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.
Today marks the birthday of the late Keith Relf, who would have been 69 years old. Relf, who died May 14, 1976, was the lead singer of the amazingYardbirds, the great 60s British group who paved the way for Led Zeppelin a few years later.
The band spawned THREE guitar players throughout it’s history, all who became legends in their own right: first Eric Clapton, then Jeff Beck, and, finally, one Jimmy Page, who wound up spearheading Zeppelin.
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!