the greats... Page, Hendrix, Clapton, Santana, Howe, Richards, Townsend etc. And although guitar playing is not really a competition because everybody adds something different, I have to say that for pure guitar playing Jeff Beck is the most impressive of all. I mean there is an intensity to his playing that is almost beyond comprehension. The only other player in my opinion to match his intensity would be Hendrix and unfortunately Jimi was with us for only a short time. But with no disrespect towards Hendrix, Beck is now 56 years old and he hasn't lost a step. One may or may not like the new "techno" style he is experimenting with but one cannot deny that a fire still burns within this guy.And this brings me to my final point. Jeff Beck is still growing and searching, which is something you cannot say about most of his contemporaries. If you look at his career from start until present he is constantly taking big risks and growing as a musician, not trading in on past glories. I find him to be a very inspirational musician when you consider all the bullshit music and personalities that we are subjected to these days (i.e. would somebody please tell me what the hell Aerosmith was doing with N Sync and Brittney Spears at the Super Bowl half time show - What is this world coming to ??).
Syl <email@example.com> (20.04.2001)
I totally agree with when you put the emphasis on the repetitive and "sometimes"dull aspect of Jeff Beck, in his solo work I mean.His first album is surely his best. Go and take it. But soon the followers are difficult to get into, and if excellent technically speaking, the listener is lost in the aimless "jam" or other work. Blow By Blow is an excellent one. You feel the 70s more than in the next one Wired. But it's more rock and jazzy than the latter. There is some variation. On the contrary, Wired appeared to me to be very repetitive and dull, nothing to please the ear but your fingers. No emotion. And J.Beck is not in the songwriting. I really think like you on Guitar Shop. It is so varied for a Jeff Beck album! It's not his best, but the technique is here and you get something which flows more than on the others.Slow romance, Rock and bluesy riff, the cool Reggae piece,etc. Ok, I prefer the emotive, sensitive (often voice-like) guitar of Hackett, the technique he developped for his classical side. ..... Hey I like Jeff Beck too!!!
I jammed in 1970 in a club called the speak easy in london along side with Beck, Moon,and Roger Clover. We jammed until we had no fingers left. Cozy Powell ended up finshing with us. Beck was the best hands down guitarist you would see from that point until the 90's. After all Hendrix is the king now and for ever. I had seen Jimi jam in NYC in a club called Steve Pauls Scene in 68 jamin with Alvin Lee. The best i ever heard. I am a Guitarts who played allmost everywhere. Played at Max's Kansas City in NY. etc. I have to tell ya listen to the solos on Flash, are great. his last 4 cd's are rubbish. All sythnesizer garbage. His riffs are the same on & on. How can ya say it nailed ya to the wall? Listen to Coltane he will smash ya to a wall everytime. Beck is old like all us late 60's guitar men. I hear kids in Guitar store's who blow me away. Beck robs fron young guys like Joe S & Steve V. All i can say is you had it coming is more junk.
Tony Souza <firstname.lastname@example.org> (21.11.2001)
One of the very few "flash" guitarists that I like (Joe Satriani and Vernon Reid being the others). In addition to what you've already said about Beck's legacy, I think one of the reasons he's not recognized as much as the others is that many of the other guitarists mentioned above Beck have their identities tied to specific groups. For instance Clapton, despite being solo for so long, still has many fans who prefer his work in Cream and Derek and the Dominos (I'm one of those fans). Page had Led Zepplin, Townshend has the Who, Angus Young's in AC/DC, etc. Beck doesn't really belong to one group. Beck was in the Yardbirds, but so was Clapton and Page. In the first Jeff Beck group there was Rod Stewart. On top of that, Beck's music is so varied that people can't pin him down to one specific genre. He can play blues, fusion, heavy metal, hard rock and funk. He's extremely versatile. However, people generally respond better to somebody that they can put in a musical category; i.e. Clapton has played many different styles of music but he's still identified with the blues. I'm not saying this is good or bad. It's just something I've observed. One of the things I like and respect about Beck is that his output is eclectic and varied. Beck also displays a certain energy in his work. Unlike some of Clapton's work, I've never sensed a laziness or a by-the-numbers approach to Beck's work. I've always felt any musical direction that Beck may take, he always gives 100%, even on the bad ones like Flash. It is strange though, that he has very little live documentation of his work outside of the live album he did with Jan Hammer and the one he did with Beck, Bogart and Appice. He will never be as big as some of the other guitarists of his era, but talent-wise, he's up there with the best of them.
