on January 1, 2012
This new box-release with legendary Yardbirds gives a very thorough insight into the group's musical development, and particularly in what the group stood for as a live-band. The vast majority of the many tracks over five CDs are live recordings from various places in the world, covering all periods of the group - from the early Clapton years till the Led Zeppelin transition period with Jimmy Page.
Besides the many live recordings there are exciting alternative takes , among others, "He's Always There", "Turn Into Earth" and "I Can't Make Your Way". Of regular studiorecordings there are only a few. Many BBC recordings are actually studio recordings in fine sound. Among these it is especially interesting to hear "The Sun is Shining," "Dust My Broom," "Most Likely You Go Your Way" and "My Baby" songs that the group never officially released. Also interesting to hear how songs such as. "I'm a Man" changed character over the years.
For me the most exciting periods around 1966 when the group was inspired by the psychedelic wave and also the period with Jimmy Page, which ultimately led to the formation of Led Zeppelin. Interesting to hear how much "Led Zeppelin" there actually is in several of the last Yardbirds recordings. You may also note that Keith Relf on several of these later track sounds somewhat uninspired, and his performances on "Dazed and Confused" can in no way match those with Robert Plant.
The release is primarily aimed for incarnate Yardbirds fans, but is obviously worthwhile for fans of the three great guitarists Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page.
The accompanying book contains many rare photos and a brief biography of the group. I would have liked that there had been a clearer overview of the box, because, even though it is mostly built up chronologically it can be a little tricky to get a quick overview on where each specific track comes from. This is only a minor objection. It should also be noted that there are many interesting interviews with band-members throughout the five CDs
I will now hope that there will be another box that takes focus group's studio recordings.