The Yardbirds

Like Led Zeppelin, Armageddon, The Firm, John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, Blind Faith, Cream, Derek & The Dominoes, Renaissance, The Honeydrippers, Box Of Frogs and Jeff Beck all rolled up into a big ol' smelly ball!
*special introductory paragraph!
*Five Live Yardbirds
*Live! Blueswailing July '64
*Having A Rave Up
*Roger The Engineer
*Shapes Of Things
*Vol. 2: Blues, Backtracks And Shapes Of Things
*Little Games
*BBC Sessions

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!

Five Live Yardbirds - EMI 1964
Rating = 7

It's no secret that Eric "Slowmind" Clapton is one of the least entertaining performers of the past three decades, but if you look way way way back into his past, you'll discover that at one time he was both young AND talented. Rumor has it he used to not even have a beard! For this reason, young guitarists of the '60s times used to wear bobby pins and placards reading "CLAPTON IS GOD" all over Britain and Eurasia. These fan trinkets of course quickly became priceless, hilarious relics of hippy nostalgia as Clapton went on to ROCKKK the world with "Wonderful Tonight" and "How Much Is That Baby In The Window (Worth)?" But we're getting way ahead of and behind myself! The point here is that Five Live Yardbirds showcases a young, energetic Eric Clapton with a tinny, lousy guitar tone.

Perhaps the biggest shame of today's 'seen it all/done it all' jaded, cynical youth generation is that we can no longer enter a musical club and hear our favorite bands properly introduced by an emcee. What musical fan wouldn't thrill to hear a man in suit-and-tie walk onstage and announce, "Good evening and welcome and now it is time for Furnacemerizing, Fierymerizing, in fact most blues-wailing Fiery Furnaces! Here they are! Here they are, one by one. The drums, Matthew Friedberger. The rhythm guitar, Matt Friedberger. The bass, Matt Friedberg-Er. Lead guitar, Matt "Slow-Eye" Friedberger. The singer and harp - Eleanor Friedberger! Two Live Fiery Furnaces!" But in the early '60s, this sort of thing happened all the time, especially on this album.

Five Live Yardbirds is the early Yardbirds running through ten cover tunes from the world of blues, r'n'b and early rock and roll (THREE of them are Bo Diddley songs, for Pete's sac!). I don't think a single one of these songs was written by a white person, which is pretty amazing considering that black people probably weren't even allowed in the club. (I totally made that up, incidentally, but I doubt many blacks were in attendance at any rate!). The Yardbirds put on an incredibly energetic show, with uptempo (even punk-speed at times) drums carrying several of the tunes, twangy rhythm guitar hurrying along the proceedings, and mid-range but raw Keith Relf doing an admirable job of combining rough blues vocalizing with young British melodicism (basically he sounds better than early Mick Jagger, but he's no Eric Burdon). And Eric's stinging-toned leads doing his Eric Clapton thing. And the mix sounds really, really great considering this was 1964. It's not murky at all, there's no fake crowd noise covering everything up, and you can hear every single instrument at almost all times.

As for the music, this starts off being the greatest goddamned whitefellow r'n'b rock and roll show you've ever heard in your life -- Chuck Berry's "Too Much Monkey Business" is a rollicking r'n'r joy, Slim Harpo's "Got Love If You Want It" whips up a lather of hyper-blues with a terrific vocal and harmonica hook, Howlin' Wolf's "Smokestack Lightning" seethes with dark, tough pissed-offitude, and Sonny Boy Williamson's "Good Morning Little Schoolgirl" is as wonderfully 'rough yet sugary' as an ice cream sundae covered in gravel (although its Clapton/Samwell-Smith vocals are pretty ugly compared to Relf's). However, from there it gets a bit more hit and miss, with The Isley Brothers' "Respectable" dragging a punk rock beat out for 5 1/2 minutes, Bo Diddley's "I'm A Man" having nothing on the Yardbirds' tight, explosive studio version, Same Diddley's "Pretty Girl" featuring a particularly tuneless Relf delivery, and John Lee Hooker's "Louise" becoming the first ever "generic 12-bar r'n'b crap song" in modern rock history.

You don't hear me complaining about Eddie Boyd's sorrowful slow blues "Five Long Years" or Self-Same Diddley's speedy Christmastime "Here 'Tis" though! Actually "Five Long Years" is too long. So you do hear me complaining about that one.

Wasn't it awesome how I looked up all the songs online so I could tell you who originally did them? It's true - "McDaniel" means "Bo Diddley"! "Moore" means "Slim Harpo"! "Isley, Isley, Isley" means "Isley Brothers"! This would become much more difficult to ascertain on their next record, as it's unclear whether the name "Beck" refers to former Yardbirds guitarist Jeff Beck or top-selling '90s alternative artist Beck Hansen.

If you're a fan of rough, raucous, early white person rock and roll recorded back when everybody wanted to be a black person, you gotta pick up Five Live Yardbirds. If you've no interest in such material, do yourself a favor and pick up Eric Clapton's Pilgrim -- dude, he does a DYLAN cover on there!

From Under The Red Sky, one of the shittiest albums of Dylan's career! See? Not only is Clapton capable of writing some of the worst songs of all time; he's also adept at recognizing such ability in his fellow artists!

Reader Comments
Mark, I think somewhere on you site I read that you think Eric Clapton is incredible over-rate and a lousy entertainer. Cream was on PBS the other night doing some retro thing for a large audience of baby-boomers, who probably shelled-out $150 a ticket to see this. Nobody had the decency to cut the electricity. Everybody ages, but my goodness those three looked and played like hell.

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Live! Blueswailing July '64 - Castle Music 2003
Grade = N/A (Formerly a 'Zine Page' Review)

The sound clarity on this 40-year-old live recording is amazing! You'd think that the band would be drowned out by all the lasers and screaming beatniks, but everything is as crisp and clear as the morning of a dream. Bassist Paul Samwell-Smith is booming along like a happy bouncy slightly-out-of-tune elephant, guitarist Eric Clapton of "It's In The Way That You Use It" fame is twanging those bluesy lickables, drummer I CAN'T GO THROUGH THE WHOLE BAND, THERE'S LIKE FIVE HUNDRED GUYS IN THE YARDBIRDS! But if you want to hear British blues-rock at its clearest, boomingest, most fun and early and exciting with singer Keith Relf chit-chatting with his audience (he stopped doing that after he died), you're a real ass if you miss Live! Blueswailing July '64. As a longtime Yardbirds fan to the end, I was pleasantly surprised by a slow blues called "The Sky Is Crying," which I don't think has ever appeared on a Yardbirds release before. Way to go, Castle! Rock!

