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Live! Blueswailing July '64 (Sanctuary/Castle)

Reviewed by Alan Wright

Live recordings of the legendary Yardbirds are few and far between, so this new release comes as a welcome surprise. Previously, the only tapes in existence have been the material that made up their first long-player, Five Live Yardbirds, and some stuff from their shows backing up Sonny Boy Williamson. This short collection, made from a recently discovered reel tape, is quite the find. It's extremely well recorded, although even the possessor of the tape has no idea where it was recorded, or the exact date. Kicking off with "Someone To Love," which seems to prematurely grind to a halt for some reason, they dive into "Too Much Monkey Business" with all the gusto that the band was known for. The band takes a brief break as Keith announces that Eric Clapton has to repair his guitar due to an earlier accident and tells a little story about how that happened. Then they rage through "Go Love If You Want It," "Smokestack Lightning," "Good Morning Little Schoolgirl," a medley of "She's So Respectable/Humpty Dumpty," and cap it off with a previously unheard (on disc that is) rendition of "The Sky Is Crying," where they take great liberties with the Elmore James original and stretch it out to a good six or so minutes. A nice fold-out insert with pics and liners make this an absolute must have for Yardbirds fans!

© 2004 - Alan Wright