The Yardbirds were formed around 1963 in the era of Mersey-beat, but the band represented a far more mature kind of rock music. Their experiments were several years ahead of their time. Their three successive guitarists would later form three of the most influential British bands of all times (Jeff Beck Group, Cream, Led Zeppelin).
The Yardbirds made a name for themselves in London's rapidly exploding RB circuit, taking over the Rolling Stones' residency at the famed Crawdaddy club. The band took a similar guitar-based, frenetic approach to classic blues/RB as the Stones, and for their first few years they were managed by Giorgio Gomelsky.
Although never as famous as other bands of the British Invasion, the Yardbirds were innovators of momentous importance. First and foremost, the Yardbirds are the band that established the supremacy of the guitar, granting dignity to the rock solo and pioneering the use of dissonant techniques such as feedback and fuzztone.
They had a string of hit-singles during 1964-66, but around 1967 their popularity had waned. They only released on studio album in Britain ( "Roger the Engineer”; but in the States more albums were released, their final “Little Games” came late 1967.
New guitarist Jimmy Page changed the band´s name to the “New Yardbirds” and later to “Led Zeppelin” - at that time he was the only member left to have recorded as the Yardbirds.
Thirty-five years after their break up in 1968, original members Chris Dreja and Jim McCarty pulled together a slew of new musicians to record a new album under the Yardbirds moniker, titled “Birdland”. The album is a mixture of new songs and re-recordings of old Yardbirds favourites. A surprisingly strong album. In spring 2006 they have begun a new tour which started off here in Denmark. Their new line-up is incredibly strong, and their playing very tight. New guitarist Ben King is terrific as is the harmonica player Billy Boy. Lead singer John Idan sounds almost exactly like Keith Relf, and the two originals McCarty and Dreja are still going strong. They did a memorable gig in Silkeborg on April 7.
Jim McCarty: Born 1943, Drums, vocals and composer. Founder member and still behind the drum kit
Chris Dreja: Born 1945, guitar and bass. Founder member and still there
Eric Clapton: First guitarist . Left after the single "For Your Love", which he found too commercial
Paul Samwell-Smith: Bass. Left in 1966 to be replaced by lead guitarist Jimmy Page. Samwell-Smith began a career as a music producer
Keith Relf: Lead singer and harmonica. Relf sadly died in 1976 from electrocution in his home.
Jeff Beck: Lead guitarist. Beck was a great innivator in the band and his style, mixing the blues with new psychedlic sounds, made the Yarbirds a legend.
Jimmy Page: Lead guitarist. Highly original guitarist with years of experience behind him as a session player for various stars in the early 1960´s
John Idan: Bass and lead singer in the new line-up
Billy Boy: Harmonica, percussion and harmony vocals in the new line.up
Ben King: The young new terrific lead-guitarist
1. Five Live Yardbirds - Columbia 1964
Tracks: 1. Too Much Monkey Business / 2. I Got Love If You Want It / 3. Smokestack Lightning / 4. Good Morning Little Schoolgirl / 5. Respectable / 6. Five Long Years / 7. Pretty Girl / 8. Louise / 9. I'm a Man / 10. Here 'Tis / 11. Smokestack Lightning [*] / 12. You Can't Judge a Book by Looking at the Cover [*] / 13. Let It Rock [*] / 14. I Wish You Would [*] / 15. Who Do You Love? [*] / 16. Honey in Your Hips [*] / 17. I'm a Man [*] / 18. Shapes of Things [*]