No hang on, I don't mean to give any credit to Castle Rock. That's an entirely different company. FUCK YOU, CASTLE ROCK!!! What did YOU ever do for Eric Clapton? Besides make him SUCK?!

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Having A Rave Up - Epic 1965
Rating = 8

In 1965, Yardbirds manager Giorgio "GG" Gomelsky "Allin" suggested that the band pursue a more commercial and hit-driven direction, driving an irate Eric Clapton to exclaim, "Commercial?!? Not me! I'm gonna stick to my roots and keep playing songs based on the great Delta and Chicago blues traditions!"

"Oh! And then I'm gonna sell 'em all to a beer company!"

After "The Venereal Disease" got his lousy boring 'God' ass out of the band and into John Mayall's Pornography Collection where it belonged, The Yardbirds replaced him with young hothead Jeff Beck, a much more innovative player who was interested in taking the electric guitar into exciting new directions rather than wallowing in the past like a piece of shit with a beard. The new incarnation of the band then set about recording hit singles penned by talented outside songwriters like Graham Gouldman, an activity that Eric had balked at because the harpsichord-and-bongo-driven "For Your Love" wasn't 'sufficiently 12-bar'.

The eventual result? A patched-together American album called Having A Rave Up With The Yardbirds! Side two of the record is four tracks pulled directly from Five Live Yivebives, but side one is a magical collection of cutting-edge hard melodic rock that sounds just as awesome today as it did in 1966, when I was -7. Look at these titles and tell me this album side isn't a total ruler, just sitting there all covered in centimeter marks and numbers:

"You're A Better Man Than I" - Social commentary and a harrowing chorus!
"I'm A Man" - Old slow blues converted into speed freak rave-up noise frenzy!
"Still I'm Sad" - Gregorian chant pop!
"Heart Full Of Soul" - Make your GUItar sound like a SItar!
"Evil Hearted Jew" - Anti-semitic plea for the complete extermination of the Judaic race!
"The Train Kept A-Rollin'" - Both bangs your head and irritates your penis, thanks to an ill-considered decision to double-track the vocals so that you hear two verses at the same time!

So you see, Having A Rave Up With The Yardbirds is one shit of a good record. However, it's not prefect, so you don't necessarily have to worry about obeying its orders. Also, on an unrelated point, it's not flawless. First of all, let's be honest: the verse melody of "You're A Better Man Than I" is duller than a book. Secondly, side B could use a stern talking-to. I guess I agree with the decision to show America the raw, rowdy, r'n'b side of the band, and "Smokestack Lightning" and "Here 'Tis" are excellent choices with their respective macabre grit and unabandoned glee. But "Respectable"? That's just two chords for five minutes, isn't it? And... "I'm A Man"? Didn't we just hear a really great version of that song like four minutes ago? If their goal was to demonstrate how much more interesting Beck was than Crapton, then way to go! But otherwise Christ, use "Too Much Monkey Business" or something! You hear me, Christ?

If you're new to the Yardbirds game, this is a perfectly good introduction to the first two eras of the band, especially if you find it in a dollar bin like I did. But otherwise, I suggest looking for a newer compilation with a longer track listing. Why settle for 10 songs when you can have 4,673,983?

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* 4,673,983 Greatest Hits - Hilarious 6969 *
Rating = 10

Wow! What an album! Talk about your

Roger The Engineer - EMI 1966
Rating = 7

With a hit single or two under their belts, The New Yardbirds gathered together their favorite instruments, entered the studio and emerged moments later with Roger The Engineer, a record that paid tribute to their r'n'b past while embracing their melodic rock present and moving towards a psychedelic future. More specifically, it presented a directionless mix of assured hard rock, killer boogie woogie, catchy bubblegum pop, effortless r'n'b, Eastern-tinged rock, bland 12-bar blues, laughable piano balladry, and pathetically childish avant-garde experimentation. And sure it's a shambling mess, but half of the songs are fuckin' great!

This album almost couldn't be any differenter to Five Live than it is. Not only does it replace that album's 10 cover tunes with 12 band-written originals; it also substitutes studio craft, diversity (obviously) and intriguing arrangements for that record's raw energy, tough vocals and impenetrable wall of rhythmic sound. The stereo separation of elements is very well done, they fool around with lots different percussion effects (fish, hand claps, sharpening knives, bending sheet metal, etc), and best of all they're wild about group vocals! Backup vocals, "aaaah"s, harmonies, all kinds of wonderful group-oriented activities. Plus they'll throw in a piano here or there, while still making sure that you can hear all the cool stuff that Jeff Beck is doing. I gotta give 'em a real thumps ub for their attempts to spruce up even the more lackluster material with creative studio decisionery.

Which brings us to the 'lackluster material' I may have mentioned one sentence earlier in the evening. The main thing that strikes me every time I listen to Roger The Engineer is how incredibly professional and confident they sound on maybe half the songs, and how amateurish and lost they sound on the other half. This goes for Keith Relf particularly -- compare his awesome, confident rock/blues vocals in "Over Under Sideways Down," "Turn Into Earth" and "Lost Woman" to his tentative nasally approach to the overly-poppy "Farewell" and "I Can't Make Your Way" (and what in Christ's name is he trying to do in "Rack My Mind"? Sing while taking a dump?). But it's not just him - the songwriting veers back and forth awkwardly too, and it's just a drag when amazing feats of super-killer guitarwork ("Jeff's Boogie," "Over Under Sideways Down") and killerass psych/acid mood music ("Turn Into Earth," the creepy first half of "Ever Since The World Began") are constantly interrupted by bland leftover Claptonisms ("The Nazz Are Blue," sung by Beck but played like Clapton), 12-bar wastes of space ("Rack My Mind") and two-chord shuffly-doo crap (the wasted second half of "Ever Since The World Began"). Five Live Yardbirds may have just been a bunch of interchangeable r'n'b, but it was CATCHY interchangeable r'n'b written by a number of very talented men and performed with youthful abandon and reckless glee. Roger The Engineer is certainly a hundred million times more diverse than that record, but even if a band is good at five things, that doesn't mean it's good at ten things, if you catch my drifty. And the Yardbirds certainly weren't born for piano balladry, abstract expressionism, or writing their own 12-bar r'n'b. Their nom de plume was their raison de etre: playing '60s guitar rock out in the YARD, while dressing up like BIRDS. This latter proficiency proved crucial to the band's later success portraying "Gene Wilder" in the feature film Stir Crazy.

