The Yardbirds – The Yardbirds (1966)

Album no. 74/1001

This album is also known as Roger The Engineer, and sometimes Over Under Sideways Down. Why have one title when three will do?

The Yardbirds had a few hits, but they tended to burn through members and not have much continuity. The guitarist on this album is Jeff Beck, following the departure of Eric Clapton and before Jimmy Page joined. Not a bad run really. The Yardbirds also made it into Antonioni’s Blow Up. Jeff Beck is the one who smashes the guitar.

Have you listened to this album before?

NK: I definitely haven’t. I did Blow Up at uni, but that’s about it. I expect more blues.

CL: No! I know nothing. But I’m apprehensive. Is this going to be like Blues Breakers again? It better not be.

Standout track

NK: ‘Jeff’s Boogie’ is the best! There are a lot of good tracks though; ‘I Can’t Make Your Way’ keeps getting stuck in my head, ‘Happenings 10 Years Time Ago’ is quite strange and fun, and ‘He’s Always There’ is straight up great. I don’t think there are any songs I disliked.

CL: I actually found quite a lot of good stuff on this album. The first track ‘Lost Women’ was a good surprise. On ‘He’s Always There’ my favourite instrument the (the fish) makes an appearance again! We haven’t heard the fish since Tito Puento! ‘Ever Since The World Began’ was a very odd song. It starts out all moody and slow, then halfway through the tambourine comes out and everyone’s all cheerful. A strange turn of events.

When would be the best time to listen to this?

NK: When you need to get upbeat! This album is really quick, lots of brisk songs and driving beats. All the instruments come across as really quick. This album possibly isn’t recorded as professionally as the Blues Breakers, it can sound a little bit tinny in comparison. But it’s got more energy! Quick and bright.

CL: Tell you what, pop on ‘Hot House of Omargarashid’ when you’re walking through the city – it’s like you’re strutting in the opening shots of your own movie. Not that I did this, though… it’s just an idea.

Why has this album been included on the list?

NK: Well, it’s pretty great. The guitaring is pretty sweet, not as in your face as the Blues Breakers were yesterday. The songs are a bit odd as well, a bit weirder and more creative than the blues standards. I really enjoyed this!

CL: Maybe because it has legitimate use of a wobbleboard on ‘Hot House of Omargarashid’ – which I really liked until the wobbling started. (Actually, I got past the wobbling. That’s an excellent song).

Will you be listening again?  

NK: You bet. I will also have a look about for some more Yardbirds.

CL: Yes. I reckon I will. I think there’s enough here to merit a couple of listens.

Rating

NK: This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.

CL: This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.

Listen to The Yardbirds on Spotify or buy it in iTunes.

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