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derek@jmacd.freeserve.co.uk (Glasgow, Scotland)

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Other Rooms Other Voices
Other Rooms Other Voices
Price: £11.06

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Cover Versions Album Shock!, 16 Dec 2000
When an artist decides to put out an album of cover versions the alarm bells usually start to ring. Well you can switch off the alarm here. Quite apart from the fact that many of the songs aren't too familiar, Nanci manages to add something to those you do know. At the familiar end we have songs by artists including Dylan, Ralph McTell, Tom Paxton, Woody Guthrie & John Prine. Dylan even plays harmonica on his own Boots of Spanish Leather. But there are less familiar names - say GP Cook and Ralph Roland, who wrote Are You Tired Of Me Darling in 1877. The strength of the album is the real love of the songs you can feel coming through. Nanci is enjoying herself here - and she has a strong supporting cast too. The list of credits includes Emmylou Harris, Iris DeMent, Arlo Guthrie, John Prine, Chet Atkins and the Indigo Girls. So give this a listen - and consider investigating some of the artists that Nanci has introduced you to here. I have already checked a few of them out and Kate Wolf (Across the Great Divide) and Townes Van Zandt (Tecumseh Valley)are a good place to start. Nanci even wrote Ford Econoline about Kate Wolf. So investigate soon!


Reaching to the Converted [VINYL]
Reaching to the Converted [VINYL]
Offered by encorerecords
Price: £12.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not just for the Billy Bragg completist, 14 Dec 2000
The reviews I read of this album on it's release seemed to suggest this was one only for the Billy Bragg completist. As I sit listening to it I can't quite bring myself to agree. Yes, there are one or two alternative versions of tracks which appear elsewhere - notably Shirley (otherwise known as Greetings to the New Brunette) and Accident Waiting to Happen. But there are also a few tracks which are harder to come by - mainly B-sides of some of Billy's singles. It's definitely worth investigating with tracks like Dick Gaughan's "Think Again" or Anna McGarrigle's "Heart Like A Wheel". This choice of cover versions shows Billy has roots in traditional folk music as well as everything else he brings to the party. For me, the highlight is a rather unexpected version of "Walk Away Renee". Billy has of course demonstrated his fondness for the Four Tops before ("Levi Stubbs' Tears" just in case you had forgotten). This is just Billy and his guitar and a rather wonderful spoken tale of another lost love. Only a little over two minutes, but worth it for this one track alone! So go on - take the plunge, buy another Bragg album, or if you haven't bought one before it's time you did. One of our best lyricists of the last 20 years.


Diamond Dogs
Diamond Dogs
Price: £6.66

22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How can you pick one favourite Bowie album!, 12 Dec 2000
This review is from: Diamond Dogs (Audio CD)
Yes, it was originally supposed to be for a musical based on 1984. At the end of the day though it stands alone on the strength of the songs. This is, on occasion, my favourite Bowie album - although a great many of his albums have also held that spot. It starts with the spoken Future Legend which Bowie later made the mistake of trying to emulate on the Glass Spider. It sets the tone for one or two fairly dark moments - notably the Sweet Thing/Candidate/Sweet Thing (Reprise) section. This for me is the highlight of the whole album - strong both lyrically and musically. While some of the songs link obviously to the 1984 theme, these fit in feel unlike the rather more obvious 1984 and Big Brother. All in all a strong album which benefits from being listened to as a whole. If you want to hear some interesting cover versions of some of the tracks - try to find the Wedding Present doing Chant of the Ever Circling Skeletal Family or Rickie Lee Jones doing Rebel Rebel.


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