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Mr Blackwell (scotland)

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On The 13th Day [Ltd 2cd Digi]
On The 13th Day [Ltd 2cd Digi]
Price: £19.85

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Putting Things In Place........., 27 Sept. 2012
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.... this might just be one of the best Magnum albums ever. I'm not a die hard,a recent convert actually,in the last couple of years i've been working my way thru the bands back catalog,this disc just grabs you instantly,its a thoroughly enjoyable listen.

Highlights well the 'epic' opener 'All The Dreamers' just struts its way out of the speakers and you know immediately its going to become a modern day classic,a must play 'live' surely. Then 'Blood Red Laughter' bounces along on throbbing bass and its an instant toe tapper,if its not already due to be a single then it should be.

Have to be honest i thought this album might be a similiar sound to THE VISITATION,its not ,where that disc was dark and brooding,this is the opposite,its up beat,catchy and well happy,only the melancholy 'Putting Things In Place' dropping the mood slightly.

Its certainly a commercial Magnum but without losing any of their heritage,choruses and sing alongs abound on the title track,'Didnt Like You Anyway' and 'So Let It Rain' without diluting who Magnum are.

Heavy moments can be found with the superb 'Dance of the Black Tattoo' with it rifftastic opening complete with menacing piano in the background,it vies with 'See How They Fall'(with its teasing opening riff) as the heaviest track on the album,showing these boys can still rock when they want to.

Personal favourites on this disc are pretty hard to come by,as i love it all but if pushed 'Shadow Town' is superb,a working man dig at the plight of society whilst the rich carry on untouched,if Seger or Springstein released this it would be held up as a modern day workin' class anthem(and probably fly to the top of the charts).

so there you have it a superb disc,if you bought the ltd edition,then you'll have a second disc,approx 30 mins with several live tracks/demo and acoustic,'Eyes of Fire' once again left of the main disc,do they not like this track? The best moments are the 2 acoustic versions of 'Blood Red Laughter' & 'Shadow Town',surely an idea in there lads for a whole album.

As usual its a solid performance from the whole band,Clarkin once again proving how under rated he really is,and Catley whilst allowing for age,his vocals i thoroughly enjoyed,yes time has aged his voice,for me though its still got a warm,earthy quality that enhances the current music.

So its 5 stars for them and a thank you from me.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 30, 2012 10:06 PM BST

Script For A Jester's Tear
Script For A Jester's Tear
Price: £7.88

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars so here i am buying you once more.............., 20 Sept. 2012
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Had the original cd years ago, recently bought the Remastered edition,i've been laid up n bed for a few days so i've had the chance to fall in love with this album all over again.The first thing to notice is the astounding sound quality,breathtaking in its clarity.

Marillion,thanks to lazy Journos' were immediately tagged with the 'Genesis clones' which hung round their neck,unfairly as it happens,yes they both had visually engaging frontmen,but c'mon of course they would have been influenced by Genesis but no more than they would have been by the likes Yes/Rush/Floyd etc and believe me there are others if you care to listen.Marillion thankfully never let it affect them and proved live and on record they were ultimately their own men.

You could argue this is their best album,it certainly comes close for me, the title track drips with raw emotion,its follow up 'He Knows You Know' has a manic vocal from Fish that would have done late 70's Hawkwind and Bob Calvert proud,what about the beautiful 'The Web' perfectly executed classic rock at its best,or else 'Garden Party' with its bass/drum pattern reminiscent of late 70's Rush with Fish at his sacrastic best,then again 'Chelsea Monday' evocative with some superlative playing from the band and finally the rally against the world angst of 'Forgotten Sons' with lyrics more akin to Floyds Roger Waters rather than Peter Gabriel,some stunning guitar from Rothery in fact for me next to Fish ,he is the star perfomer on this album swathes of Floydian guitar echoing Dave Gilmour.

So for me not simply a Genesis clone but a fantastic band which had soaked up reference points from various bands and it made them all the better for it.

And yes there's more,disc 2 has non album tracks and demos,highlights? well all of it really,the flexibility of the band to the fore,i have to be honest i'd forgot how 'Poppy' 'Market Square Heroes' was, like wise '3 boats down from the Candy',two excellent short sharp tracks, the former with its fairground keyboards and swirly guitars in the middle,is that far removed from what the chart bands were doing,while the latter was a perfect piece of pop.

The irony of 'Charting the single' with its lyrics is quite funny whilst having the aforementioned tracks,another great track incidently.

3 demos included show how the tracks eveolved,'He Knows You Know' being the best....

