The Yardbirds
are an English rock band that had a string of hits in the mid-1960s, including "For Your Love", "Over Under Sideways Down" and "Heart Full of Soul". The group is notable for having started the careers of three of rock's most famous guitarists: Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page, all of whom were in the top five of Rolling Stone's 100 Top Guitarists list (Clapton at No. 2, Page at No. 3 and Beck at No. 5). A blues-based band that broadened its range into pop and rock, the Yardbirds had a hand in many electric guitar innovations of the mid-1960s, such as feedback, "fuzztone" distortion and improved amplification. Pat Pemberton, writing for Spinner, holds that the Yardbirds were "the most impressive guitar band in rock music". After the Yardbirds broke up in 1968, their lead guitarist Jimmy Page founded what became Led Zeppelin. (Read more at Wikipedia)

Links To Peel

Peel was a fan of the group from the time he first heard them, while working in the USA. On KMEN in San Bernardino during 1966, he frequently played their material, especially "The Nazz Are Blue", the US B-side of "Happenings Ten Years Time Ago", which he claimed had reached a high position in what he called his "fraudulent British chart" due to repeated plays on his shows for the station. His high regard for the Yardbirds is clear from the articles he wrote for the station's newspaper, the Kmentertainer, on lead singer Keith Relf and guitarist Jeff Beck - both of them singled out as "Kmentertainer of the Week". The Yardbirds were a major influence on the band Peel discovered and encouraged during his time in California, The Misunderstood.

He also particularly valued the album Five Live Yardbirds - on his Yardbirds retrospective 19 August 1976 show he remarked: 

"I still reckon that’s one of the great LPs of all time, and I’m still tempted to say that’s Eric Clapton’s best recorded work, but I’m sure not many people would agree with that."

On the same show, Peel also mentioned:

"And most Yardbirds buffs regard Jeff’s greatest work – in fact, the best guitar solo on any Yardbirds record, I’ve heard it said – being his contribution to ‘You’re A Better Man Than I’"

The Yardbirds only did one session for Top Gear, in 1968, when they were on the verge of breaking up - as Ken Garner points out in The Peel Sessions, the band had previously recorded many sessions for BBC radio, starting in 1964.. Yet throughout the decades Peel would often play tracks from the Yardbirds and kept their single "Happenings Ten Years Time Ago" in his special John Peel's Record Box. There were plenty of subsequent sessions and show plays of bands who included ex-members of the Yardbirds - Eric Clapton (Cream, Blind Faith, Derek and the Dominoes and as a solo artist), Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin), Jeff Beck (the Jeff Beck Group, Beck, Bogert and Appice) and Keith Relf, who did a single Top Gear session with Renaissance in 1969 before leaving the band; later he produced some of Medicine Head's records.


1. Think About It/Goodnight Sweet Josephine/White Summer/Dazed And Confused

Shows Played

The Yardbirds - Happenings Ten Years Time Ago-0

The Yardbirds - Happenings Ten Years Time Ago-0

(The list is incomplete. Please add further information if known)
  • 18 July 1967: The Nazz Are Blue (LP - The Yardbirds/AKA Roger The Engineer) UK Columbia
  • 14 January 1972: Psycho Daisies (single - Happenings Ten Years Ago b-side) EMI/Columbia
  • 14 January 1972: You’re A Better Man Than I Am (LP – Having A Rave Up With…) Epic
  • 11 February 1972: Jeff’s Boogie (b-side of single 'Over, Under, Sideways, Down') Columbia
  • 28 April 1972: Louise (LP – Five Live Yardbirds) EMI Columbia
  • 16 June 1972: The Train Kept A Rolling (LP - ) unknown release
  • 24 April 1973: Happenings Ten Years Time Ago (LP - ) unknown release
  • 08 May 1973: Psycho Daisies (single – Happenings Ten Years Ago, 1966) Columbia
  • 12 June 1973: Good Morning Little Schoolgirl (LP: Spotlight On...) Charley
  • 26 June 1973: The Train Kept A-Rollin' (LP: Having A Rave Up With The Yardbirds) Epic
  • 15 November 1973: Psycho Daisles
  • 21 June 1979: 'Happenings Ten Times Years Ago (7")' (Columbia)
  • 14 August 1979: Louise (LP - Five Live Yardbirds, 1964) Charly reissue
  • 15 August 1979: Too Much Monkey Business (LP - Five Live Yardbirds) Charly reissue
  • 20 August 1979: Pretty Girl (LP – Five Live Yardbirds) Charly reissue
  • 26 May 1996: ‘The Nazz Are Blue (LP – Roger The Engineer )’ EMI
  • 09 January 2003: 'Louise (LP: Five Live Yardbirds)' (Columbia)
  • 17 April 2003: 'Over, Under, Sideways, Down (LP: The Yardbirds)' (Columbia)

See Also

External Links

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