Birds of Pray

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Birds of Pray
Studio album by Live
Released May 20, 2003 (2003-05-20)
Recorded The Village, Los Angeles, CA;
4th Street Recording, Santa Monica, CA
Genre Alternative rock, post-grunge, hard rock
Length 44:20
Label Radioactive
Producer Jim Wirt
Live chronology
Birds of Pray
Awake: The Best of Live
(2004)Awake: The Best of Live2004
Singles from Birds of Pray
  1. "What Are We Fighting For?"
    Released: 2003
  2. "Heaven"
    Released: April 7, 2003
  3. "Sweet Release"
    Released: October 6, 2003
  4. "Run Away"
    Released: 2004

Birds of Pray is Live's sixth album, released in 2003. The first single, "Heaven" became the band's most successful single in several years, reaching number 59 on the Billboard Hot 100. Birds of Pray was Live's final release on Radioactive/MCA. They signed with Epic in 2005.[1]


Ed Kowalczyk's lyrics on this album return to the spiritual territory of 1999's The Distance to Here. Guitarist Chad Taylor revealed that tensions between Kowalczyk and the other three members, which would eventually cause the band to split, were already surfacing. He said that he "wasn't sure how our rocker fanbase would feel about the lyrics." He expressed his frustration with the album by adding, "Jim Wirt (producer) worked really hard to fashion a contemporary album, but it never felt like the Live I loved."[2]


Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 50/100[3]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3/5 stars[4]
Alternative Addiction 4/5 stars[6]
Blender 2/5 stars[3]
Entertainment Weekly C[7]
Q 3.5/5 stars[3]
Rolling Stone 2/5 stars[8]
Shaking Through 2.5/5 stars[5]
Stylus Magazine F [9]

Birds of Pray debuted at number 28 on the Billboard 200, selling over 37,000 copies in its first week of release.[10] By August 2005 it had sold 273,000 copies in the US.[1] The album failed to reach gold status in the US, although it outsold 2001's V. The album received mixed reviews from critics and has a rating of 50 out of 100 on Metacritic.[3]

AllMusic disliked Kowalczyk's lyrics, claiming they were "Either too literal or bewilderingly obtuse" and said that the album was, "Still recognizably Live...big, big guitars, sweeping anthemic choruses, earnest ballads, mildly histrionic vocals...but it's a little more subdued and a little more serious and quite streamlined...The biggest problem with the record is that the eye is on the big the extent that the individual moments aren't all that memorable, clearly lacking singles as forceful as those that fueled Throwing Copper." AllMusic concluded by claiming that, "Live is growing up and settling down, turning into a solid thirty-something rock band."[4]

Shaking Through described the album's lyrics as, "Self righteous" and "Unintentionally humorous." It claimed that, "the songs are a procession of brittle riffs" and concluded by saying, "Birds of Pray just seems clueless, like a high school kid who doesn't realize that his strident need to seem interesting just makes him a joke."[5]

Track listing

All songs written by Ed Kowalczyk except where noted.

  1. "Heaven" – 3:49
  2. "She" – 2:40
  3. "The Sanctity of Dreams" – 3:33
  4. "Run Away" – 3:53
  5. "Life Marches On" – 2:53
  6. "Like I Do" (Kowalczyk, Patrick Dahlheimer, Chad Taylor) – 4:14
  7. "Sweet Release" – 3:02
  8. "Everytime I See Your Face" – 3:16
  9. "Lighthouse" (Kowalczyk, Taylor) – 3:08
  10. "River Town" – 4:09
  11. "Out to Dry" – 3:20
  12. "Bring the People Together" – 3:02
  13. "What Are We Fighting For?" – 3:21
British bonus tracks
  1. "Forever May Not Be Long Enough" (Egyptian Dreams Remix) – 4:07
  2. "Overcome" (Live from Philadelphia) – 4:23
Special edition bonus DVD
Live tracks recorded during the 2002 Pinkpop Festival in the Netherlands.
  1. "Selling the Drama"
  2. "Voodoo Lady"
  3. "Nobody Knows"
  4. "White Discussion"


Additional musicians
Technical personnel
  • Michael Attardi – assistant engineering
  • Neil Couser – assistant engineering
  • CJ Eiriksson – digital editing
  • Femio Hernández – assistant engineering
  • John Ikuma – assistant engineer
  • Ted Jensen – mastering
  • Phil Kaffel – engineering
  • Okhee Kim – assistant engineering
  • Tom Lord-Alge – mixing
  • Jeff Robinette – assistant engineering
  • P.J. Smith – assistant engineering
  • Michael Wilson – photography
  • Jim Wirt – production, engineering
  • Jesse Wright – design

Chart positions


Chart Peak
Australian Albums Chart[11] 3
Austrian Albums Chart[11] 27
Belgian (Flanders) Albums Chart[11] 4
Belgian (Wallonia) Albums Chart[11] 33
Danish Albums Chart[11] 20
Dutch Albums Chart[11] 1
German Albums Chart[12] 43
New Zealand Albums Chart[11] 10
Norwegian Albums Chart[11] 5
Swedish Albums Chart[11] 13
Swiss Albums Chart[11] 71
UK Albums Chart[13] 199
US Billboard 200[14] 28


Song Peak chart positions
"Heaven"[15][16] 59 33 19 [A] 30 16
"Sweet Release"
"Run Away"[17] 41
"—" denotes releases that did not chart
  • A^ : "Heaven" did not chart on the Flemish Ultratop 50, but peaked at number 6 on the Ultratip chart.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Chad, "Live Makes Epic Move". Alternative Addiction, August 29, 2005.
  2. "Chad Taylor posts a comprehensive Live recording history blog". allthingschadtaylorm July 19, 2010.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 "Critic Reviews for Birds Of Pray". Metacritic. Retrieved May 2, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Birds of Pray - Live". AllMusic.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Moreau, Kevin Forest. "Shaking Through Review". Shaking Through, July 27, 2003.
  6. Chad, "Alternative Addiction Review". Alternative Addiction.
  7. Greer, Jim (May 23, 2003). "Birds of Pray Review". Entertainment Weekly: 76. Retrieved May 2, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Edwards, Gavin (May 6, 2003). "Live: Birds of Pray : Music Reviews". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on October 16, 2007. Retrieved January 14, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Southall, Nick (September 1, 2003). "Live – Birds of Pray – Review". Stylus Magazine. Retrieved September 16, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. D'Angelo, Joe "Staind Marked For #1 on Billboard Albums Chart". MTV News, May 28, 2003.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 11.6 11.7 11.8 11.9 "Ultratop entry for Birds of Pray". Ultratop.
  12. "Chartverfolgung / LIVE / Longplay".
  13. "Chart Log UK entry for Live". Chart Log UK.
  14. "Birds Of Pray > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums". AllMusic.
  15. "Birds Of Pray > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles". AllMusic.
  16. "Ultratop entry for Heaven". Ultratop.
  17. "Ultratop entry for Run Away". Ultratop.