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txacoli (West Yorkshire)

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This is Jinsy [DVD]
This is Jinsy [DVD]
Dvd ~ Chris Bran
Price: 6.25

5.0 out of 5 stars Madness, 12 Feb 2014
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This review is from: This is Jinsy [DVD] (DVD)
Daily greet! The humour in this programme is completely off-the-wall, bizarre and makes no sense at all (watch out for the outbreak of electric owls!). I love it!! I didn't catch the programme when it was originally screened, but I have started watching Series 2, which is presently on TV, which made me want this original series. Totally bonkers and totally brilliant. Nightly bye..........

Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: 10.98

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning!, 12 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Seven (Audio CD)
Before you read this review, you need to know I'm not one of those fans who would review everything Lisa did with 5 stars. She's one of those artists I like, but who can deliver some vey mediocre recordings from time to time. I'm very happy to say though, that this is not one of them and it's barely been out of my CD player since it arrived at Txacoli Towers!

Lisa has delivered a stunning album of styles and musical flavours to suit everyone and to those reviewers who feel that she's phoned-in these vocal performances and that they are devoid of emotion, I'm sorry but you are SOOOOO wrong! Starting with the funky dance-pop of "Can't dance", there's an immediate U-turn straight into the finger-snapping big band jazz of "Why", which wouldn't seem out of place in one of those detective film noirs from the 1950's.

I'm not going to review every single song intimately, but even the album filler tracks are of a very high quality. The one downside for this particular reviewer is "The crown", which I'm not at all fond of. With a very strong nod to today's R&B stylings, the lyrics "You're pissing on my ground" I find a little gratuitous and unnecessary - and this from someone who can swear like a navvy when the mood takes me!! Personally, I don't think this particular style suits her, although it takes all sorts and I'm sure others will disagree with this.

Highlights on the album are many, but for sheer perfection, you can't beat "The rain". This is a big, emotional mid-tempo ballad that sounds like it was performed live, thanks to the sound of the Telefilmonic Orchestra in the background. If this isn't a single and doesn't get heavy airplay, then there's something wrong. Also worth a nod are "Stupid heart", which has some fabulous lyrics and sees Lisa chanelling Etta James at her finest and "Conversation", which is a beautiful ballad that will have you stopping what you're doing to listen.

I can't stop playing this CD. I haven't done that with a new CD since I was a teenager and that was a few years ago, although I'm not saying how many........but I was wearing loon pants and platform heels at the time! Go on and buy it. You won't regret it!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 12, 2014 2:04 PM GMT

Dieux du stade : Calendrier 2014
Dieux du stade : Calendrier 2014
by Fred Goudon
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 21.12

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not as racey as they once were, 27 Jan 2014
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I love the Dieux du Stade calendars and I can't imagine a year when I don't own one. This is infinitely better than last year's effort (a naked woman?!?!?) but I've noticed the nudity count has been a little lower in recent years. There are still some nice buttocks on show here, but many more are covered in budgie-smugglers. There are also fewer glimpses of the promised land with very few pubic hairs on show. I know I sound like a pervert - I assure you I'm not - I just noticed the change in the style of the calendars over recent years. I am a gay man though and I do appreciate the naked form, especially when artfully shot.

Disco Recharge: The Duncan Sisters
Disco Recharge: The Duncan Sisters
Price: 9.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not a single bad track on the album, 27 Jan 2014
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Although I'm a huge fan of disco, I didn't come across The Duncan Sisters until around 1996, when I found a 12" of "Boys will be boys" in pristine condition in a record store that was closing down. And so my love affair began!! From the unforgettable twang of the country music guitar in the aforementioned 12" single to the disco sweetness of "Love is on the way", this CD is a blinder from start to finish. The sisters' voices blend so well together and they add an extra dimension to the depth of the vocals, which sound wonderful. Even the slower tracks are worth listening to because they sound so good. It's not very often that I get a CD that I want to play over again once I get it, but this one is going round again for the third time today (twice this morning and once after lunch!). The disco is so infectious and happy sounding that I can't recommend this CD highly enough.

The Sound Of Bacharach & David
The Sound Of Bacharach & David
Price: 9.00

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sweet, but not groundbreaking, 20 Jan 2014
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Hazell says herself in the liner notes (terrible font and very small!) that this LP was never meant to be released, but was for radio stations to use to pad out their programming with songs they didn't have to pay so much for in royalties. She was told she had to sing them 'straight' with no vocal gymnastics, which makes the finished result a little bland in places. Knowing how Hazell's wonderful voice could have soared with such perfect songs is a little frustrating, but as the listener, one has to put this thought aside and listen to the CD for what it is. Once you get past this, it's actually a very sweet collection of Bacharach and David songs done by this HI-NRG diva in the days when she was more of a session singer and trying to build up her own name in the business.

