A couple of pretty big holes for a Yardbirds hits collection
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 11/01/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"From one perspective you can argue that the Yardbirds are one of the most unstable British rock groups of all time, reflected by the fact that it produced three of the greatest guitarists in history: Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page. It is mostly because all three started out with the Yardbirds that the group is regarded so highly even though they only had a half-dozen Top 40 hits in 1965-1966: "For Your Love" (#6), "Heart Full of Soul" (#9), "I'm A Man" (#17), "Happening Ten Years Time Ago" (#30), "Over Under Sideways Down" (#13), and "Shapes of Things" (#11). I provide the list to show the inadequacy of this 9 track hits collection, which provides only half of these top six hits. Fortunately there are several "hits" collections which rectify this problem. True, most of those are multi-disc collections, but we are talking about one of the pivotal rock 'n' roll groups of the Sixties, so tracking it down to get at least those core six tracks is worth the effort. All six tracks can get you to five stars so take away three tracks means taking away three stars, leaving two.
Although the Yardbirds started off doing covers of R&B and Blues songs they eventually turned to the moody pop-rock that would define their sound as Clapton, Beck, and Page experimented with sounds that human beings could produce from an electrical guitar. Along with the Byrds, the Yardbirds were the pivotal pioneers in terms of psychedelia, so they are one of the rare groups whose impact outweighs their music. You should have a solid Yardbirds collection in your music library, but this is just not it. Trivia point: the group's original guitarist was Anthony Topham, who was forced to leave the group by his parents (he was 16 at the time) and was replaced by Clapton, an art college classmate of lead singer Keith Relf."
Excellent music and c.d.
Jerry G | Johnstown ,CO, USA | 09/29/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a Excellent c.d. for me since it has all the songs I like from the yardbirds and my favorite version of smokestack lighting the original cover was a nice one with birds playing in a backyard however that is no longer available on c.d. these songs are the same with a different cover I do not understand what the other reviewers are upset about these are great songs and a great price too if you are new to the yardbirds this is a excellent c.d. to hear what this Super group is about and what good rock music was unlike todays rap junk and girl rock for sissies the 1960s were great and early 70s Long live Rock !."
For Dirt Poor Birds
Rocky Raccoon | Boise, ID | 01/19/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Obtaining this collection is a matter of desperation. Wanting a stocking stuffer I could afford for Christmas, I didn't want to pass this C.D. up. Looking over the other reviews, people either object to the band or the skimpy selection. I was afraid the sound quality would be substandard, but no one was amiss about that.
For the uninitiated, The Yardbirds were on the leading edge of electronic reverberation during the British Invasion. Often taking credit for the feedback, either The Beatles with "I Feel Fine" or The Kinks' for their "Wall of Sound," The Yardbirds, nonetheless, took the razor's edge much farther in 1966 with their wonderfully enveloping hit singles "Shapes of Things" and "For Your Love". Having extremely talented personnel, including Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page, this band allegedly disbanded after their appearance on the celluloid classic 'Blow Up,' a wonderfully satiric look at the sixties' generation. Being associated with the alleged "put down" along with other crises, the band disbanded.
For those with more farthings, (Okay, I date myself-Euros) any other collection would be more desirable. Especially with gems like "Good Morning, Little Schoolgirl," "I'm a Man," and "A Certain Girl" missing from this C.D., you can't go wrong looking elsewhere.
The results? I'm quite happy being able to possess the aforementioned double duo with "Evil Hearted You" and "Smokestack Lightning," but I must also report that the sound isn't what a good "Remastered Version" could muster. With nothing else to compare, I can only share that either in the C.D. player or in the MP3 player, the sound is barely any good compared to most oldies' recordings. (Sam Cooke comes to mind.) Nevertheless, for the price, maybe the rough sound goes well with the memories which come rushing back to me. It's like revisiting old friends.
(For a fine alternate work, please see Steven A. Peterson's review of Ultimate! by The Yardbirds.)"
Annie Van Auken | Planet Earth | 02/20/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Legendary guitarists served their apprenticeship in the YARDBIRDS- this we know. Yet for all that, the band was decidedly indistinguishable from the countless others that vied for the record buyer's shillings in the mid-60s. The Yardbirds sound was cookie cutter generic Brit blues-rock, and except for a few middling singles and some musicians who went on to better things, this quintet without a decent voice among them would have been forgotten long ago.