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Stratpack (fae Killie)

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Coop: The Life of Davie Cooper - Scottish Football Hero
Coop: The Life of Davie Cooper - Scottish Football Hero
by Neil Drysdale
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.98

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Who needs a right foot?, 30 Aug. 2013
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Growing up in the 80's, Davie was my footballing idol. I was a huge supporter of the national team and he came to my attention this way rather than through Clydebank or Rangers. The Wales and Australia matches in '85 were big moments to me. From then on I followed his career right through to the end.

There are a few other Cooper books out there, i'll be honest I haven't read any of them so I can't really compare. I've heard all the stories and the rumours about him but this book really brings some truth and perspective to these rumours. The foreword is by Ally McCoist and puts paid to some of these even before starting the book. As someone who knew him and played alongside him for many years this really does give the book some creedence right from the start.

As well as the interviewees stated in the description there are also 'anonymous' interviewees who shed some light on the nadir of Davie's career during the Greig management years. I assume these people have remained anonymous as they are probably ex players/staff that still have history with the club and don't want to be seen criticising decisions or other individuals who are also still connected. This is very interesting reading though, if Davie had been a different kind of guy he wouldn't have put up with it and he'd have been playing his football elsewhere in the early 80's. But he wasn't a career player, he was quite happy living in his hometown and going home at the end of each day.

All the facets of his career are covered and include some great photos inside. Sometimes posthumous biographies can be too gushy and have rose tinted spectacles when it comes to the past. I didn't find that with this book, I thought the balance was just right. In saying that, the latter half of the book did just feel like someone summarizing all the important games that Coop played in. Davie had his critics as well as admirers back then and the debate about whether he shoulda/coulda/woulda won more caps or played in Europe/England will rage forever. That fact that people still debate this shows how highly regarded he was as a player.

There are a few errors with regards to players being mentioned in games that they didn't play in, or were supposedly bought by manager A but in actual fact were bought by manager B. These mistakes shouldn't have been made really. I hadn't noticed some of them but they've been pointed out to me by others.

PS. As a side note, the softback cover uses a great, intense shot of him in Scotland top and tracksuit. Anybody that had the Panini Mexico 86 album will recognise the fact that its the same photo they used for his sticker! Took me weeks to get that sticker, treated it like gold dust.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 6, 2013 2:52 PM BST

Then Play On (Extended Edition)
Then Play On (Extended Edition)
Price: £5.99

26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Oh Well, maybe they'll get it right next time...., 26 Aug. 2013
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First off, why do Amazon still persist on lumping all the reviews for a particular album together? The older reviews for this album pertain to the original CD release of Then Play On not the new 2013 CD issue. Just makes it more confusing for the casual fan who may be trying to find out about a particular version!

Anyway, rant over (almost!). I've been waiting for this album to be properly remastered and reissued for YEARS. I'm a huge fan of the Peter Green era of FM. I have all the Blue Horizon remastered CD's and they sound fantastic - which makes this album all the more frustrating. They've got the running order right, seperated Oh Well into parts 1 and 2 as it should be, added the singles as bonus tracks and supplied a great booklet. (I doubt Mick Fleetwood was interviewed for this album, more likely his quotes about the album have been lifted from elsewhere, but hey-ho). Even the pre-order price of £6.99 was great. But the sound.....come on!?

I was hoping to hear Oh Well properly remastered in stereo, but no, its still the mono version. The sound is identical to the CD issue of the old CBS Fleetwood Mac Greatest Hits that came out 25 years ago (at least). Here was an opportunity to offer properly remastered, complete sterephonic sound of this album and singles and its been squandered. Ok, I know theres the argument about mono v stereo (Beatles etc) but why not offer both versions as bonus tracks?? As said elsewhere there is hiss all over the place and the high end is clipped badly, especially during Oh Well Part 2 - its sounds like its being played off an old cassette from years ago (and not a Maxell even, one of those cheap ones from Poundstretcher!). I can only imagine they couldn't find the master tapes, that's the only excuse thats close to forgiveable! The main album is a little better mainly because its in stereo but I can't hear too much improvement over the original CD.

