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Music / Five Live Yardbirds

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Five Live Yardbirds.

Five Live Yardbirds is the debut live album by The Yardbirds, released in 1964. It is their only album to fully feature Eric Clapton that was released while he was still a member - and also the first album of any kind to feature Clapton. The album was revolutionary at the time as it was among the first live rock albums ever released, and chances are that it is THE first live album by a British band; furthermore it is also one of the first instances where a band's debut album was a live one. Finally, even though it's over 50 years old now, the sound quality of this album is still amazingly good, and incredibly clear for the standards of it's time.

Fan favourites include "Too Much Monkey Business", "Smokestack Lightning", "Louise", "I'm A Man" and "Here 'Tis". "Smokestack Lightning", "Respectable", "I'm A Man" and "Here 'Tis" ended up appearing on Having a Rave Up as well.



Side One

  1. "Too Much Monkey Business" (3:51)
  2. "Got Love If You Want It" (2:40)
  3. "Smokestack Lightning" (5:35)
  4. "Good Morning Little Schoolgirl" (2:42)
  5. "Respectable" (5:35)

Side Two

  1. "Five Long Years" (5:18)
  2. "Pretty Girl" (3:04)
  3. "Louise" (3:43)
  4. "I'm A Man" (4:33)
  5. "Here 'Tis" (5:10)

Bonus Tracks (2003 Reissue):

  1. "You Can't Judge A Book By Looking At The Cover" (2:56)
  2. "Let It Rock" (2:16)
  3. "I Wish You Would" (5:53)
  4. "Who Do You Love?" (4:07)
  5. "Honey In Your Hips" (2:27)
  6. "A Certain Girl (Studio)" (2:17)
  7. "Got To Hurry (Studio)" (2:47)
  8. "Boom Boom (Studio)" (2:24)
  9. "I Ain't Got You (Studio)" (1:59)
  10. "Good Morning Little Schoolgirl (Studio)" (2:44)


Principal Members:

  • Eric Clapton - guitar, backing and co-lead vocals
  • Chris Dreja - guitar
  • Jim McCarty - drums
  • Keith Relf - lead vocals, harmonica, maracas
  • Paul Samwell-Smith - bass, backing and co-lead vocals

Pretty Tropes:

  • Blues Rock: Undeniably one of the more notable early examples of it.
  • Bo Diddley Beat: "Here 'Tis".
  • Break Up Song: "Louise".
    Oh, Louise
    Why don't you, why don't you hurry home?
    You know I ain't never had no good loving
    Oh, Louise, since you been gone
  • Cover Album: Every song from the album and every bonus track bar one ("Honey In Your Hips", written by Keith Relf) are blues and R&B covers. "Pretty Girl", "I'm A Man" and "Here 'Tis" are all Bo Diddley covers, "Too Much Monkey Business" is a Chuck Berry cover, "Got Love If You Want It" is a Slim Harpo cover, "Smokestack Lightning" is a Howlin' Wolf cover, "Good Morning Little Schoolgirl" is a Sonny Boy Williamson I cover, "Respectable" is an Isley Brothers cover, "Five Long Years" is an Eddie Boyd cover and "Louise" is a John Lee Hooker cover.
  • Cut-and-Paste Translation: This album wasn't originally released in the US. Instead, the band chose to include four songs off this album onto Having a Rave Up.
  • Face on the Cover: The album cover shows the whole band behind bars.
  • Garage Band: Technically, the Yardbirds weren't a garage band but this album undoubtedly inspired a generation of musicians to plug in and play loud and fast.
  • Indecipherable Lyrics: If you don't already know the words to "Too Much Monkey Business", Keith Relf's motormouth performance and the middling-quality of the recording won't help you.
  • Live Album: A revolutionary album in the style. Historically also the first concert album by a British rock band, and indeed by a rock band, period. It was recorded on 13 March 1964 at the Marquee Club, London.
  • Lampshading: At the start of "Five Long Years" the fact that it will appear on "Side 2" is mentioned.
  • Non-Appearing Title: Zig-zagged. The album title does not appear in any of the songs, but it does appear in Hamish Grimes' spoken introduction to the band.note 
  • One-Woman Song: "Pretty Girl" and "Louise".
  • One-Word Title: "Respectable".
  • Pun: The cover shows the band behind bars, which is a pun on their group name. Most people outside the United Kingdom probably didn't get this joke, as the word "yard" is a British English term for "jail".
  • Singer Name Drop: At the start of the album all band members are introduced by the MC.
  • Step Up to the Microphone: Keith Relf is the main lead vocalist of The Yardbirds. Eric Clapton and Paul Samwell-Smith only sang co-lead vocals (Saying co-lead because they literally shared the lead) on "Good Morning Little Schoolgirl", and no other song in The Yardbirds discography. Otherwise, they just sing backing vocals.
  • Three Chords and the Truth: Most of the songs, being blues forms, have only three chords, apart from the ones (e.g. "I'm a Man") that have fewer.
  • Time Marches On: The announcement at the start of "Five Long Years" that the song will appear on "Side 2" sounds a bit dated on the CD version.


Example of: