The Yardbirds

Over, Under, Sideways, Down

Song Review by

Easily one of the Yardbirds' most representative records of all time, "Over Under Sideways Down" encapsulates both the band's instrumental prowess as well as the times themselves in one fabulous package. The main rhythm of the song finds drummer (and co-writer) Jim McCarty doing a takeoff of the rhythm on the bop of Bill Haley's "Rock Around the Clock," giving the song a locomotive-like place to take off. Right on top of this, lead guitarist Jeff Beck provides one of his classic riffs, crossing classic, dirty rock & roll with a Middle Eastern feel that make it both progressive and familiar at the same time. Paul Samwell-Smith's boogie bass line fights note for note for supremacy with singer Keith Relf's excellent blues harp fills. The lyrics are a great snapshot of the life of not only a musician with newly found wealth in "Swinging London," but a youth in modern-day society as well. The image of a world turned upside down is undeniable here, and the effect is nothing if not mesmerizing. A Top 40 hit on both sides of the Atlantic, it shows the band's ability to write their own material with equal power as more popular bands like the Rolling Stones during this limit-smashing period.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Roger the Engineer 1966 Edsel 2:21
Over Under Sideways Down 1966 Repertoire
No Image 1966 New Rose Blues
Classic Rock: 1966 - The Beat Goes On 1988
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 2:21
Over Under Sideways Down: A Comprehensive Collection 1963-1968 1990 Raven 2:23
The Yardbirds [Video/DVD] 1995 WEA International
Easyriders, Vol. 1 1997
Various Artists
Thump Records 2:24
Where the Action Is [Cleopatra] 1997 Cleopatra 2:33
Rock: Train Kept a Rollin' 1999
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 2:23
Sony Music 100 Years: Soundtrack for a Century 1999
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 2:23
Cumular Limit 2000 Pilot 2:15
Woodstock Generation [Crimson] 2001
Various Artists
Crimson Productions 2:23
Where the Action Is [Newmill] 2001 Cleopatra
Ultimate! 2001 Rhino 2:24
Shapes of Things: The Best of the Yardbirds 2001 Music Club 2:24
Birdland 2003 Favored Nations Records 3:16
100 Hits: Sixties Pop 2010
Various Artists
100 Hits 2:24
Making Tracks 2013 MVD Visual
Yardbirds '68 2017 2:17
No Image Tendolar