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J. Litchfield (DERBY, DERBYSHIRE United Kingdom)

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Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols (Deluxe Edition)
Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols (Deluxe Edition)
Price: £6.50

18 of 27 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars EVER GET THE FEELING YOU'VE BEEN CHEATED?, 9 Aug. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
It's difficult to know where to begin with this release as there are so many issues that need addressing. I'm not going to review the music of this 5-star classic (if you're reading this you know all about it), but concentrate on its quality and what extras we get.

The history of NMTB on CD is less than impressive. Chris Thomas' superb production using the technique of multi-layering Steve Jones' guitar created an awesome wall of sound. But most CDs (mastered without the original master tape), failed to deliver the sheer power of the album. However, in 1998 the 21st Anniversary edition, using, apparently, the original analogue master, was surprisingly impressive. This version was also used on the 2002 box set. With news that the original mater tape had been 'found', I was eagerly anticipating the 2012 digital remaster, well, weren't we all?

As soon as I put it on, a few seconds after the cruching intro of 'Holidays In The Sun', I knew it was bad news. The power is missing, again. Yes it's a bit of an improvement on most CD versions, cleaner perhaps, but compared to the 1998 version, it's no contest. WHAT a disappointment. Even my wife (who cares little for such matters) could tell the difference, saying the remaster sounded "tinny" next to the analogue master. Strange then, that Chris Thomas himself has overseen the remastering.

The extras on disc one are the b-sides, which makes perfect sense right? Well it would, if Anarchy's flip 'I Wanna Be Me' was included. Why this is missing is anyone's guess, but its omission, for whatever reason, is unforgiveable.

Disc two is 11 live tracks from Sweden in 1977, plus 3 from Cornwall later the same year. The only word I can think of to sum it up is chronic. Why the band are happy for this dreadful-sounding set to be paired with one of the most important albums of all time is a mystery, as it does no favours whatsoever to the group's legacy and reputation. More or less unlistenable.

The 24-page booklet is ok, some period photos, band member interviews, plus a track-by-track analysis. There are images of the single picture sleeves and also the Jamie Reid poster that came with initial copies of the LP. Trouble is, it only takes up less than half a page, so you can't really appreciate it. The superior booklet in the 21st Anniversary edition dedicated 2 whole pages to this image. It would have been a nice touch to include it as a miniature replica poster, but I suppose that much imagination is asking too much from a major record company.

To summarise then:
* An underwhelming remaster
* A missing b-side
* An awful disc two

It pains me to give one star to this version of one of my favourite albums, which I have lived with for the past 35 years, but I needed to make a point. Universal should be ashamed of this so-called Deluxe Edition, especially disc two. The outtakes and 1977 Dave Goodman session would have been much more welcome, but if you want those you need to fork out the best part of £100 for the Super-Deluxe Box Set. It may be a new label for the Pistols, but the swindle, apparently, continues.

UPDATE: It has come to my attention that the reason I 'Wanna Be Me' is not included is because this b-side was issued in 1976, and the theme of the set is what was released in 1977. If this is the case, then this concept for the Deluxe Edition is totally flawed because:-
* A&M b-side 'No Feeling', 'No Fun' and 'Anarchy' were nevertheless all recorded in 1976, and significantly, 'Anarchy' was issued as a single in the November of that year.
* A&M b-side 'No Feeling' was recorded at the same Dave Goodman Sessions in July 1976 as 'I
Wanna Be Me', so it makes no sense whatsoever not to include it.
* 'I Wanna Be Me' did have an unofficial release in 1977 on the infamous 'SPUNK' bootleg, a very significant part of Sex Pistols history.
* The live set from 1977 on disc two was not released that year.
Comment Comments (11) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 9, 2012 10:54 AM BST

