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heavyredsky (UK)

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Price: £0.69

4.0 out of 5 stars An unguilty christmas pleasure, 17 Jan. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Gaudete (MP3 Download)
With so many tacky and twee christmas tracks on the market this one stands out as having dignity and class.
It's obvious the Erasure lads are in love with the Steeleye Span version of this song, as we all are surely!
But like all the best cover versions they take it in their own direction (by adding a danceable and atmospheric electronic twist) whilst still paying homage to the one we all treasure.

Price: £0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Absolute Classic, 17 Jan. 2014
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This review is from: Cars (MP3 Download)
"Cars" still sounds splendid way after it's original release and still thrills to this day.
That bass riff is instantly recognisable and deeply etched into rock 'n' roll's long and ongoing history.
The phased synth intro is as distinctive as the chord crash at the beginning of "Hard days night" or the guitar groove of The Stones "Satisfaction" and means as much to the new wave generation.
In 1979 Gary Numan set the agenda for a massive wave of electronic rock into the 80's and beyond.
Follow "Cars" by checking out "Are friends electric?" and the "Replicas" and "Pleasure Principle" albums of the same year and you're sure find out why.
Yes, "Cars" is an absolute classic.

Splinter (Songs From A Broken Mind)
Splinter (Songs From A Broken Mind)
Price: £9.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gary Numan... very good at being Gary Numan!, 21 Oct. 2013
This is a fine Gary Numan album. It has all the beloved Numanoid trademarks: lush atmospheric electronics, edgy guitars, floor shaking bulldozer riffs, pulsing basslines, industrial textures, delicate piano melodies and of course Numan's distinctive haunting yet soulful vocals.
Pleasingly, Gary's songwriting continues in the same dark suitable style he has taken since 1994's "Sacrifice".
Although I found Ade Fenton's production style was allowed too much reign and consequently hindered Numan's past two efforts: "Jagged" and "Dead Son Rising", here his additions augment rather than distract or take away from the flow of Gary's approach.
On it's own, "Splinter" would definitely deserve 5 stars. However I do feel that it borrows quite heavily on more than just one or two occasions from his previous (relatively recent) output.
"Splinter" is Numan's best album since 2000's "Pure" and that was one mighty album in terms of smashing barriers and putting Numan back on the map, so that can't be bad at all in my opinion.
But one thing is sure, the formula is working...Gary Numan has become very good at being Gary Numan!

Dead Son Rising
Dead Son Rising
Offered by TM Stores
Price: £7.99

6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Did I ever tell you what happened before?, 3 Nov. 2011
This review is from: Dead Son Rising (Audio CD)
So the dark lord returns and it's been a good few years since his last album "proper" "Jagged" in 2006.
And the dark industrial soundscapes which I have so loved on the likes of "Pure" and "Exile" deepen and move on. But apart from that, it has to be said, one of the things I have also loved about Numan's 1994 onwards period is the re-introduction of "Gary Numan" into Gary Numan records after a long period of being smothered by funk and female backing vocals.
On "Dead Son Rising" though, I find our man is seemingly, once again leaning away from his own creative input. Numan's associate Ade Fenton who has been Gary's co-producer since 2005, here is given co-writing credits on every track and is wholly in charge of production and at a guess, most of the albums instrumental muscle. Hell, even the album atrwork bears more than a passing resemblance to Fenton's solo album "Artificial Perfect"!
Perhaps this album would have been more honestly billed as "Gary Numan & Ade Fenton"!
I have mixed feelings about Ade Fenton's contributions to Numan's music, finding his ideas a bit hit and miss, a tad discordant and all too often taking away as much as they add. These can be heard throughout but become increasingly distracting from "We are the lost" onwards bringing "Dead Son Rising" to a fairly weak conclusion, which is a shame after a string of very strong Numan albums since "Sacrifice".
However, the album does have its high moments with the standout ballad "Dead Sun Rising" (where Fenton's backing, actually provides a decent immitation of a late 80's Numan b-side!) and especially "Big Noise Transmission" and "The Fall" where the huge power chords riff the songs along and Numan comes across as a lot more involved. I'm hoping that this is the direction his next album "proper" will go and that Gary Numan starts putting more "Gary Numan" back into his albums again.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 11, 2011 8:04 PM GMT

