Jeff Beck – Beck’s Bolero

I hardly ever post instrumentals but this one is special. Keith Moon on drums, John Paul Jones on bass, Nicky Hopkins on keyboard and Jimmy Page,  on 12-string guitar along with Jeff Beck on slide. John Paul Jones said the group that played on Beck’s Bolero was going to be called Led Zeppelin…They were kicking around the idea of touring

Jimmy Page is credited with writing the song but Jeff has said no that he worked more of it out.

Jimmy Page: “On the ‘Beck’s Bolero’ thing I was working with that, the track was done, and then the producer just disappeared. He was never seen again; he simply didn’t come back. Napier-Bell, he just sort of left me and Jeff to it. Jeff was playing and I was in the box (recording booth). And even though he says he wrote it, I wrote it. I’m playing the electric 12-string on it. Beck’s doing the slide bits, and I’m basically playing around the chords. The idea was built around (classical composer) Maurice Ravel’s ‘Bolero.’ It’s got a lot of drama to it; it came off right. It was a good lineup too, with Keith Moon, and everything.”

Jeff Beck: “No, Page didn’t write that song,” Beck has insisted. “We sat down in his front room once, this tiny, pokey room, and he was sitting on the arm of a chair and he started playing that Ravel rhythm. He had a 12-string, and it sounded so full, really fat and heavy. And I just played the melody. And I went home and worked out the other bit [the up-tempo section].”

This song was the B side to Hi Ho Silver Lining which peaked at #14 in the UK in 1967. The song was later on Jeff Beck’s Truth album.

From Songfacts

Beck recorded this with Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, Keith Moon and Nicky Hopkins during a single-day recording session in 1966. They planned to record a whole album, but contractual obligations prevented them from recording together again, and this was the only song from that session that was released. This Beck/Page/Jones/Moon/Hopkins combination had the makings of a supergroup, and it nearly happened, but they couldn’t find a suitable lead singer, failing to pry Steve Marriott away from Small Faces. Page and Jones then formed Led Zeppelin.

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

18 thoughts on “Jeff Beck – Beck’s Bolero”

  1. Quite a band! Good tune, I didn’t know the title but have heard it a few times. If they’d added some lyrics with a decent singer, bet it would have been a massive hit

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m going to go with Jeff Beck’s version of events. Page has been known to rip off riffs and so forth. I think Beck is the superior guitarist. “Because We Ended as Lovers” is one of my favorite Beck compositions. Gorgeous. I’ve heard Beck’s Bolero but didn’t know anything about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yea Jimmy doesn’t have the best reputation of giving credit when it is due.
      Beck is probably the best his his British peers.

      I also like Jeff and Rod’s version of People Get Ready.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Love the backstory of this song. I’ve seen Jeff Beck in concert several times, and absolutely love his music. He’s a terrific player, under-rated for much too long. Rightfully, he’s considered one of the very best today.


    Liked by 1 person

  4. I wonder if they got the same amount of flack for using a bit of Bolero as James Gang did? 😉

    By the way, you might like (if you haven’t already) to do a post on the Royal Albert Hall (and later) A.R.M.S. concerts (Jeff Beck played at that, also Jimmy Page, Clapton and others.). I went to the London one (there was another that was to do with the Princes Trust or similar fund).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is the first thing I thought of…when I read that about Bolero.
      Those are great topics…I’ll put those on the list for weekends. I can’t believe I haven’t done anything with the Royal Albert Hall already.
      The A.R.M.S. concerts is something I should have also…the only concert I mentioned was the benefit for Ronnie Lane.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well there you go…I did not know that. I thought they were just continuing something. I just mentioned it I believe in a Ronnie Lane post I did…I really liked his country/folk music after the Faces.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes he was…that was so sad. I saw a documentary of him. Pete said he first knew something was wrong when they got into an argument and Pete pushed him but not hard…and Ronnie flew against the wall and went down hard.

        Liked by 1 person

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