Skip to main content

The best Jeff Beck records to collect

The 10 best Jeff Beck/Jeff Beck-related records for record collectors.

Visit the Goldmine store — it is a music collector's one-stop shopping of vinyl, CDs, box sets, collectibles, collecting supplies, audio equipment, music history books and Goldmine-only exclusives. Click HERE

  

By Andrew Daly

The sudden death of virtuoso guitarist Jeff Beck on January 10, 2023, shook the music world to its core. Indeed, the 78-year-old six-stringer surely meant a great deal to many, with his multi-layered career covering any and all genres over the years.

In Beck, we will never forget a musician who tapped into the collective consciousness of several generations throughout a nearly 60-year career. Never afraid to tackle jazz, blues, and rock in the same breath, Beck's fluid and hyper-unique approach to the guitar is something that we most likely will never witness again.

To some, Beck is considered "the greatest guitarist of all time," and to others, he's the reason they picked up the instrument. With a Fender Stratocaster in hand, Beck conjured ghosts through his exploits as a member of The Yardbirds before embarking on a solo career that saw him release 17 solo albums, 10 live albums, and play alongside the likes of Rod Stewart, Mick Jagger, Carmine Appice, Kate Bush, Buddy Guy, Johnny Depp, Ozzy Osbourne, Joe Cocker, Duff McKagan and many more.

Though Jeff Beck is gone, it goes without saying that he will always be remembered. You don't have to be a massive fan of his music to appreciate his talent. Considering he resided in just about every music corner at one point or another, the odds are that there's something for everyone within his catalog.

But where to start? Beck's catalog can be confusing and chaotic by nature but have to fear, Goldmine is here to help. Trying to rank greatness such as Beck is an exercise in futility, so we went chronological instead. What follows are the 10 best Jeff Beck/Jeff Beck-related records for vinyl collectors. (Values listed for records in near mint condition)

  

For Your Love, The Yardbirds

10) For Your Love, The Yardbirds (1965)

Epic Records – BN 26167 (U.S.)

Released as The Yardbirds were preparing for their first American tour, the group's manager, Giorgio Gomelsky, hand-selected the tracks featured on 1965's For Your Love to capitalize on the early success of the album's namesake single. From the perspective of Jeff Beck, For Your Love is notable, as it features three songs from Beck's initial recording sessions with The Yardbirds – "I'm Not Talking," "I Ain't Done Wrong," and "My Girl Sloopy." Though not a showcase for Beck's virtuosity, For Your Love is essential for those looking to dive into his career from its onset. Grab yourself the original U.S. pressing on Epic Records, toss it on the turntable and take a trip back to the mid-'60s.

❑ BN26167 [Partial Stereo] For Your Love, 1965, $250 

— The album is in true stereo except for the song “Sweet Music"

 

roger

9) Roger the Engineer, The Yardbirds (1966)

Columbia Records – SCX 6063 (U.K.)

Yet another mile maker for Beck, 1966's The Yardbirds, aka Roger the Engineer, serves as Beck's final studio outing for the London group. Many would wager that this classic is Beck's finest (and most advanced) hour with the Birds, and it's not hard to see why. Cuts like "Over Under Sideways Down" (on which Beck played bass guitar, too) show psych-rock overtones seeping in, and who could forget "Jeff's Boogie?" As one of the finest records of the mid to late-'60s psych-rock era, Roger the Engineer is essential. As such, if you're a vinyl collector, spring for the admittedly more expensive but gorgeous-sounding U.K. pressing on Columbia Records.

❑ SCX6063 [Stereo] Roger the Engineer, 1965, $400

 

Truth, Jeff Beck

8) Truth, Jeff Beck (1968)

Epic Records – BN 26413 (U.S.)

In the wake of jettisoning himself from The Yardbirds, Jeff Beck wanted to make a statement of artistic virtue, and boy, did he ever with 1968's Truth. Still regarded as a true coming-out party across all fields, Truth was the first to feature Beck's classic yet short-lived backing band of Rod Stewart (vocals) and Ronnie Wood (additional guitars). Truth was inherently good, and people seemed to take notice as the album skyrocketed to No.15 on the Billboard 200 charts in 1968. Beck's version of "Shapes of Things," along with tracks like "I Ain't Superstitious" and "You Shook Me," will always be remembered, and for a good reason. This one is essential, even if you're not a Beck fan – and go the extra mile and grab the first U.K. pressing on Columbia Records and call it a day.

