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The Yardbirds

The Story of the Yardbirds DVD

Review by Gary Hill

In doing research on this, I find that it’s a reissue of a documentary from 1992 that was released on VHS. Well, I have to say, I’m glad this has been set out on the world in DVD format. It’s an insightful film giving some major insights into a band that really shaped the rock music world. Even if you just look at the three huge artists who were in the band (Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page – all interviewed in this) you can see how important this group was. But their sound and their music really shaped a lot of what was to come. Their psychedelic twist on blues represented a trend that still lives on in rock music at least to some degree. The band was short lived and that allows for this to go quite in depth.

Led Zeppelin fanatics will love this for a lot of reasons. First, you have to understand that without The Yardbirds there would have been no Led Zeppelin. So, seeing this is like seeing Led Zeppelin’s prehistory. Secondly the documentary includes a lot of great interview footage of Jimmy Page and performance footage (including a short snippet of the pre-Zep version of “Dazed and Confused”). I would heartily recommend this set for not only Zeppelin fans, but anyone who wants to understand a big piece of rock music history.

Also, the bonus bit on here is worth mentioning. It includes a German television appearance of the Yardbirds from 1967. We get the band with a very young Jimmy Page going through several tracks. It’s show in black and white, but the quality of the footage is great. In fact, I’d have to praise the whole film for quality, too. All in all this is a “must have” for fans of Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck along with the Yardbirds. That’s a no-brainer. I’d say that for anyone who wants to dig a bit deeper and get a better understanding of the roots of classic rock this is essential, too.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2009  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.
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