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273 of 279 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Beatles interpretations
Interscope Records has released three variations of soundtrack albums from the film - a standard edition and two deluxe editions. The standard edition contains 16 tracks from the film soundtrack. The first version of the deluxe edition features 31 tracks - all of the vocal performances and one of the three instrumental tracks. This 31-track version is available solely at...
Published on October 29, 2007 by Redgecko

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100 of 123 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great soundtrack, but...
The original Deluxe Edition released to iTunes and Best Buy contained 31 tracks over 2 CDs. The Deluxe Edition sold here and now available at other retailers only includes 29 tracks over 2 CDs. "Why Don't We Do it in the Road?" and "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" are missing.

I don't know why this is, but take it into account before ordering. The soundtrack...
Published on October 22, 2007 by Michael Moulton


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273 of 279 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Beatles interpretations, October 29, 2007
This review is from: Across The Universe (Audio CD)
Interscope Records has released three variations of soundtrack albums from the film - a standard edition and two deluxe editions. The standard edition contains 16 tracks from the film soundtrack. The first version of the deluxe edition features 31 tracks - all of the vocal performances and one of the three instrumental tracks. This 31-track version is available solely at the Best Buy retail chain and in a digital version via iTunes. A second version of the deluxe edition is available at other retail outlets. The second version differs from the 31-track version in that it omits two tracks: "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" and "Why Don't We Do It In The Road?". The total time for these two missing tracks is 5 minutes.

If you can get the 31-track version without a lot of hassle, then do so. But see no point in buying the 16-song single CD version when for a few dollars more you get more than 54 minutes of extra music.

The 29-track version is excellent and worth the money. Virtually every song is done in a manner very different from the original by the Beatles and yet it is very enjoyable and tasteful. Great, innovative cover versions, an amazing feat.

A final comment. Interscope Records is to be disdained for releasing 2 different Deluxe versions and causing both buyers and sellers a lot of needless decision making problems. Obviously, Best Buys made some marketing arrangement with Interscope Records but created a lot of angst for buyers.
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83 of 90 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Go to Best Buy and get the 31 song version, October 25, 2007
This review is from: Across The Universe (Audio CD)
This edition is 29 songs long. I found another version with 31 songs at Best Buy. The two missing songs here are: "Why Don't We Do it in the Road?" and "I Want You (She's So Heavy)"

Otherwise, this is a great album. The original cast voices Evan Rachel Woods, Jim Sturgess, etc. are excellent, plus we get guest shots from Joe Cocker (Come Together), Bono (I am the Walrus, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds) and Eddie Izzard (Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite).

Probably my top two of this collection is Joe Cocker's rough voice on "Come Together" and the excellent surprise of Martin Luther McCoy's voice on "While my Guitar Gently Weeps."

I strongly recommend the movie and this soundtrack is one of my favorites as well.
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100 of 123 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great soundtrack, but..., October 22, 2007
By 
Michael Moulton (Virginia Beach, VA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Across The Universe (Audio CD)
The original Deluxe Edition released to iTunes and Best Buy contained 31 tracks over 2 CDs. The Deluxe Edition sold here and now available at other retailers only includes 29 tracks over 2 CDs. "Why Don't We Do it in the Road?" and "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" are missing.

I don't know why this is, but take it into account before ordering. The soundtrack deserves 5 stars, but the unexplained removal of tracks cuts it to a 3.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Across The Generations, December 29, 2007
By 
Maclen (Hawaii, USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Across The Universe (Audio CD)
I grew up with The Beatles and consider them the greatest pop/rock band. I also consider Lennon and McCartney the greatest composers of the 20th century, who were also blessed with fine voices and perfect harmony. So, when my daughter saw this movie and strongly recommended the soundtrack, I was very skeptical. I thought to myself: "Why is there yet another attempt to cover The Beatles' songs; with few exceptions, the results are abysmal."

But when I listened to these songs, reinterpreted by these talented singers, I was really impressed. Especially noteworthy are Jim Sturgess and Martin Luther McCoy; they are gifted performers. What struck me the most, however, was that all of these singers took on our generation's sacred songs (our zeitgeist) and succeeded in giving these songs vibrancy and new meaning.

Highlights:

"Girl"--Beautifully sung, but I wish he was allowed to finish the song.

"All My Loving"-- Again, Sturgess gets it right with all the youthful exuberance this song requires.

"Let It Be"--Fantastic! McCartney always intended this to by a church hymn, and I have heard gospel renditions by Aretha Franklin and Ray Charles, but the choir here is superb and makes this my favorite version of the song to date.

"Come Together"--I forget who told Joe Cocker that he was the only white man with soul, but this song showcases his talents. He brings a soulful, bluesy feeling to this song.

"I Am The Walrus"--While I still prefer Lennon's psychedelic, stream of consciousness in your face version, taking aim at his overzealous song critics, Bono is able to convey this anger with great success. Bono is wonderfully manic.

"Strawberry Fields Forever"--I never thought that I would hear a better version of Lennon's defining moment of introspection and self-doubt, but Sturgess captures this mood effectively, in a haunting and mesmerizing way.

"While My Guitar Gently Weeps"--This is worth the price of admission alone. McCoy even betters George Harrison (in "The "White Album" version with the hard-rocking Clapton backing and in "The Anthology" version with Harrison alone with his acoustic guitar.) McCoy starts out quiet and breathless and by the end wrings every emotion out of this song. His range and voice remind me of Seal's. This is my favorite song on the album.

"Across The Universe"--Sturgess takes a wordy, but extremely poetic Lennon song and does not stumble over the words, which is so easy to do. He is able to get at the core of the song and discover its purity. However, unlike Lennon, Sturgess sings defiantly and transforms the song into an anthem.

Shortcomings:

"Hold Me Tight"--This is the fault of the director and producer and not the performer. Lennon has admitted that this song was "filler" and far from his best. In this album, it is forgettable.

"Blue Jay Way"--Again, poor song choice. This is one of the worst songs by Harrison and on the "Magical Mystery Tour" album. It has no purpose other than droning on and on; it is no better on this album.

"Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite"--I prefer the original. Lennon is so much better than Izzard.

"Because"--This rendition is not bad; it's just not close to the original. The Beatles knew that they were breaking up on "Abbey Road," and they gave the performance of a lifetime on the album. It is reported that they painstakingly recorded many takes of this song to get the phrasing, harmony and pitch perfect. Listen to the version on "The Anthology" or "Love," since it is a cappella. It features McCartney taking the high part, Harrison the middle, and Lennon taking the bottom. Their lush three-part harmony is so tight and perfect, that it is difficult to tell who is singing what part. Their version has never been equalled.

"Revolution"--This is the only song sung by Sturgess that doesn't work for me. The original song is angry Lennon at his best, with distorted guitars augmenting his strident singing. Sturgess' version is too light and benign and seems misplaced.

"Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds"--In this song, Bono is banal. It's an average performance of a great song.

