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Customer reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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Showing 1-10 of 29 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 68 reviews
on December 10, 2015
I originally bought Wired and Blow by Blow on a whim looking at one of my favorite guitar players (Randy Rhoads) influences at the time in 2007 or so. I instantly fell in love with both of those albums. I came across this album in March of 2008 on Amazon and even with it's basic and to the point cover, I was pleasantly and rather surprised in the content Mr. Beck composed. Every song is very good with no filler material imo. Most of the songs are almost Sci-fi instrumental rock with subtle hints of jazz and blues incorporated in there(Star Cycle, Space Boogie, You Never Know, El Becko, and the Final Peace) . Then you have "Too Much to Lose" which is a Jan Hammer cover but a great one at that. I honestly haven't heard the Jan Hammer group version until a year or two ago and it works better as an instrumental imo. Very relaxing and smooth with no lyrics really needed. Actually cut a sample for my BlackBerry 8330's notification for a good long time. Then you have more rocker instrumentals such as "The Pump" or "The Golden Road" which rather vary from each other. "The Pump" is a part of the movie "Risky Business's" soundtrack what got some acclaim. Its a very smooth and mellow rocker that is played through the mind of a guitarist playing with a drum machine. As a guitar player I have found myself playing with a drum machine and doing similar but not nearly as good things as Mr. Beck has done with his song. Almost as if a true experienced professional were to do a drum machine style mellow rock song. Well done imo. The Final Peace was a bit ahead of its time though. You have to figure its 1980 and virtuoso guitar was a new thing at the time. The way the leads were played you'd think it were done toward the late 80's easily. Like Jason Becker or Steve Vai style leads before they were ever popular. Overall "There and Back" is a great album and definitely worth checking out if you haven't yet!
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on May 23, 2014
I would agree with those who maintain that There & Back doesn't burn quite as brightly as its incandescent predecessors, Blow By Blow and Wired. Those staggering, George Martin-produced sessions brilliantly documented Beck's transition from late 60s English blues rock scholar into a 70s fusion giant. And while T&B isn't so concerned with tackling knotty jazz concepts, it has a breezy, relaxed quality that's impossible to resist.

Joined again by longtime sparring partner Jan Hammer, Beck kicks the album off with a string of Hammer tunes, which display not only the keyboard maestro's distinctive soloing chops but also his forward-thinking compositional style. "Star Cycle"'s metronomic sequencer motif presaged Beck's future dabblings with machines and loops (and foreshadowed Hammer's own Miami Vice theme by a few years!). It's not quite "Freeway Jam", but it's a lot of fun.

"Too Much to Lose" is more hummably melodic and features some lovely chord changes and "You Never Know" is just a classic-Beck, funky jam track a-la "Led Boots", which allows plenty of room for both Beck's whammy bar playfulness and Hammer's patented pitch-wheel flourishes, while drummer Simon Philips drives the train with a stomping double kick beat.

Perhaps There & Back's centerpiece, "The Pump" encapsulates the albums appeal, impressing as it does not with complexity but with understatement. Over a spare, simple groove courtesy of Philips and bassist Mo Foster (with supporting synth harmony courtesy of Tony Hymas, who would become intergral on future Beck outings), Jeff shows how evocatively a simple melody can be wrung from six strings. The notes drip with expression, sponteneity and personality, three words that perhaps describe Beck's genius best.

"El Becko" (a Hymas composition), as the title suggests, is quintessential Beck, loaded with gorgeous harmony and an onslaught of slippery slide work, while "The Golden Road" recalls the mid-70s fusion heyday. "Space Boogie" is warp-speed swing; fertile ground not only for Beck's fretted improvisations and Hymas's masterful piano, but especially for Philips, whose swinging double-bass work and Cobham-like humming bird tom rolls astonish. It's easy to imagine Alex Van Halen finding inspiration for "Hot For Teacher" here.

Album closer "The Final Piece" (Beck's sole compositinoal contribution to this set), finds the man extracting pure emotion from his Strat, supported by Hymas's etherial keyboard backdrop - a setting that would be revisited on 1989's Guitar Shop album, for the masterful, otherworldly "Where Were You" (perhaps Beck's career-crowning masterpiece). Its painterly keyboard washes and lush jazz voicings also evoke mid-80s Allan Holdsworth. A lovely closing statement.

A historical note: this album came out in 1980, which was right around the time Jeff Beck stopped playing with a pick. Those of you who play guitar will appreciate what a fearless move this is, especially for someone who had earned a reputation as one of the world's greatest virtuosos of the instrument. There & Back may be the first album to fully showcase this new flesh-based picking technique, but you'd never know. His playing is world-class here, as it always is.
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on January 7, 2015
One of my all time favorite Jeff Beck recordings. This was released back in 1980. Mr.Beck's guitar prowess is amply demonstrated here. His band is equally up to the task of keeping up, particularly Jan Hammer who is simply exceptional on the synths and keyboards. So glad to finally have this on CD! Recommended.
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on July 30, 2017
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on June 29, 2016
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on October 24, 2016
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on June 4, 2016
Classic Jeff Beck. Great album.
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on February 4, 2014
I was replacing a lost CD (There and Back). Those who know Jeff Beck will attest this is one of his greatest masterpieces. I will listen to it for the rest of my years on our planet..it rocks!
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on February 16, 2016
Beck is timeless and you will enjoy this cd.
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on February 24, 2015
Very good album. Sounds almost
as good as the original vinyl.
Plastic case came with a crack in it.
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