Essential Jeff Beck?

Someone gave me a $15 iTunes gift card for Christmas. I wouldn't mind purchasing a full Beck album but I figured I'd have a better time with a collection of the Jeff Beck essentials.

Never been a huge jeff beck fan, but I've loved most of what I've heard. Can anyone help me come up with something decent?


For my money, Blow by Blow, or Wired. He doesn't (didn't?) like them, but I think they're the best albums he's done. Everything else is real hit/miss hot/cold.


I loved "guitar shop", but if you dont get the whole thing at least get the song "where were you".
Beckology. it gives a good snapshot of his beginnings and then takes selected tracks from his solo albums. if there's something you like, go get the album it comes from.


Silver Supporting Member
I'd add

"There And Back" (1980)

"Who Else" (1999)

There and Back is full of great songs like "The Pump" and "Starcycle" and is the first recording where he truly stopped using the pick on a lot of tunes and began the phase of his playing/technique which continues to blow our minds to this day.

"Who Else" has songs and grrooves and - I like to say- has more great Beck licks per minute than just about any other JB recording:). It's his current playing style in full force and though he has some techno grooves on there, it still sounds like a band and his playing sounds very organic and always magical.

This album is where you'll find "Angel/Footsteps", the song that's turned into a Beck show-stopper live due to his amzing off the neck/over the pickups melodic slide work.

I don't care for the 2 subsequent 2000s releases, "Jeff" and "You Had It Coming" ..... too pro-tools-y.

On "Who Else" there's still plenty of 'real Jeff' on there and his playing on there truly just him, his fingers and strat into his DSL2000, miced by a single SM57...with some nice echo added during mix. No pro-tools magic. If there's one guitarist who doesn't need computer magic it's Jeff Beck.

There's also the Beckology greatest hits/fav album cuts from the early 90s, but you'll miss "Who Else" with just that.

I'd probably go with Beckology and Who Else, if you can swing it. You'll get highlights from throughout his career on the hits package, then probably his best release from his current phase.

Blow By Blow and Wired are classics and were certainly career records for Jeff Beck. But he's never stayed in one place very long and there's a lot more great and different music and playing to be heard from him than on just those 2 albums recorded within a year or so of each other during his mid 70s fusion era.


I'm earger to hear what Jeff's next release will sound like. He's vowed "no more computers" and is supposedly working on more 'live band' type music with Vinnie and Tal.


Early stuff:


Mid Era:

Blow By Blow


Live At B.B. Knig's Blues Club, Performing Live At Ronnie Scott's

Single tunes?

Cause We've Ended As Lovers, Where Were You, A Day In The Life, Behind The Veil, Shapes Of Things, Beck's Bolero, Freeway Jam, Superstitious, Going Down, Manic Depression, People Get Ready, Seasons, Over Under Sideways Down, Heart Full Of Soul, Further On Up The Road, The Pump, Train Kept A Rollin'.

The only problem with getting single tunes, is which version of each tune(s) will you be getting? LOL
For instance, Behind The Veil is one of my favs. But, I prefer the latest live version. And Cause We've Ended As Lovers is one where I prefer the Blow By Blow version. Or, the one from the "Minstrel" Tapes from 76.

Good luck! :)


As a rather new listener, might I suggest purchasing the Live at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club CD to get a nice overview of Jeff's career and a really nice live album.

Actually yea, I had watched a few clips of the Live at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club on youtube and thats what had me thinking Jeff Beck when I got this iTunes Card. DVD would be even better.. hmmm


Silver Supporting Member
Individual Songs (off the top of my head at 2:06 a.m.):

Brush With The Blues
Cause We've Ended As Lovers
Freeway Jam (the live version with Jan Hammer)
Shapes of Things


Gotta have a Yardbirds tune or two. I also like "Situation" and "Jody" off of the first Jeff Beck Group album with Bob Tench on vocals....recorded in 1971 and released in 1972 if I remember that time period correctly.

Greg V.

Wired is my favorite Beck release. Funny story about it….. I started playing guitar in 1976, the year Wired was released, and had only been playing for a couple of months. I had never heard of him before but bought that album because of the wicked cool blue cover photo. I thought this guy must be good, he sure looks like he's good. So I take the record home and quickly realize it's all instrumentals and I hated it. I was into Lynyrd Skynyrd, Zep, Deep Purple, Nugent, Frank Marino, Frampton etc…

So a few months later, after I got enough skill to play Freebird, I revisit Wired and freak out on how unreal it is, started trying to learn all the tunes. You know the old adage: "When the student is ready, the teacher appears". Wired, to me, is an iconic release.
Last edited:

Victor R

Endeavor to Persevere
Double Platinum Member
I just found out that Jeff Beck is playing my joint in April. I'll be in the front row.

FWIW I owned Beck, Bogert, & Appice in 6th grade :messedup

Trending Topics

Top Bottom