15 Best The Yardbirds Songs of All Time
We have listened to and appreciated The Yardbirds discography over the years. We also acknowledge that some of their best songs have been the first ones on their albums. In this article, we will detail a list of the best songs that The Yardbirds has as fans’ favorites of all time. We know them as the early era of the Led Zeppelin band too.
The Yardbirds like numerous of their British-founded bands, began as a blues band, performing covers of American blues superstars they liked. They did, however, have a not-so-secret weapon: a trio of superb guitarists. Eric Clapton was the first to join. But he became dissatisfied with the Yardbirds’ pop success and quit. He was replaced by Jeff Beck, who was eventually replaced by Jimmy Page.
Also, Jimmy Page was only with The Yardbirds for one album before deciding to rebuild the band with a new singer, bassist, and drummer. He initially called the band the New Yardbirds but later changed the name to Led Zeppelin.
The Yardbirds were an English rock band that increased to reputation in the early 1960s as one of the most innovative and influential acts of the British Invasion. The band’s sophisticated and experimental guitar work, as well as their explosive live performances, made them well-known.
Over the years, The Yardbirds have included a variety of excellent musicians, including Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page, all of whom have gone on to achieve tremendous success in their own right. Early singles for the band were “For Your Love” and “Heart Full of Soul,” which included a particular blend of blues, R&B, and rock and roll.
The Yardbirds moved into a more experimental area, mixing psychedelia and Eastern music into their sound. The album “Little Games,” which contained a lot of unorthodox arrangements and instrumentation, was the pinnacle of this exploration.
Top 15 Best The Yardbirds Songs of All Time
In addition to his own successful music career, The Yardbirds has also been known to share his great songs from musicians like Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and more and his solo career.
We have listed the best 15 The Yardbirds songs of all time (randomly):
What are the best songs of The Yardbirds?
- “For Your Love”
- “Heart Full of Soul”
- “Shapes of Things”
- “Over Under Sideways Down”
- “I’m a Man”
- “Train Kept A-Rollin'”
- “Evil Hearted You”
- “Smokestack Lightning”
- “Happenings Ten Years Time Ago”
- “Dazed and Confused”
- “Still I’m Sad”
- “The Nazz Are Blue”
- “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl”
- “Little Games”
- “You’re a Better Man Than I”
The Yardbirds released a variety of albums and singles during their time. The band’s first album, “Five Live Yardbirds,” which was released in 1964, had live performances by the group. When “For Your Love,” their following album, was released in 1965, it signaled a change from their blues-based sound and included elements of pop and rock.
Jeff Beck joined the group in 1966, and together they recorded the album “Roger the Engineer,” which had some of his most avant-garde guitar playing. But soon after, Beck quit the group, and Jimmy Page filled his position. The Yardbirds released more albums, such as “Little Games” in 1967, before breaking up in 1968.
The Yardbirds had a significant impact on the growth of rock music as well. They paved the ground for the development of heavy metal and progressive rock in the 1970s with their avant-garde sound and numerous members’ contributions. They are now regarded as one of the 1960s’ most significant and influential bands.
Did The Yardbirds have any hit songs?
Throughout the mid-1960s, The Yardbirds enjoyed a string of singles, including “For Your Love“, “Heart Full of Soul“, “Shapes of Things“, and “Over Under Sideways Down“.
The Yardbirds has 6 studio albums, 12 live albums, 2 EPs, and more than 10 compilation albums. Yankees. Check out our 15 best and favorite The Yardbirds songs below!
1. For Your Love
“For Your Love” song released in 1965, was a significant change from The Yardbirds’ blues-based sound, integrating elements of pop and rock. The song has a pleasant, energetic melody that is supported by a powerful harpsichord riff. The lyrics emphasize the artist’s need for love and affection, with the singer appealing to his partner to stay with him.
Graham Gouldman, who went on to have a successful career as a member of the band 10cc, wrote the song. The Yardbirds’ hit “For Your Love” reached the top ten in both the UK and the US. It is still one of their most well-known and popular tunes.
“For Your Love” was equally unpopular with admirers of The Yardbirds’ older, blues-based sound. Guitarist Eric Clapton, who quit the band shortly after the song’s release, apparently despised the band’s more pop-oriented direction.
Also, “For Your Love” is a classic example of the 1960s pop-rock genre.
2. Heart Full of Soul
“Heart Full of Soul” is a song recorded by The Yardbirds in 1965. The song was written by Graham Gouldman, a legendary songwriter who also wrote several successful songs for The Yardbirds, including “For Your Love.”
