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Uncle5 "uncle5" (UK)

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Les Misérables Live! Dream the Dream 2010 Cast Album (25th Anniversary)
Les Misérables Live! Dream the Dream 2010 Cast Album (25th Anniversary)
Price: £13.02

7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Here a little slice, there a little cut..., 19 Sept. 2010
This double CD is something of a disappointment if you are looking for a definitive recording of this ground-breaking show.

Firstly, although it includes all the "main" songs, it is still heavily edited, with much of the interlinking (and highly tuneful and memorable) sequences excised. Given that the capacity of CDs is almost eighty minutes, disc 1 in this case plays for 74 minutes and disc 2 60 minutes. Thus an extra 25 minutes could easily have been included here.

Secondly, although this recording features the much vaunted new arrangements, the musical changes don't add up to very much: some additional flourishes here and there, some nice orchestral embellishments, some musical transitions and pacing "smoothed out", but nothing revolutionary, so to speak. Maybe that was the idea, but considering how close it all still sounds to John Cameron's original scoring from the early 1980s, I'm not sure how or why it took three people to sign off these "new" arrangements.

Thirdly, the singing. Some of the performances and characterization do sound excellent (Valjean, Javert) but others are just plain odd. Gareth Gates simply sounds too young to be (student) Marius, "On My Own" - a song which epitomises Eponine's isolation and despair - is belted out with all the subtlety of Shirley Bassey singing "Goldfinger", and "Master Of The House" is given the "funny" treatment by a cast and orchestra, who feel they have to flag up that this is the bit where you can have a bit of a laugh. Other pieces seem hurried (eg, the spoken introduction to I Dreamed A Dream), and the tiny remnant that remains of Little People in this edition makes you wonder why they bothered at all.

Finally, for me, the absence of the the beautiful and haunting (and short) sequence where Valjean encounters the young Cosette in the woods in the dark (post-Master Of The House), is a real loss. Given the general lack of interplay between these two key characters, and the fact that this section has never been included on any (English-speaking) recording, one wonders when Cameron Macintosh will eventually choose to allow it to appear. Maybe on the 50th Anniversary recording?

So, in sum, if you enjoyed Susan Boyle singing "I Dreamed A Dream" on TV and are not too fussy about the other songs in the show, you'll love this recording. For genuine fans of the show, who will be familiar with other casts and other performances, we're still waiting to "dream the dream"...
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 6, 2010 1:31 PM GMT

Welcome to the Pleasure Dome: 25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition
Welcome to the Pleasure Dome: 25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition
Price: £9.99

8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The ultimate version? I don't think so, 12 July 2010
Disc 1 - no complaints, really. It's the original album, with all of its original charms and deficiencies (eg, "Two Tribes" is inferior to the original 7" version, as is the version of War, "Ferry Cross the Mersey" was omitted, etc).

Disc 2 - at the very least, this CD should have been the opportunity to rectify and improve on the material missing from the original release, as mentioned above. But no such luck - the material on this "ultimate" version is mainly filler. A dull (and poorly edited) 15 minute version of various versions of Relax (the original ZTT 12" mix would have done fine), a rather basic short mix of Two Tribes, another mix of Relax (some of which is already included in the 15 minute version elsewhere), various tracks consisting of the lads talking over some sub-Art Of Noise ambient instrumentals, no sign of Ferry Across The Mersey (the "b" side of Relax). I could go on...

This could have been a classic album back in its 1980s heyday - up there with ABC's Lexicon Of Love - if it had been trimmed down to just a single album focusing on just the singles and the stronger tracks, and leaving out the pretentious stuff. As it is, the album ended up as a mixed bag amd sowed the seeds for Frankie's subsequent fall from grace. This ultimate release simply repeats the same mistakes.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 11, 2011 12:07 PM BST

No Title Available

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nicely made - but the unit's output volume constantly needs re-setting, 22 Mar. 2010
This little unit it very nicely made, but:

The remote contol is less robust (it lacks proper buttons and is made entirely of plastic). It's about the size of a credit card. Don't lose the it, though, as you're going to need it EVERY time you use the unit in order to set its volume at the maximum level.

Ubelievably, Pure have designed this item so that the volume output re-sets each time you switch it on. (The unit's default volume is not very loud so you'll find that you need to adjust it if you want to hear your music.)

So, as well as having to adjust the volume on your audio device (to which this unit is designed to connect), you'll have to adjust the volume here as well. This is pretty pointless and extremely frustrating - you may as well save yourself £30 and stick a normal lead into the headphone socket.

Love Songs
Love Songs
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £15.95

5.0 out of 5 stars A collection of her best 1970s work, 11 Mar. 2010
This review is from: Love Songs (Audio CD)
Most of the reviews on this page seem to be for another album of 1960s songs by Francoise Hardy. The songs on this collection draw together some of her most beautiful songs from the early to mid-1970s, including the rather dramatic "Que va tu faire" written and produced by a rather young Jean-Michel Jarre. However, this track is not typical of the musical style elsewhere, most of which feature her attractively plaintive vocals and orchestral or guitar-based arrangements.

