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M. K. T. Willis (Stockton-on-Tees, Cleveland United Kingdom)
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Side Tracks
Side Tracks
Price: £46.64

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Do I really need to say it?, 17 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Side Tracks (Audio CD)
This has been a pleasure from beginning to end and in my opinion blows the bootleg releases out of the water- a crime it isn't more easily obtainable/affordable.


Mr. Bojangles / Five Years Gone / Bein' Free
Mr. Bojangles / Five Years Gone / Bein' Free
Price: £17.02

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Effortless, 17 Jun 2014
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The previous reviewer covers a lot. All I would mention is that the 2nd album- Drifting Way of Life (also brilliant) -can be cheaply obtained as part of the fantastic Vanguard compilation, containing that album and a bunch of other catchy tunes. I stumbled on him last year and now have all his 70s output (a part from a double live compilation which has some bizarre twists apparently). My favourite is Contrary to Ordinary which has a more late night/early hours vibe. It's also worth mentioning his more recent work. I got a great compilation from his website called best of the rest. His voice is still in good shape and if it ain't broke.......


Another Self Portrait (1969-1971): The Bootleg Series Vol. 10
Another Self Portrait (1969-1971): The Bootleg Series Vol. 10
Price: £11.15

5 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars music 101, 26 Aug 2013
A fascinating listen, especially in light of the studio albums it comes from and from reading Clinton Heylin's brilliant books around the subject. I was slightly surprised by the number of simple remixes and would have preferred more unreleased stuff but for all the doubters who hate this period and especially Self Portrait, I'm truly mistified. What we have here is a cornucopia of music brought under the masterful and playful auspices of Bob Dylan. It is very difficult to make music that sounds this simple and pure. Bob has done it time and again. I agree that in comparison to his early and mid sixties output and then his mid to late seventies music this might seem weaker. Weak music by Dylan is still pretty amazing by all other standards- let's be honest, there is no equal to him.
Do yourself a favour- buy this and and learn to love Self Portrait....it's as fresh as the morning dew and a brilliant time capsule of a time when things were very different.
Choo- Choo.....lets board the Bobster Express!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 27, 2013 1:59 PM BST


Bob Dylan - Debut Album + 12 bonus tracks
Bob Dylan - Debut Album + 12 bonus tracks
Price: £10.35

20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dylan out of the blocks at a sprint!, 21 Jun 2013
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I'm shocked at the first review here for this re-release. Any bonus Dylan is making the world a better place and if anything illustrates his rapid progress from covers to his own compositions. To be honest I pretty much bought everything by him before touching his debut (excepting knocked out and loaded and into the groove!!!). By the time I landed here I was ready for it. It really is one of the best records to sample his guitar technique and has a surprisingly bluesy feel. Yes, they are mainly covers, but look at who's doing them. His approach alone usually lifts simple folk and blues to another level. The fidelity is excellent (a big concern now that it has slipped out of copyright laws and can be issued by other labels) and then there are the bonus tracks.
For all those Doubting Thomas's out there, give it a whirl. In some ways his pre electric stuff is more powerful and vibrant than anything that came later. Either way, it has a right to be heard and rated accordingly!!!
Comment Comments (8) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 23, 2013 6:07 PM BST


English Boy Wonders
English Boy Wonders
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £13.64

4.0 out of 5 stars A very satisfying fusion of prog and reality, 15 Dec 2012
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This review is from: English Boy Wonders (Audio CD)
I bought this album on the strength of hearing Goodbye to the Age of Steam. The band has gone through several noticeable phases, often dictated by the different vocalists involved. The current line up has heralded some amazing music starting with the Underfall Yard that resonates in me the with sense of Englishness, pre industrial and the changes wrought (as visually seen in the Olympic opening ceremony so brilliantly). Going back to the nineties however, the band was a different beast, focusing far more with this album on relationships and inner emotions. The lyrical content is far more applicable to most contemporary music and not so much about the abstract or fantastical (as is often the case in prog).

