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Puffany (Melbourne, Australia)

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Listen Like Thieves 2011 Remaster
Listen Like Thieves 2011 Remaster
Price: £7.72

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Consistently Brilliant, 20 April 2012
I finally bought this on cd after owning the vinyl back when the album was originally released in 1985. I thought it was amazing back then and time has certainly not done it any damage. In fact now that the singles aren't rammed down your throat by radio stations, a fresh listen after many years has confirmed for me at least, that this is as a great a pop-rock album as any I've ever heard. The production is crystal-clear and the songs flow perfectly in the order they're listed.....seriously perfect!
It's very hard for me to highlight individual tracks although I will point out a track with a driving beat that I couldn't understand why it wasn't a single - Same Direction.
I can't paint a better picture than I've already painted about this album. All I can do is (VERY) highly recommend it.

The only thing I don't understand and annoys me a little with this remaster is that there were no extras included. What You Need was also released as an extended remixed 12" vinyl single that used to be played in nightclubs back then. At least that track could have been included as an extra. It still won't annoy me enough to drop its star-rating though.

Give it a listen and see what you think.


Wish You Were Here [Experience Edition]
Wish You Were Here [Experience Edition]
Price: £8.82

68 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Raving & Drooling, 7 Nov. 2011
I already give the original album 5 stars and it's been reviewed a zillion times. The interest here is in the 2nd disc. After hearing a few bootlegs from the Wish You Were Here tour over the years, I'm already familiar with the 2 tracks `Raving & Drooling' & `You've Got To Be Crazy', which were renamed when they finally appeared on the Animals album released in 1977. To me, the intensity and energy of those tracks performed live on the WYWH tour were the highlights of that tour. This live recording of Shine, Raving & Crazy is amazing. The performances are top-notch and the audio is so clean and fresh to the ears - you can't beat this for a live 1974 recording. I wasn't sure of what to expect because of some live discs I've heard included in Deluxe albums released by other artists that were hardly better than an average bootleg. This will blow you away - turn it up!!
Wine Glasses - can't tell you much about it except that it doesn't offend the ears.
The alternate versions of Have a Cigar & Wish You Were Here are of real interest for any hardcore fan.
Roger & the boys supply the vocals on this version of Have a Cigar. Waters didn't think his vocals were right for this track at the time. Roy Harper happened to be recording an album at the same studios at the time so Floyd asked him for his assistance for the original album version.
The actual structure of Wish You Were Here is different, let alone a different lead at the start from Gilmour. Add to that the violin solo played by French jazz violinist Stephane Grappelli up high in the mix as a lead instrument and you have something very different from the familiar version.

Pros and Cons of disc 2:
Pros: the whole of disc 2 is what a lot of us fans have prayed for.
Cons: not enough live material. It would've been awesome to have the whole Wembley gig, warts and all.

Excellent release.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 25, 2013 11:32 PM BST


Dicks Picks 5
Dicks Picks 5
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £35.95

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Shakedown indeed!, 24 Dec. 2010
This review is from: Dicks Picks 5 (Audio CD)
Thanks for tuning in.
I can't say I'm a big fan of post-1977 live GD, but this late 1979 gig is a very pleasant surprise. I basically bought this as a result of reading about an outstanding version of Uncle John's Band (a major personal favourite) contained within by fan reviews on Amazon USA, and a couple of the music forum posters here on Amazon UK - you know who you are:)
Cold Rain and Snow starts off the gig in a very relaxed fashion - not particularly energetic, but well played and sung.
Things really pick up by the time they get to Me & My Uncle/Big River. The energy level & focus has increased, and it hasn't got much to do with the fact these are faster-paced tracks - it's the intent.
At this stage of my first listen, I've noticed that the recording is very clear and the balance between the instruments & vocals is mostly right - this hasn't always been the case with this series. The only slight problem, and I mean slight, is that Weir & Mydland should be a little lower in the mix at times.
I've never been a fan of Alabama Getaway in the past but this version absolutely rocks! The performance is adrenalin-rushed and Promised Land follows on in the same fashion. I will definitely never skip Alabama on this cd.
The moment I'd been waiting for comes next.....Uncle John's Band! Apart from the playing, I can see a major reason why this version is so highly regarded - Brent Mydland. This guy provides great backing vocals throughout the show and I wouldn't be surprised if Bob & Jerry, knowing that he hits the right notes, were using him as a guide to align their own vocal pitches to.
A very odd and unbalanced performance of Estimated Prophet flows on from UJB. It kinda stumbles along at the start. A few minutes later, it starts to build up beautifully in the first jam, then falls apart as the guys lose focus. Bob makes it even worse with a horrid vocal approach. I'm thinking maybe he was bored with the original vocals he used to do on this track and tried to inject it with a more aggressive approach - no Bob, it doesn't work.
Speaking of aggression, the boys are going for it on The Other One. Jerry comes in a line early for the backing vocals but have no fear, they're switched on to carry on a hot rendition.
Jam 2 contains great sound effects and goes into Not Fade Away - this is one of the songs where it's obvious that Bob is too high in the mix.
Brokedown Palace is so damn good at this gig - a highlight for sure - very sweet.
Being a pre-1978 fan, I haven't heard many versions of Shakedown Street. The few I've heard, including the studio version, have always impressed me. This is my favourite version so far - cool stuff - warts & all. The transition into the UJB reprise isn't a clean one but it works itself out into a nice reprise.
I held off wanting to purchase this 3cd set for most of the decade. Now after hearing it, I just laugh and know that I now have something else to look forward to listening to in the future.
There's plenty to like on this cd set and I'd definitely recommend it. Enjoy.