In sum, this is a wonderful album. The singers deserve credit for taking on the daunting task of The Beatles' canon and making it work, and more importantly, reinterpreting it so that it succeeds on its own merit. The fact that my daughter, who considers The Beatles "so last century," loves this album, and the fact that her die-hard Beatles' fan father loves it too, should speak volumes.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Highway robbery by the female vocalists makes this special, January 10, 2008
This review is from: Across The Universe (Audio CD)
Oh sure, anyone can do a Beatles cover--but how many of them are really done well? (The criminally underrated "I Am Sam" soundtrack is a good example of how to do it properly, as is Siouxsie and the Banshees' delicious "Dear Prudence.") Without Julie Taymor's fantasmagorical film images to propel the story, and without the actors' faces (in loving close-up) to buttress the songs, you've basically just got another bunch of Beatles covers of ranging quality. Fortunately, Taymor chose well. Jim Sturgess handles the bulk of the material competently, and occasionally movingly, especially the opening track "Girl"; Joe Anderson fares a little less well, though in all fairness he doesn't have the best material--"With A Little Help from My Friends" and "Happiness Is A Warm Gun" could give anyone a run for their money. Joe Cocker and Bono are...well, Joe Cocker and Bono, and thus very pleasurable in this context. Only one male track is a clinker: Eddie Izzard's hopelessly affected "For The Benefit of Mr. Kite," which finds him chewing whatever scenery he could get his mouth around between and during lyrics. (When you have a song that bizarre, underplaying is probably a safer bet.) But it's the female vocalists--suprise!--who really make this Magical Mystery Tour fly. T.V. Carpio offers a lovely, yearning "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" that takes the lyrics in a completely different direction--you may miss the original's swaggering drive, but you won't soon forget this take, either. Dana Fuchs manages to sound like Janis Joplin without ever sounding like a bad rip-off of Janis Joplin, and her incandescent work on "Helter Skelter" might melt your speakers. Last but never, ever least, Evan Rachel Wood wraps her honeyed tones around several tracks and completely owns them. Some fans may remember Wood's exquisite performance of "When the Red Red Robin" from "Once and Again," but here she taps into something delicate and melancholy that bruises your heart. "Hold Me Tight" and "It Won't Be Long" are sexy, throaty pleasures, but no vocal track all year in any musical rivals her caressing the lyrics to "If I Fell"--it's never been so poignant, so haunted, so fragile. Please, Hollywood, please Broadway, please anyone--give this girl a spotlight, a microphone, and the dazzling career she so richly deserves.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sort of conflicted, February 14, 2008
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This review is from: Across The Universe (Audio CD)
So, I thought that the reason I loved the film so much more than any of my friends was due to the fact that although I love & admire the songs of the Beatles, I wasn't married to their recordings of the songs.
The reason I'm kind of disappointed with this soundtrack, oddly enough, is because I became so completely attached to the film versions. Hardly anyone has mentioned in their reviews that these aren't the same versions of the songs you hear in the film. The arrangements differ A LOT.
*"Hold Me Tight" is sung solely by Evan Rachel Woods- the vocal of "Jude's" Liverpool girlfriend? Not there.
*"A Little Help From My Friends" has been reduced to a duet between Joe Anderson & Jim Sturgess, lacking the rambunctiousness of the other guys in the scene.
*At the end of "It Won't Be Long", the tempo never slows down- remember how all of the students are waiting for the clock to chime 3?
...you get the idea. I really felt like these were some unique moments that added charm to the songs. Without them, despite still being enjoyable, they sometimes seem a little flat. Of course, people have already mentioned the missing songs- "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" was a favorite of mine!
As much as I like the cd, I can't help but feel a little disappointed. I wish I'd have known before I bought it. Not that I wouldn't still buy it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, but a few annoying things., February 15, 2008
By 
J. Dollak (Newton, MA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Across The Universe (Audio CD)
I'm largely happy with this disk, although a few things have been bothering me, and make me hope for a revised release.
First, the exclusion of the versions of I Want You and Why Don't We....
Second, Hold Me Tight has two versions in the movie. I'd like both.
Third, With A Little Help From My Friends has been made much more dull in this version.
Fourth, Hey Jude has vocal parts removed (when Max calls out near the end in the movie)
Fifth, and most important to me, during All You Need Is Love, the line "she loves you yeah, yeah, yeah has been eliminated. This is inexcusable. The line is in the original, and is so incredibly important to making the song complete.

I seriously hope they release an updated version at some point.

Update: I've noticed another serious annoyance. The album version of I've Just Seen A Face is completely different from the film version. The film version has an acoustic rhythm guitar part, an accordion, and a very different solo. The album version has an electric rhythm guitar part, no accordion, and the solo is played on a Hammond organ-sounding instrument.

I wish I knew who to petition to get the film versions of these songs.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great CD but missing a couple things, May 6, 2008
This review is from: Across The Universe (Audio CD)
I first saw this movie in April of 2008 (not sure how I missed it when it was in the theater), and was blown away by it. I love all the renditions of classic Beatles' songs. The soundtrack, like the movie, evokes such a range of emotions and stands out in the mind as one of those movies you'll never forget (and like an album that keeps getting better with each listen). It instantly became one of my top ten favorites. If you're a child of the 60's, this will be a very enjoyable trip down memory lane as you revisit some great songs with an updated flair that does primo justice to the original songs while still making them palatable to a younger audience. Brilliantly composed and arranged! Two thumbs up and five stars for the arrangement and quality of presentation!

The album is sequenced in virtually the same order as the songs appear in the film (which I was very happy to see), with the exception of "Flying", which (in the movie) appears in the final credits. This CD is also missing two great songs from the film; "I want You (She's So Heavy)" and "Why Don't We Do It In The Road". This is partly why the soundtrack earned a 4 star review from me instead of 5.

Apparently there is a 31 song version of this album out there so I would advise looking for that if you want the complete soundtrack. "I Want You" was (arguably) one of the most memorable songs from the film and I can't fathom why they would leave it off the deluxe edition.

