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michael_m

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Rattus Norvegicus / Black And White
Rattus Norvegicus / Black And White
Price: 18.07

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a bargain!, 3 Mar 2004
Two of the classic first 4 Stranglers albums in one package and the price of one CD is a real bargain! I must say that I'm surprised that the first and third are packaged together, maybe it would have made more sense to package 'No More Heroes' with Rattus, but who cares - this is a damn good deal!
Rattus is one of the best Stranglers albums by far, and shows them at their most 'punk' stage. Great tracks like 'Hanging Around' and the epic 'Down in the Sewer' standout here, but there are plenty of other good tracks, including the overplayed 'Peaches'.
'Black and White' was a change in direction for the Stranglers, with a more varied kind of writing going on. There are tracks that are obviously different from the first two albums, like 'Outside Tokyo' and 'Do You Wanna?', but there is enough of the classic sound too in tracks like 'Tank' and the semi-reggae of 'Nice 'n' Sleazy'.
The best part of this package is that you get the bonus tracks from each of the CD's as if you had bought them separately, so you get classics like 'Go Buddy Go' and 'Walk on By' too.


Orbital
Orbital
Price: 7.21

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the two great Orbital albums, 2 Mar 2004
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Orbital (Audio CD)
Orbital produced two great albums when they started their career, and although it has been up and down since then, this seems to be the album that everyone knows best.
Also known as 'The Brown Album', it continues where 'Orbital' left off, but the direction is probably a little more towards conventional techno, albeit with a much wider range of influence behind it. The rhythms aren't too conventional here, and it was the start of the break from pure dance music and a nod in the direction of experimental music.
'Lush 3-1' and 'Lush 3-2' are the standout tracks for me, but when you listen to this album, you don't really think about separate tracks too much, as the CD needs to be appreciated as a whole rather than concentrating on any of it's constituent tracks.


Blue Lines
Blue Lines
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: 5.16

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Massive Album., 1 Mar 2004
This review is from: Blue Lines (Audio CD)
Like most people, I first got to know of this band through hearing 'Unfinished Sympathy'. It's not that typical of the rest of the album, but I bought it on the strength of the one track, and boy, and I glad I did!
This has got to be one of the best albums of the 90's, one that redefined music and gave birth to the genre of 'trip-hop'. I know that sounds like a terrible exageration, but I really cannot think of anyone else who played this kind of music before Blue Lines.
Every track here is a killer - 'Five Man Army' is a favourite of mine, and 'Blue Lines' gives us a clue where the band were going to head in future years. There is such a range of vocal talent here, from the undoubted talents of Shara Nelson and Horace Andy to the slightly off-key talk/whisper of 3-D. I don't think any other band would be able to get away with such a diverse collection of vocal talent on one album.


Anthology 1992 - 2002
Anthology 1992 - 2002

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What can you say?, 26 Feb 2004
This review is from: Anthology 1992 - 2002 (Audio CD)
What can you say about this band? If they weren't remembered for anything else, they would be remembered for the "Lager, lager, lager, lager..." of 'Born Slippy'. However, that is far from the best track on this compilation.
You get pretty good value here, as there are two CD's, but not that many tracks as most of them clock in at about 10 minutes. None of your 3 minutes pop songs for these guys, just a good solid techno track from beginning to end.
From 'dubnobasswithmyheadman' there are some great tracks to start this album, like the excellent 'Dark and Long', but there are a few early singles thrown in, like 'Big Mouth', with its distinctive harmonica riff.
Each album is treated fairly, with at least one track from each making an appearance. A great introduction to Underworld.


Elephant
Elephant
Price: 8.31

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Damn fine album!, 25 Feb 2004
This review is from: Elephant (Audio CD)
The White Stripes are a duo who record all their material on old analog recording equipment and refuse to embrace the digital revolution. The result? An album that sounds warmer and more real than just about anything that has been around in years!
That's no exageration either, as this album just exudes a sound that is sadly being left in the past. There are not multiple takes to get the playing perfect either; all the little imperfections in the playing and singing are left in, so it doesn't have the cold feel that most music has now.
The song are great too, starting with "Seven Nation Army", with a catchy bass line that gets the groove going, and then they just keep coming. Meg duets on "I Just Don't Know What to do With Myself", which wrenches the emotion from the words. "Ball and Biscuit" is my favourite - a kind of 21 century blues that Led Zep would be proud of.
The only thing that puzzles me about this album is why there is a picture of Meg's feet on the inside of the cover...


