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Freidun Taravosh (Sweden)

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The Decca Audition
The Decca Audition

4.0 out of 5 stars easliy likeable both good and not so good, many nice tracks but misses the "it" factor, 3 May 2015
This review is from: The Decca Audition (Audio CD)
If you like me attended the Beatles Gala at trädgården in Gothenburg to hear Pete Best speak you already know the back story of the band at this point, they came to Decca firstly over confident as they already had a recording contract at the time(meaning the german recording contract with Bert Kaempfert) and there for as Pete Also witnessed there was a lot of celebration pre - the actual sessions that took place January first. Talking of the Beatles, well I'll be honest that Pete is my favourite beatle because of his care free, anyone can do it go with the groove drumming. in my teens Pete Best was the motivation for me to pick up the drumsticks, so with this album there is a lot to like, but there is also many things NOT to like, and the above stated fact is one of them. Knowing that they at the time recorded for Polydor with Kaempfert Producing and more or Less togheter with Swami Probhu Sharan( then known only as Tony Sheridan.] It is obvious these guys proved that they had rock n roll in them without making a fuss. There is a negative comment from John Winston Lennon on the hamburg recordings when noting on the first single My Bonnie B/W The Saints that "It's just Tony Sheridan singing, with us banging in the background. It's terrible. It could be anybody." the prominence of the idea that it, that this "just banging was a bad thing depends on what perspective you have on things, I mean does it have to equate being terrible as Lennon said in this interview? I think those recordings on Polydor to me always defined what was great with the beatles, it's before they became a polished pop phenomenon and their eager enthusiasm blended with Swami Probhu Sharans routine and professionalism made for a really fly and dynamic sound but most of all it was very good in the sense of being clear cut and unfettered joy without anything overly complex. Or to put it short, for me growing up this sound was 'dynamite' and another favour of the polydor recordings was that they sounded in the zone and carefree. The decca recordings as noted above from Pete Best himself is a different story. There are many good numbers here, but as you realise this fact you still want to pose yourself the question that is a song like Crying, Waiting Hoping, Take Good Care of My Baby or Mephis a good song because Buddy Holly, Bobby Vee or Chuck Berry was a great artist or because Pete, George John and Paul made it their own? This is a very good question to raise.

Realising that The Beatles stand for neither the refined pop of say OASIS or the spiritual fulfilling material of say Yusuf Islam for instance, there is of course a reason why I bought this record, and this not just because I am a collector interested in how music developed through the years, it doesn't totally stink and I quite like some of the tracks, but there is still lots of thinks I find unsatifying when listening to this. Pete is my favourite Beatle it is not his drumming per se that makes the listening experience a little shaky. I mean this, I can take you out on a dare: Think this way, if we move beyond the Polydor recordings of 1961 which I already pointed out as my main fascination with the Beatles, move to the last Polydor sessions in may-june 1962 or for that matter the first teenagers turn here we go bbc sessions of march and july the same year. The problem lies not in the matter that they didn't play together well as a unit. In relating to the Decca sessions the so called flaws if you will as you may depends on something else, at least to these ears.

These recordings in hindsight can't have been all too shabby, considering that they were used after these sessions as a demo to present the way the group sounded at the time for other labels, such a Parlophone at that time run by George Martin, it hard not to go back and compare the decca session with the Polydor sessions, and if you will especially the Mccartney arranged Sweet George Brown sessions of may June the same year as the decca sessions.

Again speaking of the first sessions If we are to follow Lennon on the fact that it is just singing and banging, one may still interpret this as a fact corresponding to that saying that Hamburg made the Beatles, rembering that My Bonnie the Saints was a successfull record in the German hit parade, and the fact that played a reocurring part in their live reporotare after the releasem indicate that these recordings still had a fascinating it factor. Beatle historians know for a fact it was the above said record that made Epstein interested in the group in the first place, and It was even released in england under the very same Decca label.

With Epstein running a record store you would expect he knew his way around the music buisness, but it has nevertheless also been discussed that his choices for material for the Decca Session was ill adviced for the group, and maybe he was more the idea of the growing pop phenomenon as if he did not understand rock n roll? This is one argument why the end resulted proved unsatisfing to many, including the band themselves.

