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5.0 out of 5 stars No Longer Long Lost, 18 Sep 2013
By 
Rod Parkes (Taipo, Hong Kong) - See all my reviews
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Long cited as a long-lost masterpiece, Vivian's first post-Bonzo album must have come as a puzzle to his record company, who probably expected more jolly ditties about trouser presses and urban spacemen. What they got instead is a set of somewhat obscure and sometimes dark lyrical meditations, plus a couple of rather more light-hearted paeans to Stanshall's male instrument - all backed by top-notch musicians with a strong African rhythmic influence. Pressed in limited quantities and poorly promoted, and with the original master tapes lost, the album vanished from the market for decades apart from a second-rate pirate version. Nevertheless its reputation grew over the years.

Now finally it is available again in a beautifully presented and properly remastered version, with affectionate notes by Vivian's widow Ki and sparkling clear sound, so I can throw away my CD-R copy from someone's old vinyl and enjoy it as it should be heard. Is it a masterpiece? I'm not sure, but it's certainly worth listening to, and yields new insights with each hearing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Viv's Debut Solo LP, 19 Jun 2013
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Mr. S. M. Hill "squidbass" (West Coast, UK) - See all my reviews
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Marvelous to hear this again, restored to a new/former glory. Features a legendary cast of early 70s pioneering African musos in london such as Mongezi Feza & Gasper Lawal, the themes are distinctly afro in nature with marginal BDDB interjections. For 1974, this preceded the embrace of world music - Viv was always interested in unusual instrumentation. For a great trip back down memory lane, view the documentary that came out prior to the lp in 74: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZW0CgUdOAdI (A Week with Vivien Stanshall)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Original and best., 25 Feb 2013
By 
Jennifer A. Abbott "maenad" (Manchester UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Men Opening Umbrellas Ahead [VINYL] (Vinyl)
I have an orginal copy of this. Bought it as a wee slip of a girl, around 1970 from Lewis' in Manchester.
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4.0 out of 5 stars This review is a wildebeest, 26 July 2012
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Or "bewilderbeest" as he would have it. And he would have it it seems - this appears to be partly a catalogue of how. Being always himself, this honest, humorous, desperately uncommercial musical rant should be no surprise to the initiated Stanshall enthusiast but perhaps is not a starting point for those unfamiliar. A welcome reissue of an album too easily missed at the time - I missed it - but I did see the Bonzos in 1969 to my everlasting joy.
This 2012 reissue of MOUA from 1974 is apparently Stanshall family-friendly royalty-wise unlike the earlier 2010 issue which is berated as sloppy in the cover hereof - despite this one's various typos... hey ho. How they compare I've no idea but no one seemed to moan about the sound of the earlier "unauthorised" reissue. This one is fine, even without the LP side 2 masters which went off in a taxi at the time...
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars caveat emptor...., 14 Oct 2010
Good to see this available again after such a long time but.... the packaging and general care and attention that you'd expect such a long-awaited release to have paid to it simply hasn't happened, especially as it purports to be a limited edition. The overall feel is of something that has been hastily put together and barely checked before release - aside from the very poor design - think early 90s budget label - all the tracks are assigned completely wrong timings in the over-large text on the inlay and sides A and B of the 45 which are the 'bonus' tracks are transposed there too. The booklet has no photographs - just an image of the A