Bill <VideoAsst@aol.com> (22.07.2002)
Just found you reviews today and have spent the last hour or so reading. Interesting stuff, though I don't necessarily agree with everything. I used to work in the record industry - one stops and distributors - here in Los Angeles. Then I began traveling as a roadie for Gentle Giant, Frank Zappa, Rick Derringer and others. I was a music major in college. After my "touring" days ended, I took a number or courses in Music Business at UCLA, including a history of Pop Music.Regarding you section on Jeff Beck I think you made two errors. 1. You've included the Jeff Beck w/ Hammer live album. Generally, this is considered a Jan Hammer Album featuring Jeff Beck. If you want to keep this in, for continuity, you should include Mahavishnu Orchestra w/Jeff Beck - which was produced by George Martin. 2. You omitted the Beck, Bogart and Appice album. Best of Luck, Bill
James Kent <email@example.com> (20.10.2002)
Jeff Beck kicks ass. That said, you can hear Beck's tones and techniques in the players that preceed him but he has this trademark thing: his guitar work is unique and this can't be said of many of his contemporaries. Beck's playing style includes fearless pitch control, highly personalized phrasing and instantly recognizable tones. Consider his use of micro tones. Beck heard the possibilites of playing the "inbetween notes" in the playing of others, like Roy Buchanan for example, and developed the technique in his own playing style. Beck's "uniqueness" rests largley on this gift. The phrasing associated with Beck's sound is a gift. Joe Perry of Aerosmith comes to mind as some who worked hard at the "Jeff Beck School of Rythmic Subdivision" yet the trademark still belongs with Beck. Tone? Beck took tone from Hendrix, Buchanan, Les Paul and anyone else he admired. Beck is an excellent thief, or borrower, if you prefer, still the big growl and menace of a Beck solo generally has come from a 50 watt Marshall and a singular approach to high energy transfer. Here is the point about Jeff Beck, he gets off when playing, he is passionate, obsessive, zoned(?) and you can hear that quality. No matter what you call it many of us go to his music and steal stuff to spice up our playing. Here's a bottom line, players borrow the easy good stuff first, this is the accepted guitar technique out there in the communitee, and then they go to Beck and ripoff something intense to put them over.
Ron Eve <firstname.lastname@example.org> (12.01.2003)
In some ways I think you missed the point of a virtuoso musician like Jeff. For instance, Nigel Kennedy, the classical violinist, is widely regarded as being one of the finest of his generation. And yet how many compositions has he produced? My point is that while he may not be a prolific writer but his interpretation of others work is astounding. I agree he's had low spots - Flash to me is almost unlistenable, in fact, I haven't listened to it for years! But, and here I have to own up, I've worked with Jeff.I used to be Mark Knopfler's guitar tech until '93 and later came out of 'roadie retirement' to do a Japan tour with Jeff a couple of years ago. The guy up close is awesome - and I almost never use that word. Standing next to him in sound check watching him pull riffs off that defy convention... gobsmacked of London here!. He's the only guitarist I've ever seen who uses the ENTIRE guitar to create sounds. I can tell you one thing he said to me, he loves dance (house) music because of all the rythms you can produce. He loves trying to achieve those on a guitar. One problem he has though is that when he plays this stuff, as soon as people hear that's its a guitar they turn it off! Some form of inverted snobbery maybe. And John McLaughlin is HIS hero...
Scotty <email@example.com> (20.03.2003)
I have been a session guitarist for many years. I am 47 and have played since I was 8. There is no!!!! other rock guitarist alive that is as innovative and creative as Jeff Beck. He is the Django of today. So if any of you metal head guitarists think otherwise, do yourselves a favour, have another listen. I'm a guitar teacher as well as a session player, I always tell my students, (If you can't hear it,you can't play it.) So Keep listening Guys.
Glenn Wiener <GJW0721@aol.com> (26.06.2003)
Jeff Beck is truly a legendary guitar player. His style is indeed creative. Its a shame that his music did not have more of a commercial appeal. Nonetheless, his influence has spread to many artists. I hope to explore more recordings by this accomplished guitarist.
Pedro Andino <firstname.lastname@example.org> (16.11.2003)
the power of the guitar can be none other than jeff beck. i heard of jeff in my casette of jimi hendrix stone free: a tribute and he did manic depression with seal. you may heard of him like the song from the batman movie. kiss from a rose i may remind him as a 90's marvin gaye. but jeff is the real star! he electric playing sizzzles! beats the shit out of the other song ! yay jeff!
Pat Shipp <email@example.com> (20.11.2003)
Let me get this straight: You only give Jeff Beck ONE point for resonance??? Please tell me that you're kidding. Please. With all due respect to you and your excellent site, that is the biggest load of crap that I've ever heard. Giving Jeff Beck one point for resonance is like giving Metallica one point for speed and heaviness. I've never heard a guitarist play with the emotion that he does. Examples: "Cause We've Ended As Lovers", "She's A Woman", "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat", "Greensleeves", "Brush With The Blues", "Angel (Footsteps)", "Blackbird", the list goes on and on. And you only give him a three for originality? He was using distortion and fuzztone even before Hendrix. That's right, to all of you Hendrix fans who constantly whine about him being so revolutionary, I hate to break it to you, but Jeff Beck was doing all that stuff FIRST.So Jeff is pretty much unparalleled as far as I'm concerned. The only one who could rival him would be John Cipollina from Quicksilver Messenger Service, my all-time favorite. Oh, and Jeff has recently released a new album, simply titled Beck. I mean, the guy is 59 years old and he's still going strong. Wish I could say the same for other guitarists.