Which segues perfectly into my final point: Jeff Beck ruled so much ass on this record, I've crowned him The King Of Asses. His guitarwork is always interesting and unique, and he makes the record a real kick in the ears even during the less interesting tracks. With an enviable collection of harmonic tapping, noisemaking, speedy note picking and distorted wickedry, he was a regular Jimmy Page! One thing though - I HATE "He's Always There." Which is weird because I like "The 2000-Pound Bee" fine and it's a total ripoff of that. But it's just so stupid and macho! And someone's playing a FISH! EVERYBODY knows you don't play a fish when you're ripping off a bee!!! Christ, haven't you people read The Bible? The Book of Noah? Where the bees and fish all fucked each other in the ark and created gigantic swarms of swimming, flying, stinging, swishing bee-fish??

Why yes, I am reading from a Roger Corman edition of the Bible. Why do you ask?

Say! Anyone for a Psalm of the student nurses of Korah?

Reader Comments
Dissent. I can't disagree too seriously with your reasoning, Mr. P., but nevertheless a mere Seven red spots will not abide. Your review certainly betrays a few close listens to this glorious 1966 favorite, but somehow these close listens didn't take hold.

Roger the Engineer is one cool album. For starters, the album art actually merits mention, as it's one of the most pleasing designs this side of Pink Floyd's Relics, all purple-lines and droopy ears and eyes. Roger the Engineer is not a healthy guy. It's great!

I protest that you protest too much in the third paragraph. Reckon you should rearrange your review on more of a "point first" basis: that is, the King of Asses rules this record, with great support from the princely rhythm section. I couldn't care what Keith Relf is trying to do in Rack My Mind, because the King of Asses owns my mind on the chorus. For example, that is.

The peak hits which you've identified are mid-60's classics. The one-two opener of Lost Woman and Over Under Sideways Down cements this album in 9 territory. The playful and adventurous ART of a band making their masterpiece colours the whole thing a pleasant white, purple, with snazzy Monty Python-y red lettering (i.e., again, great album art).

I especially like this album when it's Eastertime, too. Jeff Boogies!

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Shapes Of Things - Bomb 1978
Rating = 8

Here's something that'll make all your friends laugh. Take it from me because it totally made all my friend laugh when I said it to him. You know that gourmet sandwich restaurant Au Bon Pain? It's hilarious when you pass one in the street and exclaim, "Ow! Bone pain!"

Shapes Of Things is just one of at least 4,000,000,000,000,000,000 Yardbirds compilations that stretch from the surface of the earth to the outer regions of our solar system. It is a double-album that I purchased in a cheapy bin at Schoolkids' Records in Chapel Hill, NC over a decade ago. Its track listing is as follows: Too Much Monkey Business/I Wish You Would/Good Morning Little Schoolgirl/For Your Love/A Certain Girl/Got To Hurry/Smokestack Lightning/Evil Hearted You/Still I'm Sad/Steeled Blues/The Train Kept A-Rollin'/Here 'Tis/What Do You Want/NYC Blues/For R.S.G./Mr. You're A Better Man Than I/Jeff's Blues/I Ain't Got You/I Ain't Done Wrong/Someone To Love Part One/Someone To Love Part Two/My Gal Sloopy/Shapes Of Things.

You must heed my warning about Yardbirds compilations: buy only from reputable record labels. This sad little anecdote will illustrate my point perfectly. You know what my very first Yardbirds experience was? Enjoying my father's 45 of "Over Under Sideways Down"/"Jeff's Boogie." But I just remembered that a second ago. What I meant to refer to - and what I guess actually qualifies as my very second Yardbirds experience - was borrowing a cheap 20 Greatest Hits album from Bryan Feeney down the old street. I loved this record very, very much, but every time I listened to my cassette copy of it, I thought to myself, "You know, the Yardbirds have a ton of great songs, but why do they always fade them out in the middle of a verse?" I thought maybe it was just a quirk of the early '60s (I was young and not altogether intelligent). It wasn't until many years later (until I bought this Shapes Of Things compilation, in fact!) that I discovered the horrifying truth. That shifty punkass piece of shit 20 Greatest Hits record label had purposely faded out every single track at 1:50 so that they could fit twenty of them onto one album. As such, "Still I'm Sad" had ONE VERSE. "New York City Blues" faded out RIGHT BEFORE THE FIRST PUNCHLINE; seriously, for years I thought the song actually concluded with "I know I got long hair but she took me back - back to see her pad/About the first thing I saw when I arrived there....(end)" Imagine my excitement upon learning that the next bit of dialogue was in fact "was a big black shiny shotgun in the hands of her Dad." HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! Kudos to songs that aren't faded out at 1:50 so they'll fit on an album!

So that's your warning.

Another warning is to actually look at the track listing before you purchase it. Do not purchase any Yardbirds compilation that does not include every single song I am about to list:

"I'm A Man" (studio version)
"Shapes Of Things"
"Over Under Sideways Down"
"Evil Hearted You"(written by Graham Gouldman, later of 10CC!)
"Heart Full Of Soul" (written by Graham Gouldman, later to produce The Ramones' Pleasant Dreams!)
"For Your Love" (written by Graham Gouldman, later to do nothing of note for the past 25 years!)
"Happenings Ten Years Time Ago"
"Still I'm Sad"

They have tons of other great songs as well, both written by themselves and others, but these are the ones that you are expected to know. Any compilation that fails to include even one of these tracks is no compilation at all. ONE CAVEAT: It's okay to buy a compilation without "Over Under Sideways Down" if you also intend to purchase Roger The Engineer. A SECOND CAVEAT: Due to record company conflicts, it's very, very hard to find a compilation that actually DOES include all of these songs. In fact, the only one I've ever seen that does is Rhino Records' Ultimate!. So that might be a good purchase for a Yardbeginner. Ha! "Yardbeginner"! That's great!

