Wednesday, September 15, 2021

The Yardbirds - Eric Clapton & The Yardbirds (2002)

Year: 1963-1965 (CD 2002)
Label: Retro Gold Records (????), RETR0009
Style: Blues Rock, Rock
Country: London, England
Time: 56:37
Format: Flac Tracks 16/44,1 kHz
Size: 315 Mb

The Yardbirds were a British blues/r'n'b/pop/rock/psych band of the mid-'60s that have become best known for jet-starting the careers of Armageddon's Keith Relf and Box Of Frogs' Paul Samwell-Smith, Chris Dreja and Jim McCarty. Unfortunately their back catalog is an impossible-to-traverse pile of not-quite-interchangeable compilations. See, they only recorded two actual studio albums while they were around. Most of their hits were non-LP singles, their most famous album wasn't a real album at all, and all their songs have been re-packaged into compilations along with slightly rare live tracks and outtakes about a goddamned billion times over the years. Oh! And then two of them had the "NADS" to reunite as "The Yardbirds" and release a third studio album like fifty years later! Is it any wonder they were never as big as The Boetles?
Although you'd be denying yourself a number of terrific songs by not picking up a compilation or two, here is a quick guide to the band's official, non-compilation discography:

Eric Clapton = Five Live Yardbirds
Jeff Beck = Roger The Engineer (also known as The Yardbirds, and released in the U.S. - minus two tracks - as Over Under Sideways Down)
Jimmy Page = Little Games
John "Gypie" Mayo = Birdland

But see, none of these three official albums (forget Birdland - forever if possible) include ANY of these Yardbirds classics: "Evil Hearted You," "Still I'm Sad," "For Your Love," "I'm A Man (awesome rave-up studio version)," "Heart Full Of Soul," "Train Kept A-Rollin'," "I Ain't Got You," "Shapes Of Things," "Happenings Ten Years Time Ago," "Think About It," "Mr. You're A Better Man Than I," "A Certain Girl," "Boom Boom," "I Wish You Would," "Ha Ha Said The Clown," "Goodnight Sweet Josephine," "I'm Not Talking," "Ten Little Indians," and "You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover" - AMONG OTHERS. Isn't that just fuckin' stupid? So essentially you can own the band's entire LP discography and still have the least complete Yardbirds collection in Historybooks.
So below are my reviews of these four 'official' albums, plus a few compilations I've picked up over the years. As many might tell you, The Yardbirds were a great singles band with tons of awesome recordings, but they never quite made the transition to 'important LP artists,' for some reason. Poor management maybe? Lack of concrete direction? Dearth of interest in the non-singles market? Not sure. You do the research; I'll sit here and make fun of Eric Clapton!
( (Mark Prindle)

01. For Your Love (02:32)
02. Boom Boom (02:26)
03. A Certain Girl (02:20)
04. I'm A Man (02:40)
05. Talkin' Bout You (01:57)
06. Highway 69 (03:19)
07. My Little Cabin (03:45)
08. Got To Hurry (02:36)
09. Putty (In Your Hands) (02:20)
10. Louise (03:43)
11. Five Long Years (05:09)
12. Smokestack Lighting (06:49)
13. Good Morning Little Schoolgirl (02:49)
14. Got Love If You Want It (02:39)
15. She's So Respectable (05:31)
16. I Wish You Would (05:53)


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