Hammerhead (Jeff Beck song)

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Song by Jeff Beck
from the album Emotion & Commotion
Released13 April 2010 (2010-04-13)
GenreHard rock, instrumental rock
Composer(s)Jeff Beck, Jason Rebello
Producer(s)Steve Lipson
Emotion & Commotion track listing
  1. "Corpus Christi Carol"
  2. "Hammerhead"
  3. "Never Alone"
  4. "Over the Rainbow"
  5. "I Put a Spell on You"
  6. "Serene"
  7. "Lilac Wine"
  8. "Nessun Dorma"
  9. "There's No Other Me"
  10. "Elegy for Dunkirk"

"Hammerhead" is the second track from Jeff Beck's 2010 album Emotion & Commotion. The instrumental track features Beck on guitar, Jason Rebello on keyboards, Tal Wilkenfeld on bass guitar and Alessia Mattalia on drums. It was written by Beck and Rebello and was produced by Steve Lipson. It won the 2011 Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance.


Jeff Beck playing his guitar

Beck credited composer Jan Hammer for the inspiration for the track.[1] Whereas much of Emotion & Commotion contains orchestral accompaniment,[2] "Hammerhead" is an uptempo rock track reminiscent of Beck's work with The Yardbirds[3] and his 1974 album Blow by Blow.[4] He employs wah-wah pedal and whammy bar effects on his guitar and Wilkenfeld’s bass is distorted.[5]

Grammy Award[edit]

It just proves if you keep going you just might get there

Jeff Beck on his 2011 Grammy wins.[6]

In February 2011 "Hammerhead" won the Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance,[7] he had five previous Grammy Awards in this same category.[8] The other nominees were "Black Mud" by The Black Keys, "Do the Murray" by Los Lobos, "Kundalini Bonfire" by Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds, and "The Deathless Horsie" by Dweezil Zappa.[9] It was one of three awards Beck received that night also winning Best Pop Instrumental Performance for "Nessun Dorma" and Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals for his contribution to "Imagine" from Herbie Hancock's The Imagine Project.[7]


Beyond original version[edit]

Two live versions of the song have also been commercially released. It is the second track on Beck's Live and Exclusive from the Grammy Museum. On this version drummer Narada Michael Walden and bassist Rhonda Smith join Beck and Rebello.[10] The other live version was recorded live by Beck at the June 2010 Crossroads Guitar Festival and is available on the CD and DVD Crossroads Eric Clapton Guitar Festival 2010.[11] He also played the tune with The Who's touring band at the Killing Cancer benefit concert at the Hammersmith Apollo on 13 January 2011.[12]


  1. ^ Wood, Mikael (13 April 2010). "Jeff Beck's Emotion & Commotion". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 23 March 2011.
  2. ^ Marx, David (6 April 2010). "Jeff Beck – Emotion & Commotion". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 23 March 2011.
  3. ^ Emery, Patrick (30 March 2010). "Blow by blow, guitar god as brilliant as ever". The Australian. Retrieved 23 March 2011.
  4. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Review: Emotion & Commotion". Allmusic. Retrieved 23 March 2011.
  5. ^ Gundersen, Edna (12 April 2010). "Emotion & Commotion: Jeff Beck stirs up a lot of both". USA Today. Retrieved 23 March 2011.
  6. ^ Chilton, Martin (14 February 2011). "Jeff Beck prepares for reunion with Rod Stewart". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 23 March 2011.
  7. ^ a b Danton, Eric R. (13 February 2011). "53rd Grammys Award Winners". Hartford Courant. Retrieved 23 March 2011.
  8. ^ Kaczmarczyk, Jeffrey (18 January 2011). "Legendary rock guitarist Jeff Beck coming to Grand Rapids for April concert in DeVos Performance Hall". MLive.com. Retrieved 23 March 2011.
  9. ^ "Nominees And Winners". Grammy Award. Retrieved 23 March 2011.
  10. ^ Landers, Rick. "Jeff Beck Live From The Grammy Museum". Guitar International. Archived from the original on 6 March 2011. Retrieved 23 March 2011.
  11. ^ "Up & Down Beats: Clapton's ultimate guitar jam". New Straits Times. Archived from the original on 31 January 2011. Retrieved 23 March 2011.
  12. ^ "The Who, Jeff Beck, Richard Ashcroft unite at London charity gig". NME. 14 January 2011. Retrieved 23 March 2011.