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Morten Vindberg (Denmark)
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The Royal Scam
The Royal Scam
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: 6.29

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Transitional Album, 9 Mar 2010
This review is from: The Royal Scam (Audio CD)
The Royal Scam has a couple of the most catchy and commercial songs Steely Dan has ever recorded - "The Fez" and "Haitian Divorce" - both songs greatly influenced by reggae.

Like all Steely Dan the playing and production is sheer perfectionism. The songs are generally - apart from the two aforementioned - not as melodic as the ones one the previous album "Katy Lied", and through there are great bits and pieces on all songs - especially some great guitar-parts - it may the the Steely Dan album that I have most difficulties to get really into.

For me the standout song is "Haitian Divorce" - I know some find it light-weight - but it's a song that sticks with you - no surprise that it was among the few single-hits Steely Dan scored.

"The Fez", "Kid Charlemagne", "The Caves of Altamira", "Sign in Stranger" are all fine songs; in fact apart from "Green Earring", there are no songs I don't like.

I guess you could call it a transitional album, linking the early melodic Steely Dan with the later more sophisticated side of the group.


A Salty Dog [40th Anniversary]
A Salty Dog [40th Anniversary]

5.0 out of 5 stars A Natural Hat Trick, 6 Mar 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A Salty Dog was the last Procol Harum album to feature the original 5-piece line-up. Compared to the previous two, which were very much dominated by Gary Booker's songs and vocals ( not a negative thing at all ), more space is given to guitarist Robin Trower and organist Matthew Fisher.

Robin Trower debuts as leadsinger on his own "Crucifiction Lane" and he wrote "Juicy John Pink" - both songs show the roots of Procol Harum as a tight r&b band. Trower also co-wrote the acoustic "Too Much Between Us" with Brooker - beautifully sung by Brooker, by the way.

Matthew Fisher produced the album, and arranged the orchestra for three of the songs - most note-worthy the title track, which is one of the greatest songs ever written and recorded.

Compared to Brooker's Fisher's voice may appear somewhat thin, but he sings his two songs "Wreck of the Hesperus" and "Pilgrim's Progress" beautifully, and both songs fit in nicely on the album. "Pilgrim's Progress" bears big resemblance to the classic "A Whiter Shade of Pale".

The charming "Boredom" with its Carribean rhythms is a Brooker/Fisher collaboration, adding to the great variety in styles which characterize the album.

Apart from the unique "A Salty Dog", the album features another Brooker classic "All This and More" - classic Procol Harum sound. Inspiration from the Band's recently released "Music From Big Pink", shines through on "The Milk of Human Kindness". The Band was a big inspiration for Procol Harum. "The Devil Came From Kansas" is one of the few tracks I often consider skipping over - too heavy and noisy; seems somewhat out of place on the album.

Much better is the B-side "Long Gone Geek"; another heavy thing, which sounds inspired by The Small Faces or Humble Pie.

Among the bonus-track there are 4 rare live-tracks from a 1969 April tour in the States. Great to hear the original band live - again their r&b roots shine through.

With this album you could say that the band scored a natural hat trick; having their debut and "Shine on Brightly" in mind.


Story Of Them Featuring Van Morrison
Story Of Them Featuring Van Morrison

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great - But What Happened to "Mighty Like a Rose"?, 13 Feb 2010
This 2 CD compilation of Van Morrison's Them at first sight seem to contain everything a fan of Morrison's early recordings with the various incarnations of his band "Them" could wish for.

The music is digitally remastered and the large majority of the tracks sound great. All the group's singles, their two albums, their EP-tracks - in short everything seems to have been to be included - with one single exception: My favorite track from the 1976 collection "Rock Roots" - "Mighty Like a Rose" is not here. Is this an oversight? No, the notes can tell that "the demo "Mighty Like a Rose" has been excluded from this album". I wonder if Morrison himself has decided that this should be left out - justifying it by calling it a demo? It can be difficult to see logic in this - the sound "Roots Rock" is definitely good - better than several of the other tracks on that album. I think the song is among the best Morrison wrote to the group, and his vocals are top notch. Could there be something in the lyrics which makes him feel embarrased? I find the lyrics somewhat akin to the classic "Brown Eyed Girl".

Well, no more of the deficiencies. This really is a nice release, and Them recorded along with The Pretty Things, The Animals and the Rolling Stones some the best r&b music which was released in Britain in the mid-Sixties.

Most famous probably are "Gloria," "Mystic Eyes" and "Here Comes the Night" - but most of what is here is of very high quality and no songs could be called outright weak. Morrison's vocals are in themselves a scoop - especially on melodic blues ballads like "One More Time," "I Gave My Love a Diamond", "If You and I Could Be As Two", "I'm Gonna Dress in Black, "" You Just Can not Win "and" My Lonely Sad Eyes ".

Lesser known tracks like "Friday's Child" and "Call My Name" are other of my favourites.