Matthew Wunsch <firstname.lastname@example.org> (16.01.2004)
George,You are funny, I'll give ya that. The one thing I think we both agree on is "Jan Hammer Must Die." Jan Hammer almost makes me miss Max Middleton. He wrote "Blue Wind" and then he broke wind all over the Wired record. The only way to listen to it is to skip the first two songs, put on "Sophie," which I would have to say has Beck 101 Guitar written all over it, what a motherfucker he is on that one, then play "Blue Wind," but put your balance all the way to "R" so you can't hear so much Jan(a precursor to Yanni), and listen to Beck shred and the bassist(name escapes, I don't have the record in front of me) tears on it too. I enjoy seeing Jeff Beck play live, he's a cagey old fucker even now--pushing 60! Makes Page sound like he's ready for the home in Miami and the white patent leather shoes. My main problem with Beck is his new penchant for techno or ambient or whatever you want to call that drum-machine spooge he's into now. Rubbish! He needs a bassist, a drummer whose main goal is to NOT be on the cover of Modern Drummer, and some cunt who can sing and maybe blow a little harmonica, oops, I guess that's been done before but it beats hell out of Who Else. Anyway, cheers, I dig your humour.
Steve Tanner <email@example.com> (18.01.2004)
Jeff is the guy that made me pick up the guitar.It was after hearing " Going Down " on the Jeff Beck Album. It's just unfortunate that outside of the guitar players/musician's world he is relatively unknown. However, I think I know why.As much as I am amazed by him,he has one really annoying habit.On just about every (probably every, come to think about it )album he puts in one really slow,I guess you would call it " atmospheric " song that just kills the whole record.It wouldn't hurt if he had a little music per recording also.Most seem to be in the 30-36 minute range.But that's being picky I guess.
Rick Brown <firstname.lastname@example.org> (22.07.2004)
Jeff actually did sing lead vocal on one song - 'Black Cat Moan' from Beck, Bogert and Appice. I really enjoy your reviews.
Michael Corleone <email@example.com> (07.07.2000)
Regarding Jeff Beck's Truth album, 'BluesDeLuxe' is actually BB King's "Gambler's Blues"."Let Me Love You" is Buddy Guy's "Let Me Love You Baby". "Rock my Plimsoul" is BB King's (and Ike Turner's) "Rock Me Baby".
God, what is your obsession with trashing Led Zeppelin?? I can't even read your review of Truth without hearing about Page and Plant every other sentence. It's incredible, your start with a sentence about Jimmy Page and end with one about Rod Stewart and Robert Plant. Who cares!! Isn't this supposed to be about Jeff Beck?? Sure Zeppelin was influenced by this album, it's a killer album and it influenced a lot of bands. I mean its obvious, Page and Beck were in the Yardbirds and they were friends when they were younger. You should reserve comments about Zeppelin for the Zeppelin section. They didn't perform on this album so stop talking about them.Jeff Beck is an incredible lead guitar player (that tone, so full of attitude but also incredibly subtle)..for my money the best of all time, and this album is a critical piece of his work. You are disrespecting him by spending all this time making comparisons. NOBODY sounds like Jeff Beck... not even guitar players who spend all day trying to copy his style and rig (and believe me there are a lot of them). Not only is his guitar sound eclectic but so are his choices of tunes to record. Really one of a kind... And speaking of the Yardbirds, where the hell are they on this site..... They only were the incubator for three of the four greatest guitar players in the history of Rock and Roll (Hendrix being the only exception)!! I mean that in itself should get them a least 3 stars, not to mention the fact that they made some great music. [Special author note: answering in points. 1. Comparisons with Led Zep are inevitable here, as Truth and Led Zeppelin I came out in the same year, followed more or less the same style and attracted the same kinds of audiences. Plus, so many people know about Led Zep and so few know about Beck that this review might cause some Zep fan to get up his ass and buy this awesome record. 2. Asserting that 'nobody' sounds like Jeff Beck is a bit of a stretch, as Beck himself took a lot from Hendrix and other people like Stevie Ray Vaughan took a lot from Beck, etc.; I don't see what's the problem with making comparisons, anyway. 3. If the Yardbirds aren't on the site, it doesn't mean that the site is bad. You might check out the guidelines and the introduction to find your answer.]
