I Am Sam

I Am Sam

4.4 21
     
 

Sam, the mentally challenged title character of I Am Sam, played by Sean Penn, loves the songs of the Beatles -- just like the rest of the civilized world. But Sam takes his devotion a bit further than most, using the wisdom in the Beatles’ music to guide him throughout the movie. Unable to obtain the original Fab Four recordings, theSee more details below

Overview

Sam, the mentally challenged title character of I Am Sam, played by Sean Penn, loves the songs of the Beatles -- just like the rest of the civilized world. But Sam takes his devotion a bit further than most, using the wisdom in the Beatles’ music to guide him throughout the movie. Unable to obtain the original Fab Four recordings, the film's producers saw a golden opportunity and took it: commissioning a spate of covers from rock luminaries as well as lesser-known popsters, all of whom display their own love of Beatles songs by interpreting the classics, not imitating them. Tackling such revered material can be a daunting task, but the results here are refreshing. The covers range from the expected ("Strawberry Fields Forever," which Ben Harper drapes in myriad layers of psychedelia) to the obscure ("Two of Us," given a warm, loving reading by Aimee Mann and Sean’s brother, Michael Penn). A passel of big names turn up, and most take the opportunity to break character, as evidenced by the Black Crowes' lolling "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" and Eddie Vedder's straightforward, angst-free take on "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away." Just as interestingly, some of the set's more low-profile acts go out of their way to put decidedly personal spins on the songs they were handed: Critical favorite Grandaddy's doleful, spooky version of "Revolution" resounds like an admonition, rather than a call to arms, while the enigmatic Chocolate Genius infuses "Julia" with a through-the-looking-glass sense of wistful wonder. In taking the road less traveled, these 17 artists affirm the timelessness of the Beatles' music.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Zac Johnson
The soundtrack for Sean Penn's 2002 film I Am Sam was not compiled without difficulties, but the finished product ended up being very enjoyable. The filmmaker's' original plan was to use the Beatles' original versions of songs in the film, but it was stonewalled by the band's strict self-imposed policy of not licensing their music for films. Instead, the producers decided to use new recordings of the songs by contemporary artists. Further complicating the issue, the film had originally been sequenced to match the pacing of the original songs, so many of the new versions needed to match the exact tempo and length of the classic versions. Luckily, the artists involved jumped at the chance and came up with some really engaging interpretations. Aimee Mann and Michael Penn's sweet duet "Two of Us" sticks faithfully to the original, as does Sarah McLachlan's solo acoustic "Blackbird," while Ben Harper takes some psychedelic guitar liberties on his fantastic version of "Strawberry Fields Forever." Ben Folds' perfect "Golden Slumbers" becomes anthemic in its choruses (even if it is a little too short), while an intimate (if marble-mouthed) Eddie Vedder turns in a campfire rendition of "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away." A handful of the songs are less successful, like the Black Crowes' dull "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" and Heather Nova's "We Can Work It Out," which almost sounds like she'd never heard the song before recording it. These are outshined by gems like Stereophonics' laddish "Don't Let Me Down" (which ends up sounding more like a Faces cover) and Rufus Wainwright's soaring "Across the Universe." While cynical listeners may protest the preponderance of up-and-coming V2 (Richard Branson's record label) artists, there are far more winners than losers on this collection.

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Product Details

Release Date:
01/08/2002
Label:
V2 North America
UPC:
0638812711922
catalogNumber:
27119
Rank:
16401

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Two of Us @@Aimee Mann & Michael Penn
  2. Blackbird @@Sarah McLachlan
  3. Across the Universe @@Rufus Wainright
  4. I'm Looking Through You @@The Wallflowers
  5. You've Got to Hide Your Love Away @@Eddie Vedder
  6. Strawberry Fields @@Ben Harper
  7. Mother Nature's Son @@Sheryl Crow
  8. Golden Slumbers @@Ben Folds
  9. I'm Only Sleeping @@The Vines
  10. Don't Let Me Down @@Stereophonics
  11. Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds @@The Black Crowes
  12. Julia @@Chocolate Genius
  13. We Can Work It Out @@Heather Nova
  14. Help @@Howie Day
  15. Nowhere Man @@Paul Westerberg
  16. Revolution @@Grandaddy
  17. Let It Be @@Nick Cave

