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The BlackFerret "Steve The BlackFerret" (Plymouth UK)

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Folk, Blues & Beyond
Folk, Blues & Beyond
Price: 5.72

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Un-believable!, 11 Feb 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Folk, Blues & Beyond (Audio CD)
The combined value of the original vinyls here(original album, London Hootenany & 3/4 AD EPS) is over 400, which tells you something!

However, listening to it will tell you something else-just how flaming good Davy Graham was and is. Within a minute of the opening track, he lets that famous open D tuning go on the guitar and that's it-you will be gone with it!

Even as early as 1964, there is World Music influences in here with the blues, folk-blues, lounge jazz, folk and everything else. It's extraordinarily GREAT!

This is an album you will never tire of-Davy Graham doesn't have a perfect singing voice, but that said, his voice has an edge, an grittiness and a charm all its' own, and it's perfect as an adornment to THAT guitar playing.

How good a guitar player? Well, every one since Jimi Hendrix on electric guitar has been, at best, very good. And everyone since Davy on acoustic, even Bert Jansch, Al Stewart & Robin Williamson, have been, at best, brilliant.

Davy & Jimi remain completely and inhumanly the best in their respective spheres. It's no surprise you get taken to so many different musical worlds on this & other Davy Graham albums-his guitar playing is just simply from another world together.

Now stop reading this and buy the album-this is a darn good review, but, believe me, the album is 10,000 times better!


Sorcerer [DVD] [1977] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Sorcerer [DVD] [1977] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Roy Scheider

1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars It was once written........., 19 Sep 2008
..........by a famous Hollyword critic"Several tons of dynamite are set off in this film-unfortunately none of it under the right people"

That was written years before Wages of Fear(1953)of which Sorcerer is either a rip-off, remake or homage-that's your call. Unfortunately, as far as Sorcerer's concerned, that comment isn't so far wide of the mark!

It does feature a splendid soundtrack by ace Prog rockers Tangerine Dream. That has stayed with me years later, even if I was never a fan of the group!

But the movie remains a foggy and sad memory. At no stage do you feel much empathy or involvement with the 4 men involved with the rig Sorcerer. As Roy Scheider is one of them, something's gone wrong somewhere-Christ, he stood out enough in Jaws, despite having to outact a shark and a half.

Problem is, the ambience of the films. Wages was tight, claustrophic and unbalanced. Suspense it had in droves, and Sorcerer takes a full hour to even begin spinning any spider's web of tension, none of which is likely to grip you, again because of the couldn't-give-a-damn feeling you'll have for Scheider and co.

Sorry, but this is just not worth it. It's even difficult to see how they spent 20 million on this film, and impossible to think they got value for the outlay.

Scheider & director William Friedkin thankfully had many good cinematic plaudits befire and after-just a shame neither shines in this one.


George Best and 21 Others
George Best and 21 Others
by Colin Shindler
Edition: Paperback

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but........, 10 Sep 2008
Mr Schindler's book has a lot of interest, even to me, a Utd fanatic, reading partly about the Blue scum from Stockport!

Unfortunately, he falls down in 3 areas.

He doesn't pick up the fact that Utd & City had equal success with the youth-team graduates he portrays here, for one reason-both had a major selling point & a just as major flaw.

Utd were glamour & clearly still rebuilding after Munich; but that indicated high standards that only the most self-confident kid might gravitate to. City were homely, carefree and likely to get you in the first team faster-but equally, they were completely without organisation and with a team in terminal decline.

He also attempts to unpick the legend of Matt Busby, but fails to address quite why Matt Busby was remote from youth players even before Munich. Busby was the manager & the Sergeant Major in the army in WWII, Jimmy Murphy the assistant & youth team manager and the sergeant in the army, facts which anyone talk about if they chose to.

Fair enough, but George Best is also condemned for his tackle on Glyn Pardoe in the Dec 1970 derby that effectively ended Pardoe's career. Mr Schindler neglects to mention the Sept 1968 derby, where, just a few months after his greatest day in the 1968 European Cup Final, John Aston had HIS leg broken & his Utd career effectively ruined by a tackle from -Francis Lee of Man City.

I was at both games & I distinctly recall one of those tackles being right over the ball, even if it could still have been badly mistimed and no more. If Mr Schindler wished to cast aspertions on Bestie's tackle, he should have at least mentioned Lee's efforts.

The book is still interesting & not ruined by his bias. It does best when evoking the ambience in both Manchester camps from 63-68 & not bad in pinpointing why Utd went from European Cup Winners to relegation in 6 years.

Pity the author didn't analyse why City have never challenged again for the League they won in 1968, apart from in 1972-there is a story there that deserves to be told, because, take it from me, Utd til I die, that 68 City team SHOULD have been near the top of the League at least for the next 5 years or so, even if they went on to 3 cup wins in the following 2 seasons anyway.