Its a double edged sword, I'm glad the album has been reissued and I can now complete the studio output of that era of the band. The UK version of the album has been neglected for such a long time and now its available for people to discover. But... on the other hand I feel that someone from Rhino has been on the blogs regarding the The Top Ten Forgotten Albums and someones thought, "we could license that and put it out". Unfortunately, not taking the proper care and attention that a release such as this deserves. After all, the sound is what its about, not the fancy booklet.

I've given the album a generous 3 stars. 5 for the music and genius of Peter Green but 1 for the poor sound. It sounds like this CD was put out in 1983, not 2013.

Also, have a look at the reviews of the Fleetwood Mac 1969-72 Vinyl box that Rhino have just released which also includes the vinyl version of this album. People are complaining that they've been skimping on the vinyl and they're being put out on 120g not 180g so they're warped. Maybe this cost cutting can also explain why they haven't invested in properly dealing with the sound on the CD. They've probably cut a master with the vinyl box set in mind and used that, rather than mastering one specifically for the audibility of CD. Just a hunch though.
Comment Comments (12) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 1, 2015 2:01 PM BST

Slaves And Masters
Slaves And Masters
Price: £9.80

29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Blackmore Turner Gloverdrive!, 25 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Slaves And Masters (Audio CD)
Slaves And Masters is a very divisive album - among Purple fans it caused the Blackmore v Gillan arguments like no other. It has its fans but most will agree its not classic Purple and is one of their marmite albums - you love it or hate it.

Essentially what happened was that Ian Gillan, who was vocalist from 1969-73 and from 1984 onwards was sacked in 1989 by a band increasingly dominated by Ritchie Blackmore. In the aftermath, a former Rainbow (Blackmore's own band from a few years earlier) vocalist was brought in to record an album that was more American AOR than British Hard Rock. The band had existed with Gillan and Blackmore at opposite sides with the other 3 in between, smoothing over the cracks and making the band still a functional unit. When Glover, Lord and Paice sided with Blackmore (or were eventually persuaded by him) then Gillan's days were numbered. In a twist, a few years later for the follow up album, the others had a change of heart and demanded Gillan be brought back in to the fold. Blackmore left during the support tour and the band eventually brought in Steve Morse as a replacement. This takes us to the current band.

At the time this album came out I thought it was laughable and an absolute turkey. I was never a fan of the Joe Lynn Turner era of Rainbow and here he was in Deep Purple! These guys were in their late forties at the time and shots of them on tour wearing black leather with a big haired American singer just seemed wrong. Maybe they had thoughts of trying to crack America again by going down the AOR/metal look, fairly short-sighted though as this was already old hat by then and grunge was about to creep up and kill it off anyway.

As time has gone by and one ages, my view of it has mellowed. Don't compare it to other Purple albums, it's really a continuation of Rainbow (3 ex members in Purple at this point!) and a follow up to 1983's Bent Out Of Shape (Rainbow's last studio album) as such its actually not bad. I've had the original CD in the car for a few weeks before listening to this re-release. It's quite catchy in places and before long the songs were sticking in my head. If you like Foreigner/Survivor/AOR then it's very good. The production (by Glover) is excellent. Lord and Paice are fairly pedestrian on the album though, whether it's the style of music that requires them to be, I'm not sure. I find Paice guilty of it for a lot of the reunion. He used to come up with some intricate patterns and drum based tracks in the 70's. A lot of the time over the past 30 years he's quite happy playing a straight beat. Just my personal opinion though, he's still a great drummer and always does it live! Ritchie has some nice solos and I find it more satisfying than any Blackmore's Night album. Apparently the lyrics to King Of Dreams was a retort to Gillan's earlier Smooth Dancer lyrics, although this was so vague nobody really noticed at the time!

This reissue here includes the original album plus 3 bonus tracks - 2 single edits and a b-side. The single edits are probably a bit of a waste actually as both tracks, Love Conquers All and King Of Dreams were flops as singles and all it means is that you've got the same track again only slightly shorter! The b-side Slow Down Sister is a good addition as an extra, saves hunting down the old Love Conquers All CD single on eBay. There was another studio track released by this era of the band, a track called Fire, Ice & Dynamite. It was given by the band for use in a Harold Faulkmeyer film of the same name (starring Roger Moore who must have been about 120 at the time!). The soundtrack is fairly hard to find so including it here would have saved fans looking for the track and completed the output of this era of the band. They haven't though so that's a wee bit annoying. A few live tracks from the tour would have made some great extras and I guarantee they would have boosted sales for this CD as no live tracks with Turner as vocalist have been officially released yet. They performed Burn and Hey Joe as well as tracks from this album on the tour.

The liner notes include a basic history of the band and then essentially quote from various band member interviews at the time. This is actually a bit better than some guy from Classic Rock magazine gushing about how great the band was/is. At least this way you get a feel for the bands thoughts at the time. As for rare photos, well not so much of the rare - the Love Conquers All cover is reprinted a few times. Mind you she's better looking than the band.

It comes in a digipack, which I'm not a huge fan of. They just don't last. At least jewel cases can take a bit of punishment and can be renewed if cracked etc, a digipack can't be. It just gets dog eared and worn. I guess it must be cheaper to produce a digipack - that coupled with falling CD sales I suppose. Sonically there's not much between them as the original production was good, although I think the original CD has a bit more bass. Synth and guitar parts are a little clearer on the reissue so I'm not sure if a touch of compression was involved in the mastering. That said it's nowhere near as compressed as some of the Whitesnake remasters so don't let that put you off!

All in all it's not a bad album, just not a Purple album and if the price of this album gets down to a fiver it's definitely worth a punt. If you've got the album already you don't need this one.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 18, 2013 11:47 PM BST

93/03: The Complete Recorded Works
93/03: The Complete Recorded Works
Price: £301.63

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Placing Your Hands on this set will give you a Good Feeling!, 26 May 2012
I have to say, the Reef box set is one of the best sets I've ever seen released by any band. Although looking good in the photos, sometimes these things never quite live up to the expectation (especially when shelling out 3 figures for music we've mostly already got!) On this occasion it did, its well researched and the attention to detail is what fans love. The Purple Tape replica is a fantastic novel touch and is the kind of things that really make these box sets worthwhile. The Reef starfish is designed to be wall mounted and holds all the discs inside - very neat! I'm glad to say its the pride of my music collection.

I think all the studio tracks are accounted for, good to see Water Over Stone and Love Having You Around (only previously available on the Japanese issues of Weird and the Together Best Of respectively). Saves searching for these hard to find import cd's.

The photobook is fantastic and shows the history of the band in pictures. I maybe would have liked some written history of the band or a complete discography but as the set is aimed at existing fans of the band, all that newbie info would maybe be a tad superfluous. We all know it already I suppose!

Not every b-side is included, all the studio ones are, but some of the live tracks that were issued originally have been omitted. I'm guessing to avoid duplication and to perhaps include better performances that became available as the years went by.

Here's a list of the ones missing if anyone still wants to hunt them down on Ebay or the like. Feel free to correct me if there are any mistakes here!

Naked - Choose To Live (Demo)
Come Back Brighter - Come Back Brighter (Dom & Gary Demo)
Consideration - Higher Vibration (Live Dec 96)
Yer Old - Higher Vibration, Lately Stomping, Summers In Bloom (all Live at the Wireless), Yer Old (Young version)
Something To Say - Choose To Live (Radio1, Steve Lamacq)
Sweety - New Bird (Live at S.B.N.)
Set The Record Straight - Nothing Town (Live)
All I Want - Naked (Live at Shepherd Bush)
Give Me Your Love - Place Your Hands (Rob Orton Remix)
Waster - Talk To Me (Live) (Haven't listened to it yet to confirm but the one on the box set doesn't credit Tugg as playing drums on it, so I assume its different from the one here on the Waster single)
Glastonbury Broadcasts Vol 1 - Allotment (Live Jun 96)

There's also radio edits that were included on some singles, obviously they're not needed. Think everyone could live without the Rob Orton remix as well to be honest, glad they didn't include it!