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Appealing and vibey. Buy it., 12 Mar. 2008
Featuring "the dark lord of synth" Mr Numan on tour in Australia at the height of his fame in early 1980.
"Engineers" see's Gary Numan performing material mainly from his 1979 breakthrough electronic milestone albums "Replicas" & "The Pleasure Principle" in all their live "wall of sound" glory.
To Numanoids all over, that will be the only temptation needed.
To any other self respecting music fan, the pure electro power pop of "Cars" and the mighty synth riffing of "Are friends electric?" should be recommendation enough to consider purchase.
From the atmospheric "Theme from Replicas" intro to the dynamic finale of "Tracks", Numan and his band pace through a fantastic set of non stop high points: "Me I disconnect from you", "We are so fragile", "Replicas", "Films" and the like all still shine as evergreen alternative classics. And hey! didn't I mention those two massive No1 singles?
Even the spacey, slower (I'm trying hard not to say sluggish) live b-side arrangement of "Bombers" from a few months before is given a well deserved lease of life and is massively improved (I get it now! at long last!).
The speed of Numan's progression at that time was simply jaw dropping. By this stage of his very first world tour he was already previewing even more stunning material from his next (at that point soon to be released) highly influential No1 masterpiece "Telekon". And the evidence is here in the catchy dark paranoia of "I die: you die" and "Remind me to smile" and the lush introspection of "Remember I was vapour".
Quite how this recording was sourced at the time I do not know. Or how quality such as this came to be shelved for so long! I know this gig has been floating around as a bootleg for sometime, although I've never heard it to comment or compare. This "official" release is great. The rhythm section is crisp, the guitars crunchy, the vocals and synths prominent and all is crystal clear. Maybe though, to my humble little ears, on just a couple of occassions the instrumentation levels seem to vary from what may have been intended "out front", giving "Engineers" a very mixing desk-y feel. The additional analogue "bleeps" and textures are sometimes well "to the fore" which works amazingly for "Praying to the aliens" and especially on the afore mentioned "Remember I was vapour". And due to the sound clarity of the whole performance, this certainly adds to my enjoyment and does a good job of showing off Numans experimental edge, which may have been overlooked by some of the "more text book educated than thou" music snobs.
Anyway, I love it and I reckon you should too.
From the classic Numan look sleeve to the "pure class" set list.
Get yourself a copy of this is highly appealing, vibey and tasty little live album.

Siouxsie And The Banshees: The Seven Year Itch - Live [DVD]
Siouxsie And The Banshees: The Seven Year Itch - Live [DVD]
Dvd ~ Siouxsie & The Banshees
Offered by media-4-u
Price: £12.99

