The Yardbirds

Happenings Ten Years Time Ago 1964-1968

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Replacing Raven's first Yardbirds compilation, Over Under Sideways Down: A Comprehensive Collection 1963-1968, their 2008 set Happenings Ten Years Time Ago 1964-1968 shares many characteristics with its predecessor, right down to the cover shot snapped during the brief period that Beck and Page shared the same stage (just like Antonioni's Blow-Up) -- which is about the only way to illustrate that Happenings Ten Years Time Ago 1964-1968 covers the entire scope of the Yardbirds' career. Clapton may not be in sight on the cover but he is present, as this begins with the tough blues that brought the Yardbirds to prominence, then extends through the frenzied psychedelia of Beck and concludes with the Page years. Condensed to a single disc, it becomes apparent just how much change the group went through in a short time, and the speed with which this barrels through the changes is pretty invigorating. Happenings differs from Over Under by lopping a year off of the previous comp, taking along with it much of their earliest blues, as previously represented by "Baby What's Wrong" and "Got Love If You Want It." This also doesn't have "Boom Boom" and "Honey in Your Hips," present on Rhino's two Yardbirds compilations, and without these, Happenings leaps into how the band pushed forward from its blues base, settling into frenzied mod-blues by the fifth track. From there, the compilation focuses on hits augmented by the Yardbirds' forward-thinking rock, even swapping out their cover of Harry Nilsson's "Ten Little Indians" in favor of the Jimmy Page showcase "White Summer," which points the way toward Led Zeppelin. All of this adds up to an excellent summation of a classic band, the best single disc available for those who don't want to invest in Rhino's double-disc Ultimate!

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