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Prog Rob "RIG" (Stone)

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Over-Nite Sensation
Over-Nite Sensation
Price: £7.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great musical adventure with Zappa, 14 Oct. 2014
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This review is from: Over-Nite Sensation (Audio CD)
Another classic release from the hairy genius, 'Over-Nite Sensation' (1973) is an eclectic mix of jazzy, progressive rock; lyrically, Zappa pushes the boundaries in all directions and, musically, hits the heights frequently with impressive cameo performances from 'The Mothers'. 'Camarillo Brillo' is a lovely opener whilst 'Dirty Love' and 'I'm The Slime' are short, but highly entertaining tracks. Of the longer material, 'Dinah-Moe Humm' (not a song to play at full blast with grannies or kids within earshot!) is filthy but well-executed whilst 'Zomby Woof' and 'Montana' - both of which have searing guitar solos - are also highly impressive; lyrically, 'Fifty-Fifty' is deliberately (and amusingly) raucous and has a wonderful instrumental passage.

If you've enjoyed this crazy collection of songs then I can wholly recommend a couple of other albums from Zappa's vast back catalogue, namely 1974's 'Apostrophe' and 1975's 'One Size Fits All', both of which are brilliant releases.


Hergest Ridge
Hergest Ridge
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £19.95

4.0 out of 5 stars A very creditable 2nd album, 11 Oct. 2014
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This review is from: Hergest Ridge (Audio CD)
Having not heard 'Hergest Ridge' (1974) for some considerable time, it was great to re-acquaint myself with an old friend. 'Tubular Bells' was always going to be a hard act to follow but, having said that, there is a lovely, pastoral feel throughout this album which is livened up superbly with some scorching, rocky passages. As with his debut LP, Oldfield tries his hand at a vast array of instrumentation; the results are certainly interesting although, first and foremost, Mike remains a guitar virtuoso. In conclusion, this is a fulfilling way to spend 40 minutes of your time - it should sit proudly alongside 'Tubular Bells' and 'Ommadawn' in your record collection.


Apostrophe(')
Apostrophe(')
Price: £5.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A Zappa classic, 10 Oct. 2014
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This review is from: Apostrophe(') (Audio CD)
Another glorious dollop of crazy brilliance from Mr Zappa, 'Apostophe' (1974) runs only 31 minutes in length but is an album of high quality which leaves this happy listener well satisfied. The eccentric 'Yellow Snow' suite of songs is quite masterful; lyrically amusing and musically crisp whilst 'Cosmik Debris' contains just one of the many sublime Zappa guitar solos peppered throughout this collection of 9 tracks. The title track, lasting 5:50, is worth the 'admission fee' just by itself - this is a full-blooded instrumental rock song which has shades of Hendrix and Cream (hardly surprising given that Cream bassist Jack Bruce is listed as one of 3 writers here). Although fairly short, 'Uncle Remus' is a superb, thought-provoking song; the album's finale 'Stink-Foot' (6:33) is the longest track featured and, once again, Zappa is in fine form with a bizarre story about foot disease!

Providing you like your rock music with a progressive, jazzy feel and you're prepared to listen to the craziest lyrics in the business, then you should really enjoy this sumptuous feast of fun. Highly recommended.


Tubular Bells
Tubular Bells
Offered by Bridge_Records
Price: £7.49

5.0 out of 5 stars Highly impressive debut LP, 6 Oct. 2014
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This review is from: Tubular Bells (Audio CD)
'Tubular Bells' (released in 1973) marked both the launch of Mike Oldfield's highly successful solo career and the fledgling Virgin record label of entrepreneur Richard Branson - a happy coincidence indeed! Essentially, this album combines elements of progressive rock (the dreamy qualities of Pink Floyd on Part 2 are particularly noticeable) with classical music sensibilities - at times, things feel too understated and repetitive, but, this device allows Oldfield to hit us with explosive bursts of power just when we least expect it. Quite simply, 'Tubular Bells' is an impressive debut from a superb composer and multi-instrumentalist; for me, only the scintillating 'Ommadawn' (1975) surpasses it in terms of sheer brilliance.


The Rutles
The Rutles
Price: £5.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Simply Fab, 1 Oct. 2014
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This review is from: The Rutles (Audio CD)
I remember buying this marvellous album back in 1978 when vinyl was still king - oh, such memories! The original 14 track collection was only around 35 minutes long as I recall and so it's great to have the expanded 20 song format here on CD. However, the vinyl version was accompanied by a big, juicy booklet (with lots of photographs) which outlined the plot of the Rutles documentary ('All You Need Is Cash') - the miniaturised CD format simply doesn't produce the same visual impact. Even so, the extended version of 'The Rutles' is great fun and lovers of the Beatles music will derive much pleasure from this parody of the works of 'The Prefab Four'.


Lennon Legend: The Very Best Of John Lennon
Lennon Legend: The Very Best Of John Lennon
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £5.75

4.0 out of 5 stars A well-rounded and enjoyable compilation, 1 Oct. 2014
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This is a decent compilation of John Lennon's solo output from the late 1960s to the early 1980s. All the major singles are included with the classic 'Imagine' and the gorgeous '#9 Dream' prominent amongst the early 1970s material; the latter hits such as '(Just Like) Starting Over' and 'Woman' (which are both taken from the 1980 'Double Fantasy' LP) are superb testimonials to Lennon's songwriting abilities whilst tracks such as 'Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)' and 'Working Class Hero' are deservedly included as well.
Running Time: 77:30.
Verdict: Worth buying at a competitive price.


