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5 Albums Box Set
5 Albums Box Set
Price: £13.02

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Package - and Perfect Remastering, 9 Sept. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: 5 Albums Box Set (Audio CD)
Following the hugely disappointing Cherry Red reissues of The Small Price of a Bicycle / If You Want To Defeat Your Enemy / Blind albums (which all had some of the worst remastering I've heard on any CD release) this package is a delight. Firstly the clarity of the sound is the same high quality as Beggar's own reissue of the first album (The Icicle Works) from a few years back. This means that the music shines through, and this applies to all carefully chosen bonus tracks as well some of which are real rarities.

Secondly it's great to have each album housed in a mini-vinyl replica sleeve for the first time; although the booklet simply details the credits for each album and nothing else, it's absolutely what's expected at this incredibly low price.

Therefore you cannot go wrong with this box set - 4 of the best albums ever made, an excellent rare live album thrown in, and superb sound and packaging. Great value Beggars Archive - thanks for making these recordings available again as they should be heard.

La Collection 1990-2001
La Collection 1990-2001
Price: £58.97

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitive collection of Goldman's solo output post 1990, 27 Jun. 2013
This review is from: La Collection 1990-2001 (Audio CD)
Having bought all four of the albums included in this beautifully presented box when they were released, I hesitated before buying this new collection. Don't do the same - buy it now.

All of the albums have been remastered extremely well but without any major loudness issues. This enables the listener to finally enjoy the Fredericks Goldman Jones album in HQ audio, which enhances the utterly stunning 'Nuit' and ambient, dreamy 'Tu Manques' in particular. Rouge has never sounded better, and I feel that I am rediscovering the album over again; I especially love Que Disent Les Chansons Du Monde? / Des Votres / Ne Lui Dis Pas, but all of the tracks are examples of seriously good songwriting and performances. En Passant is a wonderful return to his own solo career (although still with Michael Jones playing guitar on the occasional track & always present as lead guitarist on the tours). Highlights are Sache Que Je / Juste Quelques Hommes / Le Coureur. Finally Chansons Pour Les Pieds manages to cover all musical styles under the sun, some a little more successfully than others. Une Poussiere and La Pluie really stand-out, and both Ensemble and Et L'On N'Y Peut Rien are excellent.

The icing on the cake in this set is the DVD which contains all promo videos up to 2003, the last time to date that JJG released any of his own new music. Busy writing for artists like Celine Dion, getting married again and raising a new family has left him little time to produce another solo record. Hopefully 2013 will see another!

Finally the packaging has to be mentioned, as each CD is housed in its own CD booklet (twice as big as regular CD booklets at least); with each of the actual discs in a mini-vinyl replica sleeve tucked into the back page of the book. The outside box is sturdy and well designed. Nice one Sony / Legacy - this fan is very happy.

The Complete Studio Recordings 1973 - 1988
The Complete Studio Recordings 1973 - 1988
Price: £26.28

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Dream Come True, 19 Jun. 2013
I was asked to compile this 40th Anniversary boxset by Dave Bartram and Edsel in Dec 2012. Luckily I was given total access to the SWW original production masters archive that we used for the remastered CDs in the set. Some gems were discovered during the cataloguing including instrumental versions of two of the band's biggest hits 'When' and 'Pretty Little Angel Eyes'. Dave was also hugely cooperative at all stages of the project and supplied many rarities for Disc 10. Alongside faithfully recreated mini-vinyl replica sleeves we have ended up with a truly definitive release for one of the biggest bands in British pop history. Grab a copy now - they won't be available for long and should be a genuine collector's item in future years. Enjoy!
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 14, 2014 10:33 AM BST

Magnifique: The Very Best Of Chic
Magnifique: The Very Best Of Chic
Price: £6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Smooth Classy Grooves from The Masters, 4 Jun. 2013
Unusually this is a 'budget' compilation that gets things 100% right. The high quality of this 2 disc, 37 track set is just amazing at the price. Michael Neidus from Demon Music Group has written an informative and personal sleevenote for the release, and it really helps to bring Chic's fabulous music to life. I especially love the fact that radio edits have been used for most of the singles, as the serious Chic collector can pick up the longer 12" / album versions on other releases. This decision keeps things concise and moving along at a great pace. As another reviewer mentioned the flow is exactly right on this compilation, and the dancefloor groove of CD one gradually gives way to a softer, summer vibe for the majority of CD two. However it then ramps up again for the closing tracks, and makes for a nice listening experience. As someone who only knew the main singles by Chic (and who also loves The Power Station and Nile / Bernard's various productions for other artists) this collection is a revelation, and a perfect way to get to the core of Chic's classic back catalogue. Nice work Michael!

