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Reviews Written by
A. D. R. MARKS "adrmarks" (Warwickshire)
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Big Fun
Big Fun
Price: 9.00

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An overlooked Gem, 28 May 2001
This review is from: Big Fun (Audio CD)
This album rarely gets mentioned in the same breath as 'Bitches brew'. Why is a mystery, since it's certainly (in this listener's opinion at least) as good its older sibling. Perhaps it would be best to describe this as a sideways rather than a forward move from B.B. The addition of the new tonal colour from sitars make for a delicious soundscape. Highly recomended.


Bitches Brew
Bitches Brew
Offered by 101Trading
Price: 10.99

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!, 28 May 2001
This review is from: Bitches Brew (Audio CD)
There really aren't words adequate to the task of describing this album. It is a heady concoction which rewards repeated listens and gives the listener something new each time. If I had to pick favourite tracks (a difficult proposition) I would have to go for the sublime 'Pharoahs' Dance' for its sheer joie-de-vivre and 'Miles Runs the Voodoo Down' for its sheer menace (it could almost be Led Zeppelin jamming with him at some moments). Essential.


Pandemonium
Pandemonium
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: 18.95

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Moving Mountains still, 27 April 2001
This review is from: Pandemonium (Audio CD)
A great album, with some of the best songwriting KJ ever displayed. Just one criticism though - the over reliance on drum machines rather takes the edge of things. It was always the frenzy of the drums and the guitars which gave the Joke their dramatic musical edge (this is of course not to deny Jaz musical). KJ have always had a 'dance' (in the loosest sense) sensibility, but for me the mechnanised rhythms are a little too obvious. However, this is still a fine album.


Outside the Gate
Outside the Gate
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: 18.95

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best KJ album ever, but still worth a listen, 25 April 2001
This review is from: Outside the Gate (Audio CD)
If you're new to Killing Joke, this may not be the best place to start. Geordie's guitar is rather neutered by an overly glossy production and a mix which seems to have been conducted with FM radio in mind (indeed, the rawness of the following album, `Extremities ...' may have been a reaction to this). Nevertheless, it has its moments (and for me is still better than `Brighter than a thousand suns'): `America' is a pleasingly vicious assault on all things American (obviously), `Stay one jump ahead' is excellent, except for the fact that Jaz attempts (I kid you not) to rap in the middle (not recommended). `The Calling' shows that KJ are capable of building atmospheric sound structures - as those of us who love them knew anyway, but non converts may find hard to believe. `Outside the gate' (the track) is fairly dull, but the haunting piano fade out is almost worth the price of the CD alone - and shows KJ capable of beauty as well as ugliness.
If you want to gain some insight on KJ and don't know where to start then the debut album is probably the one you need, followed by (in any order) `Extremities', `Revelations', `Pandemonium', `What's This For...', `Fire Dances'. Get this one when you've digested all of those.


Extremities, Dirt and Various Repressed Emotions ( 1990 )
Extremities, Dirt and Various Repressed Emotions ( 1990 )

5.0 out of 5 stars Dangerous stuff, 23 April 2001
Its stature has not been diminished by time. This is a deeply intense album with a very rough (in a good way) production (I heard rumours that it was recorded in a weekend - it sounds like it). That it was the only album recorded with the Atkins and Raven rhythm section is a tragedy (those guys could move mountains). I took my life in my hands once and played it whilst shaving (not recommended).
If the end of the world needs a soundtrack, then this is it. Buy it now, or die in ignorance.


Compulsory Schooling Disease: How Children Absorb Fascist Values
Compulsory Schooling Disease: How Children Absorb Fascist Values
by Chris Shute
Edition: Paperback

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An unflinching look at the problems of contemporary schools, 14 Mar 2001
Chris Shute has taken a brave step in telling it as it is about the nature of the comprehensive school: a place where he feels might is right, the culture of the bully rules and the rights and feelings of the child are always of secondary importance. It certainly isn't (and makes no claim to be) an unbiased read (Shute describes himself as having 'retired hurt' from teaching) but if it does nothing else, it should make you think. I first read this book six years ago, and it remains one of my favourite academic texts


The Holy Bible
The Holy Bible
Price: 5.14

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly the darkest, most intense hour of your life, 14 Mar 2001
This review is from: The Holy Bible (Audio CD)
This is a rare beast: an album where music and lyric match each other perfectly. Richey's (and let's be honest they are Richey's, not Richey's and Nicky's here) make the reader wince with their visions of pain, depression and despair, and the music feels trapped inside the heavy compression of the mix - guitars struggling to escape their claustrophobic aural prisons. Curiously, it turns out to be an uplifting listening experience (or is that just me?). That the Manics will never again be so intense is probably for the best (it could scarcely be good for their health) but in musical terms it is probably a pity. This is a once in a lifetime album to be cherished.


Messiaen: Quatuor Pour La Fin Du Temps / Quartet for the End Of Time
Messiaen: Quatuor Pour La Fin Du Temps / Quartet for the End Of Time
Offered by mecodu-uk
Price: 4.74

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intense listening, 10 Mar 2001
Nobody could ever describe the work of Messiaen as easy listening, but the intensity of this particular work continues to astonish. This particular recording benefits from a recorded room ambience which acts as a kind of audio-guazing giving the sound a pleasing shimmer. The music remains both tranquil and traumatic. If you've never heard QFTET then this is as good a recording as any. Worth experiencing.


The Great Deceiver (Live 1973-1974)
The Great Deceiver (Live 1973-1974)

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Expensive, but worth it., 19 Feb 2001
Whilst on reflection I would still have to say that I think `Night Watch' offers the best live recordings of the Wetton/Bruford/Cross/Fripp line-up, this is still a worthwhile addition to the K.C. canon. Don't let the repetition of tracks put you off - as everyone knows Crimson never played a song the same way twice in their lives. The best thing about this collection has to be the improvs. In the hands of most rock musicians an improvised piece should rightly be greeted with horror and consternation. In the hands of Crimson however the results are never less than fascinating. A slight downer is the accompanying book which contains more typing errors than I've ever seen in one place (come on guys, you can do better) but this is hardly a problem, since it's the music we pay for - right? One more thing, the rendition of Easy Money on disc one, where Wetton nearly collapses laughing half way through when Fripp hits a very loud bum note is almost worth the cost by itself.


Larks Tongues in Aspic
Larks Tongues in Aspic
Offered by dutchtoni
Price: 19.75

12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Curious, but very satisfying, 2 Feb 2001
This review is from: Larks Tongues in Aspic (Audio CD)
An odd album. It took me five or six attempts to get my head around its complexities, but now rarely a day goes by without it getting its turn on my CD player. The complex rhythms and time shifts which the band had been attempting with previous line-ups (though never as successfully as with this one) come into full flight here - witness the positively alarming percussive landslides achieved by the twin attack of messrs Muir and Bruford. If you want a challenging yet rewarding album which will keep its appeal for many months (years?) to come, you could do far worse than invest in this one.
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