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I Am Sam - Music from and Inspired by the Motion Picture Soundtrack


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Audio CD, Soundtrack, January 8, 2002
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I Am Sam - Music from and Inspired by the Motion Picture + I am Sam (New Line Platinum Series)
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 8, 2002)
  • Original Release Date: January 25, 2002
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Soundtrack
  • Label: V2
  • Run Time: 132 minutes
  • ASIN: B00005TT77
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (239 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,159 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Two of Us - Aimee Mann & Michael Penn
2. Blackbird - Sarah McLachlan
3. Across the Universe - Rufus Wainwright
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

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

17 Beatle songs covered by Aimee Mann, Wallflowers, Nick Cave, Eddie Vedder, Sarah McLachlan .

Amazon.com

Jessie Nelson's poignant tale of a mentally challenged man named Sam (Sean Penn) who recruits a lawyer to help him regain custody of his young daughter leans heavily on the lead character's obsession with Beatles songs, and his innocent trust in their wisdom and emotional truth. It's an artistic gambit that shrewdly lends itself to this mostly rewarding collection of Beatles covers by a wide range of contemporary artists, many of whom no doubt leapt at the chance to record a treasured song by their own musical heroes. The renditions are by and large faithful, and inform the elemental genius of the originals by the strength and variety of the artist's voices alone. The husband-wife team of Aimee Mann and Michael Penn (Sean's brother) can't help but find resonance in "Two of Us," just as Nick Cave's latter-day, heart-on-his-sleeve crooner infatuation makes "Let It Be" all his own. It's the reinterpretations that are riskier. While Paul Westerberg's stripped-down, nasal reading of "Nowhere Man" perceptively underscores Lennon's inherent Dylan fetish and Howie Day turns "Help!" from anxious plea to desperate dirge, Grandaddy smugly alt-rocks the energy right out of "Revolution." The Beatles hardly need anyone to burnish their reputation, but this album goes a long way toward underscoring their most undersung legacy as rock's most transcendent melting pot. -Jerry McCulley

Customer Reviews

Either way, no one should purchase this album.
A true beatles fan
The Beatles made GREAT music and that it can be recorded by such a diverse group of musicians and, for the most part, still work, is the greatest tribute to them yet.
Donna Reynolds
Every other song on the album is either very good or pretty close to a gem.
D. Movahedpour

