Influence of the Yardbirds

Topics: The Yardbirds, Rock music, Eric Clapton Pages: 2 (534 words) Published: October 11, 2008
In the 1960’s there were many cultural changes in music. Rock and roll has been around for decades and has inspired many artists around the world such as The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, The Eagles, Pink Floyd, The Who, and The Monkees. One of the great rock and roll bands that influenced new styles of rock is The Yardbirds. The Yardbirds formed in the 1960’s and had Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page play in the band, all of which were legendary guitarist. These three figures did much to shape the group's sound, but throughout their career, the Yardbirds were very much a unit (Larkin 479).

The backbone of The Yardbirds consisted of vocalist Keith Relf, rhythm guitarist Chris Dreja, bassist Paul Samwell-Smith, and drummer Jim McCarty (Larkin 479). However, they were most famous for their succession of lead guitarists, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page. These three musicians would soon become superstars after their appearance with The Yardbirds.

Under Eric Clapton the Yardbirds played R&B with long improvisations called "rave-ups" in which they would alter tempo and volume. Turning away from their blues roots entirely The Yardbirds then recorded the pop song, "For Your Love," and this became their first hit. Uncomfortable with the band's commercial direction, Clapton left to pursue pure blues in John Mayall's Bluesbreakers (Warren 92).

Guitar wizard Jeff Beck then joined the band replacing Eric Clapton and transformed the Yardbirds into trailblazing musical pioneers (Warren 92). Innovating with fuzztone and feedback, they produced classics. When Samwell-Smith left the band, musician Jimmy Page was recruited as bassist until Dreja could learn the bass. After Dreja mastered the bass Page then moved up as second lead guitarist alongside Beck. The new lineup recorded only four songs, which they preformed a couple of times. Then Beck decided to leave and go off on his own. While Beck's stint with the band only lasted about 18...
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