Shapes Of Things is a terrific record, but certainly not a must-own for either Yardbird fanatics or "Yardbeginners" (That's AWESOME!). For one thing, an album this heavy on Jeff Beck-era material deserves a kick in the tuckus for not including "Heart Full Of Soul." For another thing, three of the songs are pulled directly off of Five Live Yardbirds. For a third thing, I'm not sure that any "Yardbeginner" (HA! WHEE!) would be well served by hearing instrumental early versions of songs that would be retooled for Roger The Engineer: the instrumental "Jeff's Blues" would become "The Nazz Are Blue," the instrumental "I Ain't Done Wrong" would become "I Ain't Done Wrong," and the instrumental "Someone To Love Part Two" would become "Lost Woman" -- but not before becoming "Someone To Love Part One," which IMMEDIATELY PRECEDES IT ON THIS COMPILATION.

These complaints are just for you though. Personally I love this album, and can't thank Schoolkids Records enough for pricing it so low. Beyond even the hit singles, look at all these highlights: "I Wish You Would" is an r'n'b choogler with a killer harmonica hook that should totally have been on Five Live Yardbirds even if they didn't perform it that night; the studio version of "Good Morning Little Schoolgirl" kicks melodic ass out of the messy 5 Live version; the swingin' r'n'b "A Certain Girl" is as catchy as God will allow a non-Christian song to be (esp. Keith's ongoing conversation with the backup singers -- "What's her name?" "I can't tell ya." "Ohhh."); "For R.S.G." is the studio version of "Here 'Tis" and, therefore, rules; and the instrumental version of "What Do You Want" reveals that Jeff Beck's guitarwork in that song is a heck of a lot more interesting than Relf's boring vocal melody!

For these reasons and more, I am proud to award this album with the 2006 Grammy in the category of "Old Yardbirds Compilations."

I'd also like to award A History Of Violence with the Oscar for "Best 69 Scene" but I haven't seen Brokedick Mountain yet and you know how fags love the ol' Double Suck.

"You know how fags love the ol' Double Suck" - Popular ad slogan for Yardbeginner, top-selling British cigarette

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Vol. 2: Blues, Backtracks And Shapes Of Things - Columbia 1991
Rating = 6

Vol. 2: Blues, Backtracks And Shapes Of Things is the second volume (hence the name) of a Sony Music Special Products series designed to mix, match and screw up the early history of The Yardbirds. I already have most of the songs they put on the first entry, so I skipped it and went straight to this one, which - although it's still truckful of stuff I already own - at least also contains several rarities and an entire set of The Yardbirds serving as backing band for a Sonny Boy Williamson concert (38 minutes with no Keith Relf! :7(). The double-disc was kind enough to speak to me on a cold balmy evening in early February. My words are bold; his are regular.


(some lady): Hello?

Hi! Could I speak to Vol. 2: Blues, Backtracks And Shapes Of Things, please?

(same lady): Yeah, hold on.

(*four hours of silence*)


Hi! Is this Vol. 2: Blues, Backtracks And Shapes Of Things?


Hi, this is Mark Prindle calling for the interview!

Oh hey, Mark! How's it going?

Good! What are you up to?

Ahh nothing. Just hangin' out. Listening to myself.

Still sounding good?

Well, to me, of course I sound good! If other people don't like me, that's their problem.

Have you ever had people complain to you about how you sound?

Oh sure! I constantly get accused of false representation, like "You claim to be filled with Yardbirds music, but over a quarter of you is Sonny Boy Williamson."

Oh. Really?

And I'm always like, "Well yeah, but The Yardbirds are still on those songs!" You know? I mean, there's a REASON I put those songs on me. The recordings are hard to find, and I think fans of the band - you know, TRUE fans - will be interested in hearing them improvise 12-bar blues like that, with a real bluesman in front.

See, my thing is that, or rather, I'm - I like the Yardbirds a lot, but more their rock stuff. So, I mean I RESPECT what they were trying to do with Sonny Boy Williamson, but I can't say I really like that section of you as much as the other sections.

Oh. Well, yeah. If you don't like the blues, you're not gonna like - there's a considerable portion of their catalog that you're not going to like.

Well, I like it when they take old blues songs and rework them in their own style, like with "I Wish You Would" and "You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover" and "Good Morning Little Schoolgirl" - I LOVE those parts of you. It's just that listening to basic 12-bar blues over and over and over again while some creaky old man talks over it is just not - I mean, it's not what I personally am into.

Well, you're welcome to go fuck yourself.

No, I didn't mean it like that! I'm a fan of you! I'm just more a fan of the real Yardbirds stuff - like it's great that you put their version of "Boom Boom" on yourself. That was their first single, wasn't it?

Eat shit, asshole.

No, I'm serious. And it's great! It's different from the Animals' version - much more laid back and mellow.

You know what? I ought to come over there and bash your fucking head in right now.

And I love how you have both the official "Heart Full Of Soul" release and the early version where they actually played a in the sitar version.

I have this vision in my head of me just stomping up and down on your exposed brain, squishing it into the blood-soaked carpet. It's a wonderful vision.

And where did you find that rewrite of "Train Kept A-Rollin'" with Jimmy Page on it? Didn't they do that for some movie?

I'd like to know what you cherish most in the world. So I can destroy it in front of your eyes as you watch helplessly, your eyelids sliced off.

Also, I have to admit that the last song of the Sonny Boy Williamson set, "Western Arizona," is a really nice swingin' tune with superfun harmonica playing.

Oh, you like that one?

Yeah, it's really fun!

Oh! Okay. See, I thought you were mad at me. I'm sorry about all those things I said.

It's okay. I didn't mean to upset you!

No no, it's fine. I just thought you were attacking me, insulting me.

