Album Reviews

Jeff Beck

Live at The Hollywood Bowl

Artist:     Jeff Beck

Album:     Live at The Hollywood Bowl - 2 CD/DVD

Label:     Universal Music Group/Eagle Rock

Release Date:     10.07.2017

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How do you describe this marvellous new release from UK guitar giant Jeff Beck?  Wow, might very well convey an idea of just how special this double-disc and dvd set really is. All of the twenty-plus tracks also feature on the dvd, and it appears that Beck is genuinely enjoying himself playing at the very top of his game throughout.

Recorded in August 2016, Beck covers all his bases here blasting back to some of his earliest work, Yardbirds numbers, and a growl from his Grammy winning “Jeff Beck’s Guitar Shop” back in the late 1980s.

Tracks include covers of Prince’s “Purple Rain,” Lennon/McCartney’s “A Day in the Life,” Bonnie Dobson’s “Morning Dew” – a song that was a signature track with Grateful Dead for many years – and an absolutely scorching take of “I’d Rather Go Blind,” with Beth Hart on full-throttle vocals. Buddy Guy turns in a great bit of blues-picking class alongside Beck on “Let Me Love You,” while Billy F Gibbons adds his searing sound to yet another track, “Rough Boy.” Add Steven Tyler, Jimmy Hall and Jan Hammer to the heady mix and you have an album of truly wonderful music.

Beck is a master craftsman with a touch that can be subtle and sensitive one minute, followed by rip-roaring, raucous, rock the next. Everything always seems possible and up for musical grabs by this guy.

In reality, there’s absolutely nothing to criticize about this offering. This is money well spent, an essential release from a guy celebrating fifty years on the road, making music and delivering fully ramped, rocking pleasure.

—Iain Patience

 

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