The Yardbirds

The Jeff Beck Years

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AllMusic Review by Steve Leggett

Hired in to replace a departing Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck was only a member of the Yardbirds for some 18 months in 1965 and 1966 but he had a hand in creating the group’s most striking singles and was on board for Roger the Engineer, arguably the band’s best LP and the only one to contain all original material. This set is basically that LP with some minor omissions and additions. Included are the classic singles “Mister, You’re a Better Man Than I,” “Still I’m Sad,” “Heart Full of Soul,” “Shapes of Things” (but curiously, not “Over Under Sideways Down”), and other tracks from the brief Beck era. One can question the wisdom of following “Train Kept a-Rollin'” with its thinly disguised rewrite “Stroll On,” but perhaps some fans will find it illuminating. That said, most of what is essential from Beck's time with the Yardbirds (which amounted to some 30 tracks or so) is collected here.

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