“Heart Full of Soul” is distinguished by a driving, bluesy guitar riff and mournful, almost Eastern-sounding melodies played on a sitar, resulting in a unique and unforgettable sound.
The Yardbirds’ “Heart Full of Soul” was a financial success, reaching the top 10 in both the UK and the US. The song is still considered a classic of 1960s rock, and it exemplifies The Yardbirds’ original style and experimental approach to music.
“Heart Full of Soul” is also important for including future Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page, who was a Yardbirds member at the time. Jimmy Page’s particular style and virtuosity playing contributed to the song’s distinct sound and established him as one of the best guitarists of all time.
3. Shapes of Things
The Yardbirds‘ “Shapes of Things” is a 1966 song. The song is renowned for its inventive use of distortion and feedback, which helped define the sound of early heavy metal and influenced countless guitarists in the years that followed.
The song has a fast, riff-driven melody with thought-provoking lyrics about change and societal inequity. “Shapes of things before my eyes / Just teach me to despise / Will time make men more wise?” the opening lyrics ask. reflect a sense of the world and a yearning for change.
The song was a commercial triumph, reaching the top ten in both the United Kingdom and the United States. It is still one of The Yardbirds’ most well-known and lasting songs, and its influence on rock music cannot be emphasized.
Also, guitarists ranging from Jimi Hendrix to Eddie Van Halen have all identified “Shapes of Things” as a key influence on their playing style and musical approach.
4. Over Under Sideways Down
“Over Under Sideways Down” is a 1966 song by the English rock band The Yardbirds. The song has a fast, repetitive guitar melody and addictive, catchy lyrics about adolescent rebellion and restlessness.
The Yardbirds’ “Over Under Sideways Down” was a financial success, reaching the top 10 in both the UK and the US. The unique use of distortion and feedback in the song, along with its driving tempo and memorable melody, helped to establish The Yardbirds as one of the most innovative and influential bands of the 1960s.
In addition to its musical and cultural significance, “Over Under Sideways Down” is important for the guitar performance of future Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page, who was a member of The Yardbirds at the time. Jimmy Page’s virtuosity playing helped to create the song’s specific sound.
5. I’m a Man
“I’m a Man” is a classic blues rock song written by The Yardbirds and released in 1965. Lead singer Keith Relf delivers powerful vocals over a driving pace and a catchy harmonica riff.
The Yardbirds’ song was a financial triumph, reaching the top ten in both the UK and the US. Its impact can be heard in the music of innumerable blues and rock bands that followed in the band’s footsteps, and it is still considered a blues and rock classic to this day.
“I’m a Man” is also famous for Keith Relf‘s use of the harmonica. The peculiar tone of the instrument contributed to the song’s characteristic sound and set it apart from other blues rock tunes of the era.
6. Train Kept A-Rollin’
The Yardbirds one of the famous “Train Kept A-Rollin’” is a classic genre rock song that has become one of their most well-known songs. Tiny Bradshaw wrote and recorded the song in 1951, but The Yardbirds’ version, published in 1965, is regarded as a watershed point in rock music history.
Also, the song has a powerful tempo, a catchy guitar riff, and Jeff Beck’s innovative use of distortion and feedback, which contributed to the band’s distinct sound. “Train Kept A-Rollin'” has impacted innumerable rock bands over the years and is still considered a genre classic to this day.
7. Evil Hearted You
“Evil Hearted You” is a famous rock song written by The Yardbirds and published in 1965. The song has a unique guitar riff, a catchy melody, and forceful vocals from lead singer Keith Relf. The words of the song portray a realistic picture of a manipulative and deceptive partner, with lines like “You always break the rules, knowing full well that you will” providing a vivid picture of the song’s protagonist.
The Yardbirds‘ single “Evil Hearted You” has since become a fan favorite, with its distinctive melody and sympathetic lyrics making it a track in the band’s repertoire.
8. Smokestack Lightning
Howlin’ Wolf first released the classic blues tune “Smokestack Lightning” in 1956. The Yardbirds did a cover of the song in 1964, and it has since grown to be one of the song’s most well-known and cherished renditions.
The Yardbirds‘ cover version of “Smokestack Lightning” has a strong drumbeat, a memorable guitar riff, and a lead vocal performance from Keith Relf. The Yardbirds’ version of “Smokestack Lightning” is regarded as a standard of the blues rock genre and has served as an inspiration to a great number of musicians over the years.
9. Happenings Ten Years Time Ago
The Yardbirds‘ 1966 song “Happenings Ten Years Time Ago” is a classic example of psychedelic rock. The song’s fast tempo, distorted guitars, and experimental sound effects combine to produce a futuristic, mind-bending aural environment. The enigmatic and fantastical lyrics of the song contribute to its otherworldly ambiance, with lines like “Synchronicity, oh my, see the world with different eyes” among others.
