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Jon (Scotland)

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Rhinestone Cowboy
Rhinestone Cowboy
Offered by TOTAL RECALL UK 2
Price: £1.33

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Emphasize the word *novelty* and you'll like this song!, 3 Dec 2002
This review is from: Rhinestone Cowboy (Audio CD)
Last year (2001) it was Hermes House Band with their take on "Country Roads". Now, 12 months later, Rikki & Daz burst onto the scene with another homage to the Country-Pop era of the 1970s. But unlike the aforementioned Hermes House Band, this isn't a straight cover version of "Rhinestone Cowboy" - it's more like a novelty country dance/rap (praising anything and everything 'Western') with Glen Campbell supplying the specially-recorded samples of one of his biggest hits. If you haven't heard the song before - and it never received much airplay especially from the extremely fickle (BBC) Radio One - then Rikki & Daz are similar in style to 'Bus Stop' ('Kung Fu Fighting' amongst others) and 'N-Trance' (when they were going through their novelty period).
Although a follow-up single and album is already in the works, it wouldn't surprise me if Rikki & Daz join Hermes House Band in becoming yet another one hit wonder (novelty records seem only popular around Christmas). If this is the case, then Rikki & Daz will be remembered for this better-than-average and fun song.
Jon.


Full Monty Monster Mix
Full Monty Monster Mix
Offered by adrians_records
Price: £3.75

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing Edit Of A Club Classic, 3 Dec 2002
This review is from: Full Monty Monster Mix (Audio CD)
I remember listening to a club version of this megamix soon after the movie was released in 1998, and I've spent four years looking for a copy. Unfortunately, this 'official' megamix CD single only features the watered-down, edit of (I believe) the original DMC version. However, on it's own, "The Full Monty Monster Mix" is enjoyable and a megamix destined to become a party favourite. It's just a pity that this CD single never enjoyed any chart success and because of that has become something of a rariety.
"The Full Monty Monster Mix" features three tracks used on the movie's soundtrack: 'You Sexy Thing' (Hot Chocolate), 'Hot Stuff' (Donna Summer) and 'You Can Leave Your Hat On' (Tom Jones). To give this megamix a 'club' feel, an uptempo drum beat has been inserted into the mix which improves the quality of the Hot Chocolate & Donna Summer tracks sampled. Shame it does nothing but spoil the Tom Jones contribution though. What does spoil the megamix throughout is the annoying sample (methinks it was recorded by the producers themselves!) played at regular intervals during the 4-minute track. Does the listener need reminding these tracks are taken from the "FULL MONTY!" every twenty seconds? Criticism aside though, this megamix will go down well at parties if only to evoke good memories of a brilliant movie. (An extended megamix featuring a couple of more tracks from the soundtrack would've been a welcomed inclusion on this CD Single).
Track Two: "The Stripper" performed by the Joe Loss Orchestra.
If you haven't heard this classic instrumental track before then you *must* have led a very sheltered life! Not a track you're likely to play at parties (maybe you will....I dunno!) or a track you'll play often. Still, this is a fine reminder of the movie itself.
Track Three: "You Can Leave Your Hat On" (Exclusive REMIX) performed by Tom Jones.
Not the best remix of YCLYHO available, but I found it very enjoyable indeed. This remixed version of (what is probably) Tom Jones' best song in recent times is a lot slower to the one featured in the megamix (and movie for that matter). Still worth giving it a spin at parties though.
I highly recommend any fan of the movie to go find a copy of this CD single (incidentally, you won't find this megamix on the soundtrack album).


Ultimate Christmas Party
Ultimate Christmas Party
Offered by gowingsstoreltd
Price: £1.73

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Passable Festive Effort From Jive Bunny, 3 Dec 2002
"The Ultimate Christmas Party" - Jive Bunny's fourth festive release - moves away from the typical Christmas album you're likely to see available at this time of year. Mixing classic (and traditional) seasonal tracks with crowd-pleasing party songs, this particular CD is well worth buying - especially if you're planning a Christmas party
It has to be said that this isn't really a **new** album. Those who have bought the previous three Jive Bunny Christmas albums will instantly recognise most of the mixes as you will have heard them before (clever editing by the Master Mixers can't hide that fact!). Yet, the introduction of non-festive tunes does breathe new life into this concept - and the results aren't bad at all (although it has to be said that some of the 'other' tracks used have a lot to be desired. "Summer Nights" followed by "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer".....and this is a Christmas album??!!) Notwithstanding the oddly placed songs, I found this CD quite enjoyable in the context of it being a 'low-priced party album'. Not the best Jive Bunny release by any means, but certainly not the worst.
Incidentally, avoid the **free** CD at all costs! This 20-minute or so medley also accompanies the 1999 Jive Bunny album: "The Biggest Party On The Planet" (as a freebie too, I may add) and just happens to be the *worst* Jive Bunny offering to date (and there's been many!). In parts, this CD isn't that bad (it features more or less the entire versions of Jive Bunny's chart successes), but the mixing qualities and poor sound-a-likes used to recreate (ahem!) party 'classics' leaves a lot to be desired. Then again, it is 'free'.
Jon


