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Reviews Written by
MG Russell "Martin Russell" (Inverness, UK)
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Klute (Region 2)
Klute (Region 2)
Dvd ~ Jane Fonda
Offered by wmdservices
Price: £15.99

3.0 out of 5 stars FONDA GREAT. PICTURE QUALITY POOR, 24 Feb. 2015
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This review is from: Klute (Region 2) (DVD)
Although Jane Fonda is wonderful, I found the film quite dated, and the picture quality as mentioned elsewhere is poor. Its a Spanish version and, though it will play in English, I was disappointed with its quality.


In The Shadow Of The Hill
In The Shadow Of The Hill
Price: £2.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars OUT OF THE SHADOWS, 25 Jan. 2015
I don't want to repeat too much of previous reviews. I'll just say that this is a very well crafted novel with a dark atmosphere and a sense of foreboding that lasts right to the end. It's not so much a 'who dunnit,' as a why-they-dunnit, which makes it more interesting to me. The author has a keen sense of place and uses her locations to very good effect, though it might put you off having a holiday in Harris! I wasn't mad about the cover, though it does mirror the mood of much of the book.


Ian Dury & The Blockheads - Live At Rockpalast 1978  [DVD] [2012] [NTSC]
Ian Dury & The Blockheads - Live At Rockpalast 1978 [DVD] [2012] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Ian Dury & The Blockheads
Price: £14.99

4.0 out of 5 stars SEX AND DRUGS AND MORNING ROLLS, 29 Dec. 2014
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Hello pop pickers. If you are reading this you must have some liking for Ian Dury & The Blockheads. I was scanning the Amazon universe to see if I could find a vintage performance of the Blockheads. This was the nearest I could get. In terms of date, early 1978 it is perfect. I saw Ian Dury and his band later on the same year, and they are etched on my memory. On this occasion, however, we find the group in a West German television studio where the studio audience were clearly expecting Steely Dan. The more the thing goes on, and the more Dury tries to involve the audience, even parleying der Deutche, the more hopeless it becomes. But this is a splendid set by an on fire band, apart from their wretched saxophone player. (No, he's good, there's just too much of him.) On the whole: A curate's egg!


Pink Floyd: The Pink Floyd And Syd Barrett Story [DVD] [2003]
Pink Floyd: The Pink Floyd And Syd Barrett Story [DVD] [2003]
Dvd ~ Kirsty Wark

5.0 out of 5 stars SYD BARRETT WAS THE PINKK FLOYD STORY, 13 Dec. 2014
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This DVD is a pretty good summary of what Syd Barrett meant to the Pink Floyd story. Without Syd, there wouldn't have been a Pink Floyd. You can call him a 'founder member', but he was the essential member - the singer, the songwriter, the guitarist, the handsome sparkling dude. Syd was the real deal, and the rest of them, in my opinion, hung on to his coat tails, though they hung on well. This BBC Omnibus documentary narrated by Kirsty Wark, covers the early history of the band, and details the mental collapse of Syd, mainly through the words of Dave Gilmore, Roger Waters and Rick Wright. Each of them conveys the pain they felt at the sudden decline of a man who more than anything else, had been their friend. Their accounts are moving, and at times, illuminating. The enigma of Syd remains.


Street-Legal
Street-Legal
Price: £5.39

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars DYLAN AS CABARET, 5 Dec. 2014
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This review is from: Street-Legal (Audio CD)
I bought this on vinyl when came out in 1978, prior to seeing Dylan at Earls Court. In a way it prepared me for the show I was about to see - Dylan as cabaret; a big band, backing singers and too much saxophone! I bought it again on CD this week, and as I suspected it still sounds patchy, too many endless plodding songs, an overall lack of sharpness. There are tunes, but they go on and on.

I wouldn't go as far as saying there are some gems here, but 'True Love Tends to Forget' is pretty and 'Where are You Tonight' is at least urgent and passionate, though quite reminiscent of 'Like a Rolling Stone.' 'Senor' is probably the pick of the bunch, a song which would have sat comfortably on 'Desire.' The words are often difficult to hear and there's no trademark harmonica either, just that awful sax!