So how about this shitty job George Bush is doing? I mean, there's nothing true coming out of his mouth ever.

That's because it's not even coming out of his mouth. It's coming out of Rumsfeld, Cheney, Wolfowitz - it's out of those peoples' mouths. And then Kenneth Lay at Enron and etc. etc. on down the line of this entire corrupt oligarchy that just feeds him his fuckin' lines. He's just a puppet head. The guy is completely inarticulate and just slid by on his Daddy's name at Yale. I mean, you tell me one other person that graduated from Yale that is inarticulate. Yale's a great school, man. I would have given my left nut to go to Yale, and here's this idiot that, you know -

Why do you have five songs pulled straight from Five Live Yardbirds?

In my mind, I've already murdered you in your sleep.

And I know they're rarities, but aren't "Let It Rock," "Honey In Your Hips," "Chris' Number" and "Like Jimmy Reed Again" pretty much just a bunch of simplistic dull whiteboy blues bullshit?

You'll be amazed by how long the human heart continues to beat after it's been removed from the chest cavity.

And Keith Relf's voice is a little too fey and British to pull off "Who Do You Love?," don't you think?

Hello, operator? I need to report a homicide. It will be taking place in about one hour.

Well, I've kept you for about ten minutes, so I guess I should get off the phone now.

Necks are for strangling.

Is there anything else that I should be sure and mention in the interview?

Just that if anybody wants to hear a handful of classics and a whole lot of great r'n'b and blues, they should definitely pick me up. Preferably by my crack, with their penises.

What the hell are you talking about?

Wait, we haven't started the interview yet, have we?

Yes, we just conducted it.

Okay, leave out the part about George Bush. I thought that was off the record.

Will do!

And thanks for taking the time, Mark! I'll have this posted on my site probably within the next two weeks. Or at least as soon as I can get it transcribed.

Oh, that's something - do you want to plug your site?

Sure! It's called "Vol. 2: Blues, Backtracks And Shapes Of Things' Record Reviews And Interviews" and you can find it at

Excellent! I'll take a look at it soon.

Remember to bring your hard cock!


I said, "Remember to graduate from the School of Hard Knocks!"

Will do!




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Little Games - EMI 1967
Rating = 7

When the always untrustworthy Jeff Beck and backstabbing serial killer of dreams Paul Samwell-Smith left The Yardbirds in late-66/early-67, Chris Dreja took a demotion to bass and future The Firm member Jimmy Page became the band's sole guitarist. The resulting album was a confident, diverse, and extremely spotty 1967 pop/rock release, neither stuck in the past nor pushing towards the future. It's the kind of record that The Creation or The Move might have been making at the time: very melodic and poppy, with a couple harder rock'n'rollers and a few half-jokey genre exercises for diversion. It's certainly not one of the ultimate Summer Of Love releases, but it has plenty of catchy songs, and any Led Zeppelin fan will love hearing Jimmy Page's initial steps towards his trademark style; surprisingly, his playing could be mistaken for Beck's on several of these tracks -- but certainly not in (a) "Tinker Tailor," when he starts sawing at his strings with a violin bow, or (b) the acoustic "White Summer," whose musical themes would be re-worked into "Black Mountain Side" and "Bron-Yr-Aur" in years henceforth awaiting.

Those who crave diversity might find such subgenres aboard said vinyl as bubblegum pop, r'n'b-tinged rock and roll, psych rock, Nuggets-style garage pop, jugband, folk balladry, childlike whimsy, dark mystical psychedelia, drunken piano waltz, instrumental acoustic/tabla exploration, and goodtime boogie woogie. Nobody sounds nervous or out of their element; it's just that some of the songs are more memorable than others. For example, the jugband "Stealing Stealing" is about as memorable as a really shitty, irritating song. Likewise, the novelty drunk pianoer "I Remember The Night" (composed by Pirollo/Finizio?) is funny on first listen (particularly the horrendous tuba-and-whistling solo), but by third listen, you'll be angrily smashing buttons on your remote, confused and upset that it has no effect on your turntable. Similarlywise, "No Excess Baggage" (composed by Atkins/Derrico?) is an attempt to merge bubblegum pop with old-fashioned r'n'b that stinks to High Heaven. There are profound differences between the High Heaven and the Lower Heaven. Allegorically, water in the High Heaven flows freely (55:50), while the water of the Lower Heaven needs to be pumped out (55:66). Allegorically, the High Heaven has all kinds of fruit (55:52), while the Lower Heaven has a limited variety of fruits (55:68). Allegorically, the pure spouses readily join their spouses in the High Heaven (55:56), while the dwellers of the Lower Heaven must go fetch their spouses(55:72). Yet, even the Lower Heaven is an incredibly fantastic prize for those who are fortunate enough to escape Hell and end up in the Lower Heaven (3:185)- going to the Lower Heaven is a great triumph. People who depart this life before reaching their 40th birthday, and did not sufficiently develop their souls, will go to the Lower Heaven (46:15, Appendix 11 & 32).The High Heaven is reserved for those who believed, led a righteous life, and developed their souls sufficiently. Otherwise it's clear sailing for the Yardbird Boys!

Except for the shuffling blues-boogie "Smile On Me," which is fun but a little cliche'd. And "Only The Black Rose," which presents further proof that Keith Relf was never intended for use in a gentle folk ballad. And yes, "White Summer" is an enchanting song once it gets going, but who expects such protracted delay of said event's awaited execution? Otherwise it's smooth skies ahead for the Yardbird Boys!

Yes, this album certainly does have six good songs. Let's hear it for the Yardboy Birds!

To be a tad more succinct about this: Little Games is every bit a hodgepodge and mishmash of oshkosh b'gosh genre-hopping as Roger The Engineer, but the band sounds much more confident, a bit more poppy, and no longer dependent on the old-timey Eric Clapton way of viewing the world. Even its r'n'b songs feel modern and rocking. However, be warned if you're a sourpuss: this is a HAPPY album. Very up, with only a couple of darker moments (mainly in the acid-and-wah-drenched swoopy/creepy/sitar-soaked "Glimpses"). So don't expect Led Zeppelin-style evil to course through your hat department. This is a very '60sy album with them smilin' vibes of guitar pop happy jibe. Produced by none other than Mickey Moist of the Moistboyz! No, hang on - let me wipe the cranberry juice from my bifocal here: A-HA! It was actually produced by none other than Mickie Most of "discovered the Animals" fame! He doesn't have as much fun with stereo sound, group vocals and strange rhythm instruments as Paul Samwell-Smith did on Roger The Engineer, but Paul Samwell-Smith is gone and he's not coming back so stop thinking about him.

