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Hawk "againes18"

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Napoleon's War: 1812 [DVD]
Napoleon's War: 1812 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Sergey Bezrukov
Price: £4.99

1.0 out of 5 stars Dreadful and misleading, 31 May 2016
This review is from: Napoleon's War: 1812 [DVD] (DVD)
Truly appalling. My father bought this for me knowing my interest in military history based on the cover (he does not have the internet so didn't look up reviews) He believed it would be a film like Waterloo.
Sadly it is a a cheap Napoleonic 3 musketeers (without the wit or humour) . done on the cheap with a poor script and poor acting. The way it is packaged and the information on the box is totally totally misleading.
Avoid at all costs. Not just because it is not an historical battle film as advertised (if it had any merit I would have been have happy with it but because it is a really really BAD FILM!

With Me Tonight
With Me Tonight
Price: £9.90

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars BEWARE, Not what it says on the cover!!!, 25 May 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: With Me Tonight (Audio CD)
I wish I had waited a little while before ordering. I was a bit suspicious and should have followed my gut instinct. As the other reviews state these are not radio broadcasts from 1968-70. they are not radio broadcasts at all . They are Smile sessions. All very interesting and that but to be honest the 2 disc official set was enough for me.
Obviously the one star is not for the actual music but the misleading album title etc

Heroes and Villains
Heroes and Villains
Offered by Music-Finder
Price: £34.89

3.0 out of 5 stars This is The Beach Boys Live 1964 album. Don't trust a CD by its cover!, 3 May 2016
This review is from: Heroes and Villains (Audio CD)
How this crept out like this I have no idea but the packaging is very misleading (especially as there is not track listing.

Although it has a photo of the band from around 1970/71 and is called Heroes and Villains the actual music has nothing to do with the Beach Boys of that era.
It is in fact The Beach Boys Live album from 1964. Personally I'm not a great fan of the album being a bit screamy and cheesy for my liking though that really depends on your personal taste. For a full review of the album check out the ones relating to that cd.
Actually, if you are thinking of buying this album (and at the time of writingthis cd is £15 new) I suggest getting over to the official Capitol release as a twofer with the Beach Boys Live in London CD from the late sixties. Its about half the price and you get the two albums on one CD for about half the price.

I know there are numerous compilations out there of the BB on various labels but I am surprised how this one seems to have come out in what appears to be an official/unofficial release on a label (SmartArt) which I've never heard of!

Orange Collection
Orange Collection
Offered by momox co uk
Price: £4.17

4.0 out of 5 stars This is Knebworth 1980, 27 April 2016
This review is from: Orange Collection (Audio CD)
This strangely titled CD with a photograph of the band from around 1968/9 is quite misleading.
Firstly it isnt a compilation as the title implies and it is not from the sixties.
This is actually a re-release of the Beach Boys Live at Knebworth 1980!

Considering that the group was falling apart at the time both professionally and personally I was shocked at how good it actually sounds. Mostly the set is the "greatest hits" which they had been peddling around since 1976 with a couple of recent tracks such as "Keeping the Summer Alive" and "Lady Linda" . I'm sure there was some overdubbing but the group actually sound engaged and enthusiastic. This is more than remarkable as by that time Dennis Wilson was a barely functioning alcoholic, Brian was a barely functioning zombie on stage and Carl was so disillusioned with the band that would soon leave for a short time to pursue a rather fruitless solo career. If you get the DVD of this concert you will see what I mean.

All in all I find it an enjoyable listening experience for a concert of hits and a good complement to the 1973 in concert album which included more of their rock and obscure songs (which I love)

Wouldn't it be nice if some of their early 70's gigs could be brushed up and given a release. They are there as the CD of live tracks on their massive box set from a couple of years ago shows.

