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Kiss73 (UK)

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Price: £12.32

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A welcome addition to any Stills Collection, 29 Aug. 2015
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This review is from: NEW YORK CITY 1979 (Audio CD)
This is the third Stephen Stills “unofficial” live recording to have been issued, with the previous 2 being “The Bread & Roses Festival” (1978) and “In Concert” (1976 & 77) , and is part of an ongoing plague of radio recordings that due to some European law means anybody can issue if they so desire.

The reality is most of these have been doing the rounds for years anyway and could be sourced if you so desired. As I stated in my review of the previous two releases, I am of an age where I no longer see much value in live albums, and rarely purchase them…..but Stephen stills is different, and especially in the 70’s, he could display so much energy or grace in equal measures and the sets during this period always contained something of interest away from the usual culprits. There was always a genuine thrill of listening to Stills live as he was always striving to produce something magical although he frequently ran the thin line sometimes between genius and mediocre. This set, containing 2 shows from 1979, offer both.

Whilst there is no getting away from the fact that these are no better than "bootleg" versions of 1970's radio shows; of the two shows, the Brookhaven, Long Island show (7th September 1979) represents the best sound and is extremely clear, although there are a few dodgy editing moments, assumedly to accommodate the radio show that it was recorded for. What the Central Park show (2nd July 1979) lacks in sound quality, it makes up for in show quality and there is more drive to this set that the former.

It’s purely my own opinion, however the inclusion of Mike Finnigan keyboard throughout both versions of Cherokee, although a sound of the period, are hard to stomach.

That said when you hit those moments of genius, where it all falls in place…and it always does in a Stills show…all is forgiven and your glad you made that effort. And probably more so on this release, there are the nuggets that the fans will want to hear…Precious Love, Fine Love, Part Time Love…all Stills originals not heard elsewhere and intended for an album release in 1979 that never happened…and the covers….Hooker, Johnston, Waters, Walsh, Mitchell…all included here. The highlight for me is the acoustic version of Thoroughfare Gap from the Central Park Show.

Stills is probably one of the most underrated artists, overshadowed by the frequently mediocre Mr Young; but as these recent unofficial recordings highlight, he was as raw and existing as anything his colleague and sometimes bandmate could release. It’s a shame Stills has not seen fit to release an archive live series, as these releases highlight there must be a demand, and I’d rather stick the money in his pocket than others.

If you’re a Stills fan….don’t hesitate, just buy.

PS – Would love a Manassas live set!!!
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 2, 2015 11:42 AM BST

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic Rock Revolucion, 2 Jun. 2015
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This review is from: Revolucion (Audio CD)
This is a really great sounding record, really great collection of songs…..heck, it’s damn near perfect rock and roll to be honest.

Its harder and rawer than the first album, however for me, the addition of John Corabi to this band lifts it from being an fairly decent rock band to something special. World class even. And that’s saying something given the pedigree of musicians on this album….but it feels like they have raised their game on this one. Their collective backgrounds means even within the same song there is a cauldron of styles at play.

I could have lived without their version (or any version for that matter) of Willie Dixons “Evil” – but there are a numerous gems in there, such as Mexico, Empty Heart and Sleep to name the ones that have caught attention on first few listens, although others are catching up. Their cover of The Sensational Alex Harvey Band’s “Midnight Moses” is exceptionally good.

And yet…and this is a minor grip, but having listened to this a few times, you get the feeling that this band has just not quite hit their potential yet. It hasn’t fully gelled yet. And this is not meant for one second to undermine how good this album is, however some of the songs were obviously written prior to Corabi joining the band (they are co-written with previous singer Jon Stevens) and you just feel that if this “collective” get the opportunity to write a set of songs together for a next album, it will be more cohesive and extraordinary.

Buy it though…this is a fabulous good time R'n'R record ...and this might just be the new kings of classic rock.

The Purple Album
The Purple Album
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £15.55

1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fine addition to the Whitesnake Heritage/Purple Legacy, 18 May 2015
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This review is from: The Purple Album (Audio CD)
D'you know, I have been a fan of classic Whitesnake since Lovehunter came out in 1979 (and kind of lost them at Slip Of The Tongue until a reunion with Forevermore), and whilst I went back and bought the proceeding Trouble, Snakebite EP and the two David Coverdale solo albums, I never did ever make the effort to check out those Deep Purple albums. Why?? Admittedly my only knowledge of Purple was the earlier Gillan albums, but was neither entertained by his wailing nor Blackmore's general stinking attitude (did see them live once and His Lordship stormed off in a huff about something and wouldn't play for 20 mins or so - left a lasting impression).

