Yardbirds - Birdland (2003)

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Artist: Yardbirds
Album: birdland (2003)
Genre: Rock, Blues-Rock

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I personally brought this album when it was new in 2003 which was labelled as the first studio album in 35 years and includes a number of guest appearances by "Jeff "Skunk" Baxter, Jeff Beck, Steve Lukather, Brian May, Joe Satriani, Slash, and Steve Val".

The Lineup for this Yardbird album being Jim McCarty on drums, percussion & background vocals, Chris Dreja on energy, rhythm guitar & percussion, Gypie Mayo on Lead and rhythm guitars, John Idan on Lead Vocals, Bass and Rhythm guitars, background vocals & Alan Glen on Harmonica.

Guess Appearances features:

* Jeff 'Skunk' Baxter on "The Nazz are blue"
* John Rzeznik on "For Your Love"
* Joe Satriani on "Train Kept a Rollin'"
* Steve Val on "Shapes of Things"
* Jeff Beck on "My Blind Life"
* Slash on "Over, under, sideways, down"
* Brian May on "Mr. you're a better man than I"
* Steve Lukather on "Happenings Ten Years Time Ago"
* Martin Ditchum plays percussion on tracks "I'm Not Talking", "Crying Out For Love", "For Your Love", "Please Don't Tell Me 'bout the news", "Mr. Saboteur", "Over Under Sideways Down", "Mystery Of Being", "Dream Within a dream" and "An Original Man (A Song For Keith)"

* Simon McCarty plays percussion on "My Blind Life"

And now the Track Listings! Phew! :wtf:

1. I'm Not Talking
2. Crying Out For Love
3. The Nazz are blue
4. For Your Love
5. Please Don't Tell Me 'bout The News
6. Train Kept A Rollin'
7. Mr. Saboteur
8. Shapes Of Things
9. My Blind Life
10. Over Under Sideways Down
11. Mr. You're A Better Man Than I
12. Mystery of Being
13. Dream Within A Dream
14. Happenings Ten Years Time Ago
15. An Original Man (A Song For Keith)

I will try and break this album down here cause there's a lot to it. Pretty much it was an album to reckonise what The Yardbirds had contributed to the Musical Industry back in the 1960s and all those great songs they had, though this album also puts together a number of songs which James McCarty wrote in 1996 and 2003 and Chris Dreja contributed "My Blind Life" and "An Original Man (A Song For Keith)" was written my Dreja, McCarty, Idan & Mayo in 2003, which was basically a tribute to Keith Relf which died in tragic circumstances in the 1970s.

Because it's a tribute album, on many different levels it's great in a way, though personally I felt there's one or two songs which aren't as good as the others, "My Blind Life" seems to be one of the lowest points in the album, but the album offers a number of great tracks and revisions of those early Yardbirds tracks and some great newer tracks as well. At the time I brought this album I wasn't sure what was deemed a new song - "Mr. You're A Better Man Than I" I thought was a wonderful track from this album, though have since heard the original "You're A Better Man Than I" which is quite good though too and it seemed to open up the album with come other great tracks with "Mystery Of Being" and "Dream Within A Dream", making the area towards the end of the album a momorible one. "An Original Man (A Song For Keith)" is a great approriate track to finish the album off, though personally it's not the sort of track one will want to continue to play everytime you listen to the album - does that make sense?
If not I'll say it like this - An Great Classic Album by the Byrds called "Younger Than Yesterday" includes a somewhat different tune called "Mind Gardens". "Mind Gardens" written by David Crosby is a Wonderful tune, though it's so different as well - it's perhaps one tune which divides the rest of the album from it and personally while I love "Mind Gardens" it's something I don't usually listen to. Well I tried! :( Yes usually the whole point to an album once upon a time was to play it complete, so I'm simply the messagener - if you want to shoot someone, shoot the guy who allowed the skip track search on the CD Player.

But this album "birdland" has some great revised stuff which the Yardbirds did in the 60s, "Happenings Ten Years Time Ago"? Personally I always felt the 60s version as a very difficult version to top, this offering on "birdland" is still quite good as an alternative, and then you have the classics like "For Your Love", "Train Kept a Rollin'", "Shapes of Things", "Over Under Sideways Down"," Mr You're A Better Man Than I" & "I'm Not Talking". These revised tunes offer a lot clearer clarity than the original tunes thanks to perhaps the enhancements which we've had since Digital has come into play a lot more. That's not saying that this album reinvents the wheel and transforms what The Yardbirds once had, I personally think that the sound captured on this album is pretty much how you'd hear the Yardbirds in the 60s, though given the quality of things have come a long way since then, it's simply good old fashion Rock & Blues-Rock in the clearest clarity! :D The other beauty of the tracks from which the Yardbirds did in the 60s also don't so much try to copy what the sound of the original tracks had and the members offer their own interpretations to those original songs, though they simply don't make it sound totally different either - which is important because someone like myself wouldn't been looking for somebody to copy what somebody once did and claim them to be a rip-off.

For the Overall album I reckon it's worth a 4 out of 5, the album nearly offers an hours worth of music, my only trouble is some tracks aren't as good as the others and I wished those Yardbirds had done some sort of Live Tour and made a DVD of it. Sadly nothing came to it, which was a bit odd.
 

Oblivion

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Re: YARDBIRDS - birdland

Wow :) great review !

I'm downloading the album to see what you are talking about exactly ;) maybe next time you could add one or 2 songs to the review to clarify your point?
 

Foxhound

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Re: YARDBIRDS - birdland

CP/M User:

Good stuff! I've been thinking of picking up a copy of that album. It would have more credibility as a Yardbirds comeback album had Paul Samwell-Smith been on bass.

...I wished those Yardbirds had done some sort of Live Tour....

That lineup actually did tour extensively. I saw them at a bluesfest in 2006(?) and they were fabulous! They absolutely nailed their old hits such as "For Your Love", "Heart Full of Soul", "Over, Under, Sideways, Down" and "Still I'm Sad".

:rock:
 

LG

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Re: YARDBIRDS - birdland

I'm not a big Yardbirds fan myself, but I appreciate the effort you put into your review CP/M.:tup:

I'll let OB scout the album for me before I decide to check it out myself...:D
 

Magic

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Re: YARDBIRDS - birdland

Well written review, CP/M! I hope you do more reviews, I am like LG, I dont care much for the Yardbirds, but a well written review tends to sway my opinions, and I check them out for my curiosity sake.
 

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Re: YARDBIRDS - birdland

Foxhound wrote:

CP/M User:

Good stuff! I've been thinking of picking up a copy of that album. It would have more credibility as a Yardbirds comeback album had Paul Samwell-Smith been on bass.



That lineup actually did tour extensively. I saw them at a bluesfest in 2006(?) and they were fabulous! They absolutely nailed their old hits such as "For Your Love", "Heart Full of Soul", "Over, Under, Sideways, Down" and "Still I'm Sad".

:rock:

Oh okay, well it's usually a good thing to go with an album, I guess I'm so used to seeing a DVD of it as well that I was expecting to hear "birdland" Live on DVD. I purchased Brian Wilson doing "Pet Sounds" on CD, and was keen to get the DVD when it came out, but sadly it wasn't as good as the CD and was broken up of all the concerts he did for that album, so I guess the CD is the same as well! :(
 

Soot and Stars

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Re: YARDBIRDS - birdland

I agree with the people who commented on how well written your review was! I know nothing about Yardbird history but I kept reading nonetheless! :grinthumb
 

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