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Profile for Mr. A. W. Riggs > Reviews

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Reviews Written by
Mr. A. W. Riggs "bernard shakey" (Wallington, Surrey United Kingdom)

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The Studio Albums 1969-1978 (Vol. 1)
The Studio Albums 1969-1978 (Vol. 1)
Price: £27.31

30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The first ten years of Chicago boxed and repacked (AGAIN), 22 Oct. 2012
The re-issue industy is in full swing, yet another re-package of Chicago. 69-78 represents all that's good and bad for this band. From their early days as innovative, hippie, anti-war & protest songs to the nadir of their career or one of many 'Hot Streets'. CTA, II, III & V are essential the remainder have great songs mixed in with some MOR stuff. V in particular contains the magnificent Robert Lamm song 'A Hit By Varese' and 'VII has 'Wish You Were Here' with the Beach Boys. Many blame Terry Kath's death for the downhill slide but it was evident before his tragic death. Many fans have stayed loyal over the years - this box is all you'll need and you'll be able to make more room in the box by ditching 'Hot Streets'. At just over £2.00 per record who would have thought in 40 years music would have become so dispensable & cheap. When much of this was indispensable when first released - what's the world coming to?

By Chicago X Robert Lamm was writing such searching lyrics as 'I'd rather be rich, digging a ditch'....so much for the revolution.

Bonus tracks are as the original Rhino re-re-releases 10 years ago.
Comment Comments (17) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 23, 2015 3:46 PM GMT


Sunken Condos
Sunken Condos
Price: £5.99

8 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Vintage Fagen? Only A Fool Would Say That...., 18 Oct. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Sunken Condos (Audio CD)
Donald Fagen's 4th release bares all the hallmarks of the main man from Steely Dan. Like his other work this is going to take a few listens but early indicators tell me this is no Nightfly. Fagen's tradework sound is here with keyboard and his distinctive vocal delivery. There is a strange cover of a Issac Hayes song - which doesn't work and sounds lyrically dated.
I will perserve with this but as this early stage I can't see this being called classic Dan/Fagen music.

A few days on and my opinion remains as above. 2-3 very good tracks the remainder slip by without resonating and a few songs fade away as if Donald got bored with them and even worse he lobs in some harmonica as a filler.

Lazy & lethargic a huge disappointment.

A week of listening to this and I stand by my views this sounds like a contract filler - it's meant to be about Fagen facing the passing of time so what is the relevance of a Ghetto song in 2012 'you look like a foxy lady' sounds like John Shaft not Donald Fagen.

Read all the 5 star reviews - still not convinced.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 4, 2012 3:55 PM GMT


Waging Heavy Peace: A Hippie Dream
Waging Heavy Peace: A Hippie Dream
by Neil Young
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £22.50

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars After the Gushrush, Neil loves everyone, 5 Oct. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
As a fan of many years, I know what to expect from ole Neil - the unexpected. This book finds Neil waging a heavy peace with himself or his many collaborators or friends? Both I guess. You'll know from the other reviews that the book shuffles around Neil's life, family & hobbies never staying long in one place, much like his music from the mid 80s. It's like reading The Sun newspaper a snippet here and there, when he arrives at a place you're interested in he's off to his toy train set or his Lincoln car. I was looking forward to hearing about his times with CSN but there's not much here. In chapter 57 Neil spends 4-5 pages about recording with Linda Ronstadt, Nicollete Larson and Emmylou Harris (Harvest, Harvest Moon & American Bars & Stars). Neil loves all of them they all have the best voices in the world - and here's the problem with the book Neil loves everyone. When Neil tells us about the drop in sound quality MP3s he fails to understand that many people aren't audiophiles and just want to hear the music they don't give a stuff about Pono Ipod etc. He makes the valid point about music on shuffle that the music is rarely played in the order pre-determined on a vinyl record - but hey Neil we used to just get off our backsides and lift the needle onto the next track! Overall I enjoyed flipping through this book but there was really nothing new here. There about 10 pictures in grainy black & white surely we deserved a batch of unseen photos reproduced in good quality not these poorly produced photos and there's the problem the book looks like it's been thrown together and like Neil's music he got bored with it and said ok print it!
Neil loves his family and the challenge with Ben Young has been a defining moment in his life, the odd thing in the book is that he always keeps referring back to the surname as if we didn't know who Ben. Zeke, Amber and Pegi are - on Pegi there's a whiff of self-promotion that should be avoided. Pegi is an ok backing singer but not a great songwriter.
Why is the writing so big and the spacing is odd - could have reduced the number of pages by half.
Let's hope Archives 2 is an improvement on this disappointing piece.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 1, 2013 12:00 AM BST


Surf's Up
Surf's Up
Price: £11.24

23 of 39 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Surfs Up no I mean Surfs Up, 26 Sept. 2012
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This review is from: Surf's Up (Audio CD)
Arrived the same day as the screening of the Later show with the latest version of the Beach Boys. That performance came as a shock with Mike Love taking over and Brian Wilson still looking at sea, latest news is that Mike (Hang On to Your Ego) is planning more dates without the rest. This brings me nicely to the 50th anniv releases, I only purchased Surfs Up - it's been one my favoutite BBs records for 40 years - well this is what you get for £9.00.

