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Ant Lupton the Croxley Groover "Lord Croxley" (CROXLEY GREEN, HERTS United Kingdom)

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Dont Count Me Out
Dont Count Me Out
Offered by dutchtoni
Price: £28.49

4.0 out of 5 stars Before The Days Of The Ark, 17 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Dont Count Me Out (Audio CD)
These Rafferty tracks are drawn from his days alongside Billy Connolly in The Humblebums in the late 60s, as well as from his first solo work, 'Can I Have My Money Back?' in '71. From the off, his gift for strong melodies was firmly in place, although the treatments at this stage are folkier, less metropolitan, simpler than the likes of 'Baker Street' and beyond. For the Humblebums, it was just a short hop from gigs in the folk clubs into the recording studio, with a few appealing flourishes of orchestration added for good measure. There are many delights, from the simple charm of 'Song For Simon', 'Rick Rack' and 'Steamboat Row' to the quiet alienation of 'Keep It To Yourself'. The '71 recordings have a slightly more commercial air about them, without losing the charm (the aching poignancy of 'Mary Skeffington', the rousing 'Long Way Round', 'New Street Blues' and beyond).

I personally would wish to own ALL of the tracks from this crucial period, but as a single CD's worth this collection is useful, despite omitting some essential items. I would still recommend it to fans of Gerry's more famous output as an enjoyable introduction to his musical roots. These tracks may not have been the big sellers they deserved to be, but it was only a matter of time before the world caught up with Gerry's talents.

In these highly tuneful early years, a younger, fresher, less cynical Rafferty often emerges, but for every moment of reflective beauty ('Look Over The Hill') there is also a touch of anger ('Sign On The Dotted Line') or regret ('Her Father Didn't Like Me Anyway'). For the most part, these songs reveal a young man just starting to make sense of a world he was never completely comfortable in, a world where it pays not to get too close to people, a recurring theme throughout Rafferty's work. Fine, tuneful songs they are too.

The Apple Bed ~ Expanded Edition
The Apple Bed ~ Expanded Edition
Price: £9.22

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How d'You Like Them Apples ?, 22 Mar 2014
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One of the great things about being 50+ is that trends and peer pressure matter even less than they did in your misspent youth. You just get on with listening to what you like, and sod what other people think. And if only more people could hear this powerhouse of ballsy, melodic, pop/rock and judge it on its own terms, rather than as a late album by that Haircut 100 geezer, I'm sure it would have sold a helluva lot more copies by now. It's an album that goes straight for the jugular, a killer combination of electric guitars, cellos and rich harmonies - pop/rock of lasting quality, with one foot in the 60s and the other in the 90s. From the spine-tingling melancholia of 'In Every Place', with its mournful cello echoing the sentiment "they'll make you laugh, then break your heart", to 'The Man You Used To Be' and many more in between, the pace never lets up. I can only echo the sentiment expressed elsewhere that Nick's B-Sides are often better than other people's A-sides - witness 'A Beautiful Place', 'Time' and 'Shine', just for starters. Yes, there are echoes of The Beatles, Beach Boys and the Jam, but there's nothing wrong with wearing your influences on your sleeve when you deliver an album this strong. Yes, I really like them apples.....

Mouldy Old Dough
Mouldy Old Dough

5.0 out of 5 stars A Pigeon in the Blue Danube, 23 Dec 2013
This review is from: Mouldy Old Dough (Audio CD)
For years, it felt as if I was banging a lone drum for the works of Lieutenant Pigeon and their alter-ego, Stavely Makepeace. Their 1972 no. 1 hit, 'Mouldy Old Dough' seemed to be fading fast from the public memory until it started getting regular exposure at banger race meetings, and lone celebrity voices such as Jarvis Cocker and Chris Evans began raving about it. I have long been a fan of their unusual, experimental recordings, often made at home, and this CD brings together 10 tracks from their first album, 'Mouldy Old Music', plus 5 others from 45s. For me the standout track is 'The Blue Danube', given the Pigeon double-piano, whistle, bass and drums treatment in a groovy production that sneaks in a bit of phasing - very effective. Elsewhere, there's a clarinet track ('I'll Sail My Ship Alone') that reminds me of Acker Bilk, 'Auntie May' that sounds like Syd Barrett, the earthy humour of 'Dirty Old Man' and the two big hits, 'Mouldy Old Dough' and 'Desperate Dan'.

