The Yardbirds ‎– Having A Rave Up With The Yardbirds

Epic ‎– LN 24177
Vinyl, LP, Album, Mono, Santa Maria Pressing

Tracklist Masquer Crédits

A1 You're A Better Man Than I
Written-By – M. Hugg*
A2 Evil Hearted You
Written-By – G. Gouldman*
A3 I'm A Man
Written-By – E. McDaniels*
A4 Still I'm Sad
Written-By – McCarthy*, S. Smith*
A5 Heart Full Of Soul
Written-By – G. Gouldman*
A6 The Train Kept A-Rollin'
B1 Smokestack Lightning
Written-By – C. Burnett*
B2 Respectable
Written-By – O.K. Isley*, R. Isley*, R. Isley*
B3 I'm A Man
Written-By – E. McDaniels*
B4 Here 'Tis
Written-By – E. McDaniel*

Sociétés, etc.



This is the original US mono release.

Yellow labels with "nonbreakable" to the left of center hole.

Santa Maria pressing variant.

Has the number "6" (printers code) printed on the lower
right hand corner of the back sleeve.

Some copies may have a gold sticker added to the sleeve
to indicate promotional status.

Code-barres et Autres Identifiants

  • Matrix / Runout (A Side Runout Stamping): º XEM111494-1C [S / etched]
  • Matrix / Runout (B Side Runout Stamping ): º XEM111495-1C [ I S etched]


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25 octobre 2017

As Ray Davies once wrote regarding the fate of British music making its way to American soil, “Bless you Epic, bless you all / You may take some but you never take it all.” At least that was Ray Davies' original intention before malicious countercultural influences forced [money can buy anything or anyone] him to translate the song in question into a vicious ad for nicotine. But with 1965 drawing to a close, The Yardbirds still hadn't gathered their strengths for an solid standup LP, time was pressing, and new material was even harder to come by for the boys. I don’t know who, but it was decided to release an album that would pack all of the band's recently released singles on one side ... and shamelessly fill the B-Side with live material taken from Five Live Yardbirds, ... obviously someone had thought that album somehow missed the US market. Thus what you get is one of the biggest rip-offs ever, perhaps to be challenged by the album Flowers from the Rolling Stones ... where The Yardbirds delivered a six song EP masquerading as a full fledged LP.

This silly situation has been seriously remedied since Repertoire Records took over the catalog, and finally began treating The Yardbirds legacy with some respect. The five live tracks are still there, however the album is now augmented by eleven extra tracks, at least two of which are absolutely essential and most of the rest at least as listenable as the live tracks, meaning it's no longer a direct rip-off [perhaps a over-under-sideways-down ripoff, but much better non the less]. In fact, in this expanded incarnation Having A Rave Up sounds quite solid even without digging too deeply into the material itself ... sort of like the legitimate Chapter Two [The Jeff Beck era experiments], next to the legitimate Chapter One of For Your Love [The Clapton era of Rhythm n' Blues].

These six songs on Side A are not simply the best material the Yardbirds ever did ... they are among the best material to ever have been recorded in the heady 60’s. With a few reservations, one could argue that each and every one of these songs started a whole new musical genre, or at least inspired countless admiring imitators. If there is any question of this just take a listen to the Nuggets set and see just how many bands out there were so seriously influenced by these records, even to the point of lifting parts of the melodies [Del-Vetts, “Last Time Around” borrows guitar solo from “Mr. You're A Better Man Than I” or listen to the Blues Magoos' “Tobacco Road” instrumental sections, which were clearly inspired by “I'm A Man”].

For a brief period in 1965 and 1966 The Yardbirds turned out to be at the cutting edge regarding popular music. And it wasn't even because of the guitar craft of Jeff Beck [the heaviest and most furious player before Hendrix made the scene], there was a cohesive collective spirit within the band fueled by the solid songwriting from Paul Samwell-Smith and Jim McCarty. I think the truth is probably that the band just missed their opportunity to record that solid signature full-fledged LP in 1965, and by the time they got around to doing it tensions were already high, with some of the earlier original magic disappearing into the ether. At this time Beck was all but ready to throw a fit every time somebody tried disagreeing with him, a trait that would haunt him forever. Sadly the notion of missed opportunities is nothing new to rock n’ roll ... Brian Wilson missed the opportunity to make Smile, Pete Townshend missed the opportunity to make Lifehouse, and Kerry Livgren missed the opportunity to become a priest. The Yardbirds are not alone.

“Mr You're A Better Man Than I” is one of the earliest and most direct protest rock songs, with Keith Relf giving out what is arguably his finest performance ... the weakest link as he always was, here he gives out a cool, collected, and convincing delivery that gives the impression that he actually cares for the anti-racist message he's announcing. Of crucial importance is the guitar solo, one that is wilder and with far more feedback than anything at the time. If you keep in mind that during the mid 60’s hard rock was not just in its embryonic state, but was still reserved for libido-related self expression a la “You Really Got Me” .... then this track should achieve cult status, right alongside “[I Can't Get No] Satisfaction” by The Stones.

