Yardbirds |  Artist

Yardbirds | Artist

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The Yardbirds were an English blues-rock band, formed 1963 in London. The band's core lineup featured vocalist and harmonica player Keith Relf, drummer Jim McCarty, rhythm guitarist/bassist Chris Dreja and bassist/producer Paul Samwell-Smith. The band is renowned for having at various times three of the world's best rock guitarists; Eric Clapton (1963-65), Jeff Beck (1965-66) and Jimmy Page (1966-68). Originally a blues-based band noted for their signature "rave-up" instrumental breaks, the Yardbirds broadened their range into pop, pioneering psychedelic rock and early hard rock; and contributed to many electric guitar innovations of the mid-1960s. Some rock critics regard The Yardbirds as the first "artrock" group and historians also cite their influence on the later punk rock, progressive rock and heavy rock trends. Following the band's split in 1968, Relf and McCarty formed Renaissance, Beck formed the Jeff Beck Group and guitarist Jimmy Page formed Led Zeppelin - who were initially called The New Yardbirds. The band had a string of groundbreaking hit singles throughout the mid-1960s, including "For Your Love", "Heart Full of Soul", "Shapes of Things" and "Over Under Sideways Down". They released four albums between 1965-67: The debut For Your Love was a strong start, Having a Rave Up With The Yardbirds and Yardbirds (Roger The Engineers) are both excellent, and Little Games has several brilliant tracks but also some mediocre pop filler. Their 2003 reunion release Birdland, pales in comparison with their early work. Also highly recommended are the archival releases BBC Sessions (1997) and Yardbirds '68 (2017), the latter showcasing Jimmy Page and the band sounding very much like a prototype of Led Zeppelin on some tracks. As a point of interest, The Yardbirds appear in the hip 1966 Michelangelo Antonioni film "Blow-up", where the main character played by David Hemmings walks into a club where the band featuring both Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck on guitar and Keith Relf on vocals, are seen performing the song "Stroll On". A buzz in Beck's amplifier angers him so much, he smashes his guitar on stage, then throws its neck into the crowd, causing a riot.

Artist Website: theyardbirds.com

Featured Albums: Yardbirds

Related Artists: Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Led Zeppelin, Renaissance, Armageddon, Box of Frogs

Video Clips: For Your Love, Happenings Ten Years Time Ago, Shapes of Things, Scene From Blow-up