On the back cover there is a photo of Bob in a jump suit with his crown jewels clearly outlined. What this record needed was more balls! Depressingly, Street Legal set the low standard for the albums Dylan was to make over the next ten years.


Shake Some Action
Shake Some Action
Price: £0.79

4.0 out of 5 stars Groovy baby!, 5 Oct. 2014
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This review is from: Shake Some Action (MP3 Download)
The Flamin' Groovies enjoyed a late seventies power pop revival under Dave Edmond's production. This is an enjoyable record with the R&B 'Would You Lie to Me', and a version of The Beatles, 'Misery'. But the one total standout is the title track. Its all in the chorus, a twelve string guitar line, and a descending chorus. Everything the Groovies were good at distilled into one song. The whoops at the end are there because this is ecstasy!


Ticket to Timbuktu
Ticket to Timbuktu
Price: £2.28

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A REAL TRAVEL BOOK, 5 Oct. 2014
I love this book. An ordinary Joe decides to live out a life long fantasy, and journey to Timbuktu. He is newly sixty years old and not used to this kind of travelling. But he does it. The consequences are often funny, sometimes gripping and occasionally poignant. Joe was brave, but his wife and the family who egged him on to do it, were braver. Bad internet connections, even worse hotels and a stomach that finally gives in, sends Joe somewhere most of us would not liked to have been. He battles on, 'against overwhelming oddities,' as John Lennon once said, and comes through the other side. I travelled in South America, under basic conditions when one of my travelling companions said, 'if you think this is bad, you should try Africa!' I never did, but Joe has, and lived it out for all of us.


Atom Heart Mother [Discovery Edition, digipak]
Atom Heart Mother [Discovery Edition, digipak]
Price: £10.04

5.0 out of 5 stars THE BEST PINK FLOYD ALBUM OF THE EARLY SEVENTIES, 22 Sept. 2014
I would like to convince you that this is a superior album to Meddle. I have listened to both records back to back, and in my estimation, there is no contest. Both the Echoes piece and Atom Heart Mother suite have strong opening themes, but 'Mother' benefits from having a wonderful secondary theme, while Echoes, at this point, dissolves into interminable chugging, musically marking time. Atom Heart Mother has been banished mainly because the Floyd hated it. That was because at this point in their career they couldn't really cope with brass sections and choirs, far less have to lay down the rhythm track in a wunner. No, boys, the result was beautiful and you should be proud of it.


Shelter From A Hard Rain
Shelter From A Hard Rain
Price: £8.50

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A STEAMING EAGLE PRODUCTION!, 13 Sept. 2014
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I have a lot of affection for this recording, a Colorado Dylan/Rolling Thunder Revue concert in Colorado broadcast on TV in 1976. I recorded it with a hand held mike off the telly, and I still have the tape. You may recall Bob and his band wearing knotted hankies on their heads. Some say the '76 Rolling Thunder was inferior to the tour of the year before. I actually think some of these versions are better than the Live 1975 ones. Also you get a rollicking 'I Pity the Poor Immigrant', simply the best ever version of that song. It's a bit like hearing Dylan backed by an augmented Crazy Horse at times. Ragged glory, indeed! PS What happened to 'Knocking on Heaven's Door'?

Note: There is another CD called 'Live in Colorado, 1976,' which seems to be identical to this.


Funny Bones [DVD] [1995]
Funny Bones [DVD] [1995]
Dvd ~ Jerry Lewis
Price: £5.75

5.0 out of 5 stars A LONG AND TWISTING DREAM, 3 Sept. 2014
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This review is from: Funny Bones [DVD] [1995] (DVD)
I first saw this film on TV and was mesmerised by it. Its depiction of Blackpool is wonderful, and though you know it is the present day, there are many bizarre throw backs to other eras. The aerial shot coming over the beach and the Tower with John Lee Hooker singing 'Boogie Chillun' is masterly. The music is great throughout, from Nina Simone to Duke Ellington all enhancing the often weird atmosphere, and the cinematography is top notch. All of the large cast are excellent, but Freddie Davies and George Carl are superb, as is Lee Evans.

This film is like a long and twisting dream, surreal at times, but incredibly human.


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