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Best of Beck

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Album Review

Ever restless as a musician and constantly changing directions and trying new things, guitarist Jeff Beck is difficult to reduce to a 14-track overview, although this set probably does as well as one could at sketching in the portrait. Beginning as a guitarist for the Yardbirds in the 1960s, Beck hit his stride with the Jeff Beck Group (which featured a then relatively unknown Rod Stewart as lead singer) later in the decade, and "Shapes of Things" (initially a radio hit for the Yardbirds), "Plynth," and "Beck's Bolero" are represented here from that era. Also here are several of Beck's mid-'70s fusion tracks, including "Freeway Jam" and "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat," as well as his 1980s reunion with Stewart, “People Get Ready.” Again, Beck is a difficult artist to capture in a single-disc drive-by, but for folks curious about this fine guitarist and wanting a quick sampler of his work in several of his various guises, this set works fine as an introduction.

Biography

Born: 24 June 1944 in Wallington, Surrey, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

While he was as innovative as Jimmy Page, as tasteful as Eric Clapton, and nearly as visionary as Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck never achieved the same commercial success as any of those contemporaries, primarily because of the haphazard way he approached his career. After Rod Stewart left the Jeff Beck Group in 1971, Beck never worked with a charismatic lead singer who could have helped sell his music to a wide audience. Furthermore, he was simply too idiosyncratic, moving from heavy metal to jazz fusion...
Full bio