Having revamped the Led Zeppelin catalog with new deluxe editions, Jimmy Page has now turned his attention to the Yardbirds.
Page was part of the group from 1966-68, starting on bass and then replacing Jeff Beck as lead guitarist and ushering the group to its first conclusion before launching Led Zeppelin. He's now put together a two-disc compilation called Yardbirds '68, which comes out on November 5 featuring a live recording from the band's appearance during March of 1968 at the Anderson Theater in New York and a "Studio Sketches" disc of rare material the group was working on at the time of its demise.
Page tells us that the Yardbirds became something of a victim of the times when the group disbanded during 1968:
"We were playing all the underground circuit over here, and all those venues, those magical names that we all know like Grande Ballroom and the Fillmore, Winterland, all these places, with the Yardbirds, just the four members. And I saw the, or witnessed the underground radio which was FM playing longer tracks than the AM singles market...Up to that point I really wanted to do this with the Yardbirds, but once they folded I knew that my mission was to make an album that would be suited to the underground radio, the FM stereo."
Yardbirds '68 will be available in several configurations, including a Signed Deluxe Edition featuring signatures by the band members.
Drummer Jim McCartney continues to lead a current incarnation of the Yardbirds, which has been working since 1992.
The full tracklist for "Yardbirds '68" includes:
- Live At Anderson Theatre:"Train Kept A Rollin,'" "Mr, You’re A Better Man Than I," "Heart Full of Soul," "Dazed And Confused," "My Baby," "Over Under Sideways Down," "Drinking Muddy Water," "Shapes Of Things," "White Summer," "I’m A Man (contains 'Moanin' And Sobbin')"
- Studio Sketches:"Avron Knows," "Spanish Blood," "Knowing That I’m Losing You (Tangerine)," "Taking A Hold On Me," "Drinking Muddy Water (Version Two)," "My Baby," "Avron’s Eyes," and "Spanish Blood (Instrumental)."
Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.