Profile for J. P. Stephenson > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by J. P. Stephenson
Top Reviewer Ranking: 1,303,792
Helpful Votes: 77

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
J. P. Stephenson "JP" (Durham, United Kingdom)

Page: 1 | 2
Epson Durabrite Inkjet Cartridge Yellow Ref T071440
Epson Durabrite Inkjet Cartridge Yellow Ref T071440
Price: £8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 17 Sept. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Fast service. Genuine Epson product.

Auf Wiedersehen Pet - Series 1 & 2 [DVD]
Auf Wiedersehen Pet - Series 1 & 2 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Tim Healy
Price: £14.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Contains at least one commentary, 4 Feb. 2013
Just a quick note, as haven't reviewed all of the discs yet. The most recent release (compact packaging with a turquoise sleeve) contains at least one commentary (the first episode), even though this is not listed on the packaging. The can be found in the 'set up' menu, not the 'extras'. I will update this once I've looked at the other 7 discs.

No Title Available

1.0 out of 5 stars The Wikipedia article, 19 Jan. 2011
This appears to be nothing more than the Wikipedia article. Unless the product page is updated to the contrary, do not buy.

I'm Proud Of The BBC - Single
I'm Proud Of The BBC - Single
Price: £0.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insanely catchy, 5 Nov. 2010
For a song that is mainly a list of radio and television programmes, this song is catchy. There are a couple of addictive hooks ("Edge of Darkness, Tinker Tailer Soldier Spy", and in the chorus). The melody and production are not the only things that conform to the laws of rock. The polemic is against the BBC's detractors, who would like to demolish the corporation for their own capitalist benefits. In recent years the BBC has had to put up with sustained abuse from the Daily Mail, who concoct outrage at any opportunity. And, of course, we now have an advocate of free-market as Prime Minister, who received a lot of support in the run up to the election from Murdoch, who is currently preparing to buy the remainder of Sky. As Lord Puttnam says, such a takeover would be "genuine threat to plural, consensus-based democracy". Additionally, Sky is hardly the epitome of quality.

So, this song has two very overt messages. One: the BBC has significantly improved cultural life in the UK (the inclusion of 'Open University' shows how the Beeb's value has transcended broadcasting). The second invites a comparison to what broadcasting in the UK would be like if the BBC "went away". In addition to the song's 'repeat-listenability', it perhaps appeals to rock's sensibilities more than any other track released this year.

The Simon May Collection
The Simon May Collection

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A gift to the TV theme geeks, 14 Sept. 2010
Simon May's last compilation album, New Vintage, was released in 1994. I adored that album, but on recent listens, I appreciate that I must be in the minority. How many people really go for a mixture of various versions of aging themes? The Howards' Way tracks are brilliant, but really...

The album was released to capitalise upon Barbara Windsor's departure from EastEnders. The album's lead track, "Peggy's Theme", is the slow version of the well-known theme, used on screen as Windsor/Peggy walked away from Albert Square for the final time. It is a lovely update of "Julia's Theme", of which only about 15 seconds have traditionally been played to accompany similar sad moments in the show. Some Twitterers have complained that it sounds too-MIDI. But, imagine spending enormous amounts of licence fee on an orchestra for a piece of music that appeared on screen for a minute? It would be playing into the Daily Mail's hands, and it would distract them from bullying immigrants and gays.

Some of May's more recent work with his Music on Screen collaborators is featured. "All of Me", with superb vocals from Charley Rouse, is a stand-out track begging to be played over a soap wedding.

There is some duplication from New Vintage here. However, five tracks out of a rather generous 23 collection ain't bad. I suspect that they've been remastered too: it certainly sounds good. Other familiar songs have been re-recorded. "Always There" by Susie Webb, and May's chart success as a performer "Summer of My Life" has become a duet with his wife, Rosie.

The album contains tracks that I really wanted New Vintage to contain back in 1993: the orchestral "Howards' Way", "Eldorado", "Glory Be (To God on High)." Yes, they really did make a hymn from the EastEnders theme. I really, really wish that they could have accommodated the instrumental version of "Every Loser Wins" that was featured on the B-side of the vinyl release. Sorry to say it, but the melody shines brighter without Nick Berry's vocals. Any chance of a quick MP3 release, Simon? Oh, and what about a "Don't Let Life Get you Down" and "In the Warm Light (of a Brand New Day)" from Smike? I wonder if there's a live recording of these from the New Vintage tour - the snippets included on the TV special seemed superior to the version the Smike LP. And... where is "Born With A Smile On My Face"?

The packaging is well-designed and positions the album above the cheap TV theme compilations. A nice booklet contains the song lyrics. It certainly looks like a nice product.