It is not that all songs here are bad even thought the song "money" to me will always be a waste of time due to the meaningless and unsymphatetic lyrics, you still get the feel that The Beatles were more in their comfort zone (just singing and banging) behind their Teacher Swami Probhu Sharan and put a lot of heart into it, while on Decca Sessions it sounds they did not have the nerves to carry these sessions all the way (blasting of 15 numbers in one session). The point I am trying to make even those who seem to write of the Polydor sessions as they sound for such things as "simplicity" or "just learning the chops" These perdominantly 1961 but also 1962 recordings certainly have a different "it" factor and aura of fascination around them which cannot be compared with anything post Bert kaempfert era Beatles, the said Polydor recordings have both a certain enthuiasm and unpretentous attitude, combined with some delicasy as in swift drum rolls and a very direct approach if you like, which was unparalled in the groups carrier.

The Decca Sessions are different, hearing these songs you can undestand what Epstein had in mind, it is more pop oriented than Kaempferts 'straight up' recordings, and even though material from greats artist are there, even a really sweet Phil Spector tune which is great, the Beatles as a group at this perticular occasion do not sound all that comfortable with the material they are working with. This even shines through on the self composed material, Like Dreamers Do, Hello Little Girl and Love of The Love are all nice songs, but it is no exaguration that these songs seemed more suitable for the artists who recorded the definite versions.

It is however nice to have a complete release of this material and not like on The Complete Silver Beatles, which exists on vinyl in the wrong varispeed and neither complete nor Silver Beatles. I it however nice to note that after this, both in March and July and also as mention at the last Polydor session in May/June this group played together as a tight unit both for the successful BBC Broadcasts and payed their due to Polydor for a recording later became included on Swami Probhu Sharans(then only known as Tony Sheridans EP YAYA released in germany in october the same year.

Now commenting on Deccas descision to sign tremeloes in stead of beatles that faithful day, Pete Best has commented that !the world was not ready for Beatles doing their own thing, but that can only be seen as one part of the story, because maybe the band themselves at this time were not even ready for it?

Another point is that their Producer Mike Smith at this point seems to have showed no particular interest in taping them.
For him they were one group of many, he had to record that day, which from a strict sense was true. From a different angle it must however be said that the Beatles had already done `their own thing' for Polydor, as it is said in "Teacher the Tony Sheridan Story" Swami encouraged Harrison to take on, play and record Cry for a Shadow, a song which was also issued by Polydor on a Swami Probhu Sharans EP Mr Twist that also featured collaboration with Beatles. An EP released in april 62. It was a triumph for this band and remains as such my favourite self penned Beatles recording.
The decca material is nice to listen too still, I would actually recommend the recently released 180 gram vinyl and cd combo relase of This is the.... Savage young Beatles on the Lilith label It introduces not only Swami/ Beatles collaborations but nevertheless makes a fly presenation of what was truly fascination with the Hamburg Szene Sound. as for the Beatles Material on Savage... it's got a crisp and ever so fresh sounding presenation that show with direct input which shows Polydor Sessions are beyond compare, not only in relation to what Beatles recorded on decca, but due to this character beyond compare to anything Beatles recorded after leaving Polydor.

See this link because it really means a lot to hear they are comfortable with what they are doing - even if `in Lennon's word they are "just singing and banging in the background." It is still essential listening all the way. The Decca sessions although nice to hear in complete form, is in it's atmosphere and essence totally different, as is to be anything ANYTHING the beatles put out after Epstein terminated the contract with Der Kaempfert Produktion.

Dizzy Heights [MINIDISC]
Dizzy Heights [MINIDISC]
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Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Dizzy Heights Like you do is one of those songs that reminds ..., 2 May 2015
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Dizzy Heights

Like you do is one of those songs that reminds the most of baroque pop era Beatles, but makes an impression with a bigger sensability for mildness in tone and a fully glued together sound, ditto with 'sugar coated iceberg' is also a right on baroque pop punch that like the aformentioned song also uses synthtextures to make things complete., you can hear it brooding in the atmosphere. It is easy to take this kind of pop for granted, because the sound is so slick and always on the roll. It is interesting how some songs that sound so charming really deal with bloody serious subjects as in ready or not' deals with anxiety disorder,and here we go til we drop it boarders mania while producing those kicking hooks. Likewise on the majesticly swinging opening imaginary friends. - it is really a tragic story, but it has a rippin beat and chord structure.

