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P. J. Bullough "70's child." (Shrewsbury, England)
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Duke
Duke
Price: £6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars 'Duke' revisited..!, 21 Aug. 2014
This review is from: Duke (Audio CD)
'Duke' is a very special album that has stood the test of time. Although poor old Phil was having a crisis in his personal life, the music on 'Duke' is upbeat, happy and engaging. It's an album that richly rewards being listened to properly from start to finish. It is full of light and shade, and a perfect contrast to the darkness of the preceding (also superb) 'And then there were three.' On this album you hear the results when the three musicians hit a groove and run with it, and they give their fans their money's worth with the great songwriting and inspired instrumentals, culminating in the joyous reprise of 'Guide vocal' towards the end. At the time the album received negative reviews, particularly from 'Melody Maker' who unfortunately were trying too hard to be cutting edge and contemporary, and accused the band of 'plodding'. The idea that this music 'plods' is laughable; it's a life-enhancing album that takes the listener on a satisfying musical journey, and you can't really ask for more than that. Buy it!


The Take Off And Landing Of Everything
The Take Off And Landing Of Everything
Offered by mrtopseller
Price: £3.96

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely Elbow, 25 April 2014
Wow! If you're a long-standing Elbow fan you've probably bought this already and will be enjoying its multiple felicities. If you're new to the band probably best to start with 'Leaders of the Free World' or 'The Seldom Seen Kid'. This new album, however, is possibly their best ever overall, as 'Q' noticed in their review. Here are a few thoughts on the album: the opening song is enchanting, perfectly paced. They are certainly not in a hurry, and Guy's measured singing draws us into a calm, peaceful, slightly 'Christmassy' place. It's a lovely place to be. Next song still slow, but the tone changes. Guy becomes a bit edgier and touches on one of his favourite themes, the ups and downs of heavy drinking. This is another immersive song, with great use of a string section to build up the effect. Now the tempo picks up with song three, a mesmerising effort with some hypnotic vocals, leading into another song from the heart, also about drinking and smoking and being in love. Don't worry, Guy isn't turning into Phil Collins, although he sings with a similar sincerity when he feels like it, a trait which is rapidly turning him into a national treasure. As a lyricist his range is much wider than Phil's- I won't pursue the comparison. Next up the 'New York' song, instantly accessible winner. Now we hit the heart of the matter with 'Real Life Angel', one of Elbow's greatest ever songs. The first time I heard it I was in the car driving to work, and the emotional impact was so intense that I nearly had to pull over. I've now worked it out on the guitar and I played it at my local last week; it went down well! It's difficult to describe but it's another song that goes deep...man...The cumulative effect of this opening sequence of five songs is pretty overwhelming, and I always stop the cd after 'Real Life Angel' to have a rest. It's a cd of two distinct 'sides'. I'm still absorbed in the brilliance of this opening salvo, and haven't listened so much to the second half, so I might do an update later on. Getting to know this album takes time and in my case is an ongoing 'work in progress', but one which is worth the effort. It's great that they've made such a superb album after the less-than-great 'Build a rocket boys'. Get listening!