Chris Papadopoulos <Chris.Papadopoulos@parliament.nsw.gov.au> (02.02.2001)
I agree with your rating, but I beg to differ about 'Shapes of Things'. I haven't played this in quite a while (only have a vinyl copy) but it was certainly my favourite cut on the album. Love that 'seem the saa-aa-aaame" bit.
Kevin Baker <firstname.lastname@example.org> (22.05.2001)
Alright, I'll go along with ye about this one being good...cause it is! Now, I do have to disagree with your opinion about 'Shapes Of Things'.....it really isn't that bad. It's not a highlight, but it's not the awful mess you make it out to be, either. My personal favorite is 'Beck's Bolero'---how cool is that? Jeff Beck just plays so awesmely on it. And, can you imagine how great Led Zep would have been with Rod Stewart instead of Robert Plant??????
Christopher Henricsson <email@example.com> (22.12.2002)
Just adding a little bit of trivia strengthening the Jeff Beck Group - Led Zeppelin connection. On "Ol' Man River", we have none other than John Paul Jones playing hammond organ, and a mysterious character credited as "You Know Who" on timpani. If that doesn't sound like an alternate universe Zeppelin line-up, then I don't know what does.P.S. If you can't figure out who "You Know Who" is, I will be very disappointed in you. :-)
Mike Flynn <firstname.lastname@example.org> (12.03.2003)
A few comments to add. 'Beck's Bolero' was written by none other than Jimmy Page. I also read about Beck's first listen to Led Zeppelin I. It was played to him by none other than Jimmy Page. Beck was furious at the inclusion of "You Shook Me". Needless to say, Page & Beck did not speak for quite some time. I do not believe that there was much direct influence from Truth to the 1st Zepp album. I think that Jimmy & Jeff came from similar backgounds, had similar tastes, & had the same goal in mind at that time. After all, Page did try to recruit Rod Stewart for his band. But you are correct, Truth deserves a listen & it is a very hard rocking album.
Glenn Wiener <GJW0721@aol.com> (26.06.2003)
Truthfully a strong blues influence indeed. Rod Stewart is an ideal foil for Mr. Beck on this one. And oh the solos that come out of Jeff's guitar are awesome.Whereas the blues tones are certainly good, I wish other styles were explored a little bit more. 'Greensleeves' is a pretty acoustic break. 'Old Man River' somehow just doesn't sound right in this setting. 'Shape Of Things' is a nice tune but a little bit haphazard with Rod's vocals. Still its fairly interesting. And the influence on Led Zeppelin cannot be denied. Truthfully I prefer the Best of Jeff Beck and Blow By Blow but this one has its merits.
Brian Adkins <Brian.Adkins@Enerwise.com> (19.09.2003)
Hello George, just want to start by saying I love your reviews. You're certainly more articulate with words and more knowledgeable about music than I but figure I can still give you my opinions. This is my one and only album of Beck so I can't say one way or the other about his contributions to music. I can say that I can listen to this album on any given day and I'm never blown-away nor do I get annoyed by it. I never skip any tracks on the album nor do I get infatuated by any one song. I have this same feeling toward Lou Reed's Transformer for some reason, which I'm yet to figure out. With this album, the instruments and Rod's tone of voice is very easy and fun to listen too but the songs don't have good enough lyric to make me really appreciate them. I was actually taken by surprise that you gave the album a 10 with the not-so-hot lyric. I suppose it was their best effort and it deserves a 10 for effort. But when I tell myself this album got as high of a rating as say Quadrophenia I feel I should disagree with you [no, no, it doesn't - a 10 is basically "best-of artist"; it gets a 12 while Quad gets a 15 - G.S.]. There's no way this album contributes what the "great" albums contributed and does not deserve a 10. But all in all I do agree with your review of the album, just not the rating. Anyone that likes Zeppelin and that type of music should certainly have this record in their collection. Stewarts voice is extremely unique but not unique in the way that Plants is, which I agree, gets very irritating at times.
Corbin, David A <Dave.Corbin@usa.xerox.com> (30.03.2001)
Well, I agree with most of what you said but I have to take exception to your comments on Rice-pudding. This is "shapes of things to come" for Mr. Beck as his career headed for totally instrumental albums starting with his masterpiece Blow By Blow. I was glad to hear you say that the guitar work was "glorious" but aside from that you seem to trash it. To me, it is a very creative piece and, considering that these guys weren't exactly the best of friends at this point, it's amazing how well it came out. The thing I like best about it is the ending; I guess the tape broke? It sure sounds that way but at the point that it stops the band is just raging! I challenge you to crank it up and listen to that part at least(since the rest bores you) and tell me you've heard anything like it before or since.
