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Rock - Released May 10, 2004 | Parlophone UK

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
When it was originally released in June 1969, Beck-Ola, the Jeff Beck Group's second album, featured a famous sleeve note on its back cover: "Today, with all the hard competition in the music business, it's almost impossible to come up with anything totally original. So we haven't. However, this LP was made with the accent on heavy music. So sit back and listen and try and decide if you can find a small place in your heads for it." Beck was reacting to the success of peers and competitors like Cream and Led Zeppelin here, bands that had been all over the charts with a hard rock sound soon to be dubbed heavy metal, and indeed, his sound employs much the same brand of "heavy music" as theirs, with deliberate rhythms anchoring the beat, over which the guitar solos fiercely and the lead singer emotes. But he was also preparing listeners for the weakness of the material on an album that sounds somewhat thrown together. Two songs are rehauls of Elvis Presley standards ("All Shook Up" and "Jailhouse Rock") and one is an instrumental interlude contributed by pianist Nicky Hopkins, promoted from sideman to group member, with the rest being band-written songs that basically serve as platforms for Beck's improvisations. But that doesn't detract from the album's overall quality, due both to the guitar work and the distinctive vocals of Rod Stewart, and Beck-Ola easily could have been the album to establish the Jeff Beck Group as the equal of the other heavy bands of the day. Unfortunately, a series of misfortunes occurred. Beck canceled out of a scheduled appearance at Woodstock; he was in a car accident that sidelined him for over a year, and Stewart and bass player Ron Wood decamped to join Faces, breaking up the group. Nevertheless, Beck-Ola stands as a prime example of late-'60s British blues-rock and one of Beck's best records. © William Ruhlmann /TiVo
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Pop/Rock - Released October 11, 1976 | Epic

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Released in 1976, Jeff Beck's Wired contains some of the best jazz-rock fusion of the period. Wired is generally more muscular, albeit less-unique than its predecessor, Blow by Blow. Joining keyboardist Max Middleton, drummer Richard Bailey, and producer George Martin from the Blow by Blow sessions are drummer Narada Michael Walden, bassist Wilbur Bascomb, and keyboardist Jan Hammer. Beck contributed no original material to Wired, instead relying on the considerable talents of his supporting cast. Perhaps this explains why Wired is not as cohesive as Blow by Blow, seemingly more assembled from component parts. Walden's powerful drumming propels much of Wired, particularly Middleton's explosive opener, "Led Boots," where Beck erupts into a stunning solo of volcanic intensity. Walden also contributes four compositions, including the funk-infused "Come Dancing," which adds an unnamed horn section. While Walden's "Sophie" is overly long and marred by Hammer's arena rock clichés, his "Play With Me" is spirited and Hammer's soloing more melodic. Acoustic guitar and piano predominate the closing ballad, "Love Is Green"; Beck's electric solo gracefully massages the quiet timbres. Wired is well balanced by looser, riff-oriented material and Walden's more intricate compositions. Walden and Hammer give Wired a '70s-era jazz-rock flavor that is indicative of their work with the Mahavishnu Orchestra. Bascomb's throw-down, "Head for Backstage Pass," finds Bailey skillfully navigating the mixed meters while Beck counters with a dazzling, gritty solo. Hammer's "Blue Wind" features an infectious riff over which Beck and Hammer trade heated salvos. As good as "Blue Wind" is, it would have benefited from the Walden/Bascomb rhythm section and a horn arrangement by Martin. One of Wired's finest tracks is an arrangement of Charles Mingus' "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat." Beck's playing is particularly alluring: cleanly ringing tones, weeping bends, and sculpted feedback form a resonant palette. Bailey and Middleton lend supple support. Within a two-year span, the twin towers Blow by Blow and Wired set a standard for instrumental rock that even Beck has found difficult to match. On Wired, with first-rate material and collaborators on hand, one of rock's most compelling guitarists is in top form. © Mark Kirschenmann /TiVo
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Rock - Released March 29, 1975 | Epic

