Jeff Beck: 1944-2023

Jeff Beck was one of the finest guitarists to ever emerge from the British music scene. Between his early work with The Yardbirds – a band in which he replaced Eric Clapton and worked, briefly, in tandem with Jimmy Page – and his own Jeff Beck Group giving Rod Stewart his first massive break, Beck would’ve likely achieved hero status, but his career ran far deeper.

He was often considered a “guitarist’s guitarist”, and it’s not hard to see why. Jeff was equally adept at whatever style he chose to play. Far greater than many of the blues practitioners within his peer circle, Beck’s solo career took in heady jazz fusion, rock, and even more experimental textures.

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Christine McVie: 1943-2022

When people talk about Fleetwood Mac, they’ll often talk about the pop magic that both Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham brought to the band. As far as UK audiences are concerned, their appointment within the band’s ever-shifting ranks in 1975 brought the band back from a long stretch in the wilderness.

There are very few albums as well known as Fleetwood Mac’s multi-million selling ‘Rumours’, but there was always far more to the band’s “pop years” in the 70s than that omnipresent disc, its self-titled predecessor, and the adventurous ‘Tusk’.

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Watch: Screaming Trees live in 1996 (full show)

When Screaming Trees visited the UK on the ‘Dust’ tour in 1996, it was very much a cause for celebration. Having already pulled out of that year’s Reading Festival line up and now having another hugely successful album under their collective belt, it was no wonder that fans absolutely joyous at their long-overdue return. In addition, ‘Dust’ was arguably their finest work to date. With its heavy elements counterbalanced by huge swathes of dark psychedelia and prominent use of mellotron, it was almost as if their retro sound had come full circle and harked back to the 60s inspired parts of albums like ‘Invisible Lantern’, but it also had the benefit of much stronger song writing.

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Watch: Meat Loaf – Live At Toad’s Place, New Haven, CT 1991

In terms of rock stars, Meat Loaf was unique. A larger than life character whose best music took in elements of hard rock, light opera, pop and prog to create a musical theatre that became the soundtrack for a generation of fans in the late 70s and beyond.  So much of Meat’s greatness was enhanced by his collaborators, of course, and when working with Jim Steinman, members of Todd Rundgren’s Utopia and Roy Bittan of Springsteen’s E Street Band on the world dominating ‘Bat Out of Hell’ album, he was a genuine force of nature.

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