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Mad Dave "Always looking sharp and cutting through the crap." (Brummy and proud.)

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Eight Men, Four Women
Eight Men, Four Women
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: 5.26

4.0 out of 5 stars If you want the PROPER version of Ace of Spades, 7 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Eight Men, Four Women (Audio CD)
O.V Wright is a stunning southern soul singer. My favourite track is Ace of Spades, and there are two versions of this song around. This is the proper version, most other compilations (such as the 'complete' O.V. Wright on Edsel, and all of the versions I've seen on Youtube) are not the proper versions. Its worth it for that track alone. Although this compilation is short, it contains a number of 60's tracks that are hard to find. Definitely the cheapest and best all around compilation I've seen.

The Sound Of Detroit- Original Gems From The Motown Vaults
The Sound Of Detroit- Original Gems From The Motown Vaults
Price: 4.99

12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great tracks, but this is not an official release, 29 Nov 2012
Just to note, due to the law on copyright in the UK and EU, many UK based companies any music that has been released over 50 years is in the public domain. Thus, EU based companies churn out cheap as chips cds, without paying any royalties to artists or license holders. Sometimes the music is taken straight from vinyl, other times from cd releases. Hence why this cd conveniently ends in 1961.

The fact is, Hip-O Select and Motown UK have already done a great job in re-releasing and remastering Motown tracks. Buy this if you want a taster, but please be aware that no one who has any thing to do with Motown has had anything to do with the set. These will not be the best quality versions, and the people who contributed to this music won't see a penny of the profits.

As for music, its a bit misleading to call this the sound of Motown. As someone who has all of the Complete Motown single box sets, and pretty much every UK and US cd release over the past 15 years, I wouldn't call much of the music from 1959-1961 as being representative of the Motown sound. Smokey and the Marvelettes always stood out from this period, with some of the stronger tracks. But artists like Marvin, The Temptations and the Supremes are still in the early stages of their careers. So this is a nice taster for early Motown, but you won't see most of the more recognisable Motown tracks here. Ones that the average person would probably have already heard are Please Mr Postman, Money and Who's Loving You (as covered by the Jackson 5).

Seriously, if I was a potential buyer I would avoid this and instead spend the money instead on any Hip-O select release. Listen to, it, discover some great music and really fall in love with the depth and untouchable brilliance of the Motown vaults. Then see how in a year or two that cd is worth over a 100, and pat yourself on the back for buying a great official cd that was also an investment as a real piece of Motown memorabilia.

Respect - The Very Best Of Aretha Franklin
Respect - The Very Best Of Aretha Franklin
Price: 9.93

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too many styles, 8 Feb 2011
I bought this a few years back and had to get a refund. For some people, they like listening to soul or disco. Most people I know can tell that 60's music sounds much different from music after the 60's. Aretha's hits were mostly in the 60's and that's where she made her name. The 70's and 80's stuff is dreadful. Truly dreadful. I think there must have been something in the water back in the sixties. Music after it sounds so tame and lifeless and soulless. The organic sounds of those 60's hits are just not carried through. It would be better to get some of her early atlantic albums. Everything else is just.... not very good. Even if you don't like the 60's music, it does not sit well with the stuff that follows.

Charles, Ray: Trilogy
Charles, Ray: Trilogy

4.0 out of 5 stars The most comprehensive cd set of his ABC recordings, 25 Jan 2011
This review is from: Charles, Ray: Trilogy (Audio CD)
Ray Charles compilations are ten-a-penny at the moment. Why should this Argentian import stand out? Well, one of the reasons why there are so many Ray Charles compilations at the moment is the fact that European copyright laws expire after 50 years, which means that all of his Atlantic records are 'public domain'; anyone can release them (usually straight off vinyl or just copying previously issued official releases.) His Atlantic years are well documented, both by Rhino (get the Complete Ray Charles on Atlantic records if you get the chance) and those unofficial releases. The problem for collectors is the ABC period after he left Atlantic, when he did songs such as Georgia on My Mind, Unchain My Heart, Hit the Road Jack, and those Country inspired songs. Rhino does not own these songs, it is his estate, and they seem more interested in musicals and movies. Apart from a few deleted cd's from the early 90's and more recent single cd compilations of his entire career, this period has been largely ignored. Concord have recently made some attempt to remedy this with the Modern Sounds in Country & Western Vol.1 and 2 cd, but this only covers those Country & Western songs missing out on the R&B music which was always his real forte. This is why the Trilogy; Definitive Anthology is such a great release. It has 54 of his ABC records in the 60's; not a complete picture, but the most comprehensive one that is currently available. Sadly, there are no liner notes, hence the 4-stars. I have no problems with the sound quality, and it comes in a nice little fold-out box. While the Atlantic years are undoubtedly the ones which laid down his legacy, any self-respecting soul fan should check out his subsequent recordings. He didn't just become a country & western cover artist; there are many songs which stand up to the Atlantic period. This is some of the best music in the 60's. Reccommended.

Acer Aspire 5920 15.4-inch Laptop, Intel Core 2 Duo T5550, Vista Home Premium, 2GB RAM, 250GB HDD
Acer Aspire 5920 15.4-inch Laptop, Intel Core 2 Duo T5550, Vista Home Premium, 2GB RAM, 250GB HDD

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dodgy screens, cheap construction, poor display and loads of firmware. Otherwise excellent!, 31 July 2009
I ended up despising this machine. Yes, I was a victim of screen flickering as with many other Acer purchasers. The problem is unsolvable; either you need a brand new computer OR to send off and wait for repairs. It starts gradually, but eventually you will only be able to get a still screen at certain angles, and even then only for a few seconds. Frustrating to say the least.

The display is nothing to write home about either. I'm surprised it got such glowing reviews, a similar priced Fujitsu Amilo will blow this display out of the water. Moreover, the keyboard just feels cheap, like it hasn't been put on properly. The layout is also horrendous. The generally feel slow and unresponsive. Also, watch out for the onboard mouse, it is also really slow so you have to raise the sensitivity and the speed. Unfortunately this means that if any other part of your hand (or your other hand) is near the mouse that it gets really confused and jumps all over the place.

The buttons on the right hand side are dedicated to either media player or starting programs. Some of these buttons can be changed (I managed, after several hours, to reassign the play button from WMP to MM, my preferred media player which is nearly always running.) The bottom right button runs a program I never wanted or had heard of, and you will always brush against it so either you have to reduce the responsiveness of the buttons/turn them off (which is annoying when one of the reasons for this purchase was to have media buttons like on my old Dell 1525- that is media buttons, play, start, stop, not run programs that I do not want to run.)

The laptop also comes with a load of rubbish Acer programs and arcades and such. All absolutely useless. Acer's Ethingy is just a glorified control panel, in fact to be honest everything it does can be accessed in most notification bars. Also annoying is the fact that the lights are ALWAYS on. Even when you turn your laptop off, the lights are on unless you unplug it completely, and there is no option to turn it off. It's like having the Blackpool illuminations in your room, whoever thought of this useless feature was clearly obsessed with an attractive design over functionality. was a good laptop. Honest. Speakers were alright, although nothing special. The speed was alright and it looked attractive. But that's the problem with this machine, it is all gloss with little functionality. For what it does, it does it well. But the annoying featuers/ problems get in the way. And, if like me, you use your laptop a lot you should be wary of the flickering screen. When I purchased mine, my dad's friend got the same computer thinking it was a good deal. We both suffered the same problem, and is it really worth having to worry about this? And for those buying warranties...well we shouldn't have to. A laptop should be able to last a year at least, and more reasonably 2 or 3 years. Also, I never once used the blu-ray dvd player (didn't even know I had it), or the Wireless Draft N feature (again I was clueless.)

Now I am in a quandry. After replacing this with the aforementioned Fujitsu Amilo, which was also faulty I now have to choose between a reliable Toshiba L300-243 or a higher spec Acer 5738z. Part of me is attracted by the bright lights, blu-ray, wireless n, higher ram, larger hd, hdmi connections of the Acer, or the Toshiba wiht it's solid ram and hd, and nothing more. If only Acer could make a reliable product, there would be no contest...

The Very Best Of Nina Simone
The Very Best Of Nina Simone
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: 14.99

45 of 49 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars No liner notes, writing credits or release dates, 6 Feb 2009
A decent overview of her career- it's cheap and cheerful in that regard. If you just want a basic set of the songs you probably already know, this will do. If you have any other interest, such as her jazz-soul records like Brown-Eyed Handsome Man or I'm leaving then look elsewhere. This is apparently part of Sony's musicmadesimple range; no I hadn't heard of it either, but wish that I had before I wasted 3 of my money on this cd. You get a flimsy card with a pullout that houses the cd, meaning that multiple listenings will scratch the cd to bits. If you want any kind of liner notes you will be disappointed. You don't get any thing telling you about these recordings. And I mean anything- it's the song titles and nothing else at all. Even though I'm pretty sure there are laws about not including song-writing credits, Sony couldn't be bothered. Although the music clearly spans a few decades, you aren't told when these songs were recorded or even when they were released. The back of the cd directs you to the musicmadesimple website for full album credits. Give it a try before you buy- I looked on the website and this album was nowhere to be found. Maybe they were there when the album was released, but it isn't there anymore. So you've got a cheap, shoddy little album that is probably the worst packaged cd I have ever come across. And for some reason they've included a remix version of Ain't Got No, I got Life. That one's going to look just as silly as the Blue duet with Stevie Wonder that turned up on his Definitive Collection a few years ago (that's if it doesn't already- I don't have any recollection of the song being on a Muller advert, but if that's what people are using to help identify their musical purchases then it really is quite amusing.) As for the music, it's some of the great music of the 50's and 60's. Just a shame that it's quite uneven and captures so many distinct points in her career. I only got this to flesh out the non-Phillips recordings which I never used to have much interest in. A message to Sony- and this music made simple division they have set up(which to me means cheaply produced tat)- if it ain't broke don't fix it. Everyone's getting by quite easily by putting cd's into cases and printing some of the details about the music that most listeners might be interested.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 15, 2011 10:44 AM BST

