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C. S. Grant (London & Essex)
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News, the
News, the

5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely under-rated album!, 1 Sep 2014
This review is from: News, the (Audio CD)
I find it difficult as a long-time Lindisfarne fan, to think of this as anything but excellent. Following on from Back & Fourth, this was another well produced album and quite polished. Perhaps it's the gloss that some fans don't like. I for one think that this was the last of the great Lindisfarne albums, not that I'd criticise all of the latter ones, however production values did drop and the consistency of the songwriting was beginning waning a bit after this. To take an example or two, Dance Your Life Away sounds very 80's and dated. Amigos had the band shoving Ray Jackson virtually out of the door with Marty Craggs replacing him to a great degree but without the brilliance that Jackson brought to the band. I won't even discuss the average Elvis Lives On The Moon album. The songs that make up The News are as follows. Call Of The Wild, a rich group vocal harmony sound with what sounds like a harmonium background. The last non-Alan Hull Lindisfarne band, with Clements, Laidlaw, Craggs, etc. even revived this back for live performances. People Say, as I even discussed with Ray Jackson on one occasion, provides classic Jackson vocals and is an excellent Rod Clements song. Log On Your Fire is very folky. A great sing-a-long type tune which may have fitted well on Dingly dell. Evening, a sophisticated Alan Hull ballad-ish tune with a great middle eight. Easy And Free, a pop song which wouldn't be out of place from Back And Fourth. Miracles with its reggae tinge. A cheerful tune and easy to sing along to. When Friday Comes Around comes from Rod with Ray doing the vocals. Maybe the most mediocre of the songs but not droppable! Dedicated Hound, another Rod song bashing the Press with more fine Ray vocals. This Has Got To Be The End is a Ray Jackson co-write, which he performed with his last group, The Gathering. Good to hear it from them too. Finally Good To Be Here is Alan Hull on a bit of a psycho-trip with strings aplenty. The other reviews do differ from mine but I consider this a highly under-rated album, which if listened to now, you would realise what we no longer have!


Giants
Giants
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £12.96

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best since Hugh departed, 26 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Giants (Audio CD)
I recently saw the Stranglers on their current Spring 2014 tour and clearly they were in good form and played tracks, presumably from this album, which came across well. On the strength of that gig I bought the Giants album and good it is too. It's up there with many mid-period Cornwell-Stranglers albums, so evidently it's very good. To be honest, this is one that I will play plenty of. Not of their albums have had that effect since "10", although 10 was fairly poppy but enjoyable. Much more traditional Stranglers!


Julian Lennon: Through The Picture Window [DVD]
Julian Lennon: Through The Picture Window [DVD]
Dvd ~ Julian Lennon
Price: £11.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unfairly criticized in Record Collector, 26 April 2014
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This, as far as I'm aware, is the first DVD to feature the oldest Lennon son. Since hearing the album Valotte , I've been a fan and have bought all of his albums. He has greatly matured musically, especially with the last two, Everything Changes and the prior Photographic Smile. This DVD is my first proper look at the man, although the 'made for track videos' of the current album don't always show too much of Julian himself, but they are very good pieces of art on their own. There is plenty on this disc, the regular album, an acoustic version and a lengthy documentary about Julian's musical and photographic life, which I found fascinating. The documentary showed some shots of Julian in concert, from some years ago, so I'd love to see a live tour as he's one of the few favorite artists of mine that I've not managed to see in concert. The DVD here is well worked and is excellently put together.


The Royal Sessions
The Royal Sessions
Price: £12.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Real Soul, 21 Mar 2014
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This review is from: The Royal Sessions (Audio CD)
Paul Rodgers has also had a soulful rock voice but this time he's gone 'all soul'. If you like Stax type of music, then you'll probably enjoy this. I'm happy that Paul has tried this and that he may even do something else in this direction, as long as he doesn't eventually forget his rock roots again. Interesting DVD too.


Elderberry Wine
Elderberry Wine
Price: £0.99

4.0 out of 5 stars One track missing from my CD collection, 26 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Elderberry Wine (MP3 Download)
I always enjoyed this track. Not a classic but it was the 'B' side of Crocodile Rock which I had on 7" many decades ago. Had the "Don't Shoot Me" album come out on a surround sound SACD, as did the other albums before and after (two), I would have bought the album too. Perhaps one day it will see the light of day in that format but until then, at least I get this very chirpy tune, in download only, unfortunately. .


THE SWEET LEVEL HEADED TOUR STUDIO REHEARSALS 1977 CD
THE SWEET LEVEL HEADED TOUR STUDIO REHEARSALS 1977 CD

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Shame it appears to be a CD-R, 18 Nov 2013
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As soon as I saw this disc, I bought it on the day. The only reason I drop a star is because it won't play on my CD player. The disc comes housed in what looks like a slim-line DVD box, which I immediately thought was a little odd, but as it comes with the authentised 'only official rare Sweet releases' leaflet, I thought no more of it. Anyway, at the end of the day, I could only get it to play on my Blu-Ray system. Not ideal but at least I got to hear it. I would loved to have seen the band live in those days, although the current band are terrific, (if only they would stop playing with that second rate version of Slade!). This album includes the sophisticated sounds of Level Headed plus more of their earlier heavier material. All good stuff too. I did think that listening to this made me realise that Air On A Tape Loop was very-Floydish and I'd not considered that before, thinking it was an album filler. The last track, Windy City has a riff straight out of Deep Purple. Love the album, despite being a little rough but if you like Sweet, you'll love this. Last point, this is the only CD to have never worked on my new CD player!
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 2, 2014 6:19 PM BST