I would love the group to be given the deluxe reissue treatment sometime, meaning decent artwork with plenty of photos, memorabilia and sleeve notes, something rather lacking on their CD releases. But at least long-term fans of the group can now get a good deal of their work on CD, something I never thought would happen.

Let It Be
Let It Be
Price: £9.99

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Let It Be - Better 'Naked', 2 Nov 2011
This review is from: Let It Be (Audio CD)
This is the Beatles project that documents the group falling apart better than any other. There had been tension the year before during 'The White Album' sessions, and there would be strange, weary resignation during 'Abbey Road', yet somehow it didn't show itself on those records. With 'Let It Be', we had the movie as well, so we could see how tired and sometimes bored the group looked, and the long, unwilling sessions that eventually yielded this album.

John only wanted to be with Yoko ; George got pissed off with Paul again, and Ringo patiently tried to do his job. When they heard what they had recorded, they shelved it. So what we finally got was Phil Spector's weird mish-mash of 'live and raw but with strings and choirs dubbed on'.

Many years later, with the benefit of today's technology, the album was scrubbed down, finally resequenced to sound like an album, shorn of a few bits of chat and throwaway jams and released as 'Let It Be Naked'. And for me, that's the one to go for.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 16, 2014 8:47 PM GMT

Let It Roll: Songs of George Harrison
Let It Roll: Songs of George Harrison
Price: £13.54

4.0 out of 5 stars A Decent George Harrison Collection At Last !, 12 Sep 2011
I am delighted with this collection for several reasons. Firstly, because it enabled me to dispense with certain singles which are included ; secondly, because it includes Cheer Down, an excellent but rare track GH made with Jeff Lynne ; and thirdly, because the sound quality, as well as the packaging, are top-notch. I'd have liked to have seen the 'You'45 included, and perhaps just one live track would have sufficed (he sounds dead nervous on these, and personally I prefer the original studio versions) but hey, overall I think this CD neatly captures the essence of The Quiet One. Maybe an alternative 2CD version would have satisfied some of the more disappointed reviewers on here (several mentioning other tracks I've never heard of!), and maybe this or that track is missing, but as with Ringo's 'Photograph' CD, this is the collection I'd always wanted. God bless you George, and love to Olivia and Dhani.

Come And Get It: The Best Of Apple Records
Come And Get It: The Best Of Apple Records
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £13.55

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Apple Turnover, 30 Aug 2011
Excellent collection of some of the many fine tracks from The Beatles' fab late 60s record company. I had always hoped this CD would come out one day.
Great sound quality and plenty of notes for those who like such things (me).

Open message to Apple : Thanks a lot for this disc, it's really excellent....Any chance of a follow-up ? The following tracks spring to mind : Do The Oz (Lennon vocal) ; No Matter What and Rock Of All Ages by Badfinger ; The Eagle Laughs At You - Jackie Lomax...a bit more Mary Hopkin (Sparrow)....add to these a few more from the back catalogue and I'd be very happy.

