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4.4 out of 5 stars 52 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 22, 2003
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Editorial Reviews

Birdland quite possibly qualifies for entry into the Guinness Book of Records under the "longest ever gap between studio albums" category. After all, when the Yardbirds last released a proper record (1967's Little Games, a mixed affair featuring some up-and-coming guitarist called Jimmy Page), man had yet to visit the moon, Tony Blair was a 14-year-old schoolboy, and the White Stripes were what you saw on the road at zebra crossings. Of course, nothing the Yardbirds could possibly do now will ever attain the dizzy, head-swimming heights of their psychedelic 1960s heyday, but Birdland--with some dignity--is certainly not the sound of washed-up ex-rock stars sucking their stomachs in and combing their hair forward. Reconvening around a nucleus of original members Chris Dreja and Jim McCarty, the latter-day lineup also boasts the pedigree of former Dr Feelgood guitarist and co-writer John "Gypie" Mayo as well as guest appearances aplenty from such ostentatious fretboard manipulators as Brian May, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Slash, and even Jeff Beck himself. And while dismissing the production work on their classic 1960s hits as "crap" may well be a poor excuse for offering these buffed-up re-recordings of their greatest moments ("Shapes of Things," "For Your Love," etc.), at least accusations of laurel-resting are convincingly countered by the inclusion of some stimulating new material. For example, "The Mystery of Being"--worryingly described by the band as "Afghan psychedelia"--is just the sort of Arabian rock illusion previously conjured up by Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow. The tribute to Keith Relf on "An Original Man" is worthy of the Byrds at their brotherly prime, and "Crying Out for Love" is mature blues with heart, soul, and sensitivity. Frankly, one could only wish the Rolling Stones' songwriting skills were still as sharp. --Kevin Maidment

Product details

  • Audio CD (April 22, 2003)
  • Original Release Date: April 22, 2003
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Favored Nations
  • ASIN: B00008NUX1
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 52 customer reviews
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,833 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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October 13, 2017
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December 26, 2005
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January 10, 2008
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June 7, 2017
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January 10, 2018
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April 24, 2003
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December 9, 2013
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