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Reviews: Jeff Beck: Blow by Blow

Reviews: 12

Review by Tom March 29, 2003 (0 of 7 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
I read a lot of positive reviews on internet before I bought this one. Sonically, this is well recorded, but most of the time, I have difficulty listening to the entire album. At times it's OK. I don't know if my expectations are too great, or I just don't have the musical taste to appreciate this. I don't listen to this SACD very often. Others think far more postiively about this performance, so each person needs to make their own judgment. If you like Jeff Beck, don't hesitate in buying this one.

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Review by mikek October 14, 2003 (0 of 1 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
It's always a case of individual taste when it comes to music. When I first listened to "Blow by "Blow I had a hard time with it. I would play a couple of songs and then set it aside for a few months. But, as the years have past this has become a stronger and stronger performance for me. It's a killer (alright maybe a little overdone) example of SACD Surround. Anyone that is a Jeff Beck fan or a fan of guitar virtuosity have at it. Enjoy!

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Review by muzickbizkid October 14, 2003 (0 of 1 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
If you like your guitar playing with a strong dose of tone and emotion, listen to "Cause we've ended as lovers". Sure this album sounds a bit dated but some of it is welcome, if you love this sound of vintage gear. This SACD is a must have.

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Review by bluesandbrews March 27, 2004 (1 of 11 found this review helpful)
Jeff Beck

'nuff said

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Review by junior kelly April 22, 2004 (7 of 9 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Arguably the single greatest rock guitar solo album in history. If you're up on your Hendrix biographies, you know the only question he poses to Chas Chandler (formerly from The Animals) who wished to manage him and take him out of NYC and to fame in England: Jimi: "Do you know Jeff Beck? Can you introduce me to him?" Only Chas' affirmative answer guaranteed Jimi's move to Britain and subsequent fame with 'Are You Experienced." Jeff's the guitar player's guitar player. While the uniformed pop idolators claimed Clapton was god, the musicians knew, Jeff was god (ask Page...who planned Zeppelin as a guitar duo of him and Jeff...and every head to head meeting of the British guitar superstars inevitably favored the incendiary, idiosyncratic stylings of Beck.) Unfortunately, for Beck fans...he's often been bored and distracted from developing a logical career track or long term band. (Music, unfortunately, takes a back seat to Beck's 30 plus year infatuation with restoring and building vintage hot rods...where he has quite a reputation.) This all might have changed had Beck taken up the invitation from Jagger and Richards and joined the Stones when Brian Jones died. Beck demurred and the role was taken by Jeff's former bass player...and the rest is history.

In this outing, Beck fanatic George Martin of The Beatles, convinced Jeff to allow him to record an all instrumental album with Martin at the producing helm. Martin occassionally wraps him around with orchestra and strings, subtlely so, just as he did with the Beatles. The results are astonishing. Martin pulls out all the stops; the songs are excellent, the frame that Martin provides is amazing and most importantly, the sound of the recording is state of the art. Beck's sidemen are fantastic musicians--in ability well beyond what is normally encountered in the rock idiom. More like heavy jazz players...and the jazz world was listening. John McLaughlin of the Miles Davis (another fan of JB) group began a long term touring schedule with Beck subsequent to this album; so did Stanley Clarke, who featured Beck on his stunning first albums...even dedicating one of his best tracks "Hello Jeff" as a tribute to Beck. Listen to the ringing cymbals, the punchy drums, the original time signatures--all supporting the brilliant and varied guitar stylings of Beck. It is one of the best sounding SACDs ever, but in every format thus far, from LP to redbook to superbit Sony, this album sounds clear, bright (in the best sense of the word,) crisp and clean. At times, the SACD sounds a bit anachronistic, especially when Beck uses 70s guitar effects (most of which he invented and became succcessful commercial products.) But it's the slow blues "Cause We Ended With Lovers" that has become the most famous track on 'Blow by Blow." It was written by Stevie Wonder, a guilt offering after stealing Jeff's original compostion 'Superstition' and putting his own name on it and making millions of the purloined song (where's a lawyer when you need one? No wonder Beck is a bit skeptical about the music business!) Beck dedicates 'Lovers' to recently departed guitar maestro, Roy Buchanan, and plays it in a style like Roy, and then takes off into his own incredible incendiary, passionate playing. It may be the finest intrumental blues song ever and hasn't dated a bit over thirty years.

