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
148 Ratings

148 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.

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.

dirty yellow ,

Top five of my collection

I have an extensive and,for lack of a better word,eclectic collection of recordings of just about every genre,amassed over a period of 40 years.For pure musicianship and bravery,this album is the jewel of my collection,bringing to mind Sting's Dream of the Blue Turtles.I have played it more than any other album.I think if it was re-released in today's music atmosphere,it would be a tremendous crossover hit,especially in the jazz market.

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