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Og Oggilby "Og Oggilby" (North London)

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Mod Classics 1964 - 1966
Mod Classics 1964 - 1966
Price: 10.72

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Famester at his Finest..., 23 April 2010
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This is a very timely and thoroughly excellent Fame collection. If you wonder what his reputation is based upon, then look no further than this album. Sure, it has none of the hits, but it goes deeper into the earlier catalogue of Georgie's career, and does evoke memories of sweaty Soho 60's clubs. Georgie's impressive keyboard work and funky, down-home vocal approach is more than adequately showcased here, and, although as his career went on, he embraced (or was forced into) more MOR styles, he still applied a professionalism and craftsman approach that makes even that stuff never less than enjoyable. None of that gear here, though; this is R&B, Jazz, and Blues at it's least compromised and sounds irrepressibly fresh. There is absolutely no reason I can think of as to why you shouldn't snap up a copy NOW!

Live At The Old Waldorf
Live At The Old Waldorf

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some Great Guitar Action from NY New Wave Pioneers, 21 April 2010
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This review is from: Live At The Old Waldorf (Audio CD)
Television were (and occasionally, when they get back together, still are) one of the 70's New York rock scene's great enigmas. In their recorded career, they released one total classic album 'Marquee Moon', its flawed follow-up, 'Adventure', and a reformed album from the 1990's, which failed to live up to the finest moments of their first two, although it wasn't a total disaster. There was one live album, a semi-legit double called 'Blow Up', and then this one. This is from the promo tour for the second album, 'Adventure', recorded June 29th 1978, a month before they split up.

I saw Television live in the UK in 1977 (supported by Blondie), and then again in 1978 (supported by The Only Ones), and on each occasion they were an extremely frustrating watch. Between each number, guitarists Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd spent an eternity tuning up. They'd then start a number, and would seem to get going, but then they'd finish the number and do the tune-up thing again. This unexpected live release does capture the band late on in their tenure, their playing is incisive and dynamic, with the added friction of a bunch of people who were not getting on well (perhaps). There's a great version of their first single, 'Little Johnny Jewel', and a fourteen-minute 'Marquee Moon', as well as the (relatively) poppy 'Careful', one of my favourite tracks from 'Adventure', and a five-minute tear-up through the Stones '(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction'. The contrasting guitar styles of the more melodic Lloyd and the jarring, edgy Verlaine makes for a stimulating listen. Maybe not for those wanting an easy entry to the small Television recorded canon, but for the fan, it's well worth seeking out.

Buffalo Springfield
Buffalo Springfield
Price: 6.71

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Before It All Fell To Pieces..., 21 April 2010
This review is from: Buffalo Springfield (Audio CD)
Buffalo Springfield were a great band, and it is such a shame that they were so short-lived. A combination of egos, poor management and an inability to break out from their Los Angeles base curtailed a very promising career. Ironically enough, however, even though they never consistently cracked the upper echelons of commercial success, they rank alongside The Byrds and The Band as an abiding influence on contemporary Alternate Country music.

If you read the Buffalo Springfield biography by the writer John Einarson, he fairly squarely bases the band's break-up as a breakdown between Stephen Stills and Neil Young, with the other principal songwriter in the band, Richie Furay, as the piggy in the middle who tried to hold it all together. Young's indecision - he split and rejoined the band on a couple of occasions - one which resulted in the band having to pull out of an appearance on the huge Johnny Carson TV show - coupled with a combination of Young's disillusionment and solo yearnings - meant that the band were fatally flawed from quite early on. The fact that they produced three enduring, excellent albums - of which this is probably the best, and presented three great songwriters to the world is amazing in itself.

'Buffalo Springfield' is an at times utterly beguiling record that stands up as a pointer for the way ahead in Country Rock, more so than The Byrds 'Sweetheart Of The Rodeo', in some respects (to me, at least), and contains many fine gems such as the Stills protest item 'For What It's Worth', and Young's mesmerising 'Nowadays Clancy Can't Even Sing' and 'Flying On The Ground Is Wrong', and in 'Burned', showed that Young was not without a sense of what made a commercial record. The playing and vocal harmonising is excellent throughout, and at thirty-odd minutes, it never outstays its welcome. If you're a fan of the West Coast rock sound, then tune into this - it shows where it all (or much of it, anyway) came from.

