Friday, July 6, 2012

Early In The Morning By The Break Of Day

So here is the deal - I have been revisiting the music of the Yardbirds and have come to the conclusion that they were perhaps the most innnovative 60s band in terms of musical style and guitar work.   That said, their best work can be found on their 45rpm singles.   Their official LPs (ignoring the USA releases which cobble together singles, live takes, etc). are sadly lacking.   But not only are their singles much superior, they had a strange dual personality in that some singles were major rock'n'roll revelations into uncharted territory, while others were little pop tunes foisted on them from outside writers.   But more often than not, the pop stuff is quite good.  While the self-penned songs are sonic brick bats that pummel you into submission.

So I plan to write a post about each of their UK singles, in chronological order.  You  will note massive changes as the lead guitarist moves from Eric Clapton to Jeff Beck, and then again when Jimmy Page takes over the reigns

Starting off then with I Wish Your Would from May 1964.  Mr. Clapton keeps a lid on the guitar sound, letting lead singer Keith Relf fill the space with harmonica spasms.  This single is totally authentic to its time but frankly does not give a hint to what is just around the corner in 1965.

1 comment:

Who Am Us Anyway? said...

Yahoo! It's an Old School Yardbirds' fiesta of the likes we haven't seen since the Kinks Kollective Kool he & Holly did at the end of 2009 or early 2010 i forget which!

I am very psyched, no lie. This debut of course is the best evocation of a great high school gym dance blues band (and yes that's a compliment geez) since the Shadows of Knight cut loose in Mt. Prospect and Des Plaines, IL. But what does the future hold for these brash lads? I will stay tuned to find out!