The Yardbirds was a London-based rock band that was popular during the 1960s. The band released song of the greatest hits in rock music through the collaboration of its members, Keith Relf, Jim McCarty, Chris Dreja, Paul Samwell-Smith, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page. Below is a List of the Ten Best Yardbirds Songs of All-Time
10. Drinking Muddy Water
This song was a cover version of the song “Rollin and Tumblin” by Muddy Water. It was released in 1967 as one of the songs included in the “Little Games” album. It is a fun song that continues to be remembered as one of their greatest hits. The song features Ian Stewart, a pianist, who was renowned for collaborating with Rolling Stone. The song also features Jimmy Page’s early side guitar works. Although it attained mild success when it was released, it has become a fan favorite for Yardbirds and Muddy Waters fans.
9. Train Kept A-Rollin’
In a 2009 performance at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the band’s members Joe Perry, Ron Wood, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page were reunited and performed this song. The 1951 song, which had originally been recorded by Tiny Bradshaw and covered by different artists, was one of the Yardbirds best songs in the 1960s. Unlike the blues nature of the original song, Yardbirds cover recreated the song into a metal rock piece that inspired other artists in the metal rock field to take the same approach when covering popular blues of the 1950s. The band released their version of the song in 1965 under the “Having a Rave Up with the Yardbirds” album.
8. I’m a Man
This song was a cover of an R&B song released by Bo Diddley. The Yardbirds released this cover as a US single in 1965 and it became one of their most successful songs that year. Yardbirds received praise from Bo Diddley for their wonderful work in restructuring “I’m a Man” and releasing it as a rock song. Their ability to embrace the R&B song by creating a blues-rock illustrates the versatility of their talent. The end of the song is characterized by a raging instrumental passage that makes it memorable.
7. I Ain’t Got You
This song was released in 1995 as part of the “For Your Love” album. It became a hit song in 1995 and was loved by Yardbirds fans. It is a harmonica and raw rock that captures the passion that the band had during their earlier years of producing their music. It was one of the songs that was released while Clapton, the guitarist, was still in the band. It was a short cover of Jimmy Reed’s classic. The joyful and amazing guitar performance characterized by the song makes it one of their best works.
6. Five Long Years
This song was part of the “Five Live Yardbirds” album that was released by the band in 1965. The song was a cover of Eddie Boyd’s song and became a hit after its release. It is a slow blues song. The song’s most unique feature was an extended guitar soloist by Clapton. The guitar soloist by Clapton in the song makes it one of the band’s unique covers.
5. Heart Full of Soul
This song was a single recorded in 1965. The song was written by Graham Gouldman and became the first single released by the band. The first time that the band tried recording the song was in early 1965 with a sitar player who had been hired to play the song’s enigmatic instrumental hook. The sitar’s lines didn’t match the energy of the song and was replaced by a riff on guitar developed by Jeff Beck to replace the lines.
4. Over Under Sideways Down
This is another psychedelic rock song that was released by the band under the 1966 album, “Roger the Engineer.” It peaked at number 13 in the US and attracted people’s attention to the album. The song was inspired by Bill Haley and his Comets. Jeff Beck played both the lead and the bass guitar in the song. It peaked at number 10 in the UK and was placed at number 23 in the Rolling Stone’s ranking of the greatest guitar songs of all time.
3. Shapes of Things
This song starts with an upbeat vibe. It has a sing-song rhythm to it and it is one of the catchiest songs produced by the band. It was released in 1966 and is one of the first-ever psychedelic rock songs to contain a guitar solo and also one of the earliest psychedelics in the history of rock music. The theme of the song was based on the pro-environment issues that were going on at the time the band produced the song. It stopped at number 11 and missed being of the band’s songs to hit the top ten list.
2. Happenings Ten Years Time Ago
This song has a classic pop that has a psychedelic rock feel to it. It was released in 1966. This song incorporates an interesting vocal outing by Beck in the song’s interlude. It was one of the few songs that featured both Beck and Page.
1. For Your Love
The song starts with the lead singer playing a hand-held drum before it picks up and incorporates the guitarist and main drummer. It was released as a single in 1965 and became the band’s best song in both the UK and US, after being listed among the top ten songs in both countries. Despite its success in both countries, this was also the song that pushed Eric Clapton to leave the band and join the “John Mayall & the Blues Breakers” band. In an interview with UK Music Reviews, Graham Goudlman stated that this was one of the best songs that he ever wrote for the band.
The Yardbirds released some of the greatest hit songs of the 1960s. While rock bands were not common at the time, they carved their way in the music industry by releasing both unique singles and covers of existing R&B songs. They will continue to be remembered through their contribution to rock music.