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Mr. Jeremy Carter "jeremycarter2" (Storrington West Sussex)
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The Song Remains the Same
The Song Remains the Same
Price: £9.11

8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars In Need of Rehabilitation, 17 April 2006
Yes everyone knows about this dreadful overblown mess don't they?

Nine songs on a double album, ridiculously extended versions of Moby Dick and Dazed & Confused, embarassingly self indulgent and pretentious fantasy sequences in the film, all released just as Punk was about to blast away bands like Led Zep into History....

Maybe the last bit is closest to the truth - 1976 was an unfortunate release date for all bands like Led Zep and it was unlikely, to say the least, that it was going to match up with the predecessor 'Physical Graffiti'.

So the Music Papers lambasted it and nascent Zeppelin collections were dumped at charity shops in favour of the Pistols & the Clash. In addition a glut of denim hit the UK as millions of pairs of flaired Jeans also ended up at the same charity shops.

The Song Remains the Same was backed into the Forbidden Zone of Albums Best Avoided and quietly forgotten except as a definition of hubris....

So thirty years on how is it really? Well I shall restrict myself to the soundtrack and not pass comment on the fantasy sequences etc. in the film except to say they were, ahem, of their time...

Unbelievably, listening for the first time in almost 15 years, it sounds bloody good! Rock & Roll sounds very little like the multi-tracked (overproduced?) album version but boy does it go! And where it goes is straight into Celebration Day - well any track of my favourite Led Zeppelin album (III) is OK by me and it also rocks in the approved manner.

Next two tracks are OK & no more as neither The Song Remains the Same or Rain Song are particular favourites of mine. I suppose it means we have live versions of them but why didn't they put Black Dog, Since I've Been Loving You or The Ocean on the album instead? Luckily all those with the How the West was Won DVD can see these 'out-takes' - the last two mentioned are absolutely blinding versions!

The biggest surprise on the album is the coming 26 minutes and 53 seconds of Dazed & Confused - far better than any other version I have heard and nothing like the overlong and overblown memory I have of it. This & No Quarter alone are worth the price of the album.

Talking of which.... CD2 starts with 12 and half minutes of No Quarter which is so superior to the Houses of the Holy version that it could be a different song. Page pulls out a blistering yet restrained solo - magical!

Following up we get Stairway to Heaven which I can safely say is now approaching the bottom of the pile of Led Zep tracks I want to listen to - heresy I know but thats what happens when you overplay anything.

Next up is, sadly, fast foward time also known as Moby Dick. If Punk/New Wave did anthing for us it was irrigation, roads, viniculture, law and order - oops sorry no it was getting rid of the Obligatory Drum Solo from live albums. Sorry it is track only a drummer could love.

Finally we have a lengthened or truncated version of Whole Lotta Love depending on if you have got the original, BBC Sessions or How the West was Won versions. Sort of falls between two stools and perhaps typifies the whole project.

My suggestion would be a revised and rehabilitated album with all the outtakes off How the West was Won, minus The Song Remains the Same, Rain Song, Stairway (told you I was a Heretic!) & especially Moby Dick.

Thats a 5 star album!!!


Let the Power Fall
Let the Power Fall
Offered by themusicmerchant
Price: £49.94

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Frippertronics take their first steps, 26 Feb. 2006
This review is from: Let the Power Fall (Audio CD)
Released in 1981 at the arse end of new wave, with the old rock dinosaurs either giving up or shutting up shop for a while and the cancer of disco dominating radio. All in all a pretty awful time.
Along came a guitarist who had turned his back on one of the aformentioned dinosaurs (King Crimson) in order to do some more interesting stuff with guitar & tape loops - a technique basically cribbed from his mate Brian Eno - see their marvellous collaborations Evening Star and No Pussyfooting for examples.
The resulting six pieces of music (sequentially titled 1984 to 1989) at first seem bleak, soulless and repetitive, but upon further listening reveal themselves to be hypnotic, beautiful and profoundly moving - even, dare I say, ambient?
Technology has moved on and Fripp doesnt make music quite like this anymore and I am sad about that as in many ways this very primitive way of making looped music is actually purer than the digital methods he now utilises.
Not to everyones taste by any means - it is way different to King Crimson & only about 10% of people who I have played Frippertronics to even think it is music! However if you do like Eno/Reich/Glass give it a go. All the subsequent 'Soundscapes' using up to date technology are also well worth listening to but this is where it started...
Incidentally, there is more Frippertronics on the now deleted Under Heavy Manners/God Save the Queen album and also a single track (Water Music - postscript)on Exposure if you like this example of 'pure' Frippertronics you don't have much to collect!