Misfits: Series 2 [DVD]
Misfits: Series 2 [DVD]
Offered by WorldCinema
Price: £3.75

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An ASBO a day keeps reality away - Brilliant, 4 July 2011
This review is from: Misfits: Series 2 [DVD] (DVD)
For me, this is the most exciting, if at times disturbing, new drama series on TV for years ! Fantasy meets gritty, urban 'reality' head-on. The 5 young ASBO gang members with strange powers are thrown headlong into ever more dangerous and crazy situations after the freak electrical storm we witnessed in Series 1. Robert Sheehan is brilliant as cocky irish kid Nathan, making us chuckle and squirm; Nathan Stewart-Jarrett is lean and fit as disgraced athlete the rest of their gang, they barely understand what's happening to them, making it a wild rollercoaster ride for the audience too. It's hard to know quite where the story could go after this, but I had a lot of fun, on several levels...a bit of lust, a whole lot of tension and just as much outrage. This is inventive, gripping drama - but not for the faint-hearted ! How can I get Curtis round to 'discuss his future' ?

Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £2.66

4.0 out of 5 stars Simon's Massive....Talent, 20 Jun 2011
This review is from: Sanctuary (Audio CD)
Simon Webbe - what a dood: damn' handsome and so talented. My lustful eye picked him out when Blue first came around (hope you're cool with a geezer sayin' that Simon)....and several years later I ordered 'Sanctuary' off Amazon. What blows me away is the variety of styles he tackles, the way his voice can be edgy, harsh, troubled, sweet,sensitive....Pop, soul, funk,who cares too much about labels, this boy can really sing. Loads of fine detail woven into the backing tracks too, and a full-on contribution to the writing. Great songs ! Of course I envy him his fit body an' all.....but until he finds himself stranded outside my house at 2 a.m., begging for 'assistance', I guess I'll have to make do with his tunes. Respect and love 2 da Webbe !

Ferguslie Park
Ferguslie Park
Price: £10.31

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bittersweet Reflections on Fame, 20 Dec 2007
This review is from: Ferguslie Park (Audio CD)
This is the second of the three Stealers Wheel albums. It finds Gerry Rafferty & Joe Egan at the peak of their game. The material is excellent, ably performed by a large assortment of session musicians but never sounding tired or robotic (check out the piano solo on 'Star', for example - as perfect as you could possibly imagine). Rafferty & Egan's songs reflect upon the dubious delights of fame, managers and the celebrity machine, finding plenty of dissatisfaction and bitterness along the way ('Good Businessman', 'Star', 'Wheelin', 'What More Could You Want'). Melodically and sonically, it's a delight for the ears, utilising all sorts of interesting instruments. The albums ends questioningly on the hit single 'Everything Will Turn Out Fine', at first glimpse a three-minute burst of optimism, yet closer inspection suggests more than a touch of ironic cynicism, which perhaps sums up Stealers Wheel as well as anything. An additional charm is the inclusion of more John Patrick Byrne artwork, typical for a Rafferty release as afficionados will know. This time round, his painting is as dark and disturbing as some of the music within ('Who cares'). For my money, a really strong album.

Super Active Wizzo
Super Active Wizzo
Offered by thebookcommunity
Price: £44.87

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Roy Wood's Jazz-Rock Crossroads, 31 Aug 2007
This review is from: Super Active Wizzo (Audio CD)
'Super-Active Wizzo' originally appeared in 1977. Due to various managerial and contractual complications, Roy Wood's stellar run of automatic hits had pretty much dried up by then. Ever the experimenter, he transformed the remains of his previous outfit Wizzard into a jazz-rock ensemble and recorded not only this virtually unknown album but also a single entitled 'The Stroll' (which should have been added onto this re-release). I am a major Woody fan, but I'm the first to admit that this album is really for the diehards only. No hits ; no snappy three-minute wonders; more a collection of lengthy workouts during which the various players are allowed space to stretch out a little and see what happens. My personal favourites, 'Life Is Wonderful' (very riffy, very Woody) and 'Earthrise' (serene and beautiful, yet augmented by flashes of humour from Rick Price's pedal steel guitar) open and close the album ; in between there is plenty for die-hard Woody fans to enjoy. I just can't see this album selling any better now than when it originally crept out in the 70s ! The band managed just one gig (which was at least screened by the BBC at the time) before the great Mr Wood withdrew to consider his next move. Personaly, I'm delighted that this is now available on CD; I never thought I'd see the day !

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