There are times during the listening process where you can hear echoes of the mistress of B&D songs herself, Dionne Warwick, coming through and other times when she's definitely more Cilla Black. This is no bad thing, because there's also enough of Hazell coming through, although it takes a little while to get used to the twee sound she makes with her voice. The addition of a not-so-well-known track "To wait for love" makes this CD stand out for me. It's a beautiful track and interpreted well.

All in all, I enjoyed this CD. I'm a bit of a completist and as I love Hazell's voice, I had to have this. She won't ever overtake Miss Dionne for me when it comes to interpreting Bacharach and David songs, but it's a very pleasant listen and - no offence intended Hazell - perfect background music......which in fact, is what it was always intended to be.

No Title Available

1.0 out of 5 stars Whatever you do, avoid this vacuum cleaner, 5 Dec 2013
I had the misfortune to believe that this dinky little machine was going to do all I needed it to do. I got it home, put it together and vacuumed the hallway to try it out. I was impressed with the suction. That weekend I vac'd my three storey town house. By the time I got to the last floor, the suction had gone. I checked the filter, which wasn't that clogged, but I emptied it and lo and behold, the suction returned. The thing is, I didn't think it was as good as it had been the previous time so I washed the filter out and left it to dry for 24 hours.

The next time I cleaned the house, the suction was back to full strength, but once again, by the end of the last floor (and my house isn't enormous by any means) the suction was all gone. This time I just hand wiped the filter. The next time I used it, it only managed one floor before losing suction, meaning that I would have to fully wash the filter each and every time I used the thing. I've NEVER had to do that with a vac before and life is certainly too short to start now. I contacted Hoover, who wanted to replace it with the same model, but I stood my ground. I now have a lovely shiny Miele that I am very happy with and which only needs cleaning once every month or 6 weeks, which is far more acceptable.

Avoid like the plague, unless you like cleaning filters every time you use it!

Big Girls Don't Cry
Big Girls Don't Cry
Price: 9.16

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Massively disappointing after "Success", 29 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Big Girls Don't Cry (Audio CD)
On becoming The Weather Girls, after their previous incarnation as Two Tons'O'Fun, Martha Wash & Izora Armstead hit pop/disco gold by working with Paul Jabara and Bob Esty. This resulted in the LP "Success", which has some wonderful tracks, superbly produced, "Hope" being a particular favourite. Fast forward a couple of years to the mid 1980's and they come up with "Big Girls Don't Cry", a synth-heavy slice of pap pop. There are some tracks on here that aren't bad......"Lock me up" has a gospel feel to it, the title track is pure fun, but the standout has to be "No-one can love you more than me". Presented here in its original LP version and the extended remixed version which was previously only available on 12" single, the three stars are for that extended version alone. I've worn my 12" out over the years (!!) so to get a pristine and beautifully restored CD version is a massive bonus for me.

I remember buying this LP at the time and being so disappointed with the tracklisting and I wondered if not having listened to it all these years would have softened me towards it. It hasn't I'm afraid. I was cringing as I listened to "March" and the execrable "Well-A-Wiggy". How that was ever chosen as a single is well beyond me!

The girls' vocals are spot on as always, it's just a shame that they weren't given the material to work with that would have shown it off in the way "Success" did. I'm a massive fan of The Weather Girls, so had to buy this CD to replace the LP and because of the bonus 12" of "No-one can love you......", but if you're not that bothered, just download the 12" and leave the rest behind.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 19, 2013 6:14 AM GMT

Nightline and Abstract Emotions
Nightline and Abstract Emotions
Price: 11.88

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not a fan favourite, but I love them both, 22 Oct 2013
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I have to say that if I was going to be stranded on a desert island, I would only need Randy singing "One day I'll fly away" and I could live a happy life. That song has the power to take me places I can only dream of. If you're looking for another song like that on this 2 disc set, then you're going to leave disappointed. If, however, you love Randy's voice and have an open mind to the songs she sings here, then I think you will be very pleasantly surprised.

Let's get the negatives out of the way - neither of these albums were massive fan favourites, particularly Abstract Emotions. The latter has a very 80's sound and is rather synth heavy; a massive departure from the sound Randy's fans were used to at that time. Personally, I think we have to accept that this was 'the' sound of the age and all Randy did was tap into it. Listen to it again and if you can get past the synthesisers, you have an album of pure dance/pop with a few ballads in there for good measure, particularly the superb "Almaz".