Return of the Sporadic Rec's
Return of the Sporadic Rec's

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sporadically brilliant, 3 Feb. 2006
Currently on my cars CD Changer again - it rarely leaves it for long. Consists of The Return of the Sporadic Recordings (CD1) and the Sporadic Recordings (CD2) - not the most logical order you may say unless you are familiar with way that DC operate!
All the usual DC loveliness - I am listening to For Soph as I write this and the hairs are standing up on my arm, as they always do (and no I'm not in my car - we can all burn CDs and I was so outraged it wasn't on the official DC Best Of I did my own version...)
So here we are, the first DC double album and lots of stuff therin (37 tracks). I have to say it is my favourite album of the modern DC era thanks to the large amount of acoustic guitar and restraint when Vini goes electric, as well as the excellent guest contributions (Eli Rudge, John Metcalfe etc.)
As ever with DC, the quality is variable and there is a rather dire rap thing on CD1 which can at least be skipped over easily thanks to modern technology. Some of the lyrics and themes are recycles from the past - for example if you have Sex & Death you will recognise Returned Love.
Some of the tracks are filler - I quote "done at 3AM in one session, very stoned" but a lot of it is utterly wonderful and the final piece where the DC encounter a Canadian Border Customs official who demands to know what sort of Group DC are before they can enter the USA is hilarious - Avant Garde Jazz Classical of course!
Excellent sleeve notes from Vini, a nice anecdote from Bruce Mitchell about how DC tracks get put together and the usual pretentious rubbish from Anthony H Wilson - apparently in the USA full time now & they are welcome to him...


Led Zeppelin III
Led Zeppelin III
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £7.79

15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't forget the rest but this is the best, 15 Dec. 2005
This review is from: Led Zeppelin III (Audio CD)
Hmm when did I first hear Led Zep - certainly at least 30 years ago - probably 1972/3 when an older brother bought Houses of the Holy. Within 18 months I had the whole back catalogue & watched over the course of the late 1970's in sorrow & dismay as they slowly subsided through Presence and the awful (sorry its true) In Through the Outdoor - thankfully they redeeemed themsleves in '79 at Knebworth.Anyway to the matter in hand - what is all this nonsense about Volumes 2 or 4 being the best Led Zep album? It is a close call with Physical Graffiti (if only due to the volume of material) but Led Zep III does it for me every time. SIDE 1: The opening Immigrant Song is one of the finest moments in Rock Music History (clearly Jimmy Page thinks so too if you have a copy of How the West Was Won where it is the introductory track). We then groove into the slightly strange & off colour Friends - never fails to raise those goose pimples. Into Celebration Day -a typical Zeppelin rocker and then my favourite, favourite, favourite ever Zeppelin song the unbelievabley bluesy Since I've Been Loving You. I only have 1,000 words to play with and they are simply not enough. Led Zeppelins finest hour - it encapsulates everything good they ever did with absolutely stunning performances from all 4 members of the band - I can (& do) listen to it time & again. Next up Out on the Tiles is perhaps the only track approaching a filler on the Album but is still a good fun rocky workout. SIDE 2: Well, well, well it all goes a little strange - no more distorted amplified guitars - it is (mostly) acoustic loveliness for track after track after track - I still can't work it out 30 years on - is Tangerine my favourite or is it Thats the Way? Bron-Y -Aur Stomp is just a good time romp & shows how different Led Zeppelin were from their lumpish 1970 contemporaries - yes they had a sense of humour! It all finishes with an anarchic shotgun shack acoustic blues called Hats off to Roy Harper although said gentleman isn't anywhere to be seen. Anyone approaching Led Zeppelin via their legend as the 'first heavy metal band' will be utterly bemused by all of this of course but that is because they were more than just a heavy metal band - but hey we all know that don't we?


