The Yardbirds Photography

The Yardbirds

The Yardbirds were an early British Invasion band with a string of hits in the 1960s, including “For Your Love”, “Heart Full of Soul” and “Shapes of Things.” They are best known, however, as the band that launched the careers of three of the greatest British rock guitarists: Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page.

The Yardbirds took flight in 1963 performing covers of American blues before transitioning towards pop and rock on their 1965 album debut—alienating blues purist Eric Clapton. His replacement, Jeff Beck, ushered in the Yardbirds’ most successful era, and their 1966 self-titled album (often known as Roger the Engineer) is widely considered their best work.

In the mid-’60s, Jimmy Page took over ax-slinging duties and led the Yardbirds down a darker, heavier path. Late in 1968, the core founders disbanded, and Page brought together a new band to fulfill some Scandinavian performance commitments. The “New Yardbirds” lasted only a short time, changed their name to Led Zeppelin, and went on to become one of the most successful bands in rock history.

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