Can't We Fall in Love Again
Can't We Fall in Love Again
Price: 11.50

4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Anything touched by the hand of Levine is just awful., 12 Nov 2008
He could be the greatest songwriter of our generation. Really he could. I don't know, because every time I hear a Levine song all I hear is a hodgpodge of awful cheap drum machines that sound like they were made by a five year old. You also hear a bass that wouldn't be out of place on an Atari computer game. Guitars? Horns? Away with ya! No such chance, it is like subjecting your ears to the worst torture imaginable. Then, he'll convince some of the greatest soul singers in the world to sing on top of this. But somehow, he will manage to get even the best of singers to sound like they just don't care- he will suck any soul or passion out of these performers and leave a hollow pathetic shell. But let's get back to the first point- even at his best moments he is an absolutely average songwriter, and just churns out cheap imitation copies of Northern Soul songs. If you want awful Disco-wannabe records pick this up. Levine will shock the life out of you- nobody does it better. My word, why would anyone in their right mind buy this? Go out and buy a Northern Soul comp- there are loads on sale at the moment, I'm sure you haven't got all of them. Even a few average rare 60's dancers are worth more than a million Levine records.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 15, 2013 5:10 PM GMT

Reach Out
Reach Out

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Neither of the existing reviews are for this cd., 12 Nov 2008
This review is from: Reach Out (Audio CD)
First off, Four Tops are one of the best groups and all music fans should go out and get their Holland-Dozier-Holland era songs. But anything after that period (1968) is rarely up to this quality. If you want the best of the Four Tops- get the Motown 2-for-1's; For Tops/Second Album, and On Top/Reach Out. They are 4.99 each on Amazon- original recordings of a group in their prime, with one of the most prolific songwriting teams of all time, and with the legendary funk brothers in support. That's 10 for 47 tracks.

What fans should be aware of is that material before and after the recordings on these albums is inferior- in the vocals, the songwriting and in the session musicians. So why anyone would want to spend 6.99 for 24 tracks on themselves, knowing full well that they are missing out on many classics, is beyond me.

But even more worrying is the actual recordings. I only became aware of the Entertain Me label after seeing a 10-cd box set for Ike and Tina Turner in Zavvi. After much research it turned out that these were inferior recordings, with little mastering, and several repeat tracks. Entertain Me still do not have any website, and nearly all of their releases are live recordings, so the fact that there is no information about these releases is worrying. Purchasers should be aware that this company is not a subsidiary of Motown UK, it is not the Spectrum label (which used to release budget releases of Motown artists) and it is not from the US Motown label or its Hip-O-Select specialist label. This means that the chances of these being authentic Four Tops Motown recordings are remote- these will most likely be re-recordings done years after initial release. It is a shame- and many fans will buy these unaware of this. And be dissapointed, maybe even be put off ever buying a four tops compilation ever again. Word of advice- go for the original albums, they are certainly worth it, they are great value, and they work much better than any other compilations.

Hoochie Coochie Man: Complete Chess Masters, Vol. 2: 1952-1958
Hoochie Coochie Man: Complete Chess Masters, Vol. 2: 1952-1958

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get it quick while it is still available., 6 Nov 2008
Hip-O-Select are a specialist division of Universal Music. Unlike its parent company, it sells directly to customers from its website, but increasingly companies like Amazon have sold Hip-O-Select's releases from their own website. This has been good news for UK customers in particular, as we are one of the few countries that cannot order directly from the Hip-O-Select website. If you are interested in Soul/R&B and Blues from the 50's and 60's the company's cd's are going to be right up your street. The releases are usually rare and out of print LP's or double cd's full of unissued masters. The company has released a number of Lost and Found cd's for Motown (Four Tops, Supremes and Martha Reeves and the Vandellas) and also the comprehensive Complete Motown Singles Box sets. The liner notes, although maybe not up to the standard of Ace/Kent records, (but then again, no one else on the market gets even close) effectively paint a background to the music on the cd's and the sound quality is top notch.

