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The 12 best Jeff Beck guest spots

A photograph of Jeff Beck with Mick Jagger in 1968
Jeff Beck with Mick Jagger in 1986 (Image credit: Getty Images)

Jeff Beck has been one of the hottest musical tickets when it comes to guest spots and collaborations over the years. His list of cameos is vast, and covers a multitude of decades, genres and artists. Here, we present you 12 of the best…

Stevie Wonder - Talking Book (1972)

On Talking Book Wonder played most of the instruments himself, but delegated ‘stunt’ guitar on Lookin’ For Another Pure Love. As Beck floats a solo at the two-minute mark, listen out for the bandleader’s encouragement: “Do it, Jeff!”

Roger Waters - Amused To Death (1992)

Beck sprayed guitar genius over seven tracks on Waters’s dystopian concept album. “I don’t know how he does it,” said the Floyd man. “He’s incredibly technically gifted in ways the rest of us can’t even begin to think about.”

Tina Turner - Private Dancer (1984)

Beck didn’t mess about on the title track: “Christ, that was swift. I added some screeching guitar and she had her biggest album ever.”

Jeff Beck's intervention made Tina Turner's Private Dancer a hit record

Jeff Beck's intervention made Tina Turner's Private Dancer a hit record (Image credit: Getty Images)

Stanley Clarke - Journey To Love (1975)

The US fusion heavyweight bassist brought in A-grade musos from Chick Corea to John McLaughlin, but Beck smoked them all with his fiery lead break on Hello Jeff.

Malcolm McLaren And The Bootzilla Orchestra - Waltz Darling (1989)

House Of The Blue Danube’s mash-up of synth-funk and high orchestra was a curious beast, and Beck’s dirty/clean solos were every bit as schizophrenic.

Kate Bush - The Red Shoes (1993)

The troubled star had never laid herself so bare as on lovesick finale You’re The One, and Beck’s outro solo had a similar sense of catharsis.

Mick Jagger - She’s The Boss (1985)

Keith Richards was always scornful of Jagger’s solo career, and it probably didn’t help his mood that the singer brought in the technically superior Beck to trade licks on the hot-buttered funky title track.

Jeff Beck and Brian May join forces again in 2011

Jeff Beck and Brian May join forces again in 2011 (Image credit: Getty Images)

Brian May - Another World (1998)

Standout track The Guv’nor was written especially for Beck, but he sat on it for a year before tracking his solo. “You know he’ll make something brilliant out of it,” said May, “and that’s what makes the wait worthwhile.”

Duff McKagan - Believe In Me (1993)

The fan-boy bassist coaxed twin cameos from Beck, on the bratty rocker Swamp Song and the juddering electro-funk of (Fucked Up) Beyond Belief.

Jon Bon Jovi - Blaze Of Glory (1990)

We could take or leave the title track’s hokey cowboy references, but Beck’s peach of a slide solo was essential. Punch it into Google and you can find an isolated version.

The Pretenders - Viva El Amor (1999)

Punky thrasher Legalise Me didn’t exactly push the virtuoso guitarist – until he breaks the route-one monotony with the whammy-wrestling lead break at 2:14.

John McLaughlin - The Promise (1995)

Cue up opening instrumental Django, on which the two maestros trade lazy licks over a scuttled beat like something straight from The Fast Show’s Jazz Club.

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Classic Rock
Classic Rock

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