Wired (Jeff Beck album)

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Wired
Studio album by Jeff Beck
Released May 1976
Genre Jazz fusion, Instrumental rock
Length 37:21
Label Epic
Producer George Martin, Jan Hammer
Jeff Beck chronology
Blow by Blow
(1975)
Wired
(1976)
Jeff Beck with the Jan Hammer Group Live
(1977)

Wired is the eighth album by British guitarist Jeff Beck, released on Epic Records in 1976. An instrumental album, it peaked at No. 16 on the Billboard 200 and has been certified platinum by the RIAA.

Background and content[edit]

After the success of his previous album, 1975's Blow by Blow, Beck retained two of its key contributors for the follow-up, keyboardist Max Middleton and producer George Martin. Beck had also begun a musical relationship with former Mahavishnu Orchestra keyboardist Jan Hammer and drummer Narada Michael Walden; Beck would tour with the Jan Hammer Group after these sessions. The result of the interplay between Beck and Hammer was a more "synthesized" sound than that of Blow by Blow, hence the new album's title, Wired.[citation needed].

Although the band from the previous album appears on some tracks, four are originals by Walden and one by Hammer. Middleton contributed the homage to Led Zeppelin, "Led Boots," and Beck chose to interpret the Charles Mingus ode to saxophonist Lester Young, "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat," from the classic jazz album Mingus Ah Um. These last two tracks have been long-time staples of Beck's performance repertoire.

On 27 March 2001, a remastered edition for compact disc was reissued by Legacy Records, Epic and its parent label Columbia Records now a division of Sony Music Entertainment.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau B−[2]
PopMatters (positive)[3]
Rolling Stone (positive)[4]

Wired received mostly positive reviews when it was released. In Rolling Stone, the reviewer cited it as being full of "fire and imagination".[4] However, Robert Christgau faulted it as technically proficient, but soulless calling it "mindless trickery".[2] Engineer Peter Henderson later said of the album, "I listened to that a few years later and it sounded like it had been recorded direct to cassette. I don't think it was one of my finer moments."[5]

Writing for AllMusic, Mark Kirschenmann said: "Within a two-year span, the twin towers Blow by Blow and Wired set a standard for instrumental rock that even Beck has found difficult to match. On Wired, with first-rate material and collaborators on hand, one of rock's most compelling guitarists is in top form."[6]

Track listing[edit]

Side one[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Led Boots"   Max Middleton 4:03
2. "Come Dancing"   Narada Michael Walden 5:55
3. "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat"   Charles Mingus 5:31
4. "Head for Backstage Pass"   Wilbur Bascomb, Andy Clark 2:43

Side two[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Blue Wind"   Jan Hammer 5:54
2. "Sophie"   Narada Michael Walden 6:31
3. "Play With Me"   Narada Michael Walden 4:10
4. "Love Is Green"   Narada Michael Walden 2:30

Personnel[edit]

Additional personnel[edit]

  • George Martin — producer
  • Jan Hammer – producer on "Blue Wind"
  • Pete Henderson, Dennis McKay, John Mills, John Arias – recording engineers
  • Geoff Emerick — mixing engineer
  • Bruce Dickinson – reissue producer

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kirschenmann, Mark. Wired (Jeff Beck album) at AllMusic. Retrieved 22 July 2005.
  2. ^ a b Christgau, Robert. "Jeff Beck > Consumer Guide Reviews". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 3 November 2011. 
  3. ^ Warner, Simon (26 March 2001). "Jeff Beck: Blow by Blow / Wired > Album Reviews". PopMatters. Retrieved 3 November 2011. 
  4. ^ a b Swenson, John (29 July 1976). "Jeff Beck Wired > Album Review". Rolling Stone (218). Archived from the original on 2 October 2007. Retrieved 22 July 2007. 
  5. ^ Buskin, Richard (July 2005). CLASSIC TRACKS: Supertramp's 'Logical Song', Sound on Sound.
  6. ^ Review by Mark Kirschenmann. "Wired - Jeff Beck | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 26 July 2014.