This set has sneaked out, initially only through the Pledge website and direct from Metropolis Music. Surely a release such as this deserves bigger exposure and in doing so would have given the band-name a bigger punt? Just my opinion though.

All in all a superb box set. Well done lads!!

***2016 update - the band were selling these box sets for £50 during their 2016 dates - an absolute bargain!***
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 2, 2016 8:12 PM BST

M-G-M: Hollywood's Greatest Backlot
M-G-M: Hollywood's Greatest Backlot
by Michael Troyan
Edition: Hardcover

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How they made Hollywood's Golden Era......., 18 Mar. 2011
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This is a superb book. Anyone remotely interested in what went into making those classic films of Hollywood's Golden era will love it. Although the title is a little bit of an anomaly as Culver City, the location of the MGM studios, wasn't in Hollywood something that irked Culver City's mayor when MGM was at the height of its powers!
This book doesn't go into how individual films were made at MGM or about the actors that starred in them. Its really about the studio itself and all the parts that made up MGM studios at Culver City, easily the biggest studio of its day. The size of the studio was vast and everything was made in-house - sets, costumes, even film stock! Unfortunately big parts of the studio lots were sold off for real estate in the 70's and the current studio (now owned by Sony) has altered and demolished many of the original buildings, even putting up facades in their place. Its great that a book like this documents the place where so many great films (and stars) were made. The photos are superb throughout, bound in a hardback coffee table style it lends itself to the aerial photos of the site.
The book provides a great insight into the rise and fall of MGM, where films were made with factory efficiency but were created by many skillful craftsmen and women of all trades and disciplines.

Highly recommended for lovers of movie-making history!

Come Taste the Band [35th Anniversary Edition]
Come Taste the Band [35th Anniversary Edition]
Price: £14.07

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Purple's 70's swansong is Comin' Home..........., 28 Oct. 2010
This album rounds off Purple's classic period from 1968-76 before they finally called it a day till the reunion in the 80's.

The masters for this album were missing for years, so I'm glad they managed to source them for this final remastered package rather than going with a 2nd generation source. Its been given the 2CD treatment, same as Machine Head, where CD1 is the standard remastered album and CD2 is the full album remixed differently plus bonus tracks. I have to say I wish they had done this with all the Purple remastered albums rather than most of them being released as single CD's with a few remixes thrown in as bonus tracks. Anyway thats a minor gripe, the fact they've all been done so well over the past 15 years and haven't been chucked out with no care or attention to detail deserves a commendation for all involved!

I can't really add too much about the music that hasn't been said by other reviewers. The Blackmore/Bolin thing has always split opinion. I was always a fervent Blackmore fan and could never see the merits of Come Taste The Band but as the years go by opinion changes. Something that was always a bit of an addendum to the Purple canon should rightfully take its place as a strong, energetic rock album that is just as powerful as its predecessors. Bolin's guitar is prominent throughout and laden with fuzz, echoplex, delays etc giving extra colours to Purple's sonic palette (Ritchie was generally more conservative when it came to effects). The album has more funk leanings than the classical touches of before but all the tunes are total rockers!

The remixes are fantastic. This may be the first instance where I actually favour the remixes than the standard remastered tracks!

Apparently the idea was mooted to have the cover of this new release as a 3D hologram where the glass is full but empties as you move it (as on the rear of the CD). That would have been a really nice touch - must have been too pricey though.

There isn't a bad track on this album - finishes off the Purple remasters nicely.
So as a has-been 80's popstar once said - listen without prejudice!