Blow by Blow typifies Jeff Beck's wonderfully unpredictable career. Released in 1975, Beck's fifth effort as a leader and first instrumental album was a marked departure from its more rock-based predecessors. Only composer/keyboardist Max Middleton returned from Beck's previous lineups. To Beck's credit, Blow by Blow features a tremendous supporting cast. Middleton's tasteful use of the Fender Rhodes, clavinet, and analog synthesizers leaves a soulful imprint. Drummer Richard Bailey is in equal measure supportive and propulsive as he deftly combines elements of jazz and funk with contemporary mixed meters. Much of the album's success is also attributable to the excellent material, which includes Middleton's two originals and two collaborations with Beck, a clever arrangement of Lennon and McCartney's "She's a Woman," and two originals by Stevie Wonder. George Martin's ingenious production and string arrangements rival his greatest work. Beck's versatile soloing and diverse tones are clearly the album's focus, and he proves to be an adept rhythm player. Blow by Blow is balanced by open-ended jamming and crisp ensemble interaction as it sidesteps the bombast that sank much of the jazz-rock fusion of the period. One of the album's unique qualities is the sense of fun that permeates the performances. On the opening "You Know What I Mean," Beck's stinging, blues-based soloing is full of imaginative shapes and daring leaps. On "Air Blower," elaborate layers of rhythm, duel lead, and solo guitars find their place in the mix. Propelled by the galvanic rhythm section, Beck slashes his way into "Scatterbrain," where a dizzying keyboard and guitar line leads to more energetic soloing from Beck and Middleton. In Stevie Wonder's ballad "Cause We've Ended as Lovers," Beck variously coaxes and unleashes sighs and screams from his guitar in an aching dedication to Roy Buchanan. Middleton's aptly titled "Freeway Jam" best exemplifies the album's loose and fun-loving qualities, with Beck again riding high atop the rhythm section's wave. As with "Scatterbrain," Martin's impeccable string arrangements enhance the subtle harmonic shades of the closing "Diamond Dust." Blow by Blow signaled a new creative peak for Beck, and it proved to be a difficult act to follow. It is a testament to the power of effective collaboration and, given the circumstances, Beck clearly rose to the occasion. In addition to being a personal milestone, Blow by Blow ranks as one of the premiere recordings in the canon of instrumental rock music. © Mark Kirschenmann /TiVo
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Rock - Released June 1, 2015 | Eagle Rock

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Rock - Released February 26, 1999 | Epic

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Rock - Released July 15, 2016 | Rhino

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Who's the punkest guitar-hero around? It's Jeff Beck! Punk in spirit, obviously. As in, "I do what I want, when I want!" At the heart of the Yardbirds, who also welcomed Jimmy Page and Robert Plant into their fold, Beck's the one who makes the strings bleed, or rips them off entirely, like in the famous scene from Antonioni's cult film, Blow Up. When he was expected to go rock, he went jazz-rock. When a voice interested him (Rod "the Mod" Stewart's, for instance) he made a carnal fusion with it. And if, out of nowhere, he felt he wanted to remind the world who his idol was (Cliff Gallup, guitarist from Gene Vincent), he'd just make a tribute album, like he did with the delicious Crazy Legs in 1993. "Even if I had to do the cover of a magazine like Guitar World 400 times, I'm not that kind of guy! I'm not of that world!" It's good to know that nothing is for free in this eclectic disque, which alternates between blues, funk rock, electro metal, jazz rock and pure soul. Loud Hailer proves that Jeff Beck thinks about the music before he thinks about the guitar. And that's probably what distinguishes him from everybody else.In the autobiography Beck 01, John McLaghlin begins the preface by stating: "Jeff Beck is my all time favourite guitarist. Now what can I say?" Nothing. Just listen to Loud Hailer.
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Rock - Released March 19, 2010 | Rhino

When Jeff Beck last ventured into the studio it was to cut 2003’s Jeff, a deliberately modernist album steeped in electronica, to which 2010’s Emotion & Commotion almost feels like a refutation. Working with producers Steve Lipson and Trevor Horn, Beck has created an old-fashioned blues-rock-cum-prog record, balancing the sweeping vistas of a 64-piece orchestra with cool jazz-funk grooves, tarted-up Screamin' Jay Hawkins covers with a pair of Jeff Buckley tunes and a gentle reading of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” Joss Stone sits in for two songs, including “I Put a Spell on You,” with jazz vocalist Imelda May and opera singer Olivia Safe taking lead on two others, but the focus remains on Beck, who is in a reserved, lyrical mood. Occasionally, the tempo ratchets up -- “Hammerhead,” which begins as a ‘60s riff rocker before quickly heading to Blow by Blow territory; “There’s No Other Me,” the other Stone showcase -- but Emotion & Commotion remains languid and even dreamy despite the crisp, cavernous Horn production that gives it a feeling of being trapped in 1990. All this is due to Beck, who has chosen to forgo his signature frenzied fretboard blitzkriegs and weave long phrases, his guitar rich, thick, and warm, sounding familiar yet different: he’s never sustained this level of grace for a full record, and his soulful playing cuts through the clean sheen of the production, always commanding attention even when he’s not demanding it. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Rock - Released May 19, 2015 | Rhino

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Rock - Released October 6, 2017 | Rhino

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Rock - Released May 9, 2005 | Parlophone UK

