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Aja
Aja
Price: £4.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best, 27 Jan. 2011
This review is from: Aja (Audio CD)
First heard the Dan in 83 when they were remixed for the Clubhouse Billie Jean and Do it Again top 10 single in the UK and wondered who was singing that great vocal. Then years later my Dad put on Cant buy a Thrill and then it was clear it was the Steelies well I was only 15 in 1983. Bought a compilation in early 90s and didnt do nothing for me. Then very slowly the addition took hold, liked FM, then Kid Charlemange, My Old School. Countdown was the 1st lp I bought and I bought them all over a period and Aja was the last one. It was my least favorite at first, sounding over smooth. 17 years later it the my favorite and most played Dan LP, just sums them up. Aja is worth the drum solo from Steve Gadd alone, amazing and was apparently done in 1 take. Black Cow funky, D Blues pretty dark, Peg great backing vocals by M Mcdonald, great bass playing as well on Peg and Josie by Chuck Rainey. Home at Last has a great swing and again seems darkish song, Purdey on drums. Becker plays a mean smooth jazzy guitar solo on Josie. Yes its the height of cool, session musos but 7 great tracks no filler, great playing and the best selling Dan record. In my all time top 10, my only warning is you will be buying the lot except Everything must go which I just cannot listen to. 11 tracks of Whack and Nightfly are also recommended solos from Walter and Don.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 31, 2013 11:59 AM BST


Celebrate the Bullet
Celebrate the Bullet

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Underated, 23 Jan. 2011
This review is from: Celebrate the Bullet (Audio CD)
By the end of 1980 The Selecter were trying to distance themselves from 2 Tone by releasing this on the Chrysalis label (Two Tone were managed under Chrysalis). They responded by releasing a very mature, rock based lp. The production is very good, and some great playing, fretless bass on Cool Blue Lady, Noel Davies guitar sound fills out the recored with a brilliant lead solo on Selling Out Your Future, the best track. No filler at all, every track is very strong, Pauline Blacks vocals are so brilliant I am surprised she never went on to have a big solo career. Pauline also writes some great songs, Bristol and Miami, and Deepwater. It still has the ska feel but much more of a rock sound than 2 Tone. The single Celebrate the Bullet was released in Dec 80 (just as John Lennon was shot) it got banned and the record bombed. A shame as I still play it 30 years later, just love the 80s guitar effects Noel Davies used. Washed up and left for Dead is also a key track to close the LP. After poor sales the band split up, but its well worth buying if you like great songs with meaning and a band all playing excellent music, in a 80s new wavish sound.


One Life Stand
One Life Stand
Offered by Assai-uk
Price: £7.55

4.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing, 9 Jan. 2011
This review is from: One Life Stand (Audio CD)
Saw Hot Chip at a few festivals and on Jools and have always loved the way they look and perform. Bought a number of cds over Christmas and this has stayed in the cd player all that time. Ok does sound very early 80s with a modern dance beat, some Depeche Mode and Visage but that may be because they are using analog synths. First 4 tracks are brilliant, tails off towards the end but enough great sounds and beats for 4 stars, recommended for a first Hot Chip purchase.


Flamingo
Flamingo
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £3.97

0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Home Demo?, 9 Jan. 2011
This review is from: Flamingo (Audio CD)
What is it with recent cds, compressed and sound like they have been recorded in a home studio. This record is no exception. I bought the first 3 Killers records and after hearing the 2 singles bought this. Apart from those tracks and perhaps track 1 it is so boring. It is very poorly produced and lacks any clarity in the voices, the whole thing sounds unfinished. I have tried playing this over and over, loud, in the car, on the Hi Fi but it just does nothing for me. When I first played Sams Town it burst out of the speakers, this is so flat, it may just be the recording as I think there are good songs underneath the digital mess.


Keep Moving
Keep Moving
Price: £9.89

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 1984 and all that Jazz, 9 Nov. 2010
This review is from: Keep Moving (Audio CD)
I love this LP and it brings back great memories and perhaps its the most underated Madness record. Even Mad not Mad appears in best albums lists of the 80s, but not this so its a bit of a secret. Not in 84 though, yes Madness had seen better chart success and this is the beginning of the end for their 1st period of fame, but a friend got it 1st and said One Better Day was a great track, too true. In 1984, UK was changing, the country seemed to have turned a corner and people had more money, but the Tory policies had started to bite and the miners strike was just around the corner. This record came out in a time of new jazz of Sade, Style Council and Everything About the Girl and the Mads competed brilliantly by looking the part, longer hair and 80s clothes, but by moving away from their Ska roots and releasing a pop lp of some sophistication. It also was social commentry of the time and contains some excellent words. Brand New Beat, 'cut price bullets in your hardware store' Lee had a great wit, Victoria Gardens some very sad lyrics if you read them, a great lost single. March of the Gherkins, 'time goes by so quickly' another great but sad song, sums up Madness who seemed to worry about growing old too soon. Keep moving has an excellent guitar riff that sounded modern and still drives the song along as with Samantha that chorus gets engrained in the mind. Along with Prospects and Turning Blue its all very well written and played, with the Suggs / Carl harmonies really shining through.

