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Emotion & Commotion


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Audio CD, April 13, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

For his first studio album in seven years, Grammy-winning guitarist Jeff Beck returns with an eclectic mix of tracks that find the guitar virtuoso accompanied by a handpicked cast of talented musicians, as well as several songs accompanied by a 64-piece orchestra. Rhino unleashes the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer s restless genius with EMOTION & COMMOTION.
Beck recorded EMOTION & COMMOTION late last year at Sarm Studios in London with award-winning producers Steve Lipson and Trevor Horn. To create the album s diverse sound, Beck used a number of musicians, including appearances by frequent collaborators Vinnie Colaiuta (drums), Jason Rebello (keyboards), and Tal Wilkenfeld (bass). The album also includes contributions from a trio of singers: Imelda May ('Lilac Wine'), Olivia Safe ('Elegy For Dunkirk'), and Grammy-winner Joss Stone ('I Put A Spell On You' and 'There s No Other Me').
To complement the innovative tones he coaxes from his guitar, Beck recorded with a 64-piece orchestra on songs that range from Puccini s immortal aria 'Nessun Dorma' and Elegy For Dunkirk from the film Atonement to 'Somewhere Over The Rainbow' from The Wizard Of Oz and Jeff Buckley s interpretation of 'Corpus Christi Carol.'
Beck says the idea of pairing his guitar with an orchestra evolved from the version of Gustav Mahler s Symphony No. 5 he recorded a few years ago. 'It turned out amazingly well, but I didn t want to commit to an entire album of classical music. What appealed to me instead was the idea of bringing together these seemingly contradictory sounds on different kinds of nonclassical music.'
In addition to the orchestral pieces, EMOTION & COMMOTION showcases a number of original compositions. For 'Hammerhead,' Beck fires the rocker s opening salvo through his wah-wah pedal before falling into a deep groove carved out by the rhythm section and horn arrangement. At the opposite end of the sonic spectrum, the airy arrangement that elevates 'Never Alone' provides a wide-angle soundscape for Beck s imagination to freely explore the high-flying melody.
Before launching a world tour to support EMOTION & COMMOTION, Beck will unite with Eric Clapton in February for a series of exclusive shows in London, New York City, Toronto, and Montreal. The guitarists both former members of the Yardbirds will play separately before taking the stage to perform together.
After the shows with Clapton, Beck will play South Korea, Hong Kong, Australia, and Japan before returning to America for the U.S. leg of the tour starting mid-April and including an appearance at the New Orleans Jazz Festival on May 1.
For Beck, the new album and tour follows in the wake of a triumphant 2009 his most successful year ever. Among the many highlights were a sold-out world tour; his second induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; the release of the platinum-selling Performing This Week... Live At Ronnie Scott s, which earned a Grammy nomination for 'A Day In The Life'; and magnificent performances with his band at the 25th Anniversary Concert of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at Madison Square Garden.

1. Corpus Christi Carol
2. Hammerhead
3. Never Alone
4. Somewhere Over The Rainbow
5. I Put A Spell On You featuring Joss Stone
6. Serene
7. Lilac Wine featuring Imelda May
8. Nessun Dorma
9. There s No Other Me featuring Joss Stone
10. Elegy For Dunkirk featuring Olivia Safe

Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 13, 2010)
  • Original Release Date: 2010
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rhino Records
  • ASIN: B003405MF6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (195 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,963 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

124 of 132 people found the following review helpful By Satchmo on April 13, 2010
Format: Audio CD
"Emotion and Commotion" is Jeff Beck's much-anticipated new release. Clocking in at just about 40 minutes, there is no wasted space on the disc. I will not go through track by track, as the other reviewers have done a nice job summarizing each song. Basically on this album, Beck leaves behind the high-powered techno and electronica flavors of his previous albums "Jeff," "You Had It Coming" and "Who Else" and goes for a more laid-back, worldly groove of classic rock fusion with classical undertones. Besides his amazing tone, these songs are wonderful. The covers are arranged well and tastefully done. Anyone who can transition from the beautiful "Somewhere over the Rainbow" to Screamin' Jay Hawkins' "I Put A Spell On You" and back to Jeff Buckley's "Lilac Wine" and make it cohesive within the album is doing something right. The Beck originals, "Hammerhead" and "Serene" are also well-written.

I recently started listening to Jeff Beck a couple years ago. I admit that I am a newcomer to his music. As a guitar player, I cannot even begin to comprehend Beck's tone and virtuoso skills. I am blown away by what he is able to achieve on his instrument. This album is highly recommended to 1)Any Jeff Beck fan (obviously), 2)Anyone who plays the guitar and wants to understand what is capable on the instrument, 3)Anyone who wants to explore creative and exciting new music, produced by one of the most criminally under-rated musicians of our time. Hope this helps!
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65 of 78 people found the following review helpful By Brien Comerford on April 13, 2010
Format: Audio CD
NOMINATED FOR FIVE GRAMMY AWARDS. MONUMENTAL HIGHLIGHTS "Elegy For Dunkirk","Corpus Christi Carol","Hammerhead", " Somewhere Over The Rainbow","Nessum Dorma" and "I Put A Spell On You."

"Emotion and Commotion" is Jeff Beck's newest studio album in the aftermath of his gloriously frenetic Jeff CD (2003). This CD is another classic but it's far different than all his previous releases. An Orchesta and three female vocalists play major roles and the CD embraces classical, opera, new age and cinematic genres in addition to Beck's awesome rock, blues and jazz fusion forte.