Don't even LOOK at him!

My version of this album was released by RAK Records in 1985, and has all the songs in the wrong order, along with the bonus tracks "Think About It," "Ten Little Indians," "Ha Ha Said The Clown" and "Goodnight Sweet Josephine." "Think About It" is one of the greatest and hardest-rocking songs of their career, "Ten Little Indians" is basically Keith Relf and military drums, the other two are so fuckin' pansy you'd have to literally be a flower to enjoy them.

Reader Comments
I'm not much of a Yardbirds fan (I'm what MP referred to as a Yardbeginner on this page), but I thought I'd chime in with another cautionary comment to those buying YB compilations. I have a copy of a Page-era compilation of German TV broadcasts called "Cumular Limit" (on the Pilot label, in case you care). On it, there's an early version of "Dazed and Confused" that clocks in at 25 minutes. Which is a total load of crap. I listened to it, and the song only lasts about 6 minutes (not a bad rendition, by the way), with most of the rest of the 25 minutes taken up by silence. Neat little trick to attract Page fans ("Pagers", if you will). It's not a bad collection of '67 Yardbirds, but DON'T buy it thinking you're getting a really long early version of "Dazed and Confused." It'll just make you mad, and there are enough reasons to be mad at the Yardbirds already.

Like when they hired Eric Clapton, for example. Ho-HO! BURN!! That's a YARD-BURN!

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BBC Sessions - Warner Bros. 1997
Rating = 7

This section of the page is intended to help you make your next BBC session the absolute best it can be.

Now then, first of all is the problem of "Starting The Fire." How many of you pile a bunch of charcoal briquettes onto the grill, pour on the lighter fluid and toss the match? Quite a few, I would imagine. Did you know that there is an alternative to lighter fluid? Many folks believe they can taste the petroleum byproducts in the meat. Perhaps. But I would imagine this is due to their either having shit all over their tongue or they simply did not let the fire burn sufficiently to expel the fumes. At any rate, if you use lighter fluid, wait at least 45 minutes before grilling. After this time, there is little chance that any petroleum byproducts are still around AND you will then have a sufficiently constant temperature to work with.

Our next tip has to do with the meat. For beef, use only USDA choice cuts. Choice, as opposed to select or prime, contains just the right amount of marbling to help give that taste and texture you're looking for. Buy a brisket where most of the fat is marbled in with the meat. You want a fat cap of about 1/4 inch on the fat-side of the brisket. The marbled fat will do more for keeping the meat moist than will the fat cap on the fat side of the brisket. But don't get me wrong; you need that fat cap to help prevent drying out of the meat. It also looks nice on your head if you're planning to attend a sporting event after your BBC session. Look for briskets that are thick and not tapered at the flat. Make sure the fat is white, not yellow. Yellow fat in beef means it is meat from a cow that's always pissing itself.

Next, and this is VERY important - We do not recommend soaking mesquite or pecan wood in water because wet wood will release acids and may give your BBC a sour taste. Wet wood will also cause a smut smudge to the inside of your smoker that you will never get out. It's true that dry wood inundates cooking meat with fatal toxins that attack the nervous system within seconds, but it's worth it to avoid a smut smudge.

And finally, whenever you grill, think safety first: be sure there is adequate ventilation to remove carbon monoxide formed by the fire. If you grill indoors in a fireplace, be sure the damper is open so smoke and fumes can go to the chimney. Never grill in an enclosed area such as a camper, trailer, tent or on a closed porch. Grilling is only safe when conducted inside a sleeping bag or behind the couch.

And voila! Your BBC session will be the hit of the season and neighbors will come from miles around to enjoy the hospital

HOLY SHIB! I was supposed to be talking about BBCing the Yardbirds!? Ohhhhh what an awful day when we're discussing the cannibalistic devouring of Chris "Dr." Dreja! Oh wait someone's walking over here with a book. Oh, okay. See, I didn't know that. Okay, thank you. Okay.

Okay, apparently I was supposed to be - hang on. Okay. Yes, okay. Oh, okay. Yes, I just didn't realize that - okay. Oh, okay.

But what should I say about how it features 8 sessions dating from '65 through '68? Oh okay. Uh huh. What!? Oh! See, that's what - oh, okay. Hmm. Oh, should I - Oh, okay. Yes, I know but - No no, you can menstruate if you want. It's fine. Oh, okay.

But what about the fact that they only wrote 7 of these 26 songs? Yes, I see but - oh, okay. Huh? Right now? Without even - Oh, okay. I see. Have you asked the paleontologist? Well yes, it does look a little like his skull, I suppose. Oh, alright. Yes.

Should I point out that the CD starts off really tepid because the BBC engineers won't let them use any distortion, but then it slowly but surely gets louder and more rocking as it goes? Do you think that's - Oh. I see. Yes, but... Hmm. Did I? No, not the ass dildo, but if - Oh, okay. Well what's the - Were you... I mean, not - Oh, okay.

Okay, I'm supposed to tell you that Jeff Back plays on tracks 1-20, and Jimmy Page on 21-26. That is what you - yes. Okay. No no, I know. Well yes, but there's a bean stuck in the tip. I don't know - I just wanted to see if it would fit in the hole. At the time, I'd just used the lavatory so I figured - Oh, okay. With - okay sure, but - yes. Sorry. Okay.

Oh hang on! This is hilarious! Apparently these are all from BBC Sessions, and are thus alternate recordings of tracks you may or may not know from the Yardbirds! Ha ha! Oh, hang on. I'm dying here. Ha ha! Ha ha ha! WHEEEE! Three are of Five Live songs, 3 are Roger The Engineer songs, 2 are Little Game and the others are - one sec. Yes, I heard him but why - Sure, but... No no, I saw the diarrhea in the VCR, I just assumed it was - well yes, but you did rent Ms. Congeniality 2 so I'm not sure what you expected to - Oh yes, of course.

