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Live At B.B. King Blues Club

The Yardbirds

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Opinião do álbum

Anyway you slice it, the Yardbirds are one kick-ass band on-stage, and here they mostly do more than re-enact 1960s-era triumphs in a live setting. Even some of the lesser new material off of the new album, such as Chris Dreja's bluesy dirge "My Blind Life" and the shapeless "Mr. Saboteur," is much more worthwhile in its presentation here; indeed, "Mr. Saboteur" becomes the basis for a great workout on the instrumental break. And the better numbers off of that record, such as Jim McCarty's "Crying out for Love" and "Please Don't Tell Me 'Bout the News," are also given fine airings here, in what ought to be considered their definitive presentations. Of course, any release of this kind is going to rest on its vintage repertory — the band alternates between new and old across their set, and the new stuff is worth hearing, even if not all of it is as intrinsically memorable as the old songs. And of necessity, most of their worth, like much of this band's work, stand or fall on the contributions of new members John Idan (lead vocals), Billy Boy Miskimmin (harmonica), and Ben King (lead guitar).

As it happens, they do acquit themselves admirably — Idan, who also plays bass, bears an uncanny resemblance to Keith Relf vocally, so that it seems like he's channeling the late singer even on the new numbers; and Miskimmin takes the harmonica breaks to places that Relf (who suffered from a collapsed lung at one point) couldn't always go. As for King, he adds his own flourishes to the numbers that can take them, and they're welcome — this isn't like listening to a Yardbirds jukebox, is what we mean. Dreja's rhythm guitar work is better represented here than it was on some of the group's live broadcasts of the '60s, and Jim McCarty plays like this is 1966, not 40 years after 1966. "Shapes of Things" might be the one impossible spot in the group's set, as it is competing not only with the Yardibrds' original single but also with Jeff Beck's subsequent remake — the re-formed group couldn't skip it, as the song looms too large in their history to neglect it; but apparently, they chose to completely ignore the reality of Beck's later version; Idan handles it as though Beck and Rod Stewart never pushed it over the line into pure heavy metal, and the rendition here ends up being the one place on this CD where one feels the performance is a slavish re-creation. Otherwise, they do put enough energy and sufficient new flourishes into it so that numbers such as "Rack My Mind" and "Over Under Sideways Down" are extended into shapes the original band didn't try for. In the midst of those vintage songs, one Box of Frogs number — "Back Where I Started" — proves just about their equal as a vehicle for some extended jamming. They also make "For Your Love" roll convincingly into "Still I'm Sad" into "Dazed and Confused," leading to a finale of "I'm a Man" (which one wishes were fully expanded here, the way it was on the Anderson Theater live album) into "Happenings Ten Years Time Ago." The latter song has shown astonishing durability given its disappointing performance as a single in 1966 — as a big finish, it's a surprising choice, and this version of the band does about as well as the original group did with it on-stage back when. The sound is first-rate throughout, and the booklet includes lyrics and some annotation, though one wishes there were more said about the specific date represented.


Formado em: 1963 em Surrey, England

Gênero: Rock

Anos em atividade: '60s, '10s

The Yardbirds are mostly known to the casual rock fan as the starting point for three of the greatest British rock guitarists: Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page. Undoubtedly, these three figures did much to shape the group's sound, but throughout their career, the Yardbirds were very much a unit, albeit a rather unstable one. And they were truly one of the great rock bands; one whose contributions went far beyond the scope of their half dozen or so mid-'60s hits ("For Your Love," "Heart Full...
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