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SMALL FACES - QUITE NATURALLY
SMALL FACES - QUITE NATURALLY

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quite Naturally, 12 Aug. 2012
I'm having to give this just 4 stars because of the slightly misleading tracklisting on the CD cover.

There is no mention that two of the songs (Tin Soldier and The Hungry Intruder) are alternate instrumental takes.

If you're a Small Faces completist that may be an attractive selling point, but to someone merely seeking a good "best of" it could lead to a small amount of disappointment. Especially with Tin Soldier in its regular form being SUCH a classic. The version here is a drum/bass/keyboard instrumental, with not even a guitar.

That aside, this is still a great compilation of the band's post-Decca era.

Also, it's worth noting there were two different releases of this same album on CD. The first in 1986 was on Castle Communications, titled Quite Naturally (with a cover showing the band performing onstage). The second was a 1992 reissue on Dojo titled Quite Naturally Rare (which on its cover has an off-stage picture of the band). The content of both discs is the same;

Rollin' Over
Song of a Baker
I Feel Much Better
Talk To You
Tin Soldier (instrumental)
Autumn Stone
Become Like You
I Can't Make It
Donkey Rides A Penny A Glass
Rene
I'm Only Dreaming
The Hungry Intruder (instrumental)
Red Balloon
Just Passing.


Jimi Hendrix Concerts
Jimi Hendrix Concerts

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Essential Live Hendrix Album, 11 Aug. 2012
This review is from: Jimi Hendrix Concerts (Audio CD)
This review is for the CD of "The Jimi Hendrix Concerts" on Castle Communications (CCSCD 235).

The Jimi Hendrix Concerts was produced by Alan Douglas, the man who had control of the Hendrix catalogue from the early 1970's into the early 1990's. Over the years Douglas has been denigrated by fans for his at times quite literal butchery of the Hendrix recorded legacy, and although The Jimi Hendrix Concerts doesn't escape the "touch of Douglas" completely unscathed, it does remain one of the best live Jimi Hendrix Experience albums ever released.

To give credit where credit is due, Douglas had the wise idea of presenting this compilation of live material as if it were a single performance, so the tracks are seamlessly linked by applause and on-stage banter which gives the listener a more involving experience.

Some people have complained of Douglas' decision to add to these recordings reverb which did not exist on the original tapes. Normally I'd also be against such after-the-fact tampering, but here I'd argue in its defence as it results in a consistancy of sound across the selection which completely reinforces the "single concert" concept. Almost everything you hear on this album sounds like it belongs on this album, it sounds like a single live show, not the patchwork listening experience all too often found on live compilations.

And the music itself? This really is quite an astounding set.

Taken from a selection of concerts professionally recorded between 1968 and 1970 (at Winterland, The Royal Albert Hall, Berkely Community Centre, the L.A. Forum and the New York Pop festival), it showcases The Jimi Hendrix Experience at their live peak. Songs are stretched into extended realms unapproached by their studio counterparts, sometimes to the point of rendering them almost unrecogniseable in comparison. This is the sound of the band taking things up to the next level and beyond.

Although most of the material on this album has subsequently appeared on a variety of live Hendrix releases, I certainly wouldn't call The Jimi Hendrix Concerts a redundant collection. The quality of performance across the entire album is too consistantly high for that. What you get here is over an hour of the purest essence of the band. Aside from the recent Winterland CD reissue I can't think of any other live Hendrix album which matches The Jimi Hendrix Concerts for sustained quality.

To put it simply; forget your Woodstock, your Monterey and your Fillmore. THIS is the live Hendrix album with the most potential to blow you away.

So, my rating?

I'm docking The Jimi Hendrix Concerts one star simply because the positioning of Wild Thing with it's white-noise amp-smashing finale breaks the flow somewhat by appearing two tracks before the album's final track. It should have been tagged onto the end of the setlist (as was traditionally the case in Hendrix live shows), or left off the album completely.

