Serious fans know he was in the original lineup of Renaissance and made an album in the mid-1970s as singer in the hard rock outfit Armageddon. Adding Keith’s sister Jane as another singer, along with keyboardist John Hawken and bassist Louis Cennamo, Renaissance’s first album was produced by Samwell-Smith. Keith Relf is a British Singer, who was born on 22 March, 1943 in Richmond, Surrey, England. His sister, Jane Relf, continued to sing with Renaissance after Keith left. It’s a side of him that was only occasionally represented on record, on songs like ‘Only the Black Rose’ and ‘Glimpses’ with the Yardbirds, or ‘Silver Tightrope’ by Armageddon. Unfortunately this lineup was also the shortest lived; in December 1966, Jeff Beck left to join Micky Most and was not replaced. Does Stax also get that vibe from some of the tracks? In addition to singing and playing the guitar he is also listed as a harpist in some early groups. Fields, Stein & the deliberately misleading Oldham. Although the Yardbirds were most known for ferocious blues-rock and, later, some of the earliest psychedelia, Relf’s moodily intoned, melancholy folk leanings were a part of the group’s repertoire going back to the earliest track on All the Falling Angels. But I can see that there wasn’t anything in those days that was at all commercial.

Lisa tells me that Keith Relf was not a healthy man; he suffered from asthma, almost dying from it 3 times in his short life, and he also had emphysema. 2 in the UK charts and No. Wilko Johnson was instrumental in getting The Pirates back together as a three piece , a, Is it really THE Von Lmo? It reveals more of what he was like as a person, behind closed doors, working on his music alone or with a few trusted friends. In April 1965, he sang the bittersweet lullaby “All the Pretty Horses” on the BBC, his voice and acoustic guitar accompanied only by Yardbirds drummer Jim McCarty’s bongos. It turned out to be the last song he ever recorded.”. “Henry’s Coming Home”-Together (Relf on vocals, McCarty on percussion). If not, they would move on to something else. There were multiple volumes in a series he titled Keith Relf Musical Spectrum, along with others devoted specifically to Renaissance, Armageddon, and so on. Much more like Zeppelin. We were very pleased when Reign covered it. Jane is thought to have married (I have no trace in my records) Ian Young with whom she had 2 children - one of whom is called Mathew - and to now be divorced. Uriah Heep is touring the US promoting their 7th album, Wonderworld. “At one point, we had a lot of fun together. There was something really odd about it. “It has sort of a charm about it, the brother and sister thing,” observes McCarty. But even they often know little beyond that. I'm not quite sure why, but in July 1968, The Yardbirds split up. “I think Keith was one of the most underrated vocalists of the era,” in Stax’s estimation. It was quite a nice song, but it was a little bit too weak to make an impact. “He conveyed moodiness, mystery, and a fragility that was perfect for the material he was singing. From The Wolfpack - Volume 11 Edition 2 April 2002. “He transferred dozens of reels of tape, some of them in poor condition, and attempted to catalogue them with the help of Jim McCarty and Keith’s sister Jane. You were not the only one who read my article about Keith Relf, lead singer of the Yardbirds, in the April 2000 edition of The Wolfpack. These cassettes circulated among fans for years, and at some point became CD-Rs. I have passed on to our Society Archive a lot of detail including extracts from The Virgin Encyclopedia of Sixties Music by Colin Larkin; 20th Century Rock & Roll: Progressive Rock by Jerry Lucky; Jeff Beck: Crazy Fingers by Annette Carson; Blues in Britain: The History 1950s to the Present by Bob Brunning 1995. What they expected was something totally different. The Naked City has yielded many fine fine musical jewels but few glister so brightly as Von Lmo, Red Transistor etc. He was, however, continuing to write and record, if often on home tapes. Age 33 years (age at death) old. Keith Relf left Renaissance in 1972 and, after briefly performing with a band called Medicine Head, joined Louis Cennamo and Martin Pugh in forming a heavy metal band called Armageddon. Which was Renaissance.”. This left just Keith Relf and Jim McCarty - founder members of The Yardbirds. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. If so, please drop me a line (email: or, better still, pass a short article on to our Editor so that we can all share it. “I am sure that had we been able, we would have liked to lean more towards the folk traditions, and we tried to go in that direction with ‘Mr. On many of the tapes he’s just working out ideas by chanting or playing guitar with lots of echo, almost like a mantra, gradually shaping ideas which become more fully formed on subsequent recordings. Because he had a problem with his wife, and he was looking after his two boys. His zodiac sign is Aries. “Some of the stuff they did together was lovely. Like much of Spence’s folk-psychedelic LP, they teeter between structured expression and unhinged instability. The Yardbirds Band was formed the London in 1963. Although it’s doubtful Relf was familiar with Skip Spence’s ultra-low-selling 1969 cult album Oar, demos like “Collector of Light” have a similar acid-folk vibe. “He was very gentle, but he had a sort of heavy side to him as well. 6 in the USA. How bout the unacknowledged history of Ock Homos. ‘Collector of Light’ is an extraordinary piece of music with what sounds like a detuned guitar being plucked as he sings along in a very abstract way. It’s a shame, too, that Relf’s not nearly as well remembered as the superstars who got their start in the Yardbirds, and sometimes criticized for vocal shortcomings. We were always forerunners. The song ‘All the Falling Angels’ in particular was a melody and an atmosphere he’d been working on in different forms for five or six years before he finally went into a recording studio with the finished song. Three Together outtakes – two of which first emerged as bonus tracks on an expanded CD of Little Games  — are in a similar soothing vein, though the previously unavailable “Line of Least Resistance” is more straightforward and forceful guitar-based folk-rock, with McCarty on lead vocal. “Restoring and mastering those selections was the job of Repertoire’s in-house mastering engineer Eroc. Co-edited by Gillian McCain and Legs McNeil, the authors of, Impressive overview of the UK and Oz Pub Rock scenes. Asked in 2020 to account for how the folkier sides of his ex-bandmate emerged, Jim speculates, “I guess they were a relief of the sort of heavy, rocking stuff. His body was discovered by his young son, Danny. “Just Think What You’re Achieving” is a relatively jaunty, if minor-melody-tinged, acoustic folk-rock tune, and the aforementioned “All the Falling Angels” (co-written) a relatively finished production that almost sounds like a requiem for Relf’s premature death. And there’s one that’s very extroverted. I had quite a few of these in my collection already, but Coskun Cicek, a big Yardbirds collector in Australia, kindly made me copies of everything he had. Keith Relf was actually William Keith Relf; no wonder we couldn't trace his lineage. Keith Relf formed ‘Armageddon’ in 1974 with Renaissance bassist Cennamo, Bobby Caldwell (Captain Beyond, Johnny Winter) and Martin Pugh (Steamhammer). He was quite a complex character. Unfortunately I have lost contact with Julian Parker but I do now have access (occasionally) to the Internet as an additional source of information. On the other hand, it would be nice to know more about the family tree of this "most famous" RELF. So, over to you. Can you add to our knowledge? “We did have other things, but I don’t know if [Keith] was that inspired to do it. He is most remembered for The Yardbirds. Brief Relf solo demos of a couple from their 1967 LP Little Games are on the new collection. A bit of a waste really, because he was a talented guy. to add information, pictures and relationships, join in discussions and get credit for your contributions. Login When, more. “The tapes included multiple versions of many of the tracks so it was a matter of choosing the best and most complete takes, as well as taking into consideration the sound quality. One source I have read says his body was discovered by his son, but I have found no trace of a marriage or any children. When the Rolling Stones moved on to greater things, The Yardbirds took over from them as resident group at the Crawdaddy Club in Richmond and gradually built up audiences which exceeded those enjoyed previously by the Stones.

