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Jeff Beck - Blow By Blow

Review: 053
Date: 10 Dec 01


Rating: 5 Stars

Musicians: n/a

Tracks Listing:
1. You Know What I Mean
2. She’s A Woman
3. Constipated Duck
4. Air Blower
5. Scatterbrain
6. Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers
7. Thelonius
8. Freeway Jam
9. Diamond Dust


If Jeff Beck was lucky enough to be a dog, he’d probably be a whippet: fast, intelligent, dangerous and highly strung.

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


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