George Martin

REVIEW: Jeff Beck – Blow By Blow (1975)

Purchased at BMV in Toronto, $4.99

scan_20161111-2JEFF BECK – Blow By Blow (1975 Sony)

Jeff Beck’s second solo album, Blow By Blow, was co-produced by George Martin.  The talents of both need no elaboration.  A guitar god and “the” producer’s producer were bound to make something special together.  With an ace quartet (Max Middleton on keyboards, Phil Chen on bass and drummer Richard Bailey), there were no weak links.

Blow By Blow spans many musical genres, all augmented with Jeff’s sharp and slippery fingerwork.  Funk, jazz, blues, Carribean and progressive rock all collide in the grooves.  The songs are instrumental hybrids of styles, but Jeff keeps it consistent.  His guitar speaks.  There really isn’t a better way to describe what he does with tone, technique and technology.  There is even an uncredited Stevie Wonder cameo on “Thelonius”.  If you can’t get enough funky clavinet, you’ll love Blow By Blow.

This albums is tops in almost every conceivable measure.  The drum rhythms and bass grooves are hard hitting and relentless.  Musicianship like this is rare and valuable.  Without Jeff Beck there could be no Steve Vai — this, I firmly believe.

Play Blow By Blow, and then play it again.  Thanks to George Martin’s fine musical sensibilities, it reveals new nuances each time.  A complete triumph.

5/5 stars

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This has been a 200 word review in the tradition of the #200wordchallenge.

 

 

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RIP Sir George Martin

A multi-site collaborative memorial.  

Boppinsblog tribute – Jeff Beck Blow By Blow album review

KeepsMeAlive tribute

1001 Albums tribute

SIR GEORGE

Do you use social media?  If so, you probably know the same sinking feeling that I do.

You wake up in the morning and open your Facebook and/or Twitter.  Your feed is flooded with a certain musical artist.  “This was my favourite song of theirs…”, or “I still remember the first time I heard them.”

I knew this morning was one of those days when I saw Sir George Martin’s face, and heard tons of his music, all over my social media.  Another legend lost.  This time we can say he lived a long, fruitful life.  Sir George was 90.

Music writer Dale Sherman today highlighted that George Martin was the first real “modern” producer.  It was he who learned to push the recording studio to the limits.  He put his stamp on the songs, and was one of the first to do so.  They called him the “Fifth Beatle” and I think that is very true.  He was a collaborator, a teacher, and a genius.  Of course, he produced so many more bands than just the Beatles, but who will he always be identified with?  There is only one correct answer.

My personal favourite non-Beatles recording of his was Aerosmith’s cover of “Come Together”, and for the Beatles it would have to be “Tomorrow Never Knows”.  “Tomorrow Never Knows” was the most brilliant thing the Beatles ever did, sounding as modern today as it did in 1966.  Though it’s not the song that best represents the George/Beatles sound, I think this is their greatest achievement.

RIP, Sir George!

GUEST REVIEW: The Beatles – Stereo Box Set LP version


THE BEATLES – Stereo Box Set (2009 LP version, Apple/EMI)

By: Lemon Kurri Klopek

I’m a sucker for a good boxed-set. I own several. A couple from The Beach Boys, and The Who, one from David Bowie, The Rolling Stones, heck, even The Monkees. When we’re talking The Beatles though, I have a number of them. The original bread box set of CDs, the Singles Collection, the E.P. Collection, the Anthologies, The Capitol sets, the Mono box and the Stereo box. Then of course the individual solo sets. The Lennon box, Onceuponatime, the Darkhorse Years, the list goes on. I have the special editions from each member’s solo catalogue. All Things Must Pass, Band On The Run, etcetera.  So when I saw the giant LP collection sitting there staring at me in the record store, it was no surprise when I found myself lugging it, double bagged out to the trunk of my car.

I must say it is an impressive set. All original UK releases plus Past Masters, all stereo versions, and all on 180 gram vinyl. These sets of vinyl are on the retail shelves for close to $350. I bought mine from a local establishment that was running a sale that weekend. I walked out having parted with 276 of my dollars. That’s tax included too. Not a bad deal considering there are 14 records (two of which are doubles.) That is less than $20 per record if you’re keeping track.

BEATLES

One small added bonus is, there is a foam cushion in the box that when removed makes room for the Yellow Submarine Songtrack and the #1s double record released years ago. Now I’m sure you could put other releases in there like, I don’t know, Love, or Yesterday and Today but I put in #1s and Yellow Sub. You put in whatever you like, it’s a free country… Anyway…

I figured the thing to do was to start at the beginning. So after unsheathing the box from its’ cellophane wrapping, (one of the best parts of buying a record and sadly something a generation will miss out on entirely) out came the beefy 180 gram stereo version of Please Please Me. I placed it on my Rega turntable and dropped the needle. In an instant it was the 11th of February 1963 and I was standing in EMI Studios on Abbey Road in London. Listening to what for all intents and purposes is a recording of The Beatles live set at the time. George Martin’s stereo mix of “I Saw Her Standing There” which was released a month after the original Mono mix, was filling my living room. The second release With The Beatles followed and then of course, A Hard Day’s Night. Stellar the lot.

5/5 stars

Contents:

Please Please Me (1963)
With The Beatles (1963)
A Hard Day’s Night (1964)
Beatles for Sale (1964)
Help! (1965)
Rubber Soul (1965)
Revolver (1966)
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)
Magical Mystery Tour (1967)
The Beatles (1968)
Yellow Submarine (1969)
Abbey Road (1969)
Let It Be (1970)
Past Masters (1962–1970)

Further reading:
THE BEATLES – In Mono (2009)