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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Five Yard-merising, Bird-merising, Blues-wailing Yardbirds...", 6 Nov. 2011
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This review is from: Yardbirds Story: 1963-66 (Audio CD)
This is a very cheap and easy way to pick up all the Yardbirds recorded work from 1963 when they first started to record, to 1967 when they sacked their manager, taking in all the Eric Clapton material and a good majority of Jeff Beck's. Contained in a solid cardboard CD sized case accompanied by a hefty 42 page booklet with track by track comments by Giorgio Gomelsky (their manager) and Phil Cohen (their engineer). The comments are detailed and provide a good insight into the Yardbirds recording process as well as a pottered history of the band. At times, Gomelsky's comments read as an apology for his actions whilst manager and there does appear as if personal acrimony at the time has been airbrushed out, but its refreshing to see an account that's not about settling scores and instead celebrating the music.

The CD's come packaged in cardboard wallets and divide the history of the band into four main parts:
CD 1. 1963 - Early R&B roots
CD 2. 1964 - Early studio recordings
CD 3. 1965/66 - The Hits & touring America
CD 4. 1966/67 - Sessions from unreleased album 'A Yardbirds 'Eye' View of 'Beat

The first CD kicks off with an excellent selection of tracks that provide an eye opening account of what the band sounded like live. Covering songs by artitst such as Bo Diddley, Howlin' Wolf and Chuck Berry, the Yardbirds (and Eric 'Slowhand' Clapton) are in imperious form, demonstrating that they were already a formidable unit. Then comes the tracks recorded with Sonny Boy Williamson II which were released in 1967 as the album 'Sonny Boy Williamson with the Yardbirds'. This mouthwatering team-up is a bit of a mixed bag unfortunately as between the rehearsals, (which by all accounts were red hot), and the recording Sonny Boy got paraletically drunk, (to take the edge of a bout of toothache), and half way through the set veered off the setlist leaving the band completely hanging. Although they do a good job of timidly following him as best as they could, it does show. But before that the songs are very good with an excellent guitar solo from Clapton on '23 Hours Too Long'.

The second CD hoovers up their early demos, a couple of live recordings again with Sonny Boy Williamson and their first two singles (A & B sides). Inbetween you get one of the greatest live albums ever 'Five Live Yardbirds', released in 1964. This album was quite a gamble for the band as most other bands focussed on the 45 format, only using the album to compile their singles. That the Yardbirds decided to release a live album showcasing their set, was a statement of intent and quite adventurous, pre-empting the move away from singles towards the album format by a good couple of years. That it was a barnstorming, electrifying performance by the whole band makes this one of the highlights of the collection.

The third CD picks up the Yardbird's story as Eric Clapton leaves (unhappy with the 'Pop' direction the band took in order to get a hit) and Jeff Beck joins. It includes all their well known singles (A & B sides), the EP 'Five Yardbirds' as well as tracks recorded in various studios in America (e.g. Sun Records) as well as an odd single released in Italy. Keith Relf singing in Italian does pale quickly on 'Questa Volta (Jeff Beck was so disgusted he refused to play on the track) and perhaps hints at why Gomelsky was sacked soon after. Also included are two solo Keith Relf recordings that you won't find yourself replaying often.

The last CD contains all the session material recorded by the Yardbirds for an abandoned album 'A Yardbirds 'Eye' View of Beat'. Although most of the tracks are incomplete, Jeff Beck's playing is superb and demonstrates how cutting edge the Yardbirds were in experimenting with fuzztone, distortion and other sonic effects that soon became the tricks of the trade. Some of these tracks were to be resurrected and completed for the Yardbirds next album 'Roger the Engineer' but on their new label.

The sound is very good considering it was remastered in the 90's, and presents these tracks in their best possible light, considering the circumstances a number of them were recorded in. When considering the price, the presentation and that you have all the significant hits, a cracking live album and much more as well, there really is no question whether you should buy this or not. Along with this, all you need is Roger The Engineer 40th Anniversary Special Edition Box Remastered and the Jimmy Page album Little Games and you have all the Yardbirds material you need.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Something To Love Part Two, 31 Mar. 2008
This review is from: Yardbirds Story: 1963-66 (Audio CD)
Essentially a repackaged and slightly amended version of the 1994 box set "Train Kept A-Rollin'", this four CD set contains virtually of the group's recorded output between 1963 and 1966, live tracks and rarities. That means most of the guitar work is either Jeff Beck's or Eric Clapton's, though Jimmy Page appears on one or two tracks.

Apart from launching the careers of three of Britain's most talented guitarists, The Yardbirds straddled 1960s blues, rock 'n' roll and pop and provided a link to later heavy rock groups, most obviously Led Zeppelin. You'll hear covers of Howlin' Wolf or Chuck Berry tracks butting up against songs written by Graham Gouldman, who later found success in the smart pop group 10cc.

In retrospect probably The Yardbirds' most important contribution was keeping the blues alive at a time when young American blacks had turned to soul as their music of choice, but this set demonstrates all their traits conveniently in one place and in reasonable sound quality. The different versions of several tracks may pall for anybody seeking to introduce themselves to this significant group, but if you know something about The Yardbirds already and want something more than a "greatest hits" compilation, this is a good buy.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth it, 15 Mar. 2009
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C. Rigby (Great Britain) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Yardbirds Story: 1963-66 (Audio CD)
For any Yardbirds fan this expensive box set is well worth getting, covering all the material from their early sessions upto the end of 1965
It features in it's entirety the classic Five Live Yardbirds album plus the groups UK and US 45's together with the 'b' sides.
Expertly re-mastered by Phil Cohen, this has to be the very best sounding collection of this material available and comes with a comprehensive set of sleeve notes.
Highly recommended.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 12 Sept. 2014
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This review is from: Yardbirds Story: 1963-66 (Audio CD)
Excellent.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 22 Nov. 2014
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This review is from: Yardbirds Story: 1963-66 (Audio CD)
Spot on
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0 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 22 Aug. 2014
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This review is from: Yardbirds Story: 1963-66 (Audio CD)
boring
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Yardbirds Story: 1963-66
Yardbirds Story: 1963-66 by Yardbirds (Audio CD - 2008)
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