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Cornish Deadhead "Happy Harv" (UK)
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The Complete Studio Albums 1970-1990
The Complete Studio Albums 1970-1990
Price: £22.93

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top ZZ Top !, 10 Jun. 2013
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OK, I'll keep this short as I guess anyone looking at this knows the band; if not, then what a treat you can have.

Forget about Zz Top 6 Pack and Original Album Series [5-Pack], get this box and have 10 albums at a bargain price. From their simple blues influenced first album in 1970 through to their pop-rock of Eliminator and Afterburner and their return to form with 1990s Recycler, there is much to enjoy here. The mini LP sleeves include the gatefolds for Tres Hombres & Tejas with the sleeves being high quality in my opinion. All packaged up in a cardboard clam-box.

Minor grip is that there is no booklet or information contained in the box whatsoever, however at such a bargain price, can one really complain.

I've noticed that the price has gone up already from the pre-order one, so maybe it would be a good idea to get your order in quick for 20 years worth of music from this great US band!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 4, 2014 11:07 PM BST


Grateful Dead and the Art of Rock Improvisation
Grateful Dead and the Art of Rock Improvisation
by David Malvinni
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £27.95

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For the casual reader and musician., 28 May 2013
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Having bought so many books over the years about this band, I have started to slow up a bit! However, the title of this one really intrigued me and having already bought and read The "Grateful Dead" in Concert: Essays on Live Improvisation back in 2010, this one appeared a natural succesor. Whereas the previous book was a collection of essays by many different authors, this book is a detailed (work of love) by a highly qualified musician/musicologist.

The book examines the development of the Dead's jams from their blues based beginnings to their stellar "Space" sections. Not surprisingly, two chapters are devoted to basically one number and for Deadheads there will be no surprise in Chapter 3 "Dark Star" as Cosmic Expansion and Chapter 4 "Dark Star" as Theorising Improvisation, a total of 62 pages!

There is quite a bit of in depth analysis in this book with some stats for those inclined to such things. Part one of the Rheinhalle Dark Star (24/4/72) is broken down into 11 sections with some 66 "sub-sections" to listen out for!!

Malvinni considers that the improvisation falls into 2 broad categories, namely improvising around the tune/melody which is typical of rock improvisation, but more importantly (perhaps) is the improvisation around 2 or 3 chords which follows the modal jazz route. There are many references to the actual music either by naming the chords or in places notes on a stave, so I do consider some musical knowledge is advantageous to get the most out of this book. However, any Deadhead will find much to enthrall them in this book as would many rock fans who enjoy the exhilaration of first class jamming.

With the introductory bits and pieces, this small hardback book comes in at just under 300 pages, and it is well worth the price in my opinion.


A Perfect Haze
A Perfect Haze
by Harvey Kubernik
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £35.00

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Summer Of Love In Full Bloom, 16 May 2013
This review is from: A Perfect Haze (Hardcover)
The year of 1967 was a magical year for many including me. Youth Culture was reaching its peak and we were going to change the world and make it a better place, and central to this was the music!!

The "Woodstock Generation" might have been the phrase that the media cottoned on to a couple of years later, but it was Monterey where it all began, and this approx 250 page hardback book is a wonderful document of the event. To quote Michelle Phillips from the Afterword:

"Sometimes it's just better not to think about it for too long. If we had, we would have known it was impossible to put together, in two months, a three day music festival with the most established, the up-and-coming, and the unknown ... Thirty-one acts representing contemporary American rock, British rock, folk rock, weird, progressive, jazz, African, torch songs, East Indian and the blues - and they would all perform for free"

There is much information to enjoy in the text, but perhaps the story is best told in the many photos - Hendrix setting fire to his guitar (following THE PERFORMANCE which would change the electric guitar for ever). Whilst Monterey was all about the music, this book make a lovely accompaniment to Monterey Inter Pop Fest and Criterion Collection: Monterey Pop [Blu-ray] [2009] [US Import] .