The New "Rolling Stone" Album Guide
The New "Rolling Stone" Album Guide
by "Rolling Stone"
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars what a rip-off!, 8 Dec. 2010
I'll keep this as short as possible.
How could Rolling Stone put their 'supposedly' respected name to this crap??
There are omissions and errors throughout.
Omissions include: george harrison; deep purple; 13th floor elevators (although roky erickson makes it); nine inch nails; asia; howlin' wolf; ella fitzgerald; the albums "live at last" & "reunion" by black sabbath; legendary john coltrane albums "blue train", "lush life" and soultrane".
Errors include: "thank you" by led zeppelin is listed as being both on "led zep 2" & "houses of the holy"; under the ry cooder listing, it is suggested that you look under the "buena vista social club" albums in the anthologies section at the back of the book but there is no listing for 'buena vist..'.
For some unknown reason the reviewers in this edition seem to skip reviewing certain albums (that are actually listed) in an artists' listing if that artist has more than a handful of releases.
A laughable matter is when an album is reviewed as being a "disappointment", yet manages to get 4 and a half stars.
This is just at a glance - I can't be bothered with this 'cash in on the strength of the name "Rolling Stone"' crap.
Unfortunately, there is only the option of rating this between 1-5 stars. I would have given it a zero if that was an option. Don't waste your money like i did.
I'm tired and grumpy....leave me alone!


Dick's Picks 15
Dick's Picks 15

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome! Awesome! Awesome!, 8 Dec. 2010
This review is from: Dick's Picks 15 (Audio CD)
1977 was a magnificent Grateful Dead year live-wise. I'd go as far as saying it was 'the' year of the most consistently great shows by the boys - a personal viewpoint of course.
Be warned - the energy levels are high on this night. I won't go through every track but this particular volume from the great Dick's Picks series is one of my very favorites. And here's why:

The clarity of the recording is very good. The balance between the instruments and vocals is much better than many GD shows.
Disc 1: The guys are switched on from the very start with a nice rockin' Promised Land. Bobby fluffs the lyrics for a moment but it doesn't make a difference as they settle into a fine opening.
Me & My Uncle has always been amongst my favorite cover tunes they did, and this version is as good as any from '77.
This slowed down version of Friend of the Devil works brilliantly. It's always a risk that you may lose the feel of a song when it's changed or slowed down - especially after the original version was a 'hit' amongst fans - no problem evident here.
I mentioned energy before - you'll find it a-plenty on this rampant version of The Music Never Stopped, which features a brilliant jam with Jerry on fire. I haven't heard this track sound better....ever!
Disc 2 is my equal favorite `disc 2' of the whole series.
It starts off with a classic Bertha which segues perfectly into a joyous Good Lovin' - a jump in tempo from medium pace to party-mad.
Loser has Jerry providing some heartfelt vocals and well-executed chipped guitar notes.
Estimated Prophet is performed with amazing cohesion & ease for a freshly recorded track - you can really tell Bob is enjoying it.
Next up is a sensational Eyes of the World that will carry you off to god knows where - sublime.
Samson & Delilah absolutely rocks! Best version I've heard.
Disc 3 has Terrapin Station sounding the way you'd want it to be - brilliant. I always thought that the last section of Terrapin as being like Kashmir is for Zeppelin with its excellent extended ending.
Sounding good? I doubt that you will be disappointed.