There are disco-graphical notes on all tracks and many rare photographs and covers. A real biography is missing, however.

This, of course, is minor thing, and the CD is highly recommendable.


BLOOD MAKES NOISE
BLOOD MAKES NOISE

4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Rare Single, 12 Feb 2010
This review is from: BLOOD MAKES NOISE (Audio CD)
This hard to find single "Blood Makes Noise" is taken from her great 1992 album "99.9F", which has a lot of weird and exiting sounds and beats. The title track is really great, whereas "Bad Wisdom" is more of the classical acoustic Suzanne Vega - and also a fine song.

The third track "Men Will Be Men" may be the one that will interest most people, considering this is the only time it has been released on CD. The two album tracks were produced by "Mitchell Froom"; but this last rare song, was produced Vega herself. The song is not among her most memorable, but a quite nice acoustic song, which fans of her first album will enjoy.


Wish You Were Here
Wish You Were Here

5.0 out of 5 stars Overlooked Classic Album, 11 Feb 2010
This review is from: Wish You Were Here (Audio CD)
Badfinger's second album for Warner Brothers was recorded during two sessions - the first took place at The Caribou Ranch, Colorado in April/May 1974; the second at AIR studios, London in June. Though financial worries had begun to have great influence on the 4 members; they all felt that they had to put everything they had into these recordings. And this really shows on the album - another masterpiece - one of the really great albums of the seventies. It has been called "The Sergent Pepper of the 1970's"; personally I feel that it has more in common with "Abbey Road".

Badfinger had grown into an albums-band, and this album really works as a whole, especially the original side 2 which features two very succesful medleys. The album opens with Pete's very powerful Just A Chance and with Mike's light and catchy You're So Fine song by Joey and Pete - once again Mike proves himself as a competent songwriter. Know One Knows is another powerful melodic rocker by Pete - I love the Japanese voice that meddles with leadguitar part. The first side closes with another grand production which characterizes most of the album; Pete's Dennis written to his step-son. Besides the two medleys side two features Tom Evans' King Of The Load ( one of my favourite Tom Evans songs) and Joey's quiet Love Time. No singles were released from the album; this was a period when hit-singles didn't matter much to the progressive/ambitious bands. Just a Chance or Know One Knows might have been able to make the charts with the right promotion, though none of them have obvious hit-potentials.


Bachs Bottom
Bachs Bottom

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bach's Bottom Extended and Remixed., 23 Jan 2010
This review is from: Bachs Bottom (Audio CD)
These recordings were among the first Chilton made after the dissolution of Big Star. Actually most Big Star members contribute to the album. Even Chris Bell has a brief solo on the 1993 reissue on the track "All of Time". In addition, Big Star acquaintances like Richard Rosebrough (drums), Andy Hummel (Keyboards), John Lightman (bass), along with producer Jon Tiven (guitars) are recurring characters on the recordíngs. Only Jody Stephens of the original Big Star line-up seems to be missing.

The best recordings, both sound like Big Star and have the Big Star qualities. "Close My Eyes," "All of the Time", "Free Again", "Jesus Christ" and "Singer Not the Song" and to a certain extent "Take Me Home and Make Me Like It" are welcome additions to the Big Star catalog.

The rest of the tracks sound more or less sound like unserious rehearsals and have much of a bootleg touch. Loose jams mixed with studio chatter.

The best recordings come a natural extension of "Sister Lovers" and even though half of the album can only appeal to hardcore fans, the best is so good that you ( as a Big Star fan) would not do without it.

For this 1992 reissue Jon Tiven has remixed and made new overdubs. In most cases this is done well, although I prefer the tracks without count-ins and studio chatter.

Moreover the great 1977 single "Bangkok"/"Can't Seem to Make You Mine" along with other rare studio-outtakes have been added.


The Very Best Of The Merseybeats
The Very Best Of The Merseybeats
Price: 4.76

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well-compiled Collection, 14 Jan 2010
The Merseybeats were not among the most original bands to some out of the Liverpool area in the early 1960's. Their recorded output is also rather limited ( one album and less than a dozen singles ), but most of it actually very good and pleasant listening.

This well-compiled collection contains all their singles A's and B's, a couple of album tracks + a live-track. Most of their singles were nice pop-ballads of which some did pretty well in the charts in 1964. One their strongest recorded vocal performances is the single "I Love You, Yes I Do", which could easily be mistaken for a Beatles song from the "Please, Mr. Postman" era.

The group were supposedly also a fine live-band which the track "Long Tall Sally" seems to confirm. Like many other Liverpool bands they were not able to maintain their popularity and they disbanded in early 1966. The two lead-singers Tony Crane and Billy Kinsley reunited in the duo "The Merseys" and they recorded a string of uneven singles through 1966-68. Only the first, "Sorrow", lived up to their early fine moments.

This CD is really nice listening and their music does not sound out-dated like that of many of their contemporaries like "The Swinging Blue Jeans" or "The Dave Clark Five".