Perhaps it was because I turned 16 in 84 and had my own independence and ideas, like the record, or is it nostalgia, yes a little, but I can listen to it today and it stands up there with some of the best 80s records, and I have enough of them! Underated but a close call with Rise and Fall, depends on the mood, this is their best lp on those days!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 28, 2015 12:49 AM BST


The Rise & Fall
The Rise & Fall
Offered by Amore DVD
Price: £8.49

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark but brilliant, 6 Nov. 2010
This review is from: The Rise & Fall (Audio CD)
What I have always loved about Madness was their ability to write about normal things like relationships, family life and growing old. They were down to earth and the cover reflects this on the Rise and Fall, filmed on Primrose Hill, I have always loved the shot of the girls walking home from town with their shopping on the fold out cover, vinyl! As noted before, 82 was their best year and I was 14 in November 82 when this came out. As with Synchronicity by The Police in 83, I rushed home and put the LPs on only to disappointed. No trademark sound, only weird noises and time signitures, both lps are now my favorites from those bands work. Rise and Fall is a dark lp but thats why Madness are such a great band, they didn't sing about Rio and Yachts but things I could relate to as a 14 year old, growing up, not talking to your parents, break ups, broken homes. The lps always had the darker moments and they are my favorite tunes, Disappear, Overdone, Not Home Today, When Dawn Arrives, That Face, Prospects, Keep Moving, Brand New Beat and Yesterdays Men.

The Rise and Fall is just so complete, yes it sounds like a Beatles LP, Strawberry Fields etc, with Horns in the middle of Primrose Hill, but its their own brilliant dark humour and great songwriting. Blue Skinned Beast took me 15 yrs to work out, Falklands War and Thatcher, That Face about growing old, Mr Speaker, great playing (I saw the Tour in 83 and they Put Lee on a Speakers box during this number, I think they wheeled on a hospital bed during Mrs Hutchinson from 7!). And Our House is the greatest Madness song ever, well done Carl, his songwriting was key and the only reason they were able to continue after Mike left. Later LPs were still good with some great songs but 80s production started to water them down slightly. Great band, their best record, BUY IT as their singles used to say.


Labour of Love IV
Labour of Love IV
Offered by BestSellerRecordshop
Price: £3.14

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars UB40 a reggae band again, 15 May 2010
This review is from: Labour of Love IV (Audio CD)
I have read some positive and poor reviews of the album. I have been a UB fan since 1980 but decided against buying this cd with Ali gone, and have not seen them live since either. However it is in my cd player and is actually very good. The 1st thing you will notice with the band is that they are playing together as a great band that they always were, but it all sounds real and live. Gone is the electronic synthetic bass and other drum machine sounds of albums since around Promises and Lies, and back is Jim Brown and Earl playing together as a unit(Sly and Robbie!!) The new keyboard player has added a different element to the sound more Ska/roots feel. Duncan is not Ali, and my wife commented that he does not have the edge that makes Ali's voice so distintive. However, Duncan has a sweet tone and a very subtle delivery that really grows on you. I have been converted, the best UB album for a long while and I may even look out for the next shows. Well done boys keep them coming, and Robin may even go back to playin some great solos not seen since Signing Off/P Arms days!


Down To Earth
Down To Earth
Price: £9.36

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars On cd at last, 28 Feb. 2009
This review is from: Down To Earth (Audio CD)
At last on cd, could not understand why this lp was not re-mastered with the other lps a few years back. Having grown up in the 70s my parents had the 'Reach for the sky' lp with the hits on it and this was infused in my memory and I bought the cd version many years later. It gets played at family get togethers as it reminds my sister and brother of life in the mid 70s. I did not remember 'Down to Earth' getting much airplay in our house until one Xmas in the 90s, Dad putting the vinyl on. The 1st track blew us away, Ice in the Fire, I managed to get a copy on ebay and this is my favorite SBQ lp. The greatest hits misses the tracks off, maybe they were not re-mastered at the time.
A darker, downbeat lp and maybe after touring RFTS and Slipstream, and the arrival of punk, the band felt their chance had gone for mainstream success; Tim Renwick left during the recording. Ice and Dark Ship, Nobodys Fool show the sadder side to the SBQ writing but a well crafted lp with excellent production and still some of Tim's finest guitar work. The last lp in 79 sounds like a bunch of session musicians (of course it was), but Tim Renwicks trademark SBQ mid 70s guitar was much missed.


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