EXPERIENCE ROCK HISTORY!
By November 1965, he had all been experiencing the early British Invasion and its influence which was predominately Pop and Pop-Rock. Then for those of us who dug deeper the emerging British Blues bands provided the sound that we could sink our teeth and minds into.
00individual has been holding off this post with the hope that in time some words of reverence and worth would avail themselves in order to rightly convey the ecstasy of this album. But alas, to no avail, none have come forthwith, however, . . .
. . . back in 1965 there were many great bands that contributed to the atmosphere of excitement we were all experiencing and at the top were the icons; The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Animals . . . and then there were The Yardbirds.
Although many of the groups were covering blues classics, the Yardbirds were interpreting the blues not just as cover versions – but as a new form of Rock ‘n’ Roll; the first evidence of Hard Rock, Psychedelic Rock, and the bright embryonic flash of Heavy Metal – this was The Yardbirds.
While the Yardbirds had two of the best Blues Rock guitarists with Jeff Beck on lead guitar on side one of this album and Eric Clapton on lead guitar on side two, it was the rare combination of the rest of the band, the heart of the Yardbirds; Chris Dreja – rhythm and bass, Jim McCarty – drums , Paul Samwell-Smith – bass and Keith Relf – vocals, that allowed for three of the greatest guitarists the Rock World has known to set the Yardbirds far and above the rest.
When Clapton left to form Cream, Jimmy Page was offered his lead guitar job but turned it down, so Beck stepped in – Page ended up replacing Paul Samwell-Smith on bass in ’66 and then Beck on lead later on.
Even though there was only one original track – the fine example of the Yardbirds’ seminal creative force, the hypnotic haunting Gregorian Rocker “Still I’m Sad” – the Yardbirds had the ability to make each and every track their own. By magically infusing them with their elusive style, energy and sense of immediacy, or honesty even, they triggered a higher connection with 00individual than achieved with either the Beatles or the Stones, and 00individual loves the Stones.
Not to get too existential about all of this but the fact is that we all have certain groups, albums and songs that speak to us and make unexplainable connections to our hearts and souls that defy description. Whatever the key elements are, they cannot be denied and for 00individual the Yardbirds in general and Rave Up specifically has them all – especially side one, every track is an 11!
And of course, timing has everything to do with it; in 1965 00individual was fourteen and beginning to feel his individuality spiked with natural teenage rebellion and these tracks supplied an excellent Rockin’ outlet . . . and this Rave Up still has the same effect nearly a half a century later and will continue to do so.
1. “You’re a Better Man Than I” – Mike Hugg (of Manfred Mann), Brian Hugg 3:17
2. “Evil Hearted You” – Graham Gouldman (of future 10cc) 2:24
3. “I’m a Man” – Ellas McDaniel aka Bo Diddley 2:37
4. “Still I’m Sad” – Paul Samwell-Smith, Jim McCarty 2:57
5. “Heart Full of Soul” – Gouldman 2:28
6. “The Train Kept A-Rollin'” – Tiny Bradshaw, Howard Kay, Lois Mann 3:26
1. “Smokestack Lightning” – Chester Burnett aka Howlin’ Wolf 5:35
2. “Respectable” – O’Kelly Isley, Ronald Isley, Rudolph Isley 5:28
3. “I’m a Man” – McDaniel 4:24
4. “Here ‘Tis” – McDaniel 5:04
Clapton’s reason for leaving the band was based on his complaints of the Yardbirds’ trend toward Pop vs the Blues with songs like “For Tour Love” and “Heart Full of Soul”; this is sad in a way, as The Yardbirds’ sound transcended genres by their totally unique style – something he obviously did not see or feel.
However, Clapton made Rock History and Rock God status with his iconic presence in the hard rock psychedelic blues supergroup Cream and then the transitional supergroup, Blind Faith to go incognito with Derek and the Dominos. Clapton then went on to eventually become known more for his singing voice than for his guitar playing with quite a few hit singles.
Beck continued with the band to collaborate famously with his own soon-to-be replacement, Page, and then went on to create his first solo album – a highly-possible 00individual Top Ten Rock Album of All Time – “Truth”. He then formed the Jeff Beck Group and went on to a power trio with Tim Bogert and Carmine Appice, both previously of Vanilla Fudge.
Beck made history of his own by essentially reversing the Jazz Rock genre into a Rock Jazz genre ten years later with 1975’s impressive album, “Blow By Blow”.
When the Yardbirds broke up in 1968 Page formed the “New Yardbirds” with John Paul Jones, John Bonham and Robert Plant, and played a few Euro gigs under that name but soon changed their band’s name to Led Zeppelin which legend has it was indirectly suggested by Keith Moon.
The Yardbirds Beck/Page lineup were featured in Michaelangelo Antonioni’s 1966 genre-spawning London-set psychedelic noire mystery, “Blow Up”, in a club scene performing “Stroll On”; the “legal” version of “The Train kept A- Rollin'”. Toward the end of the scene Beck destroys his guitar onstage to emulate the soon-to-be legendary destructo-showmanship of the Who’s Pete Townshend.
Remember Rockers, this album was released in 1965 making it thee predecessor for nearly all Psychedelic Heavy Metal Hard Rock Blues bands to follow, as The Yardbirds were on a far more advanced approach to Rock than anyone on the scene at that time.
. . . and The Yardbirds had thee hippest typeface design ever.
The look of it represents a nod to the recent past of the totally hip Cool Jazz era album cover art with a definite look of the trippy force emerging in the hours just before the psychedelic dawn.
00individual’s favorite “Best Band Typeface Design Logo”.
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