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Ianham "Ianham" (Ross-shire, Scotland)
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The Seventh Degree Of Separation (Special Edition + DVD)
The Seventh Degree Of Separation (Special Edition + DVD)
Price: £9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars The Eighth Degree of Excitation, 22 Oct 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Well here were are six years waiting - add in the months I had to wait to overcome the disturbing art-work and that represents a fair degree of time since Arena last troubled my spending arm. I had thought that Arena had played their last game, so this CD represents something of a late unexpected run in the Cup. Oh no ... I said, they've changed the bloody singer again. I quickly established that previous singer, Rob Sowden had not spontaneously combusted - I presume that he has decided to retire gracefully and live of the accumulated wealth that comes with being a Prog superstar. New boy Paul Manzi however comes in fresh faced and proceeds to score a hat-trick. No doubt he will become a grizzled veteran in no time, given adequate supply of Irn Bru and Sherbet Dabs. All the time the midfield general that is Clive Nolan (Keyboards and Tambourine)impresses with his useful organ work and ability to make cross-field solo runs. Meanwhile the Dimitar Berbatov of Prog, John Mitchell lays down some serious guitar work whilst trying to remember which team em... band he is playing for this week. The central midfield is ably covered by Mr John Jowatt, a legend of the Bass (and no doubt well known for his lager intake as well). Finally the man at the back - Mick "Yes it was me in Marillion, no I am not Fish" Pointer. Mick hammers seven le bells out of his batterie, as the French might say if they could be bothered. Anyway damn fine album gentlemen. No epics just short bits of genius.

I commend this CD to the House.


Blondie Chaplin
Blondie Chaplin
Price: £14.79

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sail On Sailor, 6 Aug 2012
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This review is from: Blondie Chaplin (Audio CD)
Blondie Chaplin's vocals on the Beach Boys "Sail on Sailor" lent a degree of Rock + Roll authority to a band that had on occasion been synonymous with Apple Pie tweeness. Blondie's more mature approach seemed to chime with Dennis & Carl (Wilson) but was at odds with Mike Love and Al Jardine who appeared incapable of singing anything that didn't mention the words "California", "Girls" or "Woody" - not necessarily in that order. Anyway, suffice to say the Group lost a fine singer & musician when Blondie slung his hook. This album is a fine,fine testament to the guitarists skills with an almost power pop approach to some muscular R+R. Garth Hudson and fellow BB alumni Ricky Fataar help out . Top notch album and it was a shame that more albums in the same vein didn't follow - timing I suppose 1977 being Year Zero for may in the music industry. The opener "Bye Bye Babe" grabs you straight away and in another - better world would have been a smash. Given such a fantastic start I almost expected a falling away of standard but I was pleasantly surprised as one song after another show real class - On "Lonely Traveller" one can see ho the BB's choral voices could fit in. That is however not to say that this is some sort of erzatz Beach Boy Album - far from it but it is sad to think what might have been had Blondie's (and Dennis') talents been better appreciated by their own band - Note "Pacific Ocean Blue" was also released in 1977; this album is the equal (but different) to that. The magnum opus "Riverboat Queen" should be compulsory listening. Buy on sight.

I Commend this CD to the House


Mu
Mu
Offered by thebookcommunity
Price: £48.98

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cult classic of the first order, 5 Aug 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Mu (Audio CD)
I bought this CD some years ago (from Amazon natch) and was remiss it seems not to post a review. Merrell Fankhauser never seems to rate in the cult artist charts however I must advise that the curious listener that they will be amazed by the blissed out variety of songs contained in this double. The tone is light and sunny but this is no throw away pop. The Magic Bands Jeff Cotton adds some sparking slide guitar. Imagine if the Beach Boys had ditched Mike Love and hooked up with Ry Cooder then sailed of to some idyllic South Sea island. If that prospect tickes your fancy then buy on sight.

I commend this CD to the House.


Squeeze
Squeeze
Price: £14.56

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars VU = Very Underrated, 30 July 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Squeeze (Audio CD)
In the annals of rockedom some "Rock Critcs" have been extra-ordinarily anal about albums that do not meet their idea of "cool". This is one of those unfortunate albums which have been expunged from history. Yes, I fully appreciate that it does not have the blessed Lou and would (no doubt) have benefited from his input. Nevertheless, it is a pretty decent follow up to the earlier album "Loaded". You could reasonably argue that the name of the "band" is a bit of a misnomer given the complete paucity of original members however that is to ignore two salient points 1/ bands frequently thrive without original members through natural wastage, drug enforced death and spontaneous combustion; 2/ the strength of the songs, their delivery and verve, deserve - nay demand,greater respect than has ever been afforded. Some might accuse them of being derivative yet that would be to turn a blind eye to what Doug Yule obviously brought to "3rd" & "Loaded". Had the VU continued, "Loaded" would have been viewed as the transitory album. Personally I wish that Doug had persevered as frankly this is a damned good, enjoyable album. Turning to the issue of the provenance of this release, it appears to emanate from that grey market hinterland of being legal in some parts of the world but frowned on by others. I must trust that the musicians benefit to some degree - that said this would not be the first instance where the players do not benefit from their work - cf pretty much all classic blues artists. The fact of the matter is that we like to listen to good music not fair contracts. It seems that without any viable alternative, the best that the average punter can do is shell out and hope that some of their pennies will find their way to the right people. The sad fact of the matter is that piss poor record companies/contracts/blind stupid managers kept me from hearing this great music for over 30 years. After that length time, the music must be more important than the money. So, regardless of the legal niceties - thank you Kismet (the label) for letting me hear Doug and his songs.
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The Alan Skidmore Quintet - TCB
The Alan Skidmore Quintet - TCB
Offered by Vocalion/Dutton Epoch Direct (Crazygreen8)
Price: £9.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars British Jazz was good - shock! Parliament recalled., 3 May 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I must say straight away that I cannot compete or add to the previous review(s). Spot on. What I would say is that if , like myself , you were ever doubtful over the idea that British Jazz of the late 60's/70's was inferior to that being produced by our former colonies, then think again. Top notch playing and (almost more importantly) brilliant compositions. I think it is fair to say that these islands however treated our homegrown jazzmen with little respect and absolutely no acclaim - unless you're counting Kenny Ball's frequent appearances on Morecambe & Wise (which I don't, by the way.)Continental Europe on the other hand I believe is more appreciative - must be something in the water. I should point out that I came to Alan Skidmore rather late via "El Skid" the LP he did with the late great Elton Dean (doff the cap.)So if any of you reading are suitably impressed with this CD & the earlier, equally fine "Once upon a time" then the next stop should be the aforementioned "El Skid" - available through all good Amazons at a more than reasonable price.

