JEFF BECK – ” Blow By Blow ” Great Guitar Albums

Posted: January 23, 2017 in MUSIC
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Few people have used the guitar as voice so effectively as Jeff Beck. And few recordings in any genre have so beautifully melded guitar with instrumentation. Although Blow By Blow has weak and dated moments, its standout tracks are so startling that I keep referring back to it as a kind of touch-point…to my own past, to an eternal expectation of how really transcendant great music can be. Three tracks have not dated, will never date: “Because We’ve Ended as Lovers”, “Scatterbrain” and “Diamond Dust”. Each has a distinctive, difficult, complicated mood. Lovers weeps. Scatterbrain has a manic, brilliant energy and wonderful interplay with a lush, erotic backing string arrangement.  Its mood is brooding, edgy, and yet elegiac. The opening bars introduce an uneasy melody against a counterpoint of piano. From there the melody twists around, punctuated by electric piano and the faint, brilliantly arranged strings. It builds and fades, sometimes bright, sometimes aching, and when it ends, you feel as if you need to think a while, maybe take a walk. It’s one of the most complicated and beautiful songs in modern music .

 “Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers” is the track for me. There is no question that Jeff Beck is trying to channel Roy Buchanan here. Where does that lead us? That leads us to Gary Moore and Ronnie Montrose and so many other guys. But where did it come from? It came from a guitarist like Roy Buchanan.

This is kind of a transitional album for Beck. He was just starting to develop a new element to his playing, and you can hear him breaking out of his older style. He played “Cause We’ve Ended as Lovers” on a two-pickup, double-coil Tele—Seymour Duncan had put those two pickups in. Jeff can do his thing without whammy bars, and you can tell that he’s channeling Buchanan here, the way Roy worked his Tele. The notes are so pure.

This is another one of those “the world has changed” records. Now you can’t imagine guitar playing the way it used to be. Certain players like Beck, Page, Hendrix and Clapton have a way of just defining a moment—they mark it as theirs.

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