Finally i've saved the best for last 'Grendel' a typically prog epic,lazily compared to 'Suppers Ready', Why not 2112/Hemispheres/Gates of Delirium,its got as much in common with them as it has Suppers Ready,probably more actually,truth is at least i know what Grendel is about,i've still no idea what Suppers Ready' is trying to convey(good as it is) ha ha.

At this price for a 2 cd set this is a must buy, next up 'Fugazi'

La Futura
La Futura
Price: £5.86

27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars la futura is bright....?, 14 Sept. 2012
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This review is from: La Futura (Audio CD)
Interesting album,had it for a few days and i suspect its going to split the vote,i'm hedging at 3.5 stars at the moment.It most certainly aint a 5 star disc (in my humble opinion),why because it isnt as good as 'Tres Hombres',Deguello' or 'Tejas',it not got that quirkiness the made 'El Loco' such a dark horse and it sure aint 'Eliminator' so it wont be flying to platignum status any time soon.

So what has it got that makes me want to keep playing it? well if your'e a long term fan you'll recognise all the recycled licks and regurgitated riffs,so it not innovation,but dammit my foot taps and i keep smiling while its playin'.. so what is it? , I'll tell you what it is, its the passion's back,the soul is back,the funk is back,Rubin - love him or hate him has re-ignited the 'spark' in this band. There's a glorious groove about this disc with some beautiful lead guitar by Mr Gibbons, superbly supported by the backing of Hill and Beard(minimalistic playing and all the more welcome for it).Highlights certainly 'Over You','Heartache in Blue','I Dont Wanna Lose You' and 'Have a Little Mercy'.

It might be damning it with faint praise but it is easily the best ZZ Top disc since Eliminator(although Mescalero came close),having let it sink in over the last few days,i've warmed to it, so 3.5 stars potentially 4,,cant wait for the next one.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 29, 2012 9:53 PM BST

Screaming For Vengeance [Special 30th Anniversary Edition]
Screaming For Vengeance [Special 30th Anniversary Edition]
Price: £15.66

18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Screamin' for yer money back? maybe...but..., 6 Sept. 2012
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..If like me you bought it for the dvd then you'll probably be happy.

If you bought it for the original music,you may feel short changed, the CD is the same as the previous remaster,no tinkering,no grand difference in sound,just the same 5 star music as before,the bonus tracks are ,well typical bonus tracks, the live tracks are average sound quality and the ,excellent though it is.'Prisoner of Your eyes' is still completely out of place tagged on at the end,the logic of sticking a track recorded in '85 on a disc recorded in '82,escapes me,it did the first time and it does now.So essentially you've bought the same disc with run of the mill live tracks.

The DVD which was my reason for purchase,well thats excellent,dated yes,of its time,you cant help smile at Rob's beach blonde hair and metal mickey outfit but the band rocks,its a stellar performance and worth the purchase price itself,although it does take a bit of getting used to Dave Hollands drumming again having spent the last few decades listening to Scott Travis.

Packaging .. well thats crap,pathetic liner notes a few photos,pretty much no band involvement,although that shouldnt really be a surprise as they had little involement in the remasters liner notes as well.

To sum up,i wanted the dvd so im happy with that , disc 1 will probably never get played,will stick with the original remaster without the live tracks,the record label have missed a real opportunity here,this should have been the same as the Deluxe Edition of 'British Steel',disc 1 should have stayed as it was,disc 2 the dvd and a 3rd disc the audio of the dvd,jus a thought. So if you want the dvd then go for it,if not you may want to reconsider.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 26, 2012 6:19 PM BST

Blues On Fire
Blues On Fire
Price: £11.38

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incendiary Blues - Pat's On Fire !!!, 2 Sept. 2012
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This review is from: Blues On Fire (Audio CD)
What a blast this disc is,havent smiled so much for some time at a Travers' album.Its the blues nothing but the blues, 7 out of 12 song titles contain the word blues(if you were in any doubt),there's no Snortin Whisky or Drinkin Cocaine here.

Hands up all who thought Pat had joined ZZ Top when 'Black Dog Blues' strode from the speakers? its a recurring theme,this is the disc you been wanting ZZ Top to release for the last 20 years.Smile when you listen to 'Nobodys Fault But Mine' and think of all those bands who would have had you believe that they thought up those riffs and licks all on their own.Thats a recurring theme also,it all sounds so familiar , so comfortable and effortlessly played by Travers and his current band.

There's humour,listen to 'Nobody Knows You When Your Down And Out',god you could just see David Lee Roth covering that,sing along,tap your feet to 'Bulldozer Blues' the smile on your face will be instant,apart from one track 'Death Letter' which is mournful and sad,its pretty much all good humoured tales of booze and women ,you can tell the band had a ball recording this.