I was pleasantly surprised that this album was released. I'm not sure it's the ultimate Simon May collection, but it's most of it.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 12, 2011 5:45 PM GMT

Chalk: Suzy Arrives [VHS] [1997]
Chalk: Suzy Arrives [VHS] [1997]

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic under-valued show, 19 Dec. 2008
Steven Moffat wrote Chalk between Joking Apart and Coupling. Two series were broadcast in 1997, and it is great that, eleven years later, the first is now available on DVD. The commentaries on all six episodes are interesting, but it is the 45-minute documentary that provides an informative watch.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 28, 2009 2:48 PM BST

3 Minutes of Fame Vol.2
3 Minutes of Fame Vol.2
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £6.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Track listing, 25 Sept. 2008
This review is from: 3 Minutes of Fame Vol.2 (Audio CD)
1 Judie Tzuke - Stay With Me Till Dawn
2 Mary MacGregor - Torn Between two Lovers
3 Lee Greenwood - The Wind Beneath My Wings
4 John Farnham - You're The Voice
5 R. & J. Stone - We Do It
6 Wavelength - Hurry Home
7 Eric Carmen - All By Myself
8 Brenton Wood - Gimme Little Sign
9 Alessi Brothers - Oh Lori
10 Charlie Dore - Pilot Of The Airwaves
11 The Floaters - Float On
12 Aphrodites Child - Rain & Tears
13 Pete Wingfield - Eighteen With A Bullet
14 Robin Beck - The First Time
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 11, 2011 8:12 AM BST

New Vintage [CASSETTE]
New Vintage [CASSETTE]

5.0 out of 5 stars A nice collection of tracks, 27 Aug. 2008
This is a collection of nicely produced versions of Simon May's TV themes. It opens with the jazzy version of EastEnders that was briefly used in the show around the time of the release of this album (the change was unpopular with fans and it was reverted, but it's at home here). We also have the vocal versions of the Eldorado and Howard's Way themes. The latter ("Always There") is well known, but the former ("When You Go Away") was only used once, over the closing credits of the Spanish soap's final episode. A beautiful song.

Tracks & Durations

Side 1

1. EastEnders 4:48
2. Always There 3:39
3. Barracuda 3:18
4. When You Go Away 3:59
5. Every Loser Wins 3:11
6. Trainer 3:53

Side 2

7. More Than In Love 3:50
8. Summer of My Life 4:43
9. Holiday suite 4:11
10. More To Life 3:17
11. We'll Find Our Day 3:27
12. Jobs For the Girls/Food & Drink/TV Weekly 2:59
13. The Dawning 3:31
14. Wolfgang 4:21

Takin' Over The Asylum [1994] [DVD]
Takin' Over The Asylum [1994] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Ken Stott
Price: £5.50

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent series and nice DVD, 11 Jun. 2008
This drama is first class. Franceschild has written realistic, likable characters, which are embodied by brilliant performances. A fine portrayal of mental health, and anyone who has been involved with hospital radio will smile at the outdated equipment and library.

The DVD presentation is a pleasant surprise, with the commentaries on two episodes from Tennant, Franceschild and Katy Murphy entertaining and informative. The copyright issue is solved by using the convincing sound-a-likes that were used for the international broadcast. Purists might wince at this, but realistically the cost of using the originals would have been prohibitive. It's much better to use these adequate versions than to not have this excellent series on DVD at all.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 4, 2009 10:57 PM GMT

Alice in Sunderland: An Entertainment
Alice in Sunderland: An Entertainment
by Bryan Talbot
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £15.19

36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating local history, 6 April 2007
In this fascinating book, Bryan Talbot manages to make local history interesting and enjoyable. Using a range of visual genres, from sketches to digitally enhanced photography, with fantastical comic art en route, Talbot incorporates a range of regional iconography allowing readers from wider locations than the eponymous city to engage with the material. Honouring the entertainment promised by its subtitle, he livens up what could easily be dull material with wit and (quasi-) contemporary popular culture references: Sid James is a joy, particularly his harassment of his fellow Empire Theatre ghost.

The interplay between Talbot's three alter-egos is interesting. As a performer he gives a lecture to a plebeian, suspicious of the entertainment value of local history. The middle-man is the pilgrim: the enthusiastic character who travels the land uncovering information and interacting with the buildings and people. We learn about contemporary buildings and art, and their associations with the past. The pilgrim converses with Colin Wilbourn and Chaz Brenchley, responsible for the trail along the north bank of the Wear, who informs us of the project's aspirations and actualisation. Elements such as these allow the reader to engage and appreciate the contemporary landscape.

Hinting at the traditional Sunderland-Newcastle rivalry, a theme discussed in the book, the credits reveal that the Newcastle-based Arts Council England (North East) refused a grant for the Sunderland based work.

The book is of interest to anyone with even the slightest of connections to North East England (as well as to Carroll/Alice fans), and should also take prominence in every secondary school library in the region.

Page: 1 | 2