JEFF BECK — There and Back (review)

JEFF BECK — There and Back album cover Album · 1980 · Fusion Buy this album from MMA partners
3/5 ·
Sean Trane
Last worthy Beck album before the atrocious 80’s and the really ugly Flash, TAB is still much in the line of the previous JR/F albums of his preceding albums

Among the musicians here, we find one of the last noticeable appearances of Ainsley Dunbar, after his quitting the Journey upon musical difference, but also cultural ones (being the only UK member and his antics not pleasing Steve “Arse” Perry)

Star Cycle is a typical start to a late 70’s Beck album with the usual Jan Hammer-type of keyboard intervention and somehow, you can almost hear the Miami Vice theme that Hammer will make a fortune on much later in the decade. While Too Much To Lose would be more at ease on the BBB album, the following You Never Know has a Stevie Wonder-funk-type of rhythm and some rather limit-pleasant soloing. The following (and closing side A) The Pump is a very pedestrian affair (beat-wise anyway) where Jeff soars easily to the skies, brushing up the clouds.

El Becko is probably the album’s best known track, not only because of its superb, but because it was the one with the hardest riff around, adding a bit of beef to an album needing it. Indeed with the following Golden Road, there is a total lack of energy and is way too lame to belong here: it’s probably a remnant of the BBB era that Sir George Martin forgot to put on his atrocious arrangements on, but GR ends better than it started. Finishing the album with a Space Boogie, that was obviously meant as a wink to his Freeway Jam, the album ends on the slow spacey Final Peace, where Jeff pretty well improvises over quiet keyboards space layers.

Well TAB is the lest of Beck’s classic album, the last also to feature the usual JR/F he had gotten us used to, but the succession of tracks proposed here sounds a little too repetitive

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