Yardbirds on Air (BBC) - Band of Joy 1991 (64-68

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


This album contains the majority of what the Yardbirds recorded on the BBC during 1965-68. The first 3 tracks features Eric Clapton guitar, the last 6 Jimmy Page and the rest of them Jeff Beck.

Most of these recordings are very good and sounding really nice. They prove that the band was very competent and able to re-create their fine studio-recordings in live situations. A few of these songs were never released on any of the regular Yardbirds albums.

"Love me Like I Love You" is a band compostion from 1965; from shortly after Clapton left. The song is quite nice, but it probably never reached a satisfactory final arrangement. Their version of Elmore James'"Dust My Blues" is very good, but almost the same as Jeff's Boogie from "Roger the Engineer".

"Scratch My Back" is another band-composition that eventually developed into "Rack My Mind". "The Sun is Shining" is another Elmore James song, also covered by Fleetwood Mac. A great blues; and arranged pretty much like "New York City Blues".

A big surprise for me was their cover of Bob Dylan's "Most Likely You Go Your Way". The recording is from the jimmy Page era. They were obviously at this stage in big confusion about which musical direction to follow.

The strongest of these "new" tracks is without comparison the closing track "My Baby"; unfortunately this is also one the tracks in the poorest sound-quality. Of the more well-known Yardbirds material all Jimmy Page recordings sound very inspired. I particularly like "Little Games", "Think About It" and "Goodnight Sweet Josephine". Unfortunately they do sound like they were not taken from original BBC-tapes.

The versions of "Shapes of Things", "Heart Full of Soul", "I Ain't Done Wrong", "You're a Better Man", "Evil Hearted You" etc are great. In fact most Jeff Beck recordings are sounding surprisingly good.

I have to note that I never understood why they bothered to record a song like "Hang on Sloopy". The version here sound even more uninspired than the "For Your Love" version.

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