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nothing naff about this "comeback"., 2 Aug. 2007
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The Banshees are one of those bands I still dip into every now and then. They are to me, part relevance, part nostalgia, always cool, glam and experimental, never naff and despite their demise some years back still full of surprises.
This "itchy scratchy" DVD see's them do the unthinkably uncool and embark on the dreaded "reunion".
With visions of bloating bank accounts and marketing men rubbing their hands with glee, I purchased this DVD with some apprehension. I watched the begining of it through my fingers fully expecting a tacky "we're back and we love you" speech. I needn't have worried. And this being The Banshees I should have known better.
As always Siouxsie and the boys do as they please and thus, their pleasure pleases as a consequence.
Ignoring the obligitary greatest hits was no mistake. I wasn't familiar with a lot of the material here and 'though as a result things could have fallen flat, the performance is intense and commanding.
Highlights include: "Monitor" and "Night shift" proving that the intensity is authentic. "Red light" and "Cities in dust", performed without the safety nets of the synthesis of their studio takes and delighting in their skeletal form. And of course the evergreen hypnosis of "Christine" and "Spellbound". Then there's my personal fave, "Lands end" which shows off the dynamisism of the legendary in pure majestic glory, fantastic stuff.
I'd like to add that this DVD also confirms my opinion that Budgie is quite possibly the greatest drummer of his generation. He truly shines throughout!
The dark intensity of the long set is blown away by the encore of "Peek a boo". Which this time is performed almost solely by its backing tape. It's pure tounge in cheek, handjive, rag time, disco, karoake. As a final farewell number you couldn't get cheekier than that. And we laugh with them! Only class such as The Banshees can pull off a trick like that!
Sure, the sound ain't spot and Siouxs voice goes "off" a fair bit in her enthusiasm. Her charisma makes up for this. But "warts 'n' all", coupled with shaky camera shots all add to that real live experience. It reflects how it was on the night so to speak (I'm guessing...I wasn't there).
Yeah, nothing naff about this comeback.
Well worth the very low cover price.
Smiles all round.

Living Ornaments '80
Living Ornaments '80
Price: £9.24

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic Numan + A good "bootleg"!, 27 Jun. 2007
This review is from: Living Ornaments '80 (Audio CD)
This is a CD of two halves.

The first 10 tracks comprise of the original Living Ornaments 80 album originally released in 1981.

Here we find the early Numan we're all so fond of, in all his charismatic and slightly quirky glory. A synthfest of songs from Gary Numan's astonishing breakthrough period that kicked open the doorway to the 80's and made the man a star.

Need I mention the sheer atmospheric quality of "Down in the park" "Are friends electric?" "We are glass" and the like?

For those of you who are unaware of such class and tend to lump Numan in with the more lightweight synth pop of the time, it wasn't just about "Cars".

I'd advise you to check out the likes of "Replicas" "The Pleasure Principle" and "Telekon" as soon as you can. Or, indeed these first fantastic 10 live tracks who's arrangements and sound quality at times eclipse the high standard of their studio counterparts. This is a great selection of live takes.

For those of you who weren't so big into Numan as us addicts, you will almost certainly find that behind the white face powder, plastic boiler suits and withdrawn paranoia, there was also a superb songsmith at work. Probably the biggest reason that Numan remains a cult to this day.

Which brings us to the second section of this double CD.

Living Ornaments 80 was indeed such a fine release that since the repackaging of the Living Ornaments albums started a while ago, Numanoids have exitedly been anticipating the day when the full 1980 set list would be released.

Alas, the original mobile studio multitrack was never found!

In an attempt to satisfy the craving for a full 1980 set, a high quality "soundboard bootleg" has been added in its place.

Heaven to the diehards.

Indeed, as a fan, the satisfaction of hearing these 19 songs unabridged and EQ'ed to the highest standard possible from the original cassette source is fantastic stuff.

But to the more casual Numan listeners it perhaps would have been advisable to point out more clearly on the sleeve that this is "bootleg material".

After all, however much we can go on about sound quality, differences in performances etc,ect (herein lies a bootlegs real appeal, for me anyway). It's a very rare thing in my experience to find a bootleg that makes really pleasurable repeated listening. Especially for non fans.

I don't feel that this particular recording will be the exception to the rule! Hence my "only 4 stars".

None the less it's well worth the money even without the extra tracks. And the original Living Ornaments 80 is a classic early Numan album.

So if you're thinking about it.

Go for it.

XS All Areas: The "Status Quo" Autobiography
XS All Areas: The "Status Quo" Autobiography
by Francis Rossi
Edition: Hardcover

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quo, back in my head again, 6 Oct. 2006
I'm not really what you'd call a hardcore Quo fan at all. But like most of us who grew up through their 70's and 80's heyday I've always had a soft spot for their greater no nonsense heads down 12 bar rockers such as "Caroline", "Proposin'" etc... and yes, I have been guilty of pushing my thumbs into the loopholes of my jeans and doing that dance!

