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A. Owen "anthonymowen" (Orpington, England)
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You Heard It Here First! Volume 2
You Heard It Here First! Volume 2
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: 12.01

5.0 out of 5 stars More pop curios, 16 Dec 2012
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All my comments relating to the first album of the original pre hit versions of well known early pop songs apply to this second volume. Britsh buyers may be offended to see Johnny Kidd and the Pirates 'Shakin' All Over' listed as the original pre hit version of the Guess Who recording.

One Frederick Heath (aka Johnny Kidd) wrote the song and had the only hit version as far as this listener is concerned!

I haven't let it stop me enjoying another fascinating album from Ace Records.


Definitive Collection
Definitive Collection
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: 16.58

5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent showcase for a brilliant singer, 16 Dec 2012
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This review is from: Definitive Collection (Audio CD)
I bought this album for the track Stir it Up and was pleasantly surprised to find just how a good a singer is Patti Labelle. Lady Marmalade is the track most people will know but it doesn't give much of a clue to the real vocal talent of Patti. It's not an ideal listen as an album being a collection of disparate singles ranging from slow ballads to disco workouts.

I've given the album five stars for the recording quality and the fact that each song is a vocal gem listended to in isolation. It was certainly an eye opener to me to discover the true vocal prowess of Patti and am disappointed that such a good singer has not received the recognition that her talent deserves.


You Heard It Here First!
You Heard It Here First!
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: 11.28

5.0 out of 5 stars An Ace collection of curios, 16 Dec 2012
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This is a fascinating look at pop history with the usual recording quality and informative booklet that one comes to expect from Ace Records.

The songs are all familiar by the artists who took them to chart success. This CD contains the tracks in their original pre hit versions. Some are performed by the writers showing how they intended the song to sound. Some of the hit covers completely change the tempo or arrangement while others remain close to the original.

In some cases the hit potential of the song is quite obvious whereas others are testament to the genius of whoever spotted how the song could be transformed. This CD will appeal most of all to pop aficionados but can be recommended to anyone with a love of early pop.

For pure listening pleasure I prefer other Ace releases such as the Golden Age of American Rock and Roll. This CD is what it is but several of the tracks sound better to me than the subsequent hit cover version. There's plenty of room for discussion and musical quiz questions galore contained within. Enjoy!


The Story Of Trojan Records
The Story Of Trojan Records

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mainly top notch reggae and ska, 9 Sep 2012
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Trojan Records is a name synonymous with the heyday of reggae and this box set does not disappoint. The first CD contains most of the big hits, which were often doctored for English ears, but remain as fresh sounding as when they were released. It is the rest of the discs that are most pleasing with lots of gorgeous music to be discovered or remembered. I particularly like the irritatingly catchy Bumble Bee by Ike Bennett and the Crystalites.

It is only when you reach the 'rarely found' CD that standards drop. The vaults seem to have been trawled for items that should perhaps have remained there!

The accompanying booklet traces the history of Trojan Records with loving care and it is interesting that musicians were beholden to the label for their records to be released. There has been some criticism that Judge Dread has been included in this set but he was a Trojan van driver and unquestionably part of The Story of Trojan Records.

There are so many Trojan CDs that it is difficult to choose between them but this set can be strongly recommended


Strange Moosic
Strange Moosic
Price: 15.18

4.0 out of 5 stars A pleasing discovery, 9 Sep 2012
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This review is from: Strange Moosic (Audio CD)
I was introduced to this duo by one of their cult followers and I have been impressed by this CD. It is full of listenable and catchy tunes and I recommend anyone stumbling across it to take a listen. I put it in my car CD player and it had quite a few plays before I felt it was time for something else.


Out Of Many: 50 Years Of Jamaican Music
Out Of Many: 50 Years Of Jamaican Music
Price: 9.47

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A toe in the water of 50 years of Jamaican music, 9 Sep 2012
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The 50th anniversary of Jamaican independence has resulted in the issue of a number of retrospectives. According to a national newspaper review the best are the double CDs issued by Bass Culture. These were due for issue in August. This became September and now January 2013, 5 months too late!

I bought this triple album as an alternative and have not been disappointed. It is presented in a triple gate fold sleeve with a 12 page glossy booklet with illustrations and a narrative tracing Jamaican musical development from quadrille, mento and calypso through ska, rock steady and reggae, dub and deejays, roots and lovers, rockers and steppers to ragga, dance hall and one drop.

The music is not actually 50 years of reggae, perhaps the title on the cover is to attract buyers, but a trawl through 50 years of Jamaican music. One track has been selected from each year starting with Lord Creator's celebratory calypso 'Independant Jamaica' and finishing with a 2012 version by Peetah Morgan and Hollie Cook.

It is evident from the third CD that the rap and hip-hop popular in USA and Britain can be traced back to Jamaica. To my ears it doesn't make a particularly good listen but maybe my ears are out of touch! I thoroughly enjoyed the first two CDs. A few tracks like Nicky Thomas's 'Love of the Common People', Ken Boothe's 'Everything I Own', Marcia Griffiths' 'I'm Stil in Love With You' and Shabba Ranks 'Mr Loverman' will be familiar to most people, some will be slightly less known or the song will be known by other artists (Cherry Oh Baby).

