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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Roger the Engineer

The Yardbirds

1966

Buy At Rough Trade
Roger the Engineer
Album Summary

Roger the Engineer (originally released in the UK as Yardbirds and in the US, Germany, France and Italy as Over Under Sideways Down) is the only UK studio album and third US album by English rock band the Yardbirds. Recorded and released in 1966, it is also the only Yardbirds album with guitarist Jeff Beck on all tracks and it contains all original material. It was produced by bassist Paul Samwell-Smith and manager Simon Napier-Bell. Although the British edition is still officially titled Yardbirds by authoritative chart sources, such as Official Charts Company, it has since been referred to, first colloquially, then semi-officially, as Roger the Engineer, a title stemming from the cover drawing of the record's audio engineer Roger Cameron by band member Chris Dreja.It is the only Yardbirds album to appear in the UK Albums Chart, where it reached number 20. In the US, it reached number 52 on the Billboard 200 album chart, making it the band's highest-charting studio album in the US. The album's best-known song, "Over Under Sideways Down", was released as a single in May 1966, two months before the album.The album is included in Robert Dimery's 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. In 2012, the album was ranked number 350 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.11

Votes

11574

Genres

  • Rock
  • Blues
  • Country
  • Psychedelic Rock

Reviews

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Wed Mar 10 2021
2

Good ol' Yardbirds, I know them for the song "For Your Love," and of course for incubating three legendary rock guitarists: Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page. This album is post-Clapton, pre-Page, all Beck, and you can hear him flexing his ability. There are some cool songs on here, but plenty others that feel very derivative and indistinct. Wikipedia says this is "psychedelic rock"--I'm not so sure. Maybe half the tracks are tinged with psychedelic elements (mostly the better ones), but the rest strikes me as imitative blues filler. I mean c'mon, "What Do You Want" is such an obvious rip-off of Bo Diddley's "Who Do You Love." This album comes from an era of white British rockers essentially doing cosplay of black American blues/rock artists. Beatles, Stones, Led Zeppelin, they all did it at points. At least those bands had the STONES to do covers and openly credit the pioneers. I would imagine Yardbirds evolved into psychedelia, and I'd rather hear that stuff, but this album does very little for me. Favorite tracks: Lost Woman, Hot House of Omagarashid, Over Under Sideways Down. Album art: Very creative drawing, and I love the font. Looks like it would be right at home in a Shel Silverstein or Scary Stories book. Apparently this is a doodle that one of the band members made of their engineer, Roger. I don't know if that's endearing or just plain mean. I'll leave that up to Roger, he's famous now. 2.5/5

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Thu Nov 11 2021
5

No Jimmy Page or Eric Clapton on this album, which is fine considering I always think of The Yardbirds as Jeff Beck's band. To compare the 3 guitar legends, it's best to liken them to the 3 greatest home run hitters in Major League Baseball history. Jimmy Page is Babe Ruth, forever deified with legendary riffs and solos. Clapton is Barry Bonds. He puts up great numbers, but he's such an asshole that it demeans his accomplishments. And Jeff Beck is Hank Aaron, the steady, consistent great who's never as flashy as Page or Clapton but overall stakes a legitimate claim as perhaps the best ever. I guess that would then make Jimi Hendrix Willie Mays (best all around player), and Eddie Van Halen is Mickey Mantle (mythical talent that was taken too soon by alcohol abuse). I could go on but we're talking about the Yardbirds here. This album is a joy. It dances with seemingly every genre available at the time, and has a sort of magic that makes it sound like it's right out of 1966 and like it could have been produced yesterday. I even ride for the bonus coverage you get with alternate versions here (especially "I Can't Make Your Way"). Right there in the 4.5 category, but "Over Under Sideways Down" is reason enough to curve up.

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Fri Oct 08 2021
4

Respect all the musicality of the Yardbirds, and this feels like a 3.5 for me, but I have to go four because I gave that to Korn yesterday and it'd feel gross.

