Jeff Beck is a great guitarist and musician.  He found his first musical success in The Yardbirds when he replaced Eric Clapton.  Beck then brought in Jimmy Page to play bass for the ‘Birds.  Jeff Beck didn’t find as much commercial success as Clapton and Page — probably because he didn’t sing or tie himself to a lead singer in a band — yet he still survives and thrives in the music scene as a major force majeure.  Jeff Beck’s latest album — “Emotion & Commotion” — was released this week.

Jeff Beck won a Grammy this year for “Best Rock Instrumental Performance” of “A Day in the Life” — so he’s still hot and relevant and wildly musical.

I bought the “Deluxe” version of “Emotion & Commotion” on iTunes, and while the music is outstanding — I love the slinkiness of “Hammerhead” and the orchestral passion of “Nessun Dorma” — the extra “added value” of the interactive album is pretty awful.

The images of Jeff Beck are too few and sparse.

The video interview with Jeff done by Alice Cooper is just plain strange.  They’re too comfortable with each other as friends and the informality of the interview makes the experience insufferable.

When I clicked on “Track List + Lyrics” nothing happened.  I have yet to see one lyric.

The interactive Timeline is wonky.  Sometimes you get this redacted view…

…and sometimes you get this fuller Timeline view.  I can’t figure out how to get each version to load whenever I wish, and it is frustrating.

The most disappointing part of the interactive album was its promise of “Guitar TABs.” 

I was able to find exactly one:  “Blast From the Past” — and it requires a mouse and lots of down-scrolling to see the page.  Here’s a screenshot of as much of the “TAB” you can see of the first page without having to use your mouse to scroll down the page:

If you play guitar, you know that is not really a true guitar TAB
because you can’t see an entire page, you can’t print it out, and
there’s no auto-scroll option!

What a bust.

What a heartbreaker.

Jeff Beck is a massive talent — and you should buy “Emotion & Commotion” for the songs — but don’t be foolish like me and pay extra for the “enhanced” iTunes album, because you’ll be broken, too, as you struggle to shrug off the clear fact that you just bought a pig in a poke.


  1. It’s rather unfortunate when one is promised a Deluxe experience and one gets a less than deluxe one instead. Exciting to hear that the album is so great from the listening perspective. 🙂

  2. Yeah, it’s totally sucky, Gordon. I’d complain to iTunes, but my experience in the past is that your computer will be blamed — so it’s best to just take the hit and enjoy the ear candy while forsaking the eye.

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