New York Dolls
New York Dolls
Offered by MEGA Media FBA
Price: 5.09

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny How Potent Cheap Music Can Be..., 16 April 2010
This review is from: New York Dolls (Audio CD)
...apparently, Noel Coward said that, and though he probably wasn't referring to the New York Dolls, it definitely applies. The NY Dolls were, in their first incarnation, simply a great trashy rock band. This album was recorded in a week, and almost drove producer Todd Rundgren insane. At the time, he said it was his parting shot to New York - Thunders was always screaming that he wanted the guitars LOUDER, and the rest of the band responded by turning up their amps accordingly. Whatever, what he did do (despite some pundits carping about the thin production sound) was capture the band brilliantly, and even managed to put the odd little touch of production (lip) gloss here and there. Songs such as the Bo Diddley beat-fest 'Trash', and indeed, their cover of Bo Diddley's 'Pills' teeter on the edge of falling off their platform heels, yet just about manage to start and end together. Also, the songs themselves are lyrically very good, ranging from the waspish ('Lookin' For A Kiss') through to the (relatively) thoughtful ('Subway Train').

Beardie critics (including the BBC's Bob Harris) sneered at their lack of musical ability, but that really is ridiculous; you don't have to be Rick Wakeman to play this stuff, and they were good enough for rock and roll. The sold almost zilch records at the time, but they went on to influence everyone from The Sex Pistols through to Morrissey and Guns 'n' Roses. The original and best.

Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
Price: 5.57

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One Of The Top Ten Albums Of All Time..., 15 April 2010
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After a misfiring self-titled solo debut album, Neil Young recruited the remnants of The Rockets, who were renamed Crazy Horse in the process, and delivered this, 'Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere', and his career as a soloist really kicked into gear. 'Everybody Knows' is a terrific album, and set the blueprint for at least the guitar-heavy side of his future solo recordings. This newly-remastered version corrects the sonic anomalies of the original CD reissue, and has never sounded better. The bottom end is full and dynamic, and the guitar interplay between Young and Crazy Horse guitarist Danny Whitten (RIP) is beautifully realised. Apart from the lengthy guitar excursions, 'Cowgirl In The Sand' and 'Down By The River', shorter songs such as 'Cinnamon Girl', the title track, and the delightful country lope-along '(When You're On) The Losing End' show that Young was also capable of writing economical, concise and very direct songs, and, what's more, had found the perfect backing combo to help realise them.

This is an utterly wonderful album that delivers every time. Don't have it yet? You gotta get it.

The Singles
The Singles
Price: 24.05

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Power And The Glory..., 14 April 2010
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This review is from: The Singles (Audio CD)
This comp was released in the 1980s, before The Who had been ludicrously over-compiled. I like this collection, even though it omits 'I Can't Explain' and 'Anyway Anyhow Anywhere' (it's worth remembering that the album started off as a vinyl album, and those tracks were obviously omitted for space reasons) - I think it's the only place where you can get the single edit of 'Won't Get Fooled Again'. Not that there's anything wrong with the long take, it's simply that by boiling it down to three minutes of focussed Who Rock Action it makes its point concisely and very directly. I also like the 60's period pic on the sleeve. You can get more comprehensive Who comps (and boy, is there loads of 'em), but this is pretty fine, and although deleted, is relatively cheaply obtained.
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Mesrine - Parts 1 & 2  [DVD]
Mesrine - Parts 1 & 2 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Vincent Cassel
Price: 5.70

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Film - Imagine The Horror Hollywood Would Inflict On It, 14 April 2010
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This review is from: Mesrine - Parts 1 & 2 [DVD] (DVD)
I love European films - they still have ugly people in 'em - by that, I mean people who have crooked teeth, wrinkles, who are bald and smoke (and that's just the women). Hollywood would mess with the story by putting in an intrusive and utterly irrelevant 'Love Interest' as well as, God knows, a 'Happy Ending'. European cinema credits viewers with a modicum of intelligence and thoughtfulness that Hollywood doesn't, for the most part. This story depicts Mesrine as a deeply unpleasant, unlikeable man who was willing to use issues such as French Canadian liberation movements as a blind for his criminal activities. Vincent Cassel brilliantly portrays the character as an unapologetic hoodlum with little in the way of redeeming qualities. The two movies are never less than gripping, absorbing character portrayals, and the supporting cast - including a magisterial Gerard Depardieu is equally up to the task. Depardieu's murder is visualised as a rather matter-of-fact contract killing - he is despatched in the blink of an eye (again, something that would have been ratcheted up and over-dramatised in Hollywood). An unsentimental, utterly magnificent pair of movies that bear many repeat viewings. This, and 'A Prophet', as well as then German 'The Lives Of Others' are some of the best movies I've seen in years.