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

98 of 101 people found the following review helpful By Jeni P on January 13, 2002
Format: Audio CD
This is the kind of album you want to take the time to listen to all the way through while wearing really great headphones - it's tender, personal and packed with details that might get overlooked if you were driving or otherwise engaged.
I've been a Beatles fan forever, so I was intrigued but prepared to be disappointed by covers. I was pleasantly surprised to discover a beautifully conceived and delivered album. Nearly every performer (except maybe Grandaddy with a tepid "Revolution") manages to stay true to the Beatles' original while still adding a little something of themselves to the song, a testament to the strength of both the songwriters and the performers.
The album features an eclectic bunch, from the Black Crowes (with a trippy "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds") to Paul Westerberg (lending new depth to "Nowhere Man" with his seen-it-all-but-still-hopeful time-worn voice). It's especially nice to see lesser-known performers like Heather Nova and the Vines getting space here as well. The common thread seems to be a genuine passion for the music - the inside cover of the CD jacket says simply "all you need is love," and this album really does feel like a labor of love. Most of the songs have a mellow, dreamy quality; listening is sort of like being wrapped up in a warm blanket.
Michael Penn (brother of "I am Sam" star Sean Penn) and his wife Aimee Mann start things off with a tender, Simon-and-Garfunkle-esque duet of "Two of Us." Sarah McLachlan's "Blackbird" is pretty but doesn't add much to the original, which is probably a good thing. Rufus Wainright's "Across the Universe" - with its timely refrain of "Nothing's gonna change my world" - is passionate and plaintive.
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50 of 56 people found the following review helpful By D. Movahedpour on January 29, 2002
Format: Audio CD
This is one of the best albums of Beatle cover versions I have ever heard, but several of the songs on the album are also the worst I've ever heard. The gems make up for the failures, however. I have never heard a better version of 'Across the Universe', outside of the Beatles original, than the version by the very-talented Rufus Wainwright. Eddie Vedder sings a soulful and unforgettable version of 'You've Got to Hide Your Love Away'. Ben Harper's cover of 'Strawberry Fields Forever' is absolutely beautiful. The husband and wife team of Aimee Mann and Michael Penn bring a fresh charm to 'Two of Us'. Ben Folds' 'Golden Slumbers' is memorable, and Sarah McLachlan is a fine choice for 'Blackbird'.
The first three quarters of this album are fantastic, but there are three versions I find downright unlistenable. Chocolate Genius completely destroys the soul and spirit of 'Julia'. And, although John Lennon originally wanted 'Revolution' to be a slow song, the version by Grandaddy completely misses the point. Nick Cave's version of Let It Be, which finishes off the album, completely spoils the song.
Every other song on the album is either very good or pretty close to a gem. I choose to skip the three songs I couldn't bear to listen to, and enjoy the album for its good points.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Dan Speicher on January 22, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I had fallen away from the Beatles music, but this soundtrack drew me back in. Although I had spent some time listening to other genres and styles of music, this soundtrack reminded me of how much I really did love the Beatles... And still do. I must say that among these renditions of the great Beatles hits the Eddie Vedder (Hide Your Love Away), Black Crowes (Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds), Sarah McLaughlan (Blackbird), Sheryl Crow (Mother Nature's Son), and suprisingly Aimee Mann and Michael Penn's (Two of Us) performances were AMAZING. Although nothing will ever be as good as the original, once you've seen the movie you gain a very deep appreciation for this soundtrack. Once you've seen the movie you really learn to love Rufus Wainwright's version of "Across the Universe" you can even hear in the back of your head Lucy trying to convince herself that "nothing's gonna change my world." And also, in the tender moment with Lucy and Sam on the bus, when Lucy is running away from the social worker, "Strawberry Fields" (One of my favorite Beatles songs by far) by Ben Harper adds a very soft sound to that moment. This is overall a great soundtrack. Don't let any of these negative criticisms on here deter you from buying this one. It's a keeper.
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Format: Audio CD
It will always be incredibly challenging to match the artistic talent that The Beatles possessed. Nevertheless, this set of songs by the artists on this CD is as good as it gets to achieving a proper, respectful tribute to The Beatles with thoughtful and passionate cover songs.

The CD has a whopping 17 tracks for almost an hour of music from the movie (or inspired by the movie) I Am Sam. The music was beautifully woven into the movie; but even with just this CD you'll be blown away! It's a must-have for fans of The Beatles, the artists here, and fans of great rock everywhere.

The CD starts off strong with a rendition of "Two Of Us" by Aimee Mann and Michael Penn. I think their personal relationship helped make them harmonize so well for this song. The Black Crowes do an excellent job with the musical arrangement for "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds;" the drums are first-class! Sheryl Crow injects a great country music accent to "Mother Nature's Son." Sarah McLachlan performs a very sensitive rendition of "Blackbird;" and the CD ends beautifully with one of my very favorite Beatles songs, "Let It Be" performed by Nick Cave with Chaz Jankel on piano. Awesome!

Amazon writes that some of the "reinterpretations (on this album)...are riskier." I don't agree. While risks were taken, you won't know it! For example, Grandaddy does a great job of adding their own spice to "Revolution" and Paul Westerberg's voice was rather pleasing to my ear on "Nowhere Man."

The quality of the sound is excellent; and all of the musical arrangements are very thoughtfully produced. The liner notes come with a few color pictures from the motion picture I Am Sam; and you also get the song credits.
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