Friday, February 1, 2008

No. 349: Roger the Engineer

Band: The Yardbirds
Album: Roger The Engineer
Why Rolling Stone gets it right: One of the original garage rock blues band, the Yardbirds had a line of great guitar players. This album is harder than their other work, as the record relies more on Jeff Beck's ridiculous riffing.
Why Rolling Stone gets it wrong: The songs are great, quite frankly.
Best song: “Jeff's Boogie” shows off Beck's enormous skill.
Worst song:"What Do You Want" isn't very good.
Is it awesome?: Nah.

The Yardbirds are a band that everyone knows of, but not too many people actually have familiarity with the actual music. The Yardbirds was basically a prep school for superduper guitar players, as Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page all played in the band. Outside of that, the most anyone knows – and I count myself among that group before this week – is that the band recorded the best version of “Train Kept A-Rollin'.”

Well, now that I've listened to “Roger the Engineer,” I'm not impressed. Certainly, Beck's guitar work shines on songs like “Over Under Sideways Down” and “Jeff's Boogie,” but the rest of the band is just OK.

I generally don't care for Keith Relf's voice and the rhythm section seems forced. The band is clearly a garage rock staple, but, generally, I prefer Zeppelin and Beck's later work.

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