The production is sparse and enhances the whole aura,the band superb all unknown to me,apart from former Molly Hatchet drummer Sean Shannon(who handled production)

This is an excellent release,wasn't quite sure what to expect but i might just have found my album of the year.

The Visitation
The Visitation
Price: £11.07

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ITS A GROWER............, 26 Aug. 2012
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This review is from: The Visitation (Audio CD)
Although having been aware of Magnum since the early 80's,I only really got into them a couple of years ago via the 'The Classic Collection',i then decided to work my way thru the back catalogue starting at the beginning with 'Kingdom Of Madness' and got as far as 'On A Story Tellers Night'.

I then broke ranks and bought this when it was first released,i was quite disappointed wasnt really what i was expecting(having overdosed on the early albums),however i keep coming back to it and it has grown on me,its a mature band doing what they do best writing quality songs,playing quality music,the sound different from the early days(which is only natural),where in the early discs i would hear influences of Queen/Kansas/Styx etc,here i'm getting a touch of Zeppelin(Black Skies),a bit of Purple (Door To Nowhere) a touch of Floyd's lyrical imagery (Tonight The Night/FreedomDay),this band have matured and sit comfortably alongside their peers.

The more i listen ,the more i get the whole Magnum experience,the powerful and the delicate swings of emotion via the likes of 'Wild Angels',the thought provoking lyrics of 'Last Frontier',while 'Spin Like A Wheel' simple lodges in your head and your singing it for days.

Not having heard much after 'On A Story Tellers Night',(certainly not complete albums),this disc it seems to me,has a thicker,denser,more guitar driven sound with the keyboards not quite as up front as the early days,took a while to get used to,as i said its a grower and it was well worth the wait,its never off the hifi these days,a great album from a great band,special mention for Catleys' vocals warm and powerful while Clarkin remains an under rated guitarist and song writer.

Now i'll need to start my way through the catalog again............. watch this space.

Classic Rock Presents: Last of a Dyin' Breed
Classic Rock Presents: Last of a Dyin' Breed
Price: £10.65

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Freebird Continues To Fly...., 23 Aug. 2012
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Hats of to Skynyrd once again,like the previous 'God and Guns' disc this is excellent.All the usual themes are here - Defiance (Last of a Dyin Breed), Death (Ready To Fly), tales of broken America (Something To Live For/Nothing Comes Easy), Family (Good Teacher),the challenges of life (One Day At A Time/Life's Twisted). Its an album of many moods from the hope of 'Poor Mans Dream' to the world weary 'Start Livin Life Again', the good time 'Doin It Up Right'/'Homegrown' & 'Mississippi Blood' to the downright Lecherous 'Honey Hole' may be about a late night bar(or a fish pond - see magazine) or it may be about something entirely different,safe to say your unlikely to hear it on your local radio station.

This is a superb disc capturing every emotion,you can envisage them sitting back on the porch,throwing back a few beers while playin' 'Start Livin Life Again',you can see the lighters in the air if and when the play 'Ready To Fly' in concert,you can nod your head in agreement with the sentiment felt in 'Something To Live For',he's singing about America but we can all share in the feeling that most countries fail there people at some point.

I initially wasnt going to give 5 stars but this disc IS a 5 star disc on its own merits,it shouldnt be compared to the 70's ,if the original members were all still here,they wouldnt be able to re-create the spark of their youth,so while this doesnt have the youthful vibrancy of the early days(and how could it),this is a modern Skynyrd for a modern age while remaining true to the original blueprint.

The playing on this disc is superb,the guitar playin excellent,nuthin fancy(pun intended) but hits the spot each time,Johnny Van Zants vocals wonderful(he's had the hardest job and risen to it beautifully),they're raucous at one moment and emotive the next,a job well done.The new boys have gelled perfectly all no doubt helped by the excellent production once more of Bob Marlette..

Now if they would just take the next step and play these tunes in concert,'Ready to Fly' was made for the stage,it would be perfect played just before 'Freebird'.

The Fan pack as usual is superb,great photos ,excellent reading,the only slight negative about this release,as mentioned by a previous reviewer,it would appear that as well as the standard CD release,there is another special edition which also has 4 bonus track,however that edition has 2 exclusive studio track not found here,we get two live tracks ,which while is good value,the studio tracks would have been of more interest.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 23, 2012 9:59 PM GMT

Destroyer: Resurrected
Destroyer: Resurrected
Price: £8.08

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars KISS Destroyer Re-imagined, 21 Aug. 2012
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This review is from: Destroyer: Resurrected (Audio CD)
Truth be told i've never rated this as Kiss' greatest album,always thought that the original production strangled/underwhelmed some of the music,but as a Kiss fanatic i was always going to get this,so what do we have,well...