I respectfully disagree with your review on this album. I really like it a lot. I mean it certainly was a departure from his first two albums as far as going from a bluesy sound to a more funky sound. BUT... it is still unmistakenly a Jeff Beck album. I mean, it may be funky but it is not a funk record. Funk guitar players cannot play lead guitar like Beck does. There is some extremely rude guitar playing on this album. "Got the feeling" is great with the guitar solo at the end and "I've been used" is killer, especially the way he ends the song...a monster ending. This album has a lot more attitude than you are giving it credit for. Oh well, guess I'm a big Beck fan.
I personally think Rough And Ready is a great album, he sounds very professional, and he is surrounded by very talented musicians too.I have to disagree with your input in this album.
Geronimo Springs <GERONIMOSPGS@aol.com> (12.03.2003)
For years I thought I must be the only person on earth who actually liked this album. A complete departure from the brash, hard rockin' Wood/Stewart/Hopkins/Waller band, on Rough and Ready we hear Beck actually playing as part of a tight, polished ensemble. Instead of focusing soley on hard rock guitar pyrotechnics, Beck concentrated on being part of a band. And what a band! Middleton/Chaman/Powell were a much more impressive unit than their predecessors. Tighter, and with far more chops. (Okay, Nicky Hopkins did play piano more beautifully than Max Middleton, but I wouldn't say Middleton's playing was entirely soulless or generic.) And I love Bob Tench's voice. He may not have had the "star quality" of Rod Stewart, but his singing on this album was soulful and powerful, and was perfectly matched with the band's playing.I have never understood why critics have always treated Rough and Ready like a latrine. Perhaps they were so fond of the first Jeff Beck Group, and so hopeful that that band would go on to surpass Led Zeppelin's supremacy in the hard rock world, that they felt compelled to turn on Beck with a vengeance when Beck decided to turn his back on hard rock altogether, and chose instead to play more tasteful and sophisticated music. By 1971 there were so many bloozy hard rock bands, I could not help but admire Beck for doing something else.
Cameron De Smidt <email@example.com> (11.11.2005)
I really enjoy your website and congratulations for all the work you put into it. Do you have a life??? Anyway, although we agree on some amazing things, (I, too felt Dylan's Self Portrait album was bashed unjustly) I do have to strongly suggest you perhaps listen to the Rough and Ready album a few more times. I'll grant you that when I first got the record the year it was released (and Jeff had been out of the game for a good spell recovering from a near-deadly car accident) - It definitely didn't seem what I had expected because the Jeff Beck Group MK I was worlds apart in musical approach. I still maintain that Truth and Beck Ola and Jeff's playing in the Yardbirds exceed that of anything one could put up against it from the Clapton catalog. Clapton has a 'signature' tone and musical approach to the structure of a song whereas Jeff and Jimmy (Page) really revolutionized the instrument and were always inventing something awesome. Clapton is fine for what he does - but is one of the most overhyped ever. Back to the Rough and Ready album and the point I want to make. This group has to be evaluated on its' own merits exclusively. I have listened to this album off and on for years and beneath the surface there is SO MUCH going on musically, it can't be absorbed in one or two listenings. It would also be dreadfully wrong to say that Beck was having a personal conflict about guitar heroics on this record. There is some stuff on this record that builds to such an intensity that it rips your head off when you listen at the proper volume and on a good stereo system. This is actually a record that benefits from listening at 'live' sound levels if you can get away with it. As for Max Middleton - he is also the keyboard player on 'Blow By Blow', another genius Beck record. Max is a completely different keyboard player than Nicky. I loved Nicky on the first two JB albums and on Quicksilver's Shady Grove and on the Stones albums - but he has put out some real dreadful stuff too - (I'm thinking that awful 'Sweet Thursday' thing with Jon Mark, which should have been fantastic given the musicians on it). Max is a jazz influenced player and uses mostly the electric piano. In his own right, he is outstanding. The keyboard player that Jeff worked with on some other albums that annoys the crap out of me is Jan Hammer - just horrible!!!!! Anyway I still just love both editions of the Jeff Beck Group - and frankly once Jeff made his definitive statements on both Funk and Fusion - the rest of it pales by comparison. John McLaughlin and the others that copied him may play light years faster than Jeff, but compositionally a lot of that 'Mahavishnu' nonsense is just dreadful wanking for wanking's sake - not progressive, not going anywhere at all, and while I was to some extent impressed with it in its' day, it is absolutely unlistenable now.