Besides the outstanding "I Love You, Yes I Do", songs like "Milkman", "Really Mystified", "Last Night", "See Me Back" and the Elvis Costello covered "I Stand Accused" stand out, but with a few exceptions this is an overall very consistent collection.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 3, 2010 1:20 PM BST


Procol Harum, 40th Anniversary Edition
Procol Harum, 40th Anniversary Edition

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Has Never Sounded Better!, 25 Dec 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Procol Harum has deservedly been hailed a classic many times, and it is no surprise that there is demand for the optimal sound on these timeless recordings. Salvo has rteally done an excellent job and in my ears, these numbers never sounded better. The singles "A White Shade of Pale" and "Homburg" with b-sides are, of course, along with other interesting bonus tracks, several of which has never previously been published.

An early instrumental version of the hit, "Pandora's Box" is a bit of a finding. The same applies to "Understandably Blue" - a ballad by Gary Brooker which has never previously published. "Alpha" is a fine blues out-take and certainly a worthy addition.

Fine informative liner-notes.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 2, 2010 9:43 AM GMT


Abbey Road
Abbey Road
Price: 9.88

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What an Album!, 26 Nov 2009
This review is from: Abbey Road (Audio CD)
Many superlatives have been said about The Beatles 'final album "Abbey Road" and there is no doubt that the praise is deserved and that the album is among the Beatles' very best. After the partial uninspired "Let it Be" sessions the group decided to end their cooperation with a really worthy release.

Lennon, who was perhaps the one that was most tired of the role of a Beatle, contributed by two powerful blues-inspired songs "Come Together" and "I Want You". On both tracks the group really demonstrates tight competent playing, and this new remastered release is a true pleasure to listen. Espcially the close vocal harmonies and inspired guitar playing by both Lennon and Harrison all over the album.

Harrison's two songs on the album both belong among his strongest compositions. "Something" became a hit single and "Here Comes the Sun" is a classic that has been recorded in countless cover-versions.

McCartney's "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" and "Oh Darling", both fine songs in their own right, have probably also been some of the most criticized. "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" to be silly and a little too "old school". "Oh Darling" might seem a bit like an anachronism, with its strong inspiration from old R & B tracks such as "Raining in My Heart".

Ringo's "Octopus'Garden" appears somewhat as a children's song, but it is actually a nice melody that is both very well arranged and well produced.

Lennon appears on the last number before "Abbey Road - Suite" from his soft side with "Because", which has some very nice vocal parties.

The rest of the album consists mainly of shorter numbers which are inventively more or less tied together. In reality it is probably the "Abbey Road - Suite", which does that one never really gets tired of this album. The suite includes an abundance of delicate pieces of melody, beautiful vocal harmonies, dazzling instrumental playing and not least, it appears unusually inspired. From "You Never Give Me Your Money" to the last stanzas of "The End" one is so much enthralled by the Beatles. There is no doubt that many groups have been strongly inspired by the way this band were able to bind different genres and melody pieces together into a meaningful whole.

Without saying too much, there is probably little doubt that the 10CC and Badfinger (Wish You Were Here) have retrieved much inspiration on this album.

As mentioned earlier, the new version remastered is true joy to listen to, and the release cannot be recommended too much.


Honeybus Old Masters
Honeybus Old Masters
Offered by dutchtoni
Price: 29.74

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Six Songs From the Unreleased "Recital", 4 Oct 2009
This review is from: Honeybus Old Masters (Audio CD)
Honeybus only released only album (Story 1970) during their active years as a band from 1966-1975. One more album ( "Recital") was ready for release in 1973 for Warmer Brothers, and test-pressings and sketches for a cover were made, but eventually it was decided not to release the album.

This collection has 6 songs from the still unreleased album, along with a lot of other previously unreleased recordings, made after leader and main song-writer Pete Dello's return to the group around 1971.

Pete Dello wrote the group's two outstanding singles ""Do I Still Figure in Your Life" and "I Can't let Maggie Go", both included here, but decided to leave the group while "Maggie" was still riding high in the charts. Dello did not want to tour, and preferred to concentrate on recording and writing songs. He released one great solo album ( "into Your Ears" ) in 1971, which sound a lot like Honeybus. Dello was not in the group while they recorded the album "Story", but band members Ray Cane and Colin Hare took over and wrote good songs, for the album, which was artistically quite good, but eventually sank without a trace. Only the title track from the album is included here.

A big shame really that "Recital" was never released, and all the other rare tracks here document that the group easily could have released one or two more solid albums during the early 1970's.

Most of the rare tracks featured here were also included on the fine 2 CD collection "She Flies Like a Bird" from 2002, but as far as I know the 6 "Recital" songs have not yet been released elsewhere.

A great release, which may be hard to find, but really worth going for - a shame that the notes are so sparse. It would have been interesting to learn more about the background for great recordings such as "Texas Gold" and "Hear Me Only".


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