Music Aficionado: What Makes a Jeff Beck Solo So Unforgettable?

A Jeff Beck guitar solo is like a Road Runner cartoon. You don’t know exactly what will happen. But you know it’ll blow your expectations to shreds with a grin.

The 75-year-old legend has been conjuring unexpected swerves, pedal-to-the-metal hurdle-jumping, rubber-burning skids, glowing lyricism, and jaw-dropping climaxes from his six-string rig for nearly sixty years.

Young Beck absorbed his early idol Buddy Guy’s nerve-jangling intensity and scorching licks deep into his bones. Then his unchained psychedelic imagination hot-rodded that aching blues ferocity via agile fingerpicking, slashing slide, and mind-boggling sonics. His patented squirts and squiggles and smears, his rumbling clouds of overtones and feedback are action painting morphed into music.

Beck can be a one-man blitzkrieg laughing at his own explosive handiwork, or he can wound your soul with a melody or a single tortured note. No one else sounds like him; few others cover the sprawling musical turf he’s staked out.

And like Buddy, he shows no signs of slowing down. To paraphrase Shakespeare, age cannot wither nor custom stale his infinite variety.

These 22 tracks demonstrate why. Strap on your seatbelt and prepare to click.

Source: Music Aficionado