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Reviews Written by
Stephen Reid "Stephen" (Basingstoke)
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   

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St Eval Scented Reed Diffuser REFILL - Orange & Cinnamon - 150ml Bottled Liquid
St Eval Scented Reed Diffuser REFILL - Orange & Cinnamon - 150ml Bottled Liquid
Offered by Casa Candles
Price: £12.49

5.0 out of 5 stars The combination of orange and cinnamon is a favourite and works well, 3 Aug. 2015
We ordered this refill through Amazon and it arrived promptly.

This is a very good product. Pour the oil into the glass receptacle containing the reeds and it soaks up through them and evaporates, putting the scent into the air. It is ideal for a cloakroom or to keep a small living room smelling fresh.

The combination of orange and cinnamon works well: they are scents every much associated with Christmas but pleasant all through the year: warm and welcoming, often used in recipes and an enduring favourite.

This is a permanent air freshening solution, not occasional like a scented candle or a spray can. It provides a constant background scent. The oil lasts for many months and is good value.

Recommended.


Woodstock 40 Years on: Back to Yasgur's Farm
Woodstock 40 Years on: Back to Yasgur's Farm
Price: £21.51

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Warts and all, this set gives a flavour of the event that became a piece of music history., 31 July 2015
The producers of this 6 CD set originally wanted to release music from every act at Woodstock. However, legal issues and the quality of some of the recordings made that impossible. So here we have a still-massive 6 CD set.

Let me start by laying a myth to rest: the music at Woodstock was not universally good. Some of it was brilliant: some of it was poor. But what made Woodstock was the atmosphere and its subsequent transformation by the Woodstock film, that successfully elevated it to mythical status.

This set captures the spirit of Woodstock. It contains sets from some of the 'lesser' artists as well as the big and about-to-be-big. I question some of the choices: the Jimi Hendrix set is inadequately represented here, in my opinion.

Stand outs for me: Hendrix, Crosby Still Nash and Young, Santana. I could go on, but really that's not the point. The point is that Woodstock is a piece of popular music's history. Warts and all, this 6 CD set gives a flavour of what happened there.


No Title Available

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comfortable, well made and well worth the £30 price, 28 July 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
These shoes arrived ahead of time, well packed in a Clark's box contained in a tough plastic packing envelope. The shoes are protected in the box with paper and paper inserts. They therefore arrived in perfect condition.

The shoes themselves are as described: leather uppers and a man-made sole. They have elastic gussets to the sides which make for easy slip-on. The finish is what I call 'mid-gloss' with the Clarks logo stamped into the rear portion of the shoe.

The stitching looks high quality. Important for me is the cushioned surround, which makes for greater comfort. The sole is has a two-thirds / one third tread pattern, made up of ribs and dots: it's not one of those 'chunky' treads that you get on some boots and casual shoes.

The comfort of the shoe, even on first wearing, is high. The heel advertises itself as a 'cushion heel' by which I assume there are air pockets to make for a soft walking experience.

Summary: it's comfortable, well made and well worth the £30 asking price at the time I bought it.


Gorgeous Pink Princess /Blue Prince,Pet House,dog beds,cat beds,pet beds, Medium and Large Size
Gorgeous Pink Princess /Blue Prince,Pet House,dog beds,cat beds,pet beds, Medium and Large Size

4.0 out of 5 stars A lovely product but be confident that your pet will like it, 27 July 2015
We bought this pet house for a new kitten. It is a light construction. It looks delightful. It feels warm. The only problem is that the cat can hardly contain her indifference. She doesn't use it.

I fear this is one of those items that may appeal more the human owner than it does to the pet. It looks warm, cuddly, romantic and sweet. Perhaps the reaction will vary from pet to pet.

It's a lovely product but my recommendation is to get to know your pet before splashing out on a treat like this. Be confident that he / she will like it.


Grigory Sokolov [Grigory Sokolov] [MELODIYA: MELCD 1002292]
Grigory Sokolov [Grigory Sokolov] [MELODIYA: MELCD 1002292]
Price: £17.86

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Listen attentively, both for the music and for the quality of the playing, 26 July 2015
The first thing to notice about this 2-CD set is that the name of the pianist is written larger than the names of the composers whose music he is playing. There's a reason for this: Sokolov shuns the recording studio. He allows some of his live recitals to be recorded. For that reason CDs from this maestro are few and far between..

The music here was recorded across many years: 1966, 1967, 1969, 1970 and 1984. The venues are varied and the quality of the recording equipment is varied, so the sound on this CD changes from session to session. What doesn't vary, though, is the quality of the paying which is at all times superlative.

The tracks here are not (in the main) popular piano 'pot boilers'. They are some of the less-frequently performed works. This is therefore a CD set to listen to attentively, both for the music and for the quality of the playing. To emphasis this point: there is a 16+ logo on the back cover.

Well worth adding to any collection.


Let It Be... Naked
Let It Be... Naked
Price: £9.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If you have to choose one version to own, I recommend this one., 22 July 2015
This review is from: Let It Be... Naked (Audio CD)
Paul McCartney hated what Phil Spector did to 'Let it Be' so much that eventually he had it remixed, rethought and reissued. This is the result, and Paul was right.

This album is much better thought out than 'Let it Be'. Starting with 'Get Back' is a much stronger opening. Losing the two snippets of John Lennon fooling about and putting in 'Don't Let me Down' was definitely the right decision. It's bizarre that 'Don't Let me Down' was excluded from the original album. The extra 'heavyweight' track makes for a better value-for-money package. It is an amalgam of two versions recorded during the 'rooftop concert'.

The songs stand up well in their simpler arrangements. In some it makes little difference. In others it makes all the difference. ''The Long and Winding Road' is the key beneficiary.

