This Bird Has Flown: A 40th Anniversary Tribute to the Beatles' Rubber Soul CD (2005)

Artist: Various Artists

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Product Overview

In honor of the 40th anniversary of the release of the Beatles' legendary album, Rubber Soul, comes This Bird Has Flown - A 40th Anniversary Tribute To The Beatles' Rubber Soul. Forty years on -- Rubber Soul still holds its own and is immortalized again by this tribute. This CD mirrors the sequencing of the original UK version of Rubber Soul and features some of today's most credible and artistically successful artists including, Dar Williams, Mindy Smith, Sufjan Stevens, The Donnas, The Fiery Furnaces, Ben Harper, Ben Kweller and many more.


Label Razor And Tie Records
SKU 64013539
UPC 793018294829
UPC 14 00793018294829
Format CD
Release Date 10/25/2005
Author Various Artists
Technical Info
Engineer Donnie Whitbeck; Danny Leo; Gary Paczosa; Greg McRae; Walter Fishbacher; Low; Michael Timmins; Paul David Hager; Paul Q. Kolderie; Roger Greenawalt; Salim Nourallah; Sufjan Stevens; Bill Skibbe; Adam Hawkins
Producer Jim Sampas; Duke Levine; Low; Michael Timmins; Mindy Smith; Nellie McKay; Paul David Hager; Roger Greenawalt; Teddy; Ben Lee; Lara Meyerratken; Jim Sampas (Compilation)
CatalogID 82948
Lable Name Razor & Tie
Released 10/25/2005
Original Release 2005
Number of Discs 1
SPARE Code n/a
Mono/Stereo Stereo
Studio/Live Studio
UPC 00793018294829
Album Notes and Credits
Personnel: Ted Leo (vocals, guitar, drums); Ben Harper, Adam Aijala (vocals, guitar); Sufjan Stevens (vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, banjo, flute, recorder, oboe, organ, Wurlitzer organ, glockenspiel, shaker, triangle, sleigh bell); Jeff Austin (vocals, mandolin); Brett McKean Anderson (vocals, piano); Dar Williams, Margo Timmins, Mimi Parker, Nellie McKay, Rhett Miller, Ben Lee, Eleanor Friedberger, Lara Meyerratken, Ben Kaufmann (vocals); Allison Robertson (guitar, background vocals); Alan Sparhawk, Michael Timmins, Michael Ward , Albert Hammond, Jr. (guitar); Chris Holt (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, piano, background vocals); Kevin Barry (acoustic guitar, lap steel guitar); Duke Levine (electric guitar, mandola, harmonium, omnichord); Tracy Wannomae (flute); Tom Ralls (trombone); Jason Yates (keyboards); James McAlister (drums, tambourine); Torry Castellano (drums, percussion, background vocals); David Hopkins, Jay Bellerose (drums, percussion); Peter Timmins, Oliver Charles (drums); Leon Mobley (percussion); Clubhouse Quartet, Paul Davis , Maya Ford, Raymond Raposa (background vocals).
Audio Mixers: Gary Paczosa; Greg McRae; Walter Fishbacher; Jeff Wolpert; Paul David Hager; Paul Q. Kolderie; Roger Greenawalt; Salim Nourallah; Sufjan Stevens; Todd Burke; Bill Skibbe; Adam Hawkins .
Recording information: Black In Black Studios; Camp Street Studio, Cambridge, MA; Joey Altruda Recording Studio; Key Club Recording Company; Lowfish Recording Studio; Minutia Sound; Phantom Studios, Westlake Village, CA; Pleasantry Lane; Shabby Studios, Brooklyn, NY; Sufjan's HOme, Brooklyn, NY; The Buddy Project, Astoria, Queens, NY; Wild Frontier, Brooklyn, NY; Wrecking Room Studio, CO.
Arranger: Sufjan Stevens.
There have been countless tribute albums, but relatively few have been an album-length salute to a proper album. Most notably there was NME's 1988 Sgt. Pepper Knew My Father, which had a nice sense of humor and adventure, featuring such excellent pairings as Sonic Youth and "Within You, Without You," Billy Bragg and "She's Leaving Home," and the Fall taking on "A Day In the Life." Seventeen years later, there's Razor & Tie's This Bird Has Flown: A 40th Anniversary Tribute to the Beatles' Rubber Soul, which rounds up 14 adult-alternative and indie rock artists to do a track by track cover of another classic Beatles album. While there are no superstars here, the lineup is rather impressive: adult-alternative mainstays like Ben Harper and Cowboy Junkies are balanced by up-and-comers like Mindy Smith and Nellie McKay, plus indie cult favorites the Fiery Furnaces, Low, Ted Leo and 2005's golden boy Sufjan Stevens. As good as this lineup is, This Bird Has Flown suffers slightly from a sense of predictability, since every artist interprets their chosen selection in exactly the way you'd imagine it, so even if these covers aren't strictly faithful to the Beatles's originals, they do sound familiar. For instance, the Donnas do a straight-ahead, cleanly rocking version of "Drive My Car," Ben Harper reinterprets "Michelle" as an insipid reggae number, Dar Williams does a nice songwriter-y version of "You Won't See Me," Low's "Nowhere Man" is endearingly quiet, Ben Lee takes "In My Life" in a lazily introspective direction, the Yonder Mountain String Band does a neon-old timey version of "Think for Yourself" that's spiked with a fuzz bass while Mindy Smith does a bright, earnest take on "The Word" and the Cowboy Junkies turns "Run for Your Life" into a sultry, late-night groove that's undercut somewhat by silly call-and-response vocals and a creeping resemblance to the work of Alannah Myles. The most memorable cuts here are the ones that take the songs in a slightly different direction than expected -- at least according to what's expected of the song, since these interpretations fit right into the artists' other work. Nellie McKay turns George Harrison's "If I Needed Someone" into swinging lounge-jazz that's just a shade too ironic, but Ted Leo's tightly-wound, ska revival arrangement of "I'm Looking Through You" is certainly one of the highlights here, as is the Fiery Furnaces's "Norwegian Wood." The brother-sister duo reinterpret "Norwegian Wood" as the missing piece from their intricate Blueberry Boat, cutting out the signature acoustic guitar riff and twisting the melody, turning the song into a thick, swirling, organ-heavy, double-tracked ominous collage, complete with a creepy, tape-warped tapestry of piano coda reminiscent of "I Am The Walrus." It's the most imaginative thing here and has an opposite in Sufjan Stevens's similar radical rewrite of "What Goes On," which throws out everything but the lyrics of the original. Where the Fiery Furnaces's reinterpretation sounds lively and imaginative, Stevens sounds contemptuous of his source material, so he decides to recast a nifty country-rock tune into a microcosm of his drama-school art-pop LPs, compressing all of his precious little quirks -- banjos, flutes playing a medieval theme, shifting tempos and disjointed sections -- into a simpering, insufferable mini-suite that grinds this record to a halt. Despite this, the Sufjan track is the only severe misstep in an album filled with good, generally pleasant covers that in no way replace the original Beatles versions but do offer as a nice reminder of what great songwriters Lennon, McCartney and Harrison were. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Professional Reviews
Rolling Stone (No. 988, p.118) - 3.5 out of 5 stars - "...[R]espectful, but irreverent..."
Disc 1
1 Drive My Car
2 Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)
3 You Won't See Me
4 Nowhere Man
5 Think For Yourself
6 Word, The
7 Michelle
8 What Goes On
9 Girl
10 I'm Looking Through You
11 In My Life
12 Wait
13 If I Needed Someone
14 Run For Your Life

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