The Yardbirds c.1967
I hope the new week finds you well.
When I was going through the archive, picking tunes to feature here at Iron Leg was I was verily stunned by the fact that I don’t seem to have ever featured (outside of mixes) a Yardbirds track!
The Yardbirds have long been one of my favorite UK R&Beat groups, going back to the day in my sophomore year in high school where I accidentally purchased a deceptively packaged version of ‘Five Live Yardbirds’ thinking I was getting something by Derek and the Dominos.
I am a huge fan not only of their early blues-based material, but also the pop and popsike sounds of their later Beck/Page years.
A few years back I was out digging in Massachusetts and was very happy to grab myself a white label promo, mono OG of the “Little Games” album.
Recorded/released in 1967, following the amazing ‘Roger the Engineer’, ‘Little Games’ was the first Jeff Beck-less outing by the group, and while it lacks some of the sharper edges of ‘Roger…’, it has lots to dig within its grooves.
The tune I bring you today is one of the few tunes on the album not written by the group.
‘No Excess Baggage’ was penned by American songwriters Roger Atkins and Carl D’Errico, who had previously provided ‘It’s My Life’ to the Animals (also a Mickie Most production).
The song features some hard-hitting guitar by Jimmy Page, and a great vocal by Keith Relf.
The rhythm section deserves notice as well, especially Chris Dreja bumped back onto bass (and doing a great job) after the departure of Paul Samwell-Smith.
Little Games would be the Yardbirds final studio album, with the group going on for less than a year before dissolving, and Page going on to form Led Zeppelin.
I hope you dig the sounds, and I’ll see you all next week.