label: Favored Nations Records
our score: 3.0 out of 5.0
in rock have a more prestigious legacy than the Yardbirds? Probably
not, since most bands have not had the luxury of having the headiest
trio of lead guitarists (Clapton, Beck & Page) pass through
the bands rotating roster. While the legacy is good, it has also
proven a cross to bear for the other band members. Add to that
the loss of lead singer Keith Relf (who died in '76), the chances
of seeing any incarnation of the band, except as a tribute, seemed
lean at best (especially in the wake of the lack of interest that
followed the Box Of Frogs band in the mid-80's, which featured
three original Yardbirds).
Now down to
two original members, rhythm guitarist Chris Dreja and drummer
Jim McCarty, the band, with three new members, have released a
new studio recording - the first new Yardbirds product since Little
Games in 1967. Saying that the CD is "new material"
is a bit of a stretch, as the revamped Yardbirds spend a good
deal of time actually covering themselves on Birdland.
start off the CD strappingly with an authentic rendition of "I'm
Not Talking," they do make a misstep or two, especially in
their choice of guest musicians. Queen's Brian May does some inspiring
solo work on "Mr. You're A Better Man Than I," as does
Stevie Vai on "Shape Of Things." But having a lesser
talent as the Goo Goo Doll's Johnny Resnick guest on "For
Your Love" (which really should not have been tampered with
in the first place) was a blunder. Though, this is just a trifling
distraction as it was more than a coup in getting Jeff Beck to
play on "My Blind Life," which turns out to be the most
stirring, albeit nostalgic, moment on the CD.
effort and proof that, even though the original members are presently
scant, the rock world will always welcome any form of the Yardbirds.
I'm Not Talking
2. Cyring Out for Love
3. The Naz Are Blue
4. For Your Love
5. Please Don't Tell Me 'Bout the Newa
6. Train Kept A Rollin'
7. Mr. Sabotuer
8. Shapes of Things
9. My Blind Life
10. Over, Under, Sideways, Down
11. Mr. You're a Better Man Than I
12. Mystery of Being
13. Dream Within A Dream
14. Happenings Ten Years Time Ago
15. An Original Man (A Song for Keith)