Kill City
Kill City
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £13.20

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How it should have sounded all along, 3 Dec. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Kill City (Audio CD)
This reissue has been put out to little fanfare, and that's a real shame because it deserves a higher profile. Now remastered, and more importantly, remixed, 'Kill City' is an essential companion to the 3 official Stooges' albums.
In 1975, following the break up of The Stooges the previous year, Iggy Pop and Stooges guitarist James Williamson, recorded some demos, but there was no record company interest. However, in 1977 following Iggy's success as a solo artist, Bomp records released the recordings having financed Williamson to oversee some overdubs. Subsequent CD issues were apparently mastered from the original green vinyl, so were hardly what you'd call a sonic listening experience. This has now been rectified to great effect. I don't usually approve of remixes, but this a rare exception, as the whole album has come to life, with Williamson's guitar parts now audible instead of being buried in the previous, muddy mix. Original raucous highlights such as the title track and 'I Got Nothin'' are an obvious appeal, but the real surprise is how slower-paced songs like 'Sell Your Love' and 'Johanna' have been revealed to be just as impressive, with the guitar and saxophone working well together. The restoration of this album still can't quite hide the fact that these recordings are essentially demos, but that's no bad thing as it gives them a raw edge that perhaps would have been missing if it had been recorded for a major label.
Although 'Kill City' doesn't have the same attitude as 'Raw Power' (it's not a Stooges record after all) if you own that classic, you really need this as well.

NB This review relates to the reissue on Alive Records (Oct 2010, with original 'cartoon' cover artwork) and NOT the Bomp version (Nov 2005, with black and white photo cover artwork). Amazon have put all reviews on both versions, which is confusing.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 4, 2012 7:54 PM BST

This Time Around - Live In Tokyo
This Time Around - Live In Tokyo

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For MKIV and Bolin fans, 2 Dec. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
With quite a bit of MKIV activity at the moment ('Come Taste The Band' remaster, followed by the story of MKIV DVD due early next year) I thought it was a good time to review this album, and to try and balance some of the unfair criticism of it.
Firstly, I need to make clear where I stand when it comes to DP line-ups, because your preference will influence your take on it. I have a casual 'compilation-style' interest in MKII (not really a Gillan fan), but for me things really got interesting with MKIII, when Coverdale and Hughes joined. When Blackmore departed in April 75, things happened amazingly quickly in the world of DP. A mere 4 months later, Tommy Bolin had been recruited and 'CTTB' had started to be recorded. I absolutely love 'CTTB', for me it's the best album to carry the DP name, and that's really why I like this album, as it features no less than 8 tracks from 'CTTB', some of them longer than their studio counterparts, especially the Funk/Rock workout 'Gettin Tighter' which clocks in at some 16 minutes, but is never anythig less than essential, and I have to confess here, I'm a huge Glenn Hughes fan. Other highlights are a terrific run-through of 'Love Child' and Bolins' own 'Wild Dogs' with Hughes on backing vocals. It is true that Tommy does take a back-seat on some of the other material, especially 'Burn', but you have to consider, what exactly do you expect from a MKIV show? At the end of the day, this is not a Blackmore-style concert, it does not have his dicipline, so it's going to have a looser feel to it, and let's not forget, Bolin was a completely different kind of guitarist, so it's not really surprising it's on the 'CTTB' material that he's at his most comfortable.
When it comes to MKIV performing MKII material, it could be argued they become a glorified tribute band, but at least 'Smoke...' is given a different take as Hughes slips into 'Georgia'. So-called Purple purists will hate this, (and should really avoid this whole album) but it's fine by me, as an over-rated, over-played song is given some variation.
When it comes to MKIV live, the obvious alternative is 'Live At Long Beach 76'. Now that is a fine album too, with superb sound quality, slightly better than this in fact, (although this still sounds very good) but Coverdale stuggles through some songs, especially on the high notes. On 'This Time Around...' he is spot-on throughout, and for that reason and the extra 'CTTB' tracks, it gets my vote every time.

Price: £9.99

37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ALL -TIME CLASSIC, 1 Sept. 2006
This review is from: Powerage (Audio CD)
In truth, very few albums deserve 5 stars (which seem to get thrown around the reviews section like confetti at times), but with 'Powerage', AC/DC delivered a bonafide classic. Everything seemed to come together on this record - the songs, the lyrics, the riffs, and not a filler in sight. The superb production job of Vanda and Young completes this gem. Not only is this the greatest AC/DC album, but it's quite simply, it's one of the best Hard Rock records ever made. It's very difficult to pick highlights, but 'Down Payment Blues' has always been my favourite, closely followed by 'Gimme A Bullet'. Angus Young was at the top of his game at this time (1978), as was the still much missed Bon Scott (has there ever been a more charismatic frontman?) This, and the same years' live 'If You Want Blood...' are the band's 5 star masterpieces. Many AC/DC retrospectives claim 'Highway to Hell' is the best, but good as that is, it fails to meet the standard of 'Powerage' due to a few fillers and Mutt Lange's too polished production.

