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The New Yardbirds - London Blues (bootleg)

W 1968 z grupy odeszli Relf i McCarty by utworzyć progresywnorockowy zespół Renaissance. Wkrótce potem odszedł Dreja. Page pozostał sam ze zobowiązaniami kontraktowymi wobec wytwórni płytowych i by je wypełnić, zatrudnił trzech muzyków: perkusistę Johna Bonhama, wokalistę Roberta Planta oraz multiinstrumentalistę i znanego producenta Johna Paula Jonesa, który wziął na siebie rolę basisty. W ten sposób powstała reinkarnacja The Yardbirds, początkowo znana jako The New Yardbirds, która wkrótce potem zapisała się na stałe w historii muzyki rockowej, jako Led Zeppelin. Jak to w przypadku bootlegów bywa jakość nagrań pozostawia wiele do życzenia, ale część z nich da się posłuchać.

While founding members Relf and McCarty wanted nothing more to do with the Yardbirds name, Jimmy Page felt otherwise. With a touring commitment slated for the fall in Scandinavia, the lead guitarist saw the break-up as an opportunity to put a new lineup together, a heavier band that would feature Page as producer and Grant as manager. Procol Harum's B.J. Wilson, Paul Francis, and noted session man Clem Cattini, who'd guested on more than a few Yardbirds tracks under Most's supervision, were considered for the vacant drummer's throne. Young vocalist and composer Terry Reid was asked to replace Relf, but he turned down the offer because of a new recording contract with Most. He did, however, enthusiastically recommend to Page and Grant a then-unknown singer from the Midlands by the name of Robert Plant.Plant, in turn, recommended his childhood friend John Bonham on drums.Dreja bowed out to pursue a career as a rock photographer; enter bassist/keyboardist/arranger John Paul Jones, who, like Cattini, had worked with Page on countless sessions, including several with the Yardbirds.

Rehearsals began in August; in early September, Page's revised Yardbirds hit the road. Fans at the Scandinavian shows were confused by new members, expecting to see Relf up front, but the band quickly found themselves clicking. After this brief tour, Page and his new bandmates returned to England to produce, in a very short time, a landmark debut album. Interestingly, what was to become Led Zeppelin was still being billed as "Yard Birds" or "The Yardbirds Featuring Jimmy Page" as late as October 1968; indeed, some early studio tapes from the Led Zeppelin album sessions were originally marked as being performed by "The Yardbirds." One song from the album, "Communication Breakdown", was a re-tooled version of a Yardbirds song, "Nervous Breakdown".

However, a very different band was soon working under a very different identity — a change reportedly hastened, in part, by a cease-and-desist order from Dreja, who claimed that he still maintained legal rights to the "Yardbirds" name. The moniker 'Led Zeppelin' was an old inside joke among Page and his closest musical friends, several of whom would later take credit for the idea. Coined as early as 1966, "Lead Zeppelin" was The Who's Keith Moon's tongue-in-cheek description of the prospective "supergroup" that would have comprised himself, John Entwistle, Steve Marriott, Beck and Page, because he felt they would go over "like a lead balloon." Once the idea was revived, the band elected to change the spelling of "lead" so that the name wouldn't be mispronounced, effectively closing the books on the Yardbirds for the rest of the century. (wikipedia)

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