Evil Hearted You

Album: Having a Rave Up With the Yardbirds (1965)
Charted: 3

Songfacts®:

  • Graham Gouldman, who later formed the band 10cc, wrote this song. Gouldman was a prolific songwriter who also provided the Yardbirds hits "For Your Love" and "Heart Full of Soul." The Yarbirds were skilled songwriters and composed most of their own material, but Gouldman's songs brought a moody sound they were able to turn into a hit record. When we asked their drummer Jim McCarty about recording the songs of another writer, he told us, "There wasn't a problem doing that. It was the sort of thing that you relied on to get into that other echelon, to have a hit song. All our contemporaries were having hit songs: The Beatles and the Stones and the Moody Blues and Animals, they were all having #1 hits and we were really trying to keep up." (Here's the full Jim McCarty interview.)
  • The lady in this song doesn't sound like good girlfriend material, but it seems no matter how much she leads him on and degrades him, the guy can't resist her charms. "I love you just the same," he proclaims in a dramatic turnabout mid-song, before once again singing about her evil-hearted ways.
  • The solo is Jeff Beck playing a slide guitar. Along with Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page, Beck is one of the three famous guitarists to play in The Yardbirds.

    In 1967, Beck released a single called "Tallyman" that was also written by Gouldman.
  • According to Graham Gouldman, this song was not based on a real person.
  • This song did well in England, but it was never released as a single in the United States.

Comments: 4

  • Paul from Southern Pines, NcThe Yardbirds utilized the style of Enzo Morricone, who provided the music for the 1960's Spaghetti Westerns that Sergio Leone directed.

    Utlizing a hollow gnarly guitar, 'Evil Hearted You' was the sound of a slightly 'out-of-tune' guitar, purposely done for the effect.

    A wonderful song, and one my favorites.
  • D. R. from Okc, OkFor 1965 Jeff Beck does incredible guitar work on this song - the amazing fast lick during the bridge, and the hauntingly beautiful slide solo.
  • Morgaine from Calgary, CanadaI agree, very bluesy. I love them.
  • Nick from Buffalo, NyThe Yardbirds have a unique sound, reviewing this list of songs listed here, I can't beleve that "Shapes of Things" isn't listed..
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