My only other minor disappointment with the soundtrack (also leading to my 4 star review) is the fact that some of the vocals are a little different from the movie versions, which is a slight disappointment. For example, on "Hey Jude", (though the album version is extremely close to the movie version) I loved the harmony part of Jude's mother in the film, but on the soundtrack she is not there and her part is replaced by - I think it's - Jim Sturgess' voice. It still sounds awesome (as Jim's voice is definitely cool), but I wish they had kept it in total harmony with the film. The guy playing the garbage cans is also absent from the track (not a big disappointment there, but if you're looking for a direct likeness to the film, just note that it's missing). Also, on "I Want You", the soundtrack misses the strong part of the soldiers singing along with their synchronized marching steps, which was so dramatic in the film. Without it, the song comes across as much softer on the CD. BUMMER! I really missed that in the album version (almost made me want to record it directly off the DVD). Instead of the soldier's singing, it appears to be Dana Fuchs (Sadie) harmonizing the part. Again, still sounds really cool (as I love Dana's powerful voice), but I still wish the movie version was there instead (and not to worry... T.V. Carpio's part is still there as it should be).

Aside from these minor drawbacks, the soundtrack is solid and definitely one of my new favorites. I love Bono's performances of "Lucy in the Sky" and "I Am The Walrus". The vocal sounds of the cast singing "Because" even top the Beatles in my opinion. It's beautiful! "I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends" also blows the Beatles' version away in my opinion. "Strawberry Fields Forever" follows the original quite well and sounds great. In fact, all of these songs are excellent arrangements, dare I say BETTER than the originals that they were inspired from - but some will certainly argue that point with me. I dug the originals but I love these new versions. The updated versions do not deviate from the original melodies and virtually all of the familiar components of the songs are there with only some slight modifications to the background arrangements. Whether your a Beatles fan or not, this is a great CD! There's enough solid likeness to the original songs for fans of those originals, but for those of a younger generation who are perhaps unfamiliar with them these are definitely pleasing to the ear and will keep those classics alive for years to come!

GREAT CD!!! Worth purchasing, though my only advice is to try and find the 31 song edition with "I Want You" and "Why Don't We Do It In The Road". Be advised, this Amazon-sold edition is missing those two great sounding songs.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ACROSS THE UNIVERSE, April 27, 2008
This review is from: Across The Universe (Audio CD)
This a wonderful romp through a more peace filled time remembered. The music is wonderful. It's the Beatles. What more needs to be said. And the movie is so cute and sweet. In the struggles of every day life now, this movie brings back the gentleness and the victory our generation grew up on and the fact that "ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE." It reminds us that if we can only pull together, we can accomplish anything. Afterall, we stopped a war and brought our people home. We could do it again if we united ourselves like we did back then.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good, but you might not like how...., November 25, 2007
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Across The Universe (Audio CD)
these versions differ from the actual ones used in the film. The vocals were all filmed live, so there are many songs here that dont' match up to what you see in the film exactly. Most significant is Dear Prudence, which has a totally different rhythm than the version in the film.

BUT...aside from being a little disappointed at the absence of Paul's bouncy, walking bass line in All My Lovin', I really enjoyed these renditions of these great songs. I do tend to be a bit of a Beatles Purist, and don't like anyone messing with the perfection the Fab Four achieved, but I just loved this film. Besides totally falling in love with Jim Sturgess, who also eerily reminded me of an ex, I enjoyed Julie Taymor's vision, imagery and symbolism. She did a fabulous job showing the chaos of the times, and how the Beatles' music reflected what was going on then, and how their music changed as the times changed, from the stripped down innocence of Hold Me Tight and It Won't Be Long, to the complexity and the layers of Strawberry Fields Forever, Helter Skelter and the song that inspired the title, the plaintive chorus, "Nothing's gonna change my world" playing while Max's stunned, glazed over eyes survey the carnage in Viet Nam, realizing all their worlds have been irrepairably changed forever. You hear a great deal more in these songs after seeing the movie, and the soundtrack recalls that.

The soundtrack brings back the best parts of the movie, and does put a very fresh and refreshing spin on, while paying homage to, this great music.
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Across The Universe
Across The Universe by Joe Cocker (Audio CD - 2007)
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