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J. M. Salinas (London, UK)

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Agent Provocateur
Agent Provocateur
Price: £6.56

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars AOR at its near best, 29 Nov 2007
This review is from: Agent Provocateur (Audio CD)
Agent Provocateur is a very decent follow up to the superb 4.

The record is certainly better more (over?)produced than 4, bringing in a more radio friendly sound that its predecessor.

This works to great effect on the ballads, particularly on the massively popular I Want to Know What Love Is.

But let's not forget that Foreigner were a rock band in their core, and Agent Provocateur rocks, particularly with the riff of the opener track Tooth and Nail and the other rockers Growing Up the Hard Way and Stranger in My Own House.

Down on Love is another fantastic ballad, less commercial than the mega selling I Want to Know..., but more evocative and introspective.

Somehow, Agent Provocateur succeeds on two fronts, one, uplifting your mood witht the rockers, but also in taking you into your reflective inner self.

Best of the Beast
Best of the Beast

5 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Why buy a compilation when you can have the whole discography?, 15 Nov 2007
This review is from: Best of the Beast (Audio CD)
I mean, sorry, it is a fantastic compilation, no doubt about it.

But let's face it, Maiden have released, to date, another four studio albums since this compilation which in my opinion should have been a three disc to start with. Sorry, but no Flight of Icarus, Caught Somewhere in Time, Tailgunner, From Here to Eternity, Prowler and a long etcetera.

The problem is that Iron Maiden are so damned good that if you buy this you'll end up buying their whole collection, I know I did and wasn't the only one.

If you want your cd collection to look "cool" just because you have some Iron Maiden, then buy The Number of the Beast, buy if you truly like Maiden, get the whole collection, plus the dvds.
Comment Comments (7) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 25, 2013 9:55 AM GMT

A Bit Of What You Fancy/Bitter Sweet And Twisted
A Bit Of What You Fancy/Bitter Sweet And Twisted

5.0 out of 5 stars It's only Rock n' Roll... but I like it!!!, 15 Nov 2007
I first heard and saw the Quireboys at the same time opening for Whitesnake and I was well and truly thrown back.

This was good old rock and roll!!! Directly following the footsteps of The Faces, Rod Stewart and The Rolling Stones, but a bit sharper and ready for the end of the century.

The sound at the gig was fantastic and immediately after I came to Amazon to buy this double cd, which must the bargain of the century.

The two discs are full to the brim with that "you know what I mean far too many cigarretes" voice of Spike. The keyboards pulsate like they haven't done since Jerry Lee Lewis and the guitars puke out riffs and melodies like you haven't heard in a while.

It's a shame the Quireboys imploded the way they did, as A Little Bit of What You Fancy was an actual UK n2 record and you'll understand why when you listen to it.

Highlights include 7 O'clock, Sex Party, Sweet Mary Ann, Misled, Can't Park Here, and Wild Wild Wild in my opinion to just name and few.

As if the double pack was not enough, extra demo and live tracks have been added to create and excellent good value for money package.

Tres Hombres [Expanded & Remastered]
Tres Hombres [Expanded & Remastered]
Price: £4.48

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top of the Blues, 6 Nov 2007
This is really interesting. If your only previous knowledge of this band is their Greatest Hits compilation or the mega selling 1980s electronic drum extravanganza Eliminator, you are in for a shock.

Because what you get here is none of the more commercial radio friendly rock sound you'd come to expect if you have only listened to three singles from the aformentioned Eliminator or the Greatest Hits.

Tres Hombres is as blues as it gets. Stripped down to its very core with just one guitar, bass and drums, starting with the left/right combination of Waiting for the Bus and Jesus Just Left Chicago and ending with Have you Heard?. Only La Grange is a more sped up head down no nonsense boogie. Even though it is one of their most recognisable hits, it actually sounds a bit out of place in the record, almost like a frill thrown in a the last hour.

The remastered production is fantastic and you can really tell the difference relative to the previous editions. The extra live versions, well, they add a bit of value for your money but they are nothing to lose your head over.

Definitely a must have for any blues lover, but maybe a surprise if you are only familiar with their 1980s output.

Offered by Books2anywhereUS
Price: £2.39

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely a Top 5 Desert Island Record, 2 Nov 2007
and you know why? because there is not a single filler in this record.

Kickin off with Free Fallin' and I Won't Back Down, this is Dylan for the late eighties, fantastically played with simple yet effective guitar.

Face in the Crowd is a highly evocative piece for which any singer/songwriter worth their bread and butter would have sold their mothers for.

Runnin' Down a Dream is the closest thing to an old fashioned rocker and you'll find it impossible not to tap your feet along the chorus line simmilar to Mind With a Heart of Its Own.

I could go on and on about each song in the record, but, suffice to say, Full Moon Fever is one of those albums you can just play on repeat time and again, the music is not complicated, it's just... good. Very good.

Keeper Of The Seven Keys  Part II
Keeper Of The Seven Keys Part II
Price: £11.63

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No Power Metal, but plain Heavy Metal, and it's Gooooood, 2 Nov 2007
Here, in their third studio album, Helloween achieved their creative peak leading to the departure of group leader and guitarist Kai Hansen

I actually disagree with those that simply brand Helloween under the power metal banner. There is a second group that calls Helloween an Iron Maiden covers band. In my opinion, neither are true.

