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This Strange Effect - The Decca Sessions Volume One
This Strange Effect - The Decca Sessions Volume One
Price: 10.99

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Big in Belgium and Sheffield!, 2 Oct 2009
Dave Berry was the closest British pop in the mid-60s got to enigmatic. Inspired by the earlier generation of rockers like Gene Vincent, he nurtured a mysterious stage image in line with his slight but charming performances of hits like "The Crying Game" (later immortalised by the film of the same name, of course), the Kinks' "This Strange Effect" (the biggest hit ever in Belgium!) and Bobby Goldsboro's "Little Things". While his first love ws R&B, the Sheffield singer was possibly more adept at more straightforward songs and this double-CD set offers a complete picture of Berry's early recordings for Decca, kicking off with two previously unissued songs produced by Mickie Most and running through two albums and umpteen singles through to mid-1966. Apparently, a Volume 2 beckons, which would wrap up the rest of Berry's 100+ recordings for Decca.


4 From 8
4 From 8
Price: 8.77

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The original Children of the Ghetto!, 2 Oct 2009
This review is from: 4 From 8 (Audio CD)
Real Thing enjoyed huge success in the mid-to-late 70s with various pop-soul-disco hits. But what's often overlooked is their more serious second album, 4 From 8, inspired by their childhoods growing up in Liverpool 8, alias Toxteth, the Harlem of the North West. Self-produced, 4 From 8 was a commercial disaster although it's now hard to see why. Album opener and lead single "Love's Such A Wonderful Thing" sounded like hit material (indeed, it would become so years later as a sample for Daft Punk and the Freeloaders' "So Much Love To Give") but peaked at No. 33 and the panic set in. In due course, Real Thign reunited with songwriter/producer Ken Gold who returned Real Thing to the charts with "Can You feel The Force?". But 4 From 8's backbone, the lengthy Liverpool 8 medley, remained a staple of their lvie set and its centrepiece, the sublime "Children of The Ghetto", was discovered and covered by the likes of Earth Wind & Fire's Philip Bailey, Courtney Pine (as the hit from his debut album Journey To The Urge Within) and, more recently, Mary J. Blige. 4 From 8 now makes its debut, amazingly, on CD.


A Secret Affair - The CBS Sessions 1977-1978
A Secret Affair - The CBS Sessions 1977-1978
Price: 13.32

6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It wasn't quite the time for action!, 2 Oct 2009
New Hearts' mod-est place in pop history stems from the fact that singer Ian Page (or Paine, as he was then) and guitarist Dave Cairns would soon lead the Mod Revival of 1979 with Secret Affair. This New Hearts CD, then - offering a whole album's worth of previously unissued material for CBS - is something of a prequel, offering early versions of several songs later embellished by the Glory Boys. New Hearts issued just two singles for CBS, "Just Another Teenage Anthem" and "Plain Jane", but CBS allowed them total freedom in the studio - hence the unissued sessions. With insightful sleeve-notes by one-time Mod fanzine writer Chris Hunt, this is a vital addition to any collector of the original Mod Revival era.


Black Path - Retrospective 1985-1992
Black Path - Retrospective 1985-1992
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: 10.20

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Medway indie band re-claimed!, 2 Oct 2009
The Claim passed a lot of people by back in the 80s and early 90s. Have to admit that while I bought everything by their mates The Dentists and The Jasmine Minks, I somehow missed the band from the tiny Kent village of Cliffe. Which was my loss, frankly, judging by this excellent new compilation of their two albums and various singles recorded between '85 and '92. Singer David Read has a similarly mournful tone as, say, Ian Brown (except he's more in tune!) and the influences of both The Smiths and The Jam are evident. But many of the songs, especially the joyful "Birth Of A Teenager", absolutely shine. Somehow lost between the C86 generation and Britpop, The Claim have finally been accorded their place in pop's rich tapestry. Enjoy!


Midnight Music
Midnight Music

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Newly discovered gem from ex-Dexys organist, 18 Aug 2009
This review is from: Midnight Music (Audio CD)
Andy Leek continues to strive for recognition of his music beyond his six months with the classic first Dexys Midnight Runners line-up behind "Geno". Prior to that, the teenager had played with experimental punk band the Wailing Cocks; Beggars Banquet snapped him up for a one-off single in 1980, "Move On (In Your Maserati)". Midnight Music is the album which followed, shorn from a week's studio time but rejected by Beggars back in 1982. One song, "Twist In The Dark", was immortalised by Abba's Frida for her solo album Shine in 1984 via a recommendation from mutual friend Kirsty MacColl. Alas, the rest gathered dust. Leek retained some of Dexys' soulful intensity: but he was only sixteen when he left the band and seemed to favour contemporary music like Tears For Fears and early Thompson Twins.

