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The 3 Jeff Beck songs that Brian May chose as favorites

Brian May


The 3 Jeff Beck songs that Brian May chose as favorites

The legendary guitarist Brian May helped to form Queen back in 1970 alongside drummer Roger Taylor and singer Freddie Mercury. In the following decades they became one of the most successful and influential groups of all time and of course, May also became a guitar hero for a whole generation of guitar players.


But obviously, as anyone in life, May was influenced by many other people and one of them was the late legendary guitarist Jeff Beck. In a video posted on his social media a few days after Beck’s death in 2023, May mentioned three songs the guitarist played in that were some of his favorites and explained why everyone should hear them.

The 3 Jeff Beck songs that Brian May chose as some of his favorites

“Where Were You”

“If you wanna hear his depth of emotion, sound and phrasing and the way he could touch your soul, listen to ‘Where Were You’ of the guitar shop album (Jeff Beck’s Guitar Shop – 1989). Just Google ‘Where Were You Jeff Beck’, sit down and listen to it for four minutes.”

“It’s unbelievable, it’s possibily the most beautiful bit of guitar music ever recorded, alongside Jimi Hendrix‘s ‘Little Wing’. So sensitive, so beautiful, so incredibly creative and unlike anything you’ve ever heard anywhere else. Of course he had his influences too. But he brought an amazing voice to Rock music, which will never, ever be emulated or equaled,” Jeff Beck said.

As mentioned by Brian, that song was part of the 1989 album “Jeff Beck’s Guitar Shop. That record gave the British musician a Grammy for Best Rock Instrumental Performance. It was his second awarded album, since he had already won the Grammy for “Flash” (1985). His band in the record was also formed by Terry Bozzio (Drums) and Tony Hymas (Keyboard – including bassline – and synthesizer).

“Over Under Sideways Down” and “Shapes of Things”

“Jeff Beck is so unique, so influential on every guitarist I ever met in my life. The loss is incalculable, it’s so sad not having him in the world anymore. (…) I was listening last night to my old Yardbirds albums. Which is the first time he kind of started to put out there what he could do. ‘Over Under Sideways Down’ and “Shapes Of Things”, oh my God, when you get to the solo in the Yardbirds version, it’s like something takes off, like a space rocket.”

“No one had ever heard something like that before. It sounded like something between a sitar and some strange wind instrument. Just listen to it, blew my mind at the time. It was one of the major things that made me want to play guitar,” Jeff Beck said.

Jeff Beck was part of The Yardbirds for only a year but his contribution to the band was enormous as May mentioned. “Over Under Sideways Down” was released as a single in 1966, being also part of “Roger the Engineer” and “Shapes of Things” was released as a single also in 1966.

I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG

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