A Bit Like You And Me Radio

September 27, 2013

The Yardbirds - You're a Better Man Than I (1965)

It would take a lot of guts for a band to make their debut release a live album, but that’s exactly what The Yardbirds did. Already on their second guitarist, the band released Five Live Yardbirds with Eric Clapton in the UK on December 4, 1964. When it failed to sell, a US release was canceled. Their next album, For Your Love (June 1965), featured both Clapton (who quit in February 1965) and his replacement Jeff Beck on different tracks. By the time of the band’s third album, Having a Rave Up with the Yardbirds (November 1965), Clapton had long since been departed from the group. But because most of his work with the band had gone unreleased in the US and Having a Rave Up was going to be released in the US, the band decided to fill the back-side of their third album with select tracks from their debut album, featuring Clapton. The album became popular for its blues-rock tracks (the Eric Clapton tracks) and its dabbling in psychedelia (the Jeff Beck tracks).

The song heard below was the opening track to the band’s album Having a Rave Up with The Yardbirds. It featured Keith Relf on vocals, Jeff Back on lead guitar, Chris Dreja on rhythm guitar, Paul Samwell-Smith on bass, and Jim McCarty on drums. The song was co-written by brothers Mike Hugg (a founding member of Manfred Mann) and his brother Brian Hugg.

album art

The Yardbirds - You're a Better Man Than I (1965)

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Lyrics:

Can you judge a man
By the way he wears his hair?
Can you read his mind
By the clothes that he wears?
Can you see a bad man
By the pattern on his tie?

Well then, mister, you're a better man than I
Yeah, mister, you're a better man than I
Oh, mister, you're a better man than I
Yeah, mister, you're a better man than I

Could you tell a wise man
By the way he speaks or spells?
Is this more important
Than the stories that he tells?
And call a man a fool
If for wealth he doesn't strive?

Well then, mister, you're a better man than I
Yeah, mister, you're a better man than I
Oh, mister, you're a better man than I
Yeah, mister, you're a better man than I

Can you condemn a man
If your faith he doesn't hold?
Say the color of his skin
Is the color of his soul?
Could you say that men
For king and country, all must die?

Well, mister, you're a better man than I
Yeah, mister, you're a better man than I
Oh, mister, you're a better man than I
Yeah, mister, you're a better man than I

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