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D J F
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Lou Rawls - The Very Best Of
Lou Rawls - The Very Best Of
Price: £3.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Silky voice, 28 May 2016
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Lou Rawls was unusually not a Philadelphia International original. He'd already had a varied carrier before Gamble and Huff took a chance in 1976 that Lou would fit in well with a slight twist to their revered house style. With a deep, characteristic baritone voice Rawls instantly hit paydirt with You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine which bookends this album in its hit single and live versions. The album starts strongly with Groovy People, Lady Love and See You When I Git There all top tunes that really show off Rawls' considerable vocal talents. Another highlight is She's Gone, licenced from Bell Records and an excellent Hall and Oates cover. Inexplicably however track 15, shown on the booklet as That Would Do It For Me is actually a cover of Nat King Coles' Unforgettable.

By and large this album hits the mark and shows off Rawls' singles output from the PIR period well. To make up the album there are a number of largely well chosen album tracks with a strange detour into show tunes in a markedly different style. However this probably more accurately represents Rawls' output at the time. A silky voice, worth it at this low price.


Climate Of Hunter
Climate Of Hunter
Price: £5.91

5.0 out of 5 stars Towering work, 27 May 2016
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This review is from: Climate Of Hunter (Audio CD)
Scott Walker's sole utterance of the 1980's, Climate Of Hunter is both frozen in time yet timeless. Featuring fretless bass and gated drums (the reverb effect you can hear on Phil Collin's 'In The Air Tonight' when the real drums kick in) anchors the album in the early 80's. And yet.... this is so ahead of its time it contrarily doesn't feel like it's dated at all. Walker pointed the way to the style of this album on his four self-penned tracks on the final Walker Brothers album 'Nite Flights', and in particular on 'The Electrician'. Cut-up lyrics William Burroughs style mean the subject matter is impenetrable but fascinating as you struggle to find meaning. Sometimes atonal arrangements are hugely atmospheric, and the whole of this short album is sequenced perfectly. Layered over the top are Walker's peerless vocals, that rich baritone supplemented on 'Track 3' bizarrely by Billy Ocean. Indeed half of the tracks here have no proper title, with contributing musicians also given no hint of a melody line to remove any chance of preconception of what to play. The nearest atmospherically I could compare this album to is side 2 of David Bowie's 'Low'. It's experimental, it's a world away from those giant albums 'Scott'-'Scott 4'.... and yet it's accessible. It's a towering work. Each track deserves it's place as much as the next and at just 31 minutes leaves you wanting more. This album cements the mystic surrounding Walker and is core listening for anyone looking to investigate this enigmatic artist.


Liege And Lief
Liege And Lief
Price: £5.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Immersive experience, 24 May 2016
This review is from: Liege And Lief (Audio CD)
Knowing nothing of Fairport Convention and only award of the beautiful voice of Sandy Denny from hearing Who Knows Where The Time Goes I took a chance on this album after spotting it for just 99p in a local charity shop - I wasn't disappointed. Fairport Convention's third album of 1969 and their 4th overall sees a quintessential Britishness brought to the fore in the face of the tragic loss of their drummer in a road traffic accident. Bourne out of the grief came this album, a mixture of revisionist interpretations of traditional British folk songs given a then entirely new twist interspersed with original songs written in a similar style. Reading a little about the album it's hard at this distance to appreciate exactly how original this album was at the time, and whilst I can't claim authorship of this comment it bears repeating that "It had a similar impact to the Sex Pistol's 'Never Mind The Bollocks'". That's a huge claim to make, so does listening bear it out? Yes, in a very different way it is a groundbreaking album. The gentle electrification of the traditional songs really breathes life into them. It's a marvelously accomplished whole, flowing beautifully with Denny's ethereal voice carrying the songs that transport you to a different world. This is quality late night listening, for me difficult to pick a single standout track because the whole is something to experience. The musicianship is excellent throughout and washes over you in an immersive way. I got a lot of value concentrating on this album, a type of music I've never really heard before, but on the strength of this I'll be investigating Fairport Convention further.


