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A. Smith "Alyn Smith" (Salisbury, England)
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North Star
North Star
Price: £10.69

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Star Shining...just about, 15 July 2014
This review is from: North Star (Audio CD)
I've not given up on North Star but my persevering with understanding it as a complete album is testing me. There are moments throughout the album that really trigger off great pleasure as being very well connected with the jazzy inspired cosmic touch of the first two or three Air LPs, but I find myself wanting to hear the original thing and before I can get through the whole of North Star I'm needing to play What Happens When You Blow Yourself Up, Stretch, Blind Man, Young Mother, Piece Of Mind etc etc I'm not impressed by the new versions of old songs and covers, they do absolutely nothing for me, and worst of all Colder Than A Rose which generally never fails to take me back to the Sonja solo acoustic gigs in the late 70s (magical memories of the Half Moon with Sonja and Steve Byrd), but this is just a completely empty version - I'd have much preferred Devil May Care re-visited. However, it's great to hear Kirby again, Aircut was just the most dynamic and energetic album Curved Air recorded and is all the better for being a one-off (ignoring the cast-offs of Love Child), but he graces North Star with some beautiful fluid playing. I'm enjoying Time Games, Spider and Old Town News, but I've dropped the new versions of old songs, and the covers, in my playlist and endeavouring to enjoy the new stuff as a shortened album, and that works better for me. I may get there, it could all fall into place soon, but this is my review after 6 or 7 listens to the CD.


The Laurel and Hardy Encyclopedia
The Laurel and Hardy Encyclopedia
by Glenn Mitchell
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.09

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Beware....., 31 Jan. 2014
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This is a great book.... very well written and lots of details....
But - take care and check which edition you buy. Mine has a whole 32pp section missing - pages not lost or fallen out, the book was bound without pages 97-128 therefore you don't have letters E to G, and for an Encyclopedia that kind of wrecks the whole thing. This is the 2010 reprint - I'm not saying every copy will have this section missing but there must be others. Check with the seller.


Climax Blues Band - Live At Rockpalast  (DVD& CD)  [1976] [NTSC]
Climax Blues Band - Live At Rockpalast (DVD& CD) [1976] [NTSC]
Offered by marvelio-uk
Price: £12.45

3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting glimpse of Climax pre-Gold Plated, 13 Nov. 2013
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A very nice CD / DVD Package which at times shows the band in full flight. The only major problem is that sadly Colin Cooper's contribution is lost in the mix, literally. As a showcase for Peter Haycock it is well worth watching, but the tracks on which Colin takes lead vocals - Running Out Of Time, Seventh Son and Going To New York, he just can't be heard, and his backing vocal contributions which are essential to the band's harmonies are lost totally, I have a feeling his main microphone was not working at all and his harmonica mic was being relied on. For me, it does ruin what would have been an excellent set...a little rusty here and there and some rough spots, plus a sitting down TV studio german audience, but the band really get into gear for Using The Power, All The Time In The World, Seventh Son. John Cuffley's playing is fantastic, Derek Holt bouncing with energy, nice touches from Richard Jones but generally too low in the mix, Peter Haycock showcasing his brilliant guitar playing with his array of exotic shiny guitars. I like the 'asides' between tracks which are just all part of the 'warts and all' recording... and what was John Cuffley thinking wearing that shirt, clashing against the stripes on the giant stamp backdrop...! :-) Prior to this I only had half of this set on a very poor quality dvd so it is nice to see it as close to 'full glory' as it can get. Stamp Album is an excellent album and the songs from it here sound great, I like the re-arranged Running Out Of Time, the studio version is a Climax classic, but when played live a new dimension was added.... All in all, it is enjoyable but....with Colin it would have been a classic... and it pains me to only give it three stars, and that is not fault of this release, it was just the way it was.... maybe not the greatest tribute to the sadly departed Colin and Peter, but definitely worthwhile.


Rarities
Rarities
Offered by mrtopseller
Price: £4.14

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a game of two halves, 11 Oct. 2013
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This review is from: Rarities (Audio CD)
It's a nice collection, I haven't really kept up with any of the other releases that may have included the same material, but for me this all gathers together a collection neatly (apart from Pinball Wizard which is just incredibly awful and sticks out like a sore thumb and shouldn't be here). I have divided the collection into two halves in my player, the throwaway versions of Maggie May, You Wear It Well with the make it up as you go along lyrics don't really need to be listened to more than once, pure novelty value, and the other early versions of tracks from Never A Dull Moment don't do much for me. The best tracks are the likes of Country Comforts, So Tired and You Put Something which have a delightfully weary but charming feel to them and Rod sings them so well. This was his golden era, I was in my early teens when Never A Dull Moment was released and that LP with its gatefold sleeve was just 'the ultimate' at the time and every time I listen to it I'm transported back. This set is a nice addition to the collection but only 3 stars because half of the tracks only get one listen and are purely curiosities. Where did it all go wrong for Rod? In a word - 'Sailing'. Let's remember the good times :-)


Can Do
Can Do
Price: £13.25

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Can (almost) Do, 4 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: Can Do (Audio CD)
This is a nice album... I wouldn't relate it to Makin Magic (like other reviews I have seen) at all because that was an absolute classic of its time, but this is a mighty fine release. My only criticism is that Pat strays into Bon Jovi territory a bit too much with the anthemic songs - he doesn't need to be writing and singing anthems with big choruses, he's much better than that. The sound is great and with a definite sharp edge, and muscle. Favourite tracks after a week or so - Can Do, Wanted and Long Time Gone.