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Fri Jan 15 2021
2

Fine. All rock of that era sounds basically the same. I'm sure it was more exciting at the time. Clapton's a piece of shit though

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Wed Mar 01 2023
2

If you ask 100 people who are leaving a rock concert who Jeff Beck is a majority will know the name. If you also ask them if they know who Keith Relf is you will not need your second hand to count the number of yesses. You probably won't even need your first hand.  (Before reading on, I'll let you in on a secret: he was the Yardbirds' lead singer.) Great guitar players need a lead singer who can do two of the following three: 1) sing, 2) entertain, and 3) write music. All three are not needed but  two of the three are.  Pete Townshend found Daltrey who could do 1 and 2. Keith Richards found Mick who can do 2 and 3 and Jimmy Page found Plant who can do 1 and 2. Keith Relf couldn't do any of the three. The result is excellent guitar playing (Jeff Beck’s in the case of this album) being stranded in a wasteland of songs that, from all other perspectives, are painfully mediocre.  To finish with a cherry on top, the best song on the album is "Jeff’s Boogie". It has no vocals. I rest my case.

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Wed Feb 02 2022
5

A recording to ignore the green areas of music of the time and influence many future sounds. I liked that it covered so many genres in the one album

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Tue Jan 26 2021
4

This is the third blues-rock album that I've had chosen in the last week, and provides an interesting contrast with the other two (Shake Your Money Maker and Cosmo's Factory). This album has a very 60s feel to it, but not in a way that is confined to any specific genre. There is a definite psychedelic influence, but there's also rockabilly and early 60s pop influences. This album at once sounds like more authentic blues than the other two but at the same time strays further away from the blues. Jeff Beck's guitar does a lot to pull this album together and make it an interesting listen. It's cool, groovy, and it goes by quickly. 4/5

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Sat Jan 23 2021
2

British Beach Boys but not good

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Tue May 11 2021
1

Garbage - found this really hard work

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Mon May 23 2022
5

For more than 5 years I used to work the sound board at a radio station every week inserting local ads for a 3 hour national oldies radio program. In that time I probably listened to more than 1000 hours of 60s music. What a shame that I recall NOTHING from this album ever making it into those weekly shows! How refreshing would some of this have been to add more dimension to those programs?! I’ve heard talk about how important The Yardbirds were - after all their members included Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page - but all I recall hearing from them before this is “For Your Love” and “Heart Full of Soul”. Maybe I should have been more proactive… Even the Wikipedia article is woefully light on detail about this album. No mention at all of where that great album cover comes from? Or the Deluxe and Super Deluxe editions that I find on Apple Music? It seems as though there is a level of 60s music that is wildly interesting that lies below the usual stuff we hear today in the mainstream. A total gem with an amazing band (Jeff Beck!) doing great, interesting songs. I’m thankful again for this web site and the 1001 book!

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Mon May 30 2022
5

This is The Yardbirds' only studio UK album and third US album. It is the only album with Jeff Beck on all tracks and, boy, does he bring it on most of the songs. I've never dug extremely deep into the Yardbirds, kind of always thinking of them with that lead harmonica and guitar combination and a bluesy feel which eventually led into Led Zeppelin. Well, you hear that here too but a whole lot more as well. There is a heavy psychedelic element to a lot of these songs. A few, slow sing-along type songs, a heavy percussion-based song with chanting and some straight-forward rock songs. Black Sabbath was without a doubt listening to their last song, "Ever Since the World Began," at least the intro. Definitely, a more varied album than I was expecting. "Lost Women" starts the album in a very bluesy way and sounds kind of "quenessital" Yardbirds. It then kicks in with a long harmonica solo and Beck ending it with a Bo Diddley-esque guitar riff. The second song "Over Under Sideways Down" is the only single from this album and introduces a pyschedelic guitar intro and chorus to basically a blues beat. Outstanding. "The Nazz Are Blue" showcases Beck as lead singer and especially his bluesy guitar as it just rips. "What Do You Want" is their most straight-forward rock sounding song and ends with a searing guitar solo. Jeff Beck is a highlight of this album but this is also a very, very good band. Outstanding and innovative. A great time finally digging into this.

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Fri Jun 02 2023
5

anything jeff beck touches is magical

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Mon Jan 25 2021
4

great album. Lost Women has such an awesome bass grove.