Another of Graham Gouldman's contributions, “Evil Hearted You” could have remained a memorable lightweight popsicle ditty in the style of “For Your Love,” but here The Yardbirds give it an entirely different coat, with an echoey production, challenged by mystical vocal overdubs, an attempt at snarling from Keith [the man just never knew when to quit ... but those were the times], and an exquisite guitar solo. This time the distortion took on an artistic quality, with a clever use of vibrato and a strange, proto-psychedelic feel to it. This is the kind of material that presages the early Doors, who would take this brand of dark pop, expanding on it, and taking it to a higher level.

“I'm A Man” had already been heard on Five Live [and is heard here again in the same live version on Side B], but this version has little in common with the traditional live performance. At two and a half minutes, it rushes through the actual song at a blistering pace [one and a half minutes] and then completely dedicates the last minute to getting revved up like nothing else on the planet, cranking up the speed and having the entire band work together as one monstrous choo-choo train on twelve extra loads of coal. When Beck hits the "muffled" chucka-chucka-chucka guitar at the end of the song, excitement boils over, leaving me to wonder how many frustrated fans pulverized their chairs to these heavenly sounds?

“Still I'm Sad” is simply put, a song that begs this one lone question: "Where did this come from?” A song filled with bleak moody Eastern rhythms and this solemn Gregorian-style chantings[?] I be hard pressed to actually find a precedent. Though remember, this was done at a time when bringing in extra musical elements from who-knows-where wasn't at all considered an honorable occupation. Songs could be bluesy, or rockabilly-ish, or folksy, or Motown-ish, but you don’t go mixing these influences at will, and you sure didn't bring in anything that’s totally off the wall. “Still I'm Sad” is one of the first songs to break the taboo. It might sound a little naive today with the tremendous solemnity of the chanting that don’t quite fit in with the rather blunt lyrics, but it still holds as a suitably atmospheric, and of course remains a memorable composition.

Gouldman unleashes “Heart Full Of Soul” which sounds like the blueprint for most of Love's introspective outings, introducing the intellectual psychedelic love song, with an unexpected guitar tone from Beck, a bit raga-ish this time [and released a good deal before the Beatles actually used the sitar on “Norwegian Wood”]. Finally we wind down with “Train Kept A-Rollin,” a song many might only be familiar with through the much later Aerosmith cover, but Aerosmith of all people never sounded this fresh and invigorating, not to mention they didn't even try to use the same trick of overdubbing numerous chaotic vocal parts to give the song a feeling of even more frenzy and nervousness than its lyrics suggested.

Most of the bonus tracks aren't particularly interesting ... many of them are just instrumental blues jams, occasionally catching fire but just as often steadily going nowhere, though to their efforts, one can hear the essence of much that was to come from Page and Beck. “Shapes Of Things” had the misfortune to come out several months after Rave Up, but truly belongs on this album more than anywhere else. Funny thing, I first knew the song through the later Beck/Rod Stewart and the David Bowie versions, and never truly cared for it that way, but here, with none of the pseudo-psychedelic chaos to accompany it, it actually sounds more psychedelic than the later versions and also precedes Revolver by a good deal chronologically [I'm pretty sure Lennon at least must have taken quite a few hints from from this track].

Finally, do not bypass the last of the bonus tracks: 'Stroll On', a reworking of “Train Kept A-Rollin” that was originally used by Antonioni in the soundtrack of Blow Up in 1966, it features a complete reworking of the lyrics, but most importantly it's a rare example of the Page/Beck guitar duo, where you get to witness, if only for a few bars, some red hot sparring between the two during the instrumental break. This breathtaking sparring alone justifies the song's existence. A notable question still badgers my brain into thinking that this just might be the very first Heavy Metal song ever recorded. But, if you don't like the terminology, then just go listen to the deep grumbling tone of Page's guitar and tell me something else like that existed in 1966. These are proto-Led Zeppelin sounds, not really having anything to do with The Yardbirds as a whole. It is, after all, hardly a coincidence that when Led Zeppelin first gathered in the studio, the very first song Page proposed them to play was “Train Kept A-Rollin” ... and I think that just about says it all.

*** The Fun Facts: As to the band's name - B-17 bombers or Yardbirds as they were nicknamed were two United States Air Force B-17 Flying Fortress bombers which flew combat missions over Europe during the Second World War. Both bombers were based at RAF Molesworth in England, as part of the 303d Bombardment Group.

Review by Jenell Kesler [referencing George Starostin's splendid work]


30 juillet 2016
A New Zealand version of this exists which is pretty cool. Triple flipback cover, front laminated. Green Columbia label, MSX 5009


19 juillet 2014
A 1973 reissue exists with orange EPIC label Stereo BN 26177. Identical cover artwork to original LP BN 26177. No identifying marks on cover.


18 juillet 2013
Sorry but UK LP does exists in a STEREO EXPORT Issue from 1966 (only !) VERY RARE !