Welcome to the musical meandering insights of Aaron Joy. Here you'll find 600 reviews of CDs & DVDs of rock & metal in all its variations, mainstream & indie. What they all share is that the album or band is unique in some way & not every submission was reviewed. Please share these reviews or link to them if you like what you read. Reviews are no longer being posted here but feel free to e-mail Aaron & post comments. (Formerly the Roman Midnight Music Blog) (last update 5/23/2017)

February 19, 2010

Jeff Beck ~ Jeff Beck's Guitar Shop

(Click on heading to visit official website.)
Style: instrumental, hard rock, blues-rock, British
Label: Epic
Year: 1989
Home: England (disbanded)

Members: Jeff Beck ~ guitars
Terry Bozzio ~ drums/voice
Tony Hymas ~ keyboards

I believe that though most up & coming guitarists know the name Jeff Beck they largely haven't heard his playing, including his work with the Yardbirds. Or, maybe they've heard him doing a guest solo but didn't read the liner notes. I bet most guitarists don't realize that it was Beck's gimic of playing the guitar with a cello bow that Jimmy Page stole for Zeppelin. I first heard Jeff's via a Yardbirds collection & later saw his name repeatedly as a guest soloist ... always hearing an outstanding near lunar solo & wondering who did it because it didn't sound like a guitar. Also, I could never forget one review I saw that described his guitar playing as the sound of a dump truck backing up. I would say more it's like a cyclone in a machine shop. Beck's solo career is famous for it's range of blues-rock to fusion jazz, all under an unassuming sheen & with a few big names along the way such as Rod Stewart. Because he doesn't have the same charasma as Slash or Satriani, isn't a tabloid hog, regularly has large gaps between albums & has an an unpredictable musical output his career has been undoubtedly hurt. In the end it's our loss, not his. As the unassuming sheen of his albums & career mask sheer technical & creative brillance. How many guitarists have pulled off the same range of styles, with favorable reviews along the way? Though it doesn't rock out like some of his other releases, Jeff Beck's Guitar Shop is a good starting point for those who like a bluesier taste in their music. But, bewarned that the title track does indeed sound like it's name with a a cacophony of disconnected guitar sounds appearing & disappearing imitating ... a cyclone in a machine shop. I believe that Beck aims for the bigger sound experience than the potential of the individual songs. He wants an experience not a chart-topper with some filler. Beck's albums are largely instrumental, which a lot of people tend to shy from, including myself, due to the regular over-the-top masterbatory approach they often take. Beck is the exception. This album is proof, as though it's an album of overdubs & studio magic it's largely much softer than might be expected. Jeff Beck's Guitar Shop opens with a burst then settles down into an addictive groove. You don't need to be a rocker to enjoy this, or know the technicalities of music theory to appreciate his playing. It's got funk, metal, blues, techno & whole lot in between. If you haven't Jeff Beck - you're missing a stellar & underappreciated creative force. Here's your starting point.

(featured on the Roman Midnight Music CD Reviews & Interviews podcast: episode 1 "Classic Rock", August 2010, click here to listen)

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