Relayer
Relayer
Price: £5.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Music of the Gods., 19 Oct. 2013
This review is from: Relayer (Audio CD)
Ah, Relayer...these were the glory days of Yes, and progressive rock in general. We had such an embarrassment of riches during this period that we came to take albums of this quality for granted. 'Topographic Oceans' was an awe-inspiring effort that came out as I was just beginning Year 10 at school. To say I loved it is an understatement...'worshipped' would be nearer the mark. Jon's inspiration was amazing, and on 'Ritual' the words and melodies just seemed to flow on and on in a never-ending stream of musical bliss. I listened to it every day on arriving home from from school, and then the last thing I expected happened-they released another new album, about ten months later! This was another amazing thing-how could they possibly have enough material so soon after the immense effort of 'Topographic'? Well, of course, they did. This was Jon's golden age, and Relayer was another wonderful and timeless album which was followed by 'Olias of Sunhillow' and then 'Going for the One'. It was truly an age of 'miracles and wonders'. Well, if you don't know Relayer, I'll tell you a bit about it. Like 'Close to the Edge' it has an extended musical intro, and again there's a strong sense of purpose. The band sound like they know exactly what they're doing, and where they're going, and indeed they do. Jon's lyrics are all about war, and when he's finished the song all hell breaks loose for about ten minutes and your attention is simply rivetted by the onslaught of musical ideas and riffs. It all builds up to an almighty climax, and then we are treated to a truly great 'Yes' moment: the keyboards win out and there is peace. Not just that, as Steve enters with the most beautiful melody in the Yes cannon, and Jon sets off again singing about the purpose of life, which is to follow the sun/son (apparently!). He must have been listening to you-know who. Side two kicks off with the consistently brilliant and very funky 'Sound Chaser', then finally 'To Be Over', one of the the band's greatest and most overlooked songs. It grips you and doesn't let go until the final release of beauty and enchantment in the uplifting and mysterious closing couple of minutes. It all makes for an exhilarating and satisfying conclusion. This is without doubt one of the greatest albums ever made. It is timeless, thrilling and profound!


Solo Concerts: Bremen and Lausanne
Solo Concerts: Bremen and Lausanne
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £21.63

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is it., 29 Jun. 2013
This knocks 'Koln' out of the ball park, it really does. It's Keith's greatest recording by a good country mile. There is rich magic here, and both concerts have a wonderful 'shape'. I used to listen more to 'Bremen', which is totally inspired from beginning to end, but recently I've been listening more to 'Lausanne'. I hadn't fully appreciated it before, probably because I was so mesmerised by'Bremen'. 'Lausanne' starts with a gentle melancholy, similar to the predominant mood of the 'Kyoto' concert, but it then takes off in a variety of directions, all of them brilliant and compelling. There's a hair-raising fast section which really rocks, and it's difficult to see how he could improvise at this level at such a speed. And finally he takes us on a journey to the shores of Elysium in the last twenty minutes. I can't think of any of his other live recordings that comes close to this, although they are all worth investing in. Keith was like a lonely warrior of the soul in his late twenties, an extraordinary cultural phenomenon. Buy this and treasure it for the rest of your life.


Beethoven: Complete String Quartets
Beethoven: Complete String Quartets
Price: £35.59

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It doesn't get better than this., 14 Jan. 2013
The Quartetto Italiano's Beethoven cycle has been part of my listening experience for the best part of forty years. At the tender age of 15 I bought a copy of opus 132, which was slightly hard going but slowly began to reveal its secrets. They recorded this first, and it clearly meant a great deal to the group. The slow movement is almost perfect, and the final section (of five) carries you off to heaven. There is a wonderful moment when the first violin holds a high note on its own, no other version I've heard has matched this performance. The only group of those I've heard that seems to have a similar 'feel' for the music is the Lyndsay Quartet, but they don't have the Italians' style and nobility. The Italians went on to record the rest of the cycle during the next 8 years, ending with a revelatory set of the Opus 59s. I was moved to write this as I just listened to the first of these, op.59 no. 1. The measured pace for the opening allegro allows time and space for every musical idea to register properly, just superb. The scherzo also benefits from a measured pace, and the slow movement is awesome. You get drawn into a magical and complex world of ideas and feelings, this is on a par with the late quartets, and really this must be be the pinnacle of all music. The Italian performances are near perfect, they radiate love, humanity and humility, and continue to shine as a beacon of sanity and compassion in our troubled world.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 3, 2014 6:40 PM BST


Sleeper - Tokyo, April 16, 1979
Sleeper - Tokyo, April 16, 1979
Offered by Side Two
Price: £14.99

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The sleeper awakes, 29 July 2012
Just listened to the first CD, it's great! I buy all of Keith's albums as they come out with monotonous regularity, this is exactly what we've been missing for a long time, there's a whole lot more electricity, beauty and captivating side-steps, now I'm looking forward to playing CD2 later on...is it the holy grail? Watch this space..! (Actually, if you want the holy grail it's 'Tribute')


Still Live
Still Live
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £20.00

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best, 21 Sept. 2011
This review is from: Still Live (Audio CD)
I have most of Keith Jarrett's albums, but this and 'Tribute' are my favourites. Both albums are magical and bear endless repetitions. I listen to one of them every week, and for easing into Saturday evening with a cold beer thay are unbeatable, both albums have fantastic hypnotic grooves, and are curiously timeless.