Rockshow [Blu-ray] [2013]
Rockshow [Blu-ray] [2013]
Dvd ~ Paul Mccartney & Wings
Price: £18.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When Denny was a front man!, 17 Oct 2013
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I saw Wings many a time live. From the inception at the Hammersmith Odeon, when all they played were mostly tracks from Wildlife and Red Rose Speedway to finally at the Rainbow with Back To The Egg, et al. This was filmed during their most commercial and successful period, circa 1976. At The Speed Of Sound was the current album during this tour and overall, as far as Wings albums went, not one of their best. However with songs like Beware My Love, even that album has some very good highlights. I do recall those days and watching the Blu-ray reminded me how Denny Laine was not just someone making up the numbers. He did write the occasional song but he certainly fronted the vocals on a few here, such as Spirits Of Ancient Egypt, Picasso's Last Words, Richard Cory, Go Now and Time To Hide. Denny also used to introduce various numbers and as McCartney followers these days will know, that apart from, whoops, thumbs up and "oh yeahs", he's not really a front man at all. During the Laine and McCulloch vocals, McCartney could have a breather and when Paul did sing, the Beatle numbers were limited to just five tunes. I actually preferred those days to now, as he's become essentially a "tribute" of himself. This is a great Blu-ray and one I've waited years for. I wouldn't rush to see Paul live these days I'm afraid to say.


Lindisfarne
Lindisfarne
Price: £3.82

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lindisfarne Mk 2 Live!, 13 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Lindisfarne (Audio CD)
Having a tendency to wander through the Amazon listings of favourite artists of mine, just in case I've missed anything, I came across this CD. In view of the low cost it was worth a risk buying it. I played this for the first time immediately upon receipt and although there was a familiarity about it, there was some oomph that I didn't recall hearing from any rare Mk 2 live recordings. To any dedicated Lindisfarne fan, there are many errors with the sleeve notes but I was attracted to this CD by the obvious Mk 2 songs, rather than the picture of the Mk 1 band. Strangely, Alan Hull does appear as a lead vocalist but not as much as Ray Jackson, unmentioned in the title of this CD. Speaking of which, I hope the Ray Jackson Mk 3 Lindisfarne band takes off, as I'd love to see them head south! However, back to this album. I did some research after hearing it, as the John Peel interludes were more familiar to me than the band performances. The first 9 tracks it seems come from the "At The BBC - Lindisfarne - The Charisma Years 1971 - 1973" album. They may be the same songs but boy, do they sound better. Tracks 10 to 13 are the bonus tracks from the "Roll On Ruby" CD, which of course later appeared on the "Happy Daze" album. The last 3 are Alan Hull solo performances which appeared on another BBC CD, "When War Is Over". I have a special bond with the Mk 2 band, as they were the first version I saw live, despite owning the first three original Lindisfarne Mk 1 albums. This CD does justice especially to Tommy Duffy's bass playing and Ray Jackson's vocals. This album boogies, just how I remember them live, a really tight band. Other faults I have to mention about the sleeve: BBC says the first 9 tracks were recorded 'In Concert' on 14/12/73, whereas 5/1/74 is stated here. If nothing else, I suspect the Beeb have the correct recording date. The later 4 songs are indeed recordings from 5/8/74. The Alan Hull solo tracks I suspect were recorded on 21/5/75. Now if only someone would release Ray Jackson's solo album, "In The Night" on CD (but not Market Square please)!


The Best Of The Beach Boys 1970-1986: The Brother Years
The Best Of The Beach Boys 1970-1986: The Brother Years
Price: £14.62

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Early 70's Were Some Of The Best, 13 Sep 2013
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I do love this album, although the rating if I was being totally unbiased is about 4.5. Perhaps I would have switched a few of the tracks. Ones to go in would have been, from Sunflower - All I Wanna Do and Forever. Surf's Up tracks missed - Don't Go Near The Water, Feel Flows and Looking At Tomorrow. Carl And The Passions, So Tough could have added You Need A Mess Of Help To Stand Alone and All This Is That. Having said that, from after the Holland album period, the quality is not the same. Tracks I would have excluded would have been - Peggy Sue, Sumahama and although there's nothing wrong with the track, California Dreamin', it's not an original and does appear in many compilations. One track I'm pleased that is included is Here Comes The Night, which as a fellow reviewer mentioned, this is the single version and only appears here. I haven't timed all of the tracks, especially with regard to the "ins and outs" I suggested but if time allowed, I'd also include Full Sail from the LA Light Album. All in all, an excellent album.


Supertramp: Live In Paris '79  [Blu-ray] [2012] [Region Free]
Supertramp: Live In Paris '79 [Blu-ray] [2012] [Region Free]
Dvd ~ Supertramp
Price: £12.03

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 6 Jun 2013
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I've had this disc since the early New Year, being the Xmas present I didn't receive. Having seen Roger Hodgson two weeks ago at London's RAH, this time with a band, I thought it was time to play this. The Blu-ray picture quality is terrific as is the sound. The only thing that this DVD makes me a little sad about, is that it shows what a brilliant electric guitarist Roger is but sadly it's only the acoustic guitar these days for his solo shows. I guess it was Rick Davies's songs that were grittier, which demanded the electric guitar sound. Still this makes up for it, as both writers contribute great songs. I will add that the 'extras' contain songs recorded at the same time but don't have actual film of them playing those tracks, so photos, etc are used in place. Worth buying all the same!


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