Matthew McDonnell <firstname.lastname@example.org> (01.03.2006)
Just my respectful speculation on this aforementioned review. Not a flame, I promise, but there were just the odd bits here and there that I thought were, well, bollocks. like this: "In any case, the loss of Rod and Ronnie was the loss of his only chance to establish himself as a strong and respectable force in rock music alongside Led Zeppelin and other heavy bands of the early Seventies." This might be just a tad unfair, as Beck was and is regarded as one of the finest guitar players (some say he is the best) in the world. As much as I love Pagey, he's all over the place on some of those Zeppelin solos (Heartbreaker, for instance). Another bit that caught my eye was this: "If you happen to be a young promising musician, you gotta remember this, mate: never get pissed off at those who are more talented than thou art." I mean, with all due respect, Jeff may not be a great songwriter but his worst tune is better than most of the drivel that Stewart released after 1977. Christ, even "Hi Ho Silver Lining" is better than some of the doo doo Stewart has sang on, but I digress... And as for Woody, he's great and all, but more talented than Jeff? Thats stretching the point big time. Again, this aint meant to be disrespectful or anything, just my thoughts on the subject.P.S. I know Flash was bollocks bar a couple of tunes, but that one wasnt Jeffrey's fault! And "Be Bop A Lula"? Give over, its the most obvious Gene Vincent song. It would be as pointless as covering Black Sabbath's "Paranoid". I know, I know, I need to take my head out of Jeff's arse.
Kevin O'Neill <email@example.com> (12.05.2001)
A negative review for one of the great 'fusion' albums of all time and probably Beck's masterpiece.
Phil Boucher <KZ1000PS@aol.com> (04.01.2002)
I was just reading over your review of Blow by Blow and I find that I've had it with this site's ideas of what is jazzy or fusion-y in style and what constitues good fusion. yes, Jeff Beck was very much in the fusion vein in the mid 70s, but to me he still sounded much more blues-influenced than other good fusion outfits of the time, such as Weather Report, Return to Forever, or the Mahavishnu Orchestra, all of which were much more based in semi-modal jazz. I really wanna know who on earth said that this album from 1975 was one of the first and best fusion albums so I can go shove some CDs down their throat and hope they digest them. Miles Davis was poineering the genre back in 1968-69 with Bitches Brew, considered a classic. Then there was also the Tony Williams Lifetime from the same period defining jazz-rock (aka fusion) somewhat more. But the first group to really be credited with giving fusion it's credibility was the Mahavishnu Orchestra. I honestly don't know how you could not have stumbled upon these guys by now. They existed in two forms from 1971-75, and created some of the most technically profound and awe-inspiring music. ever. They featured jazz guitar god John McLaughlin (it being his group) and Jan Hammer in his early days of finding his voice on the synths. McLaughlin easily tops Page or Santana (I don't know enough of Clapton's or Beck's work to comment on them) in his ability, and I would say comes damn close to catching the furious raw energy that Hendrix played with. Please do yourself a favor and go out and buy Inner Mounting Flame by these guys. Christ, go to amazon.com and read the reviews on them at the very very least. I personally promise that you will not be disappointed, as long as you can stand amazingly complex arrangements and slightly lengthy yet inspired solos by virtuosos of their instruments. This is true fusion at it's greatest moment.
Glenn Wiener <GJW0721@aol.com> (22.06.2001)
Its a shame the two previous comments are so negative on your perspective. I find your review to be fair from someone who is not a major fan. You state what you like and don't like and its a shame that rabid fans immediately take offense to your reviews.Truthfully, I borrowed this recording from my local library. And I find it to be excellent for its style. All the songs/pieces are very good but the two Stevie Wonder written tunes, 'Cause We Ended As Lovers' and 'Theloneous' are the best. 'Theleneous' actually has many elements from the smash hit 'Superstition' in the melody line. I love the blend between the keys, and talkbox guitar on that number. 'Cause We Ended As Lovers' is a classic work. Some awesome tones that come out of Mr. Beck's guitar. As for 'Air Blower' and 'Scatterbrain', I find them both to be very creative. The mood shift from fast to slow on 'Air Blower' is an album highlight. There are some catchy moments on these tracks but its the instrumental blends that make these songs almost as much as the Stevie Wonder tunes. The other songs are all quite good in their own way. It would be hard to think of a the worst track on here. Maybe 'Constipated Duck' as it isn't as developed as the other tunes but its rhythm is quite cute. Anyway listening to Jeff and his band members play is a complete joy. The interplay between the guitar and keyboards is fabulous. The accents by the drummer and even the bass player knock the whole thing home as a high quality recording.
Mike Flynn <firstname.lastname@example.org> (12.03.2003)
"Thelonius" is a tribute to Thelonius Monk. I also wanted to mention that Richard Bailey was 17 years old when he drummed on this record. Unbelievable. I never hear anyone comment on his drumming. It is superb. He was definitely a prodigy. What happened to him? One wonders.
G. Bishop <email@example.com> (06.12.2005)
I think that not only is Blow By Blow one of Jeff Beck's best albums, but it's one of the best "guitar" albums ever. His guitar playing is brilliant, and the songs in general are really great! The album definitley has a strong fusion influence, but is definitley far to diverse (in a good way) to be classified pure fusion. Great playing by the other musicians on the album. To think Richard Bailey was a teenager when he recorded the drums on this album! Incredible! Phil Chenn and Max Middleton both give great performances throughout the album in my opinion. 'Cause We've Ended As Lovers', 'Freeway Jam', 'Scatterbrain', and 'Air Blower' are the strongest songs. I love the solo tradeoffs between Beck and Middleton on 'Scatterbrain' and in particular! To each their own but I've always thought that as a guitarist/musician Beck eats Clapton and Page for breakfast! Even Page himself once said when Jeff's on he's the best there is.
