September 11, 2011

The Yardbirds - White Summer (1967)

Another short-lived band that left a major impression in music. This group's lineup switched multiple times over their five year span and always consisted of major talent. Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page were all, at one time or another, lead guitarists.

This song, coming from the Jimmy Page era of the group, had the guitar tuned like a sitar to get its unique sound. A few years after its release, the lineup of the band was once again changed and no original members were left. Jimmy Page and his new band-mates Robert Plant, John Bonham, and John Paul Jones decided they needed a name change and Led Zeppelin was born. This song became a staple at their live shows.

The future sound of Led Zeppelin can definitely be heard throughout this song.

The Yardbirds - White Summer

The Yardbirds - White Summer (1967)

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  1. I'd say that would be one of the earliest examples of de-tuning in rock music. Tuning your guitar way down low makes it very easy to push down on the strings, causing that sitar-esque sound.

    And I agree completely about "White Summer" having a whiff of Led Zeppelin, even though it sounds to me like The Yardbirds were going for something more Indian or maybe Middle-Eastern than Led Zeppelin's forays into ancient English pastoralism.

    (That reminds me: Didn't Jimmy Page and Robert Plant do a Middle-Eastern kind of thing in the 80's or 90's?)

    1. If Page & Plant were doing any middle-eastern sounding music in the '80s or '90s, I definitely missed it. I may have to look into it to see if there's something of value to add to my collection. :)