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J. Davies "Johnny D" (United Kingdom)

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The Best Of Roxy Music
The Best Of Roxy Music
Price: £4.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Glam, urbane, cool, what more do you want?, 25 Nov. 2010
This review is from: The Best Of Roxy Music (Audio CD)
Never paid much attention to Roxy Music during the early years of my musical education, always appeared, particularly by the early to mid 1980s as a bit too smooth, night club/lounge soundtrack. Background to many a Yuppie dinner party I suspect, for those who wanted something a bit more highbrow than the late 80s Motown/New Soul sound.

However this collection is packed with some fantastic tracks, from early Eno engineered 'Street Life' and 'Do The Strand' to the later 'Avalon' 'Virginia Plain' and 'Same Old Scene'.

Some of the collection is slightly dated but the musicianship, particularly Phil Manzanera's guitar work and Andy Mackay's Sax solos are brilliant. Well worth further investigation, classic British avant-garde rock at its best, I'll just grab my tux and order a cocktail.

Waking Hours
Waking Hours
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £4.32

5.0 out of 5 stars Scotland's Forgotten Heroes, 25 Nov. 2010
This review is from: Waking Hours (Audio CD)
In late 1989 'Nothing Else Matters' by Del Amitri was everywhere, one of those classic, simple songs, with meaningful lyrics, together with a simple chord arrangement on acoustic guitar. As the way of the world Del Amitri and particularly Justin Currie's songwriting talents were lost by the late 1990s,(last seen on Songwriter's Circle on BBC Four with Chris Difford in October 2010) with Del Amitri finally expiring in 2003, which is bitter sweet when you listen to this 1990 release.

Plenty of good, honest songs matched with a passionate vocal, 'Move Away Jimmy Blue', 'Kiss This Thing Goodbye' (single release in 1990) and 'Hatful Of Rain' stand out for me, but I can say the complete album is a joy to listen to which is rare today.

Slightly better than contenders from the same era Deacon Blue, but a million miles away from Wet Wet Wet, with lyrics only Marti Pellow could dream about writing.

End of the Road: The Story of the Downfall of Rover. Chris Brady & Andrew Lorenz: The Real Story of the Downfall of Rover
End of the Road: The Story of the Downfall of Rover. Chris Brady & Andrew Lorenz: The Real Story of the Downfall of Rover
by Christopher Brady
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.99

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An insight into hope, failure and betayal., 17 Sept. 2009
This book charts the progression of the famous or infamous raise an fall of the British motor industry focusing particularly on the BMW take over of the Rover Group as it then was in 1994 until MG Rover's collapse in 2005.

The book succeeds in both giving a historical narrative and a managerial/business outlook on events in those nine short years when Rover went from the success of the R8 200/400 models, MGF and 600 with Honda input to its failure in April 2005. Both BMW's takeover and the fallout with Honda in 1994 are well covered giving insight into a split within the company, as those (John Towers included) wished to continue with the Honda partnership, and the BAe board which after a period of asset stripping wanted a quick sale to assist its profit margins.

The book also covers the BMW approach after the sale in which management decisions and leadership were lacking, giving Rover no overall focus of direction together with Sterling issues and Honda IP rights on the Rover 600 & 400 ranges which ultimately reduced its profits margins again. Throw in Thatcher, Major and Blair governments indifference toward manufacturing or support for any new project, and the BMW board infighting, the picture of the Rover/MG Rover's downfall looks less clear cut than most of the media would have you believe.

Whist well researched by Chris Brady and Andrew Lorenz, I would agree with past reviews that the conclusion reached in is revised edition, published in 2005, is too soon after the events with no longer term perspective on the 'Phoenix Four' or the hand they were dealt when taking over the company in May 2000. They do point out the 'fours' pension scandal and the inability to court a partner which was key to keeping the business running, but the conclusion that MG Rover failed due to the Phoenix Four's managerial incompetence is, I find too simplistic. There are many, in particular BAe, Wilson, Heath and Thatcher administrations and not less BMW themselves, even Jeremy Clarkson who all have blood on their hands in this regard. The Phoenix Four were the last to put the nail in the coffin of this sorry tale.

A great read for those who want to know a little more as to why Britain no longer has a homegrown car manufacturer.

Time's Up =remastered=
Time's Up =remastered=
Offered by music-center
Price: £24.00

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Forgotten gem of politically charged rock., 3 Oct. 2008
This review is from: Time's Up =remastered= (Audio CD)
Chuffing heck, this album does take me back to the early pre grunge American funk rock 1990s, absolute forgotten gem of funk/rock/metal, very experimental, with a social conscience.
Living Color were in the same mold of late 1980s early 1990s Red Hot Chili Peppers, Primus and Faith No More, but with a lyrical cutting edge.

From the versatile guitar work of Vernon Reid, switching from funk to metal in one movement to Corey Glover's superb vocal range this album just fires on all cylinders.
From the charged 'Love Rears Its Ugly Head' (the albums most famous track and first single in 1990) to the more political `Type' there is a vast assault on your senses on offer here, admission tickets are available.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 18, 2009 12:08 PM BST

Making Cars at Longbridge
Making Cars at Longbridge
by Gillian Bardsley
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.48

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Longbridge Legacy, 21 Aug. 2008
This book is, for all intents, a picture book of the history of Herbert Austin's Longbridge factory from the early days of the last century until its final closure as MG Rover in 2005.

Both authors have close links to the subject area, Gillian Bardsley having completed a biography on Alec Issigonis and Colin Corke who is the Chaplin of the Longbridge factory. There are hundreds of images from both war years and post war of the factory, its products and people giving an insight into the conditions and changing times the site has faced.

Full credit for the research carried out as many of these books do turn up some fascinating images of times past.
The last chapter is particularly poignant as the images were taken shortly after the closure of the plant with rows of both Rover 25 and 45 cars waiting to be completed on a desolate construction track.

Overall almost a coffee table book pictorial history of Longbridge with a few paragraphs of general history starting each chapter, which is slightly disappointing as there are no other sources included or any detailed map of the factory areas piecing together the images. For the casual reader to dip in and out of this is a good book, for those wanting a bit more flesh around the bones it is a little of a let down.

The Official DSA Guide to Learning to Ride 2008/09 Edition
The Official DSA Guide to Learning to Ride 2008/09 Edition
by Driving Standards Agency
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A basic introduction..., 21 Aug. 2008
This book is aimed in the most part toward those who are looking into completing a CBT course. As such it did provide me with a run down of want to expect on the course, how its structured and what you'll need to complete in order to pass. The layout is good overall with short bullet points and diagrams/photographs to assist in explanations of the course content. I found the book very helpful in research before going for the test, and subsquent chapters also deal with the theory test and the practical bike test should you want to go for a full bike licence.

Please be aware this is a short guide only, if do you need anything more in depth you need to purchase 'The Official DSA Guide to Riding: The Essential Skills' For information about the CBT it is good.

Philips MMS430 2.1 Channel Speaker System - 100W
Philips MMS430 2.1 Channel Speaker System - 100W

5.0 out of 5 stars Philips MMS430/05 speakers, 29 July 2008
Excelient multimedia speaker system for PC or Mac, great bass levels, very good for MP3 or DVD movies, easy to install and good price, very pleased. The only recomendation I would make is check the size of the bass box before ordering as you'll need a bit of space somewhere near your PC to accomdate it.

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