Clapton has now been a solo performer for so long that it is easy to forget that his formative musical years were spent working with a variety of different blues bands, including John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, Cream, Blind Faith, and not forgetting the legendary Yardbirds. The recordings featured here are an important part of British R&B music history, chronicling the earliest recordings by Eric Clapton, who is now an international rock superstar, and The Yardbirds, one of the UK’s most important blues bands of the era.
Ultimate! is a comprehensive career retrospective album by English rock group the Yardbirds. The 52-song two–compact disc compilation was released in 2001 by Rhino Records. The tracks span the period from the group's first demo recordings in 1963 to the last singles in 1968. They include all 17 of the group's singles, both A-side and B-sides, supplemented with more than a dozen album tracks, their performance for the film Blow-Up, and three early solo numbers by singer Keith Relf.
Little Games is the fourth American album by English rock band the Yardbirds. Recorded and released in 1967, it was their first album recorded after becoming a quartet with Jimmy Page as the sole guitarist and Chris Dreja switching to bass. Although the new lineup was becoming more experimental with longer, improvised concert performances, the Yardbirds' record company brought in successful singles producer Mickie Most to coax out more commercial product. However, neither material that properly presented their new approach nor hit singles were forthcoming. Little Games became the Yardbirds' final studio album, although Most continued to produce singles for the group. These were later collected and released with the original album along with outtakes and alternate mixes on an expanded edition titled Little Games Sessions & More in 1992.
Ask anybody who is really interested in 60's music who the really significant and influential bands were and relatively short list will emerge - The Beatles and The Stones, of course. The Who definitely, The Kinks perhaps - but one name will be on everyone's list - The Yardbirds.
The Yardbirds are an English rock band that had a string of hits in the mid-1960s, including "For Your Love", "Over Under Sideways Down" and "Heart Full of Soul". The group is notable for having started the careers of three of rock's most famous guitarists: Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page, all of whom were in the top five of Rolling Stone's 100 Top Guitarists list (Clapton at No. 2, Page at No. 3 and Beck at No. 5).
The Yardbirds showcased three of the greatest guitarists of all time: Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page. This collection of music with Jeff Beck is well done. The sound quality is great and the songs are too…
An exploitative album, released in 1966 shortly after the Yardbirds had their first American hits. This is a live show from late 1963, on which Chicago blues great Sonny Boy Williamson is backed by an extremely green Yardbirds. Yes, Eric Clapton is on here; no, he doesn't play well, managing some thin, extremely tentative solos that find him stumbling occasionally. It's really not that bad, though, as Sonny Boy himself sings well. But it should really be treated as a Sonny Boy Williamson release that happens to have a soon-to-be-famous-but-still-embryonic band in the background, in the manner of the sides the Beatles cut in Hamburg supporting Tony Sheridan. All of the material, and even some unreleased/alternate takes from the same dates, has since shown up on anthologies that are much easier to find than this instant collector's item.–by Richie Unterberger