Close to the Edge
Close to the Edge
Offered by jim-exselecky
Price: £4.89

42 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My all-time favourite album., 6 Aug. 2011
This review is from: Close to the Edge (Audio CD)
I'm glad this album is receiving such a positive posthumous re-assessment. I was fourteen when it came out, and I've listened to it regularly ever since (now 52, put your calculators away!) There are a few albums from that period that I still take the trouble to set up the correct listening environment for, and then actually listen to them (ring a bell?) all the way through with complete attention. Others include Dark side of the moon, The Wall, Led Zeppelin 3,4 and Houses of the Holy, from Yes Topographic Oceans and Relayer. But of this list, CTTE is the album I have played the most. It is truly evergreen, as the cover suggests. They nailed some of the most exhilarating and spine-tingling moments of all music from any genre, combined with a magical atmosphere that sweeps you away each and every time without fail, if you listen to it properly(as opposed to having it on in the background, which would just be annoying!) At one of their live shows in Birmingham a few years ago Jon said that he wrote the lyrics while having afternoon 'tea' with the rest of the band, now THAT makes perfect sense. This music, as the cover suggests so effectively, is like stepping outside on a sunny summer's morning and the air is clean and crisp, and life is full of exciting possibilities. That is the feeling captured on this album. I love it to bits. 'Now that it's all over and done, run to the sea, right to the sun, now that you find, now that you're whole...' This is also why I never embraced punk, which many of my peers did in 1977, but resolutely stuck to my musical guns through thick and thin!
Comment Comments (8) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 17, 2013 9:38 PM BST


Fly From Here
Fly From Here
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £12.32

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buggled Up, 6 July 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Fly From Here (Audio CD)
Okay, what can we expect from Yes in 2011? I am a lifelong fan, Topographic Oceans came out when I was 15 and I worshipped it every day for the next year, and then on and off until now. Has anyone else realised that The Remembering is their most haunting, beautiful and perfect song, along with To Be Over? Also Tne Revealing Science of God, these magical songs had a wonderfully organic quality that is extremely rare in rock music. So to the new album...we are starting to get used to feeling, 'Yeah, pretty good, but...' for eveything since'Talk' the last album with the 'wow' factor. Of course, 'Drama' was a majestic album that, while lacking the mysterious moods of earlier pieces, rocked like a b.....d. I downloaded the new album last Friday and I've listened to it about six times. It's lovely. The production is very pleasing on the ear, and every song has something of interest. The opening suite of connected pieces is not a single organic structure like the Topographic songs, but it hangs together quite well, and the vocals are gorgeous throughout. The intro is a nice idea, sounding like I am a camera and setting the Buggles tone. Then comes the song, beautifully realised by the band 30 years after they wrote it. The next two sections are the most interesting part of the album, and are wonderful additions to the Yes canon. Section three has a wonderful flow and a truly musical feel to it, just perfect. That's going to sound great live.(Got your tickets? Symphony Hall is nearly sold out!) Then part four also flows naturally out of part three and also sounds lovely. Nothing else is quite as good as this, but those two sections alone are worth the price of admission, and if you are a Yes fan you are going to absolutely love them, you have a treat in store. As I said, the rest of the album contains no embarrassments, there's a nice new acoustic solo from Steve leading into the upbeat final track 'Into the Storm' which is very catchy. This is a lovely summery album and a real labour of love from all concerned. I am THRILLED by this return to form from my beloved Yes. The summer is coming,life is good. Cheers!


Go
Go
Price: £8.90

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heaven, 20 Jun. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Go (Audio CD)
I've been listening to this driving into work the last few days,when song 8 kicks in and the sun is shining it's like you,re being carried off to heaven, not a bad way to start the day! The trouble is it's then stuck in my head all day, and still is at the moment. It's really incredible, you've got to hear it. The whole album is joyful, utterly perfect music for the the imminent summer hols!


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