Deepest Purple: The Very Best Of Deep Purple [30th Anniversary Edition]
Deepest Purple: The Very Best Of Deep Purple [30th Anniversary Edition]
Offered by DVDMAX-UK
Price: £12.00

23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Deepest Purple gets a little deeper..., 27 Oct. 2010
Deepest Purple was first released in 1980 as a TV advertised compliation from EMI. It was Purple's third number 1 album in the UK after Fireball and Machine Head (it was knocked off the top spot by that poor seller Back In Black by AC/DC!)The NWOBHM was in full swing and various Purple off-shoot bands were at the forefront of the rock scene of the day - Rainbow, Gillan and Whitesnake. The cynic in me could easily say it was a total cash-in of previously released material and followed a long line of compilations since Purple had split in '76. I won't say any of that though! Time has been kinder to this compilation more than 24 Carat Purple, the original Singles A's and B's album etc and has been used as the introduction for many a novice to the band. The reason for this is that it purely and simply gave you Purple's most famous tracks - no live versions, no obscure b-sides or lesser known album tracks, all on one CD (or originally a single LP).

Which begs the question did it really need re-released for a 30th anniversary especially after the plethora of compilations that have been released since 1980 and its own CD release later on? For this release the album has 4 extra tracks and a DVD of various video clips interpolated (Made In Europe anyone?) with Jon Lord talking about each track. The videos range from the original single/TV promos, live tracks from already released DVD's and some cracking footage from Made In Japan's Space Truckin'! (low quality, but this mythical footage bowled me over!) The Jon Lord interviews are pretty good, although fairly brief. Shame they couldn't have got some of the rest of the band involved (we all knew Ritchie's answer already).

The 4 extra tracks:

1)Hush - i agree this should be in as its one of Purple's most well known tracks especially to non-hard rock fans.

2)When A Blind Man Cries - its a great track, but it was a b-side. This should be one for further listening when fans want to delve a bit deeper into Purple. A great Ritchie solo. PS they use the '97 remix here not the original '72 mix.

3)Soldier Of Fortune - see above. An album track from Stormbringer but for further listening too, not for a compilation to try and pull new fans in. They should have used Into The Fire or Mistreated perhaps?

4)You Keep On Moving - this should be in too as it represents the only MK4 album with Tommy Bolin. Great track. Single edit though.

All in all the music is 5 stars but I've knocked a point off for the cost. At £11.99 its a bit pricey when the original CD was going for 3.93 recently! Who is it aimed at I ask? Long term fans will have these tracks multiple times already (MIJ video aside) and newbies will baulk at the price and go for something cheaper.

Once it comes down to a fiver I recommend it highly as an introduction to a great band. After this listen to In Rock, Fireball, Machine Head, Burn.........
Comment Comments (9) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 13, 2010 9:41 PM GMT

Singles & E.P. Anthology '68-'80
Singles & E.P. Anthology '68-'80
Offered by BestSellerRecordshop
Price: £22.76

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Purple is Single again!, 8 April 2010
This album is essentially a 2CD expansion of the recently deleted Singles A's and B's album which was issued back in 1993 (itself a CD expansion on the 1978 vinyl album). The range of Purple's material on show here is quite dynamic ranging from the 60's psych of Hush and Emmaretta, the hard rock of Black Night and Fireball through to the blues/funk leanings of Might Just Take Your Life and Gettin' Tighter.

Be aware though that this is a compilation of their singles so some of the tracks are edited, not the full album tracks in places. For that I recommend seeking out a compilation such as the 1991 2CD Anthology or the 1998 2CD 30:Best Of, the latter of which covers the 80's and 90's reunion albums. Better still seek out the relevant studio albums. For example Smoke On The Water has the guitar solo chopped out, Lazy misses a large chunk of the intro etc. This is how they appeared on the vinyl singles. Not in every case though, in many instances the full tracks were used if they could fit on a 7" single back in the day.

For us Purple diehards its good to get the later EP's and some of the more obscure single edits on CD for the first time. The 1993 CD was only a single disc and stayed true to 99% of the UK singles [No room for Wring That Neck! :-( ]. Although this edition has been expanded to 2 discs there are a few single edits that don't appear. Flight Of The Rat (New Zealand A-side) and Super Trouper (German/Swedish A-side) spring to mind, i'm sure there are other edits too. There's loads of other tracks that appeared as singles all over the world - Highway Star (Jap/US), Lady Double Dealer (Jap/US), Anyone's Daughter (Jap/US b-side), Hey Joe (French b-side), Love Help Me (Swedish b-side) etc etc, but these tracks are readily available on the studio albums - they had to draw a line somewhere i suppose.