A good thing to know is that the legacy of Monterey International Pop Music Foundation is still benefiting people from the licensed income from the films etc and that it continues to help young musicians, health clinics, music rooms for critically ill children and more. Perhaps the hippy dream is still alive eh?

I was lucky enough to get this book as present which goes to show it's worth having a "Wish List"!


Little Box 'O' Snakes - The Sunburst Years 1978-1982
Little Box 'O' Snakes - The Sunburst Years 1978-1982
Price: £24.48

13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Music - Terrible Packaging, 15 May 2013
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For anyone into rock, these CDs need no introduction, one EP and seven albums, remastered but with no bonus tracks. As I have said in previous reviews, I love the mini LP cardboard sleeves as they are replicas of the original albums plus there is none of those horrible plastic boxes. However whereas most boxes are slip-case or clam-box style, this one has a most peculiar flip top with a second flap underneath it. At first I was not sure how to get into the box and when I did, it was very awkward - why oh why have such stupid packaging. I'm sure that it will become easier, but the continual bending of the lid is bound to lead to wear and eventual breakage in my view!

Whitesnake were one of the great British rock bands of this era, and the albums here go to prove it. I always considered that they never took themselves too seriously, and indeed the cover of Lovehunter was very much tongue-in-cheek I think.

The price of this set has tumbled so if you want to get these CDs at under £2.50 each, I'd get in quick!

LIke the other reviewer the music deserves 5*, but the packaging is 3* (would be lower if not for cardboard sleeves) hence 4* overall.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 16, 2013 4:25 PM BST


Skydog: Duanne Allman Retrospe
Skydog: Duanne Allman Retrospe
Offered by thebookcommunity
Price: £144.52

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FACT: Most Rock Fans Should Hear This / FACT: Most Will Not Hear It!, 11 May 2013
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I consider myself fortunate to have a copy of this magnificent box. Rhino have done a wonderful job on the package and the music in my opinion, but why issue it as a limited edition of only 10,000 which is bound to keep prices up!!

A comment that I made elsewhere was that Duane Allman achieved more in his 24 years than many do in a full lifetime, and surely this box is evidence to back that up. It starts back in 1965 with unreleased tracks by the Escorts (care of his brother Greg) with an immediate crisp sound that exemplifies 60s recordings. From there the 7 CDs take us on a delightful aural ride up to the last track Little Martha (from Eat A Peach in 72). Perhaps being a Deadhead, the inclusion of Duane playing with the Dead at the Fillmore East in April 71 is the icing on the cake! But then again CD2 contains his session work with some Soul greats. OK, so I do have duplications of some of the tracks but having an anthology of this quality is worth it.

Anyone who is fan of the Allmans will love the music contained here and for collectors it makes a great companion to Dreams, but like I said in the heading many will not be able to get a copy either due to price or availability!!

Something worth a mention if you are considering a purchase is the packaging itself. It comes in a hinged long box with a gold velvet lining. The internal dimensions are very precise to hold the paper (not cardboard) slip cases and the book. There is a sticker (why??) and a plectrum as well. My only gripe, and it is a minor one is that the book could have been a hardback and why have it open lengthways - crazy in my opinion.

If you are wondering is it as good as everyone says - yes it is - even Uncut gave it 9/10 a couple of months back.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 26, 2013 8:12 AM BST


Get All You Deserve (Bonus One Blu-Ray and 2CD set) [DVD] [2012]
Get All You Deserve (Bonus One Blu-Ray and 2CD set) [DVD] [2012]
Dvd ~ Steven Wilson
Price: £22.28

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yet Another Example of a LIVE recording beating the Studio!!, 9 May 2013
I have said elsewhere that Steven Wilson has been spreading himself a bit thin and as a result some of the more recent recordings have not been up to par - well this one certainly is bang on the money!!

Whilst the quality of the CD recordings is very good, it is with the blu-ray that the quality knocks your socks off in my opinion. It is well know that SW has worked closely with Robert Fripp, indeed he was responsible for some of the work involved in the masterful Larks' Tongues In Aspic (40th Anniversary Limited Edition), and after listening to the music contained within this set, I consider that I can hear some influence from Mr Fripp - not that it is a bad thing mind you!

