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Reviews Written by
C. Salter "Colin Salter" (Edinburgh)

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Offered by AVIDES u.k.
Price: £26.28

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark spaces in my head illuminated, 2 Feb. 2006
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This review is from: Aliens (Audio CD)
6 stars please! Malcolm Morley, formerly of hippy songsters Help Yourself and Welsh West Coast jammers the Manband, has here produced an album of astonishing beauty and painful truth. Morley's compassion for the human condition - he has suffered in the past from depression - is achingly well expressed in a set of taut, muscular songs of longing, bewilderment and loss.
The arrangements are surprisingly powerful for someone of his soft rock background - a texture of energetic guitar riffs woven with synths and programming. But it is perhaps the vocal arrangements and use of other voices that he deploys to best effect in exploring the darker spaces of the head.
Tracks such as Burning Flame and X-File 301 create disturbing and unforgettable characters this way, and it is in the portrayal of these characters that you can see the through-thread connecting this set to some of Morley's earliest work with Help Yourself. Although this album is musically contemporary in a way that few of his 70s peers have managed, he still writes with understanding and love about the real thoughts of real people in their darker hours. He gives them a voice and expresses their pain and sadness without being remotely sentimental or mawkish about it.
This really is a remarkable album! I can think of no other like it.

Very very,very best of 70's
Very very,very best of 70's
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £9.73

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good slice of euro disco, 19 Jan. 2006
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As a German compilation this naturally leans towards euro-disco, and is a great chance to hear some minor UK disco hits of the 70s that tend not to make it onto British compilations - Dee D Jackson for example, and Sarah Brightman's irrepressible Starship Trooper. Of course they didn't all make it across the North Sea - the Gilla version of Lady Marmalade adds nothing to the song with rewritten lyrics about a teddy bear. And ... Disco Bouzouki, anyone?!
Of the better known UK hits, many of the versions here are slightly different mixes of the UK releases, which is quite refreshing (extended versions of Y.M.C.A. and D.I.S.C.O. for example).
All in all a very bright and cheerful selection of a quite specific branch of the disco business, well assembled (and incidentally very colourfully packaged with good liner notes about the era).

The Best Disco Album in the World...Ever!
The Best Disco Album in the World...Ever!
Offered by VIERA10
Price: £8.00

34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Faultless selection, flawed assembly, 18 Jan. 2006
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You really can't fault the selection of tracks here (with the possible exception of the Ritchie Family, which made me laugh out loud on hearing it for the first time here). Classics all, and not always the obvious ones.
But as someone who loved every second of these tracks when I first bought them on 7-inch vinyl, it was incredibly frustrating to find that the tracks overlap very slightly, so you lose those ecatatic moments at the start and finish of many of them.
The cue points at the start of each track are sloppy too, so you catch the end of the previous one even if you wanted to skip it.
And in order to squeeze 44 titles on, several tracks are faded out early.
If you're just a casual listener/dancer, you could do no better than this collection. But if you're a DJ or a serious collector you might be better with one of the many similar compilations which DON'T mix the tracks or edit them.

Doll in the Box
Doll in the Box
Offered by Disco100
Price: £24.80

1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Is That All There Is?, 11 Oct. 2005
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This review is from: Doll in the Box (Audio CD)
Bought this CD in order to get Cristina's witty take on Is That All There Is. It's the only track worth having on the album, and the only reason it gets as many as 2 stars. Everything else is very run-of-the-mill mid-70s style disco, cloned - and mere reproduction of the style is not enough to be a parody of it. Lacks the innovation you'd expect from producer August Darnell, or the vocal strength needed to raise the material above dancefloor fodder. Overrated by other reviewers, and disappointing.