Singles Going Steady
Singles Going Steady
Offered by davehopetrading
Price: 4.93

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Manchester's finest!, 24 Feb 2004
This review is from: Singles Going Steady (Audio CD)
Long before the Stone Roses were the darlings of the Manchester indie scene, the Buzzcocks were writing and playing some of the best music in the country. In the late 70's they wrote some of the best love songs ever to be played under the banner of 'punk', and they make the so-called 'punk' bands of the 21st century look like the third-rate metal bands with guitarists that can't solo that they are.
I was tempted to take a star away for the inclusion of a few later tracks that aren't as good quality as the others (i.e. 'Why She's A Girl From The Chainstore' et al.) that weren't on the original release of the CD. However, I can easily forgive that due to the fantastic songs that make up the rest of the album.
From the teen anthem 'Ever Fallen In Love', through the heartache of 'Promises', to the naive optimism of 'Everybody's Happy Nowadays' and the harsher Steve Diggle vocal on 'Harmony In My Head' you simply cannot help but love these songs.


Second Coming
Second Coming
Offered by Dirty Deals UK
Price: 5.00

8 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Flawed follow up, 23 Feb 2004
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Second Coming (Audio CD)
After the amazing first album, the Stone Roses were always going to struggle to match it. OK, they were beset by all kinds of problems from record companies, personal relationships and drug use, but this just didn't come anywhere near the first one.
Don't get me wrong - there are some great tracks here, notably 'Ten Storey Love Song' and the earlier songs on the album. Touches of the genius that they were capable of crop up all over this album. The problem? It's boring! Too many of the songs have over-long guitar solos that just make it hard to remain fully interested. Not that John Squire isn't a very accomplished guitarist - in fact he had developed into an excellent guitarist by this album - it's just that it's too much guitar and not enough song in some cases.
There aren't really any bad songs on this album, they just needed some better hooks and - I'll say it again - less guitar solo.


The Very Best Of
The Very Best Of
Offered by Mattpuss
Price: 18.49

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This really is a VERY best, 20 Feb 2004
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Very Best Of (Audio CD)
How often are you disappointed with an album that professes to be the 'very best' of an artist because it is too short, or misses great tracks, or for a plethora of other reasons. Record companies really don't seem to have consumers best interests at heart most of the time, but in this case, they have got it spot on!
I can't fault this collection of great songs from one of Britains best singer/songwriters. There is a little of everything here, spanning a career of decades and numerous musical styles. Early classics such as 'Oliver's Army' and 'Watching the Detectives' appear at the beginning of this album, and it then runs through all of his reinventions, such as the country music of 'Good Year for the Roses', all the way to 'She', recorded for the Notting Hill soundtrack.
Liverpool is rightly proud of it's four famous sons who changed the world, but they should be equally as proud of Declan Aloysius McManus for his oustanding musical career.


New Boots and Panties
New Boots and Panties
Offered by Eds Attic Music Store
Price: 9.95

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oi, oi!, 19 Feb 2004
This review is from: New Boots and Panties (Audio CD)
Cockney geezer Ian Dury's first album backed by the Blockheads is nothing short of a British institution. It's like a good cuppa, or fish'n'chips - it's part of what being British is all about, or more specifically what being a geezer in London is all about.
This is in some ways the most personal of his albums, with a nod to his stage hero ('Sweet Gene Vincent'), and a monologue about his relationship with his long estranged father ('My Old Man') sitting between the irreverent but lyrically genius tracks like 'Billericay Dickie' and 'Clever Trever'. Like most musicians who make social observations, he sticks mostly to his own 'manor'. This is East London/Essex throughout, but very accessible to anyone from anywhere in the UK.
The musical talent of Chaz Jankel shouldn't be ignored either, as all the great Ian Dury material involved him as writer/arranger/keyboard player/guitarist.
Brilliant!


Music Has the Right to Children
Music Has the Right to Children
Offered by Music-Club
Price: 22.90

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better with each listen, 19 Feb 2004
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
When I first listened to this album, it passed me by without me really taking any of it in. This disappointed me, as I thought it meant that the album was bad, but as with all music, I gave it a second chance. Each time I listen to it now, I get something different from it, and I think it depends on what I am doing at the time. This album is best listened to when you are relaxed and can give time to it.
There is a similar quality to all the songs, yet you will have no problem telling where one ends and another begins. It's almost like watching a landscape slowly change over time, with each track representing a new day. One day there is a chill wind blowing, next there is fog, next there is a sunny haze, etc. This music is all about moods, and if you just sit and let it take you where it will you will get the most out of it.


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