There are splendid musicians assembled for this concert recorded in Mexico April 2012. If anyone has any doubt as to whether SW is producing progressive rock, then this show will illustrate that he is without doubt. All the tracks have more impact and power than they do in studio versions, indeed I found Grace For Drowning a little disappointing if I'm honest. Whilst many of the vocals do not carry much of a melody, the instrumental passages which in many cases really stretch out are often superb with Theo Travis' (sax, flute, clarinet, keyboards)wind instruments often adding a jazzy tinge to the proceedings.

The packaging is the weakest point being a small cardboard fold-out with about the worst plastic clips to hold the discs in place that I have come across, however considering the number of discs which enable you to play it just about anywhere, the price isn't too bad.

If you enjoy Steven Wilson's work, then I anticipate that you will love this set - buy it!


Echoes Of The Outlaw Roadshow
Echoes Of The Outlaw Roadshow
Offered by Sent2u
Price: £8.49

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Great Live Album From Adam & The Gang, 9 April 2013
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I have loved Counting Crows since I first heard back in '93. Here we have their 5th "official" live album if you include the live CD with August and Everything After [Extra Tracks] [Deluxe Edition] + there's some "unofficial" ones about with Live In New York City 1997 probably being the best of them.

Whilst I do not consider this quite as good as August And Everything After - Live From Town Hall (get the blu-ray for superb sound), this is undoubtedly an excellent album. It provides a great selection of songs with a startling stark opener of Girl From The North Country before going into more rockier numbers. I love the fact that they perform Friend Of The Devil (well, I would being a Deadhead!), a track that was found on Films About Ghosts (The Best Of Counting Crows), and the last track, the Byrds You Ain't Going Nowhere.

The recording quality is first class, and the album runs for just as few seconds under 80min - value or what. If you enjoy the Crows, I cannot see that you will not enjoy this album as it exudes joy - I love it, and for me beats their last 2 studio albums!

Packaging is a standard jewel case (well, nobody's perfect)with a standard insert of personnel etc.


Garcia Live 1: Capitol Theater
Garcia Live 1: Capitol Theater
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £19.74

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First Issue In The New Jerry Series Is A Sure Fire Winner!, 26 Feb. 2013
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Right first things first then - track lists are:
CD1
Sugaree
Catfish John
How Sweet It Is
Simple Twist Of Fate
CD2
Sitting In Limbo
That's All Right
Deal
Mission In The Rain
That's What Love Will Make You Do
CD3
Russian Lullaby
The Harder They Come
Tiger Rose
Midnight Moonlight
Dear Prudence

This great gig is the first release from the new invigorated Garcia Legacy. The personnel apart from Jerry are the ever present John Kahn on bass with Ozzie Ahlers on keyboards and a young Johnny De Foncesca on drums. The set list is pretty standard offering a wide selections of composers with the self-penned songs dotted about. The recording here is first class with careful mastering from 24 track recordings. The band are relaxed (wasn't it always so with the JGB) yet get quite spirited at times such as That's All Right & Deal on CD2. A bonus with this set is Robert Hunter coming in for 2 of his songs, Tiger Rose & Promontory Rider.

I hope that this series does not peter out like the excellent Pure Jerry series where (as far as I am aware) 12 releases were planned, but only eight released. It is interesting to note that in the thanks on this release, it looks as if Jerry's real family are looking after business now.

If you enjoy this gig, then I would highly recommend After Midnight: Kean College 28/2/1980 which is another excellent gig with the same line-up recorded on 28th Feb 1980.

The packaging is a fold out digipak with a slot for the 8 page booklet. The booklet is informative providing a potted history of the JGB with some comments from Ozzie Ahlers from an interview only last year. A minor criticism is that the print is simply too small!

For me even without the Grateful Dead, Jerry produced some joyous work, and this is a prime illustration. I reckon most people who love music would find much to enjoy on these discs - I can say little more really!


