9 Songs, 44 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Of the triumvirate of guitar gods to emerge from The Yardbirds’ brief, if monumentally influential original ‘60s incarnation, Jeff Beck was arguably the most gifted. Yet the enduring success of Beck’s pioneering 1975 instrumental fusion album belies its creatively restless ancestry. Having bolted the ‘birds for a pair of Rod Stewart-vocalized heavy electric blues albums that essentially became the template for fellow former-Yardie Jimmy Page’s Led Zeppelin, Jeff then lurched into the r&b/jazz inflected incarnation of the second Jeff Beck Group, reversed course into heaviness again via a misfired collaboration with Vanilla Fudge’s Tim Bogert and Carmine Appice, then rebuffed an offer to join the Rolling Stones before hooking up with ex-Beatles producer George Martin to forge this album. It remains one of his most satisfying and successful. While fusion has long since gotten an oft-deserved bad rep for self-indulgence, the Beck/Martin collaboration here is one of elegant, jazz-suffused subtlety. Whether he’s adding some playful, wah-wah pedaled funk to Lennon-McCartney’s “She’s A Woman,” lighting up “Freeway Jam” with patent fretboard fireworks or wringing every melancholy from Stevie Wonder’s “’Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers,” Beck’s playing is powered by a an emotionally charged lyricism all his own. Ample evidence of why JB fans would rather hear their hero play two notes than any other guitarist play 200. 

Mastered for iTunes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Of the triumvirate of guitar gods to emerge from The Yardbirds’ brief, if monumentally influential original ‘60s incarnation, Jeff Beck was arguably the most gifted. Yet the enduring success of Beck’s pioneering 1975 instrumental fusion album belies its creatively restless ancestry. Having bolted the ‘birds for a pair of Rod Stewart-vocalized heavy electric blues albums that essentially became the template for fellow former-Yardie Jimmy Page’s Led Zeppelin, Jeff then lurched into the r&b/jazz inflected incarnation of the second Jeff Beck Group, reversed course into heaviness again via a misfired collaboration with Vanilla Fudge’s Tim Bogert and Carmine Appice, then rebuffed an offer to join the Rolling Stones before hooking up with ex-Beatles producer George Martin to forge this album. It remains one of his most satisfying and successful. While fusion has long since gotten an oft-deserved bad rep for self-indulgence, the Beck/Martin collaboration here is one of elegant, jazz-suffused subtlety. Whether he’s adding some playful, wah-wah pedaled funk to Lennon-McCartney’s “She’s A Woman,” lighting up “Freeway Jam” with patent fretboard fireworks or wringing every melancholy from Stevie Wonder’s “’Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers,” Beck’s playing is powered by a an emotionally charged lyricism all his own. Ample evidence of why JB fans would rather hear their hero play two notes than any other guitarist play 200. 

Mastered for iTunes
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Ratings and Reviews

4.8 out of 5
146 Ratings
146 Ratings
Long Memory ,

Desert island material

This should be on any short list of recordings you'd take into exile on a desert island. Simply a stunning album. Beck is inventive and expressive, and by working with the band instead of letting it work for him he creates powerful and diverse pieces. The drumwork is superbly rich, part of the dense rhythmic drive. One of the best fusion efforts ever and it easily stands the test of time.

stupidhippie ,

This album is funktastic!

I'm not even sure this counts as rock. This is Jeff Beck's best album.. Every song sounds like It could be the soundtrack to a Steve McQueen car chase. BUY IT FREAKIN' NOW!

g_go ,

music for the whole family

I'm now in my 50's - dug this immensely when it came out. My brother, 10 years years younger, picked it up from me... now his son, a rock drummer in his 20's, hears it like it was brand new. Beck remains one of the essential voices.

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