Before his death in January, legendary guitarist Jeff Beck revisited concert recordings made by Beck, Bogert & Appice, the power trio he formed in 1972 with drummer/singer Carmine Appice and bassist/singer Tim Bogert. The live music captures the band at the beginning and end of its short-but-influential partnership, with two shows in Japan in 1973 and one of the group’s final performances in London a year later.
In honor of what would have been Beck’s 79th birthday this Saturday, ATCO/Rhino announces the upcoming release of the new BBA boxed set, “Live In Japan 1973, Live In London 1974”. The collection will be available on September 15 on 4 CDs ($59.98) or 4 LPs ($149.98). Also, a purple-vinyl version will be released the same day, available to pre-order HERE. Additionally, the music will be available from digital and streaming services. The 1974 live version of “Superstition” recorded in London is available today digitally. Listen to it below.
All three band members were involved in creating “Live In Japan 1973, Live In London 1974”, and the collection is dedicated to Beck and Bogert, who died in 2023 and 2021, respectively. The set includes an expansive booklet with extended liner notes detailing the group’s history by music journalist/manager Bruce Pilato, along with memorabilia, archival photos, and a replica poster.
Beck and Appice mixed all the concerts in this set from the original multi-tracks that had been in Beck’s archive for almost 50 years, thus knocking the many bootleg quality releases, that Beck hated, out of the park! The two performances at Koseinenkin Hall in Osaka, Japan (recorded May 18 and 19, 1973) were released exclusively in Japan a few months after the shows, but never in the U.S. The complete concert at the Rainbow Theatre in London, England (recorded January 26, 1974) has never been released anywhere.
In the booklet, Pilato explores the short existence and lasting legacy of Beck, Bogert & Appice, a super-group that critics once hailed as “the first successor to Cream” (Melody Maker) and an “ensemble of virtually unparalleled magnificence” (NME).
He writes: “The potential was obvious to all from the minute the three began talking about forming a group. In 1967 Beck emerged from The Yardbirds (along with Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page) having launched his own critically and commercially successful band. Bogert and Appice were the lava-hot rhythm section that propelled both Vanilla Fudge and the blues-rock quartet Cactus. There had been a couple of false starts in 1969, but when Jeff recruited Tim and Carmine to help him finish off the ’72 Jeff Beck Group tour, the music community rejoiced with anticipation.”
In a 1972 interview, Beck said seeing Vanilla Fudge live impressed him. “I saw the Fudge’s potential as a group, but I didn’t see anything in common with my playing. It’s just when they were jamming, I found that Carmine had some other things going aside from the Fudge stuff, and Tim did as well. Tim is a Martian-type bass player. He plays like a Martian from Motown!”
“Live In Japan 1973” was recorded only a few weeks after Beck, Bogert & Appice’s self-titled debut came out. The music ripples with raw energy as the group delivers exhilarating live versions of nearly every song on the album, including “Superstition,” “Lady,” and “Livin’ Alone.” The trio also played songs by the Yardbirds (“Jeff’s Boogie”) and the Jeff Beck Group (“Morning Dew” and “Going Down.”)
After the band’s 1973 tour supporting its debut, Bogert told the British music press that some fans weren’t prepared for BBA’s high-energy approach. “We surprised a lot of people who were expecting laid-back music…Mainly we appeal to people who like loud, raunchy, good-time music. We’re a raunchy band and we aim to get people turned on.”
The concert on “Live In London 1974″ was recorded eight months after the shows in Japan and right before the trio disbanded. The performance introduces several songs the group planned to record for BBA’s never-completed second studio album, including “Satisfied,” “Jizz Wizz,” and “Solid Lifter.”
Half a century after the trio formed, Appice says the experience was over too soon. “It was artistically fulfilling at the time, but it was too quick…the fact that we got to play together was great. Jeff, Tim and I did play great together, but before we knew it, it had ended.”