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Reviews Written by
P. B. Koeb (Aljezur, Portugal)

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Rough & Ready
Rough & Ready
Offered by samurai media JPN401
Price: £21.12

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Patchy., 21 Jun. 2009
This review is from: Rough & Ready (Audio CD)
Yet another Jeff Beck cd which is not necessarily very easy to obtain, although it does feature in the new Original Classics five-pack. This, for me, is unquestionably the weaker of the two albums recorded by this incarnation of the Jeff Beck Group. There isn't much which really stands out, in all honesty, and the songs aren't the best.

"Got The Feeling" is a decent opener, i guess, and "Situation" an alright sort of uptempo rocker. But "Short Business" is fairly disposable and "Max's Tune" too meandering. Shame, because the latter gave Max Middleton an all too-rare opportunity to stretch out. "I've Been Used" is another ordinary song, but at least it features some good guitar work. "New Ways/Train Train" is a bit better, but simply not a great Jeff Beck track. The album comes to a close with the acceptable "Jody", on which we get some lyrical soloing from Jeff Beck and some nice work from Max Middleton. (Who is cut off in his prime yet again.)

All in all, a less-than-vital Jeff Beck release. (If He doesn't mind me saying so.) Mainly, therefore, for the completists.

Original Album Classics
Original Album Classics
Price: £9.00

33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't wait a moment longer.., 21 Jun. 2009
This review is from: Original Album Classics (Audio CD)
Each of the FIVE (!!!!) albums featured herein comes in its own card sleeve. Okay, the format is so small that purchasers will need to use a magnifying glass to read some of the album credits, but this should not detract from the excellent value-for-money.

Included in this package are the wonderful "Blow By Blow", worthwhile "Wired", reasonable "Live With The Jan Hammer Group" and a couple of not particularly easy-to-find titles. If "Rough And Ready" is probably not one of Jeff's key releases, and hardly a classic album, "The Jeff Beck Group" alone justifies the extremely reasonable purchase price.

Hit that order button NOW.
Comment Comments (8) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 5, 2012 9:53 PM BST

Black Moses
Black Moses
Price: £11.78

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deluxe re-issue of a towering Isaac Hayes album., 13 May 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Black Moses (Audio CD)
This is a very appealingly packaged re-issue of Isaac Hayes' majestically arranged "Black Moses". This edition attempts to recreate the format of the original double LP release, which featured a giant fold-out sleeve. This one comes in its own little digipack format.

However, it's rather a shame that the "proper" running order has STILL not been restored. The original vinyl release backed side one with side four and side two with side three. This same sequence has still been used for the two compact discs, meaning it is not being listened to in its "logical" order. Listeners can switch to disc two, after "Man's Temptation", should they wish to experience this utterly magnificent album sequentially. Unimportant? I am not so sure. The "Part Time Love" though "Going In Circles" segment forms the most thrilling of finales to this truly great album.

Mwandishi: The Complete Warner Bros. Recordings
Mwandishi: The Complete Warner Bros. Recordings
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £18.95

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All three Warner Brothers releases under the same umbrella!, 29 Mar. 2009
As the title states, but the track listing doesn't, this double cd issue represents a repackaging of Herbie Hancock's three Warner Brothers releases. (Namely, "Fat Albert Rotunda", "Mwandishi" and "Crossings".)

For those who were thinking of investing in all three of those items, this MAY represent a cheaper option. All three releases are of interest, even though i do have a lot of difficulty with the "Mwandishi" album. "Crossings", however, is an utterly tremendous recording.

Potential purchasers of this double might like to refer to the individual album reviews, so as to form a clearer picture.


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sleek jazz fusion., 28 Mar. 2009
This review is from: Tightrope (Audio CD)
Steve Khan's first album offering, after he had become an established session musician. Possibly not the greatest composer, as such, but these compositions are very worthwhile. There's an excellent Gamble and Huff cover and Randy Brecker also supplied one song.

Produced by Bob James and featuring a stellar line-up of musicians, who give tremendous backing throughout. Just about every track is of the highest quality, and Steve Khan's guitar playing is simply thrilling. Whether it's electric or acoustic.

The one problem is that his albums tend to be seriously not cheap. I can only say that i'm glad that i bought my copy a few years back!

Live With The Jan Hammer Group
Live With The Jan Hammer Group

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars When this is bad........, 16 Jan. 2009
it is truly awful. Overall, a rather patchy live document of Jeff Beck's period of collaboration with Jan Hammer, coming after the superb "Blow By Blow" and "Wired". However, my rating should be a half or possibly full star higher, because this album also features some great moments. It's a bit of a shame that the quality control department couldn't deliver something better than the trio of "Earth...." (starts off okay, but the vocals are dire), the ordinary "She's A Woman" or "Full Moon Boogie" with its embarrassingly bad vocals.

Otherwise, this is a great release. Tracks like "Freeway Jam" and "Blue Wind" are given thrilling work-outs. The atmospheric "Darkness...." gets the original side two of the LP off to a very good start. This is a cd to be bought at the right price, once again. Not one on which to shell out any sort of substantial sum of money, in these cash-strapped times!
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 21, 2009 5:22 PM GMT

The Yardbirds Ultimate!
The Yardbirds Ultimate!

