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Birdland CD

4.8 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (21 April 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: FAVORED NATIONS
  • ASIN: B00008NUX1
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 126,093 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. I'm Not Talking
  2. Crying Out for Love
  3. The Nazz Are Blue (with Jeff "Skunk" Baxter)
  4. For Your Love (with Johnny Rzeznik)
  5. Please Don't Tell Me 'Bout the News
  6. Train Kept a Rollin' (with Joe Satriani)
  7. Mr Saboteur
  8. Shapes of Things (with Steve Vai)
  9. My Blind Life (with Jeff Beck)
  10. Over, Under, Sideways, Down (with Slash)
  11. Mr. You're a Better Man than I (with Brian May)
  12. The Mystery of Being
  13. Dream Within a Dream
  14. Happenings Ten Years Time Ago (with Steve Lukather)
  15. An Original Man (A Song for Keith)

Product Description

Product Description

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Birdland quite possibly qualifies for entry into the Guinness Book of Records under the "longest ever gap between studio albums" category. After all, when blues/pop legends the Yardbirds last released a proper record (Little Games, a variable quality affair featuring some up-and-coming guitar chancer called Jimmy Page), man had yet to visit the moon, Tony Blair was a 14-year-old schoolboy and the White Stripes (huge Yardbirds devotees if their recent live bash with Jeff Beck was anything to go by) were what you saw on the road at zebra crossings. Of course, nothing the Yardbirds could possibly do now will ever attain the dizzy, head-swimming heights of their psychedelic 1960s heyday, but Birdland--with some dignity--is certainly not the sound of washed-up, pensionable ex-rock stars sucking their stomachs in and combing their hair forwards.

Reconvening around a nucleus of original members Chris Dreja and Jim McCarty, the latterday line-up also boasts the pedigree of former Dr Feelgood guitarist and co-writer John "Gypie" Mayo as well as guest appearances aplenty from such ostentatious fretboard manipulators as Brian May, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Slash and even Jeff Beck himself. And while dismissing the production work on their classic 1960s hits as "crap" may well be a poor excuse for offering these newly buffed-up re-recordings of their greatest moments ("Shapes of Things", "For Your Love", etc), at least accusations of laurel-resting are convincingly countered by the inclusion of some stimulating new material. For example, "The Mystery of Being"--worryingly described by the band as "Afghan psychedelia"--is just the sort of Arabian rock illusion previously conjured up by Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow, the tribute to Keith Relf on "An Original Man" is worthy of the Byrds at their notoriously brotherly prime and "Crying Out for Love" is mature blues with heart, soul and sensitivity. Frankly, one could only wish the Rolling Stones' songwriting skills were still as sharp. --Kevin Maidment

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
When I listened to this for the first time I was expecting a band of 60 somethings playing nostalgia music of their past.
But alas no, they re-recorded some of their past hits with special fill-in guitarist of the highest calibre. These songs take on a new meaning when revitalised with a new raw energy supplied by some virtuoso guitar players (slash, brain may to name a couple), my fave is "a train kept a-rollin," but "for your love," stole it for me...McCarty & Dreja in the rythym section are still tight today as they were when they recorded the original version in '65.
Oh, before I forget the original new songs (done on this album) sung by the reformed 'birds are as if they continued on from where they left off in july '68. All in all a must have album. This album is better then most music today without a question.
andrew
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Format: Audio CD
It has been more than 30 years since the previous studio-album from the Yardbirds. Now original members Jim McCarty and Chris Dreja have reformed the Yardbirds with lead-singer and bass-player John Idan as their new front man. Since the release of this 2003 album, guitarist Gypie Mayo and harmonica-player Alan Glen have been replaced by equally qualified musicians Ben King and Billy Boy.

