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S Wilko, Derby

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Forbidden Delights
Forbidden Delights
Price: £10.74

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Classic Live Radio Broadcast" - You're Not Kidding!, 20 April 2015
This review is from: Forbidden Delights (Audio CD)
Despite being a massive BOC fan since the age of 13 (a lot of years ago!) I wasn't really looking forward to this particular release very much. ETL (1982) was good but not great, clean and safe but lacking dynamism and energy for large parts. Albert had left and a Roadie was on drums. I saw the band at Donnington just 4 months prior to this radio broadcast (from Dec 81) and they were surprisingly listless. There have also been a number of radio broadcasts released from the 80's that were all pretty good but not usually up to mainline album releases.
To set the scene I have been listening to prodigious amounts of Nick Drake (the massively talented melonconic singer/songwriter on an acoustic guitar) in recent weeks to soothe a bit of a personal loss.
Well the weekend was the time to blow away the cobwebs and just two plays of this new disc achieved that with bells on!
This is superior to ETL - more energy, less safe - Dr Music, ETI and Hot Rails all blast off for starters.
This performance contains the best live versions of Burnin For You and The Reaper that I have ever heard - Reaper combines the cleanness and precision of the 82 version with some of the energy of the 78 take to almost achieve perfection (at last!).
Veteran of The Psychic Wars is a belter with Buck replicating that stunning solo from ETL, it's very nearly as memorable - incidently it took me years to realise that BOC stole the tribal beat from "We Will Rock You" - maybe because Veteran is a million times more interesting as a track??!!
Born to be Wild takes me back to On Your Feet, another blistering cover from a band who have always nailed this song live.
I can't believe that this version of Roadhouse Blues is the same one from ETL (the dates match up) & Robbie Kreiger is on lead along with Buck - Eric throws in a "Love Me Two Times" medley that is priceless (must have been edited out of ETL?) - it all sounds far more meatier & enjoyable than the album (over produced??).
This is the best radio broadcast I have heard from BOC and the crowd are even up for it (very rare for the US fans!) - no need to approach this release with any level of weariness, it's massively worthy of this fine band's heritage.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 21, 2015 8:59 AM BST

Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide #44
Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide #44
by Robert M. Overstreet
Edition: Paperback

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Some Issues but still Fabulous …., 10 Dec. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This annual, very thick (1100+ pages) softback book contains a guide price (in dollars) for pretty much every American comic book ever published. Not just the big hitters such as Marvel and DC but also Gold Key, Dell, Atlas, Charlton, Image, Chaos, Valiant etc.
Values are usually given in Good (2.0), Very Good (4.0), Fine (6.0), Very Fine (8.0), Very Fine / NM (9.0) and NM- (9.2) and Overstreet provides descriptions for those grades.
That’s fine as Fair (1.0) can be estimated as half of the good value and points in between 2.0 and 9.2 can be worked out e.g. vg/fn (5.0) the mid-point of the 4.0 and 6.0 values.
One problem emerges when you try and price comics that grade as 9.4, 9.6 and 9.8, the values can escalate rapidly and be beyond estimating from this source.
Some US dealers now also report that values for key books (e.g. Hulk # 181) around Vg and Fn grades might now be under-priced as collectors are desperate for copies and those valuations appear relatively cheap to Vfn to Nm options.
The Overstreet guide also makes no reference to UK priced editions, this might have to change in the near future as more US collectors might now be realising that they are legitimate price variants. For example back in 1962 if 500,000 copies of Amazing Fantasy # 15 were printed with a 12c price box the last 100,000 of that run had a 9d price plate to export them to the UK (the indicia would also be altered and the Month removed from the date box).
Many other price variants are flagged up in the guide and a PREMIUM value listed. A US dealer has just reported that a high grade 6p copy of Iron Man # 55 (1st Thanos) has sold for $2000.
Historically US collectors that were aware of UK price versions might have been looking at 50% of Overstreet to buy at, that figure might now be rising nearer to 70%.
There are also ongoing problems with most comics post 1980 where a $3 valuation has been given. This has been “defaulted” as the price as that is the cost of a standard current comic book, it bares little relation to whether the comic is really worth anything from 10p to £1.80.
Some silver and bronze age “run of the mill” books are still overvalued (when you come away from hot properties such as Spidey, Batman, Avengers etc) forcing dealers to sell at 50-70% of guide and making life difficult when they try to buy those books from sellers who expect more.
For all these “faults” (some of which would not be easy to solve) this has always been an essential buy for a collector of old comic books and tends to be on hand throughout the year until the next one comes along.