Four out of five stars.

If you're a Hendrix fan, you need to own this CD.


Panthalassa: The Music Of Miles Davis. 1969-1974
Panthalassa: The Music Of Miles Davis. 1969-1974
Offered by trec002
Price: £19.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Panthalassa, 4 Aug. 2012
I'll start by admitting I'm not a huge Miles Davis fan, owning only Bitches Brew and In A Silent Way, the latter of which is partially included on this megamix compilation.

And what a megamix it is. A sonic tapestry of Davis's most experimental period, woven together using a combination of completed studio takes and segments of out-takes. The end result flows perfectly as one continuous piece, smoothly transitioning between smooth ambience and funked-up aural assault.

But.

Although the mixing, remixing and melding together of this collection is to be complemented as a creation of near genius, I find the material itself just does not work properly when removed from the context of its original albums.

As an extended piece Panthalassa at best comes across much as a film soundtrack would. At worst, and I don't say this lightly, its more like the background music for an inner-city Sitcom.

The latter is evident on the material taken from In The Corner. Originally Mile's harshest, most abrasive, cacophonous, anarchic and challenging work, here it's reduced to the pseudo-funky realms of a post-punchline televisual cut-scene jingle. And I think that's simply because this collection just makes Mile's music sound too modern - and a lot of modern TV background music is very reflective of the sound of this album.

Despite using original 1960s/1970s tapes to compile Panthalassa, the whole thing sounds just too new, as if a collective of session musicians had emerged from the studio with it yesterday. It's too clean, too polished, too 21st Century. Play it to someone well versed in Drum and Bass, Ambient or Electronic music who's never heard Miles Davis (or only considers him to be a Trad-Jazz artist), and you'd probably have a hard time convincing them it wasn't written and recorded in recent years by a modern band or composer.

Ironically the material is let down by being so well presented that it loses its timeless vibe, its sense of heritage and origin.

If you have a passing interesting in exploring Miles Davis' electric/fusion period my advice is to avoid this album. Stick with the original albums from which the material here is taken, most of which are currently to be found dirt cheap on Amazon in their early CD incarnations.

To sum up, it's an impressively implemented project, but fails as a "Miles Davis" release because it removes the timeless quality from the music and sterilises what's left for modern consumption.

If however you're a fan of ambient music and the like, you would probably enjoy Panthalassa without needing or having any interest in Miles Davis. I'd say it would function very nicely for you as an ambient-themed piece of work.

Panthalassa gets two stars from me.


RASTA REVOLUTION
RASTA REVOLUTION
Offered by cd-trade_uk
Price: £21.60

5.0 out of 5 stars Rasta Revolution, 17 July 2012
This review is from: RASTA REVOLUTION (Audio CD)
Rasta Revolution is a truly excellent (but all too often overlooked) compilation of material recorded by Bob Marley and The Wailers in the early 1970's with Lee Perry as producer, and which essentially is an extended version of the Soul Rebels album.

Originally released in 1974 it showcases the pre-mainstream side of Bob Marley and The Wailers, much like it's immediate predecessor (also on Trojan Records) African Herbsman.

Recorded in relatively primitive Jamaican studio facilities, this collection reveals a less polished and more organic sound than that which Marley and The Wailers would more famously develop after being signed to Island Records and exposed to white Rock influences and modern studio technology in the UK.

A serious nod also has to be given to Lee Perry's excellent production skills, which certainly go a long way towards giving this material a signature unique within the career of The Wailers, conjuring up quite a warm and earthy vibe for the band.

This original 1988 CD release (cdtrl 89) manages to maintain much of that original analogue warmth.

So five stars all round from me for Rasta Revolution.