Rating : 4
2. For Your Love - Epic 1965
Tracks: 1. For Your Love / 2. I'm Not Talking / 3. Putty / 4. I Ain't Got You / 5. Got to Hurry / 6. I Ain't Done Wrong / 7. I Wish You Would / 8. Certain Girl / 9. Sweet Music / 10. Good Morning Little Schoolgirl / 11. My Girl Sloppy / 12. Baby What's Wrong [*] / 13. Boom Boom / 14. Honey in Your Hips / 15. Talkin' About You / 16. I Wish You Would [*] / 17. Certain Girl [Alt.][*] / 18. Got to Hurry [*] / 19. Sweet Music [*] / 20. Heart Full of Soul [Sitar)[*] / 21. Steeled Blues [*] / 22. Paff...Bum[*] / 23. Questa Volta / 24. Paff...Bum [Italian]
Rating : 6
3. Having a Rave Up - Epic 1966
Tracks: 1. Mr. You're a Better Man Than I / 2. Evil Hearted You / 3. I'm a Man / 4. Still I'm Sad / 5. Heart Full of Soul / 6. Train Kept A Rollin' / 7. Smokestack Lightning / 8. Respectable / 9. I'm a Man / 10. Here 'Tis / 11. Shapes of Things / 12. New York City Blues / 13. Jeff's Blues, Take 1 / 14. Someone to Love, Pt. 1 / 15. Someone to Love, Pt. 2 / 16. Like Jimmy Reed Again / 17. Chris' Number / 18. What Do You Want / 19. Here 'Tis [Instrumental] / 20. Here 'Tis [Version for RSG] / 21. Stroll On
Rating : 5
Tracks: 1. Happenings Ten Years Time Ago [M] /2. Psycho Daisies [M] / 3. Lost Woman [M] / 4. Over, Under, Sideways, Down [M] / 5. Nazz Are Blue [M] / 6. I Can't Make Your Way [M] / 7. Rack My Mind [M] / 8. Farewell [M] / 9. Hot House of Omagarashid [M] / 10. Jeff's Boogie [M] / 11. He's Always There [M] / 12. Turn into Earth [M] / 13. What Do You Want [M] / 14. Ever Since the World Began [M] / 15. Lost Woman [S] / 16. Over, Under, Sideways, Down [S] / 17. Nazz Are Blue [S] / 18. I Can't Make Your Way [S] / 19. Rack My Mind [S] / 20. Farewell [S] / 21. Hot House of Omagarashid [S] / 22. Jeff's Boogie [S] / 23. He's Always There [S] / 24. Turn into Earth [S] / 25. What Do You Want [S] / 26. Ever Since the World Began [S] / 27. Mr. Zero [*] / 28. Knowing [*] / 29. Shapes in My Mind [Vers. 1] [*] / 30. Shapes in My Mind [Vers. 2] [*] / 31. Blue Sands[*]
Rating : 8
Tracks: 1. Little Games [S] / 2. Smile on Me / 3. White Summer / 4. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Sailor / 5. Glimpses [Vers. 1] / 6. Drinking Muddy Water [S] / 7. No Excess Baggage / 8. Stealing Stealing / 9. Only the Black Rose / 10. Little Soldier Boy / 11. Puzzles / 12. I Remember the Night / 13. Ha! Ha! Said the Clown / 14. Ten Little Indians / 15. Goodnight Sweet Josephine [Vers. 1] / 16. Think About It // 1. Little Games [M] / 2. You Stole My Love [*] / 3. White Summer [Acous.][*] / 4. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Sailor [*][Instr.] / 5. L.S.D. [*] / 6. Drinking Muddy Water [M] / 7. De Lane Lea Lee [*] / 8. Glimpses [Vers. 2][*] / 9. Never Mind / 10. Ten Little Indians [*][Instr.] / 11. Goodnight Sweet Josephine [Vers. 2][*] / 12. Henry's Coming Home [Together] [*] / 13. Love Mum and Dad [Together] [*] / 14. Together Now [Together] / 15. Shining Where the Sun Has Been [*] - Jim McCarty / 16. Great Shakes [*]
Rating : 6
6. Live Yardbirds - Epic 1971 (68)
Tracks: 1. The Train Kept A-Rollin' (Sound Check) / 2. Dazed And Confused (Sound Check) / 3. The Train Kept A-Rollin' / 4. You're A Better Man Than I/ Heart Full Of Soul / 5. Dazed And Confused / 6. My Baby / 7. Over Under Sideways Down / 8. Drinking Muddy Water / 9. Shapes Of Things / 10. White Summer / 11. I'm A Man
Rating : 4
