Ha Ha Said the Clown

Album: Little Games (1967)
Charted: 45

Songfacts®:

  • This is a cover of the 1967 Manfred Mann UK pop hit, written by Tony Hazzard. Later that year, The Yardbirds released it as a single in America, where few had heard the original. It was the group's last single to break into the Top 50 on the US Hot 100, reaching #45.
  • Although not included on the original Little Games release in 1967, "Ha Ha Said the Clown" was added to the track list for the 1992 expanded version.
  • British producer/songwriter Mickie Most was brought in to produce this album to boost the band's commercial success which, according to drummer Jim McCarty, was a mistake.

    "Working with Mickie Most was the kiss of death for the band," he said in an August 2011 Interview. "Mickie never really got what we were about. His attitude was that we were just another '60s band that needed a hit. Consequently the songs he supplied us with (most notably the catchy but very un-Yardbirds-like 'Little Games' and 'Ha, Ha Said The Clown,' which ironically was the band's last single and only featured one member of the group, singer Keith Relf) went nowhere.

    I know I said it before but being a singles band is definitely what killed us. It was what people expected of us. And the irony is that about the time we broke up, the whole singles thing was on the way out and albums and progressive rock were on their way in. If we had hung together for another year or two we might have been in a position to go in the studio and make a Pink Floyd kind of album and then who knows what might have happened. At our best, we were more than capable of becoming Pink Floyd." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    DeeTheWriter - Saint Petersburg, Russia Federation
  • In our interview with this song's writer Tony Hazzard, he said: "I think a lot of Yardbirds fans really don't like it as it's too much of a pop song and therefore not 'cool.' It's quite a copy of the Manfred version but Mickie Most, who produced it, often did straight copies from demos so it's not surprising. I don't think the band actually played on it, as Mickie tended to use session men, including John Paul Jones (who wrote the arrangements) on bass and Jimmy Page on lead guitar. To be honest, I'm not that keen on either version, although grateful for the royalties, and prefer my original demo."

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