Grease [DVD] [1978]
Grease [DVD] [1978]
Dvd ~ John Travolta
Price: £4.25

67 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant movie but the extras are disappointing, 28 Sep 2002
This review is from: Grease [DVD] [1978] (DVD)
Grease was the first movie that I saw when I was a kid that caused me to go back and see it again and again. Then the re-release came out in 1998 and I saw it for old's time sake. I ended up seeing it three more times while it was still cinemas because it brought back the same feelings plus new ones from having watched the film from an adult perspective. On the one hand, it's easy for me to watch it so many times because it's a musical and when you find the tunes catchy you can't resist it. But it's not just that. Much to my surprise, I remembered every line of dialogue. What makes this movie a classic is that it is still great even if you cut out the songs. How many musicals can you say that about? The dialogue and one liners are so colorful and energetic and the movie works as a 50s comedy. It's funnier than I remembered and it is without a doubt the raunchiest PG movie ever made. The occassional adult theme and questionable dialogue crammed full of sexual innuendos are both unneccesary because the story line is enough to capture the viewer's attention. The 'PG' certificate sounds about right, but still, Grease is unsuitable for the younger viewer and that's a shame really. All in all, a film that should be re-released every twenty years so a new generation of movie lovers can watch it, not just because it was one of the last great musicals but also because it truly captures the essence of what it was like to grow up in the 50s.
This "new" DVD version is truly remarkable. The picture is sharper (which - thankfully - gives much needed improvement to the opening "cartoon" segment), and the soundtrack has been digitally remastered giving it a much clearer sound. I have seen the digitally remastered VHS version of "Grease", but it's pale in comparison to the DVD. In fact, I found myself re-playing the songs just to hear how good they really are (most notably the improved quality of "Sandy", "Hopelessly Devoted To You" and "You're The One That I Want").
The only negative remark worth mentioning about the DVD version of "Grease" has to be the rather disappointing extras. To be honest, I was looking for more than just the original theatre trailer and a somewhat dated 18 minute interview section (which was originally produced for the 20th Anniversary VHS edition). Hopefully there will be a "Grease: Special Edition DVD" released soon that will rectify these lacklustre 'extras'. Still, "Grease" is an excellent purchase - especially if you want to listen to the songs in glorious CD quality.
Jon.


The Best 60's Summer Party...Ever!
The Best 60's Summer Party...Ever!
Offered by Formats
Price: £26.99