Blue Oyster Cult Live 1976
Blue Oyster Cult Live 1976
Offered by JB's CDs DVDs
Price: £28.81

3.0 out of 5 stars ARE .... YOU .... READY ??, 21 Oct. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is Blue Oyster Cult live in Maryland in 1976 so what can possibly go wrong? After all On Your Feet or On Your Knees from the year before was awesome & the set list has classics such as Harvester Of Eyes, ME262, Cities On Flame + the additions of Astronomy and The Reaper, two of their greatest tracks - unfortunately that's as exciting as it gets as two things sink this CD dead in the water - firstly terrible sound quality not even to the standard of many bootlegs & secondly the inclusion of very lengthy drum and bass guitar solos from the Bouchard brothers - the boys can play but these always kill the momentum of BOC's songs stone dead.
This disc is only for BOC nuts who want to hear the band (as muddy as this sounds) at an important stage of their career - I love the band but always find this disc heavy going - the corresponding video footage is a little easier to enjoy as the visuals distract slightly from the inconsistent sound levels.
Overall just 2.5 stars due to the recording quality, the actual concert (minus the solos) was probably pretty good.
Note : The footage of The Reaper from this gig was intercut with some footage of a young couple in a US city to act as the "video" for the single's release in the UK in 1978.

Five Leaves Left
Five Leaves Left
Offered by mrtopseller
Price: £3.60

5.0 out of 5 stars Remarkable, Soulful Collection, 1 July 2013
This review is from: Five Leaves Left (Audio CD)
Just a remarkable album that exudes sadness, beauty, calmness, perceptiveness & most of all soul - to write & perform such a work of art in your late teens barely seems possible.
Drake's emotive vocals & wistful, thoughtful lyrics complement his own beautiful acoustic guitar work and the additional sumptuous string instruments that were employed for this particular release.
The whole album is very strong with no let up in the sublime quality - River Man, Saturday Sun, Way To Blue, Fruit Tree & Day Is Done in particular provide intense reflections.

Ideal for late night contemplation & whilst the overall feel is one of sadness, lament and unattainable goals - simultaneously the sheer depth of Drake's craftsmanship rises your own spirits as a counter balance.
This might just be the best of his three albums - a collection that once fully understood convinces you that you will never have the vocabulary or the ability to do it justice in a written review - you simply have to admire an artist who can impart so much of their essence & being into a (debut) collection - you sense that it was written for personal, cathartic purposes & he did not push the commercial side on it's initial release leading to poor sales - how ironic that forty years later it would (rightly) sell like hot cakes.
Possibly the most beautiful album I have ever heard and certainly one of the finest across any music genre.

Silver Comic Mylar Storage Bags 2MM X 50 per pack
Silver Comic Mylar Storage Bags 2MM X 50 per pack
Offered by Game World United Kingdom
Price: £24.97

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Long Term Storage Option, 27 Jun. 2013
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2mm thick Mylar bags provide excellent long term storage protection especially when they are used in conjunction with clean, acid free, buffered backing boards - personally I use mildly adhesive sticky tabs to seal the bags as this allows them to be re-opened without damaging the (relatively) expensive mylar material.
With the exception of having comics sealed in CGC or PGX holders this is about the best protection you can provide against the dreaded paper aging process - books valued at £20 & higher should probably be considered for this product.
Mylar does enhance the appearance of the comic if it still has reasonable cover colours & brightness.
The thicker 4mm bags are also an option - it's all about personal preferences I find those to be a little awkward to use with boards & not suitable without some backing.
You need to be aware of the cost of a 50 pack of Mylar bags as this can vary massively - I have previously bought these directly from the US for a cheaper basic cost but have then been hit by large postage costs & import tax which ultimately did not work out to be a much lower cost than purchasing them from UK sellers.

Kirby: King of Comics
Kirby: King of Comics
by Mark Evanier
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £20.84

