THE YARDBIRDS

Proto-Metal / Non-Metal • United Kingdom
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The Yardbirds are an English rock band that had a string of hits in the mid 1960s, including For Your Love, Over Under Sideways Down and Heart Full of Soul. The group is notable for having started the careers of three of rock's most famous guitarists: Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page, all of whom were in the top five of Rolling Stone's 100 Top Guitarists list (Clapton at No. 2, Page at No. 3, and Beck at No. 5). A blues-based band that broadened its range into pop and rock, the Yardbirds had a hand in many electric guitar innovations of the mid-1960s, such as feedback, fuzztone distortion and improved amplification. Pat Pemberton, writing for Spinner, holds that the Yardbirds were the most impressive guitar band in rock music. After the Yardbirds broke up in 1968, their lead guitarist Jimmy Page founded what became Led Zeppelin.

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THE YARDBIRDS Discography

THE YARDBIRDS albums / top albums

THE YARDBIRDS For Your Love album cover 3.25 | 2 ratings
For Your Love
Proto-Metal 1965
THE YARDBIRDS Having A Rave Up With The Yardbirds album cover 3.50 | 2 ratings
Having A Rave Up With The Yardbirds
Proto-Metal 1965
THE YARDBIRDS Yardbirds album cover 3.25 | 2 ratings
Yardbirds
Proto-Metal 1966
THE YARDBIRDS Little Games album cover 3.00 | 2 ratings
Little Games
Proto-Metal 1967
THE YARDBIRDS Birdland album cover 2.50 | 2 ratings
Birdland
Non-Metal 2003

THE YARDBIRDS EPs & splits

THE YARDBIRDS live albums

THE YARDBIRDS Five Live Yardbirds album cover 3.00 | 2 ratings
Five Live Yardbirds
Proto-Metal 1964
THE YARDBIRDS Sonny Boy Williamson And The Yardbirds album cover 2.00 | 1 ratings
Sonny Boy Williamson And The Yardbirds
Non-Metal 1965
THE YARDBIRDS Live Yardbirds album cover 3.25 | 2 ratings
Live Yardbirds
Proto-Metal 1971
THE YARDBIRDS On Air: Original BBC Recordings album cover 2.50 | 1 ratings
On Air: Original BBC Recordings
Proto-Metal 1991
THE YARDBIRDS Reunion Jam album cover 2.50 | 1 ratings
Reunion Jam
Non-Metal 1992
THE YARDBIRDS Blueswailing July '64 album cover 2.00 | 1 ratings
Blueswailing July '64
Non-Metal 2003
THE YARDBIRDS Reunion Jam Vol. II album cover 2.50 | 1 ratings
Reunion Jam Vol. II
Non-Metal 2006
THE YARDBIRDS Live At B .B. King Blues Club album cover 2.50 | 1 ratings
Live At B .B. King Blues Club
Non-Metal 2007

THE YARDBIRDS demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

THE YARDBIRDS re-issues & compilations

THE YARDBIRDS Greatest Hits album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Greatest Hits
Proto-Metal 1967
THE YARDBIRDS London 1963: The First Recordings album cover 2.83 | 2 ratings
London 1963: The First Recordings
Proto-Metal 1984
THE YARDBIRDS Cumular Limit album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Cumular Limit
Proto-Metal 2000
THE YARDBIRDS Ultimate! album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Ultimate!
Proto-Metal 2001

THE YARDBIRDS singles (0)

THE YARDBIRDS movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
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Yardbirds: Where The Guitar Gods Played
Proto-Metal 1991
.. Album Cover
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Beat Beat Beat
Proto-Metal 2008
.. Album Cover
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Making Tracks: On Tour 2010-2012
Non-Metal 2012

THE YARDBIRDS Reviews

THE YARDBIRDS Ultimate!

Boxset / Compilation · 2001 · Proto-Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
voila_la_scorie
If you are going to check out the Yardbirds as a proto-metal band then you had better choose an album where the real proto-metal material resides. The Yardbirds got their start as an electric blues band and so you’ll be scratching your head and possibly even chewing a cactus and spitting out the needles if you focus on their early recording of 1963 and 1964. Their later albums include a lot of experimental psychedelica and even though they had Jimmy Page on guitar and were known for some very impressive live performances that focused more on the experimental guitar side, the albums tended to appeal to the music charts and did a pretty miserable job of doing so. I suspect Mr. Page was more interested in going the heavy guitar route but his hand was stayed possibly by management, label or band mate pressure, or any combination of the three.

