Tag: Yardbirds

In Memoriam: Top Topham (1947 – 2023)

Anthony Topham (July 3, 1947 – January 23, 2023) [Top Topham] was an English musician and visual artist who was best known as a blues guitarist and also for being the first lead guitarist of The Yardbirds. Topham left the band before they achieved mainstream popularity and was replaced by Eric Clapton, the first of three lead guitarists from the Yardbirds to gain an international reputation (the other two being Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page).

In the 2000s, Topham guested with the latest edition of The Yardbirds under the co-leadership of McCarty and Dreja, and performed with John Idan in sporadic concerts of his own. He also played alongside eminent boogie-woogie pianist Bob Hall. He officially became a member of The Yardbirds again in 2013, replacing Dreja, who was forced to leave the band for medical reasons. In May 2015, Topham left The Yardbirds and was replaced by Johnny A.

Topham died in January 2023, at the age of 75.

Wednesday 12/14/22 8pm ET: Feature LP: Yardbirds – Roger The Engineer (1966)

Roger the Engineer (originally released in the UK as Yardbirds and in the US, Germany, France and Italy as Over Under Sideways Down) is the only UK studio album and third US album by English rock band the Yardbirds. Recorded and released July 15, 1966, it is also the only Yardbirds album with guitarist Jeff Beck on all tracks and it contains all original material. It was produced by bassist Paul Samwell-Smith and manager Simon Napier-Bell.

Although the British edition is still officially titled Yardbirds by authoritative chart sources, such as Official Charts Company, it has since been referred to, first colloquially, then semi-officially, as Roger the Engineer, a title stemming from the cover drawing of the record’s audio engineer Roger Cameron by band member Chris Dreja.

It is the only Yardbirds album to appear in the UK Albums Chart, where it reached number 20. In the US, it reached number 52 on the Billboard 200 album chart, making it the band’s highest-charting studio album in the US. It also reached number 8 in Finland. The album’s best-known song, “Over Under Sideways Down”, was released as a single in May 1966, two months before the album.

The album is included in Robert Dimery’s 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. In 2012, the album was ranked number 350 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

  1. “Lost Woman” 3:16
  2. “Over Under Sideways Down” (Rechanneled) 2:24
  3. “The Nazz Are Blue” 3:04
  4. “I Can’t Make Your Way” 2:26
  5. “Rack My Mind” 3:15
  6. “Farewell” 1:29
  7. “Hot House of Omagararshid” 2:39
  8. “Jeff’s Boogie” (Rechanneled) 2:25
  9. “He’s Always There” 2:15
  10. “Turn into Earth” 3:06
  11. “What Do You Want” 3:22
  12. “Ever Since the World Began” 2:09

Keith Relf – lead vocals (except “The Nazz Are Blue”), harmonica
Jeff Beck – lead guitar, lead vocals on “The Nazz Are Blue”, bass guitar on “Over, Under, Sideways, Down”
Chris Dreja – rhythm guitar, backing vocals, piano
Paul Samwell-Smith – bass guitar (except “Over, Under, Sideways, Down”), backing vocals
Jim McCarty – drums, backing vocals, percussion

Tuesday 3/22/22 10am ET: Feature Artist: The Yardbirds

The Yardbirds are an English rock band, formed in London in 1963. The band’s core lineup featured vocalist and harmonica player Keith Relf, drummer Jim McCarty, rhythm guitarist/bassist Chris Dreja and bassist/producer Paul Samwell-Smith. The band is known for starting the careers of three of rock’s most famous guitarists, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, and Jeff Beck, all of whom ranked in the top five of Rolling Stone magazine’s list of 100 greatest guitarists. The band had a string of hits throughout the mid-1960s, including “For Your Love”, “Heart Full of Soul”, “Shapes of Things”, and “Over Under Sideways Down”.

Originally a blues-based band noted for their signature “rave-up” instrumental breaks, the Yardbirds broadened their range into pop, pioneering psychedelic rock and early hard rock; and contributed to many electric guitar innovations of the mid-1960s. Some rock critics and historians also cite their influence on the later punk rock, progressive rock, and heavy metal trends. Following the band’s split in 1968, Relf and McCarty formed Renaissance and guitarist Jimmy Page formed Led Zeppelin – the latter of which was initially intended as a direct successor to the Yardbirds.

The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992. They were included at number 89 in Rolling Stone’s list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time”, and ranked number 37 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock.

The Yardbirds reformed in the 1990s, featuring drummer Jim McCarty and rhythm guitarist/bassist Chris Dreja as the only original members of the band. Dreja left the band in 2012, leaving McCarty as the sole original member of the band present in the lineup.

Tuesday 6pm: Sounds of The 60s

This week we feature:  Yardbirds, Jimmy Ruffin, Ray Charles, Lesley Gore, Supremes, Bee Gees, Frank Sinatra, Ides of March, Duane Eddy, Dion, Kinks, Del Shannon, Cream, Rolling Stones, Cowsills and more . .  .