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Roger The Engineer CD

4.5 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (4 May 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Diablo
  • ASIN: B00000JY2K
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 40,440 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Product Description

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BBC Review

At the top of this review is a little white lie: the title of this album. Forever to be now known as Roger The Engineer, after Chris Dreja’s cartoon rendition of a studio technician (Roger Cameron) – this album was originally just titled The Yardbirds. If you really want to be confused it was actually released stateside as Over Under Sideways Down with a different tracklisting, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves…

By 1966 the Yardbirds had the respect of every young guitar-slinger in London due to their main axeman, Jeff Beck. Having replaced the more puritanical Eric Clapton in 1965, Beck had to both contend with an audience who missed the bluesman’s authentic tones and also management who couldn’t decide whether the band would be an out and out pop combo or retain their earlier R’n’B credibility that had made Five Live Yardbirds such a hit during the Blues boom.

Luckily for Beck, the nascent strains of psychedelia were just around the corner, fitting nicely with his disregard for anything approaching the straight playing of six strings. Even in his days before the Yardbirds with bands like the Tridents, Beck had demonstrated a stinging attack and ability to coax weird sounds from his guitar. Now with ballads like "Heart Full Of Soul" and "Shapes Of Things" he was given license to unleash the full fuzz terror of his proto metal stylings.

On Roger…the band approached something like the only proper studio album of this classic mid-period line-up. While Keith Relf’s rather anaemic blues yelps were never going to make them the rivals to the Stones or Beatles, the well-oiled rhythm section were perfectly suited to support some of Beck’s wildest sounds to date. From The gloomy chant of "Hot House of Omagarashid" to the cod-Arabian whirlings of “Over Under Sideways Down” these are songs that sit midway between Eel Pie Island and the UFO club. While they still clung to the 12-bar shapes that had seen them through the lean years (“The Nazz Are Blue”) they now had a stunning weapon in Beck’s filigree fills. Just listen to his amazing showboating on “Jeff’s Boogie”.

Unfortunately it was a brief, bright point for the band. More bad management and a seeming inability to capitalise on any success eventually led Beck to quit and two years later it was all over. But for the real sound of swinging London in ’66 you’d do no better than to listen to the Engineer… --Chris Jones

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I only own this album on original mono 60's vinyl without bonus tracks, etc and it is still fantastic.A massive fusion between traditional 60's beat music and early psychedelic sounds.'Lost woman' still sounds brilliant today,'I can't make your way' never fails to get the foot tapping and 'Hot house of omagararshid' always makes me smile.Despite the brilliance of those tracks 'Farewell' is weak and 'Ever since the world began' is a mess.Still this album shows that they were years ahead of their time and,yes,even on tinny monophonic sound,Jeff Beck's guitar playing still stands out.
This is a must have for all fans of the blues/rock/psych sound.Great stuff.
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Format: Audio CD
Stereo and mono versions on the one disk might seem obsessive, but in this case it's worth it. Previous stereo-only versions of this album have had only "Hot House of ..." without its guitar solo --- a fairly pointless exercise, which I'd love to know the reason for. On this new issue you can hear it in all its glory including Beck's brilliant guitar break (at last), as well as fascinating solo tracks by Keith Relf. The album itsels aways was a true classic, and stands up very well today. The extras on this issue are well worth having. Even if you have a stereo CD of this disk, you should get this one for the different guitar parts on the mono version (most tracks have only slight differences, but "Hot House..." is radically different) and the Keith Relf tracks. Good notes too.
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Format: Audio CD
Officially called simply The Yardbirds, this album came to be known as Roger The Engineer as that was the name of the front-cover caricature of their engineer Roger Cameron by Chris Dreja, written on the sleeve. It was their first studio album although an earlier incarnation of the band with Eric Clapton had released a live blues album, Five Live Yardbirds, and in America Epic had capitalized on the success of their final single with Clapton, For Your Love, by collecting all their UK Columbia singles to date and an EP in the pipeline, and added a couple of unreleased items for an album also named For Your Love.
Jeff Beck was not a blues purist and steered the band into fresh and exciting musical areas over the next few hit singles, incorporating Gregorian chants, sitar-like psychedelic guitar, backward tapes and controlled feedback.
Only the most recent of these, Over Under Sideways Down, which was created in the studios out of a spontaneous jam around Rock Around The Clock, and its instrumental flip, the self-explanatory instrumental Jeff's Boogie, were included on the album, the rest of which was largely concocted from scratch at Advision in one brief week of recording.
Some of the ideas used on their singles are reworked here, with Keith Relf leading all the vocals with the exception of The Nazz Are Blue which features a rare early vocal from Jeff Beck and bursts into a well-known Elmore James riff in the middle. Todd Rundgren named his band The Nazz in 1967 as a tribute to this song.
Mono was the norm in those days, when few record-buyers had stereo hi-fi systems, so must of the time spent mixing the album was devoted to the mono version, with the stereo mix left to the end and recreated independently but with reference to the mono master.
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By D. J. H. Thorn VINE VOICE on 13 Sept. 2006
Format: Audio CD
The Yardbirds released a lot of singles but only three albums, the first a hothouse live item, the last, 'Little Games', which producer Mickie Most was apparently more enthusiastic about making than the band. That leaves this album as the only worthwhile studio album that The Yardbirds made. It comes from that year of pop progression, 1966, and it's clear that the band were up to all sorts of tricks in their workshop.

