Shapes Of Things by The Yardbirds, seven LP vinyl box set, released on Charly record label 1984, value £60

THE Yardbirds were a London band formed in 1963. Unlike most bands of the time who were influenced by the early rock 'n' roll stars, they were inspired by and became interpreter's of the songs of Chicago rhythm and blues singers, Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, Bo Diddley, Sonny Boy Williamson and Elmore James. They will also be remembered for starting the careers of rock's most famous guitarists, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck. They gained notoriety after taking over the residency of The Crawdaddy Club in London, a venue that began the careers of The Rolling Stones.

Their first chart entry was Good Morning Little Schoolgirl which made the top 40, it coincided with their first album release Five Live Yardbirds, which puzzled the fans who bought it because the entire album was cover versions of American blues recordings, though it drew attention to the excellent guitar playing of Eric Clapton. Often referred to as a blues, rock and psychedelic rock band, their next three singles, For Your Love, Heart Full Of Soul and Evil Hearted You, all made the top five, and were written by up and coming songwriter Graham Gouldman, later to become the frontman of the band 10cc. Once again, fans were mystified? These were pure 'pop' songs none of them written by the band. Despite finding popularity and success, Eric Clapton left and became a member of John Mayall's Bluesbreakers. He was replaced by Jimmy Page, at that time, acknowledged as one of the finest session guitarists. The LP The Yardbirds released in 1966 is the only album that contains original material making it highly collectable, probably because they were joined by another guitar maestro Jeff Beck. It features the hit singles Shapes Of Things, Over Under Sideways Down and Happenings Ten Years Time Ago. Despite the ongoing success, Jeff Beck left and formed his own band, Jimmy Page formed The New Yardbirds but because of copyright infringement changed it to Led Zeppelin, the rest we know!

This box set contains about 70 recordings. The first two albums are The First Recordings and Sonny Boy Williamson and The Yardbirds, both recorded in '63 but never officially released, though they did appear on bootleg issues. It also has a bonus LP titled Odds and Sods, featuring tracks that did not make it on the final cut. For Yardbird enthusiasts, this collection is an absolute must.