Beck's Bolero

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  • Beck recorded this with Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, Keith Moon and Nicky Hopkins during a single-day recording session in 1966. They planned to record a whole album, but contractual obligations prevented them from recording together again, and this was the only song from that session that was released. This Beck/Page/Jones/Moon/Hopkins combination had the makings of a supergroup, and it nearly happened, but they couldn't find a suitable lead singer, failing to pry Steve Marriott away from Small Faces. Page and Jones then formed Led Zeppelin.
  • In a 1977 interview with Guitar Player magazine, Jimmy Page said: "On the 'Beck's Bolero' thing I was working with that, the track was done, and then the producer just disappeared. He was never seen again; he simply didn't come back. Napier-Bell, he just sort of left me and Jeff to it. Jeff was playing and I was in the box (recording booth). And even though he says he wrote it, I wrote it. I'm playing the electric 12-string on it. Beck's doing the slide bits, and I'm basically playing around the chords. The idea was built around (classical composer) Maurice Ravel's 'Bolero.' It's got a lot of drama to it; it came off right. It was a good lineup too, with Keith Moon, and everything."
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Comments: 12

  • Roy from SloughWhen I first bought "Bolero" as a single it had a short piece of backwards guitar right at the end. Later copies did away with this ending WHY! IT sounded brilliant. Do any of the albums its been featured on contain this addition?
  • Bob from Southfield, MiThe SRC, a sixties group out of Ann Arbor, MI combined this song with a rock and roll version of "The Hall of the Mountain King" a year after Beck's. This version was a popular staple of "Underground FM Radio" in the Detroit area.
  • from Mericka, Mdalthough Page wrote/ played the softer rythm chords, Beck wrote and played the leads on the track.
  • from Mericka, Mdthe heavy riffs are Jeff Beck's signature playing, influential on Jimmy Page and numerous other rock groups to follow.
  • Jonathan from TorontoThat would have been cool if they actually did make a whole album, but if they did end up forming a band, led zeppelin may have never existed.
  • Kevin from Cincinnati, OhThe James Gang did a song called the Bomber and Bolero was included in this tune,whoever had the rights to Bolero made them leave it out so they had to re-issue the album minus the Bolero part.The album is called ,The James Gang Rides Again.
  • Steve from La, Camoon screams, and knocks over drum mic. from that point on, you can no longer hear drums, just cymbals.
  • Danny from Tallahassee, FlThe heavy riff is Jimmy Page its similar to the types of riffs he used alot during led zeppelin's first album. He often would throw pieces of this into longer live vesions of dazed and confused.
  • Jonas from Utrecht, NetherlandsAt one point during the song, Moon whacks a very expensive microphone and from then on you hear a little bit less from the crash cymbals.
  • Mason from Greenville, NcI like the song, but I wish it was longer, like the original "Bolero" piece. Beck's such a great guitar player, it'd be cool to hear him do a 10 minute version of this.
  • Rob from London, EnglandThe heavy riff after the scream in this song is a) surely one of the earliest heavy metal riffs and b) very similar to the main riff in Radiohead's Paranoid Android. I don't know if Radiohead were influenced by this song, but it does go to show the likes of Beck were producing music way ahead of their time in the late sixties.
  • Logan from Abilene, TxThis was an arrangement of Ravel's "Bolero" by Jimmy Page, and the scream heard right before the change was by accident. Moon knocked over something and screamed, and they liked it enough to leave it in the final take.
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