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The Jeff Beck Years

The Yardbirds

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Album Review

Hired in to replace a departing Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck was only a member of the Yardbirds for some 18 months in 1965 and 1966 but he had a hand in creating the group’s most striking singles and was on board for Roger the Engineer, arguably the band’s best LP and the only one to contain all original material. This set is basically that LP with some minor omissions and additions. Included are the classic singles “Mister, You’re a Better Man Than I,” “Still I’m Sad,” “Heart Full of Soul,” “Shapes of Things” (but curiously, not “Over Under Sideways Down”), and other tracks from the brief Beck era. One can question the wisdom of following “Train Kept a-Rollin'” with its thinly disguised rewrite “Stroll On,” but perhaps some fans will find it illuminating. That said, most of what is essential from Beck's time with the Yardbirds (which amounted to some 30 tracks or so) is collected here.

Biography

Formed: 1963 in Surrey, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '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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