I came accross this book completely by accident in a friends house, seeing it left on the shelf. Picking it up for a quick browse I became instantly absorbed and quite anti-social as I settled into their sofa reading from cover to cover of Francis and Ricky's tales of hitmaking, alcohol, drugs, heartbreaks, ego's, farwell's, media and management manipulation and comebacks.

Although all of these of course relate to many rock 'n' roll stories, the difference here to most is that all is told with a humour and blazing honesty that put me in mind of Bob Geldoff's brilliant "Is that it?". It reads quickly with all the buzz of one of Quo's smasheroonies!

That, plus of course the fact that the Quo have always had a knack and suss to know a damn good hit tune when they hit one. This is of course what separates those that last through these "XS's" to the also rans.

By the end, all those songs which have served to make Status Quo such an institution were running through my head, "In the army now", "Margarita time", "Living on an Island" etc, etc...Pete Doherty, take note!

Price: £5.84

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Give it a try. It will not dissapoint., 5 Oct. 2006
This review is from: Ultravox! (Audio CD)
From the neon plastic garage wails of "Satday nite" and "Wide boys", to the emotional dehumanisations of "I want to be a machine" and "My sex". Boy were Ultravox! a different creature under the guide of John Foxx in 76 compared to the slick sideburn pomposities of Midge in 1980.

Mind you, it was 'cos of "Vienna" (still a fantastic album, but that's another story) that I got into this album.

Expecting another epic synth rock soundtrip had been my mistake.

No, this album knocked me sideways with a gutsy bomblast of sheer rock noise experimentation. And I have to admit, at first I didn't know what the hell to make of it.

But you know, I went back to it time and time again. And each time I did, I found I was becoming more and more gripped.

The sardonic humour of "Satday night in the city of the dead" opens the way, pogoing its r'n'b backbeat to a pulp.

"Life at rainbows end" is carried along by Foxx's double vocal take, one a stylish croon, the other a distant whisper, great with headphones.

In "Slipaway" a lovely melody should get destroyed by the great slabs of distortion that tumble down upon it, but end up being the bits I look forward too. And in come the moogs, but warmer alongside the raw guitars and drums.

Another great melody comes in the "Dangerous rythmn" that could almost be Roxy attempting reggae.

The albums epics come in the forms of the lonely "I want to be a machine" and a real anthem "The wild the beautiful and the damned", both are brought to their peaks by fantastic fiddle flourishes making the early Ultravox! a kind of early futuristic new wave punk folk hybrid.

Keyboards dominate the ruined cityscape of the quasi-ballad "My sex", which is the song here most likely to please the old new romantics. But the grittier production brings to my mind images similar to say, a grundgier take of the sci-fi "Metropolis".

Some fun with more distortion and tape overload on the catchy "Wide boys" and the almost funky "Lonely hunter".

The story goes that the band got snuck into the Island studio when it was otherwise supposed to be closed and recorded this brilliant album amongst the mops and brooms of the cleaning ladies. With none other than Mr's Brian Eno and Steve Lillywhite in the production seats that's one rock 'n' roll story I will be hellava disappointed with if I find out it's not true.

True or not they still produced my favourite Ultravox album of the lot.

Gary Numan: Radial Pair [VHS]
Gary Numan: Radial Pair [VHS]

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Machines with soul, 16 July 2006
A great look at a couple of fascinating Harvard WW2 warbirds.

The documentary style reveals Numan and his mate Norman Lees as articulate story tellers as well as highly skilled display pilots.

Numans soundtrack adds to and complements the flying scenes perfectly.

A treat not just for Numan fans, but for all who enjoy the merits of these fantastically powerful vintage machines.

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