Jeff Beck: Guitar Shop (1989)

jeff beck guitar shopBy Scott Goldfine

Guitar virtuoso Jeff Beck and his fans have endured an extremely checkered track record. The former member of the Yardbirds has released just three albums in the 1980s — none of which approached 1975’s classic “Blow by Blow” and 1976’s “Wired” ― until now. Stripped to the basics, Beck’s new band — featuring Terry Bozzio (drums) and Tony Hymas (keyboards) ― plays precise and gritty rock-funk throughout the LP’s nine original, primarily instrumental tracks. The use of a synthesizer instead of a bass gives the music a fresh, but not sterile, quality. This is Beck’s first outing since 1985’s lukewarm “Flash,” and his first nonvocal endeavor since 1980’s competent “There and Back” LP. Six-string aficionados, it’s time to rejoice!

You would be hard-pressed to find any filler on this platter. This includes the funky opening title track, which features a voiceover talking about guitar paraphernalia, to the fusionary “Savoy” to the riff-heavy “Stand on It” to the furious boogie of “Sling Shot,” which closes the set. There’s also a reggae tune, “Behind the Veil,” and a down-tempo ZZ Top-inspired goody titled “Big Block.” The consistency slacks off slightly on the disc’s two ballads, “Where Were You” and “Two Rivers.” They seem underdeveloped and trite when contrasted with the bulk of this effort.

Beck — who fingers the frets deftly and delicately without ever becoming overbearing ― get fine technical support from Leif Mases and his band, who co-produced along with Beck. In fact, I dare say this LP is more potent than “Blow by Blow” simply because it’s more focused and aggressive. It appears Joe Satriani shouldn’t lay claim to the rock instrumentalist throne just yet. “Guitar Shop” proves Jeff Beck still has quite a few luscious licks left in his arsenal.


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Scott Goldfine

As a fervid lifelong music & film enthusiast / student, I grew up in and around the Los Angeles entertainment industry. I have worked and held many positions in various media realms, since 1998 serving as Editor-in-Chief and now Associate Publisher for Security Sales & Integration, a trade publication serving the electronic security industry. I love several genres of music & film. The former includes funk (Parliament-Funkadelic, Prince, Ohio Players, etc.); blues (Stevie Ray Vaughan, Buddy Guy, Eric Gales, etc.); rock (Jack White, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Neil Young, etc.); hard rock (AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, etc.); jazz (Herbie Hancock, Bob James, Crusaders, etc.); R&B (Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, Gil Scott-Heron, etc.); and more. I was a club disc jockey and ran a mobile DJ company (Musical Moods) for more than 15 years, which is where the name Dr. GX originates (Doctor Good Times). Fave film genres include horror (Dawn of the Dead, Evil Dead, Nightmare on Elm Street, etc.); science fiction (Aliens, Terminator, 2001, etc.); action (Warriors, Road Warrior, Die Hard); westerns (Outlaw Josey Wales, Showdown at OK Corral; Wild Bunch, etc.); suspense (Jaws, Inception, Silence of the Lambs, etc.); drama (Apocalypse Now, Goodfellas, Pulp Fiction, etc.); and comedies (Life of Brian, Superbad, Ruthless People, etc.). I have attended many hundreds of concerts and movies (in theaters or screenings). I may as well also throw in a few favorite TV shows to give an even broader taste of my sensibilities. A handful would be Breaking Bad, Walking Dead, Lost, Justified, Fargo, Seinfeld, Sopranos, South Park, Brooklyn Nine Nine, Key & Peele, Monty Python, Inside Amy Schumer, Louie, Modern Family, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Last Man on Earth, Bob Newhart Show, All in the Family and The Office. Fave authors are Stephen King, Clive Barker and Michael Crichton. I am also a big sports fan and lifelong supporter of the Dallas Cowboys (NFL), Los Angeles Lakers (NBA) and Pittsburgh Pirates (MLB). Also enjoy my family of course, electronics/computers/AV gear, and animals, nature and outdoor activities. Graduate of Santa Monica High School, Santa Monica College and California State University Northridge (Radio-TV-Film, Psychology minor). Also studied at UCLA for kinesiology/psychology and earned post-grad Certificate in Accounting from Santa Monica College. Present main occupation is as Associate Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Security Sales & Integration (SSI), which I joined in 1998. I am responsible for overseeing all editorial content in print. online, electronic, in-person and any other media or products for the electronic security industry's leading business-to-business trade publication. SSI is part of Framingham, Mass.-based Emerald Expositions.