Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The Yardbirds - A's, B's & EP's (Repertoire, 2007)

There have been many collections from this seminal band released over the years, but this one takes a bit of a different tack by collecting both sides of the singles the band released along with the EP (extended play) records released during the band's 1963-68 tenure. The collection is interesting as it shows the bands fluency in blues based material, especially when Eric Clapton was the band's lead guitarist. From this period are the cover of John Lee Hooker's "Boom Boom" that leads off this collection along with the cover of "Good Morning Little Schoolgirl" and the live version of "Smokestack Lightning." After Clapton left to join John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, Jeff Back took over as the bands focus, and from his period is the extraordinary instrumental "Jeff's Boogie" and the riff heavy "Train Kept a Rollin'." The band was also experimenting with psychedelic material as well, and this was reflected in their singles. The bizarre "Hot House Of Omagarishid" and "Ever Since The World Began" which manages to combine a trippy intro with a boogie middle section. Fans of 60's rock that still have enough room in their collection for another Yardbirds set should find this valuable, with interesting presentation along with solid liner notes and photographs rounding out the package.

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