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R. Janis "spiritofeden" (Chicago, IL United States)
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Scott Walker - 30 Century Man [DVD]
Scott Walker - 30 Century Man [DVD]
Dvd ~ Scott Walker

15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Look Into Scott's Work, 20 Sept. 2007
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I had high hopes for this documentary after first hearing about it some time ago, and for two main reasons: first, here at last was a full length documentary about Scott Walker and second, it was directed by Stephen Kijak, who made one of my favourite documentaries of the past few years, "Cinemania". The wait was even longer as the documentary was shown at only select film fests in the US, sadly never reaching Chicago.

Until now, I had only one bootleg DVD compilation or the few available clips on YouTube to find any filmed footage of Scott. For someone very new to Scott's work (I first listened to his music about 3 years ago), this film pulls together more than I could hope for in terms of performance and interview footage from the Walker Brothers/early solo Scott years, along with in studio footage during sessions for "The Drift".

The interviews with various artists are well chosen for the most part, and they seem genuinely interested in his work. Some favorites were Jarvis Cocker, Simon Raymonde, Lulu (just for her reaction to a playback of Scott's more recent work) and Marc Almond (his thoughts on first hearing "Tilt" at a listening party).

The interviews with Scott himself are great as well. He comes across as completely unpretentious, down-to-earth, and genuinely committed to creating work that interests him. And for someone regularly hailed by many as a genius, he doesn't seem to have bought into his own mythology at all.

More than anything, watching this film made me want to go back and spend some time with his most recent albums, particularly "Tilt" and "The Drift", which I've only given 3 or 4 listens. I don't believe I'll ever hold those records as dear as the gorgeous run that was Scott I-IV, but I greatly admire his dedication as an artist.


The Complete Adventures Of The Style Council
The Complete Adventures Of The Style Council

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Box Set For A Truly Great Band, 18 Jan. 2006
No group had such a powerful effect on me in the '80s, or maybe ever, as TSC. And this box set is a stellar document to a truly great band. I didn't get to know The Jam until later, but I can understand the Jam fans who slammed The Council during their lifespan, since it's a testament to the loyalty Weller inspires in his fans, regardless of which phase of his career we're talking about.

Pretty much every track you need is captured here, some in different versions (Money Go Round Parts 1 & 2 vs. the 12" UK single version; Soul Deep Bert Bevans Remix vs. the regular 12" UK version). More than anything, as other reviews have noted, it's the sheer depth of songwriting ability and fearlessness to try something new that's so gripping. The evolution of this band is truly something to behold.

The list of favorites is too large, but some key tracks for me are: The Paris Match (A Paris version), The Long Hot Summer, Le Depart, My Ever Changing Moods (LP version) with just vocal and piano, Headstart For Happiness (both Money Go Round b-side and LP versions), It Just Came To Pieces In My Hands, Spin'Drifting, The Big Boss Groove, Shout To The Top, Man Of Great Promise, Luck, Walls Come Tumbling Down, It Didn't Matter, Heavens Above, The Cost Of Loving, The Piano Paintings (entire side), Why I Went Missing, Confessions 1, 2, 3, and Promised Land (full version).

The huge incentive for this set all by itself is Modernism: A New Decade. Rejected by Polydor at the time, it actually has several terrific tracks. For me, they would be: Can You Still Love Me (even better than the b-side version from the Promised Land single), World Must Come Together, Hope (Feelings Gonna Getcha), Everybody's On The Run (also better than the b-side from Long Hot Summer '89), Love Of The World and Sure Is Sure, a bittersweet farewell track from my favorite-ever band.

Finally, the packaging itself is first-rate, with a lavish booklet full of photos and memorabilia, along with a lyric sheet.

For anyone who's followed the line that this was Weller's "wilderness period", it might be worth your while to give this a try. You may be pleasantly surprised.