The only problem with Hip-O-Select is that they always release their cd's as limited editions. Several cd's of the past now reach ridiculous prices on ebay- the worst offender being the David Ruffin Unreleased album which was only released in 2004. This particular cd is limited to 5000 copies, and although there are quite a few outlets selling the cd at the moment, they won't stay around forever.

Moving on the actual music, well it's Muddy Waters. The mannish boy in his prime, with his brutal delivery and signature sound. Playing with some of Chicago's best musicians, including artists who are still remembered for their own recording careers like Little Walter and Junior Wells. Even the legendary Willie Dixon turns up on bass on a number of these songs. And these songs still stand proudly in the Pantheon of Blues, Rock 'n' Roll and Soul music. Songs like Hoochie Coochie Man and Mannish Boy would be familiar to most casual music fans. There are also songs that will be familiar because of more well known cover versions; I Just Want to Make Love to You (Etta James, from THAT Coca Cola Commercial years back) Got My Mojo Working (the background to the song is very complicated, and even Waters himself made a more well known version) Baby Please Don't Go, which was transformed into a completely different sounding song by Them. Even Howlin' Wolf's signature song Smokestack Lightnin' appears here, with the liner notes claiming that this recording precedes Wolf's own recording of his own song by two years (these artists spent as much time touring as in the studio, many tracks were tested and refined on the road first.) There are songs like Rock Me (Jeff Beck Group), Evil (The Faces) which you might have come across before and his own hits like Close To you, I'm ready and Trouble No More. Maybe 51 tracks here are too much for the casual listener as it does get a bit samey, but for the current price you might as well get the complete recordings for this time period. This is the music that inspired the British invasion, and most of the British bands covered these songs at some point in their careers. Although they don't appear on these cd's. his 1950 song Rollin' Stone was used as the name of a quite famous band, and his 1962 track You need Love was first covered by the Small Faces, and then modified by Led Zeppelin into their hit Whole Lotta Love. During the 60's many of his songs were released in Britain for the first time. Songs like Hoochie Coochie man became staples of the Mod movement, adding another dimension to the mod club scene. It is a testament to the artist and the tracks here that his 50's recordings didn't sound dated when played alongside the Motown, Stax and Chess's own releases during this time period. Like James Brown (whose mid-60's records were recieved much less favourably than his early recordings) his 50's sound was to some extent ahead of its time. Admittedly they lack the production of some of the slicker 60's records and many are mid-tempo blues songs. But there is an undefinable quality about the delivery of this music- they just sound like they have come straight out of a Chicago night club. There is so much going on in these recordings that they still have a unique sound, which is why the mod's were so fond of Mr Waters. Highly recommended for blues fans, mods and anyone who is interested in music from this time peroid.

The Complete Kent Recordings, 1964-1968
The Complete Kent Recordings, 1964-1968
Offered by musicjapan
Price: 67.98

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lowell Fulson, maybe not in his prime, but in the peak of the 60;s soul movement., 2 Oct 2008
Yep, I could be mistaken, but this is everything he recorded. And I mean everything, including unreleased masters and songs that you can't find on any other releases. The distributors are P-Vine, who seem to be Japan's premier (or maybe only?) soul/blues reissue company. The four cd's are held in a normal sized cd case, which has two cd's in the front half, two in the back. They are not arranged by release date but rather style and rarity; Disc 1 is entitled 'Deep blues with lots of soul', disc 2 'Ain't No Tramp Now! Some Funky Stuff', Disc 3, 'Unreleased Rare Tracks and some remixes', and finally Disc 4 'Alternate Takes and some more'. This means that the Ace/Kent cd's are pretty redundant if you want the complete picture. But the one problem with the set, and the one thing that might make you go for the Ace/Kent cd's instead, is that the 40 plus page booklet is in (what I believe to be) Japanese. That is except for the lyrics to the songs in the second half of the booklet. This means that recording dates are not included, neither are the little stories behind the recordings that you would get with similar UK cd releases. My inability to read Japanese means that the booklet is pretty much useless to me, but also it looks like it is in fact quite informative and well-produced as it appears that most of the more well known tracks are discussed. For fans looking for Lowell Fulson's Kent tenure on cd they are faced with a conundrum- go for the ace/kent cd's, knowing that there is more out there, but also having access to the as always well produced and researched ace/kent cd notes. Or, go for this set which has all of the tracks from the ace/kent cd's and more, but forgoing the liner notes. I'm happy enough with this set for now, and personally I prefer a complete cd collection over the liner notes, but this definately would have been a 5 star set if the notes were also in English. I paid 30 for this on Amazon marketplace, which I thought was a good bargain seeing as the four Ace/ Kent cd's go for around 10 each anyway (and at least 7 on amazon marketplace also.)
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 2, 2011 12:23 PM GMT

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