Recently in Guitar Player, Slash from GNR declared he plays this album ever single day. I know how he feels.

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Review by mindovermatter March 10, 2005 (1 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
This is soooooo much better than the old SQ record I bought back in the early 70's! It sounds awfully good for being as old as it is. Try it, you'll like it!

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Review by wireseverywhere March 12, 2005 (1 of 1 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
This SACD is a great example of taking an older recording and actually *improving* it... many "remasters" trying to do this have missed badly. This and Wired are two of my favorite albums of all time and Blow by Blow was an excellent recording to begin with. Eventhough I've listened to this hundreds of times over the years on progressively better equipment, I never get tired of it. I've been quite pleased with the overall sonics and the way the 5.1 was done because it was not over done. When I'm showing someone what SACD multichannel is all about I sit them in the sweet spot and usually play tracks 6-8 and it blows them away every time. This disc also sounds great in 2 channel too. Even if you're not into Jeff Beck (yet), this is one you should have because it's a sonic home run.

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Review by Dlo May 27, 2005
Performance:   Sonics:    
Best SACD I ever heard, bar none. I've had this album since way back, and hearing it in multi-channel is just ridiculous. The guitar solos are so clear (right behind your head most of the time, which is awesome), the drums are so deep and punchy, and the music just bounces around the room like nothing. This is what all SACDs should sound like. The music rocks, the performances are superb, and the multi-channel mix is just out of this world. Highest recommendation. This one doesn't get enough credit.

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Review by StyleAndEntertainmen June 1, 2005 (1 of 1 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
For some reason I just now bought this album in SACD, even though it's always been one of my favorites. There are plenty of reviews on this one already so I'll just say a few words regarding it's rendition.

If you like rock/jazz fusion, or you're a guitar player, you'll love this album. It's very well done, with high marks for craftmanship, production, and sonics. The mc mix is ok (I want to say bad, but it's not as bad as I thought it would be when I first play it :) The drums are in front and the guitar in back, and you are in the middle. You be jamm'n man! Now on my system (4 full range speakers) this works out just fine. But make sure your system can handle this type of arrangement. As these mc mixes go, it could be worse, and I'm glad to say there is not much panning going on. This makes it tolerable and eventually you forget the guitar is coming out of the left rear speaker. I haven't listened to the stereo mix, but I suspect I'll prefer it over the mc as I do on the Blue Oyster Cult Agents of Fortune disc. Why the guitar is not up front and the drums in back, I'll never know...

Overall, though I have to give this a very positive rating. Tens of years later and it still sounds awesome. No hesitation giving it a highly recommended.

StyleAndEntertainment

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Review by putmess August 5, 2006 (2 of 9 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
perfect, super! just buy it, it's a must!

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Review by analogue February 25, 2009 (3 of 3 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
If you are familiar with this Jeff Beck classic from '75 then take my word for it....buy it. The sound is truly awesome. Becks guitar, the drums and keyboards...it's all fantastically rendered.

For those of you who don;t know this album but want to buy a classic rock album on sacd, which shows off how good sacd can really be.....then understand it is completely instrumental. It is rock, blues, jazz ,funk and some other elements all rolled up into one. There are some hard rockers and some romantic ballads and some jams to be had. And in the middle of this is one of the true greats and pioneers of rock guitar........Mr. Jeff Beck. If you are into experimental works, even rock, give this a try. The musicality is to good to pass up.

The sound is deep and rich, warm and powerful.

Highly recommended.

Give this one a try

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Review by carrolls November 13, 2010 (1 of 2 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
This is a great album. I just picked it up on SACD in a second hand shop in Dublin for 5.99 Euro.
The actual production values on the album are second to none thanks to George Martin although it bears no similarity to any album by the fab four. It is the best jazz fusion album ever released. He can be forgiven all of his 80s and 90s mistakes because of this album. It hasn't been off the deck since I brought it home.

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