Weir Here
Weir Here
Price: £19.57

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ol' Bobby-boy has been misrepresented..., 30 Nov. 2010
This review is from: Weir Here (Audio CD)
First of all, I'm a big fan of Bob Weir's playing ability. His rhythym style is well thought out & executed - not conventional at all and very refreshing. In a live setting, he is simply outstanding and my favorite 2nd-string guitarist ever.
I'm giving this album 3 stars because of the lack of thought by whoever picked the tracks assembled on this compilation - I hope it wasn't Bob.
Yes I would've liked to see Greatest Story Ever Told on here but this isn't my main gripe. At least we get Lazy Lightnin'/Supplication.
The major annoyance for me is that the 2nd disc is full of Grateful Dead live performances which are available on other Grateful Dead live cds. Those performances are fine but I would've thought that the live material assembled on the 2nd disc should've come from Bob Weir's live performances outside of Grateful Dead. This release is baffling for this reason.
I made the mistake of purchasing this without looking into what was included in this set - it doesn't do the great man any justice as to the great material he actually has. I can only recommend this (disc 1) for anyone who wants a small taste of his output. Hopefully the powers that be release another compilation that makes sense.


Unarmed: Best Of 25th Anniversary
Unarmed: Best Of 25th Anniversary
Price: £14.72

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost excellent, 4 Feb. 2010
Alright! I've been trying to wait patiently for this release. From a personal viewpoint, I wasn't all that pleased when I saw the track listing, but we all have different favourites.
The interest is in how they reworked/rearranged the songs. Across the album you'll find on different tracks: a 70-piece orchestra; a choir; guest musicians; and even kids!

Personal Highlights:

The production is crystal clear.
If I Could Fly is a definite highlight with Deris starring here - his new more limited than before vocal range suits this track perfectly.
Future World works really well and includes a surprisingly entertaining short percussion passage near the end.
The Keeper's Trilogy is awesome. Have a listen to the high-intensity orchestration come in after the quiet intro to the `King For A thousand Years' section - unbelievable! Ala the James Bond `Live And Let Die' type of excitement. Sonically, it works as well as when the guitars & drums come crunching in on the original version of 'King...'.
Perfect Gentleman - before I had even heard the album, I couldn't picture this track working very well but boy was I wrong - still a very catchy tune even in this more laid-back version.
The priceless version of Falling To Pieces blew me away from the first bar. It's at least as good as the original. It's very rare when you have a great song and then an alternate version which is different but equally as good. The word `beautiful' probably best describes this rendition with another well-suited vocal by Deris..
What almost works perfectly is I Want Out. Deris delivers it well enough and kids do the backing vocals which is okay but it's a bit of an overkill as in `Another Brick In The Wall Pt. 2'. Kids are okay but I prefer dogs. Still very catchy though.
Musically, this upbeat Dr Stein is very catchy with the brass addition & backing vocals, but I don't think Deris's vocals quite work throughout the track. In fact, his new vocal range sounds uncomfortable at times and does drag the album down a notch although still very good to excellent in certain songs or sections of songs. The guy has been one of my favourite vocalists in the past with his passionate delivery but I think nearly all my other favourite male vocalists (Plant / Gillan / Halford) have all come across problems with their vocals as they have aged.

The DVD is well put together with interviews about how they made the project come together. The guys do come across as being likeable and down to earth.
It also contains a typically loaded Helloween-style film clip of Dr Stein.
Overall, the album is brilliant most of the time but doesn't always work. The usage of the special guests is extremely effective (apart from the kids).
Helloween stated on the DVD that they were very proud of their achievement and that it wasn't an easy project by any means. Their great effort is very rewarding.
I'm definitely glad they released this and I don't miss the hard-edge of the originals when I'm in chill-out mode.