"Windsong" is a slightly different beast, as it was produced in part by Cecil and Linda Womack, who did some sterling work on side 2 of the album. Not as synth heavy as its successor, there are some fine songs on here and Randy's voice sounds just as perfect as it ever has.

The bonus tracks are the reason I bought this collection, mainly because I'm trying to reduce m massive stockpile of 12" singles - so "Nightline" and "Desire" can be sold and I have some superb sounding CD versions. These albums may not be for every Randy fan, particularly the purists, but if you're a fan of 80's pop/dance, you're gonna love these classy albums from a woman whose voice is the equivalent of an aural massage.

The Complete Betty Driver 1935 - 1955
The Complete Betty Driver 1935 - 1955
Price: 5.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The loveliest woman in the world!!, 26 Sep 2013
I've given this compilation five stars because it rates as excellent value for money. I do have her earlier compilation "The girl from the street" which has many of these tracks on, but there are loads more on this one, particularly a song I've been looking for over the past 20 years since I first heard it on a BBC Radio 2 tribute programme to her....."I know you're mine". If you download no other song, you HAVE to have this one. It's a beautiful torch song/ballad, sung in Betty's low register and was the song I used for my first dance at my wedding (albeit culled from the radio broadcast). Just listen to those wonderfully romantic lyrics.

Betty is famously quoted as loathing her own voice, but I love it. There are some gorgeous songs on here "I'm getting sentimental over you", "I'll take romance" and "The moon remembered" to name but three. There are also the novelty songs that she hated and I can take or leave those, but what I love are the bonus tracks - the tracks from her films and the live recordings from Henry Hall. They make you really appreciate just what a powerful voice she had.

The only slight downside is the hissing in the background of some of the tracks, which could have been removed but hasn't been. I tend to consider this as adding atmosphere to the songs which are over 50 years old now. And then of course there's "I know you're mine". Buy it, you won't be disappointed.

Oh, and the title of this review?? I met Betty on a couple of social occasions in my lifetime and she was exactly as you saw her on screen: smiley, friendly, happy and so very lovely.

Groove Me ~ Expanded Edition
Groove Me ~ Expanded Edition
Price: 9.87

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Southern funky soul at its finest, 27 May 2013
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BBR take great care in the re-release of gems such as this and I couldn't disagree more with the review by Howard, who says this is rubbish. I'm no expert in sound quality and I do know that there are people out there who can almost tell exactly what settings the remastering decks have been set at.......but I do know what I like. Listening to a BBR re-release through my Sennheiser headphones, I can hear musical parts that were previously buried in the mix, which only increases my listening pleasure. Fern's CD is no different and the whole album is a joy to listen to.

Fern Kinney is an enigma to say the least. Here in the UK, she burst onto the music scene in 1979/1980 with her number one smash "Together we are beautiful", taken from this CD. Sadly she was seen as a one hit wonder as none of her other releases even bothered the charts, which is a great shame as there are some gems on here just calling out for release, airplay and a 12" remix. The most obvious choice is "Groove me", which was woefully overlooked on the album's original release. True, it was a big club hit but its infectious beat and sweet vocals should have cemented Fern as a player in the Top 40 market at the time. She just didn't get the airplay. The main problem is that this LP hit the shops as the Disco Sucks movement exploded and the backlash, although not felt as strongly here in the UK, was still significant. Punk and the New Romantics came along and pushed these guys out. Fern was pigeonholed as a twee, safe ballad singer, based on "Together we are beautiful". Interestingly, many of my friends at the time who hated that song, now see it for what it is and really like it.

This CD is wonderfully put together and includes the whole "Groove me" LP as it was, with some very extensive booklet notes, although sadly no interview with Fern herself. I'm not quite sure why this was as she's still living in Jacksonville and is contactable. Other tracks included on this are the rare (but not brilliant) b-side "Let's keep it right there" and two songs I've been longing for on CD for years; her duets with Frederick Knight, which are sublime slices of UK southern soul. Interestingly, alongside all the other tracks is the song "I want you back", which actually comes from her second LP "Fern". I'm not sure why this has been included, as BBR usually group all releases around one LP. I can only presume that they are not going to release the second LP on CD, which would be a shame as it has some superb tracks on it, including her version of "I've been lonely for so long". Anyway, you could do a lot worse than to sit back and listen to Fern Kinney on a summer's evening on this excellent release.

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