Strange Behaviour
Strange Behaviour
Price: £9.30

5.0 out of 5 stars Classic 1980's pop from West Coast USA, 13 May 2013
This review is from: Strange Behaviour (Audio CD)
I first bought this album when it was released on Casablanca Records in 1986, and immediately loved the songs & the arrangements. It is truly a record of its time, and sounds unbelieveably mid-80's...but in a fantastic way!
Whereas Animotion's debut album in 1984 had a variety of styles that made for uneasy listening, Strange Behavior blends the electronic edge of their global hit 'Obsession' with the live feel of a seriously tight US rock band.
The highlights are the new-wave influenced 'Out Of Control'; the slinky title track with a great riff; the catchy 'Stealing Time' and more rocky 'Anxiety'; and then the final track 'Staring Down The Demons' which is superb.
For me the weakest track surprisingly is the first single 'I Engineer' which was written by Holly Knight (author of 'Obsession' alongside Michael Des Barres) and Elton John's lyricist Bernie Taupin. It sounds leaden and lumpy to my ears, with a rhythm that just doesn't do the track justice. Still - skip this if you need to, and the remaining 9 songs are absolutely perfect. Thanks Cherry Pop for an immaculate reissue!

With The Wild Crowd! - Live In Athens, Ga [DVD] [2012] [NTSC]
With The Wild Crowd! - Live In Athens, Ga [DVD] [2012] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ B-52'S
Offered by Hardliner-music
Price: £12.29

5.0 out of 5 stars A show-stopping performance DVD!, 24 Jan. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This performance from the B-52's in their hometown of Athens, Georgia is top-notch. I cannot rate highly enough the tightness of the band, which is held together by the powerhouse drummer Sterling Campbell. His playing is stunning and inventive given the relatively straightforward song structures that the band regularly use.

Keith Strickland has made Ricky Wilson's guitar style his own, with the quirky tuning and choppy riffs. However he has also added to this with his own distinct riffs and a very cool onstage persona (btw how can this guy be nearly 60 years old?!)

Kate, Cindy & Fred are on top form with the girls' voices sounding particularly fine. Absolutely no bum notes here, and they look like they're having genuine fun. The set list is a good mix of the hits and album tracks, but I would personally loved to have seen the sublime 'Juliet Of The Spirits' in the concert too.

A final bonus is the intimate interview with all 4 members of the band sitting in chairs on the same stage (probably during the afternoon's soundcheck). A really great bunch of people who are rarely interviewed, and some fun stories about the band's beginnings as well as thoughts on Ricky plus success in later times with Cosmic Thing and Funplex.

Keith Strickland announced in December 2012 that he will no longer tour with the band (although he will still be a studio member) so buy this and see the last recorded example of the original guys & girls blasting out through your TV! It's superb...

A Physical Presence
A Physical Presence
Price: £11.82

5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Live Album Ever - That's A Fact..., 4 Dec. 2012
This review is from: A Physical Presence (Audio CD)
Originally bought this as a double vinyl album back in 1985, and also had the EP which was released at the same time.

As other reviewers have said this is Level 42 as they started out, before the huge commercial success of World Machine and Running In The Family. It is an amazing experience to be able to hear them live from this era, as the musicianship shines throughout.

From the moment that the intro starts, the excitement in the audience is palpable - and the band are simply on TOP form.

Phil Gould's drumming is an incredible mixture of fusion technique with a commercial pop sensibility - where else can you hear a player trying stuff live that is right at the limit of his own technical ability? He sets an incredibly high benchmark for drummers everywhere with these performances - and it's an utter delight to listen to.

Same goes for Mark King's astonishing bass playing - rock hard funk on some tracks; beautifully restrained near-perfect 'studio' playing on others - and some of the bass & drum solos towards the end of the set are jaw-dropping.