1) No extra tracks.
2) Some poorly produced photos.
3) No lyrics
4) Just a flyer with the tracks.
5) No additional notes about the record.
6) No information about each track.
7) 2009 remastering for HDCD.

This is no way to celebrate 50 years of Beach Boys.

Avoid.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 9, 2012 1:28 PM GMT


So - Classic Albums [Blu-ray] [2012]
So - Classic Albums [Blu-ray] [2012]
Dvd ~ Peter Gabriel
Offered by MediaMerchants
Price: £7.10

11 of 28 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars So What? Great album boring documentary, 23 Sept. 2012
Just screened on TV last night, once again demonstrates that great records and musicians can make for boring films. Producer Daniel Lanois disappears into his own hat and PG bores the pants off of us with his story/concept of the home studio. With all these repackages the music industry is in danger of flogging these records to death. Perhaps reflects a sorry state of the music industry. So is released in CD/DVD & live box set at just under £100 in a few weeks. Indeed a Sledgehammer.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 16, 2013 2:11 AM BST


Charmer
Charmer
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £12.00

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Aimee's Charmer stands up with her best, 18 Sept. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Charmer (Audio CD)
Aimee Mann has never been an artist to rush her work and this latest release demonstrates her skills as a premier song writer where melodies & lyrics dovetail between these peerless songs. In a day and age where song writers are seen as old fashioned Aimee Mann manages to conjure up songs that are relevant and timeless.


Mirage Rock
Mirage Rock
Price: £2.99

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not so wild horses but still damn good, 18 Sept. 2012
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This review is from: Mirage Rock (Audio CD)
Band of Horses last two records were brilliant - whilst Mirage represents a slightly change in style I have to disagree with the other two reviews. Plenty of great songwriting on display here and whilst some of the maverick approach may have been diluted here there's still much to enjoy.


Wing Beat Fantastic
Wing Beat Fantastic
Price: £14.29

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's the closest thing to a new XTC record we're going to get, 17 Sept. 2012
This review is from: Wing Beat Fantastic (Audio CD)
The reclusive Andy Partridge has tucked himself away in his potting shed for some years now occassionally resurfacing with the band Pugwash. This record sees Andy team up with Mike Kenneally. It takes a few listens but late XTC is all over this record and it's great to hear one of our great songwriters back again - all we need now is Moulding & Gregory to join him for a new XTC record. Recommended if you like Nonsuch.


Americana [Blu-ray] [2012]
Americana [Blu-ray] [2012]
Dvd ~ Neil Young & Crazy Horse
Price: £10.73

2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Americana's Blue Notes is for you, 26 July 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This blue ray version is far superior to the standard CD - mainly because of the videos for each song. The films add to the music as one or two tracks sound like Neil and the Horse are just mucking about, and yes the self indulgent tag could be levelled at this record. I'm no audio geek but the mix of the record means you could listen to this in mono on vinyl it doesn't make much difference as the mix is rather messy. It's an interesting outing for Neil fans but in a years time it's not a record I'll return to.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 13, 2012 9:36 AM GMT


Wallander - Series 3 [DVD]
Wallander - Series 3 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Kenneth Branagh
Price: £7.94

6 of 35 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars An old dog in Riga, 17 July 2012
This review is from: Wallander - Series 3 [DVD] (DVD)
I think Dogs of Riga was shown on BBC1 last Sunday, the plot defies belief. Wallander is summoned over to Riga to investigate the murder of a local copper who was helping Wallander with a local case - the night before his death he leaves his camera in Wallander's house (camera stays on camera for a few seconds I think there's some evidence on the film). On arrival in Riga he hands over the case file to the locals who were obviously corrupt - he then sleeps with the widow, finds his way around Riga like he's lived there all his life, he breaks into the police station to find a file, stays in hotel with so many red herrings he could've had 2-3 for breakfast & in amongst all of this we have Brannagh hamming up the mixed up copper looking into empty spaces. The plot of episodes 1&2 are dreadful - bring back the original, or show The Bridge again.

Final episode last Sunday - no improvement. I think I'm going into the luvvy acting business, ideally as a morose detective who ignores the obvious, only talks to his dog, doeesn't get on with his daughter and drives home every 5 minutes to look out the window and think how this plot is going to stretch out to a mind numbing 90 minutes.

One of the reviews states 'Taut scripts and dramatisation from Peter Harness with an excellent cast' - I must have been watching something else.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 14, 2012 12:58 PM BST


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