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This was written by Graham Gouldman, who later formed the band 10cc. Gouldman was a prolific songwriter who also came up with songs for The Hollies, Cher, The Shadows, and Herman's Hermits. For The Yardbirds, he provided three of their hits, also composing "Evil Hearted You
" and "For Your Love
." Yardbirds drummer Jim McCarty said in our 2010 interview
: "'Heart Full of Soul,' which was very moody, gave us the ability to play the riff in sort of an Eastern way, give it an Oriental touch. Another very good song."
Lead guitarist Jeff Beck employed an early use of a fuzz box on his lead part. The original arrangement called for a sitar playing the lead guitar part, but they instead opted for Beck's sitar-sounding guitar.
The roots of Sitar blended into Rock started November, 1964, when Brian Auger engineered the first recording of "Heart full of Soul" by the Yardbirds. An authentic Indian sitar player was brought into the studio, as well as a tabla player who could not get the 4/4 time signatures right. Since The Yardbirds were a road group and the original could not be played to live audience, Jeff Beck stood in and used his fuzz machine with a tone blender that created a similar and extremely effective sound. (thanks to Shiloh Noone, author of Seekers Guide To The Rhythm Of Yesteryear)
This was one of many songs at the time that was influenced by Eastern music. It was released five months before the Beatles' "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)
," which featured George Harrison playing the Sitar for the first time in Western pop music.
The members of Rush practiced this a lot when they were first starting out. In their teens they would play this song often. It is one of 8 songs Rush covered on their 30th anniversary album Feedback. (thanks, Mike - Mountlake Terrace, Washington)
Drummer Jim McCarty (August 2011): "[After 'For Your Love
'] We were actually quite pleased that we finally had a big hit. We felt that now we could carry on and move onto the next level as a band. Definitely having a big hit opened us up to bigger venues and nationwide tours. Then Graham came to us with 'Heart Full Of Soul' and we felt that was the perfect follow up. It became a hit as well and we were on our way. We knew we were now in a position where we had to come up with hit singles on a regular basis. But we were all for it and were happy to carry on and start experimenting." (thanks, DeeTheWriter - Saint Petersburg, Russia Federation)
Lajon Witherspoon of Sevendust
The Sevendust frontman talks about the group's songwriting process, and how trips to the Murder Bar helped forge their latest album.