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is why Kirby has always been known as The King, 24 May 2013
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This review is from: Kirby: King of Comics (Hardcover)
Absolutely stunning book - a must for any fan of Jack's work & probably for anyone who has a passion for Gold, Silver & Bronze Age comic books.
This is a large format hardcover book of around 226 pages that is just bursting with glorious visuals - even given it's size it's noticeable how Kirby's art still leaps out at you - his power flies off the pages.
There are stacks of finished covers, strips & pencil art from the master - it's interesting to see how some of Jack's pencil art has subsequently been inked by the likes of Joe Sinnott, Steve Ditko, Syd Shores and Vince Colletta.
Some unpublished art has also been unearthed & this reveals one of the great lost Marvel covers! - Jack's original version of the cover for Fantastic Four # 20 is absolutely gob smacking with the FF depicted as chess pieces at the mercy of The Miracle Man - maybe it was out of context with the inside story but Stan could not have rejected it on the basis of it's glorious layout.
The book covers pretty much every phase of Jack's career from the Golden Age (especially The Boy Commandos, Captain America), to his late fifties Atlas Monsters phase, into the fabulous dawning of Marvel's silver age (circa early sixties), the Fourth World stories for DC in the early seventies, his late seventies return to Marvel & finally his work for independent publishers in the eighties (Pacific etc).
It's particularly awe inspiring to see all the Silver Age Marvel first appearance covers together (Daredevil #1, Tales Of Suspense #39, Fantastic Four #1, Journey Into Mystery # 83, Amazing Fantasy # 15 etc - just an incredible run of creativity from Jack as he helped to navigate Marvel's rise).
Aside from all his well known comic book art the book presents some depictions of famous persons from the 40/50s & some self portraits as well.
The quality of the book's publishing also more than does justice to his work.

Well done Mark Evanier - 5 stars every day of the week for this one.

The Fantastic Four Annual
The Fantastic Four Annual
by Marvel Comics
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Skimpy FF Offering From 1980, 27 Mar. 2013
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By the time of this 1980 Fantastic Four UK Annual the page count was down to 64 pages allowing the space for only two full length stories - one from Marvel's Bronze Age & the other from the older, Silver Age.
The first story sees the FF up against Maddrox The Multiple Man from circa 1973 - considering this was written by Chris Claremont & Len Wein (two writers with stacks of fine comic books to their names) this is a surprisingly clunky & uninspired offering - the issue's "foe" has the ability to break out into multiple bodies whilst also siphoning power from the locality - his personality also flits between being passive to extremely violent (not sure whether this was intentional or different takes from the 2 writers?) - Maddrox loosely falls into the remit of Professor X (he's a mutant of sorts) who turns up at the finale to put an end to the rather dull proceedings - the art is by John Buscema - I think I have previously read that the FF was one of his least favourite titles to work on (his Conan, Silver Surfer, Avengers & Thor stuff was superb) - he might have been going through the motions on this strip but it's always a pleasure to his craftsmanship - one of Marvel's great artists.
The second main story was originally published in 1964 & features an early X-men appearance "We have to fight The X-men" - Stan (Lee) often dreamt up ways for his big hitting heroes to face off against each other (often via a misunderstanding) - this time Professor X is controlled by The Thinker & The Puppet Master & he convinces his team of mutants to take on the FF - okay story wise it's not one of the greats from the sixties but this does allow the awesome Jack "King" Kirby to cut loose on the art.
Finally there are two smaller text stories involving the FF that could well be original efforts from a UK writer.
It should be noted that some sections of the two stories are presented in either black/white/red or black/white/blue colouring which is interesting if somewhat jarring.
In general the earlier Marvel annuals from 1973 upwards tend to be better value with more story content.

Fantastic Annual 1969
Fantastic Annual 1969
by Annual
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Tales from Marvel's Silver Age, 26 Mar. 2013
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This review is from: Fantastic Annual 1969 (Hardcover)
Circa 1967-70 Marvel Comics made it's first attempt to make inroads into the UK's comic buying population as it presented it's Silver Age characters in titles such as Fantastic, Wham & Pow - of course from late 1972 the big break through was made with the Mighty World of Marvel comic.
This is a cracking annual from 1969 that features 96 pages & a variety of characters & stories mainly culled from the mid sixties - apart from some small sections in black, white & red colouring the body of the book is in full colour,
The book kicks off with a striking (& original) Iron man cover & inside the cover there are two pages of stylish "pencil" sketches of the book's main stars.
The three main stories feature The X-men, Iron Man, Thor & The Hulk.
The twenty page X-men story "Plague Of The Locust" (possibly #24 from the original X-men series off the top of my head?) comes shortly after the great Jack Kirby had finished doing artistic layouts for the book - the art is decent & it could well be by Werner Roth though it is not credited here.
A 12 page Iron Man story is also a main feature and this is certainly drawn by Don Heck who produced some enjoyable artwork for The Avengers & Iron Man from 1963 onwards - old shell-head goes up against Count Nefaria & an alien threat (aliens being very popular foes in the early Silver Age).
The leading story is probably the 16 page stand off between Thor & The Hulk reprinted from Journey Into Mystery # 112 (1964) - Thor is badgered by some of his fans to relate a tale from Avengers # 3 where the Green Goliath had teamed up with the Sub-Mariner - Thor's audience want to know who emerged victorious between two of Marvel's big hitters.
Amongst the back up stories there are two short sci-fi tales from the early sixties - one entitled "Humans Keep Out" illustrated by Don Heck & the second one "Man From The Future" drawn by the incomparable Steve Ditko - this was most likely plotted by Ditko as well - typically fun if a little lighter than most of his efforts from the old Amazing Fantasy days.
The last two stories involve Johnny Future & Miniman - I don't know whether these were original UK tales from the time or whether they have been obtained from US Marvel's 1950's output?
Overall this is (like all three Fantastic annuals from 68-70) a very collectible book.

