What group was Jeff Beck in? How many bands Yardbirds star was in, songs - did he write Hi Ho Silver Lining

Jeff Beck enjoyed an incredibly successful music career which spanned six decades

<p>Jeff Beck enjoyed a successful music career which spanned six decades. (Getty Images)</p>

Jeff Beck enjoyed a successful music career which spanned six decades. (Getty Images)

Music fans around the world are mourning the loss of rock icon Jeff Beck.

Beck died at the age of 78 after contracting bacterial meningitis. His family released the following statement on Twitter: “On behalf of his family, it is with deep and profound sadness that we share the news of Jeff Beck’s passing.

“After suddenly contracting bacterial meningitis, he peacefully passed away yesterday. His family ask for privacy while they process this tremendous loss.”

Beck is considered to be one of the greatest guitarists of all time and is best known for hits such as Hi Ho Silver Lining, Patient Number 9 and People Get Ready.

Beck’s musical career spanned a total of six decades and he covered a series of different genres including blues rock, hard rock, jazz fusion and a blend of guitar rock and electronica. He featured in a total of four bands throughout his career which were The Yardbirds, the Jeff Beck Group, Beck and Bogert & Appice. He also collaborated with some of the world’s most famous musicians including Rod Stewart and Mick Jagger.

Here we take a look back at the life and times of the music veteran and how he established himself as one of the most well known guitarists of all time.

Who was Jeff Beck?

Early life

Geoffrey Arnold Beck, more commonly known as Jeff Beck was an English musician from South London. He is regarded as one of the greatest guitarists of all time and rose to prominence during the mid 1960s.

Beck was born in Wallington Surrey on 24 June 1944 to parents Arnold and Ethel Beck. He studied at the Wimbledon College of Arts before spending a short spell playing in various rhythm and blues bands in London.

The Yardbirds

English rock band the Yardbirds pictured in 1965. (Getty Images)

Beck burst onto the scene in 1965 when he succeeded Eric Clapton in the English rock band The Yardbirds.  The band had already established a strong fanbase in England at the time but Beck’s stint with the group saw them achieve their commercial peak. The Beck-era Yardbirds produced a number of hit singles such as Heart Full of Soul, Evil Hearted You and Shapes of Things.

The single Shape of Things was seen as groundbreaking at the time and is described by several music writers as the first popular psychedelic rock song. The song peaked at number 3 in the UK charts and reached number 11 in the United States.

Beck’s time with the Yardbirds was short, lasting close to two years and he left the band in 1966 to focus on his solo career.

Did Jeff Beck write Hi Ho Silver Lining?

One of Jeff Beck’s most successful hits as a solo artist was the 1967 classic Hi Ho Silver Lining. The upbeat anthem reached the top 20 of the UK singles charts in both 1967 and 1972 and is still commonly sung by many English football teams today including Sheffield Wednesday.

However, Hi Ho Silver Lining was not originally written by Beck. The song was first written by American songwriters Scott English and Larry Weiss earlier that same year and released by an English band called The Attack. The original single by The Attack failed to reach the charts in March 1967.

Jeff Beck’s later career

Jeff Beck found limited success as a solo artist in the late 1960s and decided instead to form the Jeff Beck Group which featured well known names such as Rod Stewart on vocals, Ronnie Wood on bass, Nickie Hopkins on piano and Aynsley Dunbar on drums.

The Jeff Beck group enjoyed success with albums Truth (1968) and Beck-Ola (1969). The two albums are described as taking a ferocious approach to the blues which laid the foundation for the heavy metal era.

The Jeff Beck group disbanded in 1972 and the guitarist went on to collaborate with a range of music icons including Nile Rodgers, Curtis Mayfield, Rod Stewart, Mick Jagger and Jon Bon Jovi.

Beck was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame twice - first as a member of the Yardbirds in 1992 and later as a solo artist in 2009.

Beck is ranked in the top five guitarists of all time according to music magazine Rolling Stone where he is described as “guitarist’s guitarist” and one of the “most influential lead guitarists in rock.”