They lived in Bayswater, then Sunburyon- Thames and they had two sons, Daniel (registered qtrSep1967 Richmond/THS) and Jason ( qtrJun1969 Richmond/THS). Although occasionally in an upbeat rock mood (“Try Believing”), more often Relf favored folky ruminations that verged on crossing the line from melancholy to spooky. People wondered what on earth we were playing. In March 1965, their record "For Your Love" reached No. Sure, Keith didn’t have the range and power of a Stevie Winwood or a Robert Plant, but I can’t imagine either of them singing ‘Evil Hearted You’ or ‘Shapes of Things’ nearly as effectively as Keith did. I hope that we might be able to make contact with Jane in due course. “I agree with you totally,” says McCarty when I tell him as much in our interview. They were sort of gentle. The way they sang it together had a certain wistful magic to it.”. He would more often than not be stoned, and it would be a big joke when you walked in – ‘hello hello hello.’ Like something from a fairground.”. It was really depressing. “Line of Least Resistance,” oddly, did come out back in 1970 on a rare single by the group Reign, produced by Relf and McCarty. Occasional mid-‘60s Yardbirds originals like the 1965 UK hit “Still I’m Sad” (the one that used Gregorian chant-like backing vocals) and “Turn into Earth” also showed the more sensitive, introspective side of the man, even as raunchier workouts like “I’m a Man” were on the hit parade. Relf worked more extensively with McCarty than any other musician, the pair also recording and writing with each other as part of Together, Renaissance, and other post-Yardbirds projects. In March 1965, Eric Clapton left to concentrate on Blues music and was replaced by Jeff Beck as lead guitarist.

Singer and frontman Keith Relf was a crucial cog in their innovation, both as lead singer and a songwriter, usually sharing composing credits with other Yardbirds. To most rock fans, Relf seemed to vanish from view in the first half of the ‘70s, re-emerging as lead singer for Armageddon’s sole and self-titled LP in 1975. From The Wolfpack - Volume 11 Edition 2 April 2002. Who would you think was the most famous RELF?