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Mr. William Mcdonald Orr "BOOGIE WIZ" (Comber, N.Ireland)
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The Village Green Preservation Society
The Village Green Preservation Society
Price: 6.17

5.0 out of 5 stars Amazingly well preserved...., 17 May 2014
For years I suffered the delusion that The Kinks were a greatest hits band......always had a compilation on the shelf and that was it. Of course I'd picked up on the title track and loved it but that was as far as I went. Then on the back of a television commercial and a whim I finally downloaded the album alongside 'Lola Versus Powerman And The Moneygoround'.WOW!!!! One listen later I ordered hard copies of both and began a two week wallow....can't believe that I'd missed 'VGPS' for the last 40 years!! It immediately leapt into my all time top ten. Absolute brilliance...quintessentially English and nostalgic but fully aware of the certainty of change ('Walter', 'Village Green', 'Picture Book') bluesy (change the words and 'Last Of The Steam Powered Trains' could be Creedence Clearwater Revival), eccentric ('Wicked Annabella', 'Phenomenal Cat'), and continually relevant ('Big Sky' for me is one of the great commentaries on godhead and organised religion). Arrangements and production are top notch and compositionally, the songs clearly show that Ray Davis is on a very even par with anything The Beatles proffered on the contemporary 'white' album. Also worth getting an edition which includes both the 15 track mono mix and the 12 track stereo for the track variation and contrasting sound. Now for all the others I've missed......


The Words & the Music of Marc Bolan
The Words & the Music of Marc Bolan

5.0 out of 5 stars The Children Of Rarn arisen...., 10 May 2014
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Alongside the BBC recordings and the first few volumes of the 'Unchained' series, this album is one of the essential posthumous releases in the Bolan canon, specifically because it includes Tony Visconti's realisation of Marc's 'Children Of Rarn' demo. As Marc's longest standing collaborator over the years, it's hardly surprising that he does a marvellous job...a worthy enhancement of the bare bones original which with modern technology can be sequenced in and around the 'Beard Of Stars' and 'T.Rex' albums and sustain an effortless flow. And as a follow up to 'Electric Warrior'.......? Regardless of what 'The Children Of Rarn' might have become had it been completed, it's great to have this brief glimpse resurrected as part of the T.Rex legacy, and just as importantly, perhaps, it firmly puts in the shade the many exploitative and misguided corruptions of Marc's work which that have subsequently been foisted on the public.
On the compilation front, it's a fairly even handed review of 1968 - 1971 and charts the developing T.Rex sound and style very effectively. Obviously there are some gems missing, but with the possible exception of 'Desdemona', which jars somewhat with the sound and aura of the other selections, there's really nothing included which lacks merit. A great indicator of just how good Bolan was, and in 'The Children Of Rarn Suite' an intriguing hint of a different path that might have been trodden in 1972.


Songs From The Wood
Songs From The Wood
Price: 4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Folk Rocks!!, 10 May 2014
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This review is from: Songs From The Wood (MP3 Download)
As good as it gets. English folk and pastoral musical traditions welded to rock rhythms and phrasing to fairly zoom along in celebration of all things rural and pagan.....forget Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span.....whatever their merits (and they are certainly many, especially Steeleye), when it comes to British Folk-Rock, 'Songs From The Wood' is it. Aside from 'Ring Out Solstice Bells' which sits slightly sonically apart from the rest of the album (almost as if it was tagged on to the end of side 1 on the original as a hit from the previous year which pointed towards this new direction for Tull), the album has a homogeny of production, musicality, and lyricism allied to almost perfect sequencing which makes it a truly complete album rather than just a collection of songs.....even the cover (front and back), is absolutely representative of the work contained inside. There's folklore, religion, mysticism (call it what you will) on 'Jack In The Green', 'Cup Of Wonder', and 'Solstice Bells', humour on 'Hunting Girl', lechery on 'Velvet Green', romance on 'Pibroch' and 'Fire At Midnight', and of course celebration on the title track and 'The Whistler'. The band arrangements are stunning, and apart from the 'all instruments played by....' credit on 'Jack In The Green', Ian Anderson's ego has been put on a relative hold for the greater good. Brilliantly supported by Robin Black, his production is alive and spontaneous, and although flawlessly played and executed the album retains a vitality increasingly lacking in Tull's work since 'Thick As A Brick''....soul and spirit re asserted over rehearsal and self awareness. Obviously Tull (the flute, vocal inflections, and Martin Barre's guitar will always give that away), like all great bands, each album, whether good, bad, or indifferent, is a separate and individual work and this stands amongst Tull's best.


Please Please Me
Please Please Me
Price: 10.36

5.0 out of 5 stars Joyful!, 10 May 2014
This review is from: Please Please Me (Audio CD)
Wow! Such joyful infectious music. No other album I know blends notes, chords, melodies, rhythms, words, and attitude to exude such light and enjoyment....it may be only a portent of what was to ultimately come, but if they'd never recorded anything else, this album alone should stand to have The Beatles called great. Then again, of course, it opened all the doors...........