Tony Souza <firstname.lastname@example.org> (21.11.2001)
My favorite Jeff Beck album. Blow by Blow is more groundbreaking for sure, but I like this one precisely because it is more funky. The songs have a loose feel to them and they are just more fun to listen to. I love "Blue Wind" because Hammer isn't as busy on this one as on some of the others and he trades leads with Beck nicely. I like "Led Boots" because of the frenetic bass and drum playing. The rest is great too. This album just goes down easier for me.
Jidong Sung <email@example.com> (06.06.2001)
As the other commenter below said, it's a Talkbox that made 'Do you feel all right?' in 'She is a woman' and 'Oh yeah!' and something like that in 'Fullmoon boogie'. It is an effector which diverts the sound of electric guitar from speaker to special hose-like conduit, the tip of which is tied together with a microphone. Guitarists move their mouth as if they are speaking to change the tone and nuiance of the sound, which is picked up by the microphone. I think the studio version of 'She is a woman' certainly had this effector used, too.Probably the best example of the usage of this funny effector is 'Do you feel like what we do' in Frampton comes alive! album. Joe Walsh also used this in 'Rocky mountain way'. Thanks for nice reviews.
No reader comments yet.
Tony Souza <firstname.lastname@example.org> (21.11.2001)
A four is about right. This record is so typical of mid-eighties music -- overproduced, the use of drum machines, robotic feel to the songs -- ugh. Terrible. Jimmy Hall is one of the most generic singers I've ever heard, and the lyrics on most of the songs are just plain bad. There are a few moments that I like though: The solo at the end of "Ambitious" redeems the song -- almost. I do like "Get Workin'". Sure, it's a dumb song, but Jeff "sings" lead on this one and there's a nice bass solo in the middle. "Escape" is also passable. To bad it's marred by drum machines. Still none of these moments redeems this crappy album.
crawfordgirl <email@example.com> (18.06.2003)
i love your Jeff Beck reviews page! I first got into Jeff Beck because of his 80's pop collaborations with Stewart and Jagger and I LOVE FLASH, it's the album that turned me into a Jeff Beck fan! Granted I love 80's electro and techno pop and that probably helps my appreciation for the album immensely. There are some really dumb lyrics, I'll grant you that, but the guitar solos make up for it and I love getting to hear Jeff sing!
Warren Caggiano <firstname.lastname@example.org> (08.01.2006)
I must say that you are a bit harsh on some of your reviews. As for the Flash album, I quite enjoyed it. Kind of lost track of it but I used to take a great deal of pleasure listening to 'Ambitious', 'Get Workin', and 'It Gets us All In The End'. What is the need to be so vicious about your dislike of someone's work? Some like it and some don't. Why do you have to try to destroy someone because you don't care for their music?Can't we just all get along? [Special author note: Pardon - what exactly is meant by 'destroy someone'? I don't even remember myself writing a petition to Epic Records requesting them to put the album out of print once and for all - which is probably as far as I could ever go in order to "destroy" this music.]
Ronny Olsson <email@example.com> (15.02.2001)
"Maybe he was doing drugs?" Oh man, you can be prosecuted for such comments. To accuse someone of doing something that person obviously don't do is serious. You probably don't care but the main reason for Jeff's absence from music those years was because of his ear problems.
I think "Where Were You" is one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard. Sure it is short and has a sparse backing, but it is totally appropriate given the "motif" that Beck is working with. I mean his guitar work on this tune is truly awe inspiring. I am always amazed at how Beck can just shred on one tune and then come right back with a tune like "Where Were You" where his playing shows a kind of subtlety and tenderness that is really rare in the Rock world.
Corbin, David A <Dave.Corbin@usa.xerox.com> (30.03.2001)
"Where Were You" is Jeff Beck's masterpiece of all masterpieces. Your treatment of it in your review makes me wonder about your qualifications as a music critic. Even a totally objective review would say that this is a gorgeous piece of music. You are either deaf or have no soul! Go clean out your ears and try again.
Tony Souza <firstname.lastname@example.org> (21.11.2001)
A major improvement over Flash. The title track is great and this is more of a rock record with some fusion elements in it. I like the stripped-down feel to the cuts on here though the lack of a bass player makes some of the songs sound a little thin. I also agree that the voice-over on the song "A Day in the House" just about ruins that song. But this album is definitely worth having. I think the artwork on the cover is also some sort of homage to what he likes to do almost as much as playing guitar: working on cars. He's stated in interviews that he plays music so that he can finance his hobby of building hot rods.
So 'Where Were You' is boring? Sorry mate but you should go back to your Sabbath albums. I've been playing guitar since 1972 and professionally since '81 and I've tried to hear every guitar player in the world who gets mentioned around (and some who don't) in any style - jazz, blues, rock, fusion, bluegrass, metal shred - you name it. Sometimes it seems like everything's been done but every so often someone comes up with something that raises the bar another notch. Jeff Beck has done this a few times over the years (e.g. by being one of the few gtr players to make a truly soulful and listenable 'fusion' album) and 'Where Were You' is one of those moments. It's called musicality and I despair of someone like you who is not touched by it. It's obviously gone straight through one ear and out the other with nothing to impede its progress.
Ed <email@example.com> (30.12.2005)
the reson you need someone to explain Beck's Crazy Legs (well, you asked) is that you can't play - so you say - and I'd advise that the reason you can't play is that you don't understand things like Beck's Crazy Legs. Give it another listen.
I have to say that first and foremost, I am an aspiring guitar player, so obviously I am going to have certain biases. But I LOVE 'Space for the Papa'. I mean it does start out slowly, but the last two-thirds of the song raise the hair on my skin. I mean, I have heard a lot of slide guitar in my day, but never something quite like this. Beck has a MONSTER tone. To me his long extended guitar part is like a sound collage. The first time I heard it I remember hearing ...... a freight train, a horde of bees, just incredible intensity. I mean it is a long song, but it was never boring to me. I just cannot believe the sounds he can get out of a guitar. And from what I hear, this song was recorded live, to which Beck added only a few overdubs for the album!! And when I have saw him live for the Who Else Tour I could not believe his intensity. Just in whole different league from most live performances. It makes sense to me why he doesn't tour that much.... He would burn out. There is definately something wrong with this man.. but I mean that it a good way of course!!And lastly, where the heck are all the Jeff Beck fans out there, jesus there are like two e-mails to his entire catalogue!! Get your butts and say something!!
Mannerheim <firstname.lastname@example.org> (11.02.2001)
Hei!The best instumental in "Who else!" is THX138. And the second - Declan - from the "Celtic Graces". Bye...
Glenn Wiener <GJW0721@aol.com> (30.11.2002)
A good recording by this guitar master. The last two tunes are quite pretty and that 'Space For The Papa' number is kind of deep. However, Tony Hymas just isn't too good a foil for Jeff. Sort of the way Max Middleton was on the classic Blow By Blow.The techno beats can be a bit irritating but at least Mr. Beck was willing to experiment. The bottom line is that Jeff's guitar is front and center with oh such colorful tones. It makes the grade.
Michael Bohn <email@example.com> (24.10.2001)
I am usually not a big Jeff Beck lover - but this is one of the best albums to come out in 2001 !!! Taking the guitar to new fields. Innovative, discipline. Makes me think of Fripp.
Richard <RC248@aol.com> (15.04.2002)
I think it rates a tad higher than you're jaded expectations. It's a strong effort; it has excellent riffs, and moves him into a new space. He seems to occupy his own country, and that is a noble thing ! He defines his own territory, and carries through. I don't think he NEEDS a great keyboard player, his guitar IS a keyboard. He is not unlike Chuck Berry. Chuck shows up at his concerts with a rent a band. I have watched him in person do this. He has done it for years. Jeff needs - Jeff. I submit that this is hopefully a middle age awakening, a revving of the gears, and a time to get down to work. Oddly, from the burn out years of the Yardbirds has come a survivor. Hopefully, his arms length to " the business " has meant a return to what he does best - carve out his own territory, and move onto new horizons for a new age. Long live Jeff !!!!
Glenn Wiener <GJW0721@aol.com> (13.07.2002)
In spite of its limits in the variety area, this is one good recording by Jeff Beck. Its is a true pleasure to listen to this man play guitar. Most of its metal set to techno beats but the atmospheric pieces 'Nadia', 'Blackbird', and 'Suspension' are beautiful. The heavier pieces stand pretty strong too. Love the blues vocal efforts on 'Rollin and Tumblin' and 'Earthquake' is a fairly catchy piece with some cool effects.Whereas I would have preferred the use of a live drummer, the techo drum beats actually add an interesting touch on many of the pieces. The reason is that Jeff Becks guitar is front and center and still the main focal point. The beats do change pace at different points. Most importantly, the beats do not take away from the main focal point unlike on the Pilgrim release by Clapton. The synthesizers create good atmospherics on several of the songs.. However, it would be nice if some more instruments were used to act as a foil for Jeff. Don't get me wrong, I love Jeff's playing. But more natural sounding instruments like those on Blow By Blow would have created on a nice foil for our guitar hero. Nonetheless, this is a solid collection.