So I come to this album and these songs with no prior knowledge or emotional attachment, and can thankfully appreciate this quite simply for what it is...a great sharp classic rock album and a worthy addition to the Whitesnake cannon. It is a fine tribute to Purple, but in a very (and predominantly) Whitesnake style. Now arguments over the decision to record this tribute or the merits of the various Whitesnake styles ("Classic" over "Americanised" Snake) or the choice of musicians, will always be up for debate with this band- all a bit "damned if you do" to be perfectly frank.....- but with one foot firmly in the classic camp, I think this and Forevermore - which this feels like a sister album to - finally find Whitesnake with a credible sound after many lost years. It's a harder and louder wall of sound than in the past, but definitely a contemporary modern rock sound.

If like me you have no previous knowledge of the songs then this plays out like a great new Whitesnake record...which will no doubt make me want to go back and check out those three DC Purple albums. And if getting people acquainted with the originals is what DC achieves then surely he should be applauded. I however think he has achieved more than that. I think he has worked damn hard to reclaim the Whitesnake legacy over the past few years and I personally can't think of many others whom are musically reaching the same scale as this band.

If you're still not sure about this album, there are plenty of opportunities to sample it first - the band did release 4 videos prior to the album release. If you like what you hear then simply buy the album. You won't be disappointed.

Little Box 'O' Snakes - The Sunburst Years 1978-1982
Little Box 'O' Snakes - The Sunburst Years 1978-1982
Price: £23.28

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Packaging issues resolved!!!, 8 May 2015
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I bought this collection in May 2015, and it would appear the packaging issues mentioned in other reviews has been resolved. My box came with a lift off lid (as oppose to the cigarette box packaging others have had issues with) and the CD's are extremely accessible. I assume the label listened to concerns and changed the packaging.

As for the music.....impeccable!!!!. Bought to replace LP's and tapes that I had not listened to for many years (with the exception of "Saints and Sinners" which remains my firm favourite), and feel mildly stupid for leaving it for so long ("Slip of the Tongue" had a bad effect on my love for the band!!!).

Live in Concert
Live in Concert
Price: £12.98

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential for Stills fans, 7 May 2015
This review is from: Live in Concert (Audio CD)
This is another one of the seemingly unlimited number of “unofficial” live recordings that are flooding the market currently due to some law change. Primarily sourced from radio shows, most of the recordings will have been released as bootlegs somewhere or another at some point. I have mixed feelings regarding recordings being released where the artist will not be rewarded, but that's not an issue for this review.

So the main points you want to know if your considering this album are A) is the sound good. B) is the performance worth having.

This CD is made up of two performances; Portland Oregon 1976 & The Palladium New York 1977. The recording is obviously of (a slightly better than) bootleg quality however in this instance very listenable, probably due to the (predominantly) acoustic nature of the sets, although the New York show has the edge in terms of sound quality.

What however makes both recordings worth listening to though is the sheer quality of the performances by Stephen Stills. As mentioned these performances are in an predominantly acoustic settings, on guitar, piano and even banjo (electric guitar brought out towards end of New York show), and this is where Stills excels….untouchable even in my opinion. The performances are very relaxed but they are still incredibly thrilling to listen to. The song selection contains some of the songs that can be found on the acoustic side of the earlier official “Live” album, however there are also great rare performances of Stateline Blues, Black Coral and Make Love To You, amongst others not heard frequently. I suspect the jewels for collectors is a very early version of Daylights Again and a rare take of Stills doing a solo version of Graham Nash's Taken At All.

I’m getting on a bit in age and stopped seeing the worth in live albums a long time ago and Stills remains the only artist that I make an exception for. If you too are a fan, this is pretty much essential.

The Anthology 1961-1977
The Anthology 1961-1977
Offered by HitsvilleUK & more
Price: £22.75

5.0 out of 5 stars Critical, 29 Mar. 2015
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This review is from: The Anthology 1961-1977 (Audio CD)
This anthology is critical to any music collection.

I could end the review there, however it should be highlighted that this is a great collection that collects the best of Curtis's work both as a solo artist and formerly with The Impressions, whom may be one of the most underrated soul artists from that period. Make no mistake, some of the material he was writing and performing with them was and is as critical as any work he produced, and as a whole this double album is as near to perfection as you will find.

Down To Believing
Down To Believing
Price: £9.99

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stunning Surprise!!, 17 Mar. 2015
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This review is from: Down To Believing (Audio CD)
I'll be frank, I know nothing about Allison Moorer and further more had not heard any of her music prior to this album. Infact I pre-ordered this album at the tail end of 2014 following reading an interview with her in Rolling Stone magazine and something about her attitude quirked my curiously. I completely forgot about the album until the "Autorip" MP3 version dropped onto my ITunes on Monday morning and album was promptly played in the car on the way to work.