Remeber I talked about earlier how the seeds sounds like the byrds, on dizzy heights there is even a song on here penned by them, but there is more to dizzy heights than a 60's love affair IAN BROUDIE OWNS the scene, the tech and specs and he has everything under control!

flowers LP
flowers LP

4.0 out of 5 stars Nice set of songs, 2 May 2015
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This review is from: flowers LP (Vinyl)
I Bought Flowers on the vinyl ed. some years ago and the set of songs are creatively expressed and songs like ride on baby and sitting on a fence are jangly and crisp folk dominated track they sound like a little rougher edition of Hootenany Singers, as an american LP of outtakes singles, is an enjoyable treat with some good groove to it, lady jane strumms along but Ruby Tuesday and Let’s spend the night are the two real dynamite tracks Stones has always had a knack to keep on going despite what everybody else thought of them, Flowers is a time piece sessions for it commenced in 65 and ended in 1966, the songs really has got a great groove attitude to it, it lacks the atmospheric originallity dynamics of Majesties request, but shows at a glance of what great things was to come, until next time stones I’ll keep on boppin along, ”baby baby baby your out of time.”

Rating 4.5

My Favourite Things
My Favourite Things
Offered by SourceMediaUK
Price: £2.04

5.0 out of 5 stars John Coltrane, My Favourite things(3- track Midnite Jazz & Blues Collection), 2 May 2015
This review is from: My Favourite Things (Audio CD)
John Coltrane, My Favourite things(3- track Midnite Jazz & Blues Collection)

Is a great showcase of Coltrane and band playing three magnificent jazz numbers

they are very 'long with the longest one being my favourite things clocking at around 19 minutes while the other songs are a bit shorter, around 10 or 11 minutes,

album kicks off with the groovy Mr P.C which is perhaps the song that keeps the fastest pace on the record, opens with an audience clapping their hands(hence suggesting this is a live concert recording(where and when I do not know) The groovy arrangements of all these songs are held up mainly by saxophone piano a bit of bass and drums, and its fantastic too hear how a band can keep on going for so long and still keep the flow.

My favourite things aint a speeder in the same sense as MR P.C or Stuff I’m Partial Too... but is a magnificent performance anyhow that start off very gripping with some kind off heavy depth cymbal and drum work that goes down with the piano before the saxophone kicks off
Surley this might not be the best sound quality available but the recordings are still very fascinating.

this was my first encounter with Coltrane musically after reading about his influence of one of my favourite 60s bands "the Byrds"

and there is clearly some similarities in some of his mad ups and downs with the saxophone, and McGuinn's "Coltrane inspired" guitar, especially in the free flowing middle parts of the arrangements

in either cease its a great record to have in the collection, and these, and when these three songs finish you have got everything you need for a fascinating jazz groove, People might look at the cover first and wonder what is this only some three numbers?

But just take a listen, its not only some three numbers. It’s more than that

Jan Freidun Taravosh/

Moment in Paradise
Moment in Paradise

5.0 out of 5 stars I have a hard time thinking that Electric Light Orchestra would ever make a really bad song, 1 May 2015
This review is from: Moment in Paradise (Audio CD)
I have a hard time thinking that Electric Light Orchestra would ever make a really bad song

When I was younger I knew Jeff Lynne (of ELO fame) was a prominent part of ‘The Travelling Willburys” together with other people I liked such as Tom Petty (from Heartbreakers fame)

Now, Now, I had heard a song called ‘Last Train to London’ online and a few quite years later temporarily working at a flee market I found Balance on Power and though to myself that it would have been cool to own an ELO so I brought it home.

This said album had importance for me years later because the sense of pop refinement and though provoking and uplifting lyrics on tracks like Heaven Only Knows, really helped my through a depressive phase. Jeff Lynne pop sensibility and sense for refinement sets his far above others. When I was into getting to know 'ELO' better I prioritised apart from getting All Over he World: the very best of' more importantly the other 80’s albums ‘Time’ ‘Secret Messages’ and perhaps for me more pivotal 2001 ‘Zoom’ and the singles related to it ‘Moment in Paradise’ and ‘Alright’ as well the most recent ablum ‘Mr Blue Sky 2012’


A band like ELO naturally has gone through several experimental phases, personell changes, production phases et al but with such a prolific visionary at the helm as Jeff Lynne I can say that without having heard literally all songs in their back catalogue I have a hard time thinking that Electric Light Orchestra would ever make a really bad song. If such was the case it must have been a really rare case.