So, I would say this is worth a purchase and not just for curiosity value. If possible though try and get the set that also includes the DVD

Catch Up - The Essential Steeleye Span
Catch Up - The Essential Steeleye Span
Price: £13.97

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A wasted opportunity or just a set list for the tour?, 13 Mar. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Since 1990 when Steeleye Span released Time (the earliest album represented here) they have released seven studio albums of new material up to and including the most recent,Wintersmith and one double CD of re-recorded "classics" from the seventies.
Whilst I wouldn't claim that any are "classics" , none are duffs, they all have their merits and have very good tracks on them. More than enough to make up a very interesting overview of the latter period Steeleye.

My low mark is for the way the CD has been compiled not the music. Instead of using this collection for giving a good overview of the band's work during this period the compilers have opted for a very top heavy "greatest hits re-recorded" reducing the representation of their later albums to just 2, or in a couple of cases, one, track.

This collection has 25 tracks across two cds. Eight of these (that is nearly a third of the album) are from the album Present - the re-recordings of their "classic" tracks. All are done very professionally but don't actually add very much different to the originals which were excellent. Hence we have, once again "All around my Hat" Long Lankin"Gaudette" etc etc which we can get the originals of from the many compilations that have been released of that period. So essentially we have 8 recordings from a re-recorded compilation, compiled onto erm...a compilation. All very nice but hardly giving much of an overview of this latter period Steeleye.

In addition, five of the tracks are from their most recent album Wintersmith ( was that really such a fantastic album that it merits twice as many tracks as "Babylon", Horkstow Grange" "Bloody Men" ?)

So, we now have 13 tracks from just two albums, over half of this collection, with just a cursory nod to the other fine music they this latter period

What I see here , is an album that is produced to sell at concerts and which is basically the set list they will work from. The classic tracks, tracks from the most recent album and few others thrown in.

As I said, I have no criticism of the performances but feel that this could have been so much better and given a much more balanced and enjoyable overview of their work, encouraging others to check out their later studio albums. Instead, the opportunity was wasted.. Its a shame really

If you havent, do check out the albums they made between Time and Wintersmith. All worthy of a good listen!

The Album
The Album
Price: £7.86

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars worth it for cd 2, 4 Sept. 2015
This review is from: The Album (Audio CD)
Very entertaining , though as written before probably the two cds were originally bootlegs though very good sound quality, probably from radio broadcasts. These two cds have been endlessly repacked.
In answer to a previous review regarding the lack of information on this release. The first cd seems like a mix from concerts in 1976 and 1980 so the line up is mark 2 with Martin Turner, Andy Powell, Laurie Wisefield and Steve Upton (the last couple of tracks are bbc sessions from the mark 1 line up). The second c d is from around 1992 a few of years after the band had reformed with its original line up, although the endless revolving door of WA was starting as only Andy Powell and Ted Turner were left from that reformed line up.
Despite this I think I find this performance one of my favourite live WA CD's. It's tight, sharp and has an energy that many live albums dont have. Worth getting for CD 2 alone.
WA at their best and tightest but on the other hand it is interesting to hear them at periods of their career which are not so heavily covered as many others and this cd is certainly worth getting at the price for those people who already are very familiar with the band. Not for beginners though.

Frankenstein: The Modern Prometheus
Frankenstein: The Modern Prometheus
Offered by Audible Ltd

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I love this book and wanted an audiobook to listen to ..., 4 Nov. 2014

I love this book and wanted an audiobook to listen to so downloaded this.
It is awful. It's read by an American who has the gruff voice of someone who's had a few too many whiskies. this is fine for a Mark Twain novel or any other American novel but this is a classic English novel from the early 19th century.
I couldn't get past the first half hour.

4 Play [2CD]
4 Play [2CD]
Price: £15.43

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 4 for a boot, 21 Jan. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: 4 Play [2CD] (Audio CD)
I always liked this late seventies version of the band and thought that Tipplers Tales and Bonny Bunch of Roses were very strong albums. Unfortunately because of the changes in the music scene at the time these albums were ignored and the band were paid off by their record company and eventually split up.. . . for a time!