Tracks: 1. I Ain't Got You / 2. For Your Love / 3. I'm Not Talking / 4. I Wish You Would / 5. Heart Full of Soul / 6. I Ain't Done Wrong / 7. Too Much Monkey Business / 8. Love Me Like I Love You / 9. I'm a Man / 10. Evil Hearted You / 11. Still I'm Sad / 12. Hang on Sloopy / 13. Smokestack Lightning / 14. You're a Better Man Than I / 15. Train Kept A Rollin' / 16. Dust My Broom / 17. Baby, Scratch My Back / 18. Over, Under, Sideways, Down / 19. Sun Is Shining / 20. Shapes of Things / 21. Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I'll Go Mine) / 22. Little Games / 23. Drinking Muddy Water / 24. Think About It / 25. Goodnight Sweet Josephine / 26. My Baby
Rating : 6
Tracks: 1. I'm Not Talking / 2. Crying Out For Love / 3. The Nazz Are Blue / 4. For Your Love / 5. Please Don't Tell Me 'Bout The Newa / 6. Train Kept A Rollin' / 7. Mr. Sabotuer / 8. Shapes Of Things / 9. My Blind Life / 10. Over, Under, Sideways, Down / 11. Mr. Your're A Better Man Than I / 12. Mystery Of Being / 13. Dream Within A Dream / 14. Happenings Ten Years Time Ago / 15. An Original Man (A Song For Keith)
Rating : 8
Original albums as listed and rated on “Rate Your Music” - December 25 - 2005
9 Roger the Engineer - 1966
37 Having a Rave Up - 1965
46 Five Live Yardbirds - 1964
87 For Your Love - 1965
140 Live Yardbirds - 1971
147 Little Games - 1967
183 Live with Sonny Boy Williamson - 1966
223 At the BBC - 2001 Check and Rate Here!
December 25 - "rateyourmusic.com"
My Suggestion For a 80 minutes (app.) Best Of Compilation:
1. Heartful of Soul ( Gouldman ) Having a Rave Up
2. Little Games ( Wainman/Spiro ) Little Games
3. Little Soldier Boy ( Relf/Page/McCarty ) Little Games
4. I Can´t Make Your Way ( Relf/Page/McCarty/Beck ) Roger The Engineer
5. Goodnight Sweet Josephine ( Tony Hazzard ) Little Games - bonus
6. Mister, You´re a Better Man Than I ( Hugg/Hugg ) Having a Rave Up
7. The Nazz Are Blue ( Beck ) Roger The Engineer
8. Puzzles( Relf/Page/McCarty ) Little Games - bonus
9. Evil Hearted You ( Gouldman ) Having a Rave Up
10. Jeff´s Boogie ( Beck ) Roger The Engineer
11. Ever Since The World Began( Relf/Page/McCarty/Beck ) Roger The Engineer
12. For Your Love ( Gouldman ) For Your Love
13. Putty ( Rogers/Patton ) For Your Love
14. Shapes Of Things ( Relf/McCarty/Samwell-Smith ) Roger The Engineer
15. Happenings Ten Years Ago ( Relf/Page/McCarty/Beck ) Roger The Engineer - bonus
16. Lost Woman ( Relf/Dreja/McCarty/Beck ) Roger The Engineer
17. Over, Under, Sideways, Down ( Relf/Dreja/McCarty/Beck ) Roger The Engineer
18. Rack My Mind ( Relf/Dreja/McCarty/Beck ) Roger The Engineer
19. What Do You Want ( Relf/Dreja/McCarty/Beck ) Roger The Engineer
20. I´m Not Talking ( Allison ) For Your Love
21. I Wish You Would ( Arnold ) For Your Love
22. He´s Always There( Relf/Dreja/McCarty/Beck ) Roger The Engineer
23. Turn Into Earth ( Samwell-Smith ) Roger The Engineer
24. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Sailor ( Page/McCarty ) Little Games
25. No Excess Baggage ( Atkins/DÉrrico) Little Games
26. I Ain´t Got You ( Carter ) For Your Love
27. Pscycho Daisies( Dreja/Page/McCarty/Beck ) Roger The Engineer - bonus
28. Mr Zero ( Lind ) Roger The Engineer - bonus ( Keith Relf )
29. Paff Bum ( Reverbel/Bardotti/Samwell-Smith ) For Your Love - bonus
30. I´m a Man ( McDaniels ) Having a Rave Up
31. Farewell ( Relf/McCarthy/Samwell-Smith ) Roger The Engineer
32. Crying Out For Love ( McCarty ) Birdland
33. Mr Saboteur ( McCarty ) Birdland
34. An Original Man ( McCarty/Dreja/Idan/Mayo ) Birdland