Tracklist;

Mr Brown
Soul Rebel
Try Me
It's Alright
No Sympathy
My Cup
Duppy Conqueror
Rebel's Hop
Corner Stone
400 Years
No Water
Reaction
Soul Almighty


King Tubbys Meets Rockers Uptown
King Tubbys Meets Rockers Uptown
Offered by thebookcommunity
Price: £71.64

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It sneaks up on you, 3 July 2012
This review is for the 1990 CD release of King Tubbys Meets Rockers Uptown, on Fotofon (AP001CD).

When I first heard this album I was - as probably some of you were, or will be - underwhelmed.

Commonly reviews or comments that I've read of this album have it down as being the best Dub album ever, or at worst within the top three of the best ever. So I was expecting something seriously freaky and mindblowing, some real dark and heavy brain-melting Dub.

What I found, initially, was something quite tame. Something a bit too "samey". Dare I say it, something a little bit boring.

But what I didn't expect was the subtle nature of the Dub being so incredibly insidious. Live with this album for a short while and it will not grow on you piece by piece. Instead it will one day suddenly leap up and grab you. And once you "get it", you get it.

It took me a week of listening before - out of nowhere - everything clicked into place and I understood exactly why King Tubbys Meets Rockers Uptown has so regularly been cited as a Dub classic. After initially denigrating and almost disregarding the album, I am now a firm and admitted convert. And it was more than worth putting in the effort to gain that epiphany.

One thing I would say to anyone giving this album a blast for the first time, try it through headphones. They really bring it to life by fully revealing the stereo-panned echo effects. Maybe if I'd begun my journey with the album that way I would have arrived at my ultimate destination far sooner!

Now. The technical stuff. This 1990 CD issue on Fotofon has very basic artwork. The front cover is a single sheet (with blank rear) and the rear tray inlay looks like a black and white photocopy. But don't let that put you off, because the actual sound of the CD is very nice. It's not compressed, it's good and clear with a powerful bass. It sounds to me like either a straight transfer from the original master tape or a first generation copy. Some of these older Reggae CDs can be taken from dodgy tape sources, be swathed in muffling noise reduction, or even copied from crackly old vinyl. That's certainly not the case here.

That said, there is one track on the album which sounds slightly inferior to the rest, Satta Dub. However, it's not listed on the artwork and didn't feature on the original vinyl issue so can really be considered a hidden bonus track.

In conclusion, how would I rate King Tubbys Meets Rockers Uptown?

A week or so back I would have given it maybe a two star rating, and then only largely on the basis of the title track.

But one week on? I'll give it a solid 4 stars, with one star missing simply because of the low quality artwork. The Dub is 5 star all the way......once it "gets" you!
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Bitches Brew
Bitches Brew

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bitches Brew, The Original Mix, 28 Jun. 2012
This review is from: Bitches Brew (Audio CD)
This is not really a review, more of an informative comment.

This early CD issue of Bitches Brew (under the "CBS Jazz Masterpieces" branding) is currently the *only* way to hear the original 1970 vinyl LP mix of the album on CD outside of a rare Japanese mini-LP release from 1996 (Mastersound, SRCCS 9118-9).

All of the American/European CD remasters use a modern remix. When the remixers went back to the mastertapes they found they needed to recreate the echo effect on Miles' trumpet. This they did using modern digital technology, but due to the inherent constraints of digital replication the trumpet echo on the remix was left slightly mistimed. If you've never heard the original album it won't sound wrong, but if you were a fan of Bitches Brew on vinyl or cassette you'll probably quite clearly notice the difference in echo delay. It's also been reported that a modern edit during Pharoah's Dance throws the whole measure off by one beat.

So if you want to hear Bitches Brew as it was originally mixed and released, this early CD issue is your only easy-to-acquire option.

But. And sadly it's not a good "but".

Take note! Something happened during the mastering process for this early CD issue which left the recording sounding a bit too bassy and somewhat muffled.

So you pays your money and you takes your choice. A clean modern mastering with altered timings and new edits, or the original and untouched mix sounding a bit murky.

As for the music, I won't even risk attempting to describe it. I would however say that I've discovered the perfect time to play this album is during a rainy summer's day....with the window open to give you a background noise of light breeze and gently spattering rain. There's something about the ebb and flow of this album which seems to meld very naturally with the rhythm of that type of weather. That might sound crazy, but try it!

So, to conclude. 5 stars out of 5 for the music, 3 stars out of 5 for the mastering.... which I calculate makes for an overall Amazon rating of 4 stars.


My Generation  [200g Mono VINYL]
My Generation [200g Mono VINYL]

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Yet, 18 Jun. 2012
As far as modern releases of this album go - across all formats - this is certainly the best yet.

First the good. Despite there only being so much one could do with this album given the original primitive mix, pressing it directly from the original mono masters has made some difference. Not a vast difference, but a difference nonetheless.

This LP sounds a little more open and alive than any other modern version I've heard, with slightly more clarity. There's also a bit more bass. It's an all round positive improvement.

And now, the bad (although I must admit "bad" within this context is too much of an extreme choice of word!).

Because of the freshly unveiled layer of clarity, albeit not that huge, it becomes more obvious with this release than on any other that the songs were recorded at different sessions. On all previous releases the album (being overly compressed, peak limited or slightly murky, depending upon which version you owned) has an overall quality which left it sounding pretty much like the band went into the studio and banged the entire thing out in one go. To be completely fair, the difference here isn't majorly obvious. It probably wouldn't even catch the attention of the average listener, but if you are a serious audiophile you'll probably pick up on it....but maybe it could be considered a good thing rather than bad? It all depends on taste I suppose.

Anyway. If you want the best possible modern vinyl listening experience of this album there is no question this Classic Records release is one you need. If you're not too bothered about the slight improvement in clarity you'll probably be happy with the much cheaper Virgin LP from the 1980s, which itself is slightly better than the original MCA CD.

The biggest annoyance is that this album has never been transferred to CD with the same care and attention seen with this Classic Records issue. That would truly have made for a "deluxe" listening experience!

Now, previously I would have recommended this Classic Records LP over the original 1965 Brunswick vinyl, but the pair now seem to be drifting ever closer when it comes to pricing. So if you have the money to spare you may be better off spending an extra £20 or £30 on the original. If not, buy this. You'll certainly be more than happy with it and probably never feel the need to upgrade again.


No Remorse
No Remorse
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £18.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beware of Faulty Pressings, 31 May 2012
This review is from: No Remorse (Audio CD)
This review is for the original Castle CD of No Remorse (CLACD 121), originally released in 1988.

But....a quick WARNING before I begin.

A batch of these discs were released with a mastering fault which causes a sort of "helicopter" chopping noise to appear at varying intensities across parts of tracks 16 to 21, most notably on No Class and Steal Your Face.

I bought three of these CDs from different sellers and they each had the same fault, so quite a few must have escaped the pressing plant before anyone noticed. All of the faulty copies I owned were pressed by DAMONT (the name visible on the disc in the matrix info around the centre hole). The one I finally found which didn't have the fault was pressed by DISCTRONICS.

So be aware of that problem if buying without having the chance to listen beforehand.

As for the mastering of this disc (when not faulty!) it's really quite good. The tracks seem to have been transferred from decent tapes, bested at the time in fidelity only by the Meltdown box set (Castle/Essential ESBCD 146, 1991). The material is at least as good as the original Motorhead CD album releases on Castle, and at best is superior. And if you're not a "loudness wars" lover this original No Remorse CD will suit you very nicely.

So how's the music?

Well firstly, it's only fair to mention this compilation is a mixture of live and studio tracks, which isn't stated on the cover artwork. However, the live material sits perfectly well next to the studio tracks, in some cases being more powerful. Too Late Too Late is an excellent example of the latter, sounding more like a turbocharged alternate studio take until the cheering at the end snaps your awareness back to the fact its a live performance.

For the original double-vinyl LP release of No Remorse (in 1984) the tracklist was chosen by Lemmy himself, but due to the time constraints of the digital format the first CD release had a couple of tracks removed.

This is actually where I have my sole complaint abut this CD. Louie Louie and Leaving Here were removed, but the band's two collaborations with Girlschool were retained. In my mind the reverse would be more appropriate for a Motorhead compilation.

To digress slightly, the later double-CD remaster makes what I consider to be an even worse decision by adding tracks which were never on the original album. This I feel damages the flow and intent of Lemmy's chosen tracklist far more than the removal of a couple of tracks.

Ultimately what you have with this single-disc edition of No Remorse is Motorhead as Lemmy wanted you to hear them. And thankfully he had a very good ear for discerning the band's better moments. The track selection reveals he clearly understood what would best appeal to the fans.

So to conclude, No Remorse is THE classic Motorhead compilation.

It's got a great tracklist for the casual fan, with enough well known and good quality material to catch the ear of the uninitiated. Yet it also has enough in the way of more obscure tracks to grab the interest of the already dedicated fan. It's the best of both worlds on one shiny disc, and I would argue has never yet been improved upon by any other Motorhead compilation.

If you only ever buy one Motorhead album in your life, make it this. (And if you fancy a nice companion compilation I'd recommend checking out the Anthology CD, which was issued a couple of years prior to No Remorse).

So, No Remorse gets a solid 5 star rating from me.

Tracklist;

Ace Of Spades
Motorhead (live)
Jailbait
Stay Clean
Too Late, Too Late (live)
Killed By Death
Bomber (live)
Iron Fist
Shine
Dancing On Your Grave
Metropolis
Snaggletooth
Overkill
Please Don't Touch
Stone Dead Forever
Like A Nightmare
Emergency
Steal Your Face
No Class
Iron Horse (live)
We Are The Roadcrew
Locomotive
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 18, 2015 11:12 AM GMT


The Sabbath Collection
The Sabbath Collection
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £11.23

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Compilation Badly Mastered, 25 May 2012
This review is from: The Sabbath Collection (Audio CD)
A quick but very important note to begin with. This is one of two completely different Black Sabbath compilations ("The Sabbath Collection" and "The Collection") for which Amazon is currently gathering together reviews as if they are the same album. These compilations have very different tracklists and were originally released almost a decade apart. So be careful you're buying the right one because you could be reading the wrong review.

This review is for the earliest of those compilations, "The Sabbath Collection". Released in 1985 on Castle Communications (CCSCD 109), this is the one with black cover artwork featuring the title text in red above a silver "SS" logo.

Right. Now that's out of the way, let's get down to business...

"The Sabbath Collection" is an excellent compilation ruined by thoughtless mastering. Allow me to explain.

The opening track of the CD is Paranoid, which on this collection is quite bassy and slightly muffled. It's obviously not taken from first generation tapes, but it's fine for what it is. However, the compiler made a huge error of judgement in choosing to follow Paranoid with three tracks from the bands' debut album, Behind The Wall Of Sleep, Sleeping Village and Warning. In comparison to Paranoid these three have such a vastly superior clarity it's like a veil has been lifted from the speakers....and with a MAJOR leap in volume. If you have this CD cranked loud from the start you'll probably leap out of your skin when the second track begins....

But that ain't the end of the sonic rollercoaster ride provided by this disc. The tracks following the three from the debut album have a volume level closer to that of Paranoid. And the track immediately following the three debut album tracks, After Forever, is also quite bassy and a slightly muffled like Paranoid.

It's clear that Castle dumped the songs onto this CD without any thought whatsoever for the differences between production styles, or the variable quality of the copy tapes they used (some of which were excellent, some good, and some not so good). And they showed no consideration towards balancing the volume across the tracks to partially remedy those differences. That slackness is something I've come across a number of times with Castle compilations from the 1980s, but I've never before experienced volume/clarity differences as extreme as those found at the start of this compilation.

Had the three debut album tracks been tagged onto the end of this disc their impact wouldn't have been anywhere near as detrimental because the rest of the tracks share a relatively common volume level and production sound. As things stand, it's not until you get almost halfway through this compilation that you can settle into it knowing there's a smooth(ish) run for the remainder of the journey.

It's a real shame because this truly is a fantastic selection of tracks from the band's prime era of 1970 - 1973. It's hard rockin' Sabbath all the way, with no sign of anything mellow or middle-of-the-road like Changes or Laguna Sunrise. Snowblind is about as relaxed as it gets with this CD. From the perspective of track selection "The Sabbath Collection" is an almost perfect Black Sabbath primer.

And so to my rating....

Had this CD received some VERY basic volume equalisation it would have been difficult to grade it lower than 4 stars at the worst. But the lack of concern shown by Castle in regard to mastering means I can only give it a 3 at best.

To conclude though on a positive note, it could be argued that a number of the tracks on this disc are superior in quality to their counterparts on later remasters. Being a 1980's CD it doesn't suffer any of the compression or intrusive digital tweaking prevalent in modern times. If you have an aversion to "the loudness war" it does remain - despite it's questionable mastering - a compilation worthy of consideration.

Black Sabbath
The Sabbath Collection
CCSCD 109

Paranoid
Behind The Wall Of Sleep
Sleeping Village
Warning
After Forever
Supernaut
St. Vitus Dance
Snowblind
Killing Yourself To Live
Sabra Cadabra
The Writ


Never Mind the Bollocks: Here's the Sex Pistols
Never Mind the Bollocks: Here's the Sex Pistols
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £6.74

17 of 28 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Never Mind The Bollocks, 24 May 2012
I'm not a huge fan of the remaster of this album, its a little too harsh for my ears. I'm guessing it was touched by the modern curse of unrequired digital compression?

For my money the best CD version of this album is one of the original CD issues from the 1980s, which I find more pleasant on the ears at higher volumes. More of an enjoyable listening experience. But even with those there are a couple of things of which to be wary.

Firstly, the original 1985 UK/European CD with a green border on the front cover, catalogue number CDV 2086 (not to be confused with the remastered CDVX 2086 with the regular cover, or CDVP 2086 in the booklet style cover). This CD sounds great, no harshness, but unfortunately there are a couple of different masterings under the same catalogue number, one of which is a botch job. Three or four of the tracks on the latter have a very brief fade up at the start. If you can find the mastering without the fade ups you're onto a winner. It's taken from great quality tapes and not compressed.

But. If you go searching for one of those you really need to listen before you buy, to be sure you have the right mastering. If you're buying online get a guarantee from the seller beforehand that you can return the CD with no quibbles if it's not the one you're after. I've bought three of these in the past, and each time after explaining to the seller exactly where the fade ups are and the seller assuring me the disc is fade up free....the disc that arrived had the fade ups. So be careful!

A much easy to find option for decent sound is the original 1988 US disc on Warner Brothers, the one with the horrible pink cover artwork (catalogue number 3147-2). As with the previous disc this has no nasty compression, but in comparison the copy tape it was taken from had a slight notch less clarity and a slight notch more bassiness. It's not a major problem in the grand scheme of things, and again sounds good at high volumes.

One other quick point about the US CD. It changes the running order slightly, placing God Save The Queen after Problems. From a psychological viewpoint I actually think it suits the flow of the album better, giving a gradual build-up to that BIG song. From a sonic viewpoint it's certainly better as the sound of God Save The Queen is more "in your face" than either of the tracks bordering it, so again, by swapping the order you get a physically audible gradual build up to the big moment. So for me that slight alteration makes a major positive difference.

But what about the music, of which so much ignorant "Punk Monkees" rubbish has been written in the past?

