England's yardbirds left a remarkable wake of inventive and classic rock and blues in thier wake,
sometimes, due to personel shifts it is hard to sort the whole thing out......best known is, of course, that at verious times they incorporated guitarists Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page, and while the other bands of the era were influencing the future punk and psych sounds, the Yardbirds were busy shaping what blues/metal would sound like for the next forty years. This post will likely take 2-3 parts, insure yety, we are going to concentrate on the 1963-68 period, basically up until the end of the Page era. There have been many "yardbirds" bands since using various members who gained the rights to the name, but I'm not thinking that is exxactly what we are searching for here, especially in light of the fine material I DO have already.
Let us begin with an expanded version of 1964's "Five Live yardbirds", a fine album full of great rb/rock standards ("Smokestack Lightning", "I'm a Man"), made even better with the release of the bonus tracks released on this expanded edition....."Who DO You Love", "Let It Rock" and "Boom Boom" are all wonderful additions, a classic, essential, 5-star effort and 5-star period piece. The lineup at the time was guitarist Eric Clapton, vocalist Keith Relf, drumer Jim McCarthy, guitarist Chris Dreja, and bassist Paul Samwell-Smith.....this is where the modern hard rock/metal got it's absolute seedling of a beginning.
"For Your Love" appears here also in a glorious expanded version, the lineup basically the same except that Beck joins in on a few numbers, as well as a few other "guests" (Manfred Mann, Brian Auger).....another tremendous album, a highly influential album, and one that, like it's predecssor is improved GREATLY by thte addition of a generous share of bonus tracks. We get the magnificnet title singel, "I Ain't Got You", "I'm Not Talking", and more, as well as a ton of demos, highlighted by an amazing "sitar version" of one of my favorites "Heart Full Of Soul".....not to be missed, and the rest of the demos here are musts for fans as well!.
"Having a Rave-Up" is better still, Clapton, Beck, and Page all turn in work on this one (Page just on one track)....nonetheless, this one (also an expanded, bonus track stuffed issue), contains the amazing "Shapes of Things", the single version of "Heart Full Of Soul", "Mister You're a Better man than I", and saving the best for last, Page appears on the track "Stroll on", a not-so-subtle reworking of "Train Kept a Rollin'" (which also appears here), "Stroll On" is a monster, a true chink of heavy metal before the term ever came into vogue......3 for 3 on phenominal album releases!
By the time of the next issue (Commonly refered to as "Roger the Engineer") this was all about Beck,
pretty much.....it's also fine album, and also an expanded one.....Actually a couple versions of the great "Over Under Sideways Down", also a couple of the fine "Jeff's Boogie"......while maybe just a cut below the previous efforts as "influential" music", Beck really puts on a show and for fans of Jeff Beck's rater unique guitar stylings, this is for you (I mean, likely you already HAVE it, but you know......)....
By the time of 1967's "Little Games", Page had taken over from Beck, pretty much.....not going into (what I consider to be )the uninteresting personal reasons behind that stuff, just to say, "Little Games" is a fine one also, with many BBC recordings of high intensity and quality. Interesting is perhaps the first recorded attempt (i am just guessing) at what would become Led Zeppelin's "Dazed and Confused" which closes the set.
I'm gonna stop this one for tonight with "Live yardbirds Featuring Jimmy Page" a scorcher if ever one existed.......looking at my stuff, I think this is gonna go three days, so if any of you have any rarities please send em this way to make this a SUPER yardbirds extravaganza......tomorrow we will get into a bit more of the obscure/live stuff, but for today? I just look at these albums and GOD they were great......If you're a kid and unfamiliar, NOW IS THE TIME to get down with the Yardbirds, they were no joke, in fact, they were one of the VERY best rock n roll bands of the 1960's, the fact that they preferred to crank out awesome blues/rock rather than have both eyes on maximum commerciality is a testmant to their greatness..
If you're already a big Yardbirds fan, likely you may alreaady have these sure.....but I bet ya in the next couple days I come up with some stuff you HAVEN't got! Wait and see!
FOR YOUR LOVE(Expanded)-o1 For Your Love/02 I'm Not Talking/03 Putty In Your hands/04 I Ain't Got You/05 Got To Hurry/06 I Ain't Done Wrong/07 I Wish You WOuld/08 A Certain Girl/09 Sweet Music (Stereo)/10 My Girl Sloopy/12 Baby What's Wrong (demo)/13 Boom Boom (demo)/14 Honey in Your Hips (demo)/15 Talkin Bout You (demo)/16 I Wish You WOuld (Demo/17 A Certain Girl (demo)18 Got To Hurry (take 4)/19 Sweet Music (take 4)/20 Heart Full of Soul (demo, sitar version)21 Steeled Blues/22 Paff Bumm (German Issue)/23 Questa Volta/24 Paff Bum (Italian Issue)
HAVING A RAVE UP (Expanded)-01 Mister You're a Better Man That I/02 Evil Hearted You/03 I'm a Man/04 Still I'm Sad/05 Heart Full of Soul/06 Train Kept-a Rollin'/07 Sokestack Lightning/08 Respectable/09 I'm a Man/10 Here Tis/11 Shapes of Things/12 New Your City Blues/13 Jeffs Blues (The Nazz Are Blue Demo)/14 Someone to Love (Lost Woman Demo Part 1)/15 Someone to Love (Lost Woman DEmo Part 2)/16 Like Jimmy Reed Again (demo)/17 Chris' Number (demo)/18 What Do You Want (Demo Take 4)/19 Here Tis (demo)/20 Here Tis/21
ROGER THE ENGINEER (Expanded)-01 Lost Woman/02 Over Under Sideways Down/03 The
Nazz Are Blue/04 I Can't make Your Way/Rack my Mind/06 Farewell/07 Hot House of Omagarashid/08 Jeff's Boogie/09 He's Always There/10 Turn Into Earth/11 What Do You Want/12 Ever Since the World Began/13 Lost Woman/14 Over Under Sideways Down/15 I Can't make Your Way/16 Farewell/17 Hot House of Omagarashid/18 Jeffs Boogie/19 He's Always There/20 Turn Into Earth/21 What Do You Want/22 Ever Since the World Began
LIVE FEATURING JIMMY PAGE-01 Train Kept-A Rollin'/02 Mister You're a Better Man than I/03 I'm Confused/04 My Baby/05 Over Under Sideways Down/06 Drinking Muddy Water/07 Shapes of THings/08 White Summer/09 I'm a Man
LOTS more great Yardbirds shit to come in the next day or two......hope these get ya started if you be a novice.....a great, great band, as you are about to find out.