Would I recommend this to Helloween newcomers? Maybe. I'd firstly recommend any album apart from Pink Bubbles, Chameleon, and Rabbit, which I still (partly) like anyway. Get this after you know the original versions, or if you don't particularly like hard rock - the songs stand alone in any format - so yeah, knock yourself out.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 18, 2010 8:44 PM GMT


Unarmed: Best Of 25th Anniversary
Unarmed: Best Of 25th Anniversary
Price: £6.75

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost excellent, 4 Feb. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Alright! I've been trying to wait patiently for this release. From a personal viewpoint, I wasn't all that pleased when I saw the track listing, but we all have different favourites.
The interest is in how they reworked/rearranged the songs. Across the album you'll find on different tracks: a 70-piece orchestra; a choir; guest musicians; and even kids!

Personal Highlights:

The production is crystal clear.
If I Could Fly is a definite highlight with Deris starring here - his new more limited than before vocal range suits this track perfectly.
Future World works really well and includes a surprisingly entertaining short percussion passage near the end.
The Keeper's Trilogy is awesome. Have a listen to the high-intensity orchestration come in after the quiet intro to the `King For A thousand Years' section - unbelievable! Ala the James Bond `Live And Let Die' type of excitement. Sonically, it works as well as when the guitars & drums come crunching in on the original version of 'King...'.
Perfect Gentleman - before I had even heard the album, I couldn't picture this track working very well but boy was I wrong - still a very catchy tune even in this more laid-back version.
The priceless version of Falling To Pieces blew me away from the first bar. It's at least as good as the original. It's very rare when you have a great song and then an alternate version which is different but equally as good. The word `beautiful' probably best describes this rendition with another well-suited vocal by Deris..
What almost works perfectly is I Want Out. Deris delivers it well enough and kids do the backing vocals which is okay but it's a bit of an overkill as in `Another Brick In The Wall Pt. 2'. Kids are okay but I prefer dogs. Still very catchy though.
Musically, this upbeat Dr Stein is very catchy with the brass addition & backing vocals, but I don't think Deris's vocals quite work throughout the track. In fact, his new vocal range sounds uncomfortable at times and does drag the album down a notch although still very good to excellent in certain songs or sections of songs. The guy has been one of my favourite vocalists in the past with his passionate delivery but I think nearly all my other favourite male vocalists (Plant / Gillan / Halford) have all come across problems with their vocals as they have aged.

The DVD is well put together with interviews about how they made the project come together. The guys do come across as being likeable and down to earth.
It also contains a typically loaded Helloween-style film clip of Dr Stein.
Interestingly, you hear a snippet of Why being done for this album but it didn't make the final cut.

Overall, the album is brilliant most of the time but doesn't always work. The usage of the special guests is extremely effective (apart from the kids).
Helloween stated on the DVD that they were very proud of their achievement and that it wasn't an easy project by any means. Their great effort is very rewarding.
I'm definitely glad they released this and I don't miss the hard-edge of the originals when I'm in chill-out mode.
There is one thing that bothers me: how could they call this a 'best of' when it's clearly just a re-working of some of their songs in another format backed by outside guests?? - kind of like Page/Plants Unledded album.

Would I recommend this to Helloween newcomers? Maybe. I'd firstly recommend any album apart from Pink Bubbles, Chameleon, and Rabbit, which I still like anyway. Get this after you know the original versions, or if you don't particularly like hard rock - the songs stand alone in any format - so yeah, knock yourself out.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 6, 2013 3:46 AM BST


Helloween: High Live [DVD] [NTSC]
Helloween: High Live [DVD] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Andi Deris
Price: £9.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars great performance, 18 Dec. 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This could have been an absolute gem based on the performance alone. I still love watching it but man it's annoying with the audio/visual fade-outs between every track. I also wouldn't exactly say the sound or picture quality is top-notch. For a band that is meticulous on their albums, didn't they have any input into this production?? Or didn't they think it was important enough to fuss over??
After an almost Kiss-like introduction, the opening explosion of We Burn immediately throws you into one helluva rock storm played by a bunch of guys who can seriously play. I won't say too much about the set list other than I'm mostly happy with it and that's all down to personal taste anyway. They can't be expected to play everything and what they play, they play extremely well.
Andi Deris had only been with the band for two albums at this point and therefore alot of the material is obviously drawn from those two releases - the bonus of that was that they were both very good albums and his performances on those tracks is excellent. The guy has loads of passion in his delivery but still underated by many. Unfortunately, his vocals are at times almost buried in the mix. Deris is also a natural frontman - likeable and cool with just enough showmanship to not be too, too much of a cliche frontman......of course, there happens to be a textbook formula that most bands use and Helloween aren't exactly guilt-free of this. Those cheesy guitar poses should be for Kiss only - Judas Priest are also guilty of the same cheesiness.
Michael Weikath is a very intelligent craftsman with a handy knack of coming up with catchy melodies. Whether in the studio or onstage, he's the musical director and overlooks everything - a perfectionist. He may not rock-out like the others but is very effective.
Roland Grapow and Uli Kusch show their class throughout, and Marcus Grosskopf...what could i say about him...the charismatic clown of the band - i'd love to have a beer or many beers with that guy.
Finally, even with the very average production, I'd much rather have this than nothing at all. Helloween are awesome!

