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Rob (London)

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TomTom Start2 3.5" Sat Nav with Europe Maps (42 Countries)
TomTom Start2 3.5" Sat Nav with Europe Maps (42 Countries)
Price: 116.56

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hmmm, 5 Jan 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this as my third sat nav. The battery on my beloved first sat nav, tomtom 3 uk, gave up the ghost, and the maps on my garmin became so ridiculously out of date I felt I had to buy a new device. It didn't seem worth buying new maps for the garmin when the battery would probably conk out before long, and garmin's updates of maps had already proved to be less than wonderful.

I find having a sat nav almost essential when driving around on my own, which I do most of the time. I chose TomTom again because I prefered it to the Garmin, and the TomTom Start 2 with European mapping seemed to do all I wanted of a sat nav.

Overall, this isn't a bad device. It takes me where I want to go and I like the reading out of street names you get when setting the voice to computer female voice. However, you don't get this when selecting any other voice. I like the small size of the sat nav and the screen attachment which folds into the device itself, making it easily pocketable when you leave the car. I also like the lane guidance screen shots at motorway junctions, but don't expect these to appear (as I did) at all large junctions - it is only at certain motorway junctions, and no other roads at all.

There are, however, disappointments with the start 2. When you first buy the device, all the maps of the 42 countries are included in a very out-of-date form. If you decide to update these via downloading TomTom Home on your computer, you are unexpectedly made to make a vital decision as you sit at your computer. There is no longer enough room on the device for all the promised 42 countries, you must select just part of Europe - and some of these selections do not include the UK! Like most people probably I selected southern Europe as it includes Spain and Italy, as well as Belgium, France, the Channel Islands etc. Missing though are Germany and of course Scandanvia, which were all included before the update and were included also on my old Garmin device.

This limitation is cheeky of TomTom since they market the TomTom Start 2 as holding the 42 European maps.

Other disappointments compared with the old TomTom 3rd ed is the tinny sound, and the lack of ability to either program a demo route to your destination or even a text route as you can with Garmin. The routing can be a bit erratic at first until you update the maps; it tried to take me some very strange routes home!

So this sat nav is a bit of a dog's dinner. TomTom have clearly given this sat nav less thought and testing than some of their other devices in the past, eg TomTom 3rd ed; which isn't good for a device aimed at newcomers to the sat nav world. Its not terrible, so I have given it 3 starts for its small handy size and reliable mapping, for the free mapshare updates, for the junction lane guidance and the reading-out of street names, a perk I hadn't been aware of when I purchased.


The Singles
The Singles
Price: 3.41

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can music get any better than this?, 4 Jan 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Singles (Audio CD)
Naff cover aside, Hall and Oates collections don't come any better than this new compilation of their hits. The others miss key tracks, but everything is here. Id I would defy anyone to skip a track once this gets playing. The quality of the music and singing is staggeringly high. Hall and Oates infused their early material with soul, but later became far more inventive and poppy creating delicious confections like "Kiss On My List", "I Can't Go For That", "One on One", and "Method of Modern Love". "Say it Isn't So" is also an outstanding soul-infused beat-driven song originally included on their "Rock N Soul" compilation album which I used to have on vinyl.

Highly recommended. Enjoy!


Ballroom Blitz-Best of Sweet
Ballroom Blitz-Best of Sweet
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: 26.95

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blockbuster collection of Sweet hits, 4 Jan 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This was the first and possibly best of the two Sweet hits collections which includes all Sweet's hits from the early "Funny Funny" through "Blockbuster" and their huge hits to "Love Is Like Oxygen" which was their last really sizeable hit both in the UK and US. Most of the other collections miss off "Love Is Like Oxygen", and as that's one of their best tracks it is worth tracking down this collection.

This CD also includes some of their famous B sides, such as the heavy rock "Burning", B-side to "Hellraiser", and their minor later hits which proved less popular with the public ... and you can see why when listening to this album. Its not so much that the later songs were poor, but they sound ordinary compared to the euphoric sounds of "Hellraiser" and "Ballroom Blitz", and even the high-camp of "Wig Wam Bam" and "Little Willy" are much more fun.

Sweet clearly struggled with being a pop-rock band, although they were one of the first to flagrantly camp up glam-rock wearing vivid make-up and apparently gay sexuality, in some ways even more extreme than the contemporary David Bowie and Marc Bolan. Undoubtedly a trail-blazing band and great to listen to over 30 years later.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 15, 2011 12:37 PM GMT


Move Over Darling (The Complete Stiff Recordings)
Move Over Darling (The Complete Stiff Recordings)
Price: 9.74

5.0 out of 5 stars Ultimate Ullman, 4 Jan 2011
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When TV comedienne Tracey Ullman brought out an album of covers called "You broke my heart in 17 places" and the single "Breakaway", no-one really had very high expectations. There had been a long history of TV personalities trying to be pop stars eg Terry Wogan, Frankie Howard, Bruce Forsyth etc and after Tracey of course we had Kylie Minogue from Neighbours. But one listen to her sparkling debut album made us realise we had a very different type of talent here.

Her voice effortlessly seemed to carry the selected songs, and challenging songs too from the contemporary Kirsty Macoll to the magnificient Dusty Springfield. Beautifully sung by Tracey, and conveying the emotion necessary too. The other standout aspect of the album was the music performance and crystal-clear production, all of which still shines through on this double CD 25 years after release.

I would normally have purchased the one CD "Best of" which is available, but it misses out on three wonderful tracks on "You broke my heart in 17 places"; namely Tracey's versions of "Long Live Love", "Bobby's Girl" and "I Close My Eyes and Count To Ten", so I bought this 2 CD collection instead, and I don't regret it. This is fabulous! Not a duff or uninteresting song on the collection, and the crystal clear recording shines out just as it did on the original vinyl version of "You broke my heart in 17 places".

