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Jimbo Starr (UK)

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The Charisma Years (1970-1973)
The Charisma Years (1970-1973)
Offered by produXa UK
Price: £8.79

71 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 71 tracks including several rarities!, 20 Jan. 2011
This great value set comprises the five Lindisfarne albums that were released by The Famous Charisma Label. It also includes B-sides, outtakes and several rare tracks taken from foreign LPs, most of which are appearing on CD for the first time.

CD1 starts with a new remaster of their 1970 debut "Nicely Out Of Tune". It's followed by two outtakes from the album sessions (`From My Window' and the Rab Noakes-penned `On My Own I Built A Bridge') and period B-sides `Knackers Yard Blues' and `Nothing But The Marvellous Is Beautiful'. An extra bonus is the inclusion of the US versions of three tracks which make their CD debut - `Lady Eleanor', `We Can Swing Together' and `Scarecrow Song'. These are different from the versions found on the original UK album - the US `Lady Eleanor' is also the version which reached #3 on the UK singles chart in 1972 (it was reissued as a single following the success of "Fog On The Tyne"). The final track is the original demo version of `Meet Me On The Corner' which was originally released by mistake on the "Finest Hour" vinyl compilation.

CD2 pairs the "Fog On The Tyne" and "Dingly Dell" albums - both produced by Bob Johnston. The former spent four consecutive weeks at #1 in the UK albums chart, becoming the biggest selling British album of 1972 - the same year that the latter reached #5. Also on this disc are the B-sides `Scotch Mist' and `No Time To Lose', and there's a CD debut for an extremely rare longer version of `January Song' from a Norwegian "Best Of" LP issued in 1975.

CD3 includes the 2005 remaster of the "Lindisfarne Live" album which was recorded at the band's triumphant homecoming concert at Newcastle City Hall in December 1971. Originally a 7 track LP, this set includes the full 13 track concert

The final disc features the first album by the Mk II line-up of the band - "Roll On, Ruby". Produced by Roy Thomas Baker, the original US LP included completely different versions of `Taking Care Of Business', `North Country Boy' and `Roll On River' from those on the UK LP. These all make their CD debut here, and another bonus is the restoration of the original ending to `Nobody Loves You Anymore' which was faded out on the original UK LP but was included in full on the US LP.

The cover artwork is based on the original US "Nicely Out Of Tune" LP, while the booklet includes several other photographs and images of original sleeves. Overall this is a truly definitive collection of Charisma-era Lindisfarne - a great introduction for any newcomers, and with enough rarities to satisfy the hardcore fans.
Comment Comments (9) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 9, 2011 9:20 PM BST

It's Love That Really Counts: The Billy Kinsley Story
It's Love That Really Counts: The Billy Kinsley Story
by Spencer Leigh
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars In-depth look at Merseybeats founder's career, 8 Dec. 2010
This is a superb book, which details all aspects of Billy Kinsley's career and gives a great insight into life as working musician. It's an action-packed roller-coaster ride from The Cavern to the present day via hit singles, touring with The Who, Apple Records, success in Brazil and much more besides!

The early chapters delve into family history and Billy's childhood in Liverpool. He formed a skiffle group in his last year at primary school in 1957, and later formed the band that would become The Merseybeats after meeting Tony Crane. In January 1962 they went to the Cavern and saw The Beatles - Billy's first hand recollections of seeing them and their influence on him are fascinating. He also discusses Pete Best's sacking, Brian Epstein's short spell as manager of The Merseybeats, and provides a detailed list of covers performed by the Mersey Beat groups.

1963 brought chart action with the single `It's Love That Really Counts' - they also made the front of the music papers and appeared on TV! An eventful year ended with Billy leaving the band, largely down to the group's management and questions over where the money was going. It's worth remembering that at this point he was just 17 years old!

He later returned to the band and in 1965 they hooked up with The Who's management Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp. This period included a benefit performance for the Cavern where they attempted a 12-hour session and managed just under 9 hours!

Billy and Tony became The Merseys and, needing a killer first single, they selected `Sorrow' which went on to reach #4 in the UK charts and was later covered by David Bowie. Billy shares memories of touring with The Who, and even reveals that he and Tony could have ended up in a band with John Entwistle, Keith Moon and Jimmy Page that Page was planning to name Led Zeppelin!

The late 60's saw Billy involved with the Apple label and playing with Jackie Lomax and Doris Troy. He then played on two Jimmy Campbell solo albums and with Jimmy on the superb Rockin' Horse long player "Yes It Is". Rockin' Horse also accompanied Chuck Berry on a UK tour. With Berry unwilling to rehearse, the band was instructed to stop playing when he lifted his foot!

By 1973, Billy had become involved in recording sessions for the series of "Top of the Pops" albums issued by Hallmark. These were budget priced and made up of anonymous cover versions of current hits. For an album of Beatles hits, Billy was Paul and Jimmy Campbell was John! The real Paul later told album producer Bruce Baxter that he'd picked the right guy! The image of Billy on the train to London wearing headphones, learning that day's songs and writing down the lyrics is certainly an evocative and somewhat romantic vision!

Billy's return to a regular band came with Liverpool Express, whose second single `You Are My Love' was later cited by Paul McCartney as one of his favourite songs. Another chart hit came with `Every Man Must Have A Dream' and they enjoyed vast success in Brazil. The chart action continued into the 1980's with Billy appearing on two singles by Coast To Coast.

Billy and Tony Crane reunited in 1988 to take over a local recording studio. The La's demoed tracks there and, not realising who Billy was, the notoriously difficult Lee Mavers refused a tuner for his guitar and told him they wanted to sound like a 60's band! Billy hadn't the heart to tell him that they'd have given anything for tuners back in the 60's!

Highlights of recent years include a one-off (and typically eventful!) reunion with Chuck Berry, and a 9/11 charity event `jam' with The Philharmonic Orchestra. Billy had rejoined The Merseybeats full-time in 1992 and they continue to enjoy a busy live schedule to this day. He has also put together his first solo album to coincide with this publication, and the book comes with a voucher to purchase this.

Big Country - The Ultimate Collection [DVD] [2007]
Big Country - The Ultimate Collection [DVD] [2007]
Dvd ~ Classic Pictures

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 22 original promo videos, 25 Nov. 2010
This DVD release was executively produced by Big Country's manager Ian Grant. It collects together 22 original promo videos, spanning 1982's `Harvest Home' through to 1999's `Perfect World'.

The clips range from standard performance videos to the band starring in short films based on the lyrics and filmed in a wide variety of locations.

The `Harvest Home' video provided the first glimpse of the band on film. Depicting them in one scene wearing oil stained vests and manoeuvring their way past sewage pipes at a disused waste disposal site, as Allan Glen comments in his excellent new biography Stuart Adamson: In a Big Country, `Rio' it wasn't!

Among the highlights of the early clips are `Fields Of Fire', which depicts a battle scene from World War I, and `Wonderland' which is shot on snowy mountains, while `In A Big Country' finds them down in Dorset searching for treasure across land and sea!

There's a grainy black and white film (set in the 1950's) for `East Of Eden' and a US outlaw-inspired clip for `Look Away'. The `King Of Emotion' video was shot in the Australian outback, while `Peace In Our Time' includes footage from both Moscow and Washington!

Available sound options are Dolby Digital Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround and DTS 5.1 Surround. Duration is approx. 92 minutes and the DVD is NTSC 4:3 / Region Code 2,3,4,5. There are no extras. Overall this is a superb collection for any Big Country fan.

Full track list: Harvest Home, Fields Of Fire, In A Big Country, Chance, Wonderland, East Of Eden, Where The Rose Is Sown, Just A Shadow, Look Away, The Teacher, One Great Thing, One Great Thing (12" version), Hold The Heart, King Of Emotion, Broken Heart (Thirteen Valleys), Peace In Our Time, Save Me, Heart Of The World, Republican Party Reptile, Beautiful People, Fragile Thing (feat. Eddi Reader), Perfect World.

Mangled Angle Land
Mangled Angle Land
Price: £7.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Storming power pop / psych debut, 14 Nov. 2010
This review is from: Mangled Angle Land (MP3 Download)
London-based quartet The Snap Elect are self-professed purveyors of PowerGum - a shiny blend of power pop meets late 60's bubblegum! This, their first long player, is available as a limited edition LP or download.

The punchy `Years Of Brews' kicks off the marvellously titled "Mangled Angle Land" in style - the glorious harmonies (and a lead vocal similarity on this track to Ray Davies) setting the tone for what's to come.

Driven along by Paul Needles' melodic bass, `Heed The Call' is an organ heavy number that is on a par with the best output of psych-pop alchemists The Bees. `Don't You Ever Breathe' bustles along with vigour, with Tom Duffin's guitar riff recalling `Echo Beach' and a swirling Stranglers-esque organ passage from Nic Denholm.

`Monster Hit' is a magical slice of popsike, which you can't help but grin along to! At 1 minute 34 seconds it's almost over before it begins, but the band somehow manage to cram so much into it!

Jaunty cut `My Desire' and the joyous `Magna Fox' keep things ticking along nicely, before The Snap Elect really hit their peak with a brace of mighty tunes. The infectious `Good In The Middle' boasts some neat keyboard playing, Barry `Buzz' Allan's drumming at its thumping best, and a glorious break with some psych-y vocals.

The rip roaring tour de force `Can't Say No' is a real standout, the intro alone sounding like the theme tune to a long-forgotten 70's TV show! The brooding verses open up into a killer chorus, and the instrumentation throughout from the whole band is the perfect example of what they're capable of; a long lost outtake from Lenny Kaye's "Nuggets" if ever I heard one.

Fiery rocker `Did I Do Good?' and the lighter pop of `Catch The Wurm' lead into the dreamy piano-led `Colours', which closes the album in a more mellow style.

"Mangled Angle Land" manages to successfully combine a retro feel with a modern day freshness - a storming debut of melodic power pop / psych, packed with harmonies, inventiveness and originality. Can't wait for the next one!

Eric Carmen/Boats Against The Current/Change Of Heart
Eric Carmen/Boats Against The Current/Change Of Heart
Price: £11.92

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 2CD set with three original albums, 1 Oct. 2010
This excellent set on the BGO label combines Eric Carmen's first three solo albums following the break-up of his band The Raspberries. Newly remastered, the sound quality is excellent and the 24 page booklet incorporates original album artwork, credits, lyrics and in-depth sleeve notes by David Wells.

1975's self-titled solo debut gets off to a storming start with the lively `Sunrise' and the Beach Boys-esque `That's Rock `N Roll' (later a Top 3 US hit when covered by Shaun Cassidy). Another fiery rocker is `No Hard Feelings', the lyrics of which concern the Raspberries split. The album has a number of ballads too - notably the angst-filled `Never Gonna Fall In Love Again' and Carmen's best-known (and most covered) song `All By Myself' - the edited single version of which is also here as a bonus track. Other standouts are the Phil Spector influenced `Last Night' and a cover of `On Broadway'.

1977's self-produced "Boats Against The Current" features a number of guest musicians, including Andrew Gold and Burton Cummings. The title track is a poignant ballad considered by Carmen to be his finest composition. `She Did It' (which features Bruce Johnston of The Beach Boys on backing vocals) is a stunning, catchy number once described as the greatest song that Brian Wilson never wrote. The Faces-style rocker `Take It Or Leave It' and the epic `Marathon Man' and `Run Away' are three other impressive cuts on another strong album.

1978's "Change Of Heart" is a more pop-based album than the previous two, with a disco sound in places. It's still worth the price of admission for the title track, the harmony-drenched `Hey Deanie', a cover of the Four Tops classic `Baby I Need Your Lovin'' and another Beach Boys-style track, `Someday'.

Overall, there are enough rock-based tracks across the three albums to satisfy Raspberries fans, while admirers of Carmen's lighter side will find plenty to enjoy as well.

Oral-B Sensitive Clean Electric Toothbrush Replacement Heads Powered by Braun - Pack of 4
Oral-B Sensitive Clean Electric Toothbrush Replacement Heads Powered by Braun - Pack of 4
Price: £12.00

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Softer feel, effective clean, 29 Sept. 2010
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The extra-soft bristles, as you would expect, have a much softer feel than standard brush heads. For me, this made cleaning my teeth a more pleasurable experience - and my teeth feel just as clean after use as they do with standard brush heads. My teeth and gums aren't particularly sensitive, but my wife's are and she much prefers these to the standard brush heads that she was using previously.

Roadie: My Life on the Road with Coldplay
Roadie: My Life on the Road with Coldplay
by Matt McGinn
Edition: Hardcover

2.0 out of 5 stars Behind the scenes with a Coldplay roadie, 19 Sept. 2010
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Other reviewers have pointed out that you don't have to be a big fan of Coldplay to enjoy this book. Whilst part of me is inclined to agree, you'll probably get more out of it if you are. In fact, if like the author you're a Coldplay employee (or member of the band) - it feels like this book was written just for you!

What I'd hoped would be an entertaining read actually bored me very quickly - largely down to the 'matey' style of the author's writing and the constant 'down the pub' style that many of his anecdotes take (littered as they are with unnecessary swearing). A lot of the events discussed were no doubt funny at the time for those involved, but here they have a 'you had to be there' feel.

Looking at the other reviews, I see that plenty of people have enjoyed this so I'm clearly in the minority. I really wanted to like this, but I ended up really disappointed - I'd recommend reading part of the book before buying just to get an idea of the writing style and content.

Spotland: The Sun Also Rises - And Other Football Stories
Spotland: The Sun Also Rises - And Other Football Stories
by Mark Hodkinson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rochdale AFC finally rises!, 17 Aug. 2010
Having enjoyed Mark Hodkinson's previous books, it came as no surprise to find that he couldn't pass up the opportunity of documenting his beloved Rochdale AFC's first promotion in his 36 years as a fan. His summary of their 2009/10 season accounts for the first 60 pages, with the remainder of the book made up of articles that he first contributed to The Times - as a fan of his writing, I'd not seen many of these pieces before and it's great to have them all in one place.

The season review (I use the term loosely, a stats book this is not - what makes it interesting is Hodkinson's inimitable and often hilarious way of documenting the team's progress) is split into short month by month chapters. August finds Dale making a slow start and the author giving up on hope. As a fellow fan of a perennially underachieving club, I chuckled and related to his justification for not attending the Port Vale and Rotherham away games. The month ends on a high with a local derby win over Bury and a controversial celebration by Tom Kennedy which is highlighted on the Football League Show.

September sees the team on fire, with a second half comeback against Morecambe followed by four straight wins. The October highlight is a 4-0 win over league leaders Bournemouth, while November brings win over high flying Dagenham & Redbridge and `moneybags' Notts County.

With December results continuing in the same vein, club chairman Chris Dunphy issues a plea to "anyone stopping at home to come to Spotland and BE PART OF IT!" By Christmas they are 7 points clear at the top. Other highlights of the month include the author delighting in finding a shack selling old football programmes at Crewe, and the Dale fans coming up with the chant of the year!

The New Year sees the run continue, and by March they are 11 points clear. Along the way, Hodkinson endures the lack of away packing at Shrewsbury, and his car breaking down on the way to Chesterfield (he pays an extortionate amount for a taxi - the team rewards him by losing!).

April brings a major stutter with a 5-0 annihilation at Torquay, followed by a shock home defeat to basement boys Darlington. Promotion is finally clinched with a win over Northampton - they certainly achieved promotion the hard way with their "collapse over the line". Subsequent poor form saw the one-time champions elect eventually finish third, with one forum poster commenting that "only Rochdale could make promotion feel like a wake".

The final passage finds Hodkinson pondering how the team will fare in the forthcoming League One season - I, for one, will certainly be keeping an avid eye on their progress. The first part of the book concludes with two pieces about Dale's season that were originally published in The Times.

The remainder of the book consists of other articles from The Times, split into five chapters. Some of these feature fresh insight from Hodkinson. The "Interviews" section includes features on former players Paul Moulden, Colin Bell, Mike Doyle, Richard Jobson and Tommy Gore (these all give a fascinating insight into life after football - Moulden, for example, now runs a chip shop), along with broadcaster Stuart Hall and author Barry Hines.

The poignant "Broken Idols" chapter traces former players who fell on hard times - a mixture of the well known (Gary Charles, Paul Gascoigne), and those best remembered by fans of the clubs they played for (Jason Ross, Pedro Richards, Bobby Stokes). "Close to the Edge" looks at clubs who have either lost their League status or had grim financial struggles (Accrington Stanley, Barnsley, Halifax Town), while "The Beautiful Game?" includes a number of book reviews, along with articles on the use of cortisone and racism.

Final chapter "The Business of Football" deals with topics as diverse as being part of the press pack at matches, boys' football and Subbuteo! The "Football Match Made In Financial Heaven" piece from 2000 shows just how much football has changed in the years since - at the time, the average weekly salary of a Premier League footballer was said to be only £8,000! The book concludes with Hodkinson finally tracking down his former Rochdale hero Bob Mountford shortly before he passed away.

Hodkinson's hope in his preface is for "someone 10, 20, 30 years from now to pick up this book and view it as a literary time capsule: this is how it was when Rochdale won promotion for this particular bloke, his dad and his kids." With the added bonus of the other articles, this is a book that football supporters should enjoy for decades to come.

Offered by I.R.D. International Records Dist.
Price: £21.38

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Four hook-laden pop-rock albums on two CDs, 11 July 2010
This review is from: THE COLLECTION (Audio CD)
Walter Egan is a New York musician whose first break came when Gram Parsons recorded his song `Hearts On Fire' on "Grievous Angel". This 2CD set collects his four albums for the Columbia label which were originally released between 1977 and 1980.

His '77 debut "Fundamental Roll" was co-produced by Egan, Duane Scott and Fleetwood Mac's Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks. Nicks also contributes vocals - she is prominent throughout, and particularly impressive on the Mac-esque `Won't You Say You Will'. Anyone who didn't know better could easily assume this was an outtake from "Rumours" or "Tusk" - it really is that good! She's also high in the mix on `Feel So Good' and the dark and brooding `Yes I Guess I Am'.

In Buckingham, Egan recalls in the sleeve notes that he'd met someone who seemed to understand where he was coming from musically, and with whom he shared a wealth of influences from Brian Wilson to The Kingston Trio. Work on the album fitted around the Mac's touring schedule and "Rumours" recording sessions.

`Only The Lucky' is a belter of an opener - glorious harmonies and catchy as hell. The funky `Waitin'' is notable for some blistering guitar, while the album really hits its peak with the power pop masterclass `When I Get My Wheels', and the swagger of `Where's The Party?' which features some great Stonesy guitar and very distinctive backing vocals from Buckingham.

`Tunnel O'Love' is an epic track, featuring (to quote Egan) "background banshee vocals" from Nicks. Melodic Gerry Rafferty-style rocker `I'd Rather Have Fun' and `Surfin' & Drivin' close the album in some style.

The following year's "Not Shy" was produced by Buckingham, Nicks and Richard Dashut. This time Buckingham played acoustic and electric guitars. Nicks was present on four tracks, two of which saw the Mac involvement extended even further with Mick Fleetwood on drums - one of these, the dark `Make It Alone', is described by Egan as one of the favourite tracks he's ever recorded.

The uptempo rocker `Sweet South Breeze' kicks things off in a similar style to the previous album. It's followed by the million-selling US smash hit single `Magnet & Steel'. Egan's aim had been to produce a song that would bring back the "stroll" beat made famous in the 50's by The Diamonds and Chuck Willis and he certainly succeeds.

The power pop stomper `Finally Find A Girlfriend' is a killer track - Nicks excels on backing vocals - and `I Wannit' is another stunning number in a similar vein, while the album closer is the sizzling slow burner `Hot Summer Nights'. Overall, while not quite as consistently great as "Fundamental Roll", it's still a mighty fine pop-rock album.

CD2 comprises his 1979 and 1980 albums. There's no Fleetwood Mac involvement this time - "HiFi" is self-produced and "The Last Stroll" is co-produced by Egan and Earle Mankey. Man's Deke Leonard is on backing vocals / guitar on the latter.

Both are strong records in their own right. There are numerous standouts across the 24 tracks - these include the organ-heavy `Little Miss, It's You' and `Chaminade', the upbeat `HiFi Love', the lively `Hurt Again', the rip-snorting `Drive Away' and the infectious `Bad News Travels Fast' and 'Waitin' For The Rain'. Other recommended cuts are `Tuesday Weld', which Egan describes as "a pure dose of power pop", and the Dwight Twilley-esque `First Date, Last Date'.

This value for money set offers a great introduction to an artist who remains unjustly overlooked, especially in the UK. The booklet includes original album artwork, credits and detailed notes about each album by Egan himself. It comes highly recommended to admirers of late 70's melodic hook-laden pop-rock / feel-good power pop, and I'd say it's an essential purchase for any Fleetwood Mac fan.

Alive As You Are
Alive As You Are
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £10.26

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Third album by LA based psych rock band, 11 July 2010
This review is from: Alive As You Are (Audio CD)
Los Angeles based psychedelic rock outfit Darker My Love return with the follow-up to their breakthrough album "2". It was recorded in a studio which, in its original guise as Wally Heider Recording, hosted recording sessions from acts such as Jefferson Airplane, Creedence Clearwater Revival, CSNY and The Grateful Dead. The Dead influence, notably their Workingman's Dead / American Beauty country rock period, is certainly evident on several tracks here.

The Dead-infused album opener `Backseat' sets the tone for what's to come with a shuffling J.J. Cale `Call Me The Breeze' type vibe. It's followed by the jangly nugget `Split Minute' where the deep vocal is reminiscent of the great Lawrence of British band Felt.

Elsewhere, `18th Street Shuffle' and `Dear Author' explore the same sonic territory as Black Rebel Motorcycle Club at their best. `Trail The Line' and the stomping `A Lovely Game' are a brace of melodic gems, while `Maple Day Getaway' is an instant garage / psych rock classic which features a terrific pedal steel solo from guest guitarist Joe Goldmark. The more mellow `Cry On Me Woman' closes the album in style.

Overall, the heady mix of trippy West Coast psych and L.A.'s Paisley Underground sound makes it a really strong record which, with 11 tracks clocking in at just under 36 minutes, never outstays its welcome.

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