Formed in London in 1963, one of the greatest bands ever launched several careers that are still impacting the music scene today. The original group featuring Keith Relf as the lead singer later brought on board three musicians (Eric Clapton; Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck), who “Rolling Stone” magazine would rank among the top five ‘greatest guitarists’ of all time. Relf died in 1976 at the youthful age of 33.
The music of The Yardbirds enjoyed its own special sound. The blues-based band is acknowledged as pioneering psychedelic rock.Two of their better known hits “Heart Full of Soul” and “For Your Love” climbed the U.S. charts with “For Your Love” reaching No. 6 and “Heart Full of Soul” hitting No. 9 in 1965. Four other songs would grace Billboard’s Top Forty in 1965-66, but none other making the elite Top Ten. “Shapes of Things” was just on the outside edge going to No. 11 in April, 1966.
The Yardbirds were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992. That same decade saw the group reforming. Upon Clapton leaving the group in 1965, he recommended Jimmy Page replacing him. Although Clapton was with The Yardbirds only two brief years, he is probably the best-known member. Other songs that are associated with the group include “Evil Hearted You,” a cover of Bo Diddley’s “I’m A Man” and “Mister, You’re A Better Man Than I.”
In August 1965, The Yardbirds launched their inaugural U.S. tour. They certainly left their mark and will forever be recognized as one of the leading successes of the ‘British Invasion.’
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