Highly recommended for those wanting a comprehensive collection of Tracey Ullman's all too brief recording career before she decamped her home country for the money pots of America.


Loudmouth - The Best Of Bob Geldof & The Boomtown Rats
Loudmouth - The Best Of Bob Geldof & The Boomtown Rats
Price: 7.02

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Boomtown Rats and Bob Geldof Collection, 15 Dec 2010
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The only Boomtown Rats or Bob Geldof LP I bought prior to this was Boomtown Rats' Tonic For The Troops, which I loved for the singles on it but not much else. This collection puts together all the Boomtown Rats hits along with Bob's solo hits and best album tracks, and there really isn't a poor track here - its much more enjoyable and easy to listen to than Tonic For The Troops. Its a shame the great Joeys On The Street Again wasn't included from the first Rats album, so one star deducted for that ommission.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 7, 2013 6:09 PM BST


The Essential Collection
The Essential Collection

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great T Rex Compilation, 15 Dec 2010
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I originally bought the "Ultimate Collection" hits compilation by Marc Bolan and T. Rex (containing Soul Of My Suit and Plateau Skull) which is still available, but when that CD got damaged I bought this one instead because I find it more consistent and enjoyable to listen to. The track listing is much the same, but in a different and more listenable order and, for me, the sound is better. Plus a more arresting CD cover! This CD has more of his early work and includes the original version of Debora, thus we have a potent mix of the unique Bolan vocals on folky hippy rock, pop rock, glam rock, hard rock and even disco!


The Magic Of Boney M
The Magic Of Boney M
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: 5.40

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Irresistable Boney M, 15 Dec 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Magic Of Boney M (Audio CD)
This is a reasonably well balanced and full collection of Boney M hits and songs. I have always preferred the early hits such as Daddy Cool, Sunny, Ma Baker, and Belfast to the later material like Mary's Boy Child, Rivers of Babylon, El Lute and Painter Man and would have preferred more inclusion of their early album tracks such as Love For Sale. This collection is also missing My Friend Jack, an enjoyable later song and minor hit, so one star deducted.

Some of these tracks are later overdubbed versions by Frank Farian. He added 90s percussion like disco hi-hats on the original 70s versions; but even so this is an loud, hugely enjoyable compilation and probably one of the better of the many Boney M hits collections out there. Hopefully a more serious-minded compilation of their material will become available with a comprehensive run-through of the full-length and original versions of all their hits and best album tracks like Love For Sale, Nightflight to Venus, My Friend Jack, Heart of Gold and I See A Boat On A River.


The Best Of
The Best Of
Price: 4.99

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive Three Degrees Compilation, 15 Dec 2010
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This review is from: The Best Of (Audio CD)
Three Degrees compilations don't come better than this budget offering, as this takes us from their early begining such as TSOP through their biggest hits such as the fantastic Year Of Decision and When Will I See You Again, to their later hi-energy disco work with Moroder, Giving Up Giving In and The Runner. It is not in strictly chronological order unfortunately but roughly so, as the two styles of their music are not entirely comfortable with each other. Their early music is harmonious and soulful, and the later style could be much more vigorous and even harsh in places. But both styles are great to listen to. This makes for an interesting listening experience, and takes me right back to the 70s! One evening in the late 70s I was sitting in a deserted restaurant in Norwich and who should sit at the next table to me but the very glamorous (and very American) Three Degrees. I liked their music before this encounter but loved it after!


Hooked On Classics
Hooked On Classics
Price: 7.93

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stars on 45 Classics, 15 Dec 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Hooked On Classics (Audio CD)
The Ultimate Collection of Hooked on Classics changes the order of tracks of the three original Louis Clark conducted Hooked on Classics albums in order to fit them onto two CDs, instead of the three available elsewhere. So with this version, you get all the tracks and don't have to switch CDs so often, and it costs less!

Hooked on Classics came into being after the success of "Stars on 45" which segued clips of Beatles and other pop songs together over a disco beat. Louis Clark came up with the brilliant idea of using clips of popular classical music instead, to the same format. The Hooked on Classics single went top ten in both UK and USA, and the album was a feast of famous classical music clips grouped in themes. Not everyone liked the idea, but there's no denying that the music was brilliantly performed by the RPO and appealled to many people who liked the idea of having a huge range of classical music on one album. Not only that, you can dance to it! On certain tracks, such as Hooked on Romance, the dance pace was slowed down into a "ballad" version of the Hooked on Classics style.

Whether you go for this version of the complete Hooked on Classics or the originally sequenced version, will be a matter of personal preference. I went for this one as I dont like swapping CDs more than necessary, but the original version might be more listenable. Either way, this album is great fun.


Ultimate Toni Braxton
Ultimate Toni Braxton
Price: 4.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely, 15 Dec 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Ultimate Toni Braxton (Audio CD)
This is a gorgeous collection of Toni Braxton's hits, at a budget price. It contains all her best and most popular songs, with the exception of Why Did An Angel Break My Heart, a missing minor hit so one star deducted. I love having this on my ipod, and its a delight when one of the songs comes up when in shuffle mode. Listening to the album in isolation from begining to end can be a bit too much of a good thing. Her deep and lush voice is like no other, and when used for outstanding songs like Another Sad Love Song, Unbreak My Heart, Breathe Again, and You're Making Me High the effect is scintillating and seductive. I bought this collection partly for the upbeat alternative version of Unbreak My Heart at the end but these songs really hold well together.


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