Hi everyone, this is week 2 of our month long look at the music of the second British Invasion of the Sixties, which encompasses music of British bands released between June 1967 and the end of the Sixties.
This week we’ll be taking a look at the music of Jeff Beck, Pink Floyd & Traffic.
I. Links to AllMusic Biographies of the Artists/Groups of the Week:
Jeff Beck’s AllMusic Biography by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Pink Floyd’s All Music Biography by Richie Unterberger
Traffic’s All Music Biography by William Ruhlmann
II. Freegal Music Recommendations Of The Week (streaming music):
Jeff Beck: Jeff Beck, is one of the guitarists of the Sixties that you can truly describe as a guitarist’s guitarist in the same way you might say a writer is a writer’s writer – meaning of course, that he has great skill in the way he plays the guitar. Like many of his contemporaries Beck went to art school before launching a music career. He replaced Eric Clapton in the Yardbirds before forming the Jeff Beck Group in 1967 with future Faces and solo artist Rod Stewart on vocals, future Faces and Rolling Stones guitarist Ron Wood on bass and Mickey Waller on drums. This line-up released two albums which to my ears hold up well. Beck has always been a great guitarist and he seems to care much more for playing his guitar than making commercial records, as is illustrated by his releasing a number of all instrumental albums over the years, so in many ways these first two albums he made with the classic Jeff Beck Group line-up, and including a great vocalist, are the most accessible to rock fans.
So here are links to stream those first two LPs and a greatest hits collection titled Beckology:
Pink Floyd: Pink Floyd formed in London in 1965 and the original line-up of the band included Syd Barrett on guitar and lead vocals, Roger Waters on bass and vocals, Nick Mason on drums and Richard Wright on keyboards. Barrett was the main songwriter for the band’s first two LPs, Piper at the Gates of Dawn and Saucerful of Secrets. Longtime Pink Floyd member David Gilmore join the band on guitar after the recording of their first LP. After Barrett’s departure in 1968, Waters took over as the group’s main songwriter. And of course, the band went on to release one of the most successful albums of all time with their 1973 masterpiece Dark Side of the Moon.
And notably, streaming-wise, the Freegal Music Catalog is full of Pink Floyd albums!
Here are links to stream their sixties albums:
The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (1967)
A Saucerful of Secrets (1968)
Traffic: Traffic formed in 1967 and featured the then 19-year-old singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Steve Winwood, Dave Mason on guitar and vocals, Chris Wood on flute and other reed instruments and Jim Capaldi on drums and vocals.
Traffic released four albums in the sixties: Mr. Fantasy (1967), Heaven Is in Your Mind (1967), Traffic (1968) & Last Exit (1969).
Unfortunately, The Freegal Music Catalog doesn’t feature any albums by Traffic. However, they do offer a version of The Blind Faith classic Can’t Find My Way Home by the songwriter himself – Steve Window – recorded live in concert and from from the forthcoming album Winwood’s Greatest Hits Live which is being released September 1.
Here’s the link:
Also of note, you can stream both of the following Traffic albums via YouTube:
Dear Mr. Fantasy
III. CD & DVD Music Recommendations Of The Week
The two Jeff Beck Group LPs released in the Sixties, Truth and Beck-Ola will be available on CD and to request via StarCat shortly.
The first two Pink Floyd albums are available to request right now!
Piper at the Gates of Dawn
Saucerful of Secrets
Traffic’s first album, Mr. Fantasy, is available to request now.
Traffic (self-titled LP)
And coming soon the band’s excellent third album the self-titled Traffic which has a record in StarCat but isn’t quite ready to circulate yet — here’s the link to use once the CD’s status changes to available:
Bonus DVD Recommendation:
The Secret Policeman’s Balls DVD Collection:
I’ve included this DVD set as the 1981 Amnesty International benefit ball, The Secret Policemen’s Other Ball, features some wonderful guitar playing by both Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton. And I recall being in the old Record Town down at the Arnot Mall in Big Flats, NY, in the early eighties, and hearing the album and asking where they had copies to purchase — only to be told the album they were playing, with that great guitar music, belonged to a staff member and they didn’t have any copies in the store to sell!