Spider-man Annual 1978
Spider-man Annual 1978
by Larry Lieber STAN LEE
Edition: Hardcover Comic

3.0 out of 5 stars The Highs & Lows of Marvel's Silver Age, 26 Mar. 2013
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This UK Spidey annual from 1978 consists of 64 full colour pages and reprints two stories from Marvel's Silver Age - there couldn't really be much more of a contrast in terms of quality between the two.
The first story is a feature length, 40 pager from 1968 - originally issued as Amazing Spider-man Annual # 5 - in theory this should be a fascinating tale as Peter Parker discovers a newspaper cutting in the attic containing a clue that his long, lost parents might have been spies & traitors working against the US Government - he can't get this thought out of his head so he sets of to Algeria to set the record straight some 20 years after the original events - from this point everything about the story is rushed, implausible, contrived etc - getting a lift via the Fantastic Four who just happened to need to test a jet over a long distance is just the start of the laughable coincidences - The arch enemy The Red Skull becomes involved as Spidey presses a button on the wall of his hideout to reveal a convenient filing system! - so he simply searches the index for Parker & bingo he finds his answer! - I would guess that Stan Lee needed a holiday when this annual was due so he handed it over to his brother Larry Leiber to do the writing & art chores - I suspect that when he saw the ensuing mess he hurriedly became involved in a rescue act - it's also noticeable that John Romita is named as a consultant - you can clearly see some quality panels amongst the blandness where Romita Snr has obviously redrawn some sections - this is an atypical production from Marvel's 1960's & is more akin to some of their weaker opposition of the time - readable only in a jaw dropping, disbelieving kind of way - the second Spidey tale is a different story altogether.
Dr Octopus had originally appeared in Amazing Spider-man #3 & he made his return in #11 in 1964 & it's this 20 pager that is presented here - the intricate Steve Ditko art is a million miles away from the uninspired Leiber stuff - it is likely that Ditko was involved in the plotting as Doc Ock busts out a gang leader from a jail in Philadelphia & Spidey's interest is peaked as his then girlfriend, Betty Brant becomes implicated.
The finale is played out aboard a ship & apart from Spidey's (relatively) easy going reaction to the issue's tragic moment the whole issue is of a typically high standard for the Lee/Ditko partnership of the time - although there is an ending of sorts to this tale Doc Ock would reappear in Amaz Spidey # 12 for the ultimate conclusion.
The second story is more in line with the quality of Marvel's Silver Age output & the first can be seen as a rare "blip" in standards.

the AVENGERS annual 1976
the AVENGERS annual 1976
by marvel comics
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars Good Showcase for a Trio of Avengers Tales, 25 Mar. 2013
This is a full colour 64 page annual for 1976 that nicely highlights three good quality Avengers stories that ran in the original US series between #s 83-85 - a good period from the early seventies when Roy Thomas (writer) and John Buscema (artist) held sway - the first two issues also feature the excellent Tom Palmer providing strong inks to Buscema's fine layouts.
The first issue features "The Liberators" as The Valkyrie talks the female members of The Avengers into a bit of Women's lib & a rebellion - meanwhile the male members of the team have their hands full with Halloween & The Masters Of Evil - The Enchantress is behind most of the trouble & she turns up again in the next issue as well.
The Black Knight is led astray by her in the "Sword & The Sorceress" - Thomas shows his sword & sorcery roots as he introduces Akron - a Conan like character from another world.
The final issue of the three, "The World Is Not For Burning" features a sci-fi element & half of the team disappearing into the near future - the Squadron Supreme provide the opposition this time.
Overall this book provides a good showcase for the trio of stories & the Thomas / Buscema partnership was on a roll.

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