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Alf Tupper "Tough of the Track" (Weston-super-Mare, UK)

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Damn The Torpedoes
Damn The Torpedoes
Price: £3.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Simply The Best!, 8 July 2015
This review is from: Damn The Torpedoes (Audio CD)
Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers greatest album. Not a single duff track and the first six are absolute killers. The songs, the playing and the production are all first class. They have made many superb albums before and since but this simply will never be beaten. The gigs to support the album were also the best they ever played.

Jackrabbit Slim / Alive On
Jackrabbit Slim / Alive On
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £12.48

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Underrated Genius, 14 Jun. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
What can I say about Steve Forbert? Well, if you're an old fart like me and want some help in recalling how great it was to be young, including the not so good bits, he's your man on Alive On Arrival and Jackrabbit Slim. If you also recall the trials and tribulations of settling down and the additional responsibilities that entailed, he's your man again on Streets Of This Town and The American In Me, also to be found as a double album named Rock While I Can Rock - The Geffen Years. If you are getting on a bit in life and want to listen to something that suits your current circumstances, Steve is again your man on Over With You.

Having first bought Alive on Arrival in 1979 and seen Steve in concert in 1980, like a lot of people I then forgot about him and his music. In the early 1990's, I heard Danny Baker play a track from The American In Me whilst also making positive comments about the album. Now, Danny Baker is what I would call a cool guy so I took my chance and bought the album on cassette. It was a good decision as both musically, but particularly lyrically, it is first class. More recently, after catching Steve in concert a couple of times, I purchased Rock While I Can Rock - The Geffen Years, on MP3 in order to get the aforementioned The American In Me in a modern format along with Streets Of This Town, which I had never heard. The latter is at least the equal of the former and testament once again to the power of Steve's song writing, both melodically and lyrically. The two albums benefit from investment in both the production and in the musicians selected to play on the records. My most recent purchase was Over With You which, although low key in comparison, nevertheless maintains a high standard of song writing throughout and is one to play if you have recently broken up with a loved one. There are, of course, many other Steve Forbert albums I have yet to investigate and I would welcome suggestions from anyone who happens to read this review.

Anyway, to Alive On Arrival and Jackrabbit Slim. To me, they are the sound of a young, talented and ambitious artist wearing his heart on his sleeve and telling it like it is. His enthusiasm for life is infectious and his lyrics speak from the heart. You can also understand them and that, to me, is one of Steve Forbert's real strengths which he appears to have maintained throughout his career. Whether he's singing about the reckless abandonment of youth (Going Down To Laurel), the darker side of life (Tonight I feel So far Away From Home), the crap life throws at you (Complications) or the inevitability of disappointment (It Isn't Gonna Be That Way), he does it with passion, empathy, humour and good grace. Anyone who can come up with the lines "It's often said that life is strange. Oh yes, but compared to what?" (January 23-30, 1978) is a genius in my book. And if you feel in need of a bit of counselling but can't afford it, just listen to Thinkin' and you'll feel better in no time at all if you take his advice.

I was born in 1954, the same year as Steve Forbert. Maybe that's why I feel I can relate to his music so easily. Or maybe it's because he's a straightforward talking poet. Or maybe it's because he's a superb songwriter with a real knack for observing life in all it's manifestations and then relaying those observations to us in a funny, moving and entertaining way. Whatever the reasons, to me he's an absolute gem!