A's, B's And Rarities
A's, B's And Rarities
Offered by Mo's Music & Media
Price: £19.99

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pure glorious pop, 23 Nov. 2004
This review is from: A's, B's And Rarities (Audio CD)
Pilot were that timeless glory, a pure pop band. Their singles were perfectly crafted and packed with hooks, everything from punchy pop guitars to exquisite lost-chord vocal harmonies. A real joy to see them getting this re-release as the old 45s are starting to look really worn.
Pilot improved with age too, with the material from their third LP "Morin Heights" particularly outstanding, showing new depths of material and maturity. The only reason I don't give it five is that, being an EMI release, they've left off the late period Arista singles, of which "Get Up and Go" was as irresistably catchy as anything here.
If all you've ever heard of Pilot is "January" and "Magic", get this to see how consistently good they were.

Hits 60
Hits 60
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Price: £3.49

9 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars last ditch effort, 18 Nov. 2004
This review is from: Hits 60 (Audio CD)
In the battle of the compilations between Nows and Hits, this looks to me like an admission of defeat by the Hits team: an apparent bumper 3CD edition msquerading as a new one in the series which is actually padded with loads of titles from the previous two Hits releases. A pity, as the Hits offered a very different and complementary take to the Nows on the chart scene. But with Hits missing one of their usual release slots earlier in 2004 (they should be up to Hits 61 by now), and now churning out this compilation of their compilations, it looks as if they're no longer trying to compete. Having said all that, if you only buy one chart compilation all year, this is a pretty good one!

Price: £20.69

4.0 out of 5 stars Treasure, pure joyous treasure, 11 Nov. 2003
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This review is from: Earthbeat (Audio CD)
Once in a while you stumble across an album of music so fine it makes you grin. On this recording, claiming in 1987 to be the first ever collaboration between American and Russian musicians, the pure joy and excitement of the sessions is clear to hear. American afro-brazilian jazz meets traditional folk choral music from southern USSR, it must have been extraordinary at the time and is still an exciting early example of global fusion, surely 10 or 15 years ahead of its time. The stand-out opener Kurski Funk gives a flavour of the joyous sounds to come. Get it if you can!

Rhythm Of The Day
Rhythm Of The Day
Offered by smeikalbooks
Price: £11.88

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Eccentric aural visionary, 4 Oct. 2003
This review is from: Rhythm Of The Day (Audio CD)
Well this guy sure had a strange ear on the world. I don't know jazz and I'm too young to know trad. But to my modern hearing this is really off-the-wall stuff, a really warped aural view of melody and rhythm. The title track is so evocative of the disfunctional US city life of the 20s, and his take on standards like Alexander is in his quite unique own voice. Quirky, refreshing, eccentric, a one-off. (But I can't help but wonder what it must have been like to live with ears that heard the world this way!)

Time Loves A Hero
Time Loves A Hero
Price: £5.73

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Funky rock classic, 9 Sept. 2003
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This review is from: Time Loves A Hero (Audio CD)
I gather that this is not rated highly as a Little Feat album. But it's the only one I know, and I love it! Lowell George funks out, and the riffs are just the jazzy side of rock, with interesting little extra bars and odd time signiatures. Day at the Dog Races is still the (instrumental) highlight. The older I get the more I like Old Folks Boogie. And Missing You is a lovely poignant litle coda. Musically and lyrically it's a really rich and interesting set of tracks.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 11, 2012 8:02 AM GMT

To Hell or Barbados: The ethnic cleansing of Ireland
To Hell or Barbados: The ethnic cleansing of Ireland
by Sean O'Callaghan
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

29 of 43 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hidden History, 4 Dec. 2002
Cromwell's solution to the Irish problem seems to have been an attempt to simply remove the local inhabitants, by transporting them to work in slavery on the sugar plantations of the West Indies. The author has painstakingly unearthed a really shameful episode of the English history in Ireland - primary historical records are understandably rare and frequently uncatalogued - and traced its fascinating human consequences in present-day Barbados. This is a journalistic rather than an academic work. O'Farrell is far from dispassionate about his subject, which in my view occasionally clouds his judgement; and he dwells a little too long occasionally on the details of brutality and cruelty. But it is his very passion which brings this history to light and life. A fascinating historical discovery for me.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 15, 2010 5:03 PM GMT

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