Tanx
Tanx
Price: 8.85

4.0 out of 5 stars New directions....., 10 May 2014
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This review is from: Tanx (Audio CD)
Firstly, the downsides. Puerile cover and poster shot, pointless 'Shock Rock' track, throwaway lyrics on Mad Donna....and that's about it really. Following on the consumate pop and sumptuous production of 'The Slider', 'Tanx' was a stripped back, progressive, and yet retrospective, T.Rex album. The strings, Flo & Eddie, and multi layered guitar tracks were left behind, replaced by a basic three piece rock and roll backing embellished only by piano, mellotron, and sax. Obviously more rushed and cheaper, and consequently more immediate and urgent, than it's esteemed predecessor,'Tanx' focused much less on the 'I' and returned to the observational and storytelling style of The Tyrannosaurus Rex canon...moreover there were no singles included, whilst Marc's vocals were on occasion almost as wierd as 1968, and the inspired piano ramblings on 'Mister Mister' and 'Left Hand Luke' recall Steve Took's wonderful percussive and vocal contributions to the first three albums. At the same time the album offers a glimpse of a potentially sustained and developing art....'Born To Boogie' (perhaps the last great T.Rex b-side?) and 'Country Honey' maintain the mighty boogie of '71 & '72, 'Life Is Strange' remain's enchanting, and a clutch of tracks (the under rated 'Mister Mister' among them, but more specifically 'Babe Shadow', 'Broken Hearted Blues' and the epic (if vocally slightly overwrought) 'Left Hand Look') point the way to a soulful cosmic plateau in waiting. 'Tanx' may well then be the album where Bolan takes a step back from being a pop star and attempts to redefine and redirect his carreer onto a new artistic path...the accompanying '20th Century Boy'' single, much more expansive and substantial than those from 1972, suggests the same, but the b-side, the ineffectual and cheap 'Free Angel', also suggests that Bolan was not always prepared to invest the effort, time, or cash to remain on top of his game. Hence the tacky cover playing at being a pop star, which goes someway to undermine the very valid musical worth contained within the record grooves? In short, 'Tanx' was good, but not strong enough bring back the 'old' fans who had drifted away as Marc play acted on TOTP's, or the 'new' fans who jumped on in 1971 but fell off again when they bought the re-released 'My People' /'Prophets' mid '72 and thought wtf!!!, and by March '73 Bolan had probably become too passé to generate enough interest to bring aboard new fans. As an artistic endeavour however, it continues to mature with age.


The Twelve Dreams of Dr.Sardonicus
The Twelve Dreams of Dr.Sardonicus
Price: 9.10

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dreams that last forever......., 13 April 2014
One of rock 'n' roll's primordial moments. Preceded by Spirit's first three albums (all of which were in their own right noteworthy) this leaps in from the left field....unique, powerful, inspired, and beautiful. Twelve songs, each one independently epic, sequenced and blended into a whole that is at once Herculean, tender, and holding deep within something new to be discovered at each listening. Like all great art uplifting and a reaffirmation of the Human condition. Don't worry about the bonus tracks, the remastering, the plethora of superlatives laid at the altar.....just listen to the opus as created by the lords California, Cassidy, Ferguson, Locke, and Andes and be thankful.


Electric Warrior
Electric Warrior
Price: 5.90

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mighty year! Real contender..., 12 April 2014
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This review is from: Electric Warrior (Audio CD)
1971....Led Zep IV.....Sticky Fingers..... Who' s Next....Aqualung...What's Going On.....L.A. Woman......Imagine.....Tapestry.... and Electric Warrior. A great year for albums and Bolan's major foray into rock remains on a level comparable to anything else released. Okay, Lean Woman Blues may tend towards pastiche but everything else is top notch and played with effortless fluency and efficiency. Musically and lyrically poetic....needle sharp production....an iconic cover.....nothing he'd done before and nothing he produced after would have sat comfortably on this album. It's a moment in time like Love's 'Forever Changes' or Spirit's 'Dr. Sardonicus'. It's a band on a roll...confident and inspired and brilliantly captured on tape by Tony Visconti. They don't come much better.


Four Sail
Four Sail
Price: 7.18

4.0 out of 5 stars Love rock, 12 April 2014
This review is from: Four Sail (Audio CD)
A fine album. If 'Forever Changes' equates to 'Sgt. Pepper' as one of the great 'pop' albums, then this is Love's 'Abbey Road' - a shift into 'rock' whilst retaining the pop sensibilities of the mid sixties (I'm thinking Moby Grape or Hendrix 'Axis: Bold As Love'). The songs in terms of changes and melody stand comparison with anything in the band's earlier canon, and are in no way diminished by the lack of augmentation evident on their previous offering - in fact as a bare bones guitar / bass / drums outfit this is probably the best 'Love' of them all. Basically the album that for me confirms just how good Arthur Lee was....and sad that so little else followed.


The Best Of Acoustic Jethro Tull
The Best Of Acoustic Jethro Tull
Price: 6.39

7 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Same Old Songs and Not Even All Jethro...., 18 Mar 2007
I know compilations are by there very nature subjective, and that for record company 'best off' read 'best known' but do we really need another album with 'Fat Man', 'Skating Away..', that quiet bit from the start of 'Thick As A Brick', 'Jack In The Green', etc. etc.. And why do songs from Ian Anderson solo albums suddenly fetch up on a Tull compilation? And what defines accoustic? Surely 'Sossity You're A Woman' and 'Moths', to name but two, are more truly accoustic and(here's some subjectivity of my very own) better than some of these selections. I know that it's important for performers to keep their name and work in the public eye, but when I look at this album all I see is an absence of new product and someone with an eye to the next fast buck.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 18, 2013 3:42 AM BST


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