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Paul Rance (Whaplode Drove, UK)

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Very Best Of
Very Best Of
Price: 7.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All The Classics Are There, 12 Mar 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Very Best Of (MP3 Download)
The Byrds are probably America's greatest rock group, and certainly one of its most versatile. On this album there's folk rock, country, psychedelia, Jesus rock, and Dylan covers aplenty. The Byrds were once named in the Holy Trinity of rock, along with The Beatles and Dylan. This album explains why.


Excuse Me for Living
Excuse Me for Living
by Ric Klass
Edition: Paperback
Price: 8.89

5.0 out of 5 stars Hope Springs Eternal, 7 Jan 2013
This review is from: Excuse Me for Living (Paperback)
'Excuse Me for Living' is an entertaining story by Ric Klass that underlines the fact that having wealth is one thing, but finding happiness is another.

The central figure in the novel is Dan Toper, who seems to be doing his best to squander his privileged upbringing. Surrounded by dubious friends, Dan is sent away to rehab after a suicide attempt, but he still seems determined to continue living a wild life - and he also can't seem to stop himself from upsetting females of all ages. The disintegration of his parents marriage hardly help matters.

But, behind the mask of wisecracks, Dan Toper is a vulnerable individual. It's only as the novel progresses that we see him gradually mature and his cynicism at the old guys he's forced to meet begins to be replaced by respect and compassion.

'Excuse Me for Living' has excellent characterization, and, though a lot of the characters aren't actually lovable, the novel shows how complicated human beings are. It also shows that none of us are beyond hope, and that good times may still lie ahead.


A Rush Of Blood To The Head
A Rush Of Blood To The Head
Offered by FUNTIME MEDIA
Price: 2.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best albums of the 21st Century so far, 30 May 2007
An album that confirms Coldplay as the most inspiring group to hit British rock music since the days of Britpop.

From the sumptuous 'Politik', to the wistful 'Amsterdam', this is an album of roller coaster killer chord changes and gorgeous melody. This is dramatic music, and, like all the great rock bands, the combination of harmonics and rhythm is well conceived and executed.

Chris Martin's pleading voice has the power to move in the way of a John Lennon, Bono, Richard Ashcroft, Lou Reed or Jack Bruce - especially on 'The Scientist', and the stand-out track on the album, 'Warning Sign' - a definitive Coldplay anthem.

It's the richness of sound, and powerful melodies, which make this album outstanding. The title track, 'A Rush Of Blood To The Head', encapsulating this.

- Paul Rance/booksmusicfilmstv.com.


Pride and Prejudice (Penguin Popular Classics)
Pride and Prejudice (Penguin Popular Classics)
by Ian Edinton
Edition: Paperback

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Witty and ingenious writing, 28 May 2007
'Pride And Prejudice' is a work of genius from Jane Austen, and Elizabeth Bennet is one of the great heroines of English Literature, and a role model for women even today, two centuries after this novel was first published.

It's a book that may, on the surface, appeal more to women, but this isn't really the case at all. The 19th Century was a time when women writers often used male pseudonyms as a way of getting published, and so women writers were always conscious of not writing in the sort of style society may have dictated.

'Pride And Prejudice' is quite a spikey novel, and the totally unexpected twists and turns are wonderful. Male characters, such as Darcy, are often not what they seem, and you just don't see a lot of things coming. It's stating the obvious to say 'Pride And Prejudice' is a masterpiece, but that it is.

- Paul Rance/booksmusicfilmstv.com.


How Dare You
How Dare You
Price: 6.92

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An underrated classic, 28 May 2007
This review is from: How Dare You (Audio CD)
This is 10cc's finest album. Some tracks get in the way, like 'Head Room' and 'Iceberg', but there's some beautifully lush moments in 'Lazy Ways', 'I'm Mandy Fly Me' and 'Don't Hang Up'. Eric Stewart's guitar playing is especially notable, and the musical prowess of the group is apparent throughout.

The title track, and opener, is the sparkling instrumental, 'How Dare You', seamlessly followed by 'Lazy Ways' - a smooth song for summer. 'I'm Mandy Fly Me' is a wonderfully crafted pop song. A great pop song indeed, and somewhat underrated. 'I Wanna Rule The World' is 10cc at their most eccentric.

'Art For Arts Sake' has the most interesting lyrical content of any track on the album, and shows the band at their rocking best. 'Rock 'n' Roll Lullaby' is a charming singalong, and the final track, 'Don't Hang Up', allows Kevin Godley's wonderfully moving voice to really shine.

Irritating to very witty, lyrically, and musically - as always with 10cc, but this is no curate's egg, and, sadly, Creme & Godley's leaving the group soon after left us wondering what if...Along with Queen, 10cc were the most inventive and creative British group of the mid-'70s.

- Paul Rance/booksmusicfilmstv.com.


Brighton Rock (Essential Penguin)
Brighton Rock (Essential Penguin)
by Graham Greene
Edition: Paperback

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Greene's finest, 28 May 2007
A story of a 17-year-old gangster in a seaside town seemed an unlikely idea for a successful novel and later film, but the sick adolescent, Pinkie, was made convincingly evil - to such an extent that men twice his age feared him.

The success of the novel is down to good triumphing over evil, though it is a long time coming. Gripping from first to last, 'Brighton Rock' portrays sexual guilt and moral guilt in a way that mirrors the pre-war years (the book was first published in 1938).

- Paul Rance/booksmusicfilmstv.com.


A Tale Of Two Cities (Everyman's Library Classics)
A Tale Of Two Cities (Everyman's Library Classics)
by Charles Dickens
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 10.18

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Arguably the greatest novel ever written, 28 May 2007
'A Tale Of Two Cities' is probably the finest book Charles Dickens ever wrote, and is a strong contender for the greatest-ever novel written by a British author.

This book shows humanity at its darkest, but also at its most noble. 'A Tale Of Two Cities' makes us think about ourselves, and how we would react in a similar situation. Would we REALLY give up our life for someone we love?

Set in the years before and during the French Revolution, and its vile progeny, 'The Reign Of Terror', 'A Tale Of Two Cities' revolves around Lucie Manette, and the two men after her heart, Sydney Carton and Charles Darnay. The humanity of Dickens was never better expressed than here.

- Paul Rance/booksmusicfilmstv.com.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 27, 2009 3:46 PM BST


Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Book 1)
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Book 1)
by J.K. Rowling
Edition: Hardcover

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Already a classic, 27 May 2007
A lot of things are overhyped these days, but this book isn't one of them.

Harry Potter is an orphaned child, living a miserable existence with his cruel uncle and aunt, and their dreadful, spoilt son, when, suddenly, his luck changes, and he gets the opportunity to go to a new school, Hogwarts.

There are four houses at Hogwarts, and Harry ends up in Gryffindor, who are determined to end Slytherin's hold on the House Cup, and Harry's amazing powers make him their main hope. A star at Quidditch, it looks as if his reckless behaviour looking for the magical Philosopher's Stone, with his friends, will cost Gryffindor dearly. What happens after that...well, that would be telling!

The good characters in this book are delightful, especially the three child heroes (four if you include Neville!) Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger, and Professor Dumbledore and Professor McGonagall - and even the fur-wearing Hagrid (speaking as a vegetarian, one of the book's faults is it's not veggie friendly!).

The unpleasant characters are hissable - Snape, Malfoy, and Voldemort, plus one or two surprise baddies. The book has a balanced mix of light and dark, and the vivid descriptions of the Quidditch matches mixes the two.

What makes this book special is really the mix of old-fashioned storytelling, involving wizards, monsters, ghosts, and good and evil, but placed in a modern setting - which, though giving you the feeling you've read something similar before, you know you haven't!

- Paul Rance/booksmusicfilmstv.com.


Then And Now (1964-2004)
Then And Now (1964-2004)
Offered by Leisurezone
Price: 7.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hard to beat compilation of one of rock's true greats, 27 May 2007
'Then And Now' is a superb collection of most of The Who's finest work, and hearing it from start to finish tends to make this listener think that The Who were Britain's best rock band after The Beatles. What grabs you is the musicianship, Roger Daltrey's flexible vocals, the diversity of the songs, and the witty and intelligent lyrics of Pete Townshend, notably on 'Substitute' and 'I'm A Boy'.

