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Jeff Beck’s Billboard Chart History: The Yardbirds, ‘People Get Ready’ & More

todayJanuary 12, 2023

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Jeff Beck, the legendary guitarist who died Jan. 10 at age 78, had a Billboard charts history that stretched over a half century whether it was through his solo work or with the band that brought him his initial fame, The Yardbirds.

Beginning in 1965 and running all the way up to 2022’s Johnny Depp collaboration 18, Beck reached the charts dozens of times, rattling off top 40 albums on the Billboard 200 and scoring entries on the Billboard Hot 100.

In fact, beginning in the 1960s, there was never a decade that didn’t feature an album involving Jeff Beck on the Billboard 200, solo or otherwise. As a guitarist in The Yardbirds, he first appeared on the chart with For Your Love, which peaked at No. 96 on the Billboard 200 in August 1965, followed by Having a Rave Up With the Yardbirds (No. 53, February 1966) and Over Under Sideways Down (No. 52, October 1966). Yardbirds Greatest Hits peaked at No. 28 in June 1967 and The Yardbirds hit No. 155 in October 1970, both featuring Beck recordings, but by then he had left the group.

What followed was a multi-decade streak of Beck solo records that reached the chart, beginning with the No. 15-peaking Truth in November 1968. The ‘70s? More albums, paced by the No. 4 peak of Blow By Blow, to date Beck’s highest-charting album on the Billboard 200. The ‘80s brought the No. 21-peaking There and Back in August 1980 as his top-charter, and the ‘90s were accented by Who Else!, at No. 99, in April 1999.

Moving into the 2000s, Beck appeared twice, led by You Had It Coming (No. 110, February 2001), and the 2010s saw four appearances, with Emotion + Commotion leading the group at No. 11 in May 2010. The aforementioned 18 with Depp, Beck’s final release before his death, continued his streak into the ‘20s, hitting No. 183 in July 2022.

On the Hot 100, Beck was best represented by The Yardbirds recordings, accruing a top 10 in 1965 with “Heart Full of Soul” after he replaced Eric Clapton as the band’s lead guitarist (No. 9, September 1965). A cover of Bo Diddley’s “I’m a Man” reached No. 17 that December. “Shapes of Things” hit No. 11 in May 1966. “Over Under Sideways Down” followed at No. 13 that August, the band’s final top 20 with Beck or otherwise. One more appearance with Beck occurred later that year, with the No. 30-peaking “Happenings Ten Years Time Ago.”

Beck reached the Hot 100 three more times as a credited artist, first with Donovan’s “Goo Goo Barabajagal (Love Is Hot)” (credited to Donovan and the Jeff Beck Group) at No. 36 in September 1969. A decade-and-a-half later, he was back with the Rod Stewart collaboration “People Get Ready” at No. 48 (July 1985), and in 2007 he returned one final time to date as a featured artist on Kelly Clarkson’s cover of “Up to the Mountain” (No. 56, May 2007).

But that’s not where Beck’s chart story ends. He was an occasional presence on the Mainstream Rock Airplay chart upon its 1981 inception, first with the aforementioned “Ready,” which peaked at No. 5. In all, he reached the chart five times as a lead artist, most recently with Seal collaboration “Manic Depression” (No. 10, February 1994).

A 28-year break from the chart followed before his return as a featured artist on Ozzy Osbourne’s “Patient Number 9” in 2022. A three-week No. 1, it allowed Beck to set a record for the longest amount of time between first chart appearance (“Ready”) and first No. 1, a 37-year, one-month, two-week wait. It’s a record that, as of January 2023, remains intact.

Beck died Jan. 10 in England after a brief battle with bacterial meningitis. He’s nominated at the 2023 Grammy Awards for both best rock performance and best rock song, on Osbourne’s “Patient.”

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