Profile for Graeme Alderson > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Graeme Alderson
Top Reviewer Ranking: 2,141,622
Helpful Votes: 26

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Graeme Alderson "spinatra"
(REAL NAME)   

Show:  
Page: 1
pixel
Africa - 50 Years Independence 1960-2010 (20CD/Book)Bonus ed
Africa - 50 Years Independence 1960-2010 (20CD/Book)Bonus ed
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £60.04

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's all about the music, 27 Sept. 2012
I was slightly disappointed when I opened this. I expected an 18cd set to be a lot more impressive but instead you get a very bijou cardboard box containing a booklet and the discs in fairly generic card sleeves. The booklet is bilingual with the text in English from one end and French from the other which effectively halves the content. The essays are very short précis of the history of the various countries and a bit about some of the artists. For the price I would have expected more. A lot more.

But...then there's the music. It's impossible to do it justice here and, to be honest, there's a lot that I haven't heard once, let alone been able to properly digest. What it is is a springboard to spending even more money fleshing out your collection of all the amazing artists you will discover here.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 23, 2012 11:13 AM BST


Disco Devil: The Jamaican Discomixes
Disco Devil: The Jamaican Discomixes
Price: £9.80

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mind-bogglingly good, 20 Sept. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I buy far too many reggae CDs and black ark era lee perry is a no brainer for me. But this is a bit special. Really special.
The sleeve notes talk about ja 12"s costing the princely sum of £6.50 at the time. Wish I'd had the money back then cos I sure don't have the funds to buy the vinyl originals now. Wish I did though. Sigh.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 18, 2013 7:37 AM GMT


Soundsystem: The Story Of Jamaican Music
Soundsystem: The Story Of Jamaican Music
Price: £80.00

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love It, 20 Sept. 2012
Paying a ton for 8 CDs of music and a book with some great pictures but not very many words seems over odds in an age when you can buy the same amount of music for under a tenner. And then there's the songs I've got over and over again. Any reggae lover will have umpteen copies of Uptown Top Ranking...it's a ubiquitous on reggae comps as Theme From Shaft is on soul ones. But that to one side, it is a very lovely thing and the music is magnificent. Rather then kick off with a couple of discs of mento, ska and rocksteady then move through the genres disc by disc to arrive at the barely listened to disc 8's noughties dancehall or bashment or whatever is happening these days they are all mixed up sound system style. And remarkably it works beautifully and continually throws up surprises. Many times I have been stopped in my tracks but songs I vaguely knew that now sound like world-beaters. It's seemingly random selection is it's greatest strength. £100....not a single regret.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 23, 2012 11:47 AM BST


No Off Switch: An Autobiography
No Off Switch: An Autobiography
by Andy Kershaw
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional, 10 Sept. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
There's plenty of moments in the life of Andy Kershaw that left me misty-eyed but the one that really got me was when he played Blitzkrieg Bop at the start of his first BBC3 show. I know. Don't really understand that myself.

Clearly, events in recent years have seen Andy in the news for the wrong reasons and while this is covered with a reassuring frankness it is not what the book is about. It's a personal matter that beset a public(ish) figure and it needed to be a part of this exceptional autobiography but it does not define either Andy nor the book. Lesser writers would have kicked off with a first-person piece showing our hero hitting the bottom with a bottle of Tesco Value whiskey in one hand and a pint of cough mixture in the other before whisking us back to his birth on a stormy night in a Rochdale manger...how did it get to this? Well, you get the marriage stuff right at the end and we learn that he is through it, his beloved kids are close to him, his family and friends were there for him and he's off the pop. Now, back the the really interesting stuff.....

A great storyteller always benefits from great material and throughout his career Andy has been surrounded by fascinating people and put himself in unforgettable places. Through his time on the OGWT, Live Aid and then the BBC Andy was never less than his own man. Lumps in the throat aplenty at his tales of Peel & Walters, Biggie & Ali and plenty more. The travel stuff is fabulous.

But all this has cost me. It has cost me time listening to his travel docs, many of them online at the BBC iplayer. It has cost me money buying up CDs of music from around the world as well as re listening to existing discs with fresh ears. Tinariwen sound even better than they did now for some reason. It also made me want to travel and follow in his footsteps, to Haiti, to North Korea and to west Africa.