I have to complete this review with a complaint directed at Sony - other reviews have mentioned the absence of 'Cold Hearted Man'(on the original UK/European version of the LP). This track is only available on download from connection to the official website via this CD. Fans don't need this gimmick, what they do need however, and deserve, is this essential track included on the CD where it belongs. Furthermore, the digipack format is not welcome at all, it is prone to fingerprints, damage and dust. Sony and all other companies, please take note!
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 4, 2015 4:38 PM GMT

Uncut Diamond
Uncut Diamond
Price: £13.78

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A REAL GEM, 30 July 2005
This review is from: Uncut Diamond (Audio CD)
Any album that is made up of unreleased recordings has to be viewed with suspicion. This CD however, is a rare exception to that usual rule. Any fan of Legs Diamond who doesn't already own this (it first surfaced a few years ago) can buy with confidence.
'Uncut Diamond' is 14 tracks recorded in 1979 when the band was out of contract, and listening to the quality of these songs, it's a real mystery as to why a major label wasn't forthcoming. It's subtitled 'The Legendary Lost Album', which isn't strictly true as probably 10 of the 14 tracks would have made up an LP back then, and they would have undoubtably been re-recorded, to improve on the basic 2 track facilities used here with no overdubs. As a result though, the songs have an appealing raw edge to them, which is much more satisfactory than the lightweight production on 1978's 'Firepower'.
Overall, this is honest Hard Rock with a clever use of melody. Comparisons, if any, could be Deep Purple or Paul Chapman-era UFO. But Rick Sandford's distictive voice made this band unique.
Having listened to Legs' 70's and 80's output a lot recently, I can honestly say that the 10 best tracks here make up their finest often can you say that about any band's unreleased material?

Mondo Bizarro [Deluxe Edition]
Mondo Bizarro [Deluxe Edition]
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £14.16

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars BEST SINCE THE 70'S, 3 Aug. 2004
Prior to this 1992 album, long term Ramones fans were not very optimistic about the future. Although the previous studio LP (1989's 'Brain Drain') had showed signs of improvement following some weak late 80's efforts, founder member and bassist Dee Dee was gone. Things looked bleak. But it turned out we needn't have worried.
When the opening track jumps out of the speakers and pins you against the wall, all this apprehension goes out the window. The power and vitality that made us love the Ramones in the first place, is back.
New bassist CJ seems to have injected a new level of enthusiasm into the band, even proving to be an acceptable vocalist on 'Strength To Endure' and the brilliant 'Main Man', both as it happens, co-written by Dee Dee.
Elsewhere, tracks such as 'It's Gonna Be Alright' and 'Tomorrow She Goes Away' firmly put the smile back on the faces of the faithful, as both echo the classic Ramones style. Other traditions are kept alive with a few mellower moments like 'I Won't Let It Happen' and the catchy 'Poison Heart'.
'Cabbies On Crack' is Joey's true story of a scary New York cab ride he once took, but at least he survived to tell the tale!
All this, and a crisp production job, easily make it Da Brudders' best album since those essential 70's masterpieces. The phrase "Return To Form" has never been more appropriate.
This re-issue comes with a bonus track and is superbly packaged, so go on, just buy it, and see why this legendary band are sadly missed.