Still, it's a good read & does recreate much of a time long past.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 8, 2011 6:04 PM BST


Viva Zapata [DVD]
Viva Zapata [DVD]
Dvd ~ Marlon Brando

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You might die laughing, but............, 2 Aug 2008
This review is from: Viva Zapata [DVD] (DVD)
only if you know a bit about Mexican history.

John Steinbeck might have been a great writer, but of FICTION! The fact is the real Zapata stayed a lot longer in office than this film would have you believe;he liked power, however poor his background.

He was a man of principle, though;he let someone else shoot his opponents, instead of dirtying his own hands or conscience!

And any contemporary photograph of Emiliano will show you a moustache much more reminiscent of a dead water-rat than Brando's. Though Marlon's style did at least live to surface again in hippier times!!

But, who cares? Flaws there are, but it's a superb film. Joseph Wiseman may be a totally spurious agent provocateur/prototype CIA operatve, but he creates one hell of a persausive force for Zapata. Ditto his brother, Anthony Quinn, to illustrate the venal, macho culture as another primrose path Emiliano has to avoid.

Finally, beyond the well-recreated Pancho Villa & Huerta, who would have made a great double act if they'd been on the same side, there's Brando. He takes a long while to even engage you, and you frequently feel Zapata will only be a minor player in historical terms.

But Brando gets you there in the end, wisely illustrating both the agonised choosing Zapata goes through to stay true to his principles and the fact he very much had feet of clay. The humanity and human frailty shine through, and you can guess how this will end, even if history is being radically rewritten.

Thankfully, it doesn't end there, as no-one involved in this could have predicted the rise of the Zapatarist party in Mexican politics in recent years. They aren't responsible for the modern Mexico, but they are an important part in shaping it.

And, from a filmic point of view, this is actually a well-made and acted melodrama. Basically, another of Brando's ones you should not miss.


The Collection 1977-1982
The Collection 1977-1982
Price: 7.21

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When there were giants!, 16 May 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The Stranglers were never easily categorised. Punk? New Wave? Goth? Christ knows, even 26 years after the latest track on this compo!

The best thing about this compo is that it didn't answer those questions on its' release in 1982 & doesn't know. The Stranglers weren't mavericks, they were just a flipping towering talent that never fitted neatly into anybody's pigeon-holes.

And after a quarter of a century, this is still the only compo you really want. Some of their Epic stuff was good(Skin Deep,European Female,Always The Sun), but it doesn't match the energy, verve or flair of every track on this little lot.

It does concentrate on the singles, apart from Walk On By, initially an album freebie, La Folie, released against their wishes, hence the move from Liberty/EMI, and Hanging Around. But as Walk on By is seriously deviant compared to what Bacharach & David expected when they wrote it in 1963, as La Folie is the musical equivalent of Eric Cantona's Seagulls & Trawlers in its' subtle contempt for pop-pickers, and as Hanging Around is one of the great anthemic 6 mins of the last 10,000 years,who cares they weren't ever featured on TOTP!

Magic!


A Streetcar Named Desire (2-Disc Special Edition) [1951] [DVD]
A Streetcar Named Desire (2-Disc Special Edition) [1951] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Vivien Leigh

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In a word:Out-standing, 6 May 2008
Because of censorship problems, this became held up & "merely" Marlon Brando's 2nd movie.

However, the moment you hear him bellow "HEY-Stell-ah!",and the first time you see the 6 ft 13 stone Brando in a t-shirt, your world will change, just as certainly as cinema was never the same again, when movie-goers met these effects for the first time in 1951.

Credit to the others first. The under-rated Karl Malden plays Mr Ordinary with enough force to save being erased by the highly-charged dance of death between Brando & Vivienne Leigh.

Kim Hunter plays Stella, Brando's missus in this. She plays Stella as a sentient and sensitive human being(at least part of the time), so you feel sympathy for her at the end, and after the Brando/Leigh pas-de-deux reaches its inevitable climax, she deserves it.

Vivienne Leigh seems to be have been chosen because somebody remembered she played Southern belle Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With The Wind. Stupid idea;it shouldn't have worked. Of course, it does, as she proceeds to dance teasingly around Brando as Stanley Kowalski, thinking she will dispose of him like any spider with a fly in its' web.

Unfortunately for her, Tennessee Williams wrote this play, so you can guarantee the expected won't happen. Let's just say, she gets it, and you decide for yourself if it's what she asked for, deserved or wanted, or some Williamesque mixture of the three!

And that brings us to Brando. Somewhere in the dialogue Blanche(Vivienne Leigh)acidily remarks to Stella that Stanley is some sort of Neanderthal "Millions of years of evolution have just passed him by". In fact, Brando the person was millions of years removed from the animal in Stanley. Most of the time!!