Houses of the Holy
Houses of the Holy
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £10.49

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars We've done four already but now we're steady...., 15 Dec. 2005
This review is from: Houses of the Holy (Audio CD)
Oh dearie me - a lot of people dont seem to like this one as Led Zep had the temerity to do some different stuff and not rehash Led Zeppelin II over and over. I'll admit it isn't their very best album (a photo finish between Led Zeppelin III and Physical Graffitti) but there is nothing wrong with Dancing Days or The Ocean if you like your typical Zeppelin rockers and No Quarter still raises the proverbial hairs on the back of the neck. Yes The Crunge and D'Yer'Maker are a bit throwaway but does it matter, you'll only be shy a fiver if you buy a used version & you find you haven't liked a single track - I can't see that happening somehow!


ASTOUNDING SOUNDS,AMAZING MUSIC/QUARK STRANGENESS AND CHARM
ASTOUNDING SOUNDS,AMAZING MUSIC/QUARK STRANGENESS AND CHARM

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Astounding and Charming as well, 29 Nov. 2005
I am very pleased at this excellent re-release of two very rare Hawks albums from the mid 1970's.
Astounding Sounds was seen by the dominant axis of Dave Brock & Bob Calvert as a horribly funky deviation from their Hawk-Vision of the future & as a consequence almost half the band consequently got the bullet (including founding member Nik Turner). The subsequent Quark... was an effort from the band to 'get the motors running again' (anyone else remember that message on the inner sleeve of the LP?)
So... What do they sound like all these years later? Well I always liked Quark (first gig was when I saw them at Manchester Palace in '77 so formative influences y'know) but I am amazed at how much I like the outcast Amazing Sounds as well. If you don't take it as a Hawkwind album and accept at face value everything but the rather naff Reefer Madness is actually pretty good. The final 2 tracks Kadu Flyer & Chronaglide Skyway are things of quite profound beauty - apparently there are Hawk bootlegs with both tracks available - I am on the case!
Quark... was clearly influenced by the New Wave breaking over the music scene in 1977 and is much sharper, sounding nastier & more aggressive in tone to match the times. Spirit of the Age opens & is perhaps my favourite Hawkwind track ever. Spirit perhaps overshadows the rest of the album but most other tracks with the exception of the rather throwaway title track try to keep up the standard - amazing how prescient Calverts lyrics could be - check out Hassan I Sahba if you want a take on the Middle East situation made in 28 years ago!
As an aside, I do feel that Adrian Shaw on bass was another Lemmy in the making & sounds great on Quark along with Simon King - such a shame this rhythm section only exists here, some PXR5 tracks and the aforementioned bootlegs.
As I say really good to have two such good albums on one CD - especially when driving!


P.X.R.5
P.X.R.5

2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars THIS IS THE LAST BUT ONE, 22 Sept. 2005
This review is from: P.X.R.5 (Audio CD)
So bore the legend at end of the sleeve notes (presumably some fracas with the record label Charisma). Sorry if I review this as per the vinyl album but most familar with that version & assume CD is not too different. From what I can recall from those far-off days, this emerged as a 'contractual obligation' after the rather flat & disappointing 'Hawklords' album in which all but Brock & Calvert had been booted out of the band (yea & verily even Simons House & King, long time Hawkpersons).
As a consequence, all those (me) who loved Quark Strangeness & Charm got a final hit on the wonderful 5-piece Hawks lineup of Brock/Calvert/King/House/Shaw which produced the Quark album (Manchester Palace in '77 still my favourite ever gig!)
Anyway to business:
Side 1
First track is a silly mock punk piece - best forgotten. Jack of Shadows is another Roger Zelazny (SF Author) tribute song - OK in its way. The next track puts all on album in its place - Uncle Sams on Mars - a track to rival Brainstorm in intensity and one that sits in my Top 10 of Hawkind songs - driving & hypnotic. Next up (Infinity) is actually a quite beautiful piece of music but suffers from following USM - echoes of You Know Your'e only Dreaming from the 2nd Hawkwind album are detectable. Life Form is sadly another silly & fast forward mode track.
Side 2
Starts with another live track from '77 tour the wonderful driving 'Robot' proving Calvert knew his SF (or at least Asimovs Laws of Robotics) predicting the grinding down of (3rd world) workers to mere automatons. The final live track 'High Rise again has a horribly prescient view of 9/11 and 'starfish of human gore spread out on the pavements from the 99th floor'
Th final (tital) track is another Hawkwind letdown but the album is worth buying just for the live stuff - still raises hairs now - Calvert was undoubtably mad but in his rational moments he wrought profound beauty from the unlikely setting of a dodgy space rock band - all the best to wherever you are now mate....