The song “Happenings Ten Years Time Ago” pushed the limits of what was potential in rock music. The Yardbirds’ innovative approach to their style is demonstrated by the song, which is still regarded as a revered classic of ’60s rock music.
10. Dazed and Confused
The Yardbirds‘ 1967 classic rock song “Dazed and Confused” is one of those songs. Keith Relf‘s explosive performance as the lead singer, as well as the band’s lead guitarist Jimmy Page’s intricate harmonies and a potent guitar solo, are all highlights of their rendition of “Dazed and Confused” by The Yardbirds.
Since then, the song has grown to be a beloved classic of the rock genre, and many artists have covered it over time, including Led Zeppelin, who is notable for having their own version of the song on their debut album.
Also, The Yardbirds’ first recording of “Dazed and Confused” is still one of their best songs, showing both the group’s avant-garde approach to rock music.
11. Still I’m Sad
The Yardbirds‘ rock song “Still I’m Sad” was first released in 1965. The song’s haunting tune, eerie music, and strong vocals from soloist Keith Relf are all present. The song’s lyrics are reflective and depressing, with phrases like “As I stand here pondering, my true love is wandering” evoking feelings of melancholy and loss.
“Still I’m Sad” presents The Yardbirds‘ talent for creating very moving rock music that explores themes of love, grief, and desire. Since then, the song has grown in popularity among listeners and has been performed by several bands, notably Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow, who put out a recording of it in 1975. Overall, “Still I’m Sad” is one of The Yardbirds’ best songs.
12. The Nazz Are Blue
The Yardbirds‘ 1966 song “The Nazz Are Blue” is a blues rock tune with aspects of other genres. The song has a great guitar riff, a strong rhythm section, and strong vocals from the lead singer Keith Relf. The fun and irreverent lyrics of the song highlight The Yardbirds’ playful approach to rock music. Lyrics like “The Nazz are blue, yeah, the Nazz are blue, they’re the boys in the blue and they’re looking at you” are just one example.
The Yardbirds‘ song “The Nazz Are Blue” from their catalog is an example of how they can add fun and playfulness to their music while still producing a strong, hard-hitting rock sound. Also, the song is still a classic of the rock genre and has since gained popularity with the audience.
13. Good Morning Little Schoolgirl
The blues song “Good Morning, School Girl” has been acknowledged as a key figure in the blues tradition. It was first recorded in 1937 by Chicago blues vocalist and harmonica pioneer John Lee “Sonny Boy” Williamson. The song has since been covered by a number of singers, who typically refer to their renditions as “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl”.
The Yardbirds‘ 1964 blues rock song “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl” is a classic. Bluesy guitar chords, a hard-driving rhythm section, and strong vocals from leader Eric Clapton are all present in the song.
14. Little Games
“Little Games” is the title tune from The Yardbirds‘ fourth and final studio album, Little Games, which was released in 1967. It was their debut album as a quartet, with Jimmy Page serving as the solo guitarist and Chris Dreja switching to bass. Mickie Most also produced the only The Yardbirds record. The song demonstrates the band’s transition from their previous blues and rock genre.
15. You’re a Better Man Than I
“You’re a Better Man Than I” is a 1965 song written and recorded by The Yardbirds. The song has a driving tempo and powerful guitar riffs, combining elements of blues and rock to create a distinct sound that marked the band’s early work.
The catchy melody and memorable chorus of the song helped to found of The Yardbirds as one of the most dynamic and original bands of the British Invasion era.
Also, “You’re a Better Man Than I” has since been covered by a slew of bands, including The Who and The Turtles, confirming its position in rock history as a timeless classic that remains popular with audiences today.
What are your thoughts on the best The Yardbirds songs of all time? Let me know in the comment section!
Readers will be interested in a number of Jeff Beck’s personal items being sold at auction including his iconic ‘Graffiti Yellow’ Fender Stratocaster guitar.
Page was not in the band when they recorded Heart Full Of Soul or over Under Sideways Down; that’s Jeff on guitar. Both guitarists are on Happenings. The lyrics you cite are not in The Nazz Are Blue and what is historical about that song is it’s the first time anyone held a note on guitar for ten seconds. However, I’m grateful The Yardbirds are getting some attention. I saw them on their first tour with page on bass.
thanks for notice dear Jim!
You’re welcome. Also, Beck actually sings The Nazz Are Blue but he sounds like Relf.