“What he did with it just brings you to tears”: Listen to Jeff Beck’s “spellbinding” final recording

He opens the massive new charity single from Mark Knopfler and his Guitar Heroes supergroup.

Jeff Beck performing live

Credit: Rick Kern/WireImage

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Mark Knopfler’s massive charity single, featuring over 50 of guitar music’s biggest names, is here. The most notable appearance, however, is surely that of Jeff Beck in the rock legend’s final recording.

Beck, who first found fame in The Yardbirds before fronting the Jeff Beck Group and Beck, Bogard & Appice, died on 10 January at the age of 78 after a bacterial meningitis infection.

He opens the track, a nine-minute extended edition of Knopfler’s instrumental Going Home (Theme From Local Hero), with some lead lines over the intro. He improvises around the main melody with his classic fingerstyle tones for a tight performance.

Knopfler says, “Jeff Beck’s contribution arrived and that was spellbinding. I think what we’ve had is an embarrassment of riches, really. The whole thing was a high point.”

Meanwhile, Knopfler’s frequent collaborator (and erstwhile Dire Straits bandmate) Guy Fletcher adds, of Beck’s performance, “It was absolutely meant to be. And what he did with it, it just brings you to tears.”

The track was first announced early last month, and has been released in support of Teenage Cancer Trust and Teen Cancer America. Among the other contributors are some of the world’s most iconic guitarists spanning genres from rock and metal to blues, folk, and country.

Eric Clapton, Tony Iommi, Slash, Steve Vai, Joe Bonamassa, Sheryl Crow, Bruce Springsteen, Ronnie Wood and Joan Jett are among Knopfler’s Guitar Heroes – it’s no wonder the track has been described as “an unprecedented line-up of some of the greatest guitarists in history.”

We don’t officially know who’s playing what on the track yet. However, a video is set to drop next week, so there are still a few days of speculation left. In the meantime, you can check out the track below:

And here’s the full list of guitarists involved:

Joan Armatrading, Jeff Beck, Richard Bennett, Joe Bonamassa, Joe Brown, James Burton, Jonathan Cain, Paul Carrack, Eric Clapton, Ry Cooder, Jim Cox, Steve Cropper, Sheryl Crow, Danny Cummings, Roger Daltrey, Duane Eddy, Sam Fender, Guy Fletcher, Peter Frampton, Audley Freed, Vince Gill, David Gilmour, Buddy Guy, Keiji Haino, Tony Iommi, Joan Jett, John Jorgenson, Mark Knopfler, Sonny Landreth, Albert Lee, Greg Leisz, Alex Lifeson, Steve Lukather, Phil Manzanera, Dave Mason, Hank Marvin, Brian May, Robbie McIntosh, John McLaughlin, Tom Morello, Rick Nielsen, Orianthi, Brad Paisley, Nile Rodgers, Mike Rutherford, Joe Satriani, John Sebastian, Connor Selby, Slash, Bruce Springsteen, Ringo Starr and Zak Starkey, Sting, Andy Taylor, Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks, Ian Thomas, Pete Townshend, Keith Urban, Steve Vai, Waddy Wachtel, Joe Louis Walker, Joe Walsh, Ronnie Wood, Glenn Worf, Zucchero.

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