It's a bright, likeable collection of song: the powerful brass and melodic violin will please Dexys fans and Andy's impassioned vocals offer some poignant, poetic lyrics. While the title track might dig at Dexys' frontman Kevin Rowland, Leek's true skill lay in plaintive ballads like "Woolfson Hall", a tribute to the abode he shared with his girlfriend in Glasgow. All in all, Midnight Music endorses the view that Leek has been something of a lost talent, who would later work with George Martin and enjoy a No. 1 hit in The Lebanon. But that's another story...
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 9, 2012 2:35 PM GMT


Munch!
Munch!
by Emma McCann
Edition: Paperback

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A bedtime story favourite .., 9 Aug 2008
This review is from: Munch! (Paperback)
This is one of my 6 year old daughter's all time favourite bedtime stories. Yes, she's too old for the book etc ...but she loves it so who cares? I think it'd been on her bookshelf for a little while before she showed an interest but isn't that just typical? Now, we must read it almost every week. She loves reading Munch's dialogue and guessing the flavours of all the different coloured jams. Highly recommended.


The Soccer Mad Collection
The Soccer Mad Collection
by Rob Childs
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For any football mad boy (or girl) who loves to laugh....., 6 May 2008
... whether or not they're avid readers. I don't know why these books aren't better known. They're laugh out loud funny in places and wonderfully easy to read without being patronising. There's more than enough football detail - but not too much - and not only in descriptions of the games. Rob Childs seems keen to broaden his readers knowledge of footballing legends they may not yet have encountered. Unlike many other football stories, the Swillsby Swifts series focuses on kids who love the game but aren't all footballing prodigies. They're enthusiasm is never dulled by a lack of ability - and sometimes they even manage to win!


Internationalists - Introducing The Style Council
Internationalists - Introducing The Style Council
by Andrea Olcese
Edition: Perfect Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Our Favourite Book!, 1 May 2008
It's easy to dismiss the Style Council as Weller's lost years, a pop vanity project while he recovered from the intensity of his time with The Jam. Not so. Remember, Our Favourite Shop in 1985 was a No. 1 album - and like its predecessor, Cafe Bleu, easily outsold any Jam LP while also making inroads abroad. Weller wrote some of his finest songs between 1983 and 1986 - and this official, hard-to-find, pictorial biography captured that golden period. Published via Weller's own Riot Stories imprint, the 68-page glossy boasts numerous exclusive photographs and, while it's no in-depth tome, there's enough to satisfy the curiosity of any fan.


The Various Haunts Of Men: A Simon Serrailler Novel
The Various Haunts Of Men: A Simon Serrailler Novel
by Susan Hill
Edition: Paperback

15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Ms Hill has written herself a boyfriend!, 14 April 2008
This is not an entirely bad book. The plot is passable and the female detective is good - a believable, flawed yet sympathetic modern woman in fact. But as soon as Mr Enigmatic Floppy-Fringe entered the story, it was obvious that the female detective was merely a tantalising stopgap. Ms Hill giggles girlishly in the face of even the mildest form of innovation! Why waste time on a woman character when you can join the list of writers - male and female - who have created their own detective paramour. And, oh bless! Isn't the posh/poet/policeman just a bookish baby-boomer teenager's fantasy? He even has a winsome surname - no plain old 'Hunt' or even Dalgleish for this aloof scion of a dysfunctional but arty (so not like the blue blood detective, Tommy Linley) family. Smarmy Si is a modern Lord Peter Wimsey - but with a job and a pension and definitely no whimsy.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 31, 2011 6:27 PM BST


The Diary of a Provincial Lady
The Diary of a Provincial Lady
by E. M. Delafield
Edition: Paperback
Price: 9.09

4 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The diary of a woman who couldn't wipe her own nose..., 24 Mar 2008
The 4 star rating is an error on my part. This book barely rates a one star. When I read this book as a teenager I think I found it mildly amusing. Now, as an adult with children, work, worries etc, it's just irritating. The diarist is witty in a droll an complacent pre-war way that finds humour in the travails of dealing with 'useless' domestics. The main character oozes the preternatural arrogance of somebody who has little practical ability of any sort and doesn't care because she's used to dumping on other people. Anyhooo..... the book reminds me of the TV show 'Butterflies' (remember that?) which I also hated - well, i despised the drippiness of the useless main character. I'd recommend Barbara Pym for a more poignant interpretation of the arid lives of middle class ladies in the mid 20th century.


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