Yeah, I have a question about Soul Asylum.
August 31, 2009 8:37 PM   Subscribe

This sounds like it should be the easiest question in the world to solve, but I'm having some serious issues: I remember, years ago, owning some compilation CD on which that band Soul Asylum covered "Bird on a Wire." Google confirms for me that this did indeed happen because there are pages and pages of guitar tabs for this version, but I cannot for the life of me figure out what album this song was on. Also, if you can find someplace online where I can listen to this song, I would be eternally grateful.
posted by waywardgirl to Media & Arts (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
According to this website (a database of Leonard Cohen covers), it is from an album entitled "Get Your Tape Decks Up". Googling that reveals it is a bootleg of a show in Chicago from April 1991. This person on LiveJournal is also looking for it, and a comment to the entry mentions they covered it at a show in Madison the same month. Was it a live version?
posted by punchdrunkhistory at 8:53 PM on August 31, 2009

Response by poster: It definitely was not live. And, I can't imagine I owned a bootleg version of anything in the 90s. I was way too uncool. I really, really feel like this was on a legitimate CD. I'm glad that someone else remembers it, though.
posted by waywardgirl at 8:57 PM on August 31, 2009

Response by poster: Funny, that radio station the live journal guy mentions is the same radio station I would have been listening to back then...
posted by waywardgirl at 8:58 PM on August 31, 2009

See if it's at
posted by dfriedman at 9:10 PM on August 31, 2009

I remember hearing it performed live on a Minneapolis radio station way back in the early 90's--maybe '92 or '93 when I was driving a cab there. Maybe it was Kevin Cole's old station? I am blanking, but I'm pretty sure it was a live in-studio performance. (I actually remember hearing it as I drove my cab somewhere near the Mississippi River that night.)

I looked up the name of Kevin Cole, the alternative big-name DJ of that era, and then came upon this: alas no S.A. in the bunch. (Although plenty of other similar Minneapolis stuff.) I am pretty sure that "Bird on a Wire" was played by Soul Asylum on that radio station, Rev 105. And now the trail goes cold!

If you really want to hunt this down, you might want to hunt down Kevin Cole--it looks like he's now in Seattle (

I am almost certain the song was played live on his old Minneapolis station sometime just S.A.'s Grave Dancers Union album came out.
posted by mixer at 9:17 PM on August 31, 2009

I decided to check out the forums on a kinda-active Soul Asylum fan-site.

I searched "Bird on a Wire" throughout the forums, and the few results it gave were for live recordings of April 12, 1991 in Madison, WI, and of April 11, 1991, in Minneapolis.

So it's likely that the version you heard was a live in-studio performance, as mixer suggested.

It might be worth it to register to those forums and ask someone about it.
posted by alligatorman at 9:31 PM on August 31, 2009

No idea about the album, but you could try finding the song on Spotify.
posted by teraspawn at 11:33 PM on August 31, 2009

Was this a pre-made compilation, or a mix someone made for you?

I got excited that I knew the answer - but I didn't.
posted by pinky at 4:57 AM on September 1, 2009

It's not Tower of Song, either.
posted by box at 5:56 AM on September 1, 2009

Response by poster: I have decided that I must have just heard it on the radio back then because I'm sure someone would have located it by now if it were on a CD. I suspect I must have recorded it on a cassette tape or something and just listened to it over and over. Damn memories.
posted by waywardgirl at 6:21 AM on September 1, 2009

Back in the mid-90's, I remember owning a number of random compilations that were created as marketing promotions. One of them was created by Do Something! to promote teen volunteerism; I had another one that was sent around to promote the Surge soft drink. All sorts of random B-sides and covers would turn up on these mixes, yet there's little info about them on the Internet. Just throwing out another avenue for your memory to explore -- good luck!
posted by junkbox at 6:26 AM on September 1, 2009

These folks seem to have a DVD of the performance and there are links there that tell you how to get a copy.
(The site only displays correctly in IE for me, since I think it was coded in microsoft word)
posted by FreezBoy at 12:45 PM on September 1, 2009

« Older MBP driven to tears?   |   Affordable Spain! Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.