Doremi Fasol Latido
Doremi Fasol Latido
Price: £3.99

33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Motors now running at Warp Factor Nine, 18 Aug. 2005
This review is from: Doremi Fasol Latido (Audio CD)
Previously they had only been in search of Space - now they were deep in HawkSpace - a previously unexplored region where hippy whimsy met extreme heavy metal while being adorned with electronic bleeps and howls old Mr Stockhausen might have recognised. Like nothing before & not really much since....
Hawkwind had picked up two new members by 1972, Lemmy on bass & Simon King on drums - the pair tightened up the rhythm section considerably and this now became the driving force of the Hawkwind sound.
It all starts with true classic 'Brainstorm' - this is what Hawkwind would be about from now on, thunderously loud & driving rock with the aforementioned bleeps, bloops & whooshes with the spectral sax of Captain Nik in the background. Next up is the almost ballad like Space is Deep with some gorgeous 12 string before the rest of the band cruch into action on top of a VCS drone. Slight dip in form with One Change - 50 seconds long & 50 seconds of your life wasted. Lord of Light - OK but again not a personal favourite. Down Through the Night - another semi acoustic looking back (almost for the last time) at the first two albums which leads into the magnum opus Time We Left This World Today which boasts lyrics of staggering silliness allied to a monster riff and allows Lemmy to show that he was streets ahead of any previous or later Hawkwind bass players - the climax to the track defies description. As a reward Lemmy gets to have one his own songs recorded, a sinister and understated piece pretty well consisting of acoustic guitar & very mixed down fuzzed bass. Great Stuff & virtually all the tracks on Doremi found their way onto the even more classic live double album Space Ritual the following year.
Very nice to have the extra 4 tracks- especially the infamous 'pulled' single Urban Guerilla and its B side Brainbox Pollution. All in all well worth the modest price it cost me - a regular on my cars CD Changer!!


In Search Of Space
In Search Of Space
Price: £3.99

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The motors get running!, 16 Aug. 2005
This review is from: In Search Of Space (Audio CD)
In Search of Space is the mighty Hawks first proper album. The debut album I have never really liked, it didn't seem like they knew where they were heading but this one, well the sound is all there and the motors are running to blast them towards the classic live double Space Ritual a couple of years down the road.
As I say, it is all there, tribal drumming, simplistic & heavy guitar riffs, Nik Turner noodling away on sax and Dik Mik & Del abusing their osicillators. What it perhaps lacks is the driving rock & roll sensibility that Lemmy brought with him (bassist Dave Anderson was booted out after this album) but still has some great tracks, Master of the Universe & You Shouldn't Do That are stand outs but the mournful acoustic lament We Took The Wrong Step Years Ago is my favourite - I wonder if they ever did it live?


Volumes One And Two
Volumes One And Two
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £11.27

22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant English Eccentricity, 22 Mar. 2005
This review is from: Volumes One And Two (Audio CD)
Marvellous albums, excellent value - they could have been very rich & famous a la Pink Floyd but in the words of Major Willard in Apocalpyse Now 'they went for themselves'
I often wonder what happened on their USA Tour supporting Jimi Hendrix - the audience must have been totally bemused by this bunch.
Oh well - It all went t*ts up after Robert Wyatt flew the coop but we have these 2 albums which still sound utterly radical (& wouldnt get anywhere near any 'chart' even today)
Well done those men!


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