Thursday, April 5, 2018

"People Get Ready" by Jeff Beck & Rod Stewart

Song#:  2364
Date:  06/15/1985
Debut:  85
Peak:  48
Weeks:  10
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  Beck has long been one of the most influential guitarists of all time. Beginning with his breakthrough stint in The Yardbirds through to his successful Grammy-winning solo career, Beck's work has greatly impacted rock music. Rod Stewart is one of the biggest selling artists of all time and he actually got his big break back in 1968 when Beck chose him to participate in the recording of Beck's first solo album, Truth. A second LP, Beck-Ola, credited to the Jeff Beck Group would appear the next year. Both would become gold albums. Despite the successes, Beck's group fell apart. Beck would form a new version of his band and continue forward while Stewart signed up for a solo career and a stint in the band Faces. A decade and a half later, Beck began to prep his fourth proper solo album, Flash. He brought on board producer Nile Rodgers to help give the new collection a more commercial feel. In addition to Beck unusually supplying lead vocals on a couple of tracks, he invited his old band mate Stewart to do the honors on this track, which became the album's first single. The reunited pairing was catnip for Rock and the song scooted up to #5. It was also able to cross over to the Pop chart, but couldn't do much once it got inside the Top 50.

ReduxReview:  While I think both artists give it their best shot here, I think it is just too drawn out and a bit messy. It's just not a song that calls for a bunch of solo guitar work in addition to the vocals. It just doesn't make sense to me. It would have been better to just let Stewart sing the song and then add a solid guitar solo. Or, just let Beck's guitar handle the melody and not do a vocal. Stewart's voice and Beck's guitar seem to be straining over each other by the end and it's just too much, especially on a wonderful classic like this one.

ReduxRating:  4/10

Trivia:  Triple Shot!  1) This is a remake of a song originally performed by The Impressions in 1965. Written by Impressions member Curtis Mayfield, the song reached #3 R&B and #14 Pop. While the classic tune would be covered by many artists, only the Beck/Stewart collaboration and a 2010 take by the cast of Glee (#41) have been the only ones to reach the Pop chart.  2) A track on the Flash album titled "Escape" ended up winning Beck his first Grammy.  He won for Best Rock Instrumental Performance. It would be the first of seven Grammys Beck would win over the years.  3) This was one of only three charting songs by Beck. His first was a collaboration with Donovan on the 1969 single "Goo Goo Barabajagal (Love Is Hot)," which got to #36. His third charting single came in 2007 when a live version of "Up to the Mountain" featuring Kelly Clarkson done for the Idol Cares program made it to #56. Despite the lack of charting singles, Beck has earned five gold and two platinum albums for his solo and Jeff Beck Group work.


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