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stupendous double retrospective!, 16 Jan. 2009
This review is from: The Yardbirds Ultimate! (Audio CD)
It really does seem appropriate to corroborate what an tremendous Yardbirds anthology this is. It comes in a very appealing package, with an excellent booklet and a generous running time.

It covers the early r&b period with Eric Clapton, through to "For Your Love", before going into orbit with the more psychedelic and experimental Jeff Beck phase. This period supplies about half of the set's contents, and includes virtually all of the brilliant "Roger The Engineer" album. All of the vital stuff is there, it would seem, including both "Train Kept A Rollin'" and the "Stroll On" rework. The brief Beck/Page period features, prior to things moving into the home straight with the Jimmy Page era.

This double also contains a few oddity tracks, like the"Questa...Volta"/"Paff Bum" single and some less-than-vital solo Keith Relf tracks. The latter could have been replaced with more "superior" selections, but this remains a thoroughly worthwhile compilation of this seminal sixties group.

The Essential Daryl Hall & John Oates
The Essential Daryl Hall & John Oates
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £13.07

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Could i just re-jig this one a little?, 12 Jan. 2009
I feel ashamed to be adding anything to the #1 reviewer's thorough comments, but i do not think that this quite deserves a five-star rating. More the sort of four-and-a-half star average it will have. (At least for the moment!)

Bought a bargain-bin copy of this item just yesterday, at my local Waitrose, and i am wholly satisfied with the value-for-money it has given. I shall doubtless be off-loading my worthwhile single Camden cd "Very Best Of Daryl Hall & John Oates" compilation, as this double gives a superior multi-label overview of H&O's career.

This double does succeed in giving purchasers all the big single hits and also draws in some decent non-single album highlights. But here's the big "however". The thing is that the majority of H&O's albums usually included an outstanding track which was never released in single form, and there are things which missed the cut during this product's compilation. One could argue that there isn't room for everything, which is true, but i find this double flags just a little in places. I would have ditched a few of the "lesser" tracks, so as to make space for things like the "Why Do Lovers (Break Each Other's Heart?)" single from "Beauty On A Back Street". Similarly, the supremely winsome "All You Want is Heaven" from "X-Static", rather than choosing only the sublime "Wait For Me". (One of Daryl Hall's finest moments.) My third exhibit would be "Open All Night" from "H2O", which is possibly one of the lost great Hall and Oates tracks. If the first two are just big personal faves, the latter is a magnificent Daryl Hall ballad which really ought to have featured. (Furthermore, there is nothing from "War Babies", though this is H&O's most out-of-left-field and uncommercial release, by a country mile. And deserves to be owned in its album form.)

I suppose that i probably should not moan. This remains a very satisfying double cd retrospective, in spite of my above reservations. But i feel that the overall impact has been affected by a few slightly inferior selections. Shame.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 29, 2011 10:13 AM BST

Danger Man: The Complete 1964-1968 Series [DVD]
Danger Man: The Complete 1964-1968 Series [DVD]
Dvd ~ Patrick McGoohan
Offered by A2ZSupplies
Price: £32.87

58 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous box set of a classic sixties series., 19 Dec. 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Not quite as cult as "The Prisoner", but this is one series which left an indelible impression on me as a six year-old. It was a regular Sunday afternoon television fixture at my grandmother's house. And my brother used to collect a set of cards which came with some chewing gum. Even those were something to rave about. (Okay....we're talking about the mid sixties!)

Patrick McGoohan is excellent as superspy John Drake, in a role which made him a very big sixties television star. Although often of the cold war variety, the storylines have aged surprisingly well. They really were extremely gritty, and much tenser than contemporary series. Check out the very sinister "Colony Three" and "Ubiquitous Mr Lovegrove" episodes, for example, with their almost "Prisoner"-esque overtones. What would circa 1964/1965 television audiences have made of them?

This box set contains all forty-seven episodes of fifty minutes, plus the feature-length version of the "Koroshi" episode. (Basically two fused episodes.) There's also a welter of reasonably interesting bonus material. This will, quite honestly, give hours of entertainment.

PS. This box set just keeps getting better and better. Later episodes feature some unusual and really memorable storylines. There are numerous familiar faces and many luscious female guest stars. Much of the direction is from the ubiquitous Don Chaffey and Peter ("Bullitt") Yates. Tremendous stuff. In spite of the sometimes very abrupt endings, sped-up car chases and varying MacGoohan accent.

The Rat Patrol Season 1 [DVD]
The Rat Patrol Season 1 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Christopher George
Offered by wantitcheaper
Price: £29.94

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting sixties oddity., 8 Sept. 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The ideal catch-up product for this somewhat obscure sixties TV show, which i'm just about old enough to remember. Starring Christopher George prior to his relatively minor film career. Co-starring a certain Hans Gudegast, who subsequently changed his name to Eric Braeden and had an even more minor film career.

The twenty-five minute episodes are snappy. The Spanish location work is tremendous, with things given added credibility through the use of German dialogue. As S Nunn suggested, never mind the historical inaccuracies, feel the enjoyment.

PS. From the looks of things, it's only the first sixteen episodes which are "filmed on location in Spain". The subsequent episodes, dated 1967, use more in the way of back-drops and may have been filmed in the United States. Dominic Frontiere's music isn't bad, although there are some cheesy elements. (The repetitive German convoy theme, for example.) Otherwise, quite a modern production. It even features a surprising "through and through" shooting, which must have caused some controversy when the series was first aired.

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