I commend this CD to the House.


The Essence Of George Russell
The Essence Of George Russell
Price: £1.58

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A jigsaw puzzle piece, 18 Mar 2012
OK if you have landed here I guess that either you were attracted by a/ the price of the MP3, 2/ by the involvement of half the Nordic Jazz Mafia or c/ by an arcane knowledge of Jazz composers. In any event, this attrociously covered album is a little gem. Bridging the gap between say Gil Evans' orchestrated adventures with Miles to the Manfred led ECM phase of European development. Less abrasive or intimidating than you might imagine, there are even bits that you can hum (possibly still requires a couple of listens for that though.) Given that this was recorded in 1967 - available 68 this should have been more widely known. Anyway take the plunge good investment and at least you can impress your cool friends with you knowledge of Jazz history (remember to have a pipe ready to bolster your intellectual prowess or give you something to suck on should the ruse fails to work.)

I commend this MP3 to the House.


El Skid
El Skid
Price: £9.01

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Into the (Jazz) Valley, 22 Jan 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: El Skid (Audio CD)
Another master work by two ex ( & future) Softies and their compatriots , Chris & Alan. If you fall into the Ken Clark school of Hush puppy jazz buffs - be warned stay away! This is the real thing. I confess I am unfamiliar with the sonics of the original LP however the digital transfer sounds great to me. I view the earlier accusations of air sucking production and rubber band playing with some bemusement. I can only assume the reviewers have the ears of bats. For most mere humans, this sound great - Yes it is close miked - if by that you mean that we can hear the instruments. There is no fuss in production ...just an ability to capture musicians playing their little hearts out. This is your standard album length of around 40 mins - easily digestible provided your ears are properly attuned. Much of British Jazz of the non-trad variety has been disregarded or dismissed , not least by our American Cousins.My view is that with some honourable exceptions (by that I mean Miles & Zawinul), the Jazz torch left the good old US around 1968 never to return. For my money, Elton (God Bless Him) ranks up there with JC - Coltrane that is). There is no aimless noodling here- every tune has a story to tell and is done with some gusto. I'm not familiar with Alan Skidmore's other works but on the basis of this I will be checking him out (on Amazon Natch). Chris Laurence copes well with (what other reviews appear to believe) are four rubber bands and presumably an old broom handle. Nice! Finally one of the finest jazz drummers bar none - John Marshall knocks seven bells out of his batterie.

I recommend this CD to the House.


The Black Crowes - Cabin Fever [DVD] [2009]
The Black Crowes - Cabin Fever [DVD] [2009]
Dvd ~ Black Crowes
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £10.08

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We are not worthy, 29 Aug 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
It has been said before - Genius! Fantastic DVD of a fantastic performance. Proper band , proper songs , proper instruments. Makes you smile , jump up and down, air guitar and help the drummer along by flayling your arms wildly in approximate rhythm and time signatures. As for the organ.....I leave that to your imagination. Best band ever on the planet judging by this. Buy on sight.

I commend this DVD to the House.


Fly From Here
Fly From Here
Price: £4.29

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Oh Yes its Yes, 13 July 2011
This review is from: Fly From Here (MP3 Download)
First of all the negative points - disappointing to see an old song being the centrepiece of the album and that it also features other songs of similar vintage. It is also somewhat exasperating to see an underemployment of the talents of the new vocalist, Benoit David. Benoit's recordings with his other band Mystery give a better idea as to his vocal capabilities. Chris Squire provides admirable harmonies but his ability and efforts to command centre stage is at best merely adequate. Benoit is a major asset and should be used. Hopefully there will be a next album and this is not simply Drama II. [With regard to the Jon Anderson debate - affection aside, his voice is showing signs of wear and tear and consequently was clearly not up to touring. His performance on the recent Wakeman/Anderson project also appears to indicate that his limitations are evident even in a studio setting - sad but true.]

All of which said, this is a great album. Sound fantastic, production top notch, songs strong and performances assured. Much more fun that "Magnification"; more balls than Yes Studio (1996); no gratuitous "world" influences that blighted "The Ladder". In short this a focussed CD which succeeds on its own terms despite the naysayers.

As to the future who knows but personally I would bring back Billy Sherwood (guitar) who has proven he can provide quality material and gives an extra spark. In the meantime I will enjoy this album for what it is - damn good.

I commend this CD to the House.


Congratulations
Congratulations
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £6.55

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Psychedelic Masterpiece, 6 July 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Congratulations (Audio CD)
Words fail me .... Thousands (yes thousands) of CD's + vinyl into my music collecting career/vocation/obsession and I find this. Utterly sublime work of genius. The cover says it all ...perfect psychedelia, twisted tuneful, inventive pop (at least pop as I know it.) Buy on sight - a legend in the making.

I commend this CD to the House.


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