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M. Barrows

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The Beginning [DVD] [2012]
The Beginning [DVD] [2012]
Dvd ~ Blackmore's Night
Price: £29.98

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice Box Set But A Little Deceiving, 1 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: The Beginning [DVD] [2012] (DVD)
I'm going to assume anyone reading this is familiar with Blackmore's past career and his current project with his wife, so what we have here is a box set that wraps up the early years (first two releases and tours) of that current project. As far as the packaging goes, you get a nice purple velvet box with silver embossing. The box itself feels sturdy and the two CDs and two DVDs have their own heavy duty cardboard digipaks with new artwork on them. Any fan will already have the two CDs so the real reason for fans to get the box is to get the two DVDs of the early tours. I was especially looking forward to the DVD of the first tour because the track listing shows some Deep Purple and Rainbow songs. Previously, they have covered a song here and there on other DVD releases (Soldier Of Fortune, Child In Time) but the track listing indicates that at the end of the DVD they pull out Black Night, Man On The Silver Mountain, and Still I'm Sad as well as a version of 16th Century Greensleeves earlier in the set. Now imagine my disappointment as I began watching these songs and after a minute or two of the intros, just as the song lyrics would kick in, we cut to an interview - not once, not twice, but on all three songs. On the plus side, Greensleeves is pretty much there in it's entirety but I have to ask: why? Why put this together for the fans and then edit the footage that is likely most desired by the fans? Blackmore is not the only artist guilty of this practice as I've seen this on other artist releases as well but again, I have to ask why this practice continues. Obviously the footage exists so rather than tease us with it, why not just release it completely? Blackmore did the same with the recent Knight In York DVD, chopping a two and a half hour show down to an hour and a half. It makes no sense and is bad business for the fans of the band. That said, the footage that is there is worth having - the band is great, everything sounds good and the overall quality of the footage, while not up to current standards (these were shot in the late 90s and 2000) is fine as is the audio. You get to hear some interview footage not only with Ritchie & Candace but other band members as well. All in all a nice package and I do recommend it if you're a fan of the band but I did think it would be good to let other potential buyers know of the shortcomings. Had it not been for the edited footage I could have ranked this higher
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 24, 2013 7:00 PM GMT

News of the World (2011 Remastered Version: 2CD)
News of the World (2011 Remastered Version: 2CD)
Price: £16.25

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Here's The News...mostly good, a little bad, 7 July 2011
OK, while I love this album and it's been one I've looked forward to most in the reissue campaign, WHY did the not include the BBC 77 version of It's Late on the bonus disc? They took Spread Your Wings (no complaints there) and Melancholy Blues (like it but not as much as what's missing). I've got a copy of the Complete BBC Sessions and they do a killer version of It's Late so it does exist. Other than that, the reissue and bonus material are on par with the rest of the reissues - I just feel they shorted the fans on a rare track as It's Late isn't something you see on any official live release.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 7, 2011 5:24 AM BST

Queen 40
Queen 40

23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Long Live Queen - revised 7/12/11, 20 April 2011
This review is from: Queen 40 (Audio CD)
I'll not bother lording over how great Queen were - any fan can spend hours going over the different albums, songs and how great each individual musician is/was. Instead I'll focus on this particular reissue set. The packaging is very nice - first 5 CDs with bonus discs housed in the dark blue box with gold logo, lettering and trim. Box doesn't look or feel cheap like some of the American issues do. There are two inserts included so the 5 discs are housed well and don't slide around - each insert can be removed so as you add the forthcoming releases to the box you have room to expand. No booklets or inserts included with the box, just the original albums and artwork. Some sort of booklet with career encompassing live shots would have been a nice addition. The discs are housed in a type of jewel box I've seen before but is not common here in America - not sure what to call it. I was disappointed that all the spokes that hold the CDs in place inside the jewel boxes were broken. The CDs were fine as there really isn't room for them to slide around even with the broken spokes but I have to be careful when opening especially when removing the bonus disc as these can easily fall out (I should know as it happened twice before I figured it out). The bonus tracks, while nice to have, are somewhat inconsequential. There are some acapella mixes, instrumental versions, live versions, etc. scattered across the five bonus discs. Highlights would likely include the 1971 demos for songs on the first album, the live cuts from Hammersmith, Hyde Park and Earls Court all from the mid 70s and the BBC sessions from 74. It's a mixed bag for sure with the oddest bonus track going to Sheer Heart Attack's In The Lap Of The Gods...Revisited - I get that the original song is on that album but using the version from the 1986 Live At Wembley show isn't staying within the original release date time frame - I suppose there is no live version of that song from around the same time the album was released? I'd like to see more live material from the tours for these albums in regard to bonus tracks - there is an excellent live version of It's Late taken from the BBC that will hopefully make it on the News Of The World bonus disc. As for the remastering, the sound quality is very nice. I've not yet had time to compare them to older versions I have but they certainly seemed very vibrant sounding as I listened to them. Other than the minor quibbles, a nice set overall and recommended.

REVISED/ADDED 7/12/11 - extremely disappointed in the second batch of reissues that go in the box. First, there is apparently some issue with the Flash Gordon soundtrack as it is currently not available (apparently someone reported a problem with it and it is being "investigated" - but that's been going on since the release date and still not available). Overall, this batch of reissues stands up to the first - some rare tracks missing, some cool stuff included, some throwaway tracks that should have not been included but my biggest complaint is that this batch is not packaged consistently like the first batch. I got different type of jewel boxes than what they used on the first reissues thus they don't offer a consistent look when placed in the display boz - a small quibble I know BUT if you are going to try and do a catalog justice as well as a band that deserves this sort of treatment, shouldn't the record label strive to make it the best package possible, especially for the money. Queen rocks but the reissue campaign leaves something to be desired so far.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 31, 2011 6:46 PM BST

Live 7th August 1974
Live 7th August 1974

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Live Bullet But Not Bad, 29 May 2009
This review is from: Live 7th August 1974 (Audio CD)
I disagree with the other review of this title. Sure, it's a '74 (supposed) radio broadcast so the quality is not up to the standards of today but keeping that in mind, I've heard plenty of worse recordings. Seger sounds energetic and the band is fine if not in the top form they would be a couple of years down the road. I didn't notice a drastic difference with the last two songs either as the other review mentioned. Personally I'm glad to have this as there is not any live Seger available from this era and the studio recordings are also out of print because he is not happy with the quality of some of the material (Back In '72 for example) and has thus far refused to release it on CD - I think it sounds good but it's a shame it appears to have already gone out of print - possibly because his management company has issued a cease and desist to the label.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 17, 2010 1:07 AM GMT

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