Dusty... Definitely
Dusty... Definitely
Price: £3.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A close runner-up to Dusty In Memphis, 24 May 2016
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This review is from: Dusty... Definitely (Audio CD)
Dusty...Definitely is Dusty Springfield's 4th UK album and it's a game of two halves. Released in 1968, Dusty reveals in the original sleeve notes that she chose the eclectic selection of songs presented simply "Because I liked them". That she had great taste is in no doubt, with the original side A largely featuring upbeat numbers whilst Side B is more laid back, late night , kick back and relax in style. Starting with a frenetic belter Ain't No Sun Since You've Been Gone it's a wonder Dusty didn't rupture something as she puts her heart and soul into the delivery. Next up Take Another Little Piece Of My Heart is pretty much the definitive version of this track and an album standout. As was the style of the age there's no hit singles to enjoy as it was assumed buyers would no want repeats of tracks that they already owned - not that this matters as Dusty's personal selection is excellent.

Side 2 opener This Girl's In Love With You has been interpreted by many artists, but Dusty's peerless vocal delivery wrings the best from this track. The other highlight of this side is I Think It's Gonna Rain Today, as fine an interpretation of Randy Newman song as you'll hear. The side includes show tune I Only Wanna Laugh, which sits comfortably in the running order despite the change of style, and Charles Asnavour's Who (Will Take My Place?) Which could have graced many a 1960's film title sequence.

For this reissue there are four worthy bonus tracks, either b-sides or outtakes from the sessions. Chief amongst these is the sublime Spooky, which defies belief that it could be thrown away as a b-side.

This is a lovely album. Soon Dusty would hit her peak with Dusty In Memphis but this album surely runs that masterwork a close second.


Suction Cup Car Mount Stand Mount Adapter + Storage Bag for GoPro Hero Cameras
Suction Cup Car Mount Stand Mount Adapter + Storage Bag for GoPro Hero Cameras
Offered by Fone Stuff
Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent replacement, 12 May 2016
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Having inadvertently sat on and damaged the suction section attachment of my car video camera I was in the market for a replacement. This is low price, comes with a thick bag which will store both the suction cup and video camera with room to spare when not in use, and features a bog standard 1/4" thread ( found on the base of most cameras and video cameras) for trouble free fixing. It's definitely better made than the damaged cup it replaced and feels solid and gives a full range of movement to allow correct positioning of the camera regardless of the curvature of your windscreen. There's a screwed washer to allow the correct position to be secured too. Nice low price, solid build and should fit many car video cameras with no issues.


Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes - The Very Best Of
Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes - The Very Best Of
Price: £3.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive round up of Philadelphia International tenure, 9 May 2016
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A comprehensive round up of Harold Melvin and The Blue Notes tenure at Philadelphia International between 1972 and early 1977 running from I Miss You to Don't Leave Me This Way in a fabulous collection that keeps on giving. All 11 singles from that period are included in this great value 17 track retrospective, some of which it's difficult to believe weren't UK hits. Of those that were If You Don't Know Me By Now, The Love I Lost and Don't Leave Me This Way will be the ones probably known to casual observers. Rest assured most of the rest of this collection is of equal quality, with just a slight tapering off towards the end of the album with otherwise very pleasant tracks. Teddy Pendergrass features large on many of these tracks from one of the very best 70's vocal groups. Gamble and Huff's Philadelphia house style is very much in evidence throughout which assures the high quality of this ridiculously low priced selection which at just £4 cannot be faulted.


The Greatest Hits
The Greatest Hits
Price: £3.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Worth it for the five giant disco hits, 9 May 2016
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This review is from: The Greatest Hits (Audio CD)
Making it big during the disco era starting from 1977 this compilation features all five of Odyssey's Top 10 hits - Native New Yorker, Use It Up And Wear It Out, Going Back To My Roots, Inside Out and If You're Looking For A Way Out; the first four of them in their full 12" versions. These great disco tracks are supplemented by a three further minor UK hits that graced the Top 50 - Hang Together, It Will Be Alright and Magic Touch; as well as a further two minor hits on the US R&B chart Weekend Lover and Don't Tell Me, Tell Her. A couple of non-hit singles Lucky Star and Easy Come Easy Go along with five album tracks pad out the collection. Missing are a further two non-hit singles Single Again/What Time Does The Balloon Go Up and (Joy) I Know It.

Pretty much the reason to buy this collection is the five giant singles all of which still resonate from the disco era. The run of tracks in between does sometimes show a drop off in quality, particularly the run from tracks 5-7, but then you should probably treat these as intended - bonus filler. Having the 12" versions of the floor filling hits more than compensates at the low price of this compilation and all, joy of joys, add to the original and improve on them, just like old fashioned extended mixes used to do. As the less familiar tracks become more familiar they aren't that bad - it's just the collection is dominated by the big UK hits. No complaints at this price point though.


