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Prog Rob "RIG" (Stone)

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Today! / Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!)
Today! / Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!)
Price: £8.77

5.0 out of 5 stars Great mid-60s pop music, 15 Aug 2014
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The decision by Capitol records to re-package many of the Beach Boys classic albums in this 'double header' format is inspired. 'Today' (the earlier of these 2 releases) is, for me, the more interesting of the pair - quite simply, the overall standard is higher and Brian Wilson was able to expand his musical horizons beyond the usual surf and sun themes which dominate the first half dozen BB albums. Having said that, there are enough familiar tracks listed amongst the 24 titles on the 2 original albums to more than hold the attention here and the 5 Bonus tracks definitely add some spice to the mix. If you haven't got the likes of 'When I Grow Up (To Be A Man)', 'California Girls', 'You're So Good To Me' and the fabulous 'stop/start' single 'The Little Girl I Once Knew' ~ fear not, they're all here! This is a superb release and I heartily recommend it to Beach Boys fans


Arthur
Arthur
Offered by shakedownrecords
Price: £13.20

4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and forgotten gem, 11 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Arthur (Audio CD)
Originally intended to accompany a Granada TV play, 'Arthur' was released in 1969 to high praise from the critics; unfortunately, the British record buying public failed to engage with this 'concept play' and it didn't chart. For the most part, this is a heavier sounding collection than the marvellous 'Village Green...' LP and, in my opinion, is slightly less enjoyable. However, there are some superb songs contained on 'Arthur' - things start off powerfully with the trio of 'Victoria', 'Yes Sir, No Sir' and 'Some Mother's Son'; the catchy 'Drivin' should definitely have been a hit single and 'Shangri-La' is another classic Kinks song. My favourite track here is the lovely 'Young and Innocent Days' - a rare departure into more subtle territory. 1 or 2 tracks seem to drag on a bit for me - 'Australia' starts well, but gets bogged down halfway through and 'Arthur', which closes the album, feels like it should have a shorter, snappier ending. With Bonus tracks included on the re-mastered version of this disc, the listener gets well over an hour of classic English rock, making 'Arthur' a decent purchase at a nice price. I recommend this LP to music fans of all ages.


Per Un Amico
Per Un Amico
Price: £6.34

5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely gorgeous Italian prog rock, 9 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Per Un Amico (Audio CD)
Although progressive rock music is generally regarded as peculiarly English in style and origin, Premiata Forneria Marconi (P.F.M) are, surely, Italy's leading proponents of the genre over the last 5 decades and have produced many superb albums, particularly those released in the early 1970s. 'Per Un Amico' (P.F.M's 2nd release in their native tongue) is a superbly fashioned work and certainly gives the English 'prog boys' a run for their money. The opener 'Appeno Un Po' gives a good indication of the brilliance to follow and builds to an impressive climax whilst 'Generale is a punchy instrumental [this track acquired lyrics when it featured on the English language equivalent of this LP ('Photos of Ghosts') and was re-titled 'Mr. 9 'till 5']. The title track is also well-crafted but, for me, the best of the 5 featured tracks is the inspired 'Il Banchetto' which has a gloriously offbeat middle section displaying shades of Gentle Giant's quirkiness. 'Geranio', which rounds off proceedings, is another lovely piece of music. P.F.M use keyboards, especially the Mellotron, in a highly imaginative way and the balance between slow/subtle and fast/furious sections within a composition is genial.
If you like your progressive rock with lots of twists and turns, twiddly and complex time signatures and a smattering of acoustic instruments such as flute, guitar and violin, you should sign up here and enter the magical kingdom of P.F.M now.


Simply Red Greatest Hits
Simply Red Greatest Hits

4.0 out of 5 stars Great collection from the talented Mr Hucknall, 6 Aug 2014
Well-crafted compilation of Simply Red's greatest hits from 1985 to 1996; from the 1980s come the likes of 'Money's Too Tight To Mention', 'Holding Back The Years', 'The Right Thing', 'If You Don't Know Me by Now' and the superbly catchy 'A New Flame'. 1991's 'Stars' album supplies a whole host of lovely songs namely 'For Your Babies', 'Something Got Me Started', 'Your Mirror' and, naturally, 'Stars' itself. The collection is neatly rounded off with 1995's 'Fairground' (a Number 1 smash) and 'Angel' (1996); in essence, this is a solid collection of soul-tinged songs from the talented vocal stylist Mick Hucknall and is definitely worth buying at a decent price.