The booklet is really good with visuals of some of the foreign sleeves, although I think the 1993 booklet was a little more expansive and included a discography too.

All in all its excellent value for the money though and the sound quality is top notch. Purple fans will have the stuff already but the collectors will enjoy the obscure single cuts on CD. I recommend it to new fans on the premise that its a window into the world of Purple - and there's loads more to discover inside!

Oasis Complete Chord Songbook (2009 Revised Edition) Lc
Oasis Complete Chord Songbook (2009 Revised Edition) Lc
by Various
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.48

28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars it's what it says on the tin!, 3 Sept. 2009
This is the 4th or 5th edition of this book, the first being issued in 2000. If anyone has bought any of the previous editions they'll know what to expect.

The book is a handy guitar-bag size and includes the chords for every Oasis song from Supersonic right up to Falling Down. All the b-sides and non album tracks (Lord Dont Slow Me Down, Who Put The Weight..? etc) are included.

There is no tab, just chords and lyrics but the chords are in the correct keys and are all you really need for busking the tracks on your acoustic. Correct capo positions and alternate tunings are included when relevant.

If you want to learn the solos or more intricate guitar parts I'd recommend purchasing the individual guitar tab books but for the average strummer this is excellent. (I had the previous edition but I flogged it off and bought this so I had the Dig Out Your Soul tracks.)

One small irritation about guitar books in general - why cant they bind them so they stay open with one hand, perhaps like a notepad spiral or something? With your guitar on your lap its always tricky keeping the book from closing with one free hand. I end up wrestling with the thing, then putting it on the floor which means I can't quite read it! This isn't a criticism of this book just music books in general!

Stormbringer (35th Anniversary Deluxe Edition)
Stormbringer (35th Anniversary Deluxe Edition)
Price: £10.22

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thunder & lightnin's headin' your way!!, 28 Feb. 2009
Stormbringer is infamous for being the album Ritchie didn't like, although he's also gone on record of his dislike for Fireball, Who Do We Think, Concerto and all the Mk1 albums - most of his own discography! While Blackmore's influence on the songwriting was less on this album he still turns it on with some great soloing and tasteful playing.
The title track, Stormbringer is a classic Purple track and wouldn't have gone amiss on Burn. The rest of the album is a mixture of straight ahead rockers and some funk/ groove rock tracks plus a great ballad in Soldier Of Fortune at the end. Ian Paice and Glenn Hughes are a superb rhythm section and the latter produces some great bass playing, highlighted a little more in the remixes. Blackmore has some great moments, his playing on You Can't Do It Right (rocker plays funk - not a compressor or delay pedal in sight!), his manic solo on Lady Double Dealer and his stunning off the cuff solo on Hold On - just when you thought he was going to busk his way through the entire track he comes up with this great upbeat,melodic solo!
This CD release itself has been remastered, includes bonus remixes by Glenn Hughes and a disc of 5.1 quadrophonic mixes. Once more the whole package has been done very well (as have all the albums in the Purple remastered series) with the only downside being no unreleased tracks, alternate takes etc. The Highball Shooter Instrumental was on the Listen Learn, Read On Box set a few years back. Jon Lord said back in the day there may have been enough for a double album, surely some demos might have been available? That said Coverdale apparently vetoed the use of an early version of Soldier Of Fortune as a bonus track for this release.
All in all, its a great album. Not as aggressive as previous Purple albums, but if you keep an open mind you'll appreciate it all the more. As a band they always get lumped into the 'old heavy metal' category. This album more than any others shows how diverse Purple were and how greatly underrated they are as a band.

Now all they have to do is find the missing masters for the Come Taste The Band album and round off Purples classic remasters program in style, leaving behind a great sounding and well documented back catalogue.

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