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely worth buying if you like summer, 20 July 2002
"The Best Sixties Summer Party....Ever" is really nothing more than a greatest hits compilation of the four "Best Sixties Album In The World...Ever" collections and "The Best Sixties Summer Album Ever" CD. So for those who collect these compilation CDs and are expecting new material will be slightly disappointed. Even so, that's only a minor criticism because what you're left with is a fantastic assortment of classic songs from the 1960s.
What I liked most about this collection is you don't have to be a connoisseur of music from that decade to enjoy this double CD as most of the tracks featured have either been covered by other (more modern day) groups or performers, or the songs that haven't are still 'radio-friendly' today. Out of the 54 tracks on this collection, only Norma Tanega's "Walkin' My Cat Named Dog" and Crazy Elephant's "Gimme Gimme Good Lovin'" were unfamiliar to me.
CD One begins with a song designed to get a summer party started, and the term "feel good" has never been more appropriate than what I describe Martha Reeves' "Dancing In The Street" as being. The first disc also features several classic songs worthy of appearing on *any* 'summer' album: Summer In The City (Lovin' Spoonful), Lazy Sunday (Small Faces), Sunday Afternoon (The Kinks) and Summertime Blues (Eddie Cochran) to name but a few. As is evident on the second disc too, there's a big 'Flower Power' influence featured on the first part of the collection. Scott McKenzie's, "San Francisco", The Byrds' "Mr Tambourine Man", The Move's "Flowers In The Rain"and Thunderclap Newman's "Something In The Air" all epitomize the feeling of that latter part of the 1960s perfectly (as does Manfred Mann's "Pretty Flamingo" and The Flowerpot Men's "Let' Go To San Francisco" on the second disc).
There's also a nice selection of classic British songs from that decade, including contributions from Gerry & The Pacemakers, The Hollies, Johnny Kidd & The Pirates, The Animals, The Searchers and Lulu. The 'bubblegum pop' genre is well represented too with 'classics' from 1910 Fruitgum Company, The Ohio Express (whose "Yummy Yummy Yummy" is being used on a current TV advertisement), The Honeycombs, Honeybus, The Turtles and Bruce Channel (with the original version of "Hey Baby" which will only confuse the kids!). And what 60s Summer album wouldn't be complete without a sprinkling of Motown/Atlantic soul? The record company could've chosen a better, more well-thought selection, still, who can complain with the insertion of Mary Wells' "My Guy", Jackie Wilson's "Higher & Higher", The Chiffons' "He's So Fine" and Junior Walker's "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)"?
No summer album would be complete with at least one offering from the self-proclaimed kings of summer, The Beach Boys. On this collection we are treated to two classic cuts. I'd have preferred something from the "Pet Sounds" era when the group was at their psychadelic best, still, "Wouldn't It Be Nice" and "Californian Girls" are among two of their greatest (and well known) hits. And the inclusion of Cliff Richard's all-time summer classic "Summer Holiday" is enough to sell this double CD on it's own. There's a couple of odd additions to the line-up, none more so than "Simon Smith And His Amazing Dancing Bear" (Alan Price Set) and "I Fought The Law" (Bobby Fuller Four). Also, there's several genuine 60s summer classics missing from the line-up, including one of my own favourites, "Sittin' In The Park" by Georgie Fame. However, these are just personal criticisms and it really is hard to say anything bad about this album.
"The Best Sixties Summer Party...Ever!" may not be to everyone's liking. Still if you want an album full of genuine sunshine hits instead of just a summer edition of the "Now That's What I Call Music" series, then this double CD is really worth buying. Now if the record company could only compile summer hits from the 1970s when songs of that genre meant something.....................
Jon.


School Days
School Days
Offered by para-dise
Price: £10.00

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Shameless attempt to cash in on the "Schooldisco.com" craze, 20 July 2002
This review is from: School Days (Audio CD)
The first Jive Bunny release of 2002 is something of a disappointment. Not only have they used old mixes to create this new album, this also happens to be a blatant attempt to cash in on the current "schooldisco.com" craze. Nothing worth highlighting appears on this CD - the 'songs' used have featured on several other 70s & 80s megamixes making this new album sound rather dated. On it's own, it's an enjoyable album full of songs most will remember from their school days (the whole purpose of this CD I guess). Still, if you already own most of the more recent Jive Bunny albums then this new offering comes as a disappointment. That's not to say it's bad mind you. Just a record company's poor attempt to keep the Jive Bunny 'name' going into it's 13th year. If they continue to produce lacklustre albums such as this, then Jive Bunny's 13th year just might prove unlucky for them. Only recommended to those wishing to purchase a cheaper alternative - in price and quality - to the hugely successful "Schooldisco.com" series.
Jon


Club Tropicana
Club Tropicana
Price: £9.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best way to enjoy a lovely summer day, 19 July 2002
This review is from: Club Tropicana (Audio CD)
What better way to enjoy a lovely summer day than listening to a collection of cool summer songs? "Club Tropicana" is one such collection you'll never tire of playing (providing the weather matches the quality of the music!). This double CD is very similiar to "SchoolDisco.com - Summer Holiday" in many ways, but what gives "Club Tropicana" the edge over that collection is this one concentrates more on 'summer' rather than just reminiscing about summers gone by. "Club Tropicana" begins with the classic Wham! song of the same name. With the exception of possibly "Long Hot Summer" (The Style Council) and "Summertime" (DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince), Wham's "Club Tropicana" is probably one of the last great summer songs ever written. The first disc includes many easily recognisable summer songs: "Give It Up" (KC & The Sunshine Band), "Lovely Day" (Bill Withers), "On The Beach" (Chris Rea) and "Don't Turn Around" (Aswad). There's a nice, soulful and relaxing feel to CD One (highlighting) "Never Too Much" (Luther Vandross), "Smooth Operator" (Sade) "Teardrops" (Womack & Womack), "Sho' You Right" (Barry White) and "State Of Independence" (Donna Summer). I enjoyed the Latin inclusion (albeit brief) with "Bamboleo" (The Gypsy Kings) and "Rythmn Is Gonna Get You" (Gloria Estefan). At least we were spared anything by Ricky Martin!
CD Two is more upbeat than the first, and this is evident with great songs like "Celebration" (Kool & The Gang), "Electric Avenue" (Eddie Grant), "The Tide Is High" (Blondie), "Ride On Time" (Black Box) and "Everybody Wants To Rule The World" (Tears For Fears). Still, the second half of this highly recommendable CD manages to retain a good balance of the 'chilled' factor with classic laid back tracks such as the aforementioned "Long Hot Summer" (The Style Council), "Good Thing Going" (Sugar Minott), "Goin' Back To My Roots" (Odyssey), "I Need You" (BSVMP), "Body Talk" (Imagination) and "I Found Lovin'" (Fatback Band). There also a good selection of classic 80s dance tracks featured too: "Back To Life" (Soul II Soul), "Good Life" (Inner City) and "Me, Myself and I" (De La Soul).
There's a couple of odd insertions to this compilation that leave you wondering if the record company were struggling to fill the CD. Still, "Billy Jean" (Michael Jackson) and "I Can Go For That" (Hall & Oates) are of too high a standard to be labelled "fillers". Make no mistake about it, this is a great double CD, and along with "SchoolDisco.com - Summer Holiday", this is a *must have* compilation if you want a collection of great summer songs.
Jon.