The twelve tracks that comprise the original album are mostly r&b-oriented but with a sprinkling of exotic ingredients. Jeff Beck was playing heavy guitar solos even then while there's a tinge of folk influence here and there. 'The Nazz Are Blue', 'Jeff's Boogie' and 'Rack My Mind' are all standard blues-rock showcases for Beck, while 'Lost Women' and 'What Do You Want' are substantial songs. The other tracks tend to veer off elsewhere to varying success. 'Turn Into Earth' has a strong mystical flavour due to the Gregorian-style backing chant previously used to such eerie effect on 'Still I'm Sad'.

This CD begins unusually with two welcome bonus tracks, the bewitching 'Happenings Ten Years Time Ago' and the Chuck Berry-style American travelogue, 'Psycho Daisies', these being both sides of a single. The Keith Relf tracks at the end are, in contrast, pretty forgettable. Nevertheless, this is a memorable and imaginative album well worth hearing.
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Format: Audio CD
The official name of this album is "The Yardbirds," but it is known as "Roger the Engineer" because of a drawing on the front cover of the UK version of the album. The drawing - made by band member Chris Dreja - is a caricature of Roger Cameron, the recording engineer. The US version, which has a different cover, is named after track # 2: "Over Under Sideways Down."

"Roger the Engineer" was released on vinyl in July 1966 and re-released on vinyl in 1983. It was released on a CD in 1986 and re-released on a CD in 1997. In 2007 a special edition (remastered) was released on 2 CDs.

There are 12 tracks on the original album from 1966. On the second version from 1983, there are two bonus-tracks: the A-side and the B-side of a single released in October 1966. There are also 14 tracks on the CD from 1986. On the CD from 1997, there are five additional bonus-tracks: five recordings with Keith Relf, aka the Keith Relf singles.

The total running time of the album is ca. 31 minutes with 12 tracks and ca. 36 minutes with 14 tracks.

When the original album was recorded, the line-up of the band was as follows:

** Keith Relf - vocals on all songs (except track # 3) and harmonica
** Jeff Beck - lead guitar (and vocals on track on track # 3 "The Nazz Are Blue")
** Chris Dreja - rhythm guitar and piano
** Paul Samwell-Smith - bass
** Jim McCarty - drums

[When the single released in October 1966 was recorded, Paul Samwell-Smith had been replaced by Jimmy Page on bass. On tracks # 13 and 14 Beck and Page play together. Later Page would replace Beck on the lead guitar, while Chris Dreja would switch from rhythm to bass.
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