Jeff Beck is one of the most underrated musicians and guitarists out there today. He is an amazing player and has had a career spanning many decades. This is his first proper solo album and is seen as an undisputed classic in its own way, with many guest musicians on this record. Let’s take a listen to this album many decades later and see if it still stands tall today.
We kick off with Shapes Of Things which has a manic drum led intro before some crazy singing, energetic rhythms and amazing guitar playing take you to another place. This is legendary Classic Rock music that is suspenseful, loud and original. Definitely an underrated musical piece, this is loud and extraordinarily good, no doubt influencing the likes of other later legends such as Deep Purple and Black Sabbath. The phrasing and playing here is excellent, with a brilliant midsection as well. The outro has some nice playing in it, too. Terrific start to this album.
Next is Let Me Love You which has an amazing guitar led intro and some pacing beats. Before long, some equally amazing singing and guitar playing enter that are literally fantastic. It goes into a syncopated section of singing and guitar playing that sounds really out there and amazing. Each musician here puts in 100%, and the guitar solo is just as good here. There is a sense of professional and amazing sonic sounds here. The guitar playing here here by Jeff Beck is truly outstanding, and in a class of its own. This is terrific and expressive music about sexual expression and desire here, a fantastic listen listening experience from start to finish.
Morning Dew begins with some weird 1960s styled sounds, before launching into a more Pop inspired piece that sounds inspired, fresh and inspired here. The wah-wah guitar playing here in particular is extraordinary and amazing, and the whole piece pulsates with energy and excitement here. A really fine and nicely multi-sectioned piece of musical wonder, this is a really great listen and a strong piece from this album. This is a really top listen, taking you to a difference place. The song title itself refers to a sexual term, but the intent here may be very different indeed. A nice arpeggio finishes off this piece here, with the eerie psychedelic 1960s sounds as well.
You Shook Me begins with some weird guitar sounds, before launching into a cover of the legendary song that was later adapted by Led Zeppelin. It is a brilliant, and probably better version than the Led Zeppelin piece. It sounds very fresh, energetic and amazing to hear. The playing and singing here is nothing short of amazing, and the solo section here is really quite high quality stuff. It ends with some interesting guitar feedback here.
Up next is Ol’ Man River which begins with bass guitar and keyboard in the right channel, which is definitely late 1960s territory here. Before long, rolling tom-tom drums enter and so does Rod Stewart’s nicely delivered voice. This is a really excellent effort here, and just sounds really divine and amazing to listen to. There is a pseudo-Beatlesque sound here, but still this is an energetic and original piece of music with many climatic points and different sounds here. There is some really awesome slide guitar here in the second half which is neat, followed by more rolling drums and a fantastic finish. Excellent song.
Following is an adaptation of the Classical music piece Greensleeves which is nicely delivered music on acoustic guitar. It’s the same melody that ice cream trucks used to play whenever passing by in suburbia, yes, that piece. Still, this is a short and delightful listen all the same and sounds completely different to anything else out there. Brilliant adaptation and great guitar playing here.
Rock My Plimsoul is back to the band based music here, with some catchy and wonderfully played electric guitars and drums to begin with. This is an excellent piece of music that has a huge deal of male sexual energy about it. Still, despite that, this is another solid gold piece of music that is timeless. Some incredibly scorching and loud bluesy guitar soloing is here, which is one of the best things that Gibson Les Pauls are for. Wicked phrasing is here, along with a great sense of rhythm. A really fine listen, the second half goes bass guitar heavy and there is a neat call-and-response section between the vocals and guitars here. It builds up into a frenzied outro and finish that is totally awesome. Great stuff.
Beck’s Bolero enters next and some proto-Queen style guitar breaks and playing that is truly unique. This is very catchy and listenable. Before long, some awesome slide guitar enters that is pretty trippy and Psychedelic sounding. The instrumentation here is bang on perfect. It quickly goes into a crashing loud and wonderful Classic Rock piece that is full on. An awesome and inspired piece of music, this is very cool. Less than three minutes long, this is a monumental Rock instrumental that ends abruptly. Nice stuff here.
After that is Blues Deluxe which is an epic piece at seven and a half minutes long. It begins with upbeat piano, pounding drums and a neat guitar intro to stun and amaze you. Rod Stewart sings in a proto-Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin) voice and this whole thing is just tremendously awesome and good. No doubt an ode to the older traditions of Blues music all the same, this is a wonderful piece of punchy and perfectly delivered Rock music that sounds really terrific. Never a dull moment here, this album and the songs here are totally underrated. A lively, pulsating and energetic piece of musicianship, there is no doubt Jeff Beck and co. had an ear for excellent music, and likely still do. The piano playing in the middle here is really insane, it just sounds top. The guitar solo here, amongst sounds of an audience clapping, is truly inspiring. A very good listen throughout this extended piece of music, it is a wonderful Blues jam that ticks all the right boxes. The ending here is an amazing listen with the vocal climax and guitar soloing by Jeff Beck is incredible. Good job.
Last here is I Ain’t Superstitious which begins with some raw guitar playing and sounds, before launching into a really sweet and awesome listening experience that is extraordinarily expressive and terrific listening. Plenty of wah-wah guitar is here to make this piece come alive, and sounds very incredible. This is captivating listen with plenty of tasty guitar licks that sound really cool. Really awesome stuff to hear, this is such a timeless, creative and artistic Blues based piece that will get you wanting to hear more by Jeff Beck. In the second half, this piece leads to a dramatic finish with a really cool drum solo here that is spot on. Great music and album, awesome to hear.
This album is truly an underrated gem and a masterpiece of Rock history, from the famous personnel to the cover art of the album. Every single song and minute is electrifying, pulsating with energy and satisfying. This is where Jeff Beck really began to shine as an artist. Fans of the album will be pleased to know that there are re-releases with extra tracks, which are definitely worth your time. All-in-all, excellent. An outstanding listening experience here. The back story of the recording of this album is worth Googling, too.
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