Original Album Series
Original Album Series
Price: £9.99

34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classics that stand the test of time!, 6 Jun. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Original Album Series (Audio CD)
First of all, I was a big Monkees fan. In 1966, aged 12, I bought the single I'm A Believer two weeks before I owned my first record player! I then bought each of the first five Monkees albums as soon as they were released and loved them all. I subscribed to Monkees Monthly magazine and corresponded with an American penpal found through that magazine, swapping letters with her about all things Monkee! They were not the coolest band in the world to my musically snobbish friends, but I loved them. I was cool as well, into the Beatles, Stones, Beach Boys, Kinks, Small Faces etc. but, in the latter half of the sixties, no band had a place in my heart like Davey, Mike, Micky and Peter. In the early seventies, after Led Zeppelin had bludgeoned their way into my life, I finally threw out my childhood and flogged the lot for peanuts. Having still retained most of my vinyl albums, I now regret that decision but, two days ago, those fine albums once again were in my possession, courtesy of this budget priced box set from Rhino.
Now, as any music fan of a certain age will realise, buying an album based to a large degree on nostalgia is risky. The magical sounds of childhood and teenage years can sound dated and disappointing decades later. However, already being the owner of The Definitive Monkees compilation, I wasn't buying this set wholly on a whim but I did wonder whether some of the lesser known songs would stand the test of time. I'm therefore happy to report that, from the opening bars of their debut through to the closing notes of their final album as a four piece, the magic is very much intact. Whereas classic Beatles and Stones have been played incessantly on the radio, TV and in my own home and car for years, a lot of the songs on these five albums have not been heard by me since 1970. I was amazed, therefore, to be singing along and remembering a lot of the words immediately. Even the bonus tracks, which generally I am not a lover of, add to the enjoyment and quality of each album. The group's progression from "do as we're told" puppets who didn't play their instruments to proper band with a good deal of artistic control is palpable when listening to Headquarters and the final two albums. Yes, you can spot obvious influences left, right and centre and they were always at least two steps behind the Beatles, but the quality is there consistently throughout all five of these albums. The CD sound quality is also excellent.
For those Monkees diehards like myself, this set is an essential purchase and fantastic value for money. For any music fan who is interested in listening to a piece of genuine sixties musical history and some bloody good songs, this set is also highly recommended.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 12, 2014 1:22 AM BST

Ladies & Gentlemen [DVD] [2010] [NTSC]
Ladies & Gentlemen [DVD] [2010] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Rolling Stones
Price: £9.99

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent!, 27 Mar. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Not much to say that hasn't already been said. Just watched this gig on TV and immediately ordered the DVD. The Stones have always been inconsistent with their live performances but in 1972 they were at their absolute peak. They had brought out their greatest album, Exile On Main Street and their US tour was always considered their best when reviewed. This film is absolute proof of that! As someone else has already said, image does matter in rock 'n' roll and the band look like the coolest bunch around. They have an arrogant swagger about them backed up throughout by stunning performances. Jagger's vocals match his physical energy, Keith plays like it's his last day on earth and Mick Taylor, without doubt a crucial part of the Stones at their peak, adds sublime melody. Charlie plays as tight as a duck's arse and Bill is just Bill. Since "Exile", the band have never regained the heights they reached in 1972, despite some memorable songs and live gigs. They probably play better than ever these days but it just ain't the same as it was then. If you want to witness the "greatest rock 'n' roll band in the world" live up to that title with class to spare, you need go no further than this concert footage. Magnificent!
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 1, 2012 12:44 AM GMT

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Offered by MEDIAXSUK
Price: £9.35

77 of 174 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What a Load Of Old Rubbish!, 6 Oct. 2010
This really is an awful album from start to finish. For a start, the title is very misleading. I thought I was buying an album called "Beatles" by a brass band named "Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" only to learn when I got home and played it that it was the opposite!

Then there are the terrible songs, starting with the title track. The best part is the tuning up at the beginning, and then the singer says he's going to introduce us to "the one and only Billy Shears", but the song ends before we ever get to hear Billy sing. What a disappointment!! "With A Little Help From My Friends" is exactly what Ringo needs to make this song interesting. Not a patch on Joe Cocker's original! Then there is "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds", or LSD in other words. What? A song about pounds, shillings and pence? Give us a break please!! Next is "Getting Better". No it's not, it's getting worse! "Me used to be angry young man. Me hiding me head in the sand"? So you should mate, with appalling grammar like that! "Fixing A Hole" next. Only another 3999 to go then if you're fixing it in Blackburn, Lancashire! "She's Leaving Home", probably after being given this album as a present by her mum & dad. Give me Billy Bragg's original anytime! "Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite". What sort of title is that? And "The Hendersons will dance and sing". Not Dickie Henderson I hope, 'cos he's crap! "Within You Without You". Er, without you thanks, George. If I want this kind of music, I'll go to an Indian restaurant! "When I'm 64". Sounds like you already are, Paul, on this jolly old codger's ditty! "Lovely Rita". "Got the bill and Rita paid it"? You tight git!! "Good Morning Good Morning". Good job there is a cockerel on it. It woke me up!! "Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)". Still no Billy Shears! Finally, we have "A Day In The Life". "The English Army had just won the war". Huh? Don't you know your history John? Everyone knows that the Americans, in it from the start like the good ol' boys they are, won the war. We only came in after the Japanese had bombed Poole Harbour!