Images And Words
Images And Words
Offered by MediaMerchants
Price: £3.69

4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Progressive Metal album, 26 Sept. 2014
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This review is from: Images And Words (Audio CD)
Released in 1992, 'Images And Words' is the second album by American progressive metal/rock band Dream Theater and the first to feature the talented James LaBrie as lead vocalist. With a running time of 57 minutes - there are 8 featured tracks of varying lengths - the punter certainly gets good value for money, in my opinion. This is a highly enjoyable experience with the highlights including the wonderful 'Metropolis - Part 1' (9:30) which has a glorious instrumental middle section and 'Under A Glass Moon' (7:03) featuring a stunningly good guitar solo from John Petrucci. The rest of the band are no slouches either - Mike Portnoy's thunderous drumming is a strong feature throughout and superior keyboards and bass are supplied by Kevin Moore and John Myung respectively. For me, there is enough variation and quirkiness on this album to keep me interested and there are plenty of quieter moments in amongst the heavy artillery to impress me. Well worth giving this a try, metal fans.


We're Only In It for the Money/Lumpy Gravy
We're Only In It for the Money/Lumpy Gravy
Offered by johnny8640
Price: £19.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Show me the money, but hold back on the gravy, 25 Sept. 2014
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This '2 fer' is a very mixed bag indeed; 'We're Only In It For The Money' is a satirical concept album which has the hippie subculture and The Beatles 'Sgt. Pepper' album firmly in its sights. For the most part, this is quite enjoyable stuff - admittedly, it does sound dated (the album was released in 1968) but, for all that, there are some marvellous bursts of wit and wisdom to be found in this collection of (mostly) short, psychedelic songs/soundbites. NOTE:- The above rating of 4 STARS applies solely to 'We're Only In It For The Money'

'Lumpy Gravy' (1967) is very definitely an acquired taste - this is extremely 'avant-garde' stuff combining elements of various genres of music (played by an orchestra under Zappa's direction) interspersed with random dialogue spouted by various hangers-on [the most irritating of these goes by the name of Louis Cuneo - a man with a laugh described as resembling that of a 'psychotic turkey']. Although I don't like this stuff very much myself, I accept that some Zappa fans will and so I shall leave them to enjoy their gravy.


Pilgrimage
Pilgrimage
Price: £5.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A decent 2nd album from Wishbone, 25 Sept. 2014
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This review is from: Pilgrimage (Audio CD)
'Pilgrimage' (1971) is Wishbone Ash's second foray into the studio and' once again' explores the progressive-blues territory to be found on the band's eponymous debut album from 1970. The highlights include the much loved 'The Pilgrim', featuring some gorgeous Yes-style vocal harmonies, and the lovely crisp blues of 'Jail Bait'. This is well worth buying at a decent price especially if you like superb guitar dominated rock music.


White Album
White Album
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £14.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Flawed masterpiece, 19 Sept. 2014
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This review is from: White Album (Audio CD)
'The Beatles' (1968) remains the most controversial release of the band's career. Certainly it is adventurous and, in parts, brilliant; however, as is often the case with double albums, the quality dips alarmingly at times - hardly surprising given that there are 30 different listed titles.

For me, Disc One provides more consistency than Disc Two and starts exceptionally well with Paul's homage to the Beach Boys, 'Back In The U.S.S.R' - a superb rock 'n' roll workout with lovely harmonies. John quickly picks up the baton with two gems ~ 'Dear Prudence' is gorgeous and 'Glass Onion' is also impressive. The first of George's 4 selections 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps' showcases both Harrison's vocal talents as well as Eric Clapton's sublime lead guitar skills and his second, 'Piggies', is enjoyably humourous. 'Happiness Is A Warm Gun' is another well-delivered song and 'Julia', (which closes Side 2 of the original vinyl LP) is beautiful. If I'm being honest, this album is not Paul McCartney's finest hour ('Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da' and 'Rocky Raccoon', for instance, are both lightweight). 'Blackbird' and 'I Will' are both superb ballads, but, for me, John (and occasionally George) generally provide the better material.

Disc 2 is patchy, but, there are some interesting gems hidden away here and there. 'Yer Blues' is more interesting than it sounds - a mid-tempo rock workout with plenty of aggression from Lennon - yes, works for me! 'Sexy Sadie' is also enjoyable; meanwhile Macca throws the lovely 'Mother Nature's Son' and the screechy 'Helter Skelter' into the mix. The best and worst of Lennon is to be found on the last quarter of the album - 'Revolution 1' is a slowed down version of the song to be found on the '1967-1970' (Blue Album) compilation and is pretty good (even so, the rockier, speeded up version is much better in my view), but, the avant-garde drivel of 'Revolution 9' has no place on any Beatles album - surely one for a Lennon solo project. On the plus side, 'Cry Baby Cry' is superb and George weighs in with one of the best 'rockers' on the album in the shape of 'Savoy Truffle' - light-hearted but catchy all the same.

Verdict: Although I enjoyed the White Album more than I thought I would, I still feel that is a rather messy affair. I would like to have heard a more polished sound - this feels a bit under rehearsed and about a quarter of the material is weak. In my opinion 'Rubber Soul', 'Revolver', 'Sgt. Pepper...' and 'Abbey Road' remain the 'must-have' classic Beatles albums for your collection.


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