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Profile for Neil Wilkes > Reviews

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Reviews Written by
Neil Wilkes (London, England)

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Men Without Women
Men Without Women

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply superb, 29 July 2015
This review is from: Men Without Women (Audio CD)
Okay - before I start I need to be honest & say that this is not the version I own, as it is a 1995 remaster & I have the 1982 original version as well as the 2005 double pack (with "Voice Of America") remastered version so I am not at all sure what the quality of the remaster is, as the late 90's were the peak of the brickwalling for volume years. So this review is based on the 1982 original version.

It's one of the best records I have ever bought. Seriously, there is not a bad track or a filler on the record, and the musicianship (a combination of the E-Street band with the horn section from Southside Johnny & the ex-Plasmatics bass player) is also outstanding. It kicks off as it means to continue with the flat-out rocker "Lying In A Bed Of Fire" and never lets go until the closing ballad "I've Been Waiting" via such delights as - well - all of them. Highlights? None really as they are all superb.
What a debut - buy this record immediately!!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 23, 2015 6:32 PM BST

The Long Mars: (Long Earth 3)
The Long Mars: (Long Earth 3)
by Stephen Baxter
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More, please., 27 Jun. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This series gets better with each book and is highly addictive. Despite some categorizations to the contrary, this is not Sci-Fi but fantasy - Sci-Fi will try to explain how the magic screwdriver (or stepping box in this case) works whereas fantasy just says what it does & gets right on with the story.
As usual there are plenty of jokes alongside a continually evolving storyline and I look forward to the next instalment.

Strathwood Garden Furniture - Basics Hardwood Sun Lounger
Strathwood Garden Furniture - Basics Hardwood Sun Lounger

5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful. Just wonderful., 27 Jun. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
We bought these because the rest of the garden furniture is also hardwood, and although I was slightly concerned at first when they arrived as flat pack, this was soon allayed (once my better half had built them) and the design is wonderful with the handy little sliding shelf for drinkies, books, sunscreen & ashtrays etc. The Cats also love it and I swear they are convinced it is, in fact, a cat lounger for slobbing in the summer sun. Best of all it is extremely well made & designed, with the wheels on one end & the grab slots on the other coupled with the light weight making it simples to move around the garden & chase the sun.
My sole criticism is that perhaps - just perhaps - the back rest could come up another couple of notches for when a full sprawl is not wanted, but this is a very minor issue & easily corrected by a few large cushions.

Highly recommended and an easy 5-stars

Fiskars Telescopic Weeder Length 99-119 cm
Fiskars Telescopic Weeder Length 99-119 cm

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply superb - no gardener should be without this., 27 Jun. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
As anyone who has a lawn - or even a vegetable patch - will know, Dandelions are the worst thing that can happen. Their roots go down forever and they are an absolute bugger to get rid of. Prior to this tool, we used to use a manual device that got down into the root & with a very careful tweak you could get most of the root out. Eventually.
Then I saw this beast advertised as the answer, and was admittedly skeptical at first but on the grounds that we were over-run with dandelions I checked with a few gardening sites & this came up time & again. So we took the plunge & went for it.
What a wonderfully designed tool!! It takes a little bit of getting used to but once this had been achieved I cannot now imagine any other way to do the job - up they blasted things come complete with roots that can be almost the size of a thin parsnip, and best of all because of the telescopic handle there is no need to bend over (which because of spinal damage is impossible for me) at all. You just stand there, aim at the middle of the dandelion, stand on the pedal & pull gently backwards - no more dandelion!
It does occasionally miss the root because dandelions often do not seem to have roots that go straight down, but all that takes to sort out is a minor change in aim & another try. The "pump action" handle also neatly dumps the extracted weed out as well.

This is an awesome tool, and I cannot find enough good things to say about it. Simply outstanding and an easy 5-star rating.


1.0 out of 5 stars Very fragile, 27 Jun. 2014
This one is not really very good at all - the handle came away from the blade during the second days use and has made is effectively a piece of scrap metal. Not recommended.

Drive Home [Blu-ray] [2013]
Drive Home [Blu-ray] [2013]
Dvd ~ Steven Wilson
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £8.39

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, 26 Oct. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This has got to be the best "single" I have bought in a long, long time as there is an enormous amount of content:
Firstly there are 2 videos from the album "The Raven that refused to sing & other stories" beginning with the beautifully melancholy "Drive Home" and followed by the haunting title track from the album "The Raven that refused to sing" which has to be one of the most emotional promo films I have ever seen. I simply defy anybody to watch this & not be moved.
For most artists that would be plenty for the single, but not Steven Wilson, as we then get an absolute treat with 4 previously unreleased live cuts shot on the current world tour in Frankfurt - The Holy Drinker (watch out for some nifty Bass work from SW), Insurgentes, The Watchmaker & The Raven that refused to sing. It has to also be said that for all of you reading this who have the previous live set "Get All You Deserve" that this is a slightly different band, with lead guitar duties now handled by the excellent Guthrie Govan who has really brought something special to the table with his playing, and it does change the sound of the band although I feel it is for the better (not that I am trying to say the previous guitarist was bad - far from it - just watch it & you will see).
We're still not done though, as there are 2 further "Audio-only" tracks "The Birthday Party" & a stripped back version of "The Raven".
All this in 24/96 stereo & lossless DTS-HD 5.1 as well (assuming you have a player that can access the lossless component & not just the core audio version)