They gained fame for a mashup of symphonic and pop, yet Jeff Lynnes sense for pop refinement all the way reminds of what Noel Gallagher brought to Oasis.
It is really evident especially in later/present day era material

‘Zoom’ has quickly become THE ELO album for me since I became aware of it reading about the ELO COMPLETE DISCOGRAPHY on Rateyourmusic. and naturally I sought out the singles from that era and that is why I am here.

‘Actual Review’

Jeff Lynne always seemed to have special sense for refinement in his vision both as a composer and producer but also as a performer. It obvious to tell that Lynne is like a fish in the water when he is working in the studio, and his great sense for taking care of delicate details is ever present.

During 'Zoom era' the bringing of Marc Mann into the orchestra became more appearent togheter with Ryan Ulyates appearances.
Mann and Ulyete, gallant pair of studio whizzes who obviously know their way around concerning pop sophistication,
This dynamic duo has contributed to the ELO in many ways. If their names sound familiar it may be because Ulyates contributed a sophisticate groovy piano part on ‘Evil Woman’ while Mann offered a delicately put moog part to ‘Turn To Stone’ on the more recent wonder of pop refinement ‘Mr Blue Sky 2012 LP’
On Moment in Paradise their contributions apart from Mann’s perfectly placed rhythm guitar is of a different kind more correctly speaking in that of sophisticated digital editing and professional engineering.

Jeff Lynne’s decision to bring these two colleges under the ELO banner obviously did not only help him in crystallising the sense of pop refinement the ELO was aiming at as a musical institution. even more so it seems it has helped Lynne himself to take on a more sophisticated approach to music making and on the whole it seems to have helped him in solidifying his belief in his own abilities – for on here you find Lynne a more seasoned performer and more skilled producer and as a composer he seems more comfortable about what he is doing.

All this constitutes itself in all that is wonderful about ‘Moment in Paradise’ an ethereal quality indeed and a so in the zone in a way that I think is impossible to find on pre ‘Zoom era’ recordings.

The fluid sound of ‘Moment in Paradise’ is delicate and the heartfelt message is so brilliant and so consistent that together with the sense for digital editing and the like makes for a brilliant listen.

'Important Note'

For those who think Jeff and gang hid away far to long from the public working for refinement in the studio and somehow question their ability to perform as good in a real live setting,
you are all lucky enough to get a chance to hear them live in a full band experience taken from several PBS “Promotional Zoom tour performances” included here as bonus tracks.

While songs like ‘Mr Blue Sky’ and ‘Living Thing’, I’ll admit does not showcase the same sense of refinement that is evident on say: ‘Mr Blue Sky 2012 LP’ or as far as how the PBS version of the Zoom cut on the original album in the same sense, but a different side all three tracks still have a cool drive to them and as such they are nevertheless, enjoyable and remain as likeable as ever, it is still essential listening.

'To Wrap Things Up'

You know how you can take a release like Forever Changes and say yea, that is truly distinctive 60’s or 'Venus and Mars' and say ‘that’s really distinctive 70’s” or 'Upstairs at Eric's' and say 'that’s distinctively 80’s.' You won’t go around thinking ‘Moment in Paradise' saying 'that’s distinctively 00’s' rather it is pop refinement at it’s best! It’s ELO and it’s distinctively timeless, emotive and touching.

Long Wave [VINYL]
Long Wave [VINYL]

5.0 out of 5 stars At Last! Charming Jeffery, Charming indeed!, 1 May 2015
This review is from: Long Wave [VINYL] (Vinyl)
If you are used to the intricate pop dynamics of Electric Light Orchestra past or present, Long wave comes of suprisingly right on and rustic, laid back, but, with that said it is still not compromising in sincerity of purpose!