The opening track is a marvellous interpretation of "Corpus Christi Carol" that features Beck playing sustained single notes that swoop and soar with the stirring hurt of a human voice. The ensuing "Hammerhead" is laden with Beck's arsenal including wah wah pedal, whammy bar dynamics, brawny riffs and knifing solos. Song three is the virtuosic "Never Alone" which has a new age sound that is audibly assuaging. "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" is a major highlight as the guitar weeps and laments with a visceral tone that only Jeff Beck can coax and caress. Joss Stone energetically sings "I Put A Spell On You" accompanied by some stellar funk and blues chops delivered by Beck.

"Serene" is a pastoral and bucolic instrumental that further demonstrates Beck's eclecticism and it's bolstered by great bass playing and atmospheric soundscapes. Next is "Lilac Wine" sung by Irish phenom Imelda May. It's a nice song that imbues the album with some torch and pure jazz. It transitions into the poignant, edgy and ravishing "Nessun Dorma" that fuses Beck's fretboard prowess with the rousing sounds of the orchesta. ("Nessun Dorma" has been an incredible live performance at Jeff Beck's 2010 US concerts without the orchestra.
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64 of 78 people found the following review helpful By Strings Attached on April 20, 2010
Format: Audio CD
(Keep in mind that this reviewer is only a few years younger than the master, himself!)

First off, let me start by saying that I am a huge Jeff Beck fan, but my affection is not clouded by blind adoration. After waiting 7 years to get something new from one of the best rock/electric guitarists on the planet, this album leaves me severely wanting.

First, the obligatory compliments: Jeff plays with a depth of sensitivity that very few others in this genre can aspire to. His technique is simply jaw-dropping amazing. He dynamically bends and twists notes so that they flow more like those of a bowed, rather than a plucked instrument. This gives a lyrical quality to his playing that is nearly vocal in effect. And, as always, his tone is immediately recognizable. Jeff, as usual, uses his vast talent and tool box of skills very effectively on several of the tunes here, focusing on emotional content rather than technical pyrotechnics to communicate with his audience.

This "sparse" approach is, however, this album's greatest weakness since the majority of the songs here are really laid back, mellow, and, ultimately, forgettable. There are a couple of upbeat tracks in the mix between the likes of "Over the Rainbow" and "Serene" where he could have dug in and really boogied. Unfortunately, just as he gets to the point where our ears expect to hear Jeff turn on the after-burner he pulls back. Instead of a "kick a@@" pit bull on guitar we get a polite poodle.

Two tracks in particular follow this trend. "I Put a Spell on You" is an un-inspired and altogether un-original vocal and instrumental arrangement. This is a classic, bluesy song that has the potential to rip out your guts if done with real passion. Unfortunately, it just doesn't come together for me.
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29 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Nse Ette TOP 1000 REVIEWER on April 13, 2010
Format: Audio CD
65 year old British guitar virtuoso Jeff Beck's new album "Emotion & Commotion" is a largely instrumental work, featuring a 64 piece orchestra on some tracks, and guest vocalists Imelda May on the lush Jazzy "Lilac wine", and a fiery Joss Stone on both the Bluesy "I put a spell on you" and the experimental Soul "There's no other me". Stone repays a favour as Beck appeared on the track "Parallel lines" from her "Color me free" album.

Opening is the mournful hymn "Corpus Christi carol" with majestic theatrical strings. In a similar mould are the upbeat "Hammerhead" (with guitars squealing and growling in turn), the melancholic yet groovy "Never alone", a tender reading of "Somewhere over the rainbow" (with a haunting guitar riff), and "Nessum dorma", all beautiful.

The midtempo smooth Jazz "Serene" is just that, while the beautiful dirge "Elegy for Dunkirk" features Olivia Safe adding some operatic fluorish without lyrics. Her vocals and the guitar intertwine at times till you can't distinguish between them.

It's amazing the amount of emotion Beck is able to wring out of his guitar (though I hear little or no commotion). This is an album that perfectly conveys emotion. Splendid stuff!
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Beck & Stone? I'm There!
Let's see, Jeff Beck likes her singing. James Brown liked her singing and sang with her live. Lots of the greats have. This is the restrained Joss Stone on this album. Check out the vids of the songs on youtube - Jeff Beck at the 02. She opens up a little doing them live. Or even see the Idol... Read More
Dec 2, 2010 by John B. Toms III |  See all 4 posts
What is it about Jeff Beck that separates him form other guitar Gods?
Yes, Harry, I think you nailed it in your post that he does indeed make music that he is inspired to do, not to follow a genre or specific trend when he's writing. He follows his own lead, and is not influenced by what is "relevant" at the time musically. That's why he always shines. ... Read More
Mar 3, 2010 by L. Howard |  See all 31 posts
Jeff Beck "Emotion & Commotion
While I'm somewhat bemused by the formats there's no comments on the album. I too was fortunate enough to see JB perform downunder and to be able to listen to Emotion & Commotion ahead of the northern hemisphere. Thanks JB!!!
The album is appropriately titled and has something for all our... Read More
Apr 12, 2010 by Matty downunder |  See all 14 posts
Jeff Beck warming up ZZ Top ?????? Be the first to reply
jeff beck & zz top in vegas 8/16/14 were totally awesome!! Be the first to reply
Beck sounds like pedal steel Be the first to reply
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