All of that said however, prog is very much in evidence throughout this wonderful album. The playing is very accomplished, with tracks taking many twists and turns along the way as you are swept along with them on instrumental flights of fancy. This album is very much a companion piece to their first album in its sound- this is largely due to the vocalist at that stage of their career and also the bass sound and general musical attack. The album is a long one and has been tweaked in recent years for re release, as it originally was not fully completed and minus key sounds (mellotron) that were intended to flesh out some of the tracks. I love the vocalist of these first two albums and he has a sound quite removed from the typical prog histrionics (in some ways he makes me think more of Tony Hadley, Tears for Fears or possibly Mansun). I don't normally pay much attention to vocals/lyrics, but there are a lot of them on this album and you do need to pay closer attention to see what separates this band from some of their peers. Equally there is a lot of fantastic keyboard and guitar parts. It took me 3 to 4 listens to really appreciate this (picking out delightful hooks, changes in mood, guitar breaks etc.), but I have found this to be the case with all of Big Big Train's albums with the exception of English Electric Part 1 which was very immediate and seems to bounce out of the speakers without a by-your-leave.

Most bands are on the wane after 20 plus years of recording but this band seems to be getting more and more self-assured/ accomplished with each release, perhaps due to their different collaborations and their evolving sound. English Boy Wonders is a glorious and excessive record which I know I will return to on a regular basis.


Public Foot the Roman
Public Foot the Roman
Offered by Alemannenprog
Price: £12.49

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a great prog roack album from back in the day- buy it!, 5 Sep 2012
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This review is from: Public Foot the Roman (Audio CD)
I don't know why this hasn't been reviewed, what with all the obscure albums finally seeing the light of day in the last couple of years. People normally have something to say. I came across this band on Myspace several years ago and was intrigued by the randomness of their name. What grabbed me next was the tight music, cool keyboards and guitar interplay. The album finished too quickly and leaves you wanting more- surely a good thing. Each song has its own special moment and all are memorable in a kind of early YES way with a slightly more cohesive feel. Some nice wah wah and a trully bizzare front cover- ahhhh...the 70s. Buy it or be damned!


Below the Belt
Below the Belt

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Please re release on CD!!!, 18 Oct 2011
This review is from: Below the Belt (Audio CD)
This is a fantastic album full of catchy, memorable rock tunes (nevermind the cover!). I think it's such a shame that you can only get it as a digital download or as an expensive original CD. How can albums like this be just left in limbo when popular artists today just churn out CD/MP3 after CD/MP3 of drivel for the supermarket shelves? Thank god for Timebox, Patto and Boxer- for the true lovers of music! Rock on!!!


Image Maker 1 And 2
Image Maker 1 And 2
Price: £30.11

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible, 13 Sep 2010
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This review is from: Image Maker 1 And 2 (Audio CD)
I won't waste your time. It's criminal that more people haven't heard this. Fantastic rock music. Buy it- now!!!


Beggin' - The Sound Of London's Mod / Club Scene
Beggin' - The Sound Of London's Mod / Club Scene
Price: £9.56

23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Genius music...how did this slip through the net?!?!, 30 Jun 2008
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I can't express how much of a shock it is listening to this compilation. I got to them through Patto and my current fixation on Prog Rock.

This stuff isn't Prog Rock but it's fantastic stuff all the same- fresh, inventive and full of x-factor. It has a superb level of musicianship, great songs and more than my review can express.

Why this didn't catch on I'll never know, but in a selfish way I'm proud I stumbled on them. Make sure you do too!!!


Illuminations
Illuminations
Price: £9.52

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A consistent and rewarding listen, 25 Oct 2007
This review is from: Illuminations (Audio CD)
I wasn't sure about this album for the first couple of listens and then I confess it sat on my shelf collecting dust for several years. Then I decided to give is a spin on the spur of the moment and I really enjoyed it. After that I've revisited it plenty of times.
It's got alot to offer- give it a chance.


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