Rock on and enjoy!


Better Than Raw
Better Than Raw
Price: £10.65

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More than just a handful of pain..., 10 Dec. 2009
This review is from: Better Than Raw (Audio CD)
Most of this album is outstanding - 9/10 to be more accurate. I don't understand why some people overlook this album - maybe the title puts them off (??).
As far as the original release is concerned, I would've given the album 10/10 if the 2 studio `bonus tracks' had replaced the 2 weakest tracks on the original release. That wasn't the case, so I would've given the original release 8/10.
This expanded edition has definitely improved on the original release of this album.
These guys certainly know how to make the best melodic metal music without sounding too cheesy (most of the time). It's easy to tell that a lot of intelligence and craft go into their creative output. They miss the mark at times but not on this album.
Andi Deris has a lot to do with why the songs sound so good to the ear. Lots of fans often mention that Kiske was a better vocalist. Technically - maybe so. I do love his work and every era of Helloween unlike some fans which are divided. However, Deris has something extra in his vocal delivery that consists of a raw, emotion-driven energy that makes him sound so convincing - kind of like he's singing with the same balls that Robert Plant sang with on the Zeppelin albums.

Here's a quick breakdown of the songs:

1. Deliberately Limited Prelude Period In Z: best intro to any Helloween album ever - dramatic orchestration that next leads into a monster song - 5/5
2. Push: explosive - the frantic vocals and ferocious pace gets the heart pumping - brilliant!! - 5/5
3. Falling Higher: the high standard continues with another excellent track - 4.5/5
4. Hey Lord: has an irresistible hook with the questioning `Hey Lord' chorus asking `what is it all about?'. Helloween have the brilliance to get away with commercial rock tracks without sounding corny - very few bands have that talent - 5/5
5. Don't Spit On My Mind: powerful track with awesome riffs & another strong chorus - equal favorite track on the album - 5/5
6. Revelation: about three quarters of the way to being real good....2 minutes shorter would've helped. I still dig it but would have preferred Game We Shouldn't Play for a place on the original - 3.5/5
7. Time: a slow, chiming, haunting track with excellent chorus & backing vocals - 5/5
8. I Can: this one rocks. Great tune. Another user-friendly song with a positive attitude that yet again refrains from being corny (just) - 4/5
9. A Handful Of Pain: I can hear Bowie in the vocals here. Another great chorus with attractive backing vocals - 5/5
10. Lavdate Dominum: excellent verses with the right build up that unfortunately leads to a lame chorus. Could have been much better - the weakest track on the `original' album only surpassed on the downside by the last `bonus' track on this expanded edition - 2.5/5
11. Midnight Sun: energetic work-out and a worthy ending to the original release - 4/5

Bonus Tracks

12. Back On The Ground: this one gets the heart pumping as well. Excellent track that leaves me asking why it wasn't included ahead of Lavdate Dominum on the original release 5/5
13. Game We Shouldn't Play: this bonus track is an absolute bonus indeed! - too good for a bonus track. 4/5
14. Perfect Gentleman: rockin' live version of one the most `loaded' and fun songs ever - a Helloween classic - 5/5
15. Moshi Moshi Shiki No Uta: drum solo with some nice guitar at the end...unnecessary! - 1/5

I don't know how many times I've been disappointed by the bonus tracks on albums over the last few years by different artists however, this is one that works the way you would hope. If you've already got the original release, like it, but aren't sure whether this is worth it for the extras, don't think about it - get it! If you haven't heard this album before, check it out and see what you think.
Anyway, I'm tired and going to bed.

Rock on!


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