This was a key period for Francoise Hardy, leaving behind the simplistic "ye-ye" Frensh pop style of the 1960s, and finding a new, more sophisticated, adult style.

At times, some of the tracks from this period are almost reminiscent of Britain's Nick Drake, in terms of the fragile, delicate nature of Francoise' vocals and the romantic, haunting and melodic arrangements.

Highly recommended.

New Dimension
New Dimension
Offered by samurai media JPN401
Price: £18.93

4.0 out of 5 stars Four stars for the Three Degrees, 2 Mar. 2010
This review is from: New Dimension (Audio CD)
I'm a little baffled by some of the other reviews here which suggest the tracks here are out of sequence. I have this CD and can confirm it matches the running order (and timing) of the original 1979 Ariola Records vinyl release. I still have the original album and have double-checked that I'm not imagining things!

Consequently, the "side 1" tracks segue as they always have done: with "Givin Up, Givin In" transitioning into "Falling In Love With Love Again" which in turn transitions into "Looking For Love".

It's a great album, one of producer Giorgio Moroder's best, and the remastering sounds good. The album arrangements are by Greg Mathieson, who worked on Donna Summer's "MacArthur Park" at around this time, and it's interesting to note some musical similarities between the two albums' side-long suites (in particular the rhythm and brass arrangements).

I've refrained from awarding the full five stars because:

* the volume in the first few seconds of "The Runner" drops slightly (which is very irritating)
* the original, extended 12" versions of the "Givin Up, Givin In" and "The Runner" have NOT been included

Hopefully, a UK or US record label will get around to re-releasing this album (and it's follow-up, 3D) at a more affordable price than this Japanese import..?

UPDATE: A UK label (BBR) has now released this album - with bonus tracks and an excellent booklet, worth reading for Sheila Ferguson's story behind writing "The Runner" alone!

Pandemonium: Live at the O2 Arena, London, 21st December 2009 [CD+DVD]
Pandemonium: Live at the O2 Arena, London, 21st December 2009 [CD+DVD]
Price: £14.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The usual high quality PSB product!, 15 Feb. 2010
This CD and DVD is a real treat for PSB fans and pop/disco music lovers generally. I was lucky enough to attend this mid-winter event and, despite the snow and traffic problems en route it was a fantastic evening. This is a great souvenir and, at this price, a complete bargain.

ps. For those who think this was some kind of mime show, I can confirm that Neil Tennant's vocal was live, the singers' backing vocals were live, the (pre-sequenced) synthesiser parts were live, and Chris Lowe's keyboard embellishments were live. Neil Tennant's second and third part harmonies would have been pre-recorded but, in a live situation, what's the alternative?
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 2, 2010 5:59 PM GMT

Doctor Who: K9 Tales Box Set (Invisible Enemy/K9 and Co) [DVD]
Doctor Who: K9 Tales Box Set (Invisible Enemy/K9 and Co) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Elisabeth Sladen
Price: £10.40

3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This release is to be avoided, 8 Sept. 2009
I've been waiting for over three weeks for 2entertain to replace the faulty DVD. Clearly they're in no hurry to rectify their mistake, and are happy to treat loyal customers in this way.

I'm appalled that they chose to deliberately release a faulty DVD, but I'm even more shocked at their subsequent indifference to those customers who have then had to return the disc at their own expense. BBC Worldwide need to ditch this shoddy outfit.

Katy Brand's Big Ass Show - Series 1 [DVD]
Katy Brand's Big Ass Show - Series 1 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Katy Brand
Price: £9.95

6 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Lame stuff - one star for effort, 8 Sept. 2008
Tucked away on late night ITV2, this is comedy for the terminally thick. If you thought The Little and Large Show back in the 1980s was funny then you'll LOVE this. I've chanced upon this show a few times whilst channel-hopping and have been surprised by the poor quality writing and amateurish performances. I guess ITV are desperate to find the next big thing in comedy - but this ain't it.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 13, 2009 11:04 PM GMT

Pure DMX60 Micro System With Single CD, DAB & FM, & SD Card Slot With ReVu & EPG
Pure DMX60 Micro System With Single CD, DAB & FM, & SD Card Slot With ReVu & EPG

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How to get rid of the "buzz", 30 Sept. 2007
One other customer mentioned that this unit made an annoying "buzz". I experienced something more like a faint hum - imperceptable during the day, but clearly evident at night - especially when trying to sleep.

The solution? A small rubber washer under the edge of one side of the unit put an end to the vibration and provided complete silence.

So if the hum is bugging you, don't get rid of the unit - it's a marvellous audio system. Just splash out 5p on a small piece of rubbber...

Doctor Who: The Dalek Conquests (Dr Who)
Doctor Who: The Dalek Conquests (Dr Who)
by Nicholas Briggs
Edition: Audio CD
Price: £13.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What Dalek chronology is that then??, 18 Sept. 2007
If "Thal Spy" can come up with a viable Dalek chronology, I'd be very impressed. The TV series has naver made any serious effort to connect the Dalek timeline logically - and most of the "classic" stories blatantly contradict what's gone before.

In a way it doesn't matter since everytime the Doctor beats these tinpot baddies he's effectively interfering and changing their history!

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