Marc Mann can offer strings here as he did on ELO Zoom 2001 and Mr Blue Sky 2012. But this is not an ELO release, it is Jeff having a nothing less than a spectacular time in the studio, it is more easy going than anything Electric Light Orchestra, but by no means bad, Jeff creates a suiting atmosphere in a swift stroke, be that as it may more lo fi than say the telling digital editing that my favourite ELO LP Zoom showcased.
With only one new self penned song on "Mr Blue Sky 2012" and all covers on this second solo outing I don't want to have anyone walking around fearing Mr. Lynne have lost his knack for churning out wonderful songs! That said the production here is definately more sparse and delicate than any of the above mentioned releases.

This does not make it a bad listen, far from it, it's quite the contrary the easy going groove on this album, has nothing to do with lack of sincerity, the best tracks, are penned by Chuck Berry, Roy Orbison, and Charlie Chaplin. It may not be a new visionary, multilayered ELO LP, but so what Jeff is still a genius and everything he embarks on, has a solid stellar, refreshing quality to it. however "Lo Fi" it does find Jeff Lynne in a different drift and setting, than his more famous projects but it plays like a breeze short and sweet. Nothing is left to chance, Long Wave sounds like a labour of love, Long Wave is worth coming back to again and again, it is filled to the brim with groovy touch, and nothing within the parameters of this self made wonder of production phonographic record is left overworked pompous or tedious. All I want to say:

Mr. Lynne whatever you get your mind into doing - until next time, you are a persistent genius of craftsmanship and a true hero of sorts.

It's Been A Long Long Time
It's Been A Long Long Time
Price: £8.65

5.0 out of 5 stars The Hep Stars first Magnum Opus, 4 Nov. 2014
By 1968 it starts to become tellingly obvious that the groups' playing
around with rockabilly phase was definately over.

The delicate settings of the ’Long long time' shows a group literallly
untouchable by any of their peers at home or abroad.
Here anyone can pick out what made HEP STARS the biggest group in
Sweden and be dumbfounded as to why this record did not make it
abroad. 'It’s been a long long time'

was an unkown masterpiece for me for all these years, it’s a album
where everything is perfectly placed and nothing is left to chance.
Its got a poignant nature and an enourmously swift flow all the way.
The harmony work from the guys is especially captivating and is
something we would see develop further on tracks from the subsequent
1968 lp 'songs we sang.'

Like the aformentioned follow up ’it’s been a long long time' is not
merly beat music it is something more refined and the baroque pop that
which earlier on could be seen as novelty ingridient now becomes more
and more the paramount part of the groups sound. It's the same with
influences of parade music and folk. It all blossoms together
perfectly in a way like the aforementioned vocal harmonies. all in all
it is blended with delicate orchestration there must have been a pet
sounds inspiration, but ’it’s been a long long time’ despite lacking a
hit single rises above all its influences and leaves a lasting
impression directly after the first listen, there is a warmth and
wholesomeness there unusual for experimental swinging 60’s and a
professionalism unparalleled on the swedish beat scene or anywhere

Truely The Hep Stars first Magnum Opus, a most refined acomplishment.
Harmony is a wonderful word that describes the whole thing. not just
the groups vocal performances!

A-Sidor/B-Sidor 1964/1969
A-Sidor/B-Sidor 1964/1969

4.0 out of 5 stars A good overview - Now I get it! rating 4.5, 3 Nov. 2014
I used to own We and our Cadillac with bonus tracks of first ep’s and none album singles. While ’ Cadillac is an obvious trademark classic, it is no ’MY Bonnie’ and I’ve had difficulty with many songs in the early reportoiare while there are influences of Buddy Holly little richard , Chuck Berry, Phil spector et al. I Always took it the hep stars were a bit clumsy or shaky when it came to arranging their performances, well… either that or the clowning around and carelessness was part of their act and a ceress for their stay power on stage and on the charts – there was something about them and their enthusiasm was contagious, The Hep star and all their clowning around… Now I get it was indeed all part of the act!

Those who have followed me on RateYourmusic, know I have had ’songs we sang’ on my wishlist for long, fearing the early LP’s as being unstable and lacking in wholesomeness I Bought this collection a fine quality double lp with extensive liner notes and a good overview of their 60’s output.

