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I actually struggled with Blow By Blow - the playing is great, but the production is both dated and kind of overly clean, and Beck is such a controlled player that I think it came across as awfully low energy to me. "Because We Ended As Lovers" is terrific, but that was about it, for me.

What finally made Beck click for me, oddly enough, was a bootleg I found somewhere, of a 2009 performance at International Forum in Tokyo. It's a really clean recording of a great band going for it live, and by this point in his career Beck has ditched his Les Paul for a Strat and developed his ungodly whamy bar control - it's really pretty uncanny. And I think hearing a player of his caliber tearing it up live just has an energy to it that you lose in a polished, carefully constructed studio recording.
 

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Like it or hate it, I think you have to respect his trem work for the sheer amount of control he has. With a vintage Fender trem, and not even an OFR, at that. It's mind blowing.

Even if you choose to do something different with it, there's a lot you can learn there.
 

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I also disagree with Drew about Blow By Blow...it's all about phrasing and texture, not pyrotechnics. There's not an imperfect note on the entire album, and his work then was clearly the blueprint Satriani used.
Oddly, I agree with you on this, certainly the latter part about Satch. I just didn't find it a very interesting album - it probably was more so pre-Satriani than post, to be fair.
 
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