True that you have the twin guitar sound and the highest pitched vocals you'll ever hear (bar a certain Rob Halford) courtesy of a then very young Michael Kiske, but the album retains a very melodic sound throughout the whole record even brushing with glam metal in tracks like I Want Out.

Also, there is no power metal anywhere in sight as there are no orchestrations, multi voiced choruses or thundering keyboards.

What you have here is true, aunthentic and anthemic heavy metal on classic tracks such as Eagle Fly Free, Dr Stein and Rise and Fall.

The title track is a prog metal piece over 10 minutes long saving the the hardest song, Save Us, as a crunching closer to the album, which in itself is a bit weird.

In summary, definitely one of the defining albums of the all dominating heavy metal scene of the late 80s

Cash: The Autobiography
Cash: The Autobiography
by Patrick Carr
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

5 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very Poor, 18 Oct 2007
I have read better and more comprehensive biographies of Cash on magazine specials.

The book is quite superficial and quite frankly, I doubt many people care how many grandchildren Cash had.

If you were looking for some insights into what inspired the Man in Black you are better off looking elsewhere.

The Godfather
The Godfather
by Mario Puzo
Edition: Paperback

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unlucky if you watched the movies first, 27 Sep 2007
This review is from: The Godfather (Paperback)
My problem with this book is that I read after having watched the films a few times.

At first I thought it was fantastic, I kept a clear view in my mind of the movies as I was reading it and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it as it elaborates more than the films on the psychology of the characters.

But then, around half way through the book, Puzo starts elaborating on the stories of not second but third rate characters such as Lucy Mancini and Johnny Fontane, which goes to show what a brilliant job they did when scripting the movies and that got slightly on my nerves.

I guess that if you haven't watched the movies, those stories won't bother you so much and would make for a different reading experience. I wish I had read the book first.

Otherwise, the story and plot Puzo created is brilliant, the characters are timeless and the book must rank high up on the list of all time greatest novels.

At Folsom Prison / At San Quentin (Remastered / Expanded) (2CD)
At Folsom Prison / At San Quentin (Remastered / Expanded) (2CD)
Price: £11.14

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Package, 26 Sep 2007
For starters you get two albums for the price of one. And not only that, you get TWO HISTORICAL records.

Live at Folsom and Live at St Quentin are two live albums like nothing I've listened to before.

Musically, the albums do not have much to get excited about; guitar, bass and drums with very basic country style rythms underpinning Cash's voice.

Having said that, you don't buy this stuff for the music, you buy it for the stories, for each song is more than just a few lyrics thrown togethers, they are tales, morals and poems on their own right. "Cocaine Blues", "Starkville City Jail", "St Quentin", "A Boy Named Sue", there is enough material there to evolve each song into a different movie.

The rapport Cash builds with the prisiones is unmatched on any other live album, he doesn't preach, he doesn't pass judgement, he is simply telling stories which quite likely could be the stories of their lives.

At Folsom sounds more polished, Cash's voices brushes perfection and the album feels tighter than At St Quentin. However, At St Quentin has all the classics and maybe just for that has an edge over At Folsom, even though the execution of classics such as "Folsom Prison Blues" and "I Still Miss Someone" sound better on the former.

Both records are a permanent fixture on my MP3 player.

Jesus De Chamberi [German Import]
Jesus De Chamberi [German Import]

3.0 out of 5 stars Great Idea, patchy execution, 25 Sep 2007
Jesus de Chamberi was the first "proper" album by Mago de Oz.

The album is a rock opera telling the story of the second arrival of Christ on Earth on modern day Madrid. It starts with with the awakening of Jesus (a denim and leather jacket clad rocker) on a bench in Madrid, recruiting his disciples from what constitues today's marginal society: ex-convicts, prostitutes, drug addicts, and Pedro the tramp, a priest thrown out of the church for his uncompromising views (Jesus de Chamberi).

It follows with Jesus facing modern day temptations by the devil (El Angel Caido) and Al-mejandria. Cuco y la Zingara is an instrumental showcasing Mohammed on the violin. Hasta que tu muerte nos separe (until your death do us part) is the heavier song on the record, dealing with issues of domestic violence.

Cancion de Pedro tells the tale of how Pedro wound up being thrown out of the Church and a tramp in the underground until Jesus choses him to build his new church. Domingo de gramos tells sees Jesus giving a sermon on a square and Jiga Irlandesa is another instrumental.

Cantar de la Luna Oscura is the sorry tale of an aging prostitute, a deeply moving song both lyrically and musically. The last four songs, Judas, Ultima Cena, Czards and Fin del Camino see Jesus having the last supper with his followers, telling them that this time none of them will betray him and Jesus dying when two men gun him down from a car.

Lyrically, as is customary with Mago de Oz, the album is superb with the plot being a clever modern day adaption of the gospel. Musically, the album is too dissimilar to be cohesive, trying to touch on too many different musical styles: Irish and folk influences, heavy metal, outright rock and pop, an error that Mago de Oz would not incurr on on later albums.

High points are Jesus de Chamberi, El Cantar de la Luna Oscura and Hasta que tu Muerte nos separe.

Worth exploring if you are a fan of the band, but not a taste for what Mago de Oz ended up sounding like in their following records.

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