❑ BN26413 [Stereo] Truth, 1968, $25

— Yellow label

❑ BN26413 [Mono] Truth, 1968, $300

— Mono is promo only with stereo number; cover has “Mono”

 

beckola

7) Beck-Ola, The Jeff Beck Group (1969)

Columbia Records – SX 6351 (U.K.)

Yet again flanked by Stewart and Wood, 1969's Beck-Ola continued the breakneck success of Truth, as it careened to No.15 on the Billboard charts and No.39 on the U.K. Album chart. What can we say? Beck and his band are on fire here, with his searing leads and quintessential tone present throughout. Of note, Beck-Ola is the first record officially recorded under the "The Jeff Beck Group" moniker and the final record to feature Rod Stewart out front. Beck and company undertake a quite lovely rendition of Elvis Presley's "All Shook Up," and "Jailhouse Rock" isn't too shabby either. Yet another record you'll want in your collection if you're into this sort of thing, and yet again, we'd recommend the U.K. pressing on Columbia records. The soundstage is expansive and shimmering, to be sure.

❑ SX6351 [Mono] Beck-Ola, 1969, $200

 

Beck, Bogart & Appice

6) Beck, Bogert & Appice, Beck Bogart & Appice (1973)

Epic Records – KE 32140 (U.S.)

After The Jeff Beck Group called it a day, the now-veteran guitarist was on the move again, aiming to form yet another "supergroup." Beck was successful, teaming up with Vanilla Fudge and Cactus alumni Tim Bogert (bass) and Carmine Appice (drums). To say the results were utterly fantastic would probably be an understatement, but we'll say it anyway: the results were utterly fantastic. To this day, 1973's Beck, Bogert & Appice is a reminder of the trio's greatness. Moreover, it's perhaps one of the definitive albums of the '70s. Lofty praise, indeed, but with tracks such as "Superstition" (Stevie Wonder cover), "Black Cat Moan" (hello, Don Nix), and "I'm So Proud" (Thanks, Curtis Mayfield) populating this thing, it's warranted. The trio wouldn't last, but the music lives on forever. To that end, copies are easy to find, and we'd recommend the U.S. pressing from '73. A quadrophonic version also exists if you're looking for something more dynamic.

❑ KE32140 Beck, Bogert & Appice, 1973, $18

— Yellow label

❑ KE32140 Beck, Bogert & Appice, 1973, $12

— Orange label

❑ CQ32140 [Quad] Beck, Bogert & Appice, 1973, $40

 

blow

5) Blow by Blow, Jeff Beck (1975)

Epic Records – PE 33409 (U.S.)

After Beck dissolved Beck, Bogert & Appice and took part in a half-hearted Rolling Stones audition in an attempt to replace Mick Taylor, a massive shift in his sound and style began to take place, as evidenced by the fusion-inspired licks present on 1975's Blow by Blow. One might have thought Beck crazy for leaving more traditional music behind, but the gamble paid off in spades, and Blow by Blow – a primarily instrumental record dropped in the heart of the classic rock era – peaked at No.4 on the Billboard 200 charts. Thought of as Beck's definitive statement by some, and at the very least, loved by many, Blow by Blow is a harbinger of the instrumental guitar exploits that were to come a decade later. Of note, George Martin produced this one, and Carmine Appice was said to have co-written a lot of the music early on, with his efforts being wiped after a dispute with management. If you're a guitar-head, grab the first U.S. pressing on Epic, and bask in Blow by Blow's enduring glory.

❑ PE33409 Blow by Blow, 1975, $12

— Orange label, no bar code on cover

   

R-659640-1398864415-6767

4) Wired, Jeff Beck (1976)

Epic Records PE 33849 (U.S.)

