Years: 1964 - present
Styles: Blues Rock, Classic Rock, Funk Rock, Hard Rock, Jazz Rock, Pop Rock, Progressive Rock, Psychedelic Rock
Jeff Beck - Acoustic guitar , Bass Guitar, Guitar, Lead guitar, Pedal steel guitar, Slide guitar, Vocals (in band: 1964 - present)
Max Middleton - Clavinet, Fender Rhodes , Keyboards
Richard Bailey - Drums, Percussion
Phil Chen - Bass Guitar
Jan Hammer - Drums, Keyboards, Synthesizer
Wilbur Bascomb - Bass Guitar
Narada Michael Walden - Drums
Tony Hymas - Keyboards
Simon Phillips - Drums
Mo Foster - Bass Guitar
Jennifer Batten - Guitar
Carmine Appice - Drums
Jimmy Hall - Vocals
Terry Bozzio - Drums, Percussion
Doug Wimbish - Bass Guitar
Steve Alexander - Drums
Randy Hope-Taylor - Bass Guitar
Geoffrey "Jeff" Arnold Beck (born 24 June 1944) is an English rock guitarist. He is one of the three noted guitarists to have played with The Yardbirds (the other two being Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page). Beck also formed The Jeff Beck Group and Beck, Bogert & Appice.
Much of Beck's recorded output has been instrumental, with a focus on innovative sound, and his releases have spanned genres ranging from blues rock, hard rock, jazz fusion, and an additional blend of guitar-rock and electronica. Although he recorded two hit albums ("Blow by Blow" in 1975 and "Wired" in 1976) as a solo act, Beck has not established or maintained the sustained commercial success of many of his contemporaries and bandmates.
He was ranked fifth in Rolling Stone's list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" and the magazine, upon whose cover Beck has appeared three times, has described him as "one of the most influential lead guitarists in rock". Beck has earned wide critical praise and received the Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance six times and Best Pop Instrumental Performance once. In 2014 he received the British Academy's Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Music. Beck has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice: as a member of the Yardbirds (1992) and as a solo artist (2009).
In March 1965, Beck was recruited by The Yardbirds to succeed Eric Clapton on the recommendation of fellow session man Jimmy Page, who had been their initial choice. The Yardbirds recorded most of their Top 40 hit songs during Beck's short but significant 20-month tenure with the band allowing him only one full album, which became known as "Roger the Engineer" (titled "Over Under Sideways Down" in the United States), released in 1966.
Beck was fired in the middle of a U.S. tour for being a consistent no-show—as well as difficulties caused by his perfectionism and explosive temper. After leaving the Yardbirds, Beck recorded the one-off "Beck's Bolero" (with Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, Nicky Hopkins and Keith Moon) and two solo hit singles in the UK, "Hi Ho Silver Lining" and "Tallyman". He then formed the Jeff Beck Group, which briefly featured former Shadow Jet Harris on bass,Rod Stewart on vocals, Ronnie Wood firstly on rhythm guitar and later bass, Nicky Hopkins on piano and, after a series of drummers, eventually Micky Waller in early 1967.
The group produced two albums for Columbia Records (Epic in the United States): "Truth" and "Beck-Ola". The group to dissolve in July 1969. Late in 1970 Jeff Beck reformed The Jeff Beck Group with vocalist Alex Ligertwood, keyboardist Max Middleton, drummer Cozy Powell and bassist Clive Chaman. During June 1971 Beck signed a record deal with CBS and was looking for a new singer. After hearing Bobby Tench perform with his band Gass, "Upstairs" at Ronnie Scott's club in Soho London, Beck employed him as vocalist and second guitarist. On 24 July 1972 The Jeff Beck Group was officially disbanded.
Beck then started collaborating with bassist Tim Bogert and drummer Carmine Appice, who became available following the demise of Cactus but continued touring as the Jeff Beck Group in August 1972, to fulfill contractual obligations with his promoter, with a line-up including Bogert, Appice, Max Middleton and vocalist Kim Milford.
After the tour Tench and Middleton left the band and the power trio Beck, Bogert & Appice appeared: Appice took on the role of vocalist with Bogert and Beck contributing occasionally. In April 1973 the album "Beck, Bogert & Appice" was released (on Epic Records). While critics acknowledged the band's instrumental prowess the album was not commercially well received except for its cover of Stevie Wonder's hit "Superstition". Beck, Bogert & Appice dissolved in April 1974 before their second studio album was finished.
Jeff Beck's solo album "Blow by Blow" evolved from these sessions and showcased Beck's technical prowess in jazz-rock. The album reached number four in the charts and is Beck's most commercially successful release. Beck, fastidious about overdubs and often dissatisfied with his solos, often returned to AIR Studios until he was satisfied.
Back toured through April and May 1975, mostly supporting the Mahavishnu Orchestra, retaining Max Middleton on keyboards but with a new rhythm section of bassist Wilbur Bascomb and noted session drummer Bernard "Pretty" Purdie. He returned to the studio and recorded "Wired" (1976), which paired ex-Mahavishnu Orchestra drummer and composer Narada Michael Walden and keyboardist Jan Hammer. The album used a jazz-rock fusion style, which sounded similar to the work of his two collaborators. To promote the album,
Beck toured Japan for three weeks in November 1978 with an ad-hoc group consisting of Clarke and newcomers Tony Hymas (keyboards) and Simon Phillips (drums) from Jack Bruce's band. Work then began on a new studio album at the Who's Ramport Studios in London and continued sporadically throughout 1979, resulting in "There & Back" in June 1980. It featured three tracks composed and recorded with Jan Hammer, while five were written with Hymas. Stanley Clarke was replaced by Mo Foster on bass, both on the album and the subsequent tours. Its release was followed by extensive touring in the USA, Japan and the UK.
In 1985 Beck released "Flash", featuring a variety of vocalists, but most notably former bandmate Rod Stewart on a rendition of Curtis Mayfield's "People Get Ready". After a four-year break, Jeff made a return to instrumental music with the album "Jeff Beck's Guitar Shop" (1989), the first album to feature Beck as a fingerstyle guitarist, leaving the plectrum playing style. It was only his 3rd album to be released in the 1980s.
He recorded the instrumental soundtrack album "Frankie's House" (1992), as well as "Crazy Legs" (1993), a tribute album to 1950s rockabilly group Gene Vincent and the Blue Caps and their influential guitarist Cliff Gallup. He accompanied Paul Rodgers of Bad Company on the album "Muddy Water Blues: A Tribute to Muddy Waters" in 1993. Jeff's next release would not be until 1999, his first foray into guitar based electronica, "Who Else!". The album also marked Beck's first collaboration with a female musician, Jennifer Batten, in touring, writing, and recording as well as the first time he had worked with another guitarist on his own material since playing in the Yardbirds. Beck continued to work with Batten through the post-release tour of "You Had It Coming" in 2001.
Jeff Beck won his third Grammy Award, this one for Best Rock Instrumental Performance for the track "Dirty Mind" from "You Had It Coming" (2001). The song "Plan B" from the 2003 release "Jeff", earned Beck his fourth Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance, and was proof that the new electro-guitar style he used for the two earlier albums would continue to dominate.
Beck's recent album, "Emotion & Commotion", was released in April 2010. It features a mixture of original songs and coverssuch as "Over the Rainbow" and "Nessun Dorma". Joss Stone and Imelda May provided some of the guest vocals. Two tracks from "Emotion & Commotion" won Grammy Awards in 2011: "Nessun Dorma" won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance, and "Hammerhead" won the Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance.
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