Wednesday Night Music Byte
Lynnrockets recently watched the film Julie & Julia about a thirty year old New Yorker who decided to cook every dish in one of Julia Childs’ cookbooks and to blog about it. It was a novel idea so we decided to copy it. No, we will not be cooking in the usual sense (that could start a fire). Rather, we will adapt the recipe a day concept to our nightly music bytes. From now to infinity (didn’t somebody else coin that phrase?) we will post a music video and brief description of the artist or song in a sort of alphabetical order as culled from Tom Moon’s wonderful reference book, 1,000 Recordings To Hear Before You Die (A Listener’s Life List). The book describes both whole albums (remember those) and individual songs from all music genres that are essential listening. Do yourselves a favor and purchase this book. Where the book deals with an individual song, we will post that song, but when an entire album is the subject, we will exercise judicial discretion and post a single song therefrom. So what do you say, let’s get cooking…
The Yardbirds Over Under Sideways Down “Happenings Ten Years Time Ago” (1966)
At times during their brief existence (1962-1968) The Yardbirds had Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and/or Jimmy Page on lead guitar. As dynasties go, that’s possibly the best ever in rock. This album was the band’s first to be conceived as an album and not just a collection of singles and it documents the beck era and includes several early track with Page. It’s essential listening for anyone who cares about rock guitar.
Each axman’s tenure brought about a corresponding shift in sound. The Yardbirds started out playing a jittery blues rock with Clapton then, a staunch blues purist. When the band started to shift away from blues with the soaring single “For Your Love”, Clapton left in disgust. Beck came aboard ready to try different styles. His stinging crystal-clear sound drives the determinedly weird “Hot House Of Omagarashid” a wordless chant splayed over a twisted Bo Diddley beat and “He’s Always There”, a straight pop hook embellished with psychedelic guitar musings.
Beck and Page played together for a brief time, on the foreboding “Happenings Ten Years Time Ago” and “Psycho Daisies” features Page on Bass. These tracks solidified the Yardbirds reputation for sonic mayhem; it’s a treasure trove of piercing leads, thick distortion, and other guitar sound-shaping tricks.