We are taken through The Who's Mod beginnings, via 'I Can't Explain' and 'My Generation (though that could be said to be a punk record ten years before its time)', and the sweet pop sound of 'The Kids Are Alright'. Then it's psychedelia with 'I Can See For Miles', followed by the eccentric 'Magic Bus', then a dip into the concept album 'Tommy', with 'Pinball Wizard' and the emotional, uplifting, but very simple 'See Me, Feel Me' - a contender for their best creation. A raw version of Eddie Cochran's 'Summertime Blues' captures the energy and power of their vaunted live sound, and, from the acclaimed 'Who's Next' album, 'Behind Blue Eyes' sees Daltrey stretch his vocal range, as he shows his prowess for switching from balladeer to rocker, and back again, effortlessly. 'Won't Get Fooled Again' is a song for our times. Beginning in a prog rock style it then really rocks, and is arguably the defining song for The Who, and the musical talents of Daltrey, Townshend, John Entwistle and Keith Moon. Townshend's guitar work coruscates, perfectly complemented by Entwistle's looping, pleasant, melodic bass, and it's a song made for Keith Moon to go on the rampage, attacking the drums as if they're his worst enemy. Daltrey delivers one of the great vocal performances in rock history, and, as a teenage brat, I remember scaring my Grandmother by playing her Roger's horror film scream...several times. Also obviously notable, Townshend experiments with a synth on this track (and others on 'Who's Next'). '5: 15' is underrated, but there's some interesting heavy brass and clever mood/tempo changes, and 'Love, Reign O'er Me', the closing track on the 'Quadrophenia' album, has some amazing Daltrey vocal gymnastics. The quality then begins to dip with 'Squeeze Box' and 'Who Are You', but picks up again with the sentimental, but endearing 'You Better You Bet'. The same can be said of the two stunning 2004 tracks, 'Real Good Looking Boy' and 'Old Red Wine'. The former incorporates 'Can't Help Falling In Love', and the latter is a very poignant tribute to lost bandmate Entwistle.

'Then And Now' would have been even better as a 24 track album, which would have allowed for the inclusion of the likes of 'Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere', 'Pictures Of Lily', 'I'm Free', 'Baba O'Riley', 'Let's See Action', 'Join Together', 'Relay', and even some High Numbers songs such as 'Zoot Suit' or 'I'm The Face'. But, it's a well balanced and well put together compilation, carefully going through the years from 1964 to 2004, when, it could be argued, anything post Quadrophenia doesn't quite match the earlier work and could have been excluded. The liner notes in the attractive accompanying booklet by Matt Kent are also excellent and enlightening.

- Paul Rance/booksmusicfilmstv.com.


Days Of Future Passed
Days Of Future Passed
Offered by positivenoise
Price: 14.66

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An imaginative gem, 27 May 2007
This review is from: Days Of Future Passed (Audio CD)
The first of the great Moody Blues concept albums. Only seven tracks in all, but several are split into two parts or more, and the mostly clever, sometimes irritating, orchestral links mean there's a lot packed into an album of just over 40 minutes.

This is an album structured around a day. The first track is a lush orchestral piece, from The London Festival Orchestra (who are featured throughout), entitled 'THE DAY BEGINS', with snippets of tracks from the album, and an illuminating poem.

Justin Hayward's clear, lilting voice comes bursting through in the lustrous 'DAWN: Dawn Is A Feeling'. 'THE MORNING: Another Morning' is a whimsical song, bolstered by some lively flute and a rhythm which sounds, paradoxically, like a childlike marching song.

'LUNCH BREAK: Peak Hour' rocks, and is significantly heavier than anything previously, with loud bass to the fore.

'THE AFTERNOON: a) Forever Afternoon (Tuesday?)' is a gorgeous track, with Hayward's ethereal vocals and Mike Pinder's Mellotron giving the track an eerie quality, followed by a lively middle, and back again. 'THE AFTERNOON: b) (Evening) Time To Get Away' begins with a stark kind of beauty, and then goes into a happy clappy phase, and then into some impressive falsetto, and rich Mellotron phases.

'EVENING: a) The Sunset' is a fine mix of an Indian-sounding rhythm and orchestral music. 'EVENING: b) Twilight Time' throbs, and hurls us over with its vibrancy.

'THE NIGHT: Nights In White Satin' closes the album. 'Nights In White Satin' needs no introduction as one of the true gems in the history of rock music. Lyrically and musically it's about as flawless as it gets, and if 'Go Now' sealed the group's fame, this song sealed their immortality - at least as long as rock music is listened to anyway. And for those of you who've only heard the single, the album version gives you a thoughtful, reflective poem, and a gong to finish (just like a later classic, 'Bohemian Rhapsody'). Like the album cover art by David Anstey, this album can seem different every time you view it/listen to it. Though, I prefer to draw a veil over where the inspiration for the title 'Nights In White Satin' came from. Not romantic at all!

- Paul Rance/booksmusicfilmstv.com.


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