This instrumental track was recorded in 1966 by Jeff Beck (lead guitars), Jimmy Page (12 string rhythm), John Paul Jones (bass), Keith Moon (drums) and Nicky Hopkins (piano). I had the extended version of this with backwards guitar at the end as the flip side of Beck’s single, Hi Ho Silver Lining (1967). However it is best known as a track on Beck’s album Truth (1968), minus this end bit. Here is the complete track.

The following is paraphrased from Douglas J Noble’s article written based on his interview with Beck: So how did Jimmy Page come to write ‘Beck’s Bolero’? ‘Well, with some difficulty and largely without me! ….. I went over to Jim’s house and he had this 12-string Fender and he loved the idea of using a bolero-type rhythm for a rock record. He was playing the bolero rhythm and I played the melody on top of it, but then I said, “Jim, you’ve got to break away from the bolero beat – you can’t go on like that for ever!”. So we stopped it dead in the middle of the song – like the Yardbirds would do on ‘For Your Love’ – then we stuck that riff into the middle……I was using a Les Paul for the lead guitar and for the backwards slide guitar through a Vox AC30 – it was the only amp I had and it was covered with beer! Actually, I think it was the beer that gave it it’s sound! You can hear Moon screaming in the middle of the record over the drum break. If you listen after the drum break you can only hear the cymbal afterwards ’cause he knocked the mic over! Wonderful!’

As I understand it, the track was recorded with all musicians playing at the same time, as Beck is reported to have said there was ‘leaking’ into one another’s microphones. He also suggested that there were 3 or 4 songs came out of it of which only Bolero saw the light of day and one other had a finished melody. No others were released.

Unfortunately there are no videos of the song, or photos of the session, so I have created a slide show for it. Comments are invited on this video but please no ‘my guitarist is better than your guitarist’.


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44 Replies to “BECK’S BOLERO (1967) by the Jeff Beck Group – with backwards guitar ending”

  1. Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, Keith Moon y Nicky Hopkins. Grandes figuras de la música de Rock y pioneros del heavy metal, trash metal y otros muchos estilos musicales que han hecho historia en el mundo entero. Mis respetos y admiración.

  2. I bought the Truth album around 1974 (I was 5 when it was recorded) and it changed my world. I listen to this now and I'm no less thunderstruck from the symphony of sound that they created. Pagey's gift to Jeff, this IS the British Invasion!

  3. I have an interview with Jimmy Page in guitar player mag.1977…. And he says he wrote Becks Bolero not Jeff Beck… I believe it.

  4. Dynamite. Never heard this before. Still so much to learn. Thanks for the post man. Also this lineup could have been Led Zeppelin or Led by Who by adding Planet or Daltrey or some pretty boy singer.

  5. Wow this just expanded my musical archive of knowledge significantly. Never knew this particular "gathering of the masters" even occurred! Excellent info, thanks!

  6. Without question, this would have been my favorite band of all time had they went forward with their plans to form a band. Consequently, I don’t have a favorite band. Just a short list of ones I consider most important (Yardbirds, Cream, Mothers of Invention…)

  7. and John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page would go on to form Led Zepplin. Keith Moon was a wild drummer for the Who. Nicky Hopkins went on to do numerous solo ventures with established groups where he sat in on the recordings. I remember when this song came out I was 16. The future looked glorious and I was one of the young raging men. From here until Kent State University shootings in May 1970 was where I grew up. This was the true four years of love with festivals and concerts springing up weekly. Wild times with much free love without any sense of guilt. Women and men really came together during this period. A true renaissance time.

  8. I remember hearing this when it was new…had no clue back then about Ravel's Bolero. Years later I heard Bolero in a trippy little movie called "Allegro Non Tropo" and instantly liked it. Then Bo Derek & Dudley Moore kinda spoiled Bolero for me until that movie faded from prominence. And NOW, 13 May 2019 the thrill of hearing this again is beyond description.

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