But what really sets this album apart is the variety of the songs. From early jazz-funk workouts such as Almost There & Turn It On; through 1984's superb Hot Water and The Chant Has Begun (both off their best studio album 'True Colours'); to otherwise unreleased tracks such as the hit-single-that-never-was Follow Me. Add in rare b-sides such as the epic Foundation & Empire and you have the Best Live Album Ever. Buy.

Map Of The Past
Map Of The Past
Price: £15.01

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 5th Album nearly achieves heights of The Tall Ships, 12 April 2012
This review is from: Map Of The Past (Audio CD)
Having played their previous album The Tall Ships to death over the last few years, I was really expecting great things from this new record.

I've played it a couple of times so far, and it's way above the level most other bands aspire to. However I'm not sure that it quite comes up to previous It Bites standard - mainly for three reasons:

- The backing vocals (always an IB highlight on their previous 4 albums with complex harmonies to die for) are really buried in the mix; you can hear tantalising glimpses of them here and there, but they don't create a wash of sound as before
- The keyboards in general are much lower in the mix (as mentioned by some other reviewers) and this detracts from the overall signature IB sound
- John Mitchell hasn't contributed as many stylish guitar solos as on previous records; they were a true highlight of The Tall Ships and are missed here. There are only a couple, but these are already legendary solos - plus it has to be said his other guitar work is superb throughout.

Needs some further listens over the next few days to make up my mind fully. Just great to have a new album from these guys at all!

Lost And Found
Lost And Found
Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible that this exists at all...and it's so good!, 31 Oct. 2011
This review is from: Lost And Found (MP3 Download)
After the 1983 Black Ice solo single from Dave Bartram nothing else was heard from him on a solo basis. Instead he continued with Showaddywaddy until retiring in December 2011.

Thankfully it was discovered in early 2011 that an album's worth of quality material had been recorded between 1982 and 1985 at Utopia Studios in London. Dave worked with Phil Wainman alongside session greats such as Billy Bremner, Alan Murphy, Tony Beard, Danny Schogger; as well as contemporary artists such as John Baxter (Re-Flex) and Sam Brown on the 12 tracks compiled here.

Thanks to London indie label IHM we can now finally discover the variety of tracks recorded 30 years ago. 80s synth pop (Lovestruck, Stranded) sits alongside rock & roll influenced songs such as the thrilling Excitement and Lost In The Post. Understated fan favourite He Won't is a highlight alongside the stunning ballads Delirious and Incommunicado. And lead track Black Ice is here in extended album form - what a way to kick-start the collection!

Grab the download here on Amazon or head to [...] for a CD copy (limited to 1,000 only)

Darts - Daddy Cool - Darts Live [2006] [DVD]
Darts - Daddy Cool - Darts Live [2006] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Darts

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intimate, tight & a blast from start to finish!, 29 July 2008
I'm going to fall somewhere in between the previous couple of reviews. True - the peak of the band's career had long since passed by the time this performance was captured for the 'Live From London' TV show in February 1984. It was originally released on VHS in the mid-80s.

But this intimate performance in London's Marquee Club is a great way to pass an hour - Darts pack in a large number of songs, and there is barely a pause between numbers. The musicianship is top-notch, especially the piano from James Compton and Nosmo King on drums. The instrumental "Lunkhead" in particular is a real showcase for the band.

Four members of the original 'classic' line-up that was resident in the charts from 1977-1979 remain: vocalists Rita Ray & Griff Fender, sax player (and prolific songwriter) Horatio Hornblower a.k.a. Horace Trubridge, and bass player Iain 'Thump' Thomson. Rita shines on a storming "Boy From New York City", and Griff has a great time telling the story of "The Mystery of Ragoula".

Darts had long-since left Magnet Records by this point, and were on their own label 'Choice Cuts' - several of the songs on this DVD are either A-sides or B-sides from the five singles that they released between 1983 and 1985. There are also a few Darts tracks from pre-1980 such as "Don't Say Yes", "Get It" & "Reet Petite".

The vocal harmonies are handled well and the other vocalists Kenny Andrews (who had actually been in the band since the late 70s) and Pikey Butler do a great job on songs such as "Hold Me Down".

Sure there are other far more energetic clips available on You Tube etc. from the band's time in the sun, but this DVD is good value and it's nice to have a full 60 minutes of Darts live & uninterrupted.

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