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Roger the Engineer

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Audio CD, April 28, 2009
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The Yardbirds are mostly known to the casual rock fan as the starting point for three of the greatest British rock guitarists: Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page. Undoubtedly, these three figures did much to shape the group's sound, but throughout their career, the Yardbirds were very much a unit, albeit a rather unstable one. And they were truly one of the great rock bands; one whose ... Read more in Amazon's Yardbirds Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 28, 2009)
  • Original Release Date: 2009
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • ASIN: B001Y7SIEI
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #666,119 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Lost Women (stereo)
2. Over Under Sideways Down (stereo)
3. The Nazz Are Blue (stereo)
4. I Can't Make Your Way (stereo)
5. Rack My Mind (stereo)
6. Farewell (stereo)
7. Hot House Of Omagararshid (stereo)
8. Jeff's Boogie (stereo)
9. He's Always There (stereo)
10. Turn Into Earth (stereo)
11. What Do You Want (stereo)
12. Ever Since The World Began (stereo)
13. Happenings Ten Years Time Ago (single track)
14. Psycho Daisies (single track)
15. Lost Women (mono)
16. Over Under Sideways Down (mono)
17. The Nazz Are Blue (mono)
18. I Can't Make Your Way (mono)
19. Rack My Mind (mono)
20. Farewell (mono)
See all 31 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

The Yardbirds are often overlooked in favor of other bands from the heyday of the British Invasion, but their legacy has loomed large decades after their demise. After all, they fostered the careers of Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page, and bands such as Renaissance, Cream, Led Zeppelin, Blind Faith, and the Jeff Beck Group. After cutting their teeth as faithful, if energetic, blues revivalists on live albums and a handful of singles, they cut this, their first real studio album, in 1966. The Yardbirds produced what remains one of blues-rock s most progressive and distinctive albums - and one that, remarkably, was never initially released in the U.S. in its original form. Veering sharply from Beck s classic riffing on the rollicking Over Under Sideways Down, the band explores broad palettes of style and hue, be it the more traditional blues of Lost Woman, neomedieval turns ( Ever Since the World Began, Turn into Earth ), strange psychedelia ( Hot House of Omagarashid ), or showcases for Beck s playful, pioneering fret work ( Jeff s Boogie ). As an added bonus, both sides of the band s sonically apocalyptic single Happenings Ten Years Time Ago / Psycho Daisies (with the rare twin-lead guitar lineup of Beck and Jimmy Page) are also included. An album as enjoyable as it is historically influential.
This release of Roger The Engineer includes both the stereo and radically different mono versions of the album, along with 7 bonus tracks.