So, to get under the skin of Stanley, and portray him as animal, caveman, normal person being stalked, happily-married man about to be pounced on, someone who could be out of his depth, but doesn't know it, someone about to find out there is a straw about to break the camel's back is no mean effort. Particularly as Brando's performance also colours in about 30 other shades of person between and beyond those mentioned.

You will be physically and emotionally hooked and engaged by Brando from his entrance throughout the remainder of this film. He repeated this effect in so many other films, you know what to say if anyone tries to tell you he wasn't the greatest screen actor ever. Politely tell them to watch a few good movies first, starting here, and then come back when they've grown up.

As the man says:-"We had this date from the beginning, baby", which is one final compelling reason to purchase, I feel.


Classics 1953-1954
Classics 1953-1954

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still beltingly good., 25 April 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Classics 1953-1954 (Audio CD)
This album consists of all the songs the Drifters recorded in their original guise or line-up between 1953/4, before Uncle Sam drafted the original vocalist, Clyde McPhatter.

The helpful notes reveal a little-known secret,that Lucille was the first track recorded by the Drifters,some 3 months before the immortal Money Honey and 3 others. Not just that,NONE of the 3 other vocalists or guitarists who were in that recognised first line up featured on Lucille-all is explained in the notes, by the way.

Frankly, the Drifters were, from the start, a cut above any other US vocal group. They took on blues,doo-wop and later rock without a qualm and with few hitches. The tracks are featured in chronological order of recording, not release, so you can easily spot their development.

No other incarnation quite matched this for sheer verve or flair, and vocal technique, either. Most had a few good days,some a lot, but these lot just blended together like a damn good cocktail.

There are still a few people who can't understand how the sides here failed to rack up around 50 million sales. I'm one of those, but do me a favour and buy this now, so we can at least rectify some of those gross errors of judgement by our forbears!


Treasure of Love & Other Hits
Treasure of Love & Other Hits
Price: 7.22

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top-class;what else what you expect?, 23 April 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Despite only being a 10-track CD, this is a real winner.

It features 5 of the 6 biggest numbers from Clyde McPhatter's solo career,with only 1962's Lover Please(on a different label) absent & this is meant to reflect his 1950's glory,anyway.

As if being one of the pioneers of rock n roll AND a great doo-wop vocalist with the Drifters from 1953-1954 wasn't enough for any one person,Clyde went on to record a batch of classic sides for Atlantic from 1955-1959, and this wee album is fully representative of what that voice could do on its' tod.

Strangely, there's a latin feel in places,too, which is where later-Drifter's lead Ben E King would also wander as a solo artist. There's actually a sifting of blues,rock and soul around,too, so you'll probably agree there's a lot of styles that great voice fitted so well.

One to get pronto, especially at these prices!


Best of
Best of
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: 9.75

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You Don't Remember Me, 10 April 2008
This review is from: Best of (Audio CD)
As Mr Gourdine begins, in the lyrics of his magnum opus, Tears on My Pillow-unfortunately, that's too true these days.

A pity, because Tears on My Pillow is the best teen-angst song EVER,with only the Shangri-Las Remember(Walking in the Sand)as a suitable partner! My God, it's 42 years since I was 14, but that song's just stirred a few bitter memories of girls who missed the big chance(ha-ha!).

This compilation not only starts with Tears and goes through some other excellent sides from 1958-61, but goes on to the 65-66 period, when Anthony & the Imperials started hitting the American Top 10 regularly. Right in the middle of our beat groups taking the country over,too-now THAT'S quality!

There are too many top-class numbers here for me to start reviewing them all. Just take my word for it, especially as I'm NOT selling my copy here!:-

"Love is not a gadget,
Love is not a toy;
When you buy this great CD,
Your heart will fill with joy!"
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 26, 2011 11:01 PM BST


Greatest Hits
Greatest Hits

5.0 out of 5 stars Flawless, 8 April 2008
This review is from: Greatest Hits (Audio CD)
While there wasn't too much wrong with Black Sabbath after the advent of Ronnie James Dio, or the subsequent return of Ozzie, this original Greatest Hits from 1976, is frankly unsurpassed. It's also unsurpassable!

Virtually everything here was a concert favourite between 1970-75,too. You really did not have to have been to see them live in some dingy place in the West Midlands then to appreciate this. There is just one track after another that shouts top-class at you. And don't forget these guys patented Heavy Metal as well.

Choosing personal faves is hard,but NIB,Black Sabbath,Sabbath Bloody Sabbath and War Pigs will never lose their power. Changes will never lose its' charm(seems a strange word re Sabs, but it's the case), but Iron Man just won't leave my head every time I play this compo!

I wouldn't put anything later down, but this album just hasn't a duff second in its' 55 minutes,simple as that. Sabbath themselves were simple,too:-simply heavy,simply loud,simply bloody breathtaking.

So there's no good reason to ignore this-it's also simply the best of a very good band indeed.


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