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Mon Mar 04 2024
3

Good album. Can definitely hear how this album influences other music down the road. 3/5 Might listen again

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Sat Jan 23 2021
5

Blues, blues, blues. Jeff Beck can play the blues. This album was released shortly before Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin joined the band. You can tell that they loved Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, that whole Chicago Blues scene. A lot of English kids did. This album has some incredible tones for 1966 and still rips when I throw it on today. Psych Blues supergroup that split to spawn solo careers and other famous bands. Favorite song: The Nazz Are Blue Least favorite song: Hot House of Omagarashid

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Sat Jan 23 2021
5

Sorry don't wanna write anything rn

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Fri Apr 09 2021
5

Un album que tout guitariste devrait avoir écouté dans sa vie! Un classique du genre et précurseur du Blues Rock britannique des Années 60. 5*

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Fri Mar 05 2021
5

Qué bueno que al final sí lo escuché. Me gustó todo el disco, buenas percusiones, bien la guitarra, bien el bajo. Mención especial a las dos primeras canciones, muy energéticas, álbum variadito y divertido. No me lo esperaba

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Sun Feb 14 2021
5

Tip top bluesy rock, as to be expected from such a lineup. Listened to most of the (31 track!) "album" this site sends you to and then found the original album/tracklist and listened to that, which listens sooo much better as an album.

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Wed Mar 24 2021
5

Bit rock and roll- I liked it

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Fri Sep 17 2021
5

Great album full of near-legendary tracks.

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Thu Sep 23 2021
5

1966 - English blues rock band

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Mon Mar 21 2022
5

No surprise here; a well-regarded 60s rock band was indeed good.

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Mon May 23 2022
5

Very nice driving blues rock. Didn't know any of the songs but lots of good ones on here. Good good fun.

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Mon May 23 2022
5

The bass line of the first track really pulled me in. I loved the jam of this album. A couple of tunes left me a little flat, but overall an awesome listen!!

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Tue Jun 21 2022
5

Without Dimery's list (which I was able to find online), I would never have discovered this wonderful record, one of those rare kinds of albums that transcends its day and age while fully sounding *from them*. Like mostly everyone interested in sixties music, I knew (and liked) famous Yardbirds stuff such as the Graham Gouldman-penned "For Your Love" and "Evil Hearted You". But "Roger The Engineer (The Yardbirds)" is so much more than that... Contrary to what a few reviewers with a short attention span have written here, Clapton was already out of the picture when the band recorded this album--and it was a good thing: Clapton was then way too "conservative" at the time with his blues orthodoxy to let "Roger"'s adventures happen (the man also proved how obnoxious he could be on many occasions during his later career--but that's a story for another time...). The end result here is that the band then used Jeff Beck to replace him, and this to great effects if you're a fan of good guitar playing--see for instance the technically impressive "Jeff's Boogie". Yet all of this wouldn't be worth a rat's ass if the birds hadn't embraced the psychedelic shenanigans of those days in such an orginal and varied way. From the bizarre yet mellifluous fuzz riffs of hit "Over, Under, Sideways, Down" to the groovy basslines of "Lost Women" and "Hot House Of Omagarashid", the mood is definitely "shaggadelic, babe!" at an Austin Powers-on-LSD level of intensity. Yet as fun as those tracks are, they never fully forget that Chicago blues inspiration either. "Roger The Engineer" just allows you to hear that sound evolving to become... something else. And that something else is the future of rock'n'roll. You can obviously smell whiffs of Led Zeppelin here and there (Jimmy Page is indeed the young guitarist who will replace Jeff Beck not long after this record). You can even behold the seed that would be soon sowed in Iommi and Osbourne's twisted minds not long before they created Black Sabbath in the mystical "Turn Into Earth" and "Ever Since The World Began" (especially in the latter's long introduction). This closer actually sums up the scope of moods embraced by the album, from a droning lament to a lively booter shaker to cap things neatly and nicely. For this album, I highly recommend the 1987 Impact Record edition, because it includes the killer single "Happening Ten Years Time Ago" *within* the tracklisting (and not in the end, as a bonus, as in the online links provided here). That single is simply a masterpiece and deserved to be part of the feast anyway. French alternative rock fans will find its riff, quickly descending half tone after half tone, familiar. That riff was actually ripped off by Noir Désir for their hit "Tostaky" (directly or indirectly), their stroke of genius being that thay also gave it an *ascending* counterpart. But apart for this riff, the single has many other assets to boast about, so don't forget to give it a spin too... So here it is: "Roger The Enginner". More than a psychedelic doodle, it is a fully realized vision--adventurous, fun yet ambitious in its scope and moods. A hidden gem that deserves each and everyone of its five stars. Number of albums left to review or just listen to: 883 Number of albums from the list I find relevant enough to be mandatory listens: 62 (including this one) Albums from the list I *might* include in mine later on: 29 Albums from the list I will certainly *not* include in mine (many others are more important): 27

