Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Yardbirds documentary (3 parts video) and my long intro

When I started reading about the history of Led Zeppelin I finally wanted to learn more about the Yardbirds. While doing all this research at the time I came across an interesting two pages article titled Jimmy Page's Dubious Recording Legacy written by Will Shade.

I provided you with the link so for those who are interested do read it. As for those who are already familiar with this, including Led Zeppelin fans and not so much other half, will agree that Jimmy did in fact use other artist's songs to make some of his own with Led Zeppelin.

Now no one here is doubting Page's talent (he is one of the best) but what most people tend to point out is Jimmy did not give credit to the songwriters from whom he actually took the original material from and made it his own. Actually leter Jimmy & Led Zeppelin were sued for some of the songs they credited to themselves such as "Whole Lotta Love" that sounded a lot like "You Need Love" that Small Faces covered by Wille Dixon who wrote it originally but it was credited to Zeppelin. Another example is "Dazed & Confused" that was done by Jake Holmes originally with the same title and then the Yardbirds decided to make their own version of it while Jimmy contributed one of his riffs. Again Page took credit for the whole song when he did it later with Zeppelin. Jimmy apparently took credit for more than just few songs and another example is "Tangerine" that sounded a lot like the Yardbird's "Knowing That I'm Losing You" and to quote again: "The song was attributed solely to Jimmy Page with no mention being made of Keith Relf, who had written a significant chunk of the lyrics that appeared in Led Zeppelin's version".

It seems to me that these days when someone mentiones the Yardbirds they are immidiately known for Jimmy Page or Jeff Beck playing in it and of course Eric Clapton being the one before them..However, the general idea and songwriting (including Yardbird's hits) came from their original members. That is singer Keith Relf (main songwriter), drummer Jim McCarty, rhythm guitarist Chris Dreja and bassist/producer Paul Samwell-Smith. I don't hear much mentions of these guys instead everyone's talking about the lead guitarists (Eric, Jeff or Jimmy) who at one point were part of the Yardbirds.

After listening to the Yardbirds I became quite addicted and I included them on my top list of favourite bands. I already got some of their songs on my iPod.
I still adore Led Zeppelin too, minus the lack of credit they gave (or not at all) to some of the people they, here and there, ripped off. After all they made a good business out of it and became one of the best bands that ever existed on this planet. I think back in those days people were able to get away with many things and copyright laws weren't as strong as they are today.
Zeppelin still rules for me and always will and the Yardbirds rule too!:-)

p.s. All the credit for the info I shared with you here goes to article given above, wikipedia, documentaries and books I'm reading:-) I'm doing this out of pure pleasure and passion for music. I could write endlessly but I doubt anyone will read it.

The Yardbirds DOCUMENTARY (Part 1)

The Yardbirds DOCUMENTARY (Part 2)

The Yardbirds DOCUMENTARY (Part 3)

Hope you like it:)

1 comment:

Pedro J. Baena Luna said...

They are very good, I love Led Zeppelin.. pedro