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YardbirdsAudio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)

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Audio CD, 2001 --  

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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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Ultimate! + Retrospective
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 31, 2001)
  • Original Release Date: 1963
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Rhino
  • ASIN: B00005LMXN
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #43,760 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Boom Boom
2. Honey In Your Hips
3. A Certain Girl
4. I Wish You Would
5. Too Much Monkey Business (Live)
6. I Got Love If You Want It (Live)
7. Smokestack Lightning (Live)
8. Here 'Tis (Live)
9. Good Morning Little Schoolgirl
10. Got To Hurry
See all 25 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Lost Woman
2. Over Under Sideways Down
3. The Nazz Are Blue
4. I Can't Make Your Way
5. Rack My Mind
6. Hot House Of Omagararshid
7. Jeff's Boogie
8. He's Always There
9. Turn Into Earth
10. What Do You What
See all 27 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

No Description Available
No Track Information Available
Media Type: CD
Street Release Date: 07/31/2001

With a tenure on the charts of barely five years, a fitful discography, and the erratic guidance of three managers during their prime, the Yardbirds have a legacy that is as unlikely as it is undeniable: they're second only to the Beatles as the most influential band of the 1960s. Long known as the musical divinity school of the Beck-Clapton-Page guitar trinity, the Yardbirds cast a much longer shadow across rock music, one that encompassed psychedelia, blues rock, heavy metal, jam bands, and even the nascent world music and alt-rock movements. Culled from a woefully meager recording history that includes a handful of singles and but two real studio albums (yet, strangely, three live collections), this double-disc anthology instantly becomes the single most comprehensive document of the band's brief reign and lasting influence. Eric Clapton's tenure with the energetic blues revivalists hardly hinted at enduring superstardom, but it did help foster the band's ambitious rave-ups, the frenzied mini-jams that became one of the Yardbirds' live trademarks and set the stage for Jeff Beck's groundbreaking two-year stint. But often overlooked in the homages to fret frenzy is the band's restless musical curiosity and the moody-cool, expressive charms of vocalist Keith Relf, explored here by the overtly Gregorian "Still I'm Sad," the sloppy, monkish "Hot House of Omagararshid," and the brooding "You're a Better Man Than I." But by the time Page signed on (briefly sharing duties with Beck), the Yardbirds shifted managers and directions, resulting in an uneasy cocktail of rock and pop that ultimately fractured the band, if not its heritage; Page would rebuild the New Yardbirds around an amped-up vision of its original blues roots, then quickly change the name to Led Zeppelin. All that ground is covered, along with some rarities (the odd Italian single "Questa Volta"/"Paff Bum" and three spotty solo tracks by Relf). Missing are session outtakes and live performances by the band's prime Beck-era lineup (see Live at the BBC). --Jerry McCulley

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
119 of 126 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Long overdue career survey, almost faultless. August 2, 2001
Format:Audio CD
The Yardbirds' status as one of the most influential musical conglomerations of the last 40 years is undeniable. Musicians as disparate as The Beatles, The Police, the Sex Pistols, The Byrds, The Allman Brothers Band, and the Velvet Underground (plus all of the bands that have been influenced by these bands, to name just a few) owe them much more than most people realize. Not to mention the countless garage bands collected on Rhino's two excellent Nuggets boxed sets. Anyone who has enjoyed prog-rock or heavy metal or blues-rock or southern rock has heard echoes of the 'birds earth shattering rave up sections and their flair for experimental productions. Using feedback, eastern modes and experimental time signatures before the Beatles made such things popular, the 'birds are safely ensconced as one of the most significant rock bands.
For years, there has been a real need for a collection that puts together highlights from the Clapton, Beck, and Page eras of the band's history. This is no simple feat, given that the band's recordings are owned by a variety of different labels, all with agendas that seldom include portraying the Yardbirds for what they were - one of the best bands of the 60's (or the 70's, 80's, or 90's, for that matter). Compiled by the late lamented Cub Coda, this set attempts to come to terms with their erratic and maddeningly complex discography. For the most part, it succeeds. The music that is here is mostly tremendous stuff. The 'birds epochal reading of Bo Diddley's "I'm a Man" has never sounded better, and is not likely to be improved upon.
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rock of Ages August 29, 2001
Format:Audio CD
The first comment that comes to mind when perusing this double CD set of Yardbirds material is "about bloody time." Tangled licensing agreements often handicapped previous compilations of the band's material, limiting the tracks to the Giorgio Gomelsky-managed era, up to and including "Shapes of Things." No more. Finally---after 30 plus years---we have a set that spans the entire history of this awesome band where three of Britain's greatest guitar slingers got their start. Eric Clapton tears through ravers like "I Ain't Got You" and "Too Much Monkey Business" during the band's punk-metal R&B period; Jeff Beck sets the fuzztone for the Yardbirds' most successful and futuristic phase, ripping through bodacious hits like "Heart Full of Soul" and "Shapes of Things"; Jimmy Page gears up for the '70s in tracks like the proto-Zep "Think About It" and the psychedelic-arena rocker "Puzzles." Great as it is to hear these ax giants rocking side-by-side, alas, ULTIMATE doesn't quite live up to its title. Any compilation of LITTLE GAMES material that lacks "Glimpses" has a strike against it, and I'd have included "Who Do You Love," "You Can't Judge a Book By Looking at the Cover," the entire ROGER THE ENGINEER LP, "Dazed and Confused", "Avron Knows," "My Baby," and "Spanish Blood," plus live tracks from the BBC, Shindig, Beat Beat Beat and the Stockholm '67 gig. In a perfect world (say, if Page had an ounce of generosity), "Knowing That I'm Losing You"---an early version of "Tangerine"---would be here too. Read more ›
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best Yardbirds Compilation Available In America October 10, 2004
Format:Audio CD
"Ultimate" has a very good mix of commercial hits and a few rarities in one package. The serious collector will probably have most of these tracks on import labels like Repertoire, so this collection is recommended as a good introduction to the Yardbird's music for new fans.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
There will never be a shortage of opinions on the Yardbirds.
In my view, their only genuinely great period is the period with Jeff Beck, when they were writing a decent amount of their own material and truly pushing the envelope sonically. Between Beck's uninhibited inspiration, Paul Samwell-Smith's arranging skills and Keith Relf's very cool art school lyrical sensibility, this band could not be touched in 1965 & 1966. This set includes most of this material. Clapton is a great guitarist, of course, but he was much too conservative to allow the band to grow the way that they did once Beck joined. He needed to do the purist bit with John Mayall before he could become more creative. Jimmy Page joined in time to preside over the group's total disintegration and he had not yet developed his own creative side.
The sound on this set is the best yet encountered for the Beck and Clapton recordings. Perhaps Rhino got their hands on the original masters--something others had been famously unable to accomplish. I wish that the Mickie Most material had been limited to the honestly good things. Tracks like "Little Games," "10 Little Indians," "Ha Ha Said the Clown" (for chrissake!) and "Goodnight Sweet Josephine" are total dreck that should simply be forgotten. Instead, include ALL of the Roger the Engineer LP tracks (why leave off "Ever Since the World Began"?)and some more from "Five Live." Perhaps even a few BBC performances would be in order, and why nothing from the live album with Jimmy Page? He didn't like it, but that doesn't mean that there's nothing good on it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars There is a better way to get a complete Yardbirds collection.
I don't admire this compilation quite as much as some of the other reviewers. And while an attempt at better sound quality has been made here, I can recommend better sounding... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Commisioned
5.0 out of 5 stars great band
had there albums in the 60's, unfortunately you don't here many of there songs on the radio. I don't think there is one band that can say it had at one time or another the 3 great... Read more
Published 6 months ago by joseph g.
5.0 out of 5 stars Up to Rhino's high standards
Of all the Yardbirds compilations out there, this is the most comprehensive for a reasonable price. It has all the hits and classic songs, plus rarities and live tracks. Read more
Published 8 months ago by TLR
3.0 out of 5 stars The Yardbirds Ultimate
I don't know. I paid $88.00 for this product. I'm happy with the discs and the inner cardboard inserts. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Louis J. Pacifico
4.0 out of 5 stars a great music find
I got into led zeppelin and found out this wasn't Jimmy page's first band. Bought the yard birds and discovered Jeff beck and Eric clapton too. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Antonio Diaz
4.0 out of 5 stars best yardbirds compliation so far
All the hits plus, but since you eliminated only a few in the catalog why not add another disc and call it The Complete Yardbirds and be done with it, along with the original... Read more
Published on June 29, 2011 by Douglas M. Dalida
5.0 out of 5 stars Yarbirds Ultimate
I just purchased this cd through Amazon. I really like the selection of songs that are on the cd. It give a great overview of the Clapton, Beck and Page eras. Read more
Published on February 6, 2011 by Big D
5.0 out of 5 stars Ultimate Yardbirds
The Yardbirds are legendary for their three guitar heroes, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page, while building a reputation as a hot London blues band. Read more
Published on January 7, 2011 by Blues Fan 2000
3.0 out of 5 stars Elevated Skiffle
I've been exploring Jeff Beck's career as of late, and so of course I had to go here as the Yardbirds have been a mystery of the British Invasion to me, as well as to hear what... Read more
Published on May 13, 2010 by Niklas P. Andersson
5.0 out of 5 stars The (so far) Best Collection
This could be called ultimate, because it is ultimately better than any other compilation effort so far. Read more
Published on March 6, 2010 by Ted2112
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