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Mr. B. D. Friend (Monmouth,UK)
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Hey Ricky
Hey Ricky
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £24.76

5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth the wait!, 21 Sept. 2011
This review is from: Hey Ricky (Audio CD)
Having been let down by Amazon's pre-order arrangements on this CD, I was very pleased to obtain one from a marketplace seller, at a very good price! The music on this particular CD marks a bit of a departure for Melissa Manchester, although, in fairness, her music always displayed a good range of styles. "Hey Ricky" is a more pop-orientated offering, but no less appealing or successful for that. The opening track, "You Should Hear How She Talks About You" sets the pace, being an upbeat track with a typically 80s back beat. This style is repeated on the title track also. The rest of the album is once again a mix of styles, from the more lyrical "Slowly" to the more typically Melissa "Someone To Watch Over Me" and "I'll always Love You". The song "Race To The End" is a version of Vangelis's theme to Chariots of Fire with added lyrics, in my opinion the weakest moment of the album. Manchester is joined by David Gates for the duet "Wish We Were Heroes" and this, coupled with yet another reading of "Come In From The Rain", mark for me the high spots.
Any fans of Melissa Manchester's albums will find lots to enjoy in this release, showcasing once again the breadth of her repetoire and artistry in performance. Although now expensive in it's remastered form, it's a worthy addition to any collection.


Swing Sing
Swing Sing

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highlights from a great period, 17 July 2011
This review is from: Swing Sing (Audio CD)
When I was young, my parents listened to a variety of music, but broadly based in the 'classical' spectrum. There were one or two exceptions, one being that my Mother liked James Last - thus so do I - and they both liked The King's Singers and a few other 'middle of the road' artists - thus so do I! One record I particularly remember coming out on a Sunday afternoon was 'Words & Music' by the group Swingle 2. It was up-beat, cleverly written and brilliantly executed. I collected this and other albums by the group, Ward Swingle's London incarnation of the famous Paris-based group of the 60s, and have long wished for those albums to be re-released on CD. Here, at last, is a taste of what that group released through the 1970s. The CD comprises tracks culled from at least three of the earlier LPs, namely 'Rags and all that Jazz', 'Words and Music' and 'Words and Music 2'.The first album is included in full and showcases the lyric talents of Tony Vincent Isaacs, who provides words for several of Scott Joplin's tunes as well as those of other well-known composers of the period. The opening track is sure to bring a smile to the face of anybody familiar with Chris de Burgh's 'Patricia the Stripper', being as it is another take on the same theme! The two tracks taken from 'Words & Music 2' continue this theme, also being Joplin rags, the well-known 'The Entertainer' and the 'Maple Leaf Rag'. The former describes the life of an itinerant musical entertainer whilst the latter quite brilliantly tells the life story of Louis Armstrong. The remaining tracks on the CD are reworkings of some more modern pop songs, such as Paul Simon's '50 Ways to leave your lover' and a Bee Gees medley. All the arrangements are to the same high standard and sung to the very highest degree of skill. For those people who, like myself, remember these tracks from long ago, this CD is a real treat. It would be nice to see these 1970s albums re-released in full but, until such a time, this particular compilation will have to suffice. It is very well remastered and now sounds better than I ever remember! I feel sure that, for those who only know of the 1960s classically-rooted Swingle albums, this would be a well received addition to their collection. Highly recommended!!


Over My Head
Over My Head

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another winner from the late Mr. Rafferty, 18 Jun. 2011
This review is from: Over My Head (Audio CD)
Like most people, I became aware of the music of Gerry Rafferty through the song Baker Street, buying the album City to City many years ago and enjoying it ever since. I have added slowly to my collection of his albums over the years, stymied only by their rarity and consequent high price. Rafferty's death early this year re-kindled my enthusiasm and my purchase of this album completed my collection. I have read other reviews of several of his albums with interest, buying several with trepidation and always being surprised, as I have unfailingly enjoyed every one of them. It would be true to say that those people who were perhaps just looking for a repeat of Baker Street itself might find some of his other albums less interesting, but the album City to City itself is full of contrasts, from the rock of the afore-mentioned song and the title track to the more folky Matty's Rag. This album, the rarest, is another gem. The tracks cover a variety of styles once again, from the rocky "The Waters of Forgetfulness" to the Country & Western-sounding "Wrong Thinking" and "Down and Out". "The Girl's Got No Confidence" is a joyful up-tempo romp, whilst "Lonesome Polecat" and " Late Again" are more reflective. " Clear Day" is another of those laid-back smooth rock tracks which Rafferty does so well." Out the Blue" reminded me very much of John Lennon, while a new version of the early track " Her Father Didn't Like Me Anyway" is a worthy closer to the album. "Bajan Moon" is an off-beat opening track, but, once you're drawn in, I defy any Rafferty fan to find anything less than satisfying on this lesser-known masterpiece. Expensive, yes(come on, record companies, get a re-issue out!), but worth every penny! Highly recommended.