The Yardbirds most grittiest and crunchiest work was done during Jeff Beck’s term with the band. This compilation (which I don’t own but includes many of the songs off the “Over Under Sideways Down” compilation not listed here) includes some of the Yardbirds’ best proto-metal material, which I will point out.

Let’s start with the Clapton-era “I Ain’t Got You”. It’s a blues rocker with chart appeal but you will notice the heavy stomp of guitars and drums and what’s more, the “Whole Lotta Love”-like guitar solo that comes out in short blistering licks punctuated by heavy heavy whump whump of the rhythm section. Not really proto-metal but approaching the neighbourhood.

“I’m not Talking” has a wonderful dirty riff and an aggressive mood, at least for the time. There are two buzzing guitar solos inserted for good measure, a hint of things to come.

“I Ain’t Done Wrong” is where things start to get heavier. The song still follows a 12-bar blues vein but with simple heavy chords. The soloing by Mr. Beck is bluesy but the excitement is in the middle of the song when the band break into what sounds very much like 12-bar thrash metal. Seriously. This is like the mid-sixties answer to Metallica. The song returns to its rockin’ bluesy mood with harmonica accompanying the guitar solo but the heaviness returns. The song concludes with some hard pounding overdriven chords. Check this one out!

“You’re a Better Man than I” includes one of Mr. Beck’s signature distorted guitar solos that is a clear pointer to the proto-metal bands to come within a couple of years time.

“Shapes of Things” is a classic early hard rock piece that was later covered by Nazareth and Rush.

“The Train Kept A-Rollin’” was originally a rock-a-billy cover that turned the song into something wilder and more aggressive. Here the Yardbirds dish out a riff that inspired the likes of Joe Perry, Alex Lifeson, and many others. Even Motorhead covered this song, and it remained not only in the Yardbirds set list but in Zeppelin’s early set list as well.

On disc two, “Happenings Ten Years Time Ago” is one of the rare recordings that feature Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page together on guitar. Though not as heavy as “I Ain’t Done Wrong” the riff is pretty damn cool and the dual guitar solo is worth listening to.

“Stroll On” is a re-written version of “The Train Kept A-Rollin’” but heavier and again featuring both legendary guitarists. This is pretty heavy stuff coming out of 1966 here.

“Little Games” is a lighter rock tune but with some decent guitar and Mr. Page’s violin bow work. “Puzzles” gives us more psychedelic and distorted guitar with a blistering guitar solo in the last 30 seconds or so. Too bad the album “Little Games” didn’t concentrate more on this direction.

I can’t say how this Keith Relf solo recording of “Think About it Sounds” but the full band version from the “Little Games” album has a proto-type guitar solo for Zeppelin’s “Dazed and Confused” which is pretty cool to listen to.

That’s where you’ll find most of the proto-metal material by the Yardbirds on this compilation. Other songs offer hints and whispers to a lesser degree. However, it is mostly for the songs above that I believe the Yardbirds hold an important place in metal history. I’m sure most metal bands of the seventies would agree.

THE YARDBIRDS London 1963: The First Recordings

Boxset / Compilation · 1984 · Proto-Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
1967/ 1976
Christmas is approaching and with it the desire to give gifts. This is not the place to describe why and why I found myself, after some time, to return in a record shop. Of course I searched for a gift for my mother and I could not find it. So I got two CDs of The Yardbirds. To my mother I ended up buying the same things that I know will make her happy. As I am happy for the CD purchased. is important to know that my mother told me: "I did not know you liked even The Yardbirds, a group that I loved as a young woman." Hmm... Already I was forced, when it was in the car with me, with CD Rolling Stones, Kinks, The Beatles and The Moody Blues... I would not like Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck Beck or Jimmy Page if I have to bear in a version that is not my favorite. However, my mother ... Well, what I feel for her goes beyond the fact that she is my mother. Therefore I... Well, honestly... Well... I like to make her happy. That's why I bought this CD, which contains the first recording of The Yardbirds. A CD that, basically, contains good White Blues, English Blues. A musical genre that, at the beginning of 90's was my favorite but now does not attract me more than others.

Well, I can say that we are in the presence of musicians really prepared and more able than the average of Rock musicians who played in the 1963. Although hit by the technology of the time, the songs do not suffer from these limitations, except for the guitars. Perceived a band that was a band and not a group of musicians playing together, just to accompany a singer. In this sense, the English were superior to Americans and I'm not surprised that the best bands of the 60's were British. The songs, as said, are all Blues or Rhythm'n'Blues. However, they are very well arranged and it's very personal. Why, it must be said, The Yardbirds were real musicians who did not merely repeat. In this CD there is birth (although embryonic) of Modern Rock.

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