There are a few hiccups from the bounce around era, seeing BIRD DOG, Kana Kapila(what was going on there?) and BALD HEADED WOMAN, and a matter of a few sloppy swinging ballads signed richie valence and others with real smooth delicate material like ’Holiday for clowns’ ’she will love you’’Like you used to do’ ’No time’ t isnt easy to say, Wedding and Sunny girl on the same set is nearly Beyond belief. Anyhow the later tracks find the band more in their comfort zone, and as 60’s came to a close they had adopted a more modest emotive approach with supersongs like ’let it be me’ and 'speleman'.

I was suprised but the gearing from wanna be crickets to Baroque pop dignitaries was not only possible for the group, 64-69 shows it was a smooth transition. And not such a bumpy ride. When they realised they could stop clowning around the feild was more open for introspective choices in material, and that was all for the beter.
One track late 60s track ’Speedy Gonzales’ successfullly blends the fun and games of the earliest cuts but with a required amount of stability groove and refinement.

I SOLD ’We and our cadillac years ago, but I am a happy owner of this set a good key to the world of hep stars.
The playful enthusiasm - Paramount to the swedish beat scene - is gloriously abundant. I am vey pleased, maybe they just never were cut out for rock n roll anyway? Hep stars baroque pop entities are not just ”groovy tunes” but delicate art.

Head Music
Head Music
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £4.68

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars it is a great showcase of the wonderful music of 1999 yet it is still a very timeless album, 17 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Head Music (Audio CD)
"It's all in the mind" Give me Head Music instead we've got love like electric sounds.
Now it is time to review an album that is right up my alley. Head Music is amazing.
If I was only to recommend the listener one London Suede release I consider Head Music to be my definite pick. The album might not be a direct hit like "Coming up" But it's so much more than a mere hit factory - Let me explain: The album is most intriguing and sound-wise the album transcends many musical fields. The production is a Wall of Sound like album that mixes lush layers or orchestra with funky grooves and leanings towards electronica, although in some ways similar to "Adore" by the Pumpkins I've still never heard anything quite like it.

Only "Everything Will Flow" and "She's in Fashion" are the only ones that received any airplay on TV and radio at the time of it's release. I remember these songs since I was younger and listening to the today they are truly great. but I still think it is quite a same because the whole album has a fluid and fine flowing atmosphere rarely found in music before or since. My favourites are the atmospheric bit less immediate tracks which include "Indian Strings" "Head Music" and "Crack in the Union Jack" Sound wise the album is, reflective laid back and funky throughout and most importantly it's a very consistent, undemanding listen, Head Music is a beautiful album and probably one of the best albums I have ever heard. touches of laid back Jazz,Funk and Electronica, and more exotic, hard to define arrangements fused together with the already distinctive swaying sound that The London Suede are famous for makes for a most intriguing and quite unique listening experience. Head Music is sound-wise an expansive and multilayered album - Yet it is remains undemanding listen the secret is in the way this seminal act succeed in maintaining that laid back, relaxing groove throughout - every thing will flow - indeed!

The above mentioned is obvious even in the rockier numbers Like "Can't Get Enough" "Elephant Man" or "Electricity" All in all there is a perfect balance and that is the foundation of this album.
The high point for the relaxing and swaying atmosphere which is characteristic for the whole album is most evident on "Down" it finds the group fearlessly moving beyond regular pop/rock formula to engage in a most lush and daringly expansive electro funk ballad. clocking at over 6 minutes the track is swaying along and enfolds the listener in a comfort zone, the clever mix between electronic and acoustic sounds and percussion is delicate yet perfectly put.

I would warmly recommended "Head Music" to any music lover it is a great showcase of the wonderful music of 1999 yet it is still a very timeless album.
Intriguing is quite frankly the most apt description for Head Music.
I bet James Paul McCartney dreams about succeeding to record anything quite as lush. comforting and funky rocky solid as this album - The way Suede get it all together here is nothing short of phenomenal - honestly! Any one who talks endlessly of the trescending 60's and are still under the impression that no music worth mentioning has been made since should award more attention to the music of the late 90's to Head Music by the London Suede in particular. the plentiful sound and the conistent production are but two thing that makes"Head Music" stand out from the crowd and as such this most sophisticated long lasting and accomplished effort easily surpasses anything ever released in the 60's. If you truly want to experience the wholesome atmosphere and all the way brilliance that "Head Music" amounts to try listening to it in your favourite Headphones and remeber life is just a lullaby.

