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. The album will be available on Atco Records, an imprint of Rhino Entertainment, on April 12 in Europe and April 13 at all retail outlets.
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
3. Never Alone
4. Somewhere Over The Rainbow
5. I Put A Spell On You
7. Lilac Wine
8. Nessun Dorma
9. Pristine Delusion
10. Elegy For Dunkirk
There is also a deluxe edition set with a bonus dvd featuring tracks from Jeff’s memorable performance at Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Festival:
1. Corpus Christi Carol
3. Never Alone
4. Over The Rainbow
5. I Put A Spell On You Beck, Jeff & Joss Stone
7. Lilac Wine Beck, Jeff & Imelda May
8. Nessun Dorma
9. There’s No Other Me Beck, Jeff & Joss Stone
10. Elegy For Dunkirk Beck, Jeff & Olivia Safe
1. Stratus Crossroads Guitar Festival 2007/DVD
2. Behind The Veil Crossroads Guitar Festival 2007/DVD
3. Nadialive Crossroads Guitar Festival 2007/DVD
4. Big Block Crossroads Guitar Festival 2007/DVD
5. Brush With The Blues Crossroads Guitar Festival 2007/DVD
6. Day In The Life Crossroads Guitar Festival 2007/DVD
The Japanese cd edition of the album has 2 bonus tracks exclusive to this release:
Cry Me A River