4 Great Jeff Beck Collaborations in Honor of the Late Guitar Great’s 80th Birthday

The late Jeff Beck, the hugely influential and innovative U.K. rock guitarist who emerged on the music scene as a member of The Yardbirds in the mid-1960s, was born 80 years ago today (June 24, 1944). Following his 1965-1966 stint in the British Invasion band, Beck launched his own band, the Jeff Beck Group, and also collaborated with a variety of other respected artists.

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Beck combined technical ability, speed, and a knack for creating a unique sonic palette while exploring a variety of genres. Many of his musical contemporaries and respected younger musicians consider Jeff the greatest rock guitarist of all time.

[RELATED: Exclusive: Ian Hunter Talks Collaborating with the Late Jeff Beck and Taylor Hawkins on New Album, Defiance Part 2]

Beck was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame twice, as a member of The Yardbirds and as a solo artist, in 1992 and 2009, respectively. He also won eight Grammy Awards, six alone in the Best Rock Instrumental Performance category.

Sadly, Beck passed away on January 10, 2023, from a bacterial meningitis infection at the age of 78. He had recently finished a tour with actor/musician Johnny Depp in support of their 2021 collaborative album, 18.

Beck’s impressive list of collaborators also includes many fellow Rock Hall inductees. To mark what would’ve been Beck’s 80th birthday, here are four standout collaborations he did with various well-known music stars:

“Lookin’ for Another Pure Love” – Stevie Wonder (1972)

Beck played a fluid guitar solo on “Lookin’ for Another Pure Love,” a melodic R&B tune featured on Stevie Wonder’s hit 1972 album Talking Book. Right before Beck’s solo begins, Stevie is heard saying on the track, “Do it, Jeff.”

Earlier that same year, the Jeff Beck Group had released a cover of the 1970 Wonder tune “I Got to Have a Song” on its self-titled fourth studio album.

“Infatuation” – Rod Stewart (1984)

Rod Stewart had been the original lead singer of the Jeff Beck Group. He was featured on the band’s first two studio albums, Truth (1968) and Beck-ola (1969).

Fast forward to 1984: Beck played solos on three tracks that appeared on Stewart’s solo album Camouflage. One of the tracks, “Infatuation,” became a big hit for Rod, peaking at No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Beck delivers a wailing, affects-laden solo about two-thirds into the synth-driven, funky rock track. Jeff also makes a cameo in the song’s music video.

“Just Another Night” – Mick Jagger (1985)

Beck once auditioned for The Rolling Stones after Mick Taylor quit the band in 1974. Explaining why The Stones decided not to hire Beck, Keith Richards said in a 2023 Guitar Player interview, “He was such an individualist. It wouldn’t have worked with the Stones at all. We’re all about teamwork.”

Beck did go on to work with Stones frontman Mick Jagger on his 1985 debut solo album, She’s the Boss. Jeff played on six tracks on the album, including acoustic and lead guitar on the record’s first single, “Just Another Night.”

“Just Another Night” became Jagger’s most successful solo single, peaking at No. 12 on the Hot 100 and topping the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart.

“Blaze of Glory” – Jon Bon Jovi (1990)

Beck lent his guitar talents to seven of the 11 songs featured on Jon Bon Jovi’s 1990 debut solo album, Blaze of Glory. The album’s title track was a country-blues-flavored power ballad that appeared in the star-studded Western film Young Guns 2.

Beck contributed acoustic slide-guitar work throughout the track, as well as a blistering electric guitar solo. “Blaze of Glory” topped the Billboard Hot 100 in September of 1990.

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