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A rhythm person (Watford)

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Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring / Apollon Musagète / Symphonies of Wind Instruments
Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring / Apollon Musagète / Symphonies of Wind Instruments
Price: £8.20

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This interpretation is a masterpiece, 9 April 2013
This recording is superlative and controlling. Stravinsky's mammoth work is not easy to recreate and to be honest there have been half measures down the years. Not so with this recording.

Yes, Rattle has shaped the Berlin Phil and you can definitively tell, but take nothing away from adventure - Rattle has got the best from the Berlin players in all the wings of the Orchestra whereas it can be said others like Karajan maintained the softly softly approach in the hope of longeity. Rattle's legacy here is that he has assessed the Stravinsky script and taken it by the scruff of the neck. The result is that the piece builds and reaches the goal set by the composer himself.

What we have here is a modern take and not a tired, dated sound - whereas others go for a timelocked interpretation, I believe Rattle's is the closest to Stravinsky's own intention. Stravinsky wrote the score to challenge and not to go-easy.

The other thing about this new Berlin performance, is there appears to a set of players who are simply in harmony with conductor and expectations. Rattle had this with the City of Birmingham but in truth, the CBSO recording was standardised. Rattle has both time to breath and total attentiveness from the Berlin - the rewards are so much greater.

A word about the quality of recording - this is an outstanding CD production. Shame about the download problem though.

This recording is right up there with Rattle/Berlin's Mahler 5 from 2002.

The Next Day
The Next Day
Price: £8.80

1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great album, 11 Mar 2013
This review is from: The Next Day (Audio CD)
Top marks for the album - lyrically and musically brilliant.

Lousy inner sleeve - the text on the folded inner notes sleeve is pink text on brown background - my eyesight suffers from clashes of certain colours - I'm afraid it is totally unreadable for me. Anyone else struggling?

With everything else being mock-Heroes LP from 1977, somehow it might have been more appropriate to have been consistent with this concept. I doubt Mr B had much control on the inner sleeve design?

So sorry, had to knock off a star.

The outstanding tracks are "The Next Day", "If You Can See Me" , "Where Are We Now" and "Plan" (deluxe edition only). The others are very very good indeed.

Will the next LP be a mock-Low called "High" or a mock-Lodger called "Landlord".

Thanks Mr B for the album. Sorry but the inner sleeve folded sheet is a no-no.

Legacy of Phyllis Hyman
Legacy of Phyllis Hyman
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £22.40

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive review minus the jazz, 7 Mar 2013
This review is from: Legacy of Phyllis Hyman (Audio CD)
It is really super revisiting some of Phyllis's more funky-soulful outings. In amongst the brilliant 'Living Inside Your Love' and the disco mix of 'Tonight You and I' there are the impressive tracks 'Just Me and You' (previously unavailable except on the weak and expensive Goddess of Love LP), and 'The Answer Is You'.

This is essentially an Arista years compilation CD remastered - thankfully in favour of Phyllis's vocals and not the music.

The hits are here as well so all in all an impressive collection. You will NOT find the McCoy Tyner Looking Out sessions though. These were originally released by Columbia in the US and CBS in the UK on his album in 1982. The McCoy Tyner sessions yielded 3 songs which critics suggest are Phyllis's finest recordings.

The Legacy of Phyllis Hyman is worth every penny, as indeed is McCoy Tyner's Looking Out. The fans will have the original LPs and CDs no doubt, but this collection is remastered folks!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 10, 2013 11:38 PM GMT

Too Tough / Teaser
Too Tough / Teaser
Price: £11.65

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too Tough is underrated, 6 Mar 2013
This review is from: Too Tough / Teaser (Audio CD)
Too Tough was released in 1983 to fans eagerly awaiting the continuation of the Classic 'Something About You' LP. I'm afraid in the end it didn't come close.

That said, Too Tough contains some good songs - 'Tonight I Give In' is a wonderful jazz funk love song, 'Love You Too Much' is a superb vocal and has a driving beat, and 'Is This A Dream' was passable. The A-side was five songs with Narada Michael Walden producing, the B-side was totally Angela produced.

The cover version of 'Ain't Nothing But The Real Thing' with Boz Scaggs is fun and gets there. The title track ended up in the gay clubs and on the pink playlists for obvious reasons but is a thumping over-produced recording symptomatic of the Arista/Walden style of the day.

I'm afraid Teaser didn't really cut it for me.

If you buy this set, you are buying for Too Tough at a great price.

Forever By Your Side
Forever By Your Side
Price: £11.91

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding. The last word on Jazz Funk and Soul, 5 Mar 2013
This review is from: Forever By Your Side (Audio CD)
I purchased this LP originally in 1983 and loved it. I am delighted it has now been pressed to CD. It should also be available as a digital download please!

"Crazy" was a popular 12" single at Caister Weekenders and with us DJs of the day. I bought both LP and 12". The 12" had "Love is gonna find you" on the b-side with another track. "Locked Up In Your Love" was the follow-up 12". Both singles from the LP were played on Robbie Vincent's Saturday Show on Radio London in 1983. Certainly Greg Edwards played it on his capital FM show as well.

