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The Best Of Jeff Beck

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Within weeks of joining The Yardbirds, Beck had transformed them from blues purists to avant-pop outliers to rival The Beatles and The Stones. Since that time he has published myriads of photographs, articles, interviews, and contributed to 2 encyclopedias and published 6 books on everything from music to the military. Beck's recordings starting with the single "Dracula's Daughter"/"Come Back Baby" with Screaming Lord Sutch and the Savages in 1962.

Led Boots” was an obvious nod to his friend Jimmy Page, but other than that, it was a tour de force with a strange drum tempo that only the best could try. However, despite the fact that their most memorable song appeared in August 1968, it had been recorded two years earlier with a dream line-up, Beck and Jimmy Page on guitars, John Entwistle on bass and Keith Moon on drums. The song has been taken to a brand new level, the orchestra works perfectly, and once again Jeff shows when he wants, he can treat his guitar with a delicacy unparalleled.

On Wired, with first-rate material and collaborators on hand, one of rock's most compelling guitarists is in top form. Most of his best known work is here – “Led Boots”, “Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers” and a bit rushed “Where Were You”, but he once again outdoes himself with “A Day In The Life”, and shows he is one of the few who can do a Beatles song justice. But it's Beck version with the Jeff Beck Group – including Rod Stewart on vocals and Ron Wood on bass – that stung the hardest.

Rough and Ready' sports some of Beck's best tunes; "Got The Feeling", "I've Been Used" and "New Ways/Train Train" but it remains the unabashed rock record of its time; falling prey to those excesses and has eventfully been obscured by time. While BBA never succeeded on a visceral level, there are some interesting musical moments to come out of this brief collaboration, but Jeff Beck needed to get serious after this. Disc 2 continues tracing his sonic journey, cherry picking from his two Jeff Beck Group albums, 1968’s Truth and 69’s Beck-Ola: tracks are raw, gritty and thunderous: see his reconfiguring of The Yardbirds’ Shapes Of Things and the galloping Plynth, which paves the way for heavy metal. This album has such an array of sounds it’s unbelievable, but overall it is one of the most beautiful albums ever by Jeff Beck and yet again shows us just how dynamic and broadly talented he is.

On What God Wants, Beck delivers blistering mutant blues fireworks, chiming reveries and cosmos-touching solos that almost single-handedly elevated the three-part suite to the level of Floyd at their peak. One of the few Yardbirds tracks to feature both Beck and his old mate and soon-to-be-successor, Jimmy Page.

In addition to being a personal milestone, Blow by Blow ranks as one of the premiere recordings in the canon of instrumental rock music. But if Rod Stewart was so shy that his first gigs were spent hiding behind speakers, he showed no such intimidation in the studio. With Jan Hammer in the group, it was a continuation of his Mahavishnu Orchestra jazz /rock fusion experimentation. Where other fusion players would make their own distinctive impact, Jeff Beck somehow remembered to keep things rocking and on great songs like Stevie Wonder’s “‘Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers” showing his incredible sense of melody before blowing the doors off on “Freeway Jam” and closing with the majestic and beautiful “Diamond Dust” would be regarded even more as one of the most innovative and original guitar geniuses of all time. Songs like “The Revolution Will Be Televised” and “Oil” rock with the power of any metal band and Jeff Beck seems to be especially charged up on this set of ultra contemporary songs that would delight NIN fans as well as Beck fans who continue to marvel at his incredible range of style.

With "Behind the Veil," the band delves into a reggae groove, featuring Beck's lower register thematic statements and well-placed notes. Although it never carried the same 'classic' reputation as the early albums by Led Zeppelin or Cream, it was just as ground breaking and influential as all of them. Elsewhere, Jeff Beck taught us he was the best blues player, and was taking his noise making and other sounds to places only Hendrix was visiting.

If you think the greatest Jeff Beck album isn't ranked highly enough, vote for it so it receives proper credit.He didn’t, instead forming the Jeff Beck Group where he handed singing duties to Rod Stewart and, over two albums, 1968’s Truth and 1969’s Beck-Ola, provided the hard rock and heavy metal prototype.

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