Carols & Christmas Songs
Carols & Christmas Songs
Offered by westworld-
Price: £10.01

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great addition to my Christmas listening!, 6 Feb. 2011
First off, I have to admit a large bias in my recommendation of this CD. As a member of the Orchestra of Welsh National Opera, I have had the pleasure of being involved in several recordings with Bryn, all of them enjoyable experiences. We recorded this album in the summer of 2010 in Cardiff and I thought very early on in the process that this would be a very good album. The repertoire is a mix of the new and the traditional, all in new arrangements by Chris Hazel, Bryn's regular arranger. Some of the arrangements, such as that for "Still, Still, Still", are quite out of the ordinary and take a little getting used to, while others, such as Rutter's evergreen "Shepherd's Pipe Carol", are very faithful to the original. All are ultimately successful and put a refreshing slant on well known traditionals. One of my favourites has to be "Mary's Boy Child", a fusion of traditional calypso and 1970s Bert Kaempfert!! The release is a double album, a second CD having some of the same repertoire, as well as new tracks, sung in Welsh. Here there are some traditional Welsh carols, not heard on the main CD, and a "pop" song to go out on a high! Despite my bias - I bought about ten of these albums for friends and family - I recommend this album whole-heartedly, both for fans of Bryn Terfel and those people looking for something a bit different in their Christmas listening. Give it a go - I don't think you'll be disappointed!


Life Goes On
Life Goes On

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars At least this one's available!, 6 Feb. 2011
This review is from: Life Goes On (Audio CD)
I have been an enthusiastic listener to the music of Gerry Rafferty for a good number of years now, occasionally adding to my collection of CDs of his music. Like many others, I should suspect, I was saddened to hear of his death this year and decided to get a bit more of his back catalogue to enjoy. I find it disappointing that several of his albums are long-since deleted and only available at exorbitant prices second-hand. I was pleased to get this particular album, a compilation of earlier tracks along with some newer ones, previously unreleased. As with all Gerry's albums, there is much to enjoy here, from the plaintive opening tracks, to the more familiar material previously released. All the material is very well recorded and produced and any fans of Gerry's music will enjoy this release. The lack of a fifth star is simply because many of the tracks have been released on other albums, but the new ones make it a worthwhile purchase-my advice would be to grab it now before it gets too expensive!!


An A - Z Railways: A Nostalgic Celebration of British Railway Heritage
An A - Z Railways: A Nostalgic Celebration of British Railway Heritage
by Paul Atterbury
Edition: Hardcover

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Completists beware!, 16 Nov. 2010
I pre-ordered this book on the strength of my owning all the other books in this series by Paul Atterbury. As the Amazon description says, it is an alphabetical trawl through aspects of the railways of Britain and is profusely illustrated with interesting photographs. The entries are short and the book will appeal to those with both a general interest in railway history as well as the more committed enthusiast. The one problem with this book, which is NOT mentioned in the Amazon description is that it is a compilation of articles from the previous books by Paul Atterbury, as stated in the publication details. Therefore, anybody like myself will already have all the photos and articles, spread over the previous four volumes. Had I known this to start with, I should probably not have bought this particular volume, although it is attractive in itself. However, for those who do not own or do not wish to buy the other four volumes, this book will be an enjoyable read. Recommended for first-time buyers.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 28, 2011 5:01 PM GMT


Life Along the Line: A Nostalgic Celebration of Railways and Railway People
Life Along the Line: A Nostalgic Celebration of Railways and Railway People
by Paul Atterbury
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £25.00

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another wallow in nostalgia, 16 Nov. 2010
In this volume, Paul Atterbury continues his trawl through the archives of Britain's railways in his tried and trusted style. This volume deals with what might be termed the more human aspect of railway life, workers, travellers and enthusiasts. If you enjoyed any other of the volumes in this series, you will find much of interest here also. The book offers snippets of information rather than detailed discourses, coupled with a profusion of illustrations, the majority of which have not been published before. The book will therefore appeal more to the general railway enthusiast and those with an interest in this aspect of our recent history. Recommended.


Look at Life: Volume One - Transport [DVD]
Look at Life: Volume One - Transport [DVD]
Dvd ~ Tim Turner
Offered by NextDayEntertainment
Price: £33.27

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Glimpses of a bygone world, 9 Jun. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I had no hesitation in buying this DVD compilation,given that I also own all the existing "Look at Life" compilations,mostly released by Video 125 several years ago.Firsly,it must be said said what excellent value for money this set is! It contains 54 shorts,all of which show a glimpse of life between 40 and 50 years ago.This set is all about transport in it's various forms.I can't really add anything to a lot of the other reviews above in my praise for the job that Network have done in remastering these films and making them available again.If I were to be really fussy,being principally a railway enthusiast,I would have to express a little disappointment in the small number of railway related films in the set,particularly given that two or three of them have already been released on the afore-mentioned compilations.However,it may be that these are the only ones that exist.Nonetheless,this is still a very enjoyable trawl through the archives,and would be interesting to transport afficionados,social historians and anyone wishing to see how we lived a generation or two ago.Highly recommended!


Swann's Way: A Life in Song
Swann's Way: A Life in Song
by Donald Swann
Edition: Hardcover

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Swann's Way - A Life In Song, 9 Jun. 2010
If,like myself,you are a fan of the work of Michael Flanders and Donald Swann in their "Hat" shows and elsewhere,you will probably have bought the 3-disc set of the so-called "Complete Flanders and Swann",released several years ago.At the back of the set's booklet was an advert for this book,which I have been meaning to buy since that time.Having eventually bought a copy,I have to say that I was not disappointed.The life story of Donald Swann is a fascinating one.Born of mixed parentage in South Wales in 1923,he went on,through public school and work for the Friend's Ambulance Unit during the war,to become a song writer for revues,in collaboration with several artists.The association with Michael Flanders,the most well-known,is covered in some detail in this book,which,in it's second edition,brings Swann's story up to 1993.For anybody interested in the man himself,the "Hat" shows or the world of revue in the 1950s and 1960s,this book makes a fascinating read.It adds to one's understanding and appreciation of a lot of the songs that he wrote during his lifetime and,being written in a very informal and "chatty" style,makes the story very immediate.Highly recommended!


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