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'Bird' Is The Word

YardLegendary British rock outfit the Yardbirds return this week with "Birdland," their first new studio album since 1967. The set is being released by guitarist Steve Vai's Favored Nations label. The Yardbirds, which once boasted Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton among its members, now feature original members Chris Dreja (guitar) and Jim McCarty (drums) in tandem with lead guitarist Gypie Mayo, bassist John Idan, and harmonica player Alan Glen.

The bulk of the album was recorded at Vai's Mothership studio in Los Angeles. Vai also appears on the disc as a guest on a newly recorded version of the Yardbirds' favorite "Shapes of Things." Other guitar heroes who leant a hand in the studio include former Yardbirds principal Jeff Beck, Queen's Brian May, former Guns N' Roses axeman Slash, Joe Satriani, and Jeff "Skunk" Baxter. Goo Goo Dolls frontman Johnny Rzeznik and Toto's Steve Lukather also appear.

Beyond "Shapes of Things," the new album sports renditions of previously released Yardbirds tunes "I'm Not Talking," "The Nazz Are Blue," "For Your Love," "Train Kept a Rolling," "Over, Under, Sideways, Down," "Mr. You're A Better Man Than I," and "Happenings Ten Years Time Ago." Eight new songs, including "My Blind Life," "The Mystery of Being," and "An Original Man (A Song for Keith)" round out the track list.