The LP and 12" was originally released by CBS in the UK. It was The Manhattans last word on a career that spanned three decades. This LP perhaps was the last serious word on the brilliant Jazz Funk and Soul that dominated the dancefloors between 1980 - 1983. It all went a bit too commercial after 1983 with rare exceptions (possibly "Brighter Tomorrow" by Tom Browne or "Talk To Me" by Lew Kirton or maybe "Look Into Tomorrow" by Lesette Wilson).

If you ache for the return of the great days of Jazz Funk and Soul, then The Manhattans "Forever By Your Side" is one of the great classic LPs. Don't even hesitate!

Love Me Do [50th Anniversary Limited Edition 7" Single] [VINYL]
Love Me Do [50th Anniversary Limited Edition 7" Single] [VINYL]
Offered by TM Stores
Price: £11.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Great repressing but a couple of errors, 8 Jan 2013
A really nice repressing in the Type A Parlophone label style. Another error seems to be the accreditation of "Lennon and McCartney" ...most Beatles fans know full well that the original pressing in 1962 stated: "McArtney and Lennon" - might have been nice to have had this on the repressing?

Apart from that, I believe the recording here is the same as released on 5 October 1962 (albeit remastered in 2009). I fall back on the 1982 12" single which of course showcased all the known versions of "Love Me Do" at that time ahead of Anthology of the 1990s. I happen to like the "Ringo" version best!

I wonder what Macca and Ringo think to this repressing - it would be nice to know - the BBC celebration programme had no real comment from those that mattered - Macca and Ringo...

A Bigger Splash: Painting After Performance
A Bigger Splash: Painting After Performance
by Catherine Wood
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.36

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent exhibition and book, 29 Nov 2012
This book accompanies the excellent exhibition at Tate Modern which is on now until the 1 April 2013. If you get a chance to see it, don't hesitate. The title comes from David Hockney's 1967 iconic painting of a Californian pool and residence. What I enjoy about this book is that it tackles a subject within Art and Art History that is rarely tackled - what's more, is that the exhibition places great works at juxtapositions to Hockney and others. Highly recommended - both exhibition and book.

Suzanne Vega
Suzanne Vega
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £5.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent debut and a taster of what was to come, 22 Nov 2012
This review is from: Suzanne Vega (Audio CD)
I agree with many of the reviews. This debut album by Suzanne Vega is excellent and worthy of at least 4 stars, possibly 5. Back in 1985, music was drifting into the horrible 80s dross, particularly in the UK. What a relief when Suzanne Vega arrived with some hope.

Marlene On The Wall was a good well-deserved hit in the UK and I was one of the gang that went on to buy the album off the back of hearing the single. Cracking and "Small Blue Thing" are outstanding. "Freeze Tag" is sublime and wonderful. "Marlene On The Wall" was the acid test until Solitude Standing album arrived.

I have to say however, that "The Queen and The Soldier" The Queen And The Soldier is really the very best track on this album.

So nothing further to say except I am pleased to say the album has crossed to CD extremely well.

In passing can I put in a word for "(I'll Never Be) Your Maggie May" - ok it came years later but when reviewing Suzanne Vega at her best, for me this song is up there with "Luka", "Gypsy", "Marlene On The Wall", and "The Queen And The Soldier".

Songs In Red And Gray
Songs In Red And Gray
Offered by FastMedia "Ships From USA"
Price: £13.40

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars simply superb, 7 Nov 2012
This review is from: Songs In Red And Gray (Audio CD)
Since Solitude Standing, I have not been terribly at home with Suzanne Vega LPs that followed. However, this all changed with Songs In Red and Grey.

I was sat in a London Coffee shop one rainy Monday morning waiting to attend an interview. Suddenly "I'll never be your Maggie May" drifted out of the speakers and I was reunited. Without doubt, this recording is only 2nd to Luka. This LP is excellent.

Solitude Standing
Solitude Standing
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £3.99

5.0 out of 5 stars the best Suzanne Vega LP by far, 6 Nov 2012
This review is from: Solitude Standing (Audio CD)
When Suzanne Vega appeared on the scene in 1985/6, inevitably the critics pushed her against Joni Mitchell. But Vega was different and indeed on her second LP, Solitude Standing, she famously broke away from the Joni comparison stakes.

Solitude Standing is by far the most complete Vega LP. It is timeless, forthright and perfect lyrically and in terms of production. Ok, we had to wait for "I Never Be Your Maggie Mae" but Vega's opus "Luka" about child abuse is without question, moving - probably the most remarkable statement ever to be recorded. One cannot fail to be moved or speechless.

Solitude Standing is a lonesome prose of superior quality; Ironbound/Fancy Poultry is a portrait of harsh US railroad tracks and industrialism.

In 1998, I remember an incredible South Bank Show programme centring on Vega's remarkable rise to popularity and psyche found within the lyrics. In 1998/9 Vega toured Britain and Radio 1 broadcast a very special concert from Wembley - I hope this is made available soon. Today, Tuesday 6 November 2012, BBC Radio 4 broadcast a super programme featuring Vega and focusing specifically on Solitude Standing. What a marvellous insight.

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