Keith Relf, the lead singer of the 1960s British white man’s blues group The Yardbirds, which showcased guitarists like Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page, and who died tragically in a freak accident in his home in 1976, would have celebrated his 70th birthday today.
With the high profile memory of The Yardbirds still etched in a lot of people’s minds, mainly because of the revolving door stints of Clapton, Beck, and Page, the memory of Keith Relf and his contributions to the band and to helping the amplification of blues music in general, remains unfortunately somewhat stilted and dimmed to many contemporary audiences. But there’s no denying that as a front man, and a mean harmonica player to boot, Keith Relf indeed has earned his place in rock and roll history.
Birthday greetings today go out to Jimmy Page, one of the most successful musical artists of all time, whose work in Led Zeppelin etched his status as one of the great guitar players, songwriters, and producers of the modern age of rock and roll.
With Led Zeppelin as his crowning achievement, Page’s fretwork and versatile, speedy, soulful, intense work on his instrument pretty much put the band (along with the perfect chemistry of Robert Plant, John Paul Jones, and John “Bonzo” Bonham in musical tow) at the top of the heap. The band, although heavily wearing its blues influences on its sleeves, still managed to create a sound that was all their own and tallied a success rate that was on par with bands like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, even outselling both and smashing attendance records set by those two bands prior, and created a body of work that is almost flawless in its approach, execution, arrangement, and attack.
This week, Led Zeppelin‘s Physical Graffiti is on sale in MP3 format for only $2.99. The CD is only $9.
First of all, let me just say, if you’re a rock fan, you need to own EVERY Led Zeppelin album. That said, seriously, you need to own Physical Graffiti, so please, part ways with the three dollars and get 15 awesome songs for pennies each (no really, it’s like 19 cents a piece when you do the math, and I always do).
Now here’s where I tell you some standout tracks, but how do I choose??? Ok, there’s “The Rover,” “Houses Of The Holy,” “Trampled Under Foot,” “Kashmir,” “In The Light,” “The Wanton Song” – see, I’m just going to list all the songs at this rate.
Browse all 100 albums on sale this month for only $5 each, as well as several albums on sale this week for only $2.99.
May 31 marks the birthday of John Bonham, the late drummer of Led Zeppelin, who totally influenced and changed the rules of hard rock and roll and contemporary blues with his power, wallop, speed, a right foot as fast as Mercury, and an almost athleticism on his drum kit, which to this day is regarded by some as the greatest techniques and posturing ever put forth on that musical instrument.
Born in 1948, in Redditch, Worcestershire, England, Bonham began playing percussion at five years old, beating on a makeshift drum set made out of containers and coffee tins, doing his best Gene Krupa and Buddy Rich imitations, who were two of his idols. His mom gave him his first snare drum when he was ten. He got his first real kit, a Premier Percussion set, from his father five years later. Bonham never had any formal training of any kind, except for the countless records he listened to growing up. When he was in school, his headmaster wrote once on his school report card that “he will either end up a dustman or a millionaire.” After school, working a day job as an apprentice carpenter, he tooled around in various local bands, eventually joining a one called Crawling King Snakes, which featured Robert Plant on lead vocals. The two of them eventually formed Band of Joy.
During their heyday in the 1960s, The Yardbirds were known for such hits as “For Your Love” and “Heart Full of Soul,” both included in the track listing below. The band also spawned the careers of such guitar heroes as Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page.
Browse the main sale page to see the other 99 albums on sale for only $5 each in MP3 format through the end of February 2012, but hurry, the sale ends at 11:59pm PST tonight!