Alley GatorPoster topBLOGArticles and CommentsSongsTimelinePlaylistsAlbumsDatabaseAlbum ListsArtistsPantheonArtist ListsResourcesBits and PiecesTips & AdviceBooks & Websites

Comments - Songs

FOR YOUR LOVE - THE YARDBIRDS - 1965
jere1911 says:
11/23/11 4:56 am
I was listening to this song yesterday, pretty carefully, and was struck by, well, how mediocre it really is. Notwithstanding the pedigree of the Yardbirds, with their superstar guitar players and Led Z descendants, and notwithstanding the "classic" British Invasion status of the track, AND notwithstanding that at the time and for years hence I really liked the track with its folky minor chord sound, the writing is pretty second rate, and the band sounds not much better. Poor lyrics, poor lead singing and raggedy playing and production. The validity of the foregoing may be tested by listening to She's Not There" by the Zombies, another minor chord BI sound classic. Great bass riff, tight playing, striking emotional lead singing and harmonies, lyrics that really tell a story and drive the song, and much better production.

I am not a "basher" and won't spend much time on the Alley picking out a track to put down. But as I listened to For Your Love, I couldn't help the negative thoughts and wanted to throw them down for reaction, and as a case study in re-listening to a classic on its merits with no associational gloss. Am I wrong?
Alley Gator says:
11/23/11 5:29 pm
jere1911 said: I was listening to this song yesterday, pretty carefully, and was struck by, well, how mediocre it really is. ... notwithstanding that at the time and for years hence I really liked the track ... the writing is pretty second rate, and the band sounds not much better. Poor lyrics, poor lead singing and raggedy playing and production. The validity of the foregoing may be tested by listening to "She's Not There" by the Zombies, another minor chord BI sound classic. Great bass riff, tight playing, striking emotional lead singing and harmonies, lyrics that really tell a story and drive the song, and much better production. ... as I listened to For Your Love, I couldn't help the negative thoughts and wanted to throw them down for reaction, and as a case study in re-listening to a classic on its merits with no associational gloss. Am I wrong?
I was intrigued by your story and just listened again to both tracks. First, I think "She's Not There" is a great song - not only both great rock and great pop but also with the cherry on top of a jazzy instrumental break! So it sets a very high standard against which to measure other songs. By contrast, "For Your Love" is above all a pop song, very much of the moment of 1965, which, as you point out, doesn't hold up that well when examined critically.

What I really resonate with, is how a long-held opinion about a song (or artist) can "flip" (either positively or negatively) in a single listen. It's what we bring to the listening at a given moment that matters so much. I spend a lot of time listening to older music and quite often hear new things which tweak my opinion one way or another. I'm always, at some level, culling the "mere nostalgia" songs and growing to love even more the older songs that stand on their own merits.

I think "pretty second rate" may be a little harsh on "For Your Love." Any chance it's a rebound effect from having "really liked the track" for so long?
jere1911 says:
11/24/11 4:20 am
jere1911 said: I was listening to this song yesterday, pretty carefully, and was struck by, well, how mediocre it really is. ... notwithstanding that at the time and for years hence I really liked the track ... the writing is pretty second rate, and the band sounds not much better. Poor lyrics, poor lead singing and raggedy playing and production. The validity of the foregoing may be tested by listening to "She's Not There" by the Zombies, another minor chord BI sound classic. Great bass riff, tight playing, striking emotional lead singing and harmonies, lyrics that really tell a story and drive the song, and much better production. ... as I listened to For Your Love, I couldn't help the negative thoughts and wanted to throw them down for reaction, and as a case study in re-listening to a classic on its merits with no associational gloss. Am I wrong?
Alley Gator said: I was intrigued by your story and just listened again to both tracks. First, I think "She's Not There" is a great song - not only both great rock and great pop but also with the cherry on top of a jazzy instrumental break! So it sets a very high standard against which to measure other songs. By contrast, "For Your Love" is above all a pop song, very much of the moment of 1965, which, as you point out, doesn't hold up that well when examined critically. What I really resonate with, is how a long-held opinion about a song (or artist) can "flip" (either positively or negatively) in a single listen. It's what we bring to the listening at a given moment that matters so much. I spend a lot of time listening to older music and quite often hear new things which tweak my opinion one way or another. I'm always, at some level, culling the "mere nostalgia" songs and growing to love even more the older songs that stand on their own merits. I think "pretty second rate" may be a little harsh on "For Your Love." Any chance it's a rebound effect from having "really liked the track" for so long?
I think the rebound effect is there. I had always thought of it as a track I liked and admired, so this is a good example of the "flip" you mentioned. I guess we can "flip" about a song or a movie or a book or many things. Something once lodged in the brain with a certain "grade" keeps it until....

"Second rate" is harsh if taken as an epithet. I meant it more literally--She's Not There being first rate, For Your Love necessarily not first rate. But in fairness, something about it made it important to us in the first place. It was indeed of the moment as we absorbed new British bands in the wake of the Beatles' arrival. And while Pop perhaps, For Your Love wasn't Herman's Hermits material. It had a certain cool and freshness. It may just be one of those "you had to be there" tracks.