Music: several heavy rock classics 'Detroit Rock City/King of the Nightime World and God Of Thunder',pop classics 'Shout It Out Loud/Do You Love Me?' and fluke hit 'Beth' which broke them across the USA.I actually prefer the remix to the original production,sounds clearer,sharper,certainly on 'Detroit' and 'God Of Thunder','what about 'Sweet Pain' to? Simmons sounds more menacing than ever!

There is some debate across the fan forums if the cd has a glitch or not,the opening to 'Flamin Youth',opinions vary - it might be a poor edit rather than a glitch ,also 'Detroit' possibly some lyrics lifted from another track,if your a casual fan you probably wont notice(or care).

Extras: there's been a lot of chat including from the band that an extra disc of outakes/demos would have been included,however we get 1 extra 'Sweet Pain' with original Ace Frehley solo,its ok not as good as that originally used and understandably never made the final cut,thats it other than a small added portion to 'Beth',so thats disappointing

As we know Kiss has always been about Packaging/Image as much as music,so its no surprise that the packaging on this is superb,20 page booklet with excellent liner notes and photo's,excellent touch having the cd mocked up as a vinyl album.

Hopefully all their 70's discs will recieve this treatment.

UPDATE having now listened to this several times with the headphones,i'm less convinced its a glitch(on Flamin Youth),more inclined to believe the remix has captured something previously not noticed or Ezrin has re imagined how it should sound on this new edition,hence the demonic kids voice now much louder at the start of 'God Of Thunder' ,likewise placing Ace's version of 'Sweet Pain' in the original sequence rather than left at the end as a bonus.

Also how good is does 'Beth' sound on this edition? this remix knocks the original album for six,backing vocals sound that much clearer,i'm actually lovin' the entire album for the first time. I initially gave 4 stars due to the lack of bonus tracks but this release is actually deserving of 5 stars.
Comment Comments (8) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 1, 2012 10:29 AM BST

Still Climbing
Still Climbing
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £9.98

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars on the road to nowhere....3.5 stars, 15 Aug. 2012
This review is from: Still Climbing (Audio CD)
Despite their high profile circa late 80's & early 90's this practically slipped into the shops with barely a whimper,pretty much no press,most only realised it had been released when the spotted it in the racks. This release catches the band between two stools, the likes of 'Hard To Find The Words','Through The Rain','Road Still Strong' and the title track 'Still Climbing all are excellent and lean on the 2 previous discs wheras the likes of 'All Come Down' and 'Blood From A Stone' retreads of the debut disc.

The rest just plain average,once again Fred Coury fails to get to play drums on a Cinderella album(apart from 1 track ),drumming duties held by Kenny Arnoff,everyone dropped the ball on this one,they should have re grouped after the 'Heartbreak Station' album and released a space giving live album.

Sadly for Cinderella the 'Ball' was over,a sad end to a band with so much potential

Masters Of Reality
Masters Of Reality

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A LOST MASTERPIECE, 15 Aug. 2012
This review is from: Masters Of Reality (Audio CD)
I bought this cd in 1988 after reading a review that likened the band to the likes of Sabbath/Zeppelin/The Doors,took a chance and never regretted it,I have to say i would throw a bit of ZZ Top and a whole lot of Blue Oyster Cult as influences as well.

The disc opens in grand style with the short but effective imstrumental 'Theme For The Scientist Of The Invisible' which finishes just as your wanting more before 'Domino' crashes out of the speakers with a riff that Sabbath would have been proud of back in 1971,next with its Doors like keyboard intro 'Blue Garden ' is upon us and immediately your captivated by Chris Goss' intoxicating vocals which wash over you,simply stunning.

And so it continues from the simple sing along lyrics of 'Gettin High' to the Zep' like 'Candy Song' or the laid back class of 'Magical Spell' which could have been ZZ Top in their heyday back in the 70's.

The remainder of the disc is more of the same swaggering riffs(The Eyes Of Texas/Sleep Walkin) and haunting lyrics(John Brown),this is the album Blue Oyster Cult should have made,their DNA all over final track 'Kill The King' with its foreboding intro evoking a sense of impending doom before bursting to life with a massive sleazy riff that the Cult would have been proud of.

This is arguably the best album of 1988,a wonderful release from Chris Goss (Guitar/Vocals) supported by Tim Harrington(lead Guitar), Vinnie Indovico (Drums) and the cryptically named Googe (Bass).This release is almost impossible to find now but a reissue with bonus track was issued in the 90's presumably remastered as well,i'll stick with this cherished disc and enjoy it time and time again.

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