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Reviews Written by
billboy2007 "Bill" (Loughborough England)

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Price: £15.04

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars But why not a proper UK Release?, 18 July 2012
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This review is from: Dreams (Audio CD)
A superb record, though maybe a little MOR, but slick explodes on the title track with beauty grace and a little sense of other worldly danger. the rest never gets quite that good again, but it is all quality product from the finest lady singer this side of heaven. But face to the Wind and El Diabolo are beautifully crafted too. I love the way she bends notes with her majestic voice - just like on Manhole, so she does it again here. All her solo records post 1976 are worth a listen - especially Software - come on lets have them on CD properly released in the UK without having to pay these import prices!

Thick As A Brick 2
Thick As A Brick 2
Price: £16.91

1 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Thick as a Brick best left alone to rest in peace, 25 April 2012
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This review is from: Thick As A Brick 2 (Audio CD)
Im sorry but this is not a patch on the origibal Thick as a Brick. Lyrically its as good as Anderson gets with dry wit and irony coursing through it, but as a musical work its deadly dull. And so dull I was nodding off at the wheel when I played it in my car. All the light and shade, the time signature changes, the juxtapositiion from heavy metal to light folk, the pretty little tunes have gone, just Minstrel in the Gallery and Locomotive Breath to other words (over and over again). I was so disappointed and it left me "wondering why" (to quote one of Jethro Tull's) because it detracts attention from Ians first offering which is so beautiful and whimsical. I actually went to see the live performance of the two works back to back in Derby last night, and Im afraid live the contrast was even more marked.

Baron von Tollbooth & The Chrome Nun
Baron von Tollbooth & The Chrome Nun
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Price: £5.86

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The one album above all others in my collection, 23 July 2010
Perhaps the most sublime album ever by anyone - Now that's some claim, but I have over 2000 albums. Airplane and Starship albums always seem to have ups and downs but this one goes up and up and soars in new territory where previous attempts only partially succeeded. Ballad of the Chrome Nun starts things off in a breezy light and melodic way and sets us up for what is to come. And there are some absolutely fantastic tracks on a wide range of topics - eerie, haunting strange themes, like White Boy and Your Mind Has Left Your Body; Hymn like songs (Harp Tree Lament and Sketches of China) and perhaps Jack Traylor's finest ever composition, Flowers of the Night.

Even Walking Down the Road to Glory, Fishman and Fat, more lighthearted in their content are still wonderful songs that woiuld stand out on any other album.

And everyone has musicianship of the finest quality - ones you might expect such as Garcia and Traylor and perhaps ones you might not such as the Pointer Sisters - each put in for what they could contribute to each particular track - each with its own arrnagement and with a production that surpasses the best. And all have the Paul Kantner stamp on them.

Truly a "must have" for everyone on the planet! If you have not already got it then - why not???


Thirty Seconds Over Winterland / Early Flight
Thirty Seconds Over Winterland / Early Flight
Price: £10.96

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Strange pairing, 15 April 2010
"Thirty Seconds" as a live album comes nowhere near the fabulous explosion of its predecessor "Bless its Pointed Little Head". This is the Airplane gliding towards its conclusion. Still far better than a myriad of other bands but the "thrill" had gone. still I love this albums versions of "When the Earth Moves" and "Have You Seen the Saucers"

Early Flight is a mixture of some out-takes and largely inconsequentional music with some great tracks (but were the Airplane not ever thus)! You also get to hear Signe Anderson (Grace's predecessor) on Chauffeur Blues and Marty singing the anthemic "Blues from and Airplane". And to close we have the wonderful "Mexico" with Grace Slick spitting venom at Nixon's foriegn policy("under the thumb of he man they call Richard")and finally Saucers is really the start of Strship as we get Kantner's views on alien cover-up conspiracy theory. But why have an album pairing where you get "Saucers" on both records. Pair Early flight with "Pointed Little Head" or Winterland with Baxters and you get as good a contrast but without overlap. Record company staff - you ought to look at the track listings and do your job better!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 22, 2013 7:31 PM GMT

Greasy Truckers Party
Greasy Truckers Party

2 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Greasy Truckers fail to go Global, 8 Feb 2010
This review is from: Greasy Truckers Party (Audio CD)
All that wait for the re-release and then where is Gong and Global Village Trucking Company, by far the best things on the original.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 26, 2013 5:36 AM BST

A Mediterranean Odyssey
A Mediterranean Odyssey
Price: £18.09

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Music to lift the soul and take you to far off places, 5 Nov 2009
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This review is from: A Mediterranean Odyssey (Audio CD)
Loreena McKennitt only ever seems to produce excellence

Many will see this as a partial repackaging of her earlier work, with only one disc of material not heard before, but that is missing the point. These are songs and tunes with origins beyond the normal "celtic" genre that fit together much better as a sequential musical journey. Here you have the individual pieces re-arranged as both a studio album and a live album - and be in no doubt - McKennitt's live work sounds better than the studio albums of many of her peers

Where others play, write and sing songs and tunes, Loreena McKennitt takes poems, folk tunes and even classical work and creates a crafted work of art from each, but with every piece very much her own. So much thought is given to arrangement, instrument selection, sound balance and the production of the final piece, that there must be few, or if indeed any musicians outside of the classical arena who are her peer.

But these acolades do not do her justice, because for all the technical excellence, this is music for the heart and soul, and not just for the head. Loreena will make your heart sing and make your eyes water at the same time with the sheer beauty and majesty of her music. It is not new age or ambient, it is folk music at its pinnacle, drawing influences from many sources. The album is a journey, with different points in the Middle East and Mediterranean as a soundscape, and each piece evoking the rhythms and melodies of its origins but with Loreena's own celtic style emblazoned across it all.

I am a child of rock and punk, who liked my sound raw, but as soon as I discovered Loreena McKennitt's work, I was totally seduced and captivated by its sheer emotional brilliance. There are few artists that can make me cry with sheer joy from just their recorded music - but she can. My next ambition is to see her live!

If there is a better artist anywhere in the world please tell me - I want to hear them!

Price: £12.60

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buena Vista - Buena musica, 5 Nov 2009
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From the opening stocatto chords that provoke the applause to greet "Chan Chan", this is a feast for the ears. The musicians (many who were well into their twilight years) play with an enthusiasm, humour and real joy that puts many egotistical grumpy, cynical modern bands to shame. This is not the art of the ego, it is the melody and rhythm of Havana and the Cuban people, with all the Band's determination to play to their peak on what they will have seen as their "big night of nights" on this tour - Carnegie Hall in the USA - where Cuba has been vilified and discriminated against since the revolution.

This is folk, jazz, dance -but more than that- sheer beauty and joy combined with technical excellence and a real feel for the music and sound they create. I defy you to hear see them play and not leave with a smile on your face!

But while the Buena Vistas are the first of the Cuban bands to be heard in the west, be in no doubt that there are many younger and possibly even better bands still waiting to be heard in the west.

I would just love the success of the Buena Vistas to prompt record companies now to snap up bands like Los Cuarteto Hermanos (who most of you are yet to hear outisde of Havana) and their wonderful violin player Elisabeth Corralles so we can all hear them for ourselves.

Bill, Loughborough

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