Rare tracks include the fun uptempo r'n'b "I'm Not Talking," the abysmal 50sy ballad band composition "Love Me Like I Love You," a cover of "Dust My Broom" that sounds suspiciously exactly like "The Nazz Are Blue" with different lyrics, a cover of "Baby, Scratch My Back" that sounds suspiciously like "Rack My Mind" with different lyrics, a slow generic 12-bar blues about how "The Sun Is Shining," a cover of Bob Dylan's "Most Likely You'll Go Your Way (And I'll Go Mine)" and a passable I-IV-V lubdidubdidub thing called "My Baby."

Goddamn, I must come clean. I'm not fooling anybody, especially myself. There's not actually another person in this room with me right now, and even if there were, I would be talking to them, not typing. All this "Yes - huh?" crap happened because I just read an entire The Onion book and they're always doing stuff like that in their fake editorials. Not only that, but those 'bbq tips' up top sure sounded a lot like something out of The Onion too, didn't they? Yecch. I mean, I love The Onion; they make me laugh quite a bit. But I hate when somebody else's sense of humor seeps into my 'writing'. Fuckin' influences and their influencing. That reminds me - I think I have to cut out all the "calling people or bands by the wrong name" jokes (i.e. "God, I love The Eagles. Don Helmsley's 'Hotel Cafilornia' is orsome!"), because I discovered while reading this Onion book that it's not actually funny at all when Jackie Harvey does it in "The Inside Scoop." Or rather, it's funny the first time, and then tedious and predictable every time afterwards. Which made me realize, "Hey! I do that too! Ergo, I bet my writing is tedious and predictable!" Which is unfortunate because I actually really do like Don Helmsley's "Hotel Cafilornia."

Unless you're a completist, you don't need the BBC Sessions - the engineers prevent them from really kicking ass on most of it, and it's all too staid by Yardbirds standards. For example, "Heart Full Of Soul" is played without distortion -- that stinging lead guitar is just... well, a guitar, quite frankly. Also, the band members answer some boring questions here and there, and it's amazing how bland they all are. Of note - Jimmy Page sounds about 12 years old!

Which means he must have been sleeping with like 1-year-old girls!

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Birdland - Favored Nations 2003
Rating = 3

In the 80's or so, former Yardbirds Paul Samwell-Smith, Chris Dreja and Jim McCarty formed a band called "Box Of Frogs" and had a good time gladhanding industry reps and political cronies for power and privilege. Nobody called them "The Yardbirds" and nobody expected them to be any good, which they weren't so the system worked fine. How then are we to respond when Chris Dreja and Jim McCarty - a mere 2/3rds of Box Of Frogs - decide to release a new CD under the name "The Yardbirds" twenty years later!? The way I see it, there are four possible responses:

(a) wiggle your dick around and exclaim, "The Yardbirds are back!"
(b) take Paul Samwell-Smith's side, whatever it is
(c) demand that they call themselves "Box Of Frogs II" until they have a medium conjure up some beyond-the-grave Relf vocals
(d) reserve judgment until listening to the CD

I chose D. First of all, D is just a good letter but also I thought, "Well, wouldn't it be interesting if Chris and Jim were actually the brains behind the band and managed to pull together a fantastic reunion album after all these years, even though the Monkees, the Zombies, the Pretty Things, the Animals and four or five dozen other '60s acts have failed before them?" It sure would! Wow! Can you imagine?

Instead, they made flaccid new recordings of eight great old Yardbirds hits (two from Roger The Engineer and six singles) and supplemented them with seven horrible new compositions. Well, one of them's okay, but I didn't want to busy up the sentence. Regardless: "The Yardbirds? More like 'The YardTURDs' if you ask me!!!"

Also, "Birdland? More like TURDland if you ask me!!!"

So who are these new Yardbirds? (Or 'YardTURDS,' if you ask me!!!)? They are bassist/vocalist John Idan, lead guitarist John "Gypie" Mayo (veteran of three years in Dr. Feelgood in the late '70s!), rhythm guitarist Chris Dreja, drummer Jim McCarty, and harmonicist Alan Glen (from 'The Barcodes'! You hear me??? 'The Mother Fucking Barcodes!'). The production is far too clean, the performances are tepid, and the singer's voice ranges from a dull normal guy next door approach to an amateurish cornball faux-macho drawl thing. I count pretty well, and I only counted two good songs out of fifteen, so don't smash a hole in your door to get to the record store as quickly as possible. Instead, read my following track-by-track description and think of all the money, time, heartache and door you'll save by sticking to pre-1969 Yardbirds.

"I'm Not Talking" - In the '60s, the Yardbirds performed a spirited cover of this catchy Mose Allison composition. On Birdland, a bunch of old people play a gutless version with bad vocals. Not terrible, but not a promising beginning.

"Crying Out For Love" - A new Jim McCarty song with all the suave minor-key wearing-a-suit jazz-blues boredom of Robert Cray. Do you remember Robert Cray? He sang "Smokin' Gun" around the time Eric Clapton had a hit with "It's In The Way That You Use It." Although a black man by color, Cray's "blues-rock" was even whiter and less authentic than Clapton's, which is saying TONS.

"The Nazz Are Blue" - Special guest guitarist Jeff "Skunk" Baxter (Steely Dan, The Doobie Brothers, arms dealer) was too busy fighting terrorism to learn Jeff Beck's classic intro, leaving this boring 12-bar r'n'b shuffle with no redeeming qualities at all. Many have noted that this song title was the inspiration for the name of Todd Rundgren's first band. What fewer have noted is that Todd Rundgren hasn't released a decent album in about thirty years.

"For Your Love" - Ballless. Supposedly that's the guy from the Goo Goo Dolls on dorkass raspy vocals. Remember The Goo Goo Dolls? In the early '90s, they had a big hit with "Hey Jealousy" or "Breakfast At Tiffany's" or something. Something that really kicked ass.