These live performances, compiled by Dave Swarbrick, show that Fairport were certainly not washed up as a live band. The band sound enthusiastic, tight (in a loose sort of way!)and engaging with the audience really well (General Taylor) The CD is made up from a selection of 5 gigs and compiled very well to represent a "typical" gig from that time.

What I would highlight however is that these were not "official" recordings. As Dave Swarbrick mentions in his notes this Cd has been compiled from cassettes sent to him by "soundmen or promoters" and had been "carted" around the world for the past few decades. So don't expect the sound quality of the Fairport '74 album or even House Full. Essentially these are of soundboard bootleg quality, albeit very good quality and very listenable but not classic high fidelity. Personally I've found this cd sounds better played on a ghetto blaster than a quality stereo system but that's my own peculiarity!

This isn't a major criticism as I knew what I was getting having got Swarbs previous 2 cds he released with Simon Nicol and Martin Carthy which were from similar sources. However I thought it was worth a warning in case some people expected a pristine recording and end up disappointed.

So, not a cd for the beginner but if you like this line up and want to hear them in full flight well worth getting.

Wintersmith (In Collaboration with Terry Pratchett)
Wintersmith (In Collaboration with Terry Pratchett)
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £12.81

12 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing 2 and a half stars, 31 Oct. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I feel like I'm swimming against the tide here. I have a very soft spot for Steeleye as it was through listening to them as a child I got into folk music in its many forms and have followed them and their many line ups since the mid seventies.

I saw them perform 3 of these tracks in the summer and was quite impressed (Dark Morris and Crown and Ice were 2 of the tracks played)and was looking forward to hearing the new album. I must say I was very disappointed and repeated plays hasn't changed my initial impression.

The sound of the current band is very good and numbers such as Dark Morris and Crown and Ice remind me of Bedlam Born (ironic as the line up was very very different at the time) however, overall I find the songs very weak. Part of this is due to it being an album carrying a story and it seems that some tracks are there to do just that and don't really stand alone as tracks in themselves. Also, some tracks just sound a bit forced and might have better with better lyrics.

I think a major problem with the album is that Steeleye in all their many incarnations have never had a strong songwriter. As arrangers of trad songs into a rock format they are excellent, but when writing their own they fall down badly. The last time the band had an entirely self composed album was Sails of Silver which I think is their weakest. This is better than that as the band have a very interesting mix at the moment particularly using guest Kathryn Tickell on Northumbrian Pipes. However, with the exception of the above 2 tracks and the title track the songs just seem bland. There is one true clunker , Good Witch, which has one of Maddy Prior's jolly singsong tunes coupled with the most embarrassing lyrics I have heard for a long time and which had me squirming with embarrassment. I guess if you are a Terry Pratchell fan this album and the songs might ring a more enjoyable experience. Personally I'm not a fan of Terry Pratchett at all but I do enjoy songs about magic, faeries and witchcraft and hoped that with the bands history of covering such subjects they'd make a more interesting job of it.

On the plus side, Its good to see an appearance by Bob Johnson on this album and I'm glad that Steeleye are still recording and taking risks!. Maybe these tracks will come across better live. Good luck to them I just hope they make another album which plays to their strengths.
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 20, 2014 7:51 PM BST

Fringe: Season 5 [DVD] [2013]
Fringe: Season 5 [DVD] [2013]
Dvd ~ Anna Torv
Price: £10.37

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A great let down, 3 Oct. 2013
Having followed Fringe through the past 4 seasons, from the early X Files type tales to alternative worlds and then alternative alternative worlds ! I was looking forward to see where the final season would go. Sadly, up a dark hole it appears!
This felt like a completely different series to me. Certainly not the Fringe I knew and loved. The team are now in 2036 in a world run by the Observers. Any variety of episodes in tone and imagination has gone and what we basically have is a bog standard post apocalyptic world run by tyrants with our heroes trying to bring them down and restore world order. Yawn!

Maybe JJ Abrams ran out of ideas or had bigger fish to fry, but I found it a sad and dull end to what had been a bright and imaginative series.

On a plus note, John Noble is still wonderful as Walter Bishop!

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