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Will You Be Staying After Sunday
Will You Be Staying After Sunday
Price: £6.43

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pure minty goodness, 7 Oct. 2008
Another gem from Rev-Ola, this is a collection of songs chockfull of harmonies from a five piece Baltimore group. It's obviously informed by groups such as the Mamas and Papas and the Fifth Dimension but it has its own charms and there are some particularly strong songs on here. The title track is pure melodic bliss. Other welcome songs include "Don't Wake Me up in the Morning Michael", "Pink Lemonade" and "Walking In Different Circles". There are both album and single versions of some of the songs. With typically informative Rev-Ola liner notes the quality of the songs, the superb singing and orchestration make this a worthwhile purchase for aficionados of the sunshine/baroque pop genre.

Price: £9.08

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars We want more Ron Dante, 7 Oct. 2008
This review is from: Tracy (Audio CD)
One of my favourite singles as a child was "When Julie Comes Around" by the Cuff Links. It had a dramatic sparse intro, a bit of vocal, a bass phrase, before there was a thwack of drums and the rest of the group (except I know now that it wasn't a group but more of a studio concoction) came in. Almost 40 years later, idly flicking through Record Collector, I see a Cherry Red ad for the Cuff Links' 'Tracy' album. And a week later here I am listening to a strangely schizophrenic bubblegum album which veers from the upbeat ("Tracy", "When Julie Come Around") to the melancholic "All The Young Women", "Where Do You Go". The songs are largely written by the Vance Pockriss songwriting team with all the vocal parts sung by Ron Dante who, for the 0.1% of people reading this who don't know, also sung the vocals on the Archie's "Sugar Sugar". This won't change your life but for those of us of a certain vintage it's a hugely enjoyable shortcut to a golden age of pop. The lead single "Tracy" is so simple but so effective. Of course at the time I owned the Julie single I had no idea who Ron Dante was. It was only many years later that I learned that he was a bubblegum pop legend who fronted more than one group. As to the album as a whole - although this is very entertaining I have to be honest and give it three stars as there is some filler and an ill judged cover of "Sweet Caroline". It's certainly worth listening to though.

The Best Of Linda Ronstadt: The Capitol Years
The Best Of Linda Ronstadt: The Capitol Years
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £11.94

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good value package containing four complete albums, 24 May 2008
This compilation contains all the tracks (plus a few extras) from the following albums: 'Heart Like A Wheel' from 1974, 'Silk Purse' from 1970, 'Hand Sown...Home Grown' from 1969, and 'Linda Ronstadt' from 1972.
The Heart Like A Wheel album is where Ronstadt and producer Peter Asher first used the formula of great song selection (from such writers as JD Souther, George Lowell, James Taylor,) and tasteful singing and playing, with arrangements by Andrew Gold. I still think Heart Like A Wheel and the following three albums (Prisoner In Disguise, Hasten Down The Wind, Simple Dreams) are some of the seventies' best song interpretations. The other three albums contained here are not as polished and are more countryish. However, they are enjoyable and a good example of the then nascent LA country rock scene. Ronstadt's early work sometimes gets unfairly ignored. Even this early she was proving she was more than just the poster girl of the LA scene. This CD is the ideal introduction to her early work.

So 4 stars for the material, 5 stars for value.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 24, 2015 9:17 PM BST

Accelerate (digipack)
Accelerate (digipack)
Price: £6.68

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good album spoiled by atrocious mastering., 9 May 2008
This review is from: Accelerate (digipack) (Audio CD)
This album is not as good as it could be. Like most other reviewers I agree this is the best REM album for some time. However, my beef is with the mastering. I can only listen to about three songs in a row due to the sonic bludgeoning that this CD inflicts on me. It really is physically tiring to be subjected to a virtually constant volume level on every song. Like others I'm frustrated at how this recording has been mastered. Every song is the same volume, every part of every song is the same volume, every guitar part is the same volume, thrashy guitar chords and guitar arpeggios are the same volume. Can't we have some light and shade? This is particulary draining to listen to. The whole recordings been turned into some sort of liquidised sonic mush where there's no lumpy bits and everything's the one gloopy texture. No doubt guitar/drum/bass etc parts were compressed when they were recorded, compressed further when they were mixed, and then the whole mix was probably compressed. .. leading to a unpleasant listening experience.

It would be better if the songs were allowed to breathe and not suffocated. Please let's have some music recorded with natural dynamics instead of squashing everything.

Most of the songs are great by the way...
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 23, 2013 10:51 AM GMT

Satmap Active 10 Handheld Monitor
Satmap Active 10 Handheld Monitor

49 of 51 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The jury's still out on this, 28 Mar. 2008
Ok, my software version is 1.16 but there are still teething problems with this device. Mine spends all it's time attached to my bike's handlebars so usually has a good view of the sky. Satellite lock is a lot slower than my Garmin Extrex Legend CX but the plus side is the OS mapping. However, some things are a faff - the Satsync sofware is currently flaky to say the least. I use Tracklogs as my digital mapping software but despite some people on forums claiming to be able to transfer routes from tracklogs (as a GPX file) to the device flawlessly I have had variable success doing this. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Another option is to export Tracklogs files to GPS Babel, convert them to GPX files and then use Satsync to import them to my device. Even then it doesn't work all the time. Unfortunately I don't really have the time to go trawling through forums looking for answers to problems that really should have been resolved my now.

Other problems I have are that water gets under the screen protector, the screen protector can get scratched, and that the unit freezes (for no apparent reason). The only way to unfreeze it seems to be to pull the batteries out and put them back in again. This has happened to me with both disposable batteries and with the rechargable battery that Satmap supply as part of their power bundle.

I found the battery life with disposables to be pretty bad - i only got about 3 hours use out of the supplied Energizer batteries and that was with the backlight at a lowish level. With cheap duracell batteries from Poundland I was lucky to get 90 mins. Since I got the rechargeable battery the battery life is much improved though although there have been reports that some people are having problems with batteries not recharging proerly.

On the plus side the OS mapping is much better than the mapping supplied by other handhelds although my Garmin Etrex legend CX can do route navigation much better as it's essentially using a road database. The Active 10 can display maps trail up which is an absolute necessity for me when cycling in unfamiliar territory and the ability to cleary have features such as treelines marked on the map is a godsend.

However, I'm still unsure of this device. I actually wish i could cross breed it with my Garmin device to get the best of both worlds. OS maps on a handheld are probably the way to go but it might take a few incarnations of this product before it can be thought of as the class leader.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 29, 2009 7:29 PM GMT

Between Me And The Wardrobe
Between Me And The Wardrobe
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £3.99

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding , Entertaining and Moving, 6 Dec. 2007
Some of the positive reviews below have put the case for this album very eloquently so I'd just like to take issue with some points in the negative reviews below.

There are truly some bizarre comments in some of the less than favourable reviews below. For the life of me I can't hear anything gimmicky about the production (or arrangements) on this album -it seems quite organic to me. There's nothing on here to frighten the horses whatsoever.

Also, you can't compare this to "Breakfast On The Morning Tram" where Stacey Kent abandons the Great American Songbook and replaces it with songs that sound like they come from the Great American Songbook. Breakfast On The Morning Tram is an excellent album but it's a bit cloying in places and sometimes the lyrics (whilst very polished) seem like a bit of an academic exercise whereas the lyrics here feel lived.

Maybe Gwyneth sounds like she's more influenced by Joni Mitchell than anyone else but that's not a heinous crime.

Cutting to the chase, the songs on this album are excellent, atmospheric (and melodic), and are presented perfectly.

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