No Future UK
No Future UK

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HISTORY IN THE MAKING, 10 July 2004
This review is from: No Future UK (Audio CD)
Don't be confused by the title of this album, because what we have here, is non-other than Rock's most famous bootleg, 'SPUNK', albeit under another name, with 3 extra tracks added to the original 12. Castle have improved the sound quality (compared to the version put out by Receiver in the early 90's), making it an essential purchase for all Pistols' fans.
3 recording sessions make up 'No future UK': Tracks 1-7 from July 1976, 8&9 October 1976, and 10-15 January 1977, all produced by Dave Goodman.
Although of Demo quality, they represent an historical document of one of the most important bands in Rock history, and make fascinating listening.
The July '76 session is the best, and anyone used to the mega-production of the 'Bollocks' album will be surprised. They sound raw, yet full on, and utterly compelling. 'Submission' stands out with some great guitar work from Steve Jones. 'I Wanna Be Me' will be familiar to many, as this version was used as the B-side of the 'Anarchy In The UK' single. The October '76 'No Fun' was also a flip side, this time to 'Pretty Vacant'. Rotten's vocals on 'Anarchy...' from the same session, are amazing, he sounds quite terrifying.
The January '77 session produces versions of songs not too dissimilar to the familiar 'Bollocks' versions, but again, the lack of layer upon layer of guitar differentiates them.
Throughout this album, Glenn Matlock's bass can clearly be heard, driving the songs along, and his importance to the band as a musician/song writer should not be underestimated.
It remains the source of much debate as to which is superior, the raw appeal of these demos or the perfect sound of 'Never Mind The Bollocks'. I say it's a pointless argument, because both are essential in different ways. But make no mistake, owners of 'NMTB' MUST own this CD, they belong together, side by side, in your collection.
Unfortunately, I can't complete this review without commenting on the presentation of the CD, which really lets the music down. It is far too important to be lumped in with the other advertised releases in Castle's so-called 'Punk Collection'. To add insult to injury, the sleeve notes are inaccurate and lack information. Music which is, in effect, history in the making, deserves better...much better.

UPDATE: I'm pleased to say that in 2006 Castle/Sanctuary re-released this CD under its proper 'SPUNK' title, with new artwork, accurate sleeve notes, and the best sound quality yet for these recordings.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 7, 2014 2:47 PM GMT

Way Back to the Bone Live
Way Back to the Bone Live

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE REAL DEAL, 23 Mar. 2004
This CD is a live recording of Trapeze in Dallas in 1972. They were touring in support of their just released (and now classic) 'You Are The Music...We're Just The Band' album, having put out their first album as a power trio 'Medusa' two years earlier.
Texas was a hotbed of support for the band, and it shows, as they play with confidence and competence belying their young ages. Glenn Hughes, for example, was only 20, yet his vocals sound assured, and his bass playing tight. Mel Galley on guitar is particularly impressive, he simply smoulders at times.
Don't be fooled by the lack of songs here (eight), as the CD clocks in at 72 minutes, with many of the tracks being extended versions of the studio recordings. However, this is not the boring, self indulgent nonsense so often associated with 70's live acts. Oh no, all of this recording is relevant, such as 'Your Love Is Alright' which, at over 12 minutes long, is an intense Rock/Funk workout of the highest order, and the 8 minute 'Keepin' Time', which is never anything less than essential.
Listening to this, it's easy to see why Deep Purple were so keen to get Hughes on board. One can only wonder what Trapeze would have gone onto if this hadn't happened.
Considering the age of this recording, and its small label release, the sound quality is good. The mix could be better, as the vocals put the guitar in the background at times, but I refuse to knock a star off for this, as the music is just so impessive. It's an essential purchase for all Trapeze/Glenn Hughes fans, who can buy with confidence.
There are other in concert recordings available, but for the ultimate Trapeze live experience, this is the real deal.
NB This is also included, in its entirety, on the double CD 'On The High Wire', along with two post-Hughes Trapeze albums.

Price: £20.18

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Who says sequels can't be better?!!, 24 Feb. 2004
This review is from: II (Audio CD)
You've got to hand it to Glenn Hughes, over the past few years, his work rate has been incredible. Not only a string of fine solo releases, but the ex-Trapeze/Deep Purple man has found time to collaborate with Joe Lynn Turner for two albums inbetween.
HTP II sees the 50/50 split of the first album shift in Glenn's favour. Although style wise, it's the same (ie classy, melodic Hard Rock), the Hughes' presence is generally increased, together with a bigger share of the vocals. This, along with overall stronger songs, makes it superior to HTP I.
That's not to detract from JLT's contribution. His voice is rougher than in his Rainbow days, but that's no bad thing, it's more gutsy as a result.
Glenn 'The Voice Of Rock' Hughes is, as always, faultless. His vocals seem to improve as he gets older, with his trademark style of power and range.
Some tracks here could easily have been on Glenn's recent 'Songs In The Key Of Rock' album. In fact his excellent guitarist, JJ Marsh, plays and co-writes on both HTP albums, and his role should not be underestimated.
The bulk of HTP II is hard driving verses, skillfully connected to melodic, memorable choruses. Exceptions are the ballad 'Time And Time Again', and the emotional, near epic, 'Burning The Sky', both providing useful changes of pace.
Be assured, in the hands of these two seasoned professionals, Rock is alive and well.

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