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Black Crowes   Track Performer
Jackson Browne   Vocal Harmony
Nick Cave   Vocals
Michael Penn   Acoustic Guitar,Vocals,Penny Whistle,Snare Drums
Marc Ribot   Acoustic Guitar,Banjo
Sarah McLachlan   Vocals
Marc Anthony Thompson   Harmonica,Keyboards,Vocals,12-string Guitar
Wallflowers   Track Performer
Sheryl Crow   Bass Guitar,Vocals,Omnichord
Oren Bloedow   Bass,Guitar,Tarang,Pump Organ
Aimee Mann   Vocals
Heather Nova   Vocals
Alan Bezozi   Percussion,Drums
George Doering   Guitar
Jakob Dylan   Guitar,Vocals
Chris Feinstein   Bass,Guitar,Percussion
Mick Gallagher   Hammond Organ
Steve Gorman   Drums,Background Vocals
Ben Harper   Guitar,Vocals
Eddie Harsch   Keyboards,Vibes
Rami Jaffee   Keyboards
Chaz Jankel   Piano
Jay Joyce   Acoustic Guitar
Greg Kurstin   Keyboards
Pierre Marchand   Keyboards
Val McCallum   Guitar
Leon Mobley   Percussion
Shawn Pelton   Drums
Lorenza Ponce   Violin
Chris Robinson   Vocals
Rob Schnapf   Guitar,Sitar
John Turnbull   Guitar
Eddie Vedder   Acoustic Guitar,Harmonica,Electric Bass,Tambourine,Vocals,Snare Drums,Shaker
Norman Watt-Roy   Bass Guitar
Garo Yellin   Cello
Michelle Kinney   Cello
Michael Lockwood   Synthesizer,Acoustic Guitar,Autoharp,Electric Guitar,Keyboards,Zither,Bass Viol,Marxophone,Guitar (Baritone)
Gilad Atzmon   Clarinet
Ashwin Sood   Vocals,Toy Piano
Joey Waronker   Drums
Sean Ashby   Acoustic Guitar
Antoine Silverman   Violin
Rufus Wainwright   Vocals
Grandaddy   Track Performer
Juan Nelson   Bass
Greg Richling   Bass
Forrest McDonald   Background Vocals
Chocolate Genius   Track Performer
Conway Kuo   Viola
Mario Calire   Drums
Vines   Track Performer
Craig Nicholls   Guitar,Vocals
Tom Fills   Maracas,Tambourine
Rich Robinson   Bass,Guitar,Vocals
Dylan Howe   Drums
Abe Laboriel   Guitar,Drums,Keyboards
Abraham Ceferino Valiente Hernández   Viola
Howie Day   Guitar,Vocals
Patrick Matthews   Bass
Ron Blake   Trumpet
Emily Wright   Cello

Technical Credits

Nick Cave   Producer
Marc Anthony Thompson   Producer,Engineer
Sheryl Crow   Producer
Mark Howard   Engineer
Aimee Mann   Sound Effects
Paul Westerberg   Engineer
Bill Appleberry   Producer,Engineer
Niko Bolas   Engineer
John Brand   Producer
Greg Calbi   Mastering
Joe Chiccarelli   Engineering
Chris Feinstein   Producer
Ben Harper   Producer,String Arrangements
Gareth Jones   Producer
Pierre Marchand   Producer
Tobi Miller   Producer,Engineer
Shawn Pelton   Loop
Lorenza Ponce   String Arrangements
Chris Robinson   Producer
Rob Schnapf   Producer
Rick "Soldier" Will   Producer,Engineer
Michael Lockwood   Producer
Rail Jon Rogut   Pro-Tools
Trina Shoemaker   Engineer
Ben Folds   Producer
Doug Boehm   Engineer
Eric Tew   Digital Editing
Stereophonics   Producer
Paul Broucek   Music Executive
Felix Tod   Producer,Engineer
Ryan Freeland   Engineer
Lori Silfen   Music Business Affairs
Chris Ribando   Engineer
Mitch Rotter   Soundtrack Executive Producer
Rich Robinson   Producer
Abe Laboriel   Producer
Jason Lytle   Producer
Kevin Dean   Engineer

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