Souvlaki
Souvlaki

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Welcome Reissue, 13 Jan. 2006
This review is from: Souvlaki (Audio CD)
It seemed during their lifespan that Slowdive never received the credit they deserved; in light of them emerging around the time of "Loveless" can't have helped. But I found their music to be perfect for late night drives in the car, or relaxing at home with the headphones on. Their early EPs were especially good, notably their cover of Syd Barrett's "Golden Hair", just gorgeous beyond description.

However, "Souvlaki", to me, was their definitive album. Though I don't think of every track as perfect, the truly great songs on this album make me give it 5 stars. "Alison" is a gorgeous start, languorous and atmospheric. "40 Days" is even better, with a simple but stunning guitar line that is simply transcendent, and Neil's vocal seems deadpan on the surface but strikes me as full of emotion. Above all, the peak moments could very well be the brilliant "Souvlaki Space Station" and "When The Sun Hits". Both are absolute masterpieces. In the former, Rachel's vocals are somewhere between waking and dreaming, and are more another instrument than anything else, complementing the washes of guitars perfectly. In the latter, Neil and Rachel share vocals to spine-tingling effect. Oddly, this track always seems to end too soon, I enjoy it that much. In addition, the extra disc with B-sides and the wonderfully hypnotic "In Mind" single are a great incentive to check out this release.

I can't pretend to know all the lyrics, nor do I care a decade on from my first listen. Honestly, I believe this album is more about overall feeling in that the lyrical content isn't such a crucial factor, much in the same way as the best Cocteau Twins records. This is truly music to take you to another place. Sadly, Slowdive only released one more album, "Pygmalion", after this one, but they left a solid, albeit brief, recorded legacy that truly deserves a chance at re-assessment.


Baby, The Stars Shine Bright
Baby, The Stars Shine Bright
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £9.84

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Faultless - This Is Their Best, 27 Jun. 2004
For me, this is the pinnacle of Tracey and Ben's work. I just popped it into my CD player for the first time in several years, and it has the same impact on me now as it did when I purchased it in 1988, just two years after its release. The arrangements by Ben are sweeping and chill-inducing. Add Tracey's marvelous, heartbreaking voice, and you have the very best album the duo have ever released. It also brings to mind what a fantastic producer Mike Hedges really is. He also produced my two favorite albums by the Manic Street Preachers ("Everything Must Go" and "This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours".

I loved this album so much that I behaved like a crotchety old man when they embraced dance sounds later on, when really, they were simply trying to stretch as any good artist will. I can't pick a favorite track - I'll sing along to this start to finish. But I'll try: "Come On Home", "Cross My Heart", "Don't Let The Teardrops Rust Your Shining Heart", "Careless", "Sugar Finney" and "Fighting Talk".

You'd be cheating yourself to pass this up. Along with "Love Not Money" from 1985, this album, for me, represents their golden period. This is a record I'll treasure to the end.


Doves: Where We're Calling From [DVD] [2002]
Doves: Where We're Calling From [DVD] [2002]
Dvd ~ Doves
Offered by VECOSELL
Price: £15.95

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Doves Throw Down the Gauntlet, 6 Nov. 2003
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is simply the best DVD release of any band that I've seen. Granted, I love Doves, so I suppose I'm biased, but this set is really astonishing. From the 360 degree interactive menus to the graphics, it's breathtaking to look at, and a true standard bearer for the future. Even better, this is a truly COMPLETE document of the band up to this year, including the most recent videos, a documentary, and their performance at the Eden Project. I'm still having a very difficult time with the hidden menus, but that's (very) minor quibbling. This is a real treasure from a fantastic band.


Duran Duran - Greatest DVD [2003]
Duran Duran - Greatest DVD [2003]
Dvd ~ Duran Duran
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £32.23

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Greatest, Perhaps, But Not Complete, 6 Nov. 2003
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Though well worth purchasing, and essential to any Duran collection, what's remarkable about it is what's missing: about ten videos would have rounded this out to have every Duran video in one collection. But for some reason, "Careless Memories", "My Own Way", "Meet El Presidente", "Do You Believe In Shame", "Violence Of Summer", "Breath After Breath", "White Lines" and "Perfect Day" are not included here, which is unfortunate. I can understand the last two being omitted due to potential copyright clearance problems, but what about the rest? Not to mention the additional videos from the first Video LP they did in 1983: "Waiting For The Nightboat" and "Lonely In Your Nightmare". In this way, it's a real letdown. The hidden menus, too, are an annoyance. But overall, it's a solid set.


