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A Music Lover

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This Is PiL CD + DVD Ltd edition
This Is PiL CD + DVD Ltd edition
Price: £9.29

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Much better than expected!, 20 Aug. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I'll admit it, I wasn't expecting that much from this new album, but it seems like independence - this being released on PiL's own label - has done Johnny and the boys a world of good. I could go on, but the bottom line is that this is easily their best since 1986's 'Album', and is really better than anything made by a now 30+ year-old band has any right to be. With warm, insightful, and forever punchy songwriting from Lydon, and vibrant, fresh, often exhilirating accompaniment from his brilliantly tight band, this is a pleasant surprise indeed. I'd still recommend you see them live on the current tour to catch them at their best, but this deluxe edition - with its bonus DVD - is an excellent substitute.

Highly recommend. Suspend your personal opinions about Mr Lydon, and/or any pipe dreams about Metal Box, part 2, and buy this now!


Metal Box: Stories from John Lydon's Public Image Limited
Metal Box: Stories from John Lydon's Public Image Limited
by Phil Strongman
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing, but questionably intentioned, 20 Aug. 2012
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This is an intriguing read for any PiL fan, especially those interested in the early years. There's certainly plenty of behind-the-scenes anecdotes, but unfortunately, they seem to revolve less around the music than around 20+ year-old personal grievances.

It struck me that the book relies on Lydon's name as its selling point, though Lydon was not interviewed, and to add insult to injury, consists in large part of former PiL members and associates grinding their various axes about him. Bear in mind that many of those interviewed have, quite frankly, done little of note since, and are only on the radar at all because of their association with Lydon and PiL.

As a longtime PiL fan I did enjoy the stories. I also accept that Lydon's no saint, that Gunter Grove was not a nice place to be, and that there's bad blood with former band members which may or not be justified. However, that does not take away from the fact that this is a poorly written book - the fact that it is padded out with 30+ page discography(!) indicates the quality of work here - that, moreoever, is self-defeating: it's presumably intended as tribute to one of the most influential, yet underappreciated, bands of all time, yet is neither particularly informative, or appreciative. A confusingly mean-spirited effort. I suppose Lydon hasn't seen it...


Let's Get Lost: The Best Of Chet Baker Sings
Let's Get Lost: The Best Of Chet Baker Sings
Price: £3.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Smooth, sweet, sad loveliness, 1 Jan. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Sweetly melancholic renditions of jazz classics in Baker's inimitable, effortlessly cool style. Understated yet resonant, this is the perfect late-night/rainy-day accomplishment. For the casual fan you can't get much better than this - for £4 delivered! - as a compilation of Baker's vocal tracks, and for those willing to explore further this is a great primer. Fans of modern 'crooners' such as Michael Buble would benefit too from a listen to this true original.

100% recommended!


Black & White Night [DVD] [2009]
Black & White Night [DVD] [2009]
Dvd ~ Roy Orbison
Offered by cult_stores_ltd
Price: £34.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Heavenly. Awe-inspiring. Magical., 18 July 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
...and that's not hyperbole. The 48 5-star reviews here speak for themselves, and I have little to add other than that if you love music, you owe it to yourself to buy this. Even if you're not a huge Orbison fan I *insist* that this concert's jubilant atmosphere, stylish cinematography, sterling musicianship and above all, that still-magnificent voice, will not fail to captivate you. A year before his death, and over twenty years past his so-called 'prime', Orbison soars over both mini-epic ballads and bluesy groovers. There are no highlights; each performance is as spellbinding as the last. I was skeptical about his ability to hit those legendary high notes, but when he did so in the opener 'Only the Lonely' the hairs stood up on the back of my neck, and not for the last time whilst watching this DVD. Cast aside too all thoughts of celebrity ego-stroking; the all-star cast most definitely flatter Orbison, not upstage him.

If, by some miracle, you're still not convinced, hear this: I showed this to two initially apprehensive people who, at best, agreed to watch a couple of songs. We then proceeded to watch the whole thing three nights in a row. Surely there can be no better testament to this performance's greatness than that.


