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The Best Of Jeff Beck

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Beck-Ola is Jeff Beck’s second studio album by the Jeff Beck Group released in 1969 and features the same lineup as Truth including keyboardist extraordinaire Nicky Hopkins. 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.

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.S. Bonds and Trombone Shorty to the show, and a showdown show ender with Brian Setzer as they play a furious version of Eddie Cochran’s “Twenty Flight Rock”. Jeff tightens up his supporting band, significantly with the addition of drummer Narada Walden and keyboardist Jan Hammer who contribute an array of arena rock cliches for the star guitarist to overlay with melodic eruptions of emotional intensity notably on the opener and follow-up "Led Boots" and "Play With Me". The centerpiece of the album is “Where Were You”, one of the most beautiful electric guitar performances ever recorded, unless we consider a couple coming up here.

Since then, everyone from bluesman Freddie King to the Who and Led Zeppelin to Pearl Jam has played it. In his final dozen years he would release two more albums: Loud Hailer, aided and abetted by Carmen Vandenberg and Rosie Bones from Camden Town hopefuls Bones UK, before his final album 18 arrived in 2022, recorded with actor/musician Johnny Depp. Unfortunately, the heaviness and modernised production begins to induce more fatigue into its listeners rather than awe, especially as this one clocks back up to a near hour in length. Keyboardist Max Middleton provides the musical foil for Beck’s guitar to sing with rapturous abandonment in response to.But if Rod Stewart was so shy that his first gigs were spent hiding behind speakers, he showed no such intimidation in the studio. In the documentary film Still on the Run: The Jeff Beck Story, fellow guitar god Jimmy Page summed Beck's unique talents up thusly: "He’s an extraordinary musician and he’s developed a technique which is so complex, it’s just a beauty to behold and hear and to feel his playing.

The song was recorded with an early version of Led Zeppelin with Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, and Keith Moon all Jamming together with Beck. Right now it’s my favorite Jeff Beck album, and pretty much has stayed there ever since it was released.

Each one is a short tour-de-force in its own right, showing precisely why the world’s best guitarists considered Beck to be the undisputed master.

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