The Secret Policeman shows featured both comedy acts and music – here’s a review from Amazon that offers more information on the set: Imagine Saturday Night Live, in its heyday, but as a live series of hot-ticket events, with the best stand-up comics, sketch actors, and rockers of the time, held to benefit a good cause–all with a decidedly British accent. That comes close to describing the magic mayhem of The Secret Policeman’s Ball performances held as fund-raisers for Amnesty International from the late ’70s through the late ‘80s. This boxed set is a pop culture fan’s dream; included are all the members of Monty Python, Rowan Atkinson, Hugh Laurie (pre-House and pre-Black Adder), Dudley Moore, Peter Cook, Jennifer Saunders, and the Beyond the Fringe troupe–and that’s just the comics. Musicians include Sting, Pete Townshend, Phil Collins, Lou Reed, Joan Armatrading, and duets between Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck, and Mark Knopfler and Chet Atkins. And a very baby-faced Bob Geldof, who admits in an interview that these Balls spawned the idea for Live Aid and other events for charity. The best gem of all–and the best place to start to appreciate the depth and breadth of the series–is a 2004 documentary featuring interviews with some of the original shows’ principals, looking back on their younger selves and the current of the times. John Cleese, the true ringmaster of the events, recalls making the original phone calls and arranging for a West End theater to be available after its regular production ended. The programs became so popular that they made stars of the youngsters (Laurie, Stephen Fry, Atkinson), and brought worldwide attention for the first time to Amnesty International. Some bits are beloved and done here again–including the Pythons’ “Lumberjack Song” and “The Dead Parrot.” Cleese recalls, and the filmmakers oblige by including, a speech Margaret Thatcher later gave in the ‘80s where she repeated the “Dead Parrot” bit line for line about a piece of legislation–and bringing the audience to its knees. A young Barry Humphreys (Dame Edna, as a brunette) and a bushy-haired Billy Connolly are also delightful. The music acts are delicious, including Townshend’s acoustic duet with the American classical guitarist John Williams, and Phil Collins appearing onstage at a piano solo for the first time ever. Equal parts silly and inspiring, this boxed set will be in heavy rotation for the comedy and music fan. –A.T. Hurley, Amazon.com
Additionally, the shows feature historic unplugged performances by Pete Townshend, Sting, Phil Collins, Bob Geldof, Peter Gabriel, Donovan, Jackson Browne, Lou Reed, Kate Bush and Joan Armatrading. Also featured are rare duets from guitar legends Eric Clapton & Jeff Beck and Mark Knopfler & Chet Atkins.
Pleasure At Her Majesty’s (1976)
The Secret Policeman’s Ball (1979)
The Secret Policeman’s Other Ball (1981)
The Secret Policeman’s Third Ball (1987)
The Secret Policeman’s Biggest Ball (1989)
And here’s a link to request the entire Secret Policeman’s collection via StarCat:
IV. Videos Of This Weeks’ Artists/Groups
The Jeff Beck Group:
You Shook Me
Plinth – Water Down The Drain
Hole in My Shoe
Dear Mr. Fantasy recorded live in Santa Monica, California in 1972
Jeff Beck & Eric Clapton playing Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers from The Secret Policeman’s Other Ball — the intro by the concert organizer is interesting but if you want to skip that and just listen to the music — fast forward to about 2 minuets into the clip.
Eric Clapton & Jeff Beck playing Shake Your Money Maker from the 2010 Crossroads Concert:
V. Print References:
The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits by Joel Whitburn (Billboard Books. New York. 2009.)
Sixties Rock: A Listener’s Guide by Robert Santelli (Contemporary Books. Chicago. 1985.)
Jeff Beck’s AllMusic Discography by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
A Guitar Hero Won’t Play the Game by Larry Rohter published in The New York Times – February 12, 2010:
Jeff Beck Talks Seeing Jimi Hendrix, Topical New LP https://goo.gl/G0gnqh
Pink Floyd’s All Music Discography by Richie Unterberger by Richie Unterberger
Traffic’s All Music Discography by William Ruhlmann
Have a great day!
P.S. If you have any questions about how to download or stream free music through the Freegal Music service to a desktop or laptop computer or how to download and use the Freegal Music app let us know! Drop by the library or give us a call at: 607-936-3713.
*You must have a library card at a Southern Tier Library System member library to enjoy the Freegal Music Service. Your card can be from any library in the system, and the system includes all public libraries in Steuben, Chemung, Yates, Schuyler and Allegheny Counties and including our own Southeast Steuben Count Library in Corning, New York. Library cards are free and at our library you can obtain one by visiting the Circulation Desk and presenting staff with a form of ID that features both your name and your current address.