Well, it doesn't need repeating that Never Mind The Bollocks is a genre defining classic. It's very easy to write it off today as being nothing amazing, but to do so only shows great ignorance of historical context. In the same way that some people will say Jimi Hendrix was nothing special because X or Y can play guitar better today, completely forgetting it was Hendrix who lay the foundations which enable X and Y to be playing in the fashion they do today.

Remove from your mind all thoughts of modern music, music post-1976. Imagine for a minute nothing musical exists after that year. The albums filling the shelves of your local UK record store and clogging up the British charts are by Abba, Simon and Garfunkel, Wings, Showaddywaddy, Rod Stewart, Demis Roussos, Dr. Hook, Mike Oldfield, Diana Ross. The original champions of youth rebellion, The Who and The Rolling Stones, are busy creating what today would best be termed "Dad Rock", a combination of the bland, mellow, gutless, cliched, the self-satisfied and the self-pitying. The sound of bands with too much money and too much leisure time. The nearest thing to the spirit of Rock and Roll is Glam Rock, which by this year is already well past its sell by date, the cabaret act of Gary Glitter being the last man standing. Want something noisier with more substance? Sabbath, Zeppelin and Purple are your mainstream Rock selection, all of whom at this point had reached something of a creative slump...as evidenced by Presence, Technical Ecstasy and Come Taste The Band. Thin Lizzy is the nearest thing you have to a young Rock band. And the salvation offered by the US? The Eagles, Peter Frampton, The Steve Miller Band, Kiss, Boston, Chicago.....

That's the environment into which the Sex Pistols and Never Mind The Bollocks were unleashed. That's why they and this album made such an impact. An impact which resounds to this very day within the fields of music, fashion and culture.

Without the inspiration of the Sex Pistols the original Punk scene in the UK would probably not have existed. Without that Punk scene existing a lot of modern musicians who have publically admitted being influenced by the Sex Pistols (from Duran Duran to Nirvana) would either not have existed or would have developed in a different way. Punk stylings in advertising and fashion which today are commonplace would quite possibly not exist, and certainly not in the everyday manner we currently see - some of which has become so mainstream you may not even realise it has its origins in the Punk fashions and graphics of 1976/1977. Even though the Punk "revolution" itself lasted no more than a couple of years, its legacy has become permanent in wider society.

That's a direct consequence of the Sex Pistols and of this album.

Never Mind The Bollocks is a historical artifact with a resonance so strong that it remains fresh and inspiring to each new generation.

It's not a perfect album by any means, but which album is? One unfair claim often levelled in its direction is that it's a "greatest hits" collection and a bunch of filler. That attitude is itself testament to the strength of the band's early singles, because next to those singles some of the albums' remaining material is weaker....but that doesn't make it weak.

It's prudent to remember that ALL of the material on this album was recorded at the same sessions. The singles were not recorded as singles. They were simply part of these sessions released in advance of the album. So had the Sex Pistols released no singles nobody today would be able to utter the "greatest hits" insult, and the album would probably be considered even more of a solid
masterpiece.

Take a look at what we now commonly accept as "classic albums". Almost all of those which regularly make the top of the critics' lists have earned their status on the basis of just 3 or 4 seriously strong tracks (in some cases less). Never Mind The Bollocks fits that criteria with it's singles alone, and at least two of its remaining tracks are strong enough to equal the power of the released singles. Putting aside judgement over anything other than musical content Never Mind The Bollocks is unquestionably a classic amongst classics...and indeed stronger than some of the more respected classics.

You can measure the true value of Never Mind The Bollocks by contemplating one simple question. If this album did not exist, what else would not exist?

So why the single star rating?

I'm just staying true to the spirit of Punk, maaaaaaaaaaaaaaan........

Well, that's not quite true. I'm simply basing it on the fact that my ears find the remaster unpleasant in comparison to the earlier CD release - to the extent that I binned it once I'd heard the 1980s disc.

Five stars for the music itself though, no matter which mastering you get.
Comment Comments (8) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 14, 2014 2:06 AM GMT


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