Birdland

( 5 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
The most visionary of Britain's original blues-rockers, the Yardbirds boast both a stellar alumni list, including six-string vets like Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, and Jeff Beck, and a catalogue of classic songs such as "For Your Love" and "Shape of Things." Perpetuating the band's living legacy, original members Chris Dreja and Jim McCarty have reconvened to record Birdland, fleshing out the lineup with members of blues-rock torchbearers Doctor Feelgood and Nine Below Zero, as well as a host of top-notch guest guitarists, who bring a surprising vitality to the newly recorded versions of the band's classics that take up roughly half the disc. Slash's take on "Train Kept a...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
The most visionary of Britain's original blues-rockers, the Yardbirds boast both a stellar alumni list, including six-string vets like Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, and Jeff Beck, and a catalogue of classic songs such as "For Your Love" and "Shape of Things." Perpetuating the band's living legacy, original members Chris Dreja and Jim McCarty have reconvened to record Birdland, fleshing out the lineup with members of blues-rock torchbearers Doctor Feelgood and Nine Below Zero, as well as a host of top-notch guest guitarists, who bring a surprising vitality to the newly recorded versions of the band's classics that take up roughly half the disc. Slash's take on "Train Kept a Rollin' " bridges the Yardbirds and Aerosmith versions; Steve Vai ups the ante of the already gnarly solo on "Shapes of Things"; and Brian May adds a tinge of melancholy melodicism to "Mister, You're a Better Man than I." The sparks emitted by the new material, however, propel the disc well beyond the confines of mere nostalgia. "The Mystery of Being" rides a raga-styled groove into a starry-skied desert realm left largely unexplored since the closing of the pipeline carrying Eastern mysticism to Western rockers. "Crying Out for Love" is a whole lot simpler, but its no-nonsense boogie pulse successfully updates the original Yardbirds take on Chicago blues. And the album's closer, "An Original Man," manages to eulogize late comrade Keith Relf without coming across as a funeral dirge. To the credit of Dreja, McCarty, and company, Birdland isn't just about the happenings of 35 years ago: It's a great leap forward, one accomplished without the use of a net.
All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
When this came out in 2003, it marked the first studio release by the Yardbirds in 35 years. In that time, of course, the personnel had changed quite a bit. Even those inclined to get excited by reunions of great bands should know right off that it includes just two original members, drummer Jim McCarty and rhythm guitarist Chris Dreja though Jeff Beck plays guest guitar on one number, "My Blind Life". Rounded out by three "new" members including bassist John Idan, whose lead singing sounds fairly close to original Yardbirds vocalist Keith Relf in style and tone, the record also features guest lead guitar cameos by Jeff Baxter, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, and Brian May, with Johnny Rzeznik of the Goo Goo Dolls singing lead on "For Your Love." The instinct is to make cruel, sardonic jokes about how the absence of Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, and for the most part Jeff Beck doesn't matter, as guitarists were always the weak links in the Yardbirds anyway. Yes, the non-presence of these fabled guitar heroes, as well as Relf who died in 1976, does mean that this can't be compared in any way to the group's classic 1960s output, even if it's billed to the Yardbirds' name. For all that, however, this is a lot better than you'd expect, and certainly far more respectable than most reunion/comeback efforts by decimated lineups of classic outfits. The production is straight-ahead without the usual sellouts to modern technology, putting the sleek guitar work to the fore. Half the record has remakes of old Yardbirds staples like "For Your Love," "Shapes of Things," and "Happenings Ten Years Time Ago," but they're not done badly, though you feel as though you're listening to a really good Yardbirds tribute band rather than the real deal. The original material, though not as good as those old Yardbirds tunes, actually sounds -- whether as a result of conscious or unconscious effort -- in the Yardbirds style, with plenty of irregular tempos, minor-keyed melodies, metaphysically questing lyrics, and Gregorian vocals as on the Relf tribute "An Original Man A Song for Keith".
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/22/2003
  • Label: Favored Nations
  • UPC: 690897228023
  • Catalog Number: 2280
  • Sales rank: 49,281

Album Credits

Performance Credits
The Yardbirds Primary Artist
Jeff Beck Guest Appearance
Joe Satriani Guest Appearance
Steve Vai Guest Appearance
Jim McCarty Percussion, Drums, Background Vocals
Jeff Baxter Guest Appearance
Chris Dreja Percussion, Rhythm Guitar
Steve Lukather Guest Appearance
Johnny Rzeznik Guest Appearance
Martin Ditchum Percussion
Alan Glen Harmonica
Gypie Mayo Guitar, Rhythm Guitar
John Idan Bass Guitar, Rhythm Guitar, Vocals, Background Vocals
Technical Credits
Ken Allardyce Producer, Engineer
Mark Dawson Engineer
Chris Dreja Art Direction
Andy Le Vein Engineer
June Murakawa Engineer
Nick Terry Engineer
Neil Citron Engineer
Clive Drew-Clifton Engineer
Howie Kay Composer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    great cd

    the yardbirds were at the head of the british invasion and rocking many a places across the globe. one of the best bands of all time. highly recomended.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Awesome!

    This is a truely classic album. After seeing the band in S.J.C. over the weekend, we had to have the cd. It does not disappoint. We listened that night, we listened all weekend, we'll continue to listen for another 30 years.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The Yardbirds are back!!

    Excellent musicianship throughout the Birdland cd!!Several older tunes are done expertly and the new songs are great too ! I saw the Yardbirds perform recently in Minneapolis and they were great!Buy the Birdland CD you will not be disappointed!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Unique

    To say that this is an amazing album due to the presence of some of the greatest rock guitarists of all time doing guest appearances should not detract from the originals; Clapton, Beck and Paige. The point is that every guitarist has a different style and each was asked to play on a tune that fit his style. It is a little bit like the Steely Dan formula; write a good song and then go get the best musicians. Can anyone find a body of songs better than the Yardbirds? Or better guitarists better than these guys? Come on. AMG gave this two stars. The reviewer must be one of those who thinks nothing can be as good as the original. While that is usually true, Joe Cocker did a Beatles tune better than the originals so it is possible. And here are some of the originals (including Jeff Beck on one tune) doing these great tunes. And then the guitar work. If you're a purist and don't get this album to hear the tunes, get it to listen to the guitar work. Simply amazing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    You're going to want to get this album.

    The Yardbirds are back. This album was worth getting just to listen to some of the best guitarists of all time rock on some of my favorite Yardbirds tracks. The album has 8 of their classic songs, and 7 new ones. The new recordings sound great, most of them are pretty dead on from the originals. ‘For your love,’ is my favorite on the album. Johnny Rzeznik does an excellent job with the vocals. I suggest you take a listen to this song if you can. Another standout track is ‘Over Under Sideways Down’ with Slash on guitar. Slash also does a great job on this track, and his solo at the end is awesome. You’ll want to crank up the volume for this one. Birdland just reaffirms why this band was so great back in the 60’s, and I highly recommend it. It’s just great, classic rock n’ roll.

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews