Deep Cuts: The Yardbirds, “The Sun Is Shining” from Where the Action Is! (1966)

Recorded at the BBC and included on … Where The Action Is!, a two-disc set released in 2000, “The Sun Is Shining” captures the Yardbirds in their element with jaw-dropping results.

Featuring an incredibly rare lead vocal performance from Jeff Beck, whose gruff and gritty pipes are suitably articulated for the Elmore James composition, the Yardbirds are clearly enjoying themselves as they grind their way through the brooding blues tune. Blistering licks, dense and durable drumming, emotion-heavy expressions, and a stunning sense of space and sound make the track the wondrous work-out that it is.

It’s easy to hear the birth of Led Zeppelin (the group latter day Yardbirds guitarist Jimmy Page founded for those not versed in rock and roll history) on “The Sun Is Shining,” which is an extremely close kin of Willie Dixon’s “You Shook Me,” a song Led Zeppelin recycled a la Yardbirds style for their self-titled debut album.

A winning ode to the band’s heritage, “The Sun Is Shining” examines the Yardbirds at the apex of their power and creativity. It’s just too bad the track wasn’t recorded for album purposes at the time.

BONUS DEEP CUT!

“GOT TO HURRY,” (FOR YOUR LOVE, 1965): Parked on the flipside of the chart-topping “For Your Love” single, as well as the British band’s full-length album of the same name, “Got To Hurry” is an instrumental number. Grafted of foot-tapping rhythms shuffling, swinging, and thumping with determination, the catchy little jam to rolls and strolls to a neat and nifty blues groove, amplified by a shot of sharp breaks and a short but snappy guitar solo from Eric Clapton.

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Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson was born the day Ben E. King hit No. 4 on the national charts with "Stand By Me" - which is ironically one of her favorite songs, especially the version by John Lennon. She has also contributed to Lance Monthly and Amplifier, and served as associate editor of Rock Beat International. Paterson's own publications have included Inside Out, and Twist And Shake. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.