Saturday, July 14, 2012

Will Time Make Man More Wise

In February of 1966 the next Yardbirds single was released.  Co-written by bassist Paul Samuell-Smith, lead singer Keith Relf, and drummer Jim McCarty, Shapes of Things is chock-full of stunning guitar and drum work.  The over-amped guitar can be heard snarling menacingly throughout the verses, wherein the lyrics deal with philosophical questions about the human race and it's future (or lack thereof) on this planet.  The chorus contains the catchy but other-worldy "Come Tomorrow" chant.  At 1:35 the bottom drops out and Jeff Beck lets loose with a psychedelic guitar break that takes this song into uncharted territory for its time. This was another top ten hit for the Yardbirds in the UK, reaching #3, while it climbed to #11 in the US.

Jeff Beck's guitar prowess is improving exponentially with each single.   Meanwhile I have never understood why critics malign the rhythm section when my ears tell me that Mr. McCarty was a stellar drummer, with great fills a'la Ringo Starr.


Holly A Hughes said...

This is such a weird and wonderful track -- probably my favorite yardbirds song ever. I love how you describe it.

Who Am Us Anyway? said...

re the ringo vibe, i agree -- parts remind me of nothing less than the Beatles' Rain

it is one of the most sincerely philosophical rock songs of all time & of course the answer scientists now think is no, time will not make man more wise -- nor has it. In evolutionary terms, our prehistoric homo sapien ancestors had the same IQ we have, the same emotions, the same passions and consciousness of our own mortality. Only our technology has advanced.

Mister Pleasant said...

Agreed Holly - this song has a special place in my heart. It still sounds like nothing else, either from its own era or anything since. Totally from another world.

Interesting information from you Mr. Anyway. Reminds me of some of the original Star Trek plots where they talk about the 20th Century like it was the dark ages. We certainly have a long way to go.