John Lydon: The Sex Pistols, PiL, and Anti-Celebrity
John Lydon: The Sex Pistols, PiL, and Anti-Celebrity
by Ben Myers
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Well intended but not very well written, 13 Aug. 2008
The first thing to say here is that this book was very obviously released to coincide with (read: cash in on) John Lydon's appearance on I'm a Celebrity and the media frenzy that followed. People who had never owned a Sex Pistols record in their life were suddenly starting to take an interest in the man many previously considered to be nothing but a 'foul-mouthed yob'. This book is aimed primarily at those kind of people, people with a vague interest sparked off by our Johnny's resurgence as a bona-fide 'celebrity'. Real fans- you won't find much here that you don't already know. That's not to say this book is bad, as such; Ben Myers clearly has a lot of love and respect for his subject. Brownie points should be awarded for being the first book (that I know of, anyway) to look at Lydon's post-Pistols career, in particular Public Image Ltd and the seemingly endless lineup changes. There's also some nice, albeit black and white, photos included. Needless to say Lydon didn't want to be involved and thus is not interviewed.

Now for the bad stuff. Myers quotes Dali at the start of the book: 'have no fear of perfection- you'll never reach it'- and he's right. This book is far from perfect. Aside from the author's annoyingly melodramatic style (I sympathise with a previous reviewer who said the book reads like a love letter from an obsessive fan), there's also a lot - well, more than there should be- of grammatical errors as well as spelling mistakes! Not very good, eh?

Overall, this book isn't awful. At least it's better than the usual hatchet jobs and tabloid sensationalism written about John Lydon. And I will admit that it was helpful, even to a long-time fan like myself, to have a history of PiL in one place, especially one that covers all of the band and their albums- not just the groundbreaking first three. If you're a newcomer to the wonderful world of John Lydon then I suppose this is an okay introduction, but for £12.99 you could do a lot better by picking up Lydon's autobiography and a copy of Never Mind the Bollocks, and Metal Box too. There's not a lot of information here that can't be found looking around [...] as well as the excellent PiL site fodderstompf.com- something Mr Myers seems to be, ahem, very well aware of, shall we say (yet strangely neither site is credited in the book...hmmm). If you're a real fan (especially a regular visitor to the above sites), this book is worth a look, but it won't bring any great revelations. In fact, if you know those websites, some of it will seem oddly familiar... Oh well- I guess we'll have to wait for 'Rotten: part 2' for the real lowdown on post-Pistols Lydon- and I think it's gonna be a long, long wait...


Back To Mono 1958 - 1969
Back To Mono 1958 - 1969
Offered by FastMedia "Ships From USA"
Price: £66.28

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully packaged pop perfection from a criminally under-represented genius, 31 July 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The other reviews here pretty much sum up what I wanted to say: this is perfect pop music from one of the most important and influential figures of all time. In my opinion, Phil Spector is just as crucial to the development of pop music as the Beatles, Stones, Beach Boys etc etc- if not more. The packaging of this box set is wonderful with a lovely book featuring complete lyrics, a couple of fantastic essays on Spector and his music, and lots of gorgeous pictures of both the man himself the artists he produced. The whole package is really lovingly assembled and it's great to see Spector and the artists finally getting the respect they deserve. If like me you're in love with this music and this era, this box set is a real treat. Some people have complained about the remastering but personally I think the sound quality is excellent; it sounds far more authentic in mono, and plus I'm not sure these songs would have the same charm if they were cleaned up and made to sound like they were recorded yesterday. I like the fact that they sound old!

Having said all of that, I think it's absolutley criminal - especially if you're only a casual fan - that the only way to enjoy this fantastic, era-defining music is either by buying the 'Definitive Collection' compilation (okay, but nowhere near enough tracks!), or by shelling out ludicrous amounts of money for this out-of-print box set- I have seen copies on offer at nearly £90! I was lucky to get my copy of this fairly cheap on Marketplace (an absolute bargain at £30!), but with so many modern artists (hello Amy Winehouse) so obviously influenced by the 60s girl-group sound associated with Spector, there really ought to be a readily available, decently priced anthology of this wonderful, wonderful music. Even with bands like the Ronettes who are really quite famous, there's no comprehensive, properly compiled, widely available albums anywhere that I can see. It's a real shame, especially for younger fans like myself who weren't around to enjoy this amazing sound at the time.

Anyway, rant over. If you like music, you need Spector's stuff in some shape or form- and for the time being, this set is your best bet.Perhaps a bit too much for a casual fan but if you love this - or in fact, any - music, you're in for a real treat. It's expensive but boy is it worth it. Grab it while you can.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 8, 2009 11:59 AM GMT


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