I discovered much to enjoy in this triple album and found it interesting to hear the developments in Jamaican music over 50 years. The booklet is very good in this respect tracking the driving forces of producers and sales outlets. I would like to have known more about the musicians but I guess I have been spoiled by the amazingly informative booklets in Ace Records releases. They make it difficult for everyone else!


No Title Available

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Same high quality as rest of series, 11 Aug 2012
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I have purchased all the volumes of the Golden Age of Ameriacn rock 'n roll and this is one of my favourites. As always Ace provide a fabulous booklet with historical details of the songs and artists. Master tapes are used when they are available (most of the time) to provide the best possible sound quality. The CD contains a generous 30 tracks although only one track exceeds 3 minutes and four are under 2 minutes long.

To qualify for 'bubbling under' status records must not have appeared in the American Billboard Hot 100. They peaked at positions between 101 and 127. So the songs are no good then? Wrong! With the USA being so vast, and a huge volume of singles competing for attention, obtaining a nationwide Hot 100 place was quite an achievement.

The tracks on this CD were all big local hits that didn't quite make it nationwide. The joy of the album is discovering loads of brilliant songs that you've never heard before. The only track that will be known by many people is Nut Rocker a UK number 1 for B Bumble & the Stingers. The version on this album by Jack B Nimble & the Quicks is very similar.

There are a few other song titles you may recognise 'White Cliffs of Dover', 'Bo Diddley', 'Lousiana Man' and 'Book of Love' but it is unlikely that you will have heard the versions that appear amongst the 30 tracks. For the rest it is a voyage of discovery and I absolutely loved it!

If you enjoy vintage songs from 1959-1963 this is an absolute treat and it certainly lives up to the Golden Age title.


Cool Fever
Cool Fever
Offered by Mattpuss
Price: 3.54

0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A mixed bag, 9 Aug 2012
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This review is from: Cool Fever (Audio CD)
This album comes in an attractive gatefold sleeve and contains a mixture of 1970s and 1990s recordings with 4 of the 13 tracks from the Players Association including the top 10 hit 'Turn The Music Up'. The only other hit on the album is Brass Construction's 'Movin''. Although the album is called from disco jazz to jazz house it is difficult to see this as a coherent collection. It seems more like a collection of tracks that someone had available.

There is no accompanying booklet that might explain the concept. The 1970s tracks are listed with all the musicians on each track whereas the 1990s tracks merely list the songwriter and producer. The common feature of the recordings is that they are all horn laden. The album is rather dated to attract dancers and not an easy listen, although it would be fine as background in a car. It's appeal may be limited to those who find a track that they have not acquired elsewhere.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 8, 2014 3:18 PM BST


Enjoy Yourself [Australian Import]
Enjoy Yourself [Australian Import]
Offered by gowingsstoreltd
Price: 12.01

0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK if you are a Kylie fan, 6 July 2012
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This album was probably recorded at the height of Stock, Aitken and Waterman's influence and contains the rather formulaic music that this implies. It makes for quite hard listening all at one go. With the passage of time some of the tracks have acquired 'golden oldie' status and individually may possess some nostalgia value. If you want to listen to old Kylie you are probably better served with a Greatest Hits collection which will contain more variety. Unless there is a track on this album that triggers particularly special memories for any reason there are much better Kylie albums for you to purchase.


Delivering Public Services That Work: v. 2: The Vanguard Method in the Public Sector: Case Studies
Delivering Public Services That Work: v. 2: The Vanguard Method in the Public Sector: Case Studies
by Charlotte Pell
Edition: Paperback
Price: 18.00

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How government ruins local services, 28 May 2012
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This is the second book in what one hopes becomes a series of case studies of improvement in the public sector. The author of each of the studies is different and was a member of the improvement team. The common thread is that each team used John Seddon's Vanguard method as the basis for improvement. He gets a great big plug for his consultancy - written by others. Neat!

Whereas the first volume was mainly filled with housing studies, this volme is much more broadly based and includes the fire and police services as well as a number of local government intiatives. John has wtitten a section on the dangers and potential pitfalls of shared services.

John is known in quality circles to be on a one man mission to expose the folly and wooliness of thinking in the public sector. The book does mention that the private sector usually manages to keep its similar mistakes hidden.

The message that comes through most clearly from the studies is that so much of what goes wrong comes from muddled government diktat (whatever the political shade or indeed whatever the country). The studies show that, with determination and a proper study of the purpose of services, it is possible to run efficiently despite arbitrary targets and red tape.

This book is strongly recommended to anyone wishing to improve their business and/or service. It gives a clear illustration of what goes wrong and the thinking needed to put it right. It is a worthy successor to John's previous books and case studies. Changing the mind set of managers, civil servants and politicians is a massive task.

This book might just be the one to start them thinking - if they read it! Buy them a copy!!


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