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One of rock’s most innovative, visionary and mercurial guitar gods, Jeff Beck first came to prominence after replacing Eric Clapton in the Yardbirds, before ceding the guitar chair to Jimmy Page (pre-Led Zeppelin). Beck then initiated the first edition of the Jeff Beck Group, including Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood, establishing the template for heavy metal on the classic Truth and Beck-Ola albums before Stewart and Wood left to join the Faces. In the spring of 1971, Beck unveiled a new Jeff Beck Group, with drummer Cozy Powell, singer Bobby Tench, bassist Clive Chaman, and keyboardist Max Middleton. They released a debut album, Rough and Ready, that October, giving the world its first inklings of the jazzier rock direction that Beck would further explore down the road. Also significantly, Max Middleton would become a frequently recurring character in subsequent Beck lineups. 1972’s soulful, groovy Jeff Beck Group (aka the “orange” album, after the citrus fruit pictured on its sleeve) followed, before Beck broke up his Group to pursue a trio with Tim Bogert and Carmine Appice of Vanilla Fudge and Cactus, then launched his instrumental-based solo career.

Did you know?

  • Jeff Beck was ranked fifth in Rolling Stone’s list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”
  • Jeff Beck and Cozy Powell recorded unreleased sessions at Motown right before starting this version of the Jeff Beck Group
  • Stevie Wonder wrote “Superstition” for Jeff Beck