Most artists would call this an album - and it is truly outstanding. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

The Raven [DVD]
The Raven [DVD]
Dvd ~ John Cusack
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £3.99

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Utter tosh., 22 Oct. 2013
This review is from: The Raven [DVD] (DVD)
Although this started out as a pseudo-biopic supposedly dealing with the last few days of Poe's life (right at the very start we are told that he was found "on a Baltimore park bench in a delirious state" it is pure fiction & should be treated as such, and the deliberately given impression that it could be anything other than fictional is highly irritating.
Whilst I have no problem with the concept, the writers really should have done their basic research a little better. Poe did indeed die in Baltimore but that is roughly all they got right and it contains several stupid errors: The film has Emily as his fiancee, which at the time is plain wrong - he had just announced his engagement to his childhood sweetheart Sarah Elmira Royster (Mrs Shelton). He was not living in Baltimore, but Richmond, and after the announcement of his engagement he set off North to close down his cottage in Fordham (a small village on the outskirts of New York) where he had been living with his then wife (Virginia) & mother-in-law until Virginia died in January 1847. What happened next is indeed unknown, and for some reason he did stop at Baltimore where he was found in a delirious state near a tavern & died shortly afterwards. Finally, in the film, they have one character reciting "Annabel Lee" which she simply could not have done because it was only published posthumously.

The script starts off entertainingly enough but degenerates into farce and is. I think, a terrible piece of work best avoided.
Poe's memory deserves a lot better than this tosh.

Sound & Vision
Sound & Vision

24 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely superb, but be careful about the edition if buying, 31 Aug. 2013
This review is from: Sound & Vision (Audio CD)
First up, this is a superb collection by anybody's standards & is well worth the 5 stars.
The biggest worry with this is the old chestnut "Caveat Emptor" because there are at least 4 different editions of this set.
First up, we have the original Ryko edition on 3 regular CD's plus an additional CDV with 3 live tracks & the "Ashes to Ashes" video. This was packaged in a 12" x 12" box and included a nice booklet (sadly mine is missing & if anyone has a mint or near mint copy of this set please contact me). NB - the images on this page are from that edition.
Then there was a very limted edition of this in a nice wood case, 500 copies, individually signed (these are almost never found for sale). Third up was the Ryko reissue edition in a slipcase box with just 3 CD's, missing off the 3 live tracks from Boston Music Hall in 1972 (and oh, how I would love the full recording of that to surface) and a well done 72-page booklet.
Finally, we have the 4th edition, which is a re-issue from EMI, featuring 4 CD's, a different running order and on some tracks different versions (and I mean different mixes as opposed to remastered) - although if truth be told, this set does have the 1999 EMI remasters and they are frankly not that great - over limited for volume, as are nearly all the EMI editions esxcept for the first set they released which used the Ryko masters - confused? Yep. Me too.

Whatever edition you have this makes a nice change to the obvious singles rehash - and the Gods only know that has been done often enough already.
If you are looking for the S&V box, get the early Ryko edition for sound quality & the EMI edition for tracks you will not find anywhere else.
Comment Comments (7) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 14, 2014 12:54 PM BST

Chopin: Piano Concerto No.1
Chopin: Piano Concerto No.1
Offered by nagiry
Price: £9.34

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Why the weird description (again), 25 Jun. 2013
Why is this listed as a "Blu-Spec CD" please, when it is clearly nothing of the sort?
Misleading information seems to be pandemic on Amazon.....

5 Album Box Set
5 Album Box Set
Price: £19.39

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb - Can we please have more?, 16 Jun. 2013
This review is from: 5 Album Box Set (Audio CD)
This is a superb value box, with the first 4 albums already available in the remastered series (track for track identical) and the "assorted" compilation as disc 5 bringing us most of the material on the second CD of the 4th album's remastered re-issue so there is very, very little new here and as such this box really is for either collectors or those who missed the recent remastered re-issues and if you fall into either of those categories, buy this immediately.
What did strike me as very welcome though were the 6 live tracks from 1987 - presumably the whole show was recorded so I for one would like to see the rest of it appear sooner rather than later, as it sounds a lot better than the later "So Alive" live album.

Very highly recommended even if you do not know the band, you should take the opportunity offered here and enjoy.

These records would also sound awesome in 5.1 surround as well.

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