Gentle On My Mind: The Best of Glen Campbell
Gentle On My Mind: The Best of Glen Campbell
Offered by mrtopseller
Price: £4.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Well-crafted Country collection, 4 Aug 2014
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Lovely compilation album which covers virtually all of Glen Campbell's best known and well-respected songs including a batch of Jimmy Webb penned classics ('By The Time I Get To Phoenix', 'Galveston' and 'Wichita Lineman) as well as the likes of 'Rhinestone Cowboy', 'Try A Little Kindness' and 'Country Boy'. There are 1 or 2 surprising omissions on this 21 track collection with 'Honey Come Back' (a U.K No.4 hit single) and 'Don't Pull Your Love...' both failing to make the cut here. Overall though, this is well worth the money with a solid 60 minutes of Country-tinged music to sing happily along with.


The Best of Neil Diamond
The Best of Neil Diamond
Offered by mrtopseller
Price: £3.10

4.0 out of 5 stars Diamond shines bright, 2 Aug 2014
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Decent compilation of singer/songwriter Neil Diamond's early career with the MCA (Uni) label, covering the period from 1968-1972. The evergreen early hits are all here:- 'Cracklin' Rosie', 'Sweet Caroline', 'Song Sung Blue' and my personal favourite, the towering ballad 'I Am...I Said'. Personally, I would prefer to have acquired a fully comprehensive 'Best of...' package including the wonderful 'Love On The Rocks', 'Beautiful Noise' and 'Forever In Blue Jeans', but, I imagine I would have needed to buy 'The Very Best of Neil Diamond' (covering a wider period of his material recorded on a variety of record labels). Still, at a nice budget price, the punter gets 20 tracks and over 70 minutes of well-crafted popular music; hence satisfaction is achieved.


Private Investigations:  Best
Private Investigations: Best
Price: £17.39

4.0 out of 5 stars Solid Dire Straits compilation, 29 July 2014
A solid compilation of the best of Dire Straits and Mark Knopfler; all the essential tracks are here with the likes of 'Sultans of Swing', 'Romeo and Juliet', 'Private Investigations', 'Money For Nothing' and 'Brothers In Arms' all featured. Note:- There are 2 versions of this compilation album ; the first is a single disc package with 14 tracks (running time 81:30 minutes) and the second is an expanded double disc package with 22 tracks (running time 135:52 minutes) - I've got the shorter format which, for me, covers most of the bases pretty well and is certainly worth buying at a decent price.


The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society
The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society
Price: £11.26

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely wistful nostalgia from Ray Davies, 28 July 2014
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Quite simply, this is a Ray Davies masterpiece from 1968 which, sadly, failed to trouble the album charts because of its rather eclectic nature allied to the fact that there it supplied no catchy hit singles; indeed in the period 1968/69 the Top 10 hits dried up and the Kinks were struggling in the singles market until 'Lola' and 'Apeman' briefly stopped the rot in 1970. Quite simply, however, this album is beautiful in its simplicity and I can recommend it to genuine Kinks fans of all ages.


Disraeli Gears
Disraeli Gears
Price: £5.84

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic 1960s Blues Rock, 26 July 2014
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This review is from: Disraeli Gears (Audio CD)
1967's 'Disraeli Gears' finds the power rock trio of Eric Clapton (guitar/vocals), Jack Bruce (bass/vocals), and Ginger Baker (drums/vocals) at the peak of their powers, both creatively and musically. With 13 tracks lasting around 33 minutes in total, this album is certainly short and sweet, but, just look at the quality - 'Strange Brew', 'Sunshine Of Your Love', 'Dance The Night Away', 'Tales Of Brave Ulysses', 'SWALBR' and 'We're Going Wrong' - all classic blues/rock numbers which make this album a joy to listen to. Buy this and discover your 1960s groove, guys!


Pet Sounds
Pet Sounds
Price: £7.35

5.0 out of 5 stars Brian writes a classic, 25 July 2014
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This review is from: Pet Sounds (Audio CD)
By late 1965, Brian Wilson entered the most adventurous (and arguably least commercial) phase of his career as the Beach Boys principal songwriter; 'Pet Sounds' represents, for many, the pinnacle of Brian's creativity and, certainly, this is a gorgeous 13 track album lasting around 36 minutes plus 3 'bonus' cuts from the Pet Sounds sessions (which add a little extra flavour to the mix). To my ears, this is a lovely, reflective, beautifully-crafted masterpiece and the cherry on the top is 'God Only Knows' - surely the most sublime pop song ever written. If you're expecting a typical bouncy Beach Boys LP, with wall-to-wall hits, then you will need to work harder here to envisage Brian's vision. I noted one reviewer complaining that 'Pet Sounds' would have been far better if 'Good Vibrations' had found its way on to the running order - maybe, but if you want the greatest hits then 'Summer Dreams' covers all the classic 1963-1970 material. With some really informative liner notes, this package is well worth sending for - buy and enjoy, folks!


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