Monday, November 29, 2010

Compare and Contrast: The Guitars That (Sort of) Conquered the World!

From 1956, it's Chuck Berry with a little intrumental called, in an example of the dazzling wordplay he was so famous for, "Chuck's Boogie."




And from 1964, here's Brit r&b/garage punks The Downliner's Sect and a cover version that replicates Chuck's original to a tee, albeit with the charming lack of swing that made them the poor man's Pretty Things rather than international superstars still packing stadiums today. If you know what I mean.




And finally, from 1966 and the great Roger the Engineer album, here's The Yardbirds featuring Mr. Jeff Beck, and a version of the tune -- fittingly retitled "Jeff's Boogie" -- that sends it rocketing past the Van Allen Belt and out into the vast reaches of intergalactic space.




The folk process at work, ladies and germs.

8 comments:

cthulhu said...

Boy, the cover of that Downliner's Sect album looks remarkably similar to the cover of the Who's first album.

I also notice that the Chuck Berry photo in the center of the fake 45 on the wall behind him is reversed, showing Chuck playing left-handed.

No comment on the music, it's too late at night here on the Left Coast and I gotta work tomorrow morning...

(word verification: unsimp)

Faze said...

I always though it was "Beck's Boogie", not "Jeff's Boogie" ... However it may be, the Yardbird's masterpiece was early on established in my brain as the height of guitar finesse, and yet, I never knew it derived from a Chuck Berry album-filler. Amazing. The Pretty Things version is so bereft of swing, it verges on clockwork. But I do love the murky ether of the Beck recording. The band seems to be playing at the far end of a deserted subway station.

Brooklyn Girl said...

I always though it was "Beck's Boogie", not "Jeff's Boogie"

You may be mixing it up with "Beck's Bolero" ...

Billy B said...

Jeff's Boogie does rock the hall, doesn't it?

Beck's Bolero was written by Jimmy Page.

Nigel Tufnel said...

Holy crap, the Downliner's Sect track sounds like a 33 1/3 album being played at 45 rpm (for all you old-timers in the audience). No depth, no punch, tinny as hell.

Anonymous said...

The Yardbird's version contains some stylistic shout-outs to Les Paul's style of playing and recording (along with Beck's jaw-dropping overdriven virtuosity, of course).

The Downliners Sect sounds more aspirational of The Shadows or US surf guitar bands. Great cover shot, though it looks like they were near starvation at the time of the photograph.

AP

edward said...

If the Downliners Sect had only recorded it using ukelele's it would have been genius;>

geor3ge said...

If the Downliners Sect had only recorded it using ukelele's it would have been genius

Wait, that wasn't a uke?