Despite being the premiere of heavy metal, Jeff Beck's Truth has never quite carried its reputation the way the early albums by Led Zeppelin did, or even Cream's two most popular LPs, mostly as a result of the erratic nature of the guitarist's subsequent work. Time has muted some of its daring, radical nature, elements of which were appropriated by practically every metal band (and most arena rock bands) that followed. Truth was almost as groundbreaking and influential a record as the first Beatles, Rolling Stones, or Who albums. Its attributes weren't all new -- Cream and Jimi Hendrix had been moving in similar directions -- but the combination was: the wailing, heart-stoppingly dramatic vocalizing by Rod Stewart, the thunderous rhythm section of Ron Wood's bass and Mickey Waller's drums, and Beck's blistering lead guitar, which sounds like his amp is turned up to 13 and ready to short out. Beck opens the proceedings in a strikingly bold manner, using his old Yardbirds hit "Shapes of Things" as a jumping-off point, deliberately rebuilding the song from the ground up so it sounds closer to Howlin' Wolf. There are lots of unexpected moments on this record: a bone-pounding version of Willie Dixon's "You Shook Me"; a version of Jerome Kern's "Ol' Man River" done as a slow electric blues; a brief plunge into folk territory with a solo acoustic guitar version of "Greensleeves" (which was intended as filler but audiences loved); the progressive blues of "Beck's Bolero"; the extended live "Blues Deluxe"; and "I Ain't Superstitious," a blazing reworking of another Willie Dixon song. It was a triumph -- a number 15 album in America, astoundingly good for a band that had been utterly unknown in the U.S. just six months earlier -- and a very improbable success. © Bruce Eder /TiVo
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Pop/Rock - Released March 28, 1989 | Epic - Nashville

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After a life-threatening car accident forced him to take an extended break, guitarist extraordinaire Jeff Beck re-emerged in 1971 with a new band, a new album (Rough and Ready), and an attempt to merge a soulful Memphis sound with hard rock. 1972's Jeff Beck Group shows that Beck was already moving beyond his soul-rock hybrid and sowing the seeds for his exceptional mid-'70s jazz/rock fusion work. Jeff Beck Group also served as a precursor to Beck's next project, the blues-soul-rock trio Beck, Bogart & Appice. Produced by Booker T. & the M.G.'s guitarist Steve Cropper, Jeff Beck Group contains "Going Down," one of Beck's best-known tracks and a perennial concert favorite, as well as the album-opening highlight "Ice Cream Cakes." An important, transitional album in the career of this stylistically adventurous guitarist. © Rovi Staff /TiVo
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Pop/Rock - Released October 25, 1971 | Epic

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Recouping after a car crash and faced with the loss of Rod Stewart and Ron Wood, Jeff Beck redefined what the Jeff Beck Group was about, deciding to tone down the bluesy bombast, adding keyboardist Max Middleton for a jazz edge, then having Bob Tench sing to give it an overblown early-'70s AOR edge. As expected, these two sides are in conflict and Tench can be a little overbearing, but there are moments here that bring out the best in Beck. Namely, these are the times when the group ventures into extended, funk-inflected, reflective jazzy instrumental sections. These are the moments that point the way toward the success of Blow by Blow, yet this remains an unabashed rock record of its time, and it falls prey to many of its era's excesses, particularly lack of focus. Still, there are moments that are as fine as anything Beck played here. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Rock - Released August 3, 1989 | Epic

Guitar Shop represents guitar hero Jeff Beck's return to the scene following his 1985 pop/rock-based recording, Flash; an outing that featured his one time lead vocalist, Rod Stewart. Essentially, this 1989 release provides Beck's ardent admirers with a power-packed outing, brimming with memorable melodies, drummer Terry Bozzio's often blistering rock drumming, and keyboardist Tony Hymas' effective synth textures. Here, Beck surges onward in altogether stunning fashion via his quirky lead lines, sweet-tempered slide guitar work, disfigured extended notes and deterministic mode of execution. With "Behind the Veil," the band delves into a reggae groove, featuring Beck's lower register thematic statements and well-placed notes. Otherwise, the ensemble tackles the blues and hard rock motifs amid Beck's crunching chord clusters, animated lines, and soaring heavenward soloing on the lovely and somewhat ethereal ballad titled "Two Rivers." Simply put, this is a wonderfully produced effort and a significant entry into the artist's extensive recorded legacy. © Glenn Astarita /TiVo
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Pop - Released March 23, 2003 | Epic - Legacy

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Rock - Released April 16, 2020 | Rhino

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Pop/Rock - Released February 6, 2001 | Epic