Original Album Series (5 Pack)
Original Album Series (5 Pack)
Offered by mrtopseller
Price: £9.00

9 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The "Wilderness Years" of Yes are still worth re-visiting!, 11 Feb. 2013
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Let's set the record straight first - I have followed Yes since their first album, Yes (1st album) [VINYL], which came out in 69!

Secondly, the band produced one of the great trilogies of albums, being The Yes Album, Fragile & Close To The Edge - all three being marvellous works in my opinion. However move forward a few years and things were not quite so rosy in my opinion.

This set contains 5 albums when they were not firing on all cylinders for me. Perhaps it was because they had already produced a great body of work, or perhaps it was due to the personnel changes combined with what was happening in the music industry generally. Whatever it was, the epics started to disappear (apart from Going For The One), and the production techniques started to become questionable.They did, of course, achieve some commercial success with some of this material - Wondrous Stories (an excellent short song) and Owner Of A Lonely Heart (a decent enough song but some of the production sounds more suited to Duran Duran than Yes!!), but the sound on 90125 is probably the worst of any Yes album thanks to Trevor Horn in the production seat!!

So what of these albums, well I consider it fair to say that they progressively go downhill, with Going For The One being the best followed by Tormato (much maligned album, but nowhere near as bad as some say) followed by Drama, then 90125 and Big Generator. The one thing that does remain a constant is the musicianship, but I guess that is a given with Yes, and there are some good melodies, and it is good value.

I have only awarded 3 stars to this set as the band have made far better albums before and after these, that is not to say these are not worth having, and indeed after some time of not hearing them, I have enjoyed hearing them again. But, by the time these albums were made, the true "Golden Years" had already passed.

Packaging is standard for these sets, five replica LP cardboard sleeves contained within a cardboard slipcase - just as I like it, no plastic boxes plus a great saving on storage space.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 17, 2013 10:43 AM GMT


Miles Davis Quintet: Live In Europe 1969 The Bootleg Series Vol. 2
Miles Davis Quintet: Live In Europe 1969 The Bootleg Series Vol. 2
Price: £19.15

36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 24c Solid Gold Nuggets Have Been Discovered Here!!!, 5 Feb. 2013
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As I commented with Miles Davis Quintet - Live In Europe 1967 - The Bootleg Series Vol. 1, calling these recordings bootlegs does them a massive disservice!

The recordings here once again come from radio/TV broadcasts, but they demonstrate the advance in recording techniques between 67 and 69. On the CDs the quality is near enough perfect, and the picture on the DVD is near pristine with sound to match! (I played mine through a blu-ray so there would have been some up-scaling, but the picture is very, very good).

So why are these recordings so important? The answer lies not in the fact that you have top musicians here (Davis, Shorter, Corea, Holland & DeJohnette), but in the fact that this particular quintet never recorded any studio sessions. Miles himself considered this a marvellous band and regretted that there were no available recordings. There is a quote from him on the enclosed written material which I am unable to reproduce here due to his colourful language! I am sure that he would be delighted that such brilliant recordings have been made available now.

So what of the music - well it is forceful, demanding, imaginative and stimulating in my opinion. Old favourites have new life injected into them (Milestones, Round Midnight) and the new material (Miles Runs The Voodoo Down, Bitches Brew) contain their urgent searching nature, but the versions here probably sound different to those better know ones. Unlike Vol 1, the drums & bass are well recorded here with Shorter playing as if his life depended upon it. In fact, I am almost tempted to say that Shorter is the star here, much as he is on The Complete Live At The Plugged Nickel 1965, although the big difference here is that Miles is on top form.

The packaging is similar to Vol 1 being a fold-out digipak, but it has the benefit of a slot to hold the folded poster with the written material on the reverse. A much better solution than the previous volume which simply has the booklet loose inside the digipak.

In summary, this collection of recordings is of historical importance for jazz lovers, and essential for fans of Miles - it is a bargain which should be snapped up at the first opportunity in my view!
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 8, 2013 4:56 PM GMT


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