As Jeff Beck's final platinum record, and best-selling album, singing the praises of 1976's Wired may be redundant to some, but required, nonetheless. In essence, Wired is Beck finishing what he started with Blow by Blow. Once again featuring many of the same personnel and George Martin again behind the glass, in many ways, Wired is a spiritual sequel to Blow by Blow. As such, for the best possible experience, it's not a bad idea to listen to these two in tandem. Favorites include "Led Boots," an homage to Led Zeppelin, and a sizzling cover of Charles Mingus's "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat," showing the guitarist's varied, multi-genre influences. This one peaked at No.16 on the Billboard 200, and for that reason, and about a million others, Wired should garner shelf space for vinyl collectors. The U.S. pressing or the quadraphonic is recommended, both of which can be found on Epic Records.

❑ PE33849 Wired, 1976, $12

— Orange label, no bar code on cover

❑ PEQ33849 [Quad] Wired, 1976, $40

 

jan hammer

3) Jeff Beck with the Jan Hammer Group Live (1977)

Epic Records – EPC 86025 (U.K.)

With Beck sadly gone, many will never get to see him perform live. For those that have had the chance you know how magical that experience can be. But what's a fan to do if they missed the boat? We'd recommend 1977's Jeff Beck with the Jan Hammer Group Live to satiate your appetite for Jeff Beck wielding his Stratocaster in the wild. This live record is a prime example of Beck at the height of his powers in the late '70s, and Jann Hammer Group isn't too shabby either. Beck had worked with Hammer before on Wired, so it made sense to roll his Moog out for some shows, and what a spectacle it was. Hammer handled the mix, with the legendary Tom Werman choosing performances recorded at The Aster Theater in Reading, U.K., in 1976 as the buffet to feast on. Though not a smash success commercially, this is an outstanding live document, with the stereo spectrum set up to duplicate the literal stage positions of the musicians, simulating a live performance in your living room. The U.K. pressing on Epic is sublime – go get it.

❑ 86025 With Jan Hammer, 1977, $45

 

beck flash

2) Flash, Jeff Beck (1985)

Epic Records – PE 39483 (U.S.)

Pushing forward into the '80s, 1985's Flash is a significant moment for Beck as it combined his instrumental fusion stylings with AOR-tinged hard rock. Flash presented as something far more commercially charged than his offerings over the previous few years, with vocals from himself, Jimmy Hall, and old friend Rod Stewart present throughout. It also saw Carmine Appice return to the party on drums, bridging the gap between multiple genres and eras. Beck's cover of Curtis Mayfield's "People Get Ready," with Stewart on vocals, is an excellent bit of fun, and it was a joy to see Beck reap the benefits of Flash peaking at No.20 on the Mainstream Rock charts amongst the young guns he influenced. If Beck's instrumental fare is more your style, "The Escape" will probably be your ticket, which for those unaware, yielded Beck his first Grammy for "Best Instrumental Rock Performance." From a collectability standpoint, '80s viny is hit or miss, so the U.S. pressing on Epic will do.

❑ FE39483 Flash, 1985, $12

 

guitar shop

1) Jeff Beck's Guitar Shop, Jeff Beck with Terry Bozzio & Tony Hymas (1989)

Epic Records – 463472 1 (U.K.)

Some argue that Jeff Beck's Guitar Shop is his "last great record." Whether that statement has merit or not, one thing is sure, Beck's collaboration with former Frank Zappa drummer Terry Bozzio and roving keyboardist Tony Hymas was sensational. That being said, Jeff Beck's Guitar Shop is notable for alienating some of his fusion-loving fans as he further moved toward mainstream rock. But it's hard to argue with Beck's decision, as the record earned yet another "Best Instrumental Performance" nod at the 1990 Grammy's. Still, the album features some quirky moments, with Bozzio channeling his inner Zappa for spoken-word performances on "Guitar Shop" and "Day in the House." As previously mentioned, vinyl from this era is spotty. However, a fine-sounding U.K. version on Epic Records should do collectors well. Oh, and did we mention that Jeff Beck's Guitar Shop probably sports some of the coolest cover art of the era?

❑ 463472 Jeff Beck's Guitar Shop, 1989, $50