It's a terrific book and the fact that you can hear his unmistakable voice in every line is a tribute to Kershaw the writer. Now bog off Andy, see some more and give us another volume.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 23, 2012 11:18 AM BST


The Cyclist: A World War 2 Novel: World War 2 Romance (World War II Adventure Series Book 1)
The Cyclist: A World War 2 Novel: World War 2 Romance (World War II Adventure Series Book 1)
Price: £1.91

3 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Painful, 23 Aug. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Looked right up my street but never got past the first page. Terrible, terrible writing. The alarm bells started ringing from the first ridiculous sentence. Never experienced that before. Self published...easy to see why. Two quid wasted.
Comment Comments (9) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 24, 2012 12:28 PM GMT


Intensified Ska 1962-66
Intensified Ska 1962-66
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £41.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Less is more, 2 May 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Intensified Ska 1962-66 (Audio CD)
These days music seems so cheap and collections of ska almost ten a penny. But when this Steve barrow curated collection first emerged at the height of the two tone explosion it was many people's first taste of ska. As a teenager from rural Durham it seemed ever so exotic and wild. And over 30 years later it still does.
Sure you can buy more ska for you hard earned but you won't get a better collection. It's rough, it's wild and it's as fresh as the day it was cut...some of it 50 years ago.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 1, 2012 4:28 PM BST


Kevin Rowland Presents Motown Made To Measure
Kevin Rowland Presents Motown Made To Measure
Offered by the_record_factory
Price: £19.95

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not clever, just brilliant music, 6 Sept. 2007
I think the previous review does this an injustice by awarding just on star because he feels ripped off. I don't think there is any doubt what this is: a personal collection of favourite Motown tunes chosen my KR, the third in the Made To Measure series, I believe. But while Motown collectors may not be interested, music lovers should be for this is a fine collection of songs that are quite clearly Kevin's personal selection, having covered or mentioned a number of them in interviews. I'm really sorry the previous reviewer was disappointed but hopefully he's come cack to it in time and realise what a gem he has acquired.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 23, 2012 11:30 AM BST


The Projected Passion Revue
The Projected Passion Revue

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost brilliant, 12 Feb. 2007
What a band! What a live experience. And as on the of the commentators says in the sleeve notes, what a pity there isn't a great lost album out there just waiting to be dusted down and thrust upon an unsuspecting public. But unfortunately there isn't. All that's left is three 7" singles, a couple of sessions and a Radio 1 In Concert recording. The singles are perfect versions of songs ultimately destined to be remembered in their inferior raggle-taggle Too Rye Aye incarnations, the session tracks defy their low-budget, quick turnaround birth and we are left with the concert recording. And this comes so close to greatness, only to be let down by lost backing vocals and a dire lack of atmosphere. So much of the power of this band came from the calls and response between Kevin Rowland and the band and here it sounds a little one-sided.And while Rowland could depend silence and attention from his audience there are moments here that cry out for a surge of emotion, regognition and release from the crowd. It still brought a tingle to my spine but I felt alone with the band. It's great, don't get me wrong. I love it. Normally a shoo in for five stars but I just can't help feeling that it could have been better. One of many coulda, shoulda moments in the career of the great KR.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 23, 2012 11:09 AM BST


Masters at Work: The Tenth Anniversary Collection, Part 1, 1990 - 1995
Masters at Work: The Tenth Anniversary Collection, Part 1, 1990 - 1995
Offered by Founders Factory JPN4UK
Price: £273.47

5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent collection from the masters, 27 Jun. 2000
Music needs genius. Rock's got it's Dylans, Wilsons, Lennons and McCartneys. Jazz has it's Miles', its Coltranes and its Monks. Even country has a Geoge Jones and a Willie Nelson. What they have in common is an unique talent of drawing from their past and creating the future. Their music is a template from which thousands of great records from hundreds of great (but lesser) artists are struck. And from this number perhaps another voice will emerge to push the music onwards. Kenny Dope Gonzales and little Louie Vega are both individually and as Masters at Work are touched with genius. And more importantly they are perhaps the first DJs to warrant this title. In ten years they have risen from New York's post-Paradise Garage scene to dominate clubland. Their mix of latin, jazz, hip hop, african, house and soul is unparalleled. From their own underground hits to their radical reworkings of mainstream charttoppers MAW continue to evolve, surprise and inspire. And there's no better way to enjoy their fruit of their first five years of work than this amazing 4CD set. It's a 4CD set for the price of a single album which represents amazing value. But it's only when you slip it on and crank it up that it truly reveals all its delights. The sheer depth of styles and quality make it a must-have purchase.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 23, 2012 11:21 AM BST


Page: 1