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Greatest Hits, Vol. 1: 1964-1966

4.4 out of 5 stars 52 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 25, 1990
$27.38 $1.09

Editorial Reviews

While the Yardbirds graduated three of the greatest guitarists in rock history--Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page--during their 1963-68 existence, the group's best work came during Beck's '65-'66 tenure, which produced nearly all their hit singles and virtually everything found here. (Notable exception: their debut hit, "For Your Love," which Clapton was barely audible on anyway.) From the cat scratch fever of "I'm A Man" to the guitar-as-weapon solo in "Mister, You're a Better Man Than I," Beck rewrote the lead guitar textbook, and on one of the few songs recorded when he and Page were in the band together--"Happenings Ten Years Time Ago"--they foreshadowed the sound of '70s rock. --Billy Altman

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. For Your Love
  2. Putty (In Your Hands)
  3. Evil Hearted You
  4. Still I'm Sad
  5. You're A Better Man Than I
  6. Shapes Of Things
  7. Heart Full Of Soul
  8. Good Morning Little Schoolgirl
  9. I Ain't Done Wrong
  10. I'm A Man
  11. Train Kept A Rollin'
  12. A Certain Girl
  13. I Ain't Got You
  14. I'm Not Talking
  15. I Wish You Would
  16. Too Much Monkey Business
  17. Got Love If You Want It
  18. Smokestack Ligthning

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rhino
  • ASIN: B000003494
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #298,017 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This collection kicks of with "For Your Love," the Yardbirds' highest charting U.S. single (No. 6) and the song that led to the resignation of lead guitarist Eric Clapton. Despite Clapton's early exit from the band (March 1965), he appears on nine of the eighteen tracks. He especially shines on the final three tracks taken from Five Live Yardbirds. Listen especially to Clapton's guitar and Keith Relf's harmonica interplay on the nearly six-minute version of Smokestack Lightning!
Clapton's replacement wasn't too shabby either. Listen to Jeff Beck on their rave-up of Bo Diddley's "I'm a Man" where Beck and Relf do a guitar and harmonica call-and-response.
For a time the Yarbirds boasted the twin-guitar attack of Beck and Jimmy Page (although Page is not featured on this collection). All told, this is amazing music. My only complaint is that it doesn't include "Over, Under, Sideways, Down"--one of only six singles the band had in the U.S. [For that matter, this set also omits the Yardbirds' last top 40 hit, "Happenings Ten Years Time Ago." To get these two songs, buy the equally amazing Yardbirds' album Roger the Engineer.] ESSENTIAL
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
In 1966, Michelangelo Antonioni released a highly controversial movie called Blow Up. Set in London, the film starred David Hemmings, Sarah Miles, and a young, and exquisitely beautiful, Vanessa Redgrave. Thomas, (Hemmings), lives a fast, ultra-hip existence and at one point finds himself in a wild, psychedelic nightclub. It's loud, it's cookin', and on the bandstand Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, and the other birds are rippin' up a version of The Train Kept A Rollin' which had been slightly altered for copyright reasons. The live energy is absolutely explosive; high voltage, raw electric blues like that was simply unknown back then.

This CD chronicles the most important years in the short, but sparkling, career of a hugely exciting and influential band. When you consider that this music was recorded over 40 years ago it's easy to understand that, at the time, it was as revolutionary as the arrival of Hendrix. More remarkable still, the music sounds as great today as when it was released, full of edge, authority, and bite. Sure, there are clunkers that probably sounded dated even when they were released, You're A Better Man Than I finds the Yardbirds adopting a pious, and highly inappropriate, idealism while Still I'm Sad would have been better left to the Moody Blues or some other clinically depressed outfit. Putty (In Your Hands) is cute - a word that damns it - just too close to early Beatles for comfort.

Pretty much everything else is fast out of the gate and hot as Georgia asphalt in August. I'm Not Talking is a perennial favorite of mine, as are The Train Kept A Rollin', Smokestack Lightning, Evil Hearted You, Heart Full Of Soul, I Ain't Done Wrong.
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Format: Audio CD
I thought I was taking a bit of chance buying this cd, as I was only familiar with the classics "For Your Love" and "Heart Full of Soul", but I was on a British Invasion kick. Wow! This cd like, blew me away, man. For only one surprise, I was delighted to discover "Shapes of Things" - a great tune I certainly remembered, but never knew its name or its YB origin. The only other piece I sort of recall was "The Train Kept A-Rollin" which was featured in re-worked form in the Antonioni film "Blow Up". This, and the rest that was completely new to me, I just love: "Evil Hearted You" and "Mr. You're a Better Man Than I" are two others I find buzzing through my head throughout the day. Even if I'm a tad less patient with live stuff, which can veer into show-offy, formless indulgence, these guys can pull it off, as I find myself digging that fuzz-guitar/feedback rave-up (plus they know enough not to go on forever). I'll most definitely look into this band further - their music and their story. Enthusiastically recommended to anyone with any curiousity about this band!
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Format: Audio CD
Anyone with an inkling of guitar knowledge is well aware that The Yardbirds redefined the blues. Not only that, but they also spawned the careers of three true guitar gods (Clapton, Beck and Page).
This compilation is great, but there aren't enough Clapton songs, if you ask me. The majority of it is Jeff Beck, although I don't have a problem with that (I'm enamored with Jeff's playing). But there were some Clapton songs that weren't included (like some of the tunes from the RARITIES album, i.e. - "West Coast Idea"). We've all heard "For Your Love" way too much, and it isn't even that great of a song, just another example of how most radio hits are ridiculously overrated. "Putty In Your Hands" is alright, but who needs it when we have such better songs, like "I Ain't Got You" for instance? Easily the best Clapton song on here, it's two minutes of blues Heaven. And listen to 19 year-old Clapton's stinging solo in the middle. Feel Hendrix crapping his pants from across the pond!
Then there's "A Certain Girl", a very poppy song with another fiery solo from Clapton (and like I said, he was only 19!).
The Jeff Beck songs are totally magnificent. The highlight of the album is definitely "Still I'm Sad", a dreary, sepulchral psychedelic song that practically sounds like a funeral lament. Undoubtedly one of the darkest songs of the 60's, it's doomy, chiming bells, haunting chants and suicidal lyrics make it a masterpiece of eerie psychedelia.
"I Ain't Done Wrong" is a shattering blues tune. Recorded in 1965, it features one of the first uses of distortion in guitar history, as Beck lays down some monstrous, Earth-shaking chords.
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