Forever Delayed
Forever Delayed
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £3.20

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Collection of Singles, 8 July 2003
This review is from: Forever Delayed (Audio CD)
For someone relatively new to MSP (first picked up on them in 2000), but more recently familiar with the Richey-era, "Forever Delayed" makes a great starting point for anyone curious about the band. If I had followed the band from very early in the nineties, I would probably also bemoan the lack of songs from "The Holy Bible" in favor of the "Everything Must Go" and "This Is My Truth" period. Just the same, this collection provides a good balance of past and present. Besides, it's not as if the beautiful "Motorcycle Emptiness" had been left off the running order. Even the tracks from the misguided mess "Know Your Enemy" fit fine here, though I'd have to agree with several reviews that "Ocean Spray" and "Let Robeson Sing" would have been welcome. The best surprise, though, would be "There By The Grace Of God", a fantastic single that shows the band could be back on the upswing.


The Last Party: Britpop, Blair and the demise of English rock
The Last Party: Britpop, Blair and the demise of English rock
by John Harris
Edition: Paperback

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Account of Britpop Years, 17 Jun. 2003
This book was something else. At last, a truly objective look at the key figures of mid '90s dominant groups. Sure, with time and distance, it's easy to criticize the once mighty Gallagher Bros., but it's hugely astonishing how the Oasis machine bullied and intimidated everyone around them and had the media in their collective pocket (how else to explain the sub-standard "Be Here Now" receiving nearly unanimous praise upon its release?). Add to that the Gallaghers' (Liam in particular) appalling behavior in numerous recollections and you've got a great read on your hands! It doesn't matter if you love the bands (Oasis from '94-'96, Pulp)or hate them (never liked Blur), this book is essential. Don't pass it by.


The Singles Box 1; 1981-1985: Singles Box Set
The Singles Box 1; 1981-1985: Singles Box Set
Offered by inandout-distribution
Price: £83.03

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Set, 27 May 2003
This set is essential for any Duran fan during this period of the band's career - you really can't miss, especially since the price is very reasonable. Each disc is lovingly packaged in reproduction picture sleeves, along with an improvement on the original track listing: you get BOTH the single and extended versions of the A-side track, along with all the B-sides (and yes, that even includes "Fame"), plus a surprise or two. Seeing how some long-term Duran fans were instrumental in creating this re-issue, it's not surprising it turned out so terrifically. I hope there will be similar sets covering 1985 onward. Don't let this pass you by.


Seven and the Ragged Tiger
Seven and the Ragged Tiger
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £5.82

2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Hubris of the Highest Order, 7 April 2003
After two terrific albums and growing worldwide fame, Duran released their worst album of the 80s (unless you count "Arena", one of the worst "live" albums ever). It's not all horrible: "Union of the Snake" is a ridiculous but contagious single, "The Reflex" benefitted from a single remix later on, and "Tiger Tiger" and "Seventh Stranger" were a great close to the record. Unless you were a swooning teenage girl in 1983 for whom everything Duran did was great, you can see right through Alex Sadkin's glossy production to the total lack of ideas beneath. Most of this album is simply wince-inducing: "New Moon on Monday" (where Simon perfected his "Squealing = expression" stage) is horrid, "Cracks in the Pavement" is bad poetry, but nothing - I repeat - nothing can prepare you for the train wreck that is, "I Take the Dice", far and away the worst track they ever wrote. It's beyond embarrassing. Luckily, Duran rebounded later on with "A View To A Kill" and "Notorious", but this is an album best forgotten. A true document of the worst type of 80's excess.


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