If Jeff Beck was lucky enough
to be a dog, he’d probably be a whippet:
fast, intelligent, dangerous and highly
He came to prominence in the mid-Sixties.
Then, his guitar slinging capabilities
were put to the test when he successfully
replaced Eric Clapton in the Yardbirds.
After blowing his mind (and everyone else’s)
whilst on tour in America, Mrs. Beck’s
Bad Boy spent the next few years searching
for his musical kennel. First of all there
was the Blues rock of the Jeff Beck group
which sensationally contained Rod Stewert,
Ronnie Wood, and Nicky Hopkins on keyboards,
(who turned down Led Zeppelin to join
this outfit). Then there was a second
edition of the band, with Cozy Powell,
which went nowhere.
After that he forged a union with ex-Vanilla
Fudge rhythm section Tim Bogart and Carmine
Appice (British Dogs & American Cats
obviously don’t mix!).
After which he made this all instrumental
album, which was an incredible success
all over the world.
Supported by Max Middleton on keyboards,
he also had the fifth Beatle, George Martin,
producing the whole thing. Blow By Blow
finds young Mr. Beck with a bass-drums-keyboards
outfit which was augmented by some tastefully
unobtrusive string arrangement. But don’t
let that fool you, the guitar is right
up there in your face throughout. All
his trade mark licks, fierce attacks,
thick tones, micro-tonal bending, distortion,
screaming feedback, vibrato, sustain,
sonic hoodoo, and splatter blasting are
all still there.
Within the concept of Martin’s superb
production, Jeff Beck is still let loose
on such crazy workouts as “Air Blower”,
“Scatter Brain” and the supersonic “Freeway
Jam”, where the sound effects department
are put to the test.
Jeff Beck also proves that he can structure
a melody and turn it into something of
great beauty. “Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers”,
written by Stevie Wonder is Beck’s gorgeous
tribute to his own guitar hero, the sadly
departed Roy Buchanan. The final track,
Diamond Dust is the guitarist at the absolute
peak of his powers, clocking in at nearly
nine minutes. It’s guaranteed to send
shivers up and down your spine.
Blow By Blow was certainly Jeff Beck’s
finest hour but, to get the full blown
story, you should also buy the 3 C.D.
Beckology, which will take you with Jeff
Beck from 1962 – 1990. Enjoy.
Pawed by Mott The Dog
Remastered by Ella Crew