Ten Years – From Roger the Engineer to Presence
In 1966 the Yardbirds released their 2nd proper studio album, “Roger the Engineer”. It is of a different era. There are moments where it shines but in general it is an early 1960s rock ‘n’ roll album. Recorded in perhaps two weeks and just scratching the surface of what could be done in a studio. “Roger. . .” is often pointed to as an early exploration into the psychedelic. For my ears it does head in that direction, but mainly it is informative, interesting but not my first choice. It is a sampling perhaps of things to come.
Jump to today. Once again this Saturday I am driving over to the other end of NJ and needing something different to listen to. I threw “Roger. . .” on the playlist among things. It is in the category of kind of known but not really. Something different. The playlist today was, as usual, a mess with many of the usual suspects. As it usually is.
So as I wound down 287 perhaps south of Morristown “Turn Into Earth” from the Yardbird’s Roger the Engineer popped up. Starting largely with a bit of percussion, some bass, and what I would call a chant, before Keith Relf’s voice, his vocals proper arrived. Way out in front or perhaps one-sided. That is the song. It is just of a different age.
Pleasurable, interesting, but different.
Now immediately after that as I continued on down 287 was Led Zeppelin’s “Tea For One” from their Presence album. The album and the song are almost as obscure as “Roger. . .” and “”Turn Into Earth”. Both songs have a slow reflective component to them. Both have something of a psychedelic element to them. Plant is just an entirely different singer from Relf. And of course the one is entirely guitar based and the other is entirely without?
It was just fun to have these played back to back as I drove on down 287. In a certain sense the same band but entirely not. So much would develop from what was being experimented with in 1966 to the other released in 1976. Just two songs from two albums that are often neglected. Both could be classified as psychedelic.