All classic rock fans have a handful of moments in their lives when they hear a band for the first time and are completely blown away in the moment. Its usually happens at an unexpected time or when you just weren’t really paying attention. No mater when it happened, you never forget it. It would be safe to argue that there were thousands or maybe even more, rock and roll fans that experienced that magical awakening of discovering a new artist the first time they heard the song “See The Light.” In this case, many people experienced this song the first time by seeing the video played on MTV in the late 1980s.
Jeff Healey was not the first guitarist to play guitar on his lap. He wasn’t even the first blind guitarist to play the guitar in that fashion. But he was the first to be showcased doing it on MTV in one of the most passionate live performances ever filmed. He was the first one to play a guitar on his lap with a very similar energy and passion that Stevie Ray Vaughan played with in the traditional position. Both Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jeff Healy shared a lot in common musically and emotionally. They were two of the most passionate guitarists to ever grace the concert stage. And most interestingly, it was Stevie Ray Vaughan who discovered Jeff Healey playing in the clubs.
“See The Light,” was in essence, lights out guitar playing. It blew everyone away. Who was Jeff Healey? Where did he come from? It was big news when the record company released his debut album in the U.S. and See The Light broke on MTV.
Jeff Healey was not a flash in the pan, He was the real deal, and every album and record he released from his debut album on was filled with brilliant musical substance and a deep down genuine love for rock and roll, the blues and jazz.
Jeff Healy released five albums between 1988 and 2000 with his trio called the Jeff Healy Band. The trio consisted of Jeff Healy on guitar, Joe Rockman on bass and Tom Stephen on drums. These guys were tight and rocked as hard as any other trio in rock and roll. From 2002 up until his passing in 2007, Jeff Healey released a handful of solo albums with some of them being attributed to Jeff Healey and the Jazz Wizards. Our Top 10 Jeff Healey songs list looks back at some of the wonderful albums Jeff Healey released and picks 10 of our favorite Jeff Healey songs with a focus mostly on the Jeff Healey Band material.
# 10 – Which One
We open up our Jeff Healey songs list with a great track from the final Jeff Healy Band album entitled Get Me Some. The album was released in 2000. The song featured here entitled “Which One,” opened the album with a roaring guitar lick and a killer groove that shouts right out at the listener letting them know there in for a great ride. The song “Which One,” was written by Marti Frederiksen and Jeff Healey.
# 9 – When The Night Comes Falling From The Sky
The great grooving track “When The Night Comes Falling From The Sky,” was released on the Road House Soundtrack. The song was written by Bob Dylan. A great movie, but an even better soundtrack that also featured Bob Seger, Little Feat and some classic Otis Redding.
# 8 – Stuck In The Middle With You
We all know this one from the great Steelers Wheel recording. However, check out what Jeff Healey did with it. Like all great blues artists, Jeff Healy was a master at covering any song he wanted and turning it into something special. Listen to that solo! The song was released in the spectacular Cover To Cover album.
# 7 – How Blue Can I Get
Want to learn to play the Blues? If you do, then play this song every day and let it infiltrate your heart, your soul, your body, your mind, and every single cell in that human body of yours, because this is what it’s all about. From the album Mess O Blues hat was released in 2008 shorty after Jeff Healy passed away. The song was written by Leonard and Jane Feather.
# 6 – I Think I Love You Too Much
This one instantly became a fan favorite, The song “I Think I Love You Too Much,” was released on the great Jeff Healey Band album Hell To Pay. The song was written by Mark Knopfler who also appears on the track. Talk about a song that features great guitar players. The legendary Bobby Whitlock also appeared on the song. Hell To Pay was one heck of an album and a brilliant follow up to his debut album See The Light.
# 5 – Cruel Little Number
This one crushes you instantly at the song’s opening chord and simply blows your mind out. This is heavy Jeff Healy and it rocks nice and hard. The song “Cruel Little Number,” was the opening song on the Jeff Healy Band album titled Feel This. The record was released in 1992. The song hit number 2 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Charts in 1992. This was a nice alternative to the grunge sound that was raging at the time.
# 4 – Angel Eyes
Jeff Healey’s beautiful version of John Hiatt’s “Angel Eyes,” was released in 1988 on the debut album by the Jeff Healy Band entitled See The Light. The song was released as the second single from the album. The single release would turn out to become Jeff Healey’s most successful commercial single of his career. Jeff Healey only charted two songs on the Billboard Hot 100 during his career. “Angle Eyes,” was the first of the two to break the top 100. The song not only broke the top 100, it went all the way up into the top 10 peaking at number 5.
# 3 – While My Guitar Weeps
If your going to cover one of the most famous Beatles songs of all time written by George Harrison you better bring your A Game, which for Jeff Healy was not a problem because the man brought his A Game every time he played that guitar. And when your always on, and your covering one of the greatest songs ever written, its almost incomprehensible that it could get any better. Yet, its did, because not only did Jeff Healy tear this one up, he also had George Harrison appear on the recoding. Add some brilliant production by Jeff Lynne and we are left with one of the all time great recordings of the 1980s.
# 2 – Confidence Man
Listen To THAT SOLO, Listen to THAT SOLO, Listen To THAT SOLO, Did we mention THAT SOLO? Jeff Healey just rip it up on this great track from the album See The Light! The song also appeared on the Roadhouse Soundtrack
# 1 – See The Light
The song that blew us all away the first time we heard it. It still does over thirty years later. One of the most exciting tracks recorded in the classic rock era. The song was placed on the LP See The Light in 1988 as the record’s closing track. What a way to end a record. If you have never heard this one, this will knock you right out with a one two punch to your rock and roll heart.