Customer Reviews

This is one of my favorite bands and albums of all time!
The great mixture of traditional blues and the new psychedelic sounds has never been surpassed.
Morten Vindberg
This one will be stuck in your head for a long, long time, I guarantee it.
Josh H.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Steve Vrana HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on April 2, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Only recently made available stateside, this is the only Yardbirds' album to feature all original material. The standout track is the No. 13 hit "Over, Under, Sideways, Down" propelled by Jeff Beck's cutting lead guitar. Equally impressive are blues-derived numbers like "Lost Woman," "The Nazz Are Blue," "Jeff's Boogie" and "Psycho Daisies," one of only two tracks to feature both Jeff Beck AND Jimmy Page (on bass). The other track is "Happenings Ten Years Time Ago," which features Beck and Page both on guitar. It would be the band's last U.S. hit (#30 in 1966), and its psychedlic quality was representative of many songs on the album. There's the slightly trippy "I Can't Make Your Way," the mantra-like vocal and stinging lead guitar of "Hot House of Omagarashid," the chanting vocal of "Turn Into Earth." While the band's experimentations in the studio were not all successes, other than Rhino's greatest hits package, this is the one complete Yardbirds album to own. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Josh H. on November 18, 2003
Format: Audio CD
The Yardbirds were probably the greatest British blues band that ever lived. Nothing against other greats like The Stones and Cream, but there's just something about The Yardbirds' music that inevitably puts them above BOTH of those bands.
Look at "Turn Into Earth" for instance. It's my favorite Yardbirds song, and there's just something about it that HAUNTS ME TO DEATH. It is the most eerie, mystifying song that I have ever heard. I get feelings that I just can't put into words when I listen to it. It's quite similar to "Still I'm Sad" from a year earlier, but even MORE haunting. It's so dark that it practically sounds like a funeral song. How they managed to write something like this I'll never understand.
And the blues numbers are killer too. The rumbling bass on "Lost Woman" (hats off to Samwell-Smith) is totally fantastic. "Over Under Sideways Down" became a hit for the band, and it isn't hard to see why, with Jeff Beck's piercing guitar line (he also played bass on this one). And speaking of Jeff, he even gets to sing on "The Nazz Are Blue", the only song that he ever sang in his entire career (as far as I know). His voice is nothing to marvel at, but when it comes time for his guitar solo, all I can say is WOW. The guy rips into those blues licks in a way that just leaves you speechless. Slowhand who?
Then there's the ultra-catchy "I Can't Make Your Way", which is about as British as you can get. This one will be stuck in your head for a long, long time, I guarantee it. "Rackin' My Mind" is cool. The verses are really tame and quiet, and then all of a sudden, they change gears and it gets really intense, with some ferocious licks from Beck. This is the stuff that legends are made of, ladies and gentlemen. "Farewell" is a shimmering slice of Heaven.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By G.C. on January 14, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I must say that I agree with some of the criticisms listed here, but I still think this is a great album that ranks up there with other 1966-era classics like Aftermath (Stones); Blonde On Blonde (Dylan); Face To Face (Kinks); and Revolver (Beatles). This album's initial U.S. release was entitled "Over, Under, Sideways, Down" and featured only 10 tracks. It wasn't in print for long. Eventually it became available only as an import and then was re-issued domestically in 1983 under its current title before going out of print (again). This CD is basically a digital version of the 1983 release with a couple of tracks only available on the imports. If you are a Jeff Beck fan, this was his last stand with the group. If you are Jimmy Page fan, he only appears on a couple tracks, namely "Happenings Ten Years Time Ago" which was released as a single after "Over, Under, Sideways, Down". What may be remarkable is that the Yardbirds at this time were under a considerable amount of stress, they were changing managers and preparing for more tours and they were about to lose Jeff Beck. This left them about a week to record this album. Contrast this with the Beatles who had studio time at Abbey Road under the direction of producer/arranger George Martin who encouraged their creativity. Parts of this disc may sound dated, but it has held up better than other recordings from the same era.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Lozarithm on September 30, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Officially called simply The Yardbirds, this album came to be known as Roger The Engineer as that was the name of the front-cover caricature of their engineer Roger Cameron by Chris Dreja, written on the sleeve. It was their first studio album although an earlier incarnation of the band with Eric Clapton had released a live blues album, Five Live Yardbirds, and in America Epic had capitalized on the success of their final single with Clapton, For Your Love, by collecting all their UK Columbia singles to date and an EP in the pipeline, and added a couple of unreleased items for an album also named For Your Love.

Jeff Beck was not a blues purist and steered the band into fresh and exciting musical areas over the next few hit singles, incorporating Gregorian chants, sitar-like psychedelic guitar, backward tapes and controlled feedback.

Only the most recent of these, Over Under Sideways Down, which was created in the studios out of a spontaneous jam around Rock Around The Clock, and its instrumental flip, the self-explanatory instrumental Jeff's Boogie, were included on the album, the rest of which was largely concocted from scratch at Advision in one brief week of recording.

Some of the ideas used on their singles are reworked here, with Keith Relf leading all the vocals with the exception of The Nazz Are Blue which features a rare early vocal from Jeff Beck and bursts into a well-known Elmore James riff in the middle. Todd Rundgren named his band The Nazz in 1967 as a tribute to this song.

Mono was the norm in those days, when few record-buyers had stereo hi-fi systems, so must of the time spent mixing the album was devoted to the mono version, with the stereo mix left to the end and recreated independently but with reference to the mono master.
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