"I said Oh, it's bigger than the universe"

If you like this album you might consider listening to:
A New Morning By The London Suede
Life on Other Planets by Supergrass
This is Hardcore by Pulp
Adore by The Smashing Pumpkins
A Northern Soul by The Verve
Trainspotting Soundtrack (vol. 1 and 2)
Be Here Now by Oasis
Come With Us by The Chemical Brothers
Nightfreak and The Sons of Becker - by The Coral

Offered by Vinyl Tap Limited
Price: £14.02

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Too Good To Be True!, 11 April 2013
Too Good To Be True!

Too Good To Be True! Herman's Hermits! who would have thunk it?

Some of the best swinging 60's had to offer


I am what you call in English a Brit pop buff, part of the idea in liking Britpop may be residing in one the genres sense for refinement and many stellar acts like Supergrass, Verve, Oasis, Embrace Travis, The Stands, The Zutons, Ocean Colour Scene, Spearmint, Radiohead The Coral Pulp and Ash. Noteworthy are all of these groups, for their way of brining both visionary traits and balancing previous influence well in a new context. It remains no mystery that Swinging 60's was a major influence of all these modern day bands. Everyone states influences like Searchers, Beatles or Stones, but as most students of music history in general and the British Invasion in particular and that swift swinging style, these three bands were not the only ones on that scene.

'Actual Review'

When I was in my pre/ early teens learning about music history in getting aquanited with various Greatest Hits of the 60's collection, early on I came in touch with the blissful, mild Pop and Pep sound of the Herman's Hermits. My brother also gave me "The Very Best Of" and their crystilised easy to like sound to me MADE the swinging 60's sound.

However having only heard about them as a band of smash singles or like `Britains Monkees' knowing the made films et al. I have somehow watched them from a distance but I have never felt the need to investigate them further - UNTIL NOW!

Having had the 12" release 'Blaze' in the back of my mind for long, this became the first album proper I got, but my expectations were mixed, Hermits are cool as can be and gently swiftly swinging, but could they deliver on the 12"?

Furthermore The year was 1967, when albums like 'Majesties Request' 'Sgt Pepper', 'Notorious', 'Pisces', 'Strange Days' and 'Forever Changes' were made. Would Blaze find the Hermits on the verge of hippiedom or what?

I wasn't sure what to expect but when I put the needle over the record en let it spin away on the turn table my first thought was It's Too Good to Be True!

'The Final Say'

Granted it was no "Be Here Now" nor `One from the Modern' or `X-Ray Album' which I couldn't have expected it to be either, but as far as swinging 60's goes Blaze is one of the very few definite solid 12" of the era. And as for the wild off experimentation mentioned above 'Blaze' is more settled but still not afraid to sport delicate baroque pop touches. Albums like 'Nutorous Byrd Brothers', 'Head Original Motion Picture Soundtrack', 'Majesties Request', 'Bull of The Woods' , 'Smiley Smile' or 'Yellow Submarine Original Motion Picture Soundtrack' are all aquired tastes, I.e. they are not accessible all the way and not for everyone. Blaze is different all the way, it is listener friendly and has a sophisticated charm and bliss that lasts all the way through - no kidding. We recognise a significant qualitative change from the guys who used to bring us direct hits like `into Something Good' Just A Little Bit Better `Henry VIII' and `A Wonderful World' and it's thoroughly enjoyable, and anyone who is into what the Tremeloes did around this time or for that matter early Cat Stevens material or Magnificent Moodies, will love it. The arragments are similar to 'Turn Turn Turn' era Byrds but more brisk, yet most sophisticated. Easy listening and deep, yes with 'Blaze' you can have both, all songs are presented with a reflective emotive mood, and this is whats so great about this album, the way the got all these sounds together in a flawless and mild character. Correction, even if you haven't heard any of the acts mentioned about go in with an open mind and know you are in for a smooth ride of quintessential 60's I think you still are going to love it, no smash hits and traditional blissful formulaic material like people who think they know Herman's Hermits would expect but 'Blaze' is all the better for it.

As they say everything is kind of groovy on the Green Street Green!

"on a public corporation's road domain
with the silver rails surrounding
and the smoke that fills the air
and a weary bus conductor climbs the stairs
and it's all part of the last bus
all part of the last bus home"


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