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Fri Sep 09 2022
5

I really like it. It feels like it was inspiration for King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard. Some songs are feeling a little out of place and the whole album is somewhat incoherent, but I had fun listening to it.

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Tue Sep 20 2022
5

A surprisingly good album! The first time I’ve been pleasantly surprised by an album I’ve not previously heard of

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Fri Oct 14 2022
5

Rock n roll af. “He’s always there” was sampled for Pussycat dolls “When I grow up”

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Tue Dec 20 2022
5

One of my all time fav records! Genuinely holds up and slaps so hard

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Sat Mar 04 2023
5

I loved this one. Quite varied as well with the first half of the album being more blues-rock and the second half psychedelic rock, but easier to listen to than psychedelia sometimes tends to be. Also amazed by how much the first minute of "Ever Since The World Began" sounds like early Black Sabbath. Must have been a huge influence for them. So yeah, The Yardbirds are somewhere between The Beatles and Black Sabbath, combining some of boths' greatness. With the appropriate skill to back it up, that's a 5 in my book.

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Tue Mar 28 2023
5

Didn’t realize how many of these songs I already knew. Really awesome music

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Tue Apr 18 2023
5

VERY sixties, and I love it. Just a comfy album to strap in and listen to. Smooth, catchy, and enjoyable, I don't know what else to say about this album that hasn't already been said. So nice, I played it twice (mono and stereo). Just a rocking, great listen.

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Mon May 22 2023
5

Really enjoyed this eclectic mix of tracks, especially the more psychedelic tinged ones Saved tracks: Lost Women, Jeff’s Boogie, Over Under Sideways Down, Turn Into Earth, What Do You Want

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Wed Aug 16 2023
5

Second half of the album really kicks off - plenty to like. The instrumental breaks and jamming are good fun and help keep the album interesting. Lots of tight riffs and memorable lyrics. I'd heard a fair amount of these tracks before but couldn't tell you who did them. Now I can. Farewell, Jeff's Boogie, He's Always There, and What Do You Want stood out the most for me. Another 4.5, but again I'll be kind. Definitely returning to this.

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Wed Aug 23 2023
5

Great mid 60s sound. Really enjoyed

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Thu Sep 21 2023
5

Jeff Beck, Jeff Beck, some Jimmy Page. What can go wrong ?

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Tue Nov 07 2023
5

10/10 can’t go wrong with The Yardbirds, holy shit

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Fri Nov 10 2023
5

if you like this album, quite frankly, you know ball

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Thu Nov 16 2023
5

I can't say that this is a masterpiece, it isn't, but I sure enjoyed it and that's what counts. It's a forward-moving product of its time and that's a good thing. This is a solid 4.5 in my book and the only album so far that I've wanted to listen to twice before deciding where to land with it. This one just squeaked into a 5 spot since I can't give it a half-star and it's better than a 4.

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Tue Jan 09 2024
5

Everything about this is so good. I’m upset I’ve not heard it before.

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Fri Jan 19 2024
5

This is another fun one. A real window into 60's psychedelia with some of the best guitarists in history. Jeff Beck shows what an absolute monster he is. Just so many good tunes here. And this was all new to me. I basically knew the Yardbirds from "For Your Love" and because they birthed Led Zeppelin and Clapton. This was a whole new trip. Definitely enjoyed! Unexpected banger(s): Over Under Sideways Down, Rack My Mind, Farewell, Jeff's Boogie

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Wed Feb 21 2024
5

This was great. I know all the musicians and the band but have never heard this album. Great stuff here, even back then their playing was awesome

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Sun Mar 10 2024
5

This is an important part of music history when blues rock was evolving into psychedelia. But it's much more than that. You can hear how they influenced so many bands to come and also pop culture in general. The opening track Lost Women, with that bass line, could easily be on a Tarantino soundtrack. He's Always There was sampled by the Pussycat Dolls. Black Sabbath was obviously inspired by Ever Since The World Began.