I was fortunate to see this terrific new line-up here in Denmark in April 2006. What a concert! It surpassed my wildest expectations. Young guitarist King is capeable of playing all the original Yardbirds guitar-parts with inspiration and conviction. The same thing can be said about the harmonica-playing of Billy Boy. Lead singer John Idan has a very sympathetic stage appearance and sounds very much like Keith Relf. Original drummer Jim McCarty is a terrific musician, he more or less appears to be the leader of the band. McCarty joins in on most choruses and takes an occasional lead vocal now and then. Guitarist Chris Dreja is reliable as solid rock.

I had to buy their new album, which I honestly was not aware had been released. And I was not disappointed; on the contrary. Often re-unions are pale extracts of what once was. This is not the case with the Yardbirds. Half of the songs on the album are re-recordings of old Yarbirds favourites; the other half new songs - most of them written by McCarty.

The re-recordings are very true to the originals - better sounding without losing their sixties feel. Some of them actually surpasses the originals; especially the opening track "I?m not Talking".

The new songs reveal McCarty as a fine songwriter ( actually he wrote a lot with the original Yardbirds, too ).
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Format: Audio CD
"Decent" is the word that comes to mind. The two remaining Yardbirds chose to stick to the beefed-up-blues-with-slight-touch-of-psychedelia formula which made their success in the sixties, and deliver here solidly written songs and no album fillers.
"Decent" also because they invited excellent guitarists, let them be creative, but avoided the pitfall of long solos. There isn't here the slightest hint of a "jam" that lasts forever. Again, the Yardbirds are avoiding the fillers. Slash, who has a habit of wasting his technique on tasteless solos, delivers a breathtaking and dense one here.
"Promising" is the other word because, after listening to the fifteen songs of "Birdland", you are left with the desire to listen to more. The band, although hardly qualifying for the Yardbirds' name, picks up the pieces where they were left in 1968 and pursues the path without shunning new techniques and sound. Unlike BBM, the Yardbirds are going FORWARD.
To sum things up, this is a pleasant and solid album, delivered by a band who had a lot of fun recording it. It makes the Rolling Stones sound old and pretentious. I'm looking forward to Jeff Beck becoming a full Yardbird again. Oh, and one last thing: "Birdland" confirms that the Yardbirds don't really need Jimmy Page despite his undeniable talent. Their distinctive sound, obvious on "Birdland", was perfected prior to his joining the band, and things should stay this way.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
So what's this then? Two members of a long defunct group re-recording its back-catalogue without the original lead singer or any of its three "superstar" lead guitarists? Well not quite... rather a glorious re-interpretation of eight classic Yardbirds songs coupled with seven new numbers that are completely in-sync with them. The end result? Well if this was 1968 you'd be listening to what would be the Yardbirds' best album by a long way and one almost certainly destined for "cult" status. But it's 2003 and you're listening to something rather different - a carefully crafted and wholly effective recreation of everything that made the Yardbirds what they were dropped into some sort of bizarre time-warp. Look on it as a brilliant tribute album and things get a bit easier but...safer to forget any sensible analysis and simply revel in the wonderful music on offer.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
If you have any Yardbirds albums in your collection, you cannot NOT buy this after reading the track listing. I mean, come on, this is the Yardbirds, they didn't need those guitar greats to sell the album, it'd do quite well enough as it is, thank's very much. Quite simply, it ranks alongside any other 'official' Yardbirds album as an absolute classic, and if current guitarist, 21 year-old Ben King had been around when this was recorded, it wouldn't have needed the 'guests' to help out on the lead guitar duties. Ben King is one heck of a player, believe me!!! Okay, the Yardbirds may not have kept up with recording albums over the years, and the tracks they had have been plundered and blighted with far too many 'fast buck' compilations; so many, in fact, you tend to get fed up with them. But 'Birdland,' even disregarding the 'guests,' rubs shoulders grandly with 'Five Live' or 'Roger The Engineer.' My only hope and wish is the band get into the studios to get some tracks down with young Ben King, the best lead-guitarist the band have had since Clapton, Beck, or Page - believe it! In the meantime, until they do, buy 'Birdland,' it'll never be off your player, and being a CD there's no fear of wearing it out!
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