The Yardbirds

You're a Better Man Than I

Song Review by

The Yardbirds' first recording while in the U.S. (while on tour), "You're a Better Man Than I" was originally written by the band Manfred Mann. The song was the Yardbirds' first of several stabs at a contemporary folk-rock type of song, and this recording succeeds without compromising the band's dark, threatening lyrics. The lyrics are striking, taking accurate aim at the hypocrites of society and politics, and the fact that men cannot judge each other, despite race, creed, or religion. Even the Vietnam War rears its head in the subject matter here, making this one of the most progressive songs of its era. A minor-key, folksy melody carries the song along, while Jeff Beck's sinewy electric guitar solo is the most identifiable ingredient in the brilliant arrangement. Yet the recording also shows singer Keith Relf's ability to sing a ballad quite well, making this one of the band's most balanced recordings of the period.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
No Image 1977 Charly Records
Shapes of Things 1978 Delta Distribution
No Image 1980 Babylon Records
Greatest Hits, Vol. 1: 1964-1966 1986 Rhino 3:58
Over Under Sideways Down: A Comprehensive Collection 1963-1968 1990 Raven 3:18
Vol. 1: Smokestack Lightning 1991 Legacy / Columbia 3:18
The Best of British Rock 1994 Pair 3:16
The Best of the Yardbirds [Rhino] 1994 Rhino 3:19
Heart Full of Soul & Other Hits 1997 Flashback Records 3:19
The Best of the Yardbirds Featuring Clapton & Beck 1999 Charly Records 3:20
Rhythm & Blues 1999 Castle Pie 3:19
Greatest Hits [Dressed to Kill] 2000 Dressed To Kill 3:17
Ultimate! 2001 Rhino 3:59
Yardbirds Story: 1963-66 2002 Charly Records 3:58
Best of the Gomelsky Years 2002 Fruit Tree 3:19
No Image Charly Records
No Image Neon Records