Live & Outlawed
Live & Outlawed
Price: £16.38

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MIGHTY!, 6 July 2013
This review is from: Live & Outlawed (Audio CD)
A sensational live album from Larry Miller - real powerhouse blues from start to finish.... as to be expected, but still takes the breath away and blows out the cobwebs.....he is just an amazing player. The key for me is that Larry kicks out the blues at high velocity but there is heart and soul, which is absent from so many heavy / hard rock blues players, and most of the new breed leave me totally cold... Larry just gives it everything he has and although the edges are delightfully rough it still has polish and a tightness to just sit back and admire.. I love it! If I had to pick a stand out - Cruel Old World, simply stunning


Funny Bones [DVD] [1995]
Funny Bones [DVD] [1995]
Dvd ~ Jerry Lewis
Offered by Leisurezone
Price: £3.66

3.0 out of 5 stars Great film...could have been so much better imo, 23 April 2013
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This review is from: Funny Bones [DVD] [1995] (DVD)
On the positives.... Oliver Platt is superb, Jerry Lewis walks through his role playing himself, generally speaking, with great style and an obvious affection for the story - similar to his part in King Of Comedy, it looks effortless but his attention to detail is brilliant. Lee Evans is a great comedian but not a great actor, Freddie 'Parrot Face' Davies and all the other strong supporting cast are top notch. I love the surreal quirkiness, the darkness and the representation of British comedy from the 40s and 50s, it works on all these levels.
My criticisms : the soundtrack only works towards the end, I think the early blues tracks are totally out of place and the film would have benefited from a 'Radio Days' style soundtrack throughout - but with British Band music, much more in keeping with the story. I think the story gets too tangled with the bizarre Oliver Reed / eggs / powder / feet side of things... it's just totally unnecessary and adds nothing to what is a good enough story on it's own, and without all that and with more of a Local Hero type edge, this would have been a quite brilliant film. Still, very enjoyable as it is.


Memphis
Memphis
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £12.55

28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb album...Boz at his best...., 4 Mar. 2013
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This review is from: Memphis (Audio CD)
Memphis arrived today and after 3 listens straight through - I'm loving it.... It is a wonderful album covering so much territory from hard edged blues to the smooth Boz ballads and plenty in between... first tracks that have really struck me have been the opening track Gone Baby Gone which kicks along a soul groove and is quite irresistible, Corinna Corinna is heartbreaking, Can I Change My Mind is just deliciously smooth with a wonderful spoken piece half way through, Cadillac Walk and Dry Spell are on that edge of blues and rockabilly, really tough sounding.
The whole balance is marvellous. So much better than the last couple of 'standards' albums Boz made which are nice, but low key and fairly uninspiring - certainly in comparison to Memphis which I can't stop playing now...there is so much to enjoy.
I will show my ignorance by declaring that the only track I knew before was Rainy Night In Georgia and I'm not at all familiar with the background and origins of the sound Boz is re-creating here but that's the great thing about looking into the inspiration for the album and I'm sure I will be finding a whole lot of new music to explore.
This album deserves a huge amount of recognition as a potential classic, (and to raise Boz's profile again over here in the UK) I really hope it gets it.


Cavaliers [An Anthology 1973-1974]
Cavaliers [An Anthology 1973-1974]
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £24.33

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent release featuring CR at their very best, 15 Nov. 2012
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...for me this is Cockney Rebel at their best and there is plenty to enjoy here, a tremendous collection of rarities alongside the remastered first two albums. For me, after these two albums only a handful of tracks (including the brilliant Mr Raffles) came close to re-capturing the creativity here. The early versions and alternate tracks are particularly intriguing, and great value... even when Steve Harley's singing gets beyond raw and carried away into tuneless wailing, it fits the bill...marvellous, and (for me) I still smile as he enters Norman Wisdom territory with some of his wo-ho-ho's and it just needs a 'Mr Grimsdale' added on the end...but I digress... this is all great... what makes the early material for me is the wonderful violin, and electric piano. The atmosphere to the early Cockney Rebel music is wonderfully dark and sinister...it has great beauty and menace.
The set is nice although (as said here before) the cover is not brilliant, rather like a cheap compilation, and I'm sure with the kind of attention to detail given in the booklet inside, it could have looked so much classier, or at least evoked the artiness of the time.
All in all, a great compilation that completes the collection very well.


Texicali
Texicali

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'outstanding :-)', 5 July 2012
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This review is from: Texicali (MP3 Download)
Raucous and rowdy for three tracks...then a terrific slow ballad...great balance for a 4 track...this blows out the cobwebs and then chills down.. I love it - may the full album come soon !


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