Jeff Beck

Jeff Beck

Músico / cantante

Geoffrey Arnold "Jeff" Beck (born 24 June 1944) is an English rock guitarist. Jeff Beck was one of the three noted guitarists, the others being Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page, to have played with The Yardbirds. Beck was ranked 5th in Rolling Stone Magazine's list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time".

Beck burst onto the music scene in 1966 after joining The Yardbirds. Although his stint with the band lasted only 18 months, Beck played on almost all of the group’s hits. More importantly, Beck’s innovative style heard on classics released as singles like “Shapes of Things” and “Heart Full of Soul” helped influence the psychedelic sound of the ‘60s. “Heart Full of Soul” was later released as a track on Having a Rave Up.

At the height of the Yardbirds’ popularity in 1967, Beck was fired from the group for failing to show up to gigs in addition to his demanding personality and explosive temper. He embarked upon an unpredictable journey of musical discovery that has lasted nearly four-decades as an Epic recording artist. During that time, Beck has left his distinctive mark on hard rock, jazz-fusion and modern music history.

While many of his contemporaries are satisfied with musical inertia, Beck continues to add to his legacy as an innovator with the release of his 14th album, simply titled “Jeff .” Produced by Andy Wright (Simply Red, Eurythmics) and mixed by Mike Barbiero (Blues Traveler, Metallica), the 13 songs on “Jeff” reflect how Beck’s fascination with electronic music continues to evolve.

“On my last album, ‘You Had It Coming,’ I spent a lot of time in the studio with Andy Wright just toying around with different sounds. We had a great time, but I bogged down in the possibilities,” says Beck, who earned a Grammy for instrumental performance for the song “Dirty Mind” from that album. “When I went back to the studio for ‘Jeff ,’ I didn’t want to get bogged down again so I brought in a few people to help push us along.”

Although they only met when the album was almost finished, Beck says David Torn of the New York trip-hop group Splattercell became an important collaborator. Much to Beck’s delight, Torn gutted an early version of the song, “Plan B.” “Dave ripped the vocals out straight away and made my guitar line the song’s main hook. That’s what I should have done in the first place, but it takes a remix guy to come along and put a different spin on what you’re doing,” he says. “The instant I heard Dave’s album with Splattercell, I wanted him to dismember one of my songs, and he came through beautifully.”

While working on the album at Metropolis Studio, Beck met Liverpudlian electronic trio Apollo 440—programmers Howard Gray, his brother Trevor and guitarist Noko Fisher-Jones. Before long, Beck had recorded three songs using the group’s rhythms.

“When we first met, they wrote me one of those amazing ‘nail your head to the wall’ kinds of grooves that they’re famous for and I ate it up,” says Beck. “I played off that track for two hours and wound up writing ‘Grease Monkey’ around their groove.”

Finding inspiration in a unique rhythm track is how songs like “Dirty Mind” from “You Had It Coming” and “Psycho Sam” from “Who Else!” were written, says Beck. “I play guitar, but that’s rarely my starting point,” he explains. “The drums have to kick me in the ass and make me want to play or I’ll just sit there all day. Sure, I can write a song on guitar and then try to add drums in later, but it never sounds quite right. For me, a good song has to begin with an inspiring rhythm.”

Another Apollo 440 rhythm track provided the spark for “Hot Rod Honeymoon,” which juxtaposes a raging club beat against 60s surf-pop harmonies and blues slide guitar. The unexpected contrast gives the song a fresh edge. “If I used a shuffle on this song, which is the kind of beat you would expect to hear, it would have killed the song instantly,” explains Beck. “Instead, the Apollo guys and I came up with a tongue-in-cheek Beach Boys song complete with techno-drums and screaming guitar, which I think sounds more interesting.”

With its haunting melody anchored by Beck’s violin-like tone and a 40-piece orchestra, “Bulgarian”—a traditional folk song arranged by Beck and Wright—is one of the guitarist’s most majestic songs Read more


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