"Please Don't Tell Me 'Bout The News" - A new Jim McCarty song that allows both the harmonica and the singer to play/sing the exact same notes as the guitar. Then it goes into an unexpected walking bass jazz breakdown before climaxing with a dissonant guitar break. Interesting! Still shitty, but interestingly shitty! Actually, more shitty than interesting. Shitty!

"Train Kept A Rollin'" - I don't care who you are; it's IMPOSSIBLE to ruin a song as great as "Train Kept A Rollin'" if your singer isn't John Idan. Nevertheless, the riff is rough and menacing, and guest lead guitarist Joe Satriani plays a fast as shit guitar solo! Say, this would be a good time to mention that Aerosmith has covered not one, not two, but THREE songs by The Yardbirds! And this was back when Aerosmith was GOOD! They did "Train Kept A-Rollin'" on Get Your Wings, "I Ain't Got You" on Live Bootleg, and "Think About It" on Night In The Ruts. And I realize that The Yardbirds actually only wrote one of those songs, but who the hell else would Aerosmith have heard them by? The original artists!? HA! Don't make me LAUGH!

"Mr. Saboteur" - A new Jim McCarty song that is to sleazy blooze-rock what Bachman-Turner Overdrive is to hardcore punk. On the bright side, it has a cowbell.

"Shapes Of Things" - TOUCHDOWN! John Idan keeps his redneck tendencies in check and does a damn fine lead vocal, and guest lead guitarist Steve Vai (Alcatrazz, David Lee Roth, Frank Zappa) likely does his Steve Vai thing. A great song miraculously left unruined by Yardbirds 2K3.

"My Blind Life" - A new Chris Dreja song that takes the dull blues-rock formula and brings it to life with three guitar notes (one bent). Someone with a really gruff voice sings this one. Is it Chris? It's a nice break from Idan "Know How To Sing Worth A Goddamn" (Tee hee!), but gruff vocals are no substitute for a song that doesn't smell dicks. Supposedly Jeff Beck (The Yardbirds, The Jeff Beck Group) guests on this, but I was too busy shoveling quick-dry cement into my ears to notice.

"Over, Under, Sideways, Down" - TOUCHDOWN #2 in a series of 2! Idan again puts a lid on his excesses, the classic bass line is doubled on guitar, and guest lead guitarist Slash (Guns N' Roses, Slash's Snakepit, Velvet Revolver) has a hell of a ball playing with his childhood heroes, John "Gypie" Mayo and Alan Glen.

"Mr. You're A Better Man Than I" - To be honest, this new version is just as good as the old version, which wasn't all that great really. Idan's fine on it, and guest lead guitarist Brian May (Queen, Queen With Paul Rodgers) plays a ridiculously busy, annoying solo that you're sure to love.

"Mystery Of Being" - A new Jim McCarty song that would be classified under the genre "New Wave Of Dull Rock By Old People" (NWODRBOP)("New World Order, Doctor Bop"). Minor-key chords, a wiggly guitar line, and no hook that you'll ever want to hear again. But you're in luck! There's a BONGO break!

"Dream Within A Dream" - A new Jim McCarty/Edgar Allen Poe song with a chord progression reminiscent of "For Your Love." When this song started up, I said, "Whoa! A new Yardbirds song that's actually really good!" Then the chord sequence didn't change - even a tiny bit - before dying and going to Hell nearly 35 dog minutes later.

"Happenings Ten Years Time Ago" - A great ass-kicking song from the Beck/Page days of the band, ruined by the sissified playing of the pussyass pansy current line-up of the girly little fag band. Guest lead guitarist Steve Lukather brings a bit of humor to the proceedings by being a former member of Toto.

"An Original Man (A Song For Keith)" - Why the entire band decided to write a song for one-hit wonder Keith of "98.6" fame is beyond me, but

"An Original Man (A Song For Keith)" - Keith Relf deserves more than this. Not only was he a good singer in The Yardbirds; he was responsible for the only two good albums Renaissance ever made, and his final vocals (on Armageddon's self-titled ass-kicker) were the best of his entire career. So how do Dreja, Idan, Mayo and McCarty pay tribute to him? With pseudo-psychedelic drone verses, a sub-Phil Collins adult pop chorus, and 'Look Mommy, I Can Rhyme!' lyrics like "A man I know died too young/And when he died, his song unsung/He touched my life, he touched my soul/And given time, he'd reach his goal." A fittingly abominable end to a demonically rotten CD.

In conclusion, the original Yardbirds were a great band with tons of wonderful, timeless songs written by both themselves and others, but the 'reunion' Yardbirds (or YardTURDs, if you ask me!!!!!) were even better.

Reader Comments

Edwin Oslan
What you said as a joke is apparently what this reviewer from actually thinks: "In the Yardbirds first new disc in 30+ years, fabled guitarists Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page are nowhere to be found, and Jeff Beck only plays on one cut ("My Blind Love"). Still, this is a very worthwhile effort. If you've read Alan Clayson's excellent biography ("The Yardbirds: The Band That Launched Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page."), then you realize that drummer Jim McCarty and bass/guitarist Chris Dreja were far more instrumental to the band's sound that they are usually given credit. They form the nucleus of the new Yardbirds, along with guitarist Gypie Mayo (fine solos throughout), bass player and Keith Relf-sound alike singer John Idan (exceptional on "Mister, You're a Better Man Than I"), and harmonica man Alan Glen (whose delightful solos are an unexpected plus). Throw in a few guest guitarists like Skunk Baxter, Joe Satriani, and Steve Vai and the result is an appealing blend of timeless classics and excellent new material. Standouts of the new songs are McCarty compositons "Please Don't Tell Me 'Bout the News" and "Dream Within a Dream". Finally, those old chestnuts, Mose Allison's "I'm Not Talking," and the Steve-Vai-led "Shapes of Things" sound brighter than ever. Listen, please don't fall into the trap of "Eric-and-Jimmy-and-Keith-aren't-on-this-record-so-it-can't-be-any-good." Give this disc a serious listen or two and I don't think you'll be disappointed."

I might just get it anyway because it's cheap on amazon.

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For more scissors and a DRI CD and a computer and a Shattered Faith album with no cover and an old telephone and an upside-down little spiral notebook and a non-working printer with a plastic rose in it, check out "Things Within Sight Of Mark Prindle Right Now," coming soon on!