The inspiration for this album is well documented if you wish to delve deeper, as I have done...divorce, child diagnosed with autism etc. You don't need to know any of this to enjoy this album...but they are reflected in the themes of anger, despair, defiance and ultimately hope.

This is a hard edged incredibly soulful album. Sharp signwriting, stunning any other time this would be a major household star. The songs are self-penned with the exclusion of Creedence Clearwaters "Have You Ever Seen The Rain" which makes perfect sense in the lyrical setting. It is in short a fine, fine album.

There is a danger though that this album may get lost in the "Country" category, which would be a shame if it got confused with the Taylors and Carries of the country world, when this has much, much more to offer and is far more wide ranging.

I buy quite a number of CD's on a regular basis and I can tell quite quickly the albums that will just remain on the shelf after a short period of play, and those that will continue to be listened to in 10, 15, 20 years time....this is one of the latter and I look forward to growing old with it.

What stops it being a 5 star?? I reckon just a couple of weeks more of listening to it.

If your reading this review, it means your curiosity was quirked it...treat yourself.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 18, 2015 7:08 PM GMT

Shadows In The Night
Shadows In The Night
Price: £4.99

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but a little uninspired, 2 Feb. 2015
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This review is from: Shadows In The Night (Audio CD)
I consider myself first most a Dylan fan, with a few of Sinatra albums in my collection (27 to be precise) this was always going to be a curious project.

On the first few listens this it is actually an okay album. Not the train crash I first imagined and better than I expected to be honest. Those whom comment regarding Dylans "singing" would do well to listen to the Billie Holiday version of I'm A Fool To Want You" from 1959 where her voice was equally exposed and brought the same aged weariness and vulnerability. Dylan has taken a slight different approach to the material with the pedal steel guitar and bow bass acting as "orchestra" and has in effect Dylanised the material whereby it fits well within his recent catalogue. Any one song could have been taken out and slipped onto any of the previous 3 or 4 albums successfully. More importantly, it may get people whom are unfamiliar with the originals to go digging.

However the reality is, whilst this is an album that's nice to hear, and will be played a few times no doubt; I suspect it has a limited "shelf life". It's a little uninspired as a whole, and the reality is I'm more likely to go back to and listen to some of the originals if I want to hear this material.

If you do enjoy this album, check out Sinatra's All Alone, Where Are You & No One Cares albums or Billie Holidays Lady In Satin, that contain some of this material and in a similar vein but with beautiful orchestration.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 3, 2015 2:13 PM GMT

Sennheiser MX 365 In-Ear Portable Media Players Headphones - Blue
Sennheiser MX 365 In-Ear Portable Media Players Headphones - Blue
Price: £14.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars sound is great and reasonably comfortable to use although one of the ..., 23 Dec. 2014
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Look, sound is great and reasonably comfortable to use although one of the sponge ear bits fell of and was lost on the first use; however as a running pair of headphones these are terrible. After 1 month on of the ear pieces started clicking with every movement. After 2 months they both do and are now in the bin. They were bought too after reading a review in a running magazine too.

As a general set of headphones these would be great, but for sport....forget it

Gottle 'o Geer
Gottle 'o Geer
Offered by OUT OF PRINT
Price: £25.81

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Little Bit Of Fun, 19 Nov. 2014
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This review is from: Gottle 'o Geer (Audio CD)
This album gets a bit of a bum deal in the Fairport catalogue and it's a bit unjust given that it was never intended to be a Fairport album...however whilst it's no Liege and Lief nor Full House, it neither offers any pretence to be so and should be taken with the original probable was to be a solo Dave Swarbrick album with a bunch of friends, including some of his Fairport mates...probably intended to be a departure from the Fairport sound...and it was to be fun....and fun it is.....even if slight boozy fun

The album for me has many highlights including When First Into This Country, Lay Me Down Easy and Limneys Lament.....however at 33 minutes the album is a short, sweet and pleasant mid 70's album, never outstays it's welcome and had it remained a solo album, as I still consider may have been held in higher regard than fighting the legend of Fairport. It's one that still sits on my Ipod and remains a welcomed listen when it pops on

The last two Swarb Fairport albums (The Bonny Bunch was still fairly decent however Tipplers Tales was plain dreadful) are a bit of a hard listen for me personally, never being a fan of Simon Nicol's vocals I rarely play the albums in this was to be the last album under that name I would buy and love

If you can buy this album at a reasonable price...please buy it.

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