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Wed Apr 10 2024
5

Very cool record! I liked lot how they where not just playing plain blues but also opened them up for other influences

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Sat Apr 27 2024
5

Yes, there were songs that didn’t inspire but I am impressed by how well this album stands the test of time. Excellent musicians

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Wed May 01 2024
5

Must have been revolutionary for its time. Still full of good songs

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Sun May 05 2024
5

This was definitely a good find for me. Another awesome garage rock and psychedelic album with strong blues influences. It also has a nice raw and gritty sound to really bring out the garage rock feel.

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Wed Jun 30 2021
4

Solid entry. A bit pretentious at times but what do you you expect? It's The Yardbirds. Fun listen, though.

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Fri Mar 26 2021
4

Really good, see the influence to so many things

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Mon Jun 28 2021
4

Nice album full of psychodelic songs that work well as a whole album

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Sun Feb 14 2021
4

The wobble board sound in Hot House or Omagararshid is hilarious if you think about the dude playing it through the entire track. Jeff's Boogie is great, the stereo version of Turn Into Earth is psychedelic and very trippy with headphones on.

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Mon Mar 08 2021
4

This is one of my favorite albums so far.

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Fri Feb 19 2021
4

Good variety from more traditional blues to more modern sounding songs. Doesn't really work as a complete album.

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Tue Feb 23 2021
4

What a fun album, totally a mix of The Beach Boys, Beatles, and the clash.

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Mon Jun 28 2021
4

Great 60s album that covers all sorts of sounds and vibes that ended up evolving into many other genres. Farewell in particular touched me a lot.

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Fri Mar 26 2021
4

A great band, underappreciated. Never heard the full album but I enjoyed it all the way, especially the blues.

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Tue May 11 2021
4

Fresh rockandroll style, with lots of progressive touches

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Mon Jun 21 2021
4

Rock psicodélico sesentero.

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Mon May 03 2021
4

Every song rolled into the next

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Tue Feb 09 2021
4

Adorable. Way more interesting than one would expect, despite no songs I was familiar with going in.

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Wed Feb 10 2021
4

weird punk, feels very creative lyrics are nore important than music

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Fri Mar 05 2021
4

Pues no lo escuché todo, not even sorry. Y no es que estuviera malito, solo que es rock clásico y así. Una fórmula muy probada porque sí funciona(ba?) pero pues es eso

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Mon May 24 2021
4

A solid '60s rock album. 8.0/10

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Wed May 19 2021
4

Music history lessons are always cool

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Sat May 15 2021
4

Really cool guitar work, especially when you consider that this came out in 1966.

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Fri May 07 2021
4

Old western vibe, reminds me of red dead redemption

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Tue May 18 2021
4

Surprisingly good for something from this era. Really enjoyable album.

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Tue May 18 2021
4

well made album, but I found it kind of boring/repetitive

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Mon May 10 2021
4

very catchy tunes, playful songs

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Fri Jul 23 2021
4

This was fun! Liked it a lot more than the Jeff Beck Group album that came up on here previously. More experimental, more all over the place, less just straight up ripping off the blues. Fave track - "Ever Since The World Began", I reckon, but have a soft spot for "Over Under Sideways Down", "Hot House of Omagararshid" and "Jeff's Boogie" too...

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Tue Aug 24 2021
4

I liked roughly half the songs on this album. Felt like I enjoyed every other or so. They do the blues really well. I know they were pioneering Brisish psychadelic rock but their songs in thay realm don't grab me much. My favorite moment on the album is during The Nazz Are Blue when during the guitar solo (at 1:25) Jeff Beck umexpectedly holds a note and it turns into this monstrous feedback siren sound.

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Sat Sep 25 2021
4

Leuk! En het klinkt ook niet zo oud als het is. Ik ga hier meer van luisteren.

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Wed Oct 13 2021
4

I love the blues/pop blend, and "Over, Under, Sideways, Down" is so good!

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