Seminal '60s rockers spread wings again

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The Yardbirds – Birdland

It’s been 36 years since the last Yardbirds album, Little Games, and with Keith Relf electrocuted and Jimmy Page a no-show, you’d expect a reformed unit based around guitarist Chris Dreja and drummer Jim McCarty to lack charisma. And they do. Despite guest appearances from Vai, Satriani, Slash and Brian May, they fail utterly to breathe new life into old hits like “Shapes Of Things” and Graham Gouldman’s “For Your Love”. Surprisingly, it’s the new tracks that impress more. A gnarly and bloody-minded Jeff Beck adds fire to the chaotic blues of “My Blind Life”, while the smooth prog of “Dream Within A Dream” and “The Mystery Of Being” point to a new career co-headlining with Wishbone Ash.