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Across the Universe (Music from the Motion Picture) [Deluxe Edition]

Various Artists

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iTunes Review

Director Julie Taymor is no stranger to ambitious risk-taking, as her Broadway adaptation of Disney’s Lion King and Oscar-lauded Frida ably attest. But turning the Beatles’ epochal catalog of songs into a viable cinematic vehicle tempted a fate that’s seen decades of similar projects either fail outright or fade into deserved obscurity. The success of Taymor’s soundtrack relies on keeping the musical performances as intimately scaled and emotionally centered – “organic” is the word she uses – as her imagery is imaginatively expansive. This deluxe edition contains nearly every musical performance in the film, contrasting the often elegantly plaintive performances of central young stars Jim Sturgess and Evan Rachel Wood (and secondary performers Joe Anderson and Carol Woods) against well-placed star turns that on a less artistically driven effort might have become the main event. Eddie Izzard’s delightful “Being For the Benefit of Mr. Kite” was edited from a number of effusive improvised takes, vet Bono collaborates with U2 bandmate Edge on a Floydian cover of “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” and also collaborates on a surprisingly direct “I Am the Walrus” with Secret Machines. The Dallas indie-rockers also turn in band versions of the instrumental “Flying” and George Harrison’s haunting “Blue Jay Way.” Elsewhere, Joe Cocker shows why he’s long been one of the best Beatles’ interpreters by turning “Come Together” into spooky Delta dirge, while Dana Fuchs’ willfully channels the spirit of Joplin into a manic cover of “Helter Skelter” that’s as hellish as her turn on “Dear Prudence” is cherubic. Even more remarkable, Taymor claims 90% of the performances her were recorded live on film, not lip synced.

Customer Reviews

GREAT MUSIC-GREAT MOVIE

and no true Beatles fan would disagree....let's get some REAL Beatles tunes on itunes as well!!

Greatest Beatles Covers!!

I have been waiting for almost a year for the movie to come out and the only reason that I wanted to see the movie was because of the soundtrack. I have to say, it surpasses my expectations. I love it and recomend it to any Beatles fan.

Oh well...it's back to the originals for me

This soundtrack once again underscores just how extremely difficult it is to cover the Beatles successfully. Not only are all of the songs etched into our minds in their original versions -- but as has been found time and time again, those versions just stubbornly refuse to be improved upon. I imagine that the participants here would say that they are not trying to improve upon the Beatles, but rather "reinterpret" them, put "their own stamp or feel" on the Beatles' songs, and "honor" or "pay tribute" to the Beatles. That's fine. But how many Beatles covers can you think of, off the top of your head, that actually lived on as classics themselves? That you'd pick over the originals? That you'd even listen to more than once or a few times? Precious few...precious few. Joe Cocker's "With A Little Help From My Friends" comes to mind. Even Booker T. & The MG's instrumental "Lady Madonna" is pretty kickin'. Elton John's "L.S.D."? Nope. Siouxsie & The Banshees' "Dear Prudence"? HECK no. So here we are with yet more artists, even ones I love like Joe Cocker and Bono, with yet more "original readings" of Beatles tunes. And they just come up flat. The life is drained out of most of the songs. The instrumentation is too big, too polished, too produced, too impersonal, too...fake. As we've learned time and again, trying to cover the Beatles is like trying to repaint the Mona Lisa or Sunflowers (but this time, with "more smile!", or with "bigger petals!") But for a few rare cases, it ends up being an exercise in futility.

Across the Universe (Music from the Motion Picture) [Deluxe Edition]
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  • $14.99
  • Genres: Soundtrack, Music
  • Released: Sep 14, 2007

Customer Ratings

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