School Disco.Com - Summer Holiday
School Disco.Com - Summer Holiday
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £9.77

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best SchoolDisco.com album to date, 19 July 2002
Finally, a record company releases a compilation CD worthy of the title "Summer Holiday" containing bona-fide summer songs opposed to the usual (and often misleading) collection of current chart-toppers (a` la` "The Best Summer Holiday Ever 2002"). This album isn't without criticism, however, still it's the best (real) *Summer* CD you're likely to buy this year.
CD One begins with the 80s classic "Club Tropicana" by those mullet-heroes, Wham! Nice to see the original version is featured here and not the awful remixed variant that was released a few years back. The same also applies to Bananarama's "Cruel Summer", another biggie from the decade that taste forgot. There's also a good mix of 80s 'summer' songs that don't really have 'summer' stamped all over them: "Ride On Time" (Black Box), "New Sensation" (INXS), "Don't You Want Me Baby" (Human League), "Cuddly Toy" (Roachford) and "Somewhere In My Heart" (Aztec Camera).....songs that aren't necessarily connected with summer, but you can't fail to conjure up thoughts of that time of year. Naturally, with this being a 'summer' album, you'd expect at least a couple of well-known holiday songs, and CD One features two of the biggest of all time: "Summer Breeze" (The Isley Brothers) and "Summer - The First Time" (Bobby Goldsboro) - two songs worthy of the title 'summer classics'. Other great songs to mention from CD One are: "Hot In The City" (Billy Idol) again, the original and better version, "Cosmic Girl" (Jamiroquai) and the often ignored but equally good "Cuba" (The Gibson Brothers).
CD Two has a more 'feel good' factor to it, and what better way to kick things off than Cliff Richard's "Summer Holiday". If this won't make you think of summer, nothing will! Following this is the often used "Grease Megamix". It was fun listening to this the first time around, but how many times in recent years has this been used on a compiliation CD? **Note to record companies: why not use the 1998 Grease Megamix version that was much better than the original?** If CD One focused heavily on the 80s, the second Disc pays homeage to the 70s with such timeless classics as "Mr Blue Sky" (ELO), "Lovely Day" (Bill Withers), "In The Summertime" (Mungo Jerry), "Dreadlock Holiday" (10CC) and a song from the beginning of the modern-day package holiday era: "Y Viva Espana" (Sylvia). And it doesn't get much cheesier than Barry Manilow's "Copacabana" (similar to The Nolans' "I'm In The Mood For Dancing" featured on the first disc!) Other great songs to mention are: "Summertime" (Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince), "Dance Little Sister" (Terence Trent D'Arby), "I Don't Wanna Dance" (Eddy Grant) and an anthem from my own school days, "Teenage Kicks" (The Undertones).
Even if "School Holiday" is meant to evoke memories of summers past, some of the forty songs on this compilation seem out of place here. "Ace Of Spades" (Motorhead) *may* be a rock classic (a fave of mine too), but is is a summer song? Nope. The same can be said for "Music" (John Miles), "Africa" (Toto) and [Hit Me Baby] "One More Time" (Britney Spears). Still, you'll be hard pushed to find a 'duff' song on this double CD, and it's one I recommend highly.
Jon


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