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The Meaning Behind The Song: Shapes Of Things by The Yardbirds

The Meaning Behind The Song: Shapes Of Things by The Yardbirds

Introduction

Shapes Of Things is a song by the English rock band, The Yardbirds, released in 1966. It was written by band members Paul Samwell-Smith, Keith Relf, and Jim McCarty. The song is a reflection on the changing times of the 1960s and the ever-evolving world around us. The lyrics encourage the listener to see beyond the physical appearance of things and to question the true meaning behind them.

The Lyrics

The lyrics of Shapes Of Things can be interpreted in several ways. One interpretation is that the song is about the Vietnam War and the devastation that it was causing in Southeast Asia and the United States. The lines “Please don’t destroy these lands, Don’t make them desert sands” suggest this interpretation.

Another interpretation is that the song is about societal change and the move away from traditional values. The line “The world is changing, the time is running” can be seen as a commentary on the rapid social changes that were happening at the time.

The Music

The music in Shapes Of Things is iconic, featuring a hard-driving guitar riff that has become synonymous with the song. The song’s use of a distorted guitar was revolutionary at the time, and it has influenced countless musicians in the years since its release. The song’s use of the sitar, an Indian stringed instrument, also adds to the psychedelic feeling of the song.

The Significance

Shapes Of Things is an important song because it captures the feeling of the 1960s and the changes that were happening at the time. It was a time of great upheaval, both in the United States and around the world. The song’s message of questioning the true meaning behind things is still relevant today, and it continues to inspire new generations of musicians and artists.

FAQs

1. What inspired The Yardbirds to write Shapes Of Things?

The inspiration for Shapes Of Things is believed to come from the changes happening in the world at the time. The Vietnam War, the Civil Rights Movement, and the Sexual Revolution were all happening, and The Yardbirds wanted to reflect on those changes in their music.

2. What is the meaning behind the song’s title?

The title “Shapes Of Things” refers to the idea that things are not always what they seem. The song encourages the listener to look beyond the physical appearance of things and to question their true meaning.

3. Who played guitar on Shapes Of Things?

The guitar on Shapes Of Things was played by Jeff Beck, who replaced Eric Clapton as the lead guitarist of The Yardbirds in 1965. Beck’s use of distortion and feedback on the song helped create the iconic sound of the track.

4. What impact did Shapes Of Things have on music?

Shapes Of Things was revolutionary at the time of its release because of its use of distortion and feedback. The song has been cited as a major influence on heavy metal and hard rock music, and it continues to inspire new generations of musicians.

5. Did Shapes Of Things receive critical acclaim?

Yes, Shapes Of Things received critical acclaim upon its release in 1966. It reached #3 on the UK Singles Chart and #11 on the US Billboard Hot 100. It has also been included in several lists of the greatest songs of all time.

6. What other songs did The Yardbirds release?

The Yardbirds released several other hit songs, including “For Your Love,” “Heart Full Of Soul,” and “Over Under Sideways Down.” The band’s members went on to have successful careers in music after The Yardbirds disbanded in 1968.

7. Did The Yardbirds influence other musicians?

Yes, The Yardbirds had a significant influence on other musicians, including Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, and Pete Townshend. These musicians went on to form some of the most popular and influential bands of the 1960s and 1970s.

8. What was The Yardbirds’ impact on rock music?

The Yardbirds were one of the most influential bands of the 1960s, and their impact on rock music is still felt today. Their use of heavy guitar riffs and experimentation with new sounds helped shape the sound of rock music in the years to come.

9. What is the legacy of Shapes Of Things?

Shapes Of Things has a lasting legacy in rock music. Its use of distortion and feedback revolutionized the way guitars were played, and it has influenced countless musicians in the decades since its release.

10. What message does Shapes Of Things have for today’s world?

Shapes Of Things encourages the listener to question the true meaning behind things and not to trust appearances. This message is still relevant today, and the song’s call to action is a reminder that there is always more to be discovered in the world around us.

11. What was The Yardbirds’ impact on psychedelic rock?

The Yardbirds were one of the pioneers of psychedelic rock, using experimental sounds and instruments in their music. Their influence can be heard in the music of bands like Pink Floyd and The Doors.

12. Did The Yardbirds ever reunite?

The Yardbirds have reunited several times over the years, with different lineups and varying degrees of success. The band’s most recent reunion was in 2018, with original member Jim McCarty and former members Johnny A, John Idan, Kenny Aaronson, and Myke Scavone.

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