Stretch/We Had It All
Stretch/We Had It All
Offered by jim-exselecky
Price: £7.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Better with familiarity, 8 May 2016
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This review is from: Stretch/We Had It All (Audio CD)
With many of Scott Walker's solo albums from the 1970's out of print because of a refusal by the artist to allow re-release its a change of record company from Philips to BGO that has allowed this pairing to sneak through the blockade. Undoubtedly Scott - Scott 4 was a golden period for Walker in terms of artistic credibility - if not sales. Those diminishing sales forced Walker's hand as he was compelled, at Philips' instruction to put out middle of the road material with an eye on recapturing that commercial success. Described by the artist as "My wilderness years" what's surprising is that a change of record company saw no change to that policy. The two albums included here see 21 tracks of inoffensive show tunes, county and western tinged ballads and any number of great songwriters re-interpreted. Randy Newman, Goffin/King, Bill Withers, The Eagles and Gordon Lightfoot are all present and correct. Whilst it's fair to say some of this descends a little towards the smaltzy at its best Walker's peerless voice and eclectic song selection wins the day. Listen to hand picked tracks individually and Walker really makes something of them. What Ever Happened To Saturday Night, A Woman Left Lonely, Where Does Brown Begin, Sundown .... these tracks shine. By contrast the C&W styling of four B.J.Shaver tracks sit uneasily. With so much Scott Walker unavailable anyone who is a fan of those towering , unique albums that started Walker's solo career will perhaps forgive some of the Ill advised choices here just to hear anything sung by THAT voice - Walker could sing the phone book and it would have validity. Repeated plays help, because as the tracks become familiar I found I got more from this good value pairing. For anyone looking to explore the Walker back catalogue more you probably will too after several plays.


People Get Ready: The Best Of Curtis Mayfield's Impressions
People Get Ready: The Best Of Curtis Mayfield's Impressions
Offered by A2Z Entertains
Price: £5.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Top drawer collection, 7 May 2016
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Having bought Curtis Mayfield's solo anthology it wasn't long before I needed to examine his tenure with The Impressions. Covering the period 1961-1968 this 40 track retrospective features all but a couple of this top vocal groups 30 singles from the period fleshed out with some excellent album tracks. Unlike "The Complete A and B sides 1961-1968" which is an equally worthy choice tracks here aren't presented chronologically, and if that matters to you to hear the development I'd recommend on balance that other set if you only want one collection. However the advantage here is the programming places tracks in an aesthetically pleasing order to flow - and the two discs do flow well. Disc 1 shows off the group's doo-wop and gospel origins, with soul akin to the best Motown and Northern Soul added to the mix as things develop. Disc 2 highlights Mayfield's increasingly socially aware lyrics, not least on title track People Get Ready which opens that disc. It's here that you realise what an important group The Impressions were - and just how prolific a writer Mayfield was. This is a top drawer collection enhanced by a short but considered essay on the group's history and status coupled with some nice reproductions of their album covers. You can hear the influence they had on many artists who followed. Buy with confidence.


The Godfather: The Very Best of James Brown
The Godfather: The Very Best of James Brown
Price: £4.90

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The cream of a huge career, 7 May 2016
Trying to represent the cream of the huge expansive career of James Brown in one single 20 track compilation sounds like an impossible task, but wow, this sure comes mighty close. Covering the period 1956-1988, during which Brown released an incredible 144 singles the first thing that strikes you is the quality control never slips. Regardless whether it's early classics like Please, Please, Please or the sublime late period Living In America the party just doesn't stop. Brown's masterful ability with the groove can never be doubted to anyone hearing this bargain price infectious collection. Classics like Papa's Got A Brand New Bag; I Got You (I Feel Good); and Get Up, I Feel Like A Sex Machine should be well known to even the most casual observer of Brown's work. Rest assured everything here is of similar quality. Of course there are omissions, not least Say It Loud, I'm Black And Proud but with Brown's original albums sometimes hard to source I really can't think of a better place to start. For collectors there's the rare The Payback Mix to enjoy too. Put this on at a party and the room will soon be swinging.


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