Live in France
Shapes of Things From Their Early Days R&B Pioneers Through To Prototype Heavy Rock Gods.
Okay folks, we all know that nostalgia is a thing of the past and most of us are more than delighted to still be interested in all the new music that is available, from all corners of the globe. Occasionally though, someone comes along with some historic and pertinent music just to remind us (whatever your age) where the embryonic roots of popular music in Europe were formed.
Repertoire Records are that someone with the release of Live in France which captures some of The Yardbirds concert recordings (audio from French TV and Radio) over a 4 year period in the 1960’s and subsequently collated into a glorious 21st. century package.
The album is available in either CD or Deluxe Vinyl options that have both liner notes and a 16 page booklet by Chris Welch, including exclusive interviews with Jim McCarty and Paul Samwell-Smith.
Aficionados of the Swinging Sixties will undoubtedly appreciate the detail and absolute care taken in pulling this package together.
Like many in-depth retrospective releases Live in France has a few songs that are duplicated (even triplicated), from different venues and dates, but that should not have a negative impact on the obsessive collector of such memorabilia. Logically it flows in chronological order covering three actual concert performances plus one TV show.
“For Your Love” and “I Wish You Would” kick off the album, recorded at Palais Des Sports on 20th. June 1965 (whilst sharing the bill with The Beatles btw) and has Keith Relf and his band-mates showcasing their Pop hit (written by a young Graham Gouldman) and then a typical mid 1960’s R&B harmonica effort.
There are then three tracks from 27th. June 1965 when they played at Music Hall de France, firstly a cover of Tiny Bradshaws “Train Kept A Rollin” followed by two collective band compositions that both made the charts, “Shapes Of Things” as well as “Over, Under Sideways, Down” (Where he Eastern and therefore ‘progressive’ influences clearly prominent).
As per the 20th. June recordings the lead guitar comes from Jeff Beck.
The next seven tracks were all recorded at Grand Spectacle de Jeunes, Paris on 30th. April 1967 after Beck had left the group and Jimmy Page taking over on lead guitar.
“Shapes Of Things”, “Train Kept A Rollin” and “Over, Under, Sideways, Down” are all repeated along with four other tracks including another of their hits “Heart Full Of Soul”; with all now being increasingly ‘different’ from the original versions.
Less than three months before The Yardbirds would call it a day we have the final batch of live performances coming from a TV Special ‘Live at Bouton Rouge;” recorded on 9th. March 1968.
There is a third rendition of “Train Kept A Rollin” as well as “Goodnight Sweet Josephine”. However, the highlight of the entire package is “Dazed And Confused” where you sense the distinct metamorphism, from Rhythm & Blues to the Prog Rock/Heavy Rock which would end the bands days, with Page’s stinging guitar indicating just what the future holds (for him, at least).
Personally, I don’t remember too much from the 1960’s, preferring to ensure that alcohol consumption was more important than musical memories. With the benefit of hindsight I should have stuck with the Amber and not been enticed by the Broon.
But, we all know that well-worn quotation “if you can remember the sixties, then you weren’t really there”.
Well folks, I confess that I was definitely there, no; not in France, but enjoying myself in the clubs & pubs where there was live music and somewhere in the back of my mind I think I did catch The Yardbirds, probably down the bill on a Package Tour at Newcastle City Hall.
So, as your classic ‘Baby Boomer’ listening to these recordings, complete with the odious screaming from hordes of pubescent French fillies, it brings back clouded memories and stirs long lost retrospective recollections and has put a silly grin on my well worn façade.
Jack Kidd “Messin’ with the Kidd” on lionheartradio.com
Released on 7th. May 2021
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