Price: 6.48

15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For Once, the 'Digitally Remastered' Thing Works!, 14 April 2010
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This review is from: Harvest (Audio CD)
Okay, so CDs have been with us getting on for thirty years now. We were told back then that they represented the pinnacle of recorded sound. So, when me and a few million other mugs bought CDs of albums we'd loved to death on vinyl, why was the listening experience so underwhelming? The record labels then realised that they had to be properly remastered using original tapes with a cutting engineer who knew their stuff. Neil Young has constantly frustrated his long standing fanbase by simulataneously whipping the horses and stamping on the brakes - threatening to release stuff then stepping back when some other format (5.1, Blu-Ray) came into view. Anyway, having finally got his finger out, the first batch of Neil Young reissues eventually came out, and, casting cynicism aside, I can honestly state that they are fantastic. I always felt ambivalent about 'Harvest'; on the one hand, it was a massive commercial success internationally, but its success seemed to cause moments of self-doubt, and Young then set about, if not actually sabotaging his career, embarked upon a series of recordings culminating in 'Tonight's the Night' and 'On The Beach' (and when is 'Time Fades Away' gonna make it (Legitimately) to the digital format?), two of the darkest records in the rock genre.

Anyway, I digress. 'Harvest' sounds wonderful in this new, remastered incarnation. The guitars on 'Alabama' are brittle and sharp around the edges, and you can actually hear the room in the recording - and the bits where the instruments leak over into one another. The hit single, 'Heart of Gold' sounds so full and dynamic - you can hear the individual beats on the hi-hat, and the rhythm section - especially the loping bass line - have real depth. Also, the orchestrations - especially on 'A Man Needs A Maid', are amazingly rich and vivid. 'The Needle and The Damage Done' is totally in your face - you have to check that Young's not in the room with you! It's like hearing the record all over again, and in my mind (it's such a fine line), 'Harvest now resides as a total classic - one of Neil Young's (and anyone else's) finest.

Looking On
Looking On
Price: 10.32

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Still Underrated After All These Years..., 13 April 2010
This review is from: Looking On (Audio CD)
With the introduction of Jeff Lynne and the departure of Carl Wayne to cabaret, The Move finally addressed the 1970s with 'Looking On', a powerful collection that picks up where 'Shazam', it's predecessor left off. What Lynne brought to the band was a distinctive new compositional voice, as well as some keyboard expertise that Roy Wood, even allowing for his vast instrumental prowess, simply didn't have.

'Looking On' has been reissued a number of times, but this Salvo edition finally accords it the treatment that the rich musical fare contained within it has always deserved. Tracks such as 'Open Up Said The World At The Door' and 'What' are densely arranged but thrilling prog-rock exercises (but always with a commercial edge), and the hit single', 'Brontosaurus' was always a pleasing hard rock outing that has never sounded better than herein. The failed single, 'When Alice Comes Back From The Farm' anticipates the sound of the ELO with it's cello emebllishments, and although I've never been greatly enamoured of 'Turkish Tram Conductor Blues' and 'Feel Too Good', they do sound much better in the context of the whole album.

Although the album is vastly different from their '68 poppy debut, and their final album, 'Message From The Country', which offered more stylistic range and concise songs, the sandwich filler of the 'Shazam' album, and 'Looking On', offer the listener a lot of tasty musical morsels to chew on. Recommended.

Live in London
Live in London
Price: 21.85

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great In-Concert DVD, 8 April 2010
This review is from: Live in London (Audio CD)
For a band that have been around for (unbelievably) thirty years now, The Pretenders, are still, on the evidence of this fine concert DVD, an awesome live act. This no-frills concert DVD allows you to not only appreciate the dynamics of a standard two guitars / bass / drums rock line-up (with a bit of tonal variety provided by a very tangy and appealing steel guitar), but also the depth and variety of the Pretenders back catalogue. All of the hits are here, apart from 'A Thin Line Between Love And Hate', as well as some stuff from their then new 'Break Up The Concrete' album, the highlight of which was the single, 'Love's A Mystery', which is right up there with 'Back On The Chain Gang', 'Kid' and 'Brass In Pocket' as a Pretenders classic. The Robert Kidney song, 'Rosalee', is a kind of 'All Right Now' and 'Honky Tonk Women' style bendy-knees boogie thing, but it rocks like a behemoth. Chrissie Hynde throughout is imperious, singing (and looking) great, even if her runny mascara makes her look like Alice Cooper's funky sister. She must be getting on for sixty now, but is the coolest granny you'll ever see, or hear. Although The Pretenders are still a big band, I think there's an argument to be made for the band, and Chrissie Hynde herself, to be considered one of the most underrated acts of all time. Highly, highly recommended - this is five star rock and roll petrol indeed.

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