Anyway, enough ranting for now. A poor effort by anyone's standards and to be avoided at all costs!
Comment Comments (62) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 28, 2015 8:53 PM BST

Rock and Awe
Rock and Awe
Offered by Blind Owl Records
Price: £17.37

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Austin's Finest Discover Glam Rock!, 4 April 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Rock and Awe (Audio CD)
Let's make one thing clear immediately-it's great to have Young Heart Attack back, both live and on record. I love this band and have seen them seven times in total, six times at Bristol's Louisiana (official capacity 120) and they have played brilliantly every single time. On record, Mouthful of Love was an almost perfect debut that rocked from start to finish and remains one of my all time favourite albums. I was genuinely saddened to hear of YHA's premature demise but surprised and elated when the news came out that they were back together again, with a UK tour and a new album to boot! Their most recent gig at the Louisiana was another blistering set of sweaty rock 'n' roll as expected. Now on to the new album, Rock and Awe.

The good news is that YHA have not taken the easy option by simply repeating the tried and tested formula of Mouthful of Love. Rock and Awe sounds very different, with vocalist Jennifer Stephens much more to the fore than on the album's predecessor. The production is also markedly different from Mouthful of Love, resulting in a trashy, glammy sound similar to that of Sweet and Suzi Quatro in 1972. This is no bad thing and, along with regular reminders of the great Cheap Trick thrown in, makes for a varied and interesting sound throughout.

The not so good news is that, at times, the quality of the songs lets the album down. I read somewhere that Jennifer Stephens contributed to the songwriting for the first time but whether that is the reason for the inconsistency in terms of quality I do not know. As for the songs themselves, opener Rock and Awe gets the album off to a belter and we are right back into YHA at their glorious, Mouthful of Love style best. Hell on Earth immediately follows and keeps the momentum going nicely. Munki has a real Cheap Trick feel to it and carries on the good work. This is then followed by the outstanding Runaway, with Jennifer Stephens' vocals playing a big part in the song's success, along with it's infectious hooks. So far so good and at this point you're thinking that YHA have come up with a second offering to easily match their debut. It is here, however, that the album begins to falter in terms of song quality. Jump Into the Picture is a slow paced rocker with plenty of hooks but too reminicient of tedious latter day Oasis for my liking. I Love This Town is a bit of a plodder but does have a melodic chorus and some great guitar sounds from Chris "Frenchie" Smith. Vacant Love is played well but sounds like filler, whereas Jackboot Goons picks things up once again in terms of hooks and is likely to get better with each listen. The heavily pop influenced Welcome to My World sounds like YHA meet S Club 7 so best to move on. The penultimate song, Drums of Revolution, gets things nicely back on track and reminds me once again of mid-eighties Cheap Trick. Finally we have the slow burning Good Love, with Robert Plant like vocals to start it off and an anthemic chorus to see the album out.

Rock and Awe is a good album by anyone's standards and well worth spending a few quid on. I've played it a few times now and, like most quality records, it's sounding better with every listen. It's not as immediate or consistent as it's predecessor, Mouthful of Love, but there is more than enough to satisfy most diehard YHA fans and to hopefully attract new interest in the band also. So, whilst not quite the all conquering comeback we might have hoped for, it is far from the disappointment it might have been after the high standards set by Mouthful of Love. To sum things up, Rock and Awe will make a welcome addition to any rock fan's record collection and, as I said at the start, it's great to have Young Heart Attack back with us. Let's hope they stick around for a lot longer this time around!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 24, 2014 11:03 PM BST

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