It's really sad that this version of the album wasn't the original version. As the last released Beatles album it would have been a much sweeter ending. If you have to choose one version of 'Let It Be' to own, I recommend this one. It's the better of the two.


Let It Be
Let It Be
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £11.51

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent: not their best but well worth owning., 22 July 2015
This review is from: Let It Be (Audio CD)
The original packaging of this LP described it is a 'new phase' Beatles album. It wasn't: it's just that they used Phil Spector to produce something - anything - out of the hours and hours of recordings from the troubled 'Get Back' sessions. There was fury in some quarters that George Martin had been supplanted.

In all honesty, Spector did a 'not bad' job. He used ten complete tracks and a couple of snippets and also left in some of the comments from the recording sessions, presumably to give it the 'live' feel that was the original intention. Paul McCartney wanted the Beatles to perform on stage again. The others still nursed horrified memories of the screaming fans. In the end they did the final concert on the roof of the Apple building, which stopped the traffic and wasn't at all bad, given the conditions.

The material here is commonly regarded as not as strong as other LPs. But hold on - it contains tracks that have gone on to become well-loved standards in 'Get Back', 'Across the Universe', 'The Long and Winding Road' and 'Let it Be' itself. Not bad for one album. Fact is, people had come to expect each Beatles release to be better and more innovative than the previous: it couldn't last like that.

Paul McCartney hated the Phil Spector arrangements (and the fact that the task of producing it was handed to Spector without him knowing). Eventually, Paul McCartney had 'Let it Be ... Naked' released: this album remixed without Phil Spector's lush arrangements, especially on 'The Long and Winding Road'. That one had 'Don't Let Me Down' on it - an inexplicable absentee from this album.

It's an album born of controversy from a group that was fracturing. Nevertheless, it is an excellent album: not their best but well worth owning. Following the 'Get Back' sessions the Beatles got together for one final fling, and the result was 'Abbey Road'. Now that really was something special.


The Preserving Book (Cookery)
The Preserving Book (Cookery)
by Lynda Brown
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.88

4.0 out of 5 stars Helpful and worth owning, but has some flaws., 20 July 2015
I like this book (but please see the warning comments elsewhere) but feel it is imperfect in some areas.

It has some immediate strong points. The information is very strong on what can be done to preserve different fruits and vegetables and what methods of preserving best suit them. The illustrations are remarkable - mouthwatering actually. The instructions, where they are simple, are very clear. The sections dealing with the science behind preserving, the equipment needed and hygiene / safety are helpful and well written.

It has some annoying aspects. One is a tendency to refer out to descriptions of processes elsewhere int he book. I suppose that makes for efficient use of space, but for the novice user, it means flicking between pages to complete all the operations. I like everything on one page.

If other reviews are to be believed, it contains some errors. I haven't discovered them for myself (just using a limited range of recipes at present).

It's an attractive book, well made with high-quality printing on heavy paper and full colour throughout. On balance, worth owning.


The Beatles: The White Album
The Beatles: The White Album
Price: £11.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-own for anyone interested in the Beatles, the history of recorded music or simply the best of popular music. Brilliant., 17 July 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
George Martin once said that he wished this had been a single album rather than a double. It certainly is a vast, sometimes sprawling collection of tracks. But look at it from the other side: which tracks would you omit to cut it in half? OK, Revolution 9 might top the list. But then? I predict that every proposal would result in somebody objecting that, no, that's a brilliant track and must stay in. And there's the rub: every track is brilliant in its own way. And never in the history of popular music has such a huge variety of styles been assembled in one place.

Outright rockers (Back in the USSR, Helter Skelter), Gentle ballads (I Will, Julia), Country (Bungalow Bill, Rocky Raccoon), Singalongs (Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da) and the incredible 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps' ... this album has it all. When I first heard it, each track left me wondering what on earth was going to come next. And each time it was something unexpected, or different, or just brilliant.

With their previous three LPs, the Beatles had effectively changed the face of popular music. This album simply proved the point and told the world 'when it comes to music, we can do pretty well everything.'

It is almost fifty years since this album was first released. many of the tracks have gone on to become standards, recorded by hundreds of admiring artists. Some remain firm fixtures in Paul McCartney's concerts to this day. The album has stood the test of time and is, in my opinion, a must-own for anyone interested in the Beatles, the history of recorded music or simply the best of popular music. Brilliant.


Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Offered by MEDIAXSUK
Price: £7.45

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless ... completing the transformation of popular music the Beatles started with 'Rubber Soul' and 'Revolver', 13 July 2015
The most famous album of all time. With 'Sgt Pepper' the Beatles effectively completed the transformation of popular music that they had started with 'Rubber Soul' and 'Revolver'. In fact, the big leap forward was 'Revolver' but everyone woke up to the transformation when Sgt Pepper was released.

This was the first 'concept' album, though the idea of being a different band is only partially carried though. Nevertheless, the very appearance of the record was different to all others: two sides of vinyl with no obvious tracks on it. And the cover ... the first ever gatefold. And the words printed on the back. And those funny cut-outs inserted into the sleeve. And all those celebrities in the main picture.

Above all, the music. The Sgt Pepper introduction is still part of Paul McCartney's sets today. Ringo still sings 'With a Little Help from my Friends'. People still debate whether 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds' was actually about LSD. (No, it wasn't: it was a description that John's son, Julian,gave to a picture he was painting). 'Being for the Benefit of Mr Kite' is famously taken from a circus poster. And 'A Day in the Life' is reckoned by many to be the greatest / best pop song ever written (actually it was two, bolted together).

'Sgt Pepper' took the music industry by storm and it is still great, almost fifty years after it was first released. The 2009 remastering is excellent. If you don't have this piece of music history, I recommend you get it without further delay. It is timeless.


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