Jeff Beck returns two years after the ten-years-in-the-making Who Else?, and You Had It Coming isn't surprising just for its rapidity, but for its music. From the moment the electronicized, post-rave beats of "Earthquake" kick off the record, it's clear that Beck isn't content to stay in place -- he's trying to adapt to the modern world. To a certain extent, this isn't an entirely new phenomenon, since each of his records is clearly, inextricably of its time, from the crunching metal of Truth through the breezy jazz fusion of Blow By Blow to the modernized album rock of Guitar Shop. This is just another side of that, as Beck works with electronic music, both noisy and new age introspective. It's a bit clever, actually, since Beck's playing has always been otherworldly, dipping, bending, and sounding like anything other than a normal guitar. The problem is, when he's surrounded by lockstep, processed beats and gurgling synths, his guitar doesn't leap to the forefront and capture attention the way it does on his best recordings. Still, there's something to be said for the effort, because even if it doesn't sound like a Beck record, it isn't a bad record, and it's certainly a helluva lot more successful than Clapton's similar forays into these waters. Besides, knowing that he knocked this out so quickly makes it a little endearing. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Rock - Released August 26, 1986 | Epic

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There and Back, Jeff Beck's first new studio album in four years, found him moving from old keyboard partner Jan Hammer (three tracks) to new one Tony Hymas (five), which turned out to be the difference between competition and support. Hence, the second side of this instrumental album is more engaging and less of a funk-fusion extravaganza than most of the first. If it were anybody else, you'd say that this was a transitional album, but this was the only studio album Beck released between 1976 and 1985, which makes it more like an unexpected Christmas letter from an old friend: "Everything's fine, still playing guitar." © William Ruhlmann /TiVo
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Rock - Released October 25, 2010 | Atco

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Pop/Rock - Released June 19, 2003 | Epic

"If the voice don't say it, the guitar will play it," raps Saffron on "Pork-U-Pine," the third track on Jeff Beck's minimally titled Jeff. And he does. Beck teams with producer Andy Wright, the man responsible for his more complete immersion into electronic backdrops on his last outing, You Had It Coming. This time the transition is complete. Beck used electronica first on Who Else!, moved a little more into the fire on You Had It Coming, and here merges his full-on Beck-Ola guitar heaviness with the sounds of contemporary spazz-out big beats and noise. Beck and Wright employ Apollo 440 on "Grease Monkey" and "Hot Rod Honeymoon," and use a number of vocalists, including the wondrously gifted Nancy Sorrell, on a host of tracks, as well as the London Session Orchestra on others (such as "Seasons," where hip-hop, breakbeats, and old-school Tangerine Dream sequencing meet the guitarist's deep blues and funk-drenched guitar stylings). As for atmospherics, David Torn (aka producer Splattercell) offers a shape-shifting mix of glitch tracks on "Plan B" for Beck to wax on both acoustically and electrically, and make them weigh a ton. But it's on cuts like "Trouble Man," a purely instrumental big drum and guitar skronk workout, where Beck truly shines here. With a rhythm section of Dean Garcia and Steve Barney -- and Tony Hymas appears as well -- Beck goes completely overboard: the volume screams and the sheer crunch of his riffs and solos split the rhythm tracks in two, then four, and finally eight, as he turns single-string runs into commentaries on everything from heavy metal to East Indian classical music. The industrial crank and burn of "Grease Monkey" is an outing fraught with danger for the guitarist, who has to whirl away inside a maelstrom of deeply funky noise -- and Beck rides the top of the wave into dirty drum hell and comes out wailing. For those who feel they need a dose of Beck's rootsier and bluesier playing, there is one, but the context is mentally unglued. "Hot Rod Honeymoon" is a drum and bass sprint with Beck playing both slide and Texas-style blues à la Albert Collins, letting the strings bite into the beats. The vocals are a bit cheesy, but the entire track is so huge it's easy to overlook them. "Line Dancing With Monkeys" has a splintered Delta riff at its core, but it mutates, shifts, changes shape, and becomes the kind of spooky blues that cannot be made with conventional instruments. His turnarounds into the myopic rhythms provide a kind of menacing foil to their increasing insistence in the mix. Before gabber-style drum and bass threaten to break out of the box, Beck's elongated bent-note solos tame them. "JB's Blues" is the oddest thing here because it's so ordinary; it feels like it belongs on an updated Blow By Blow. In all this is some of the most emotionally charged and ferocious playing of Beck's career. Within the context of contemporary beatronica, Beck flourishes. He find a worthy opponent to tame in the machines, and his ever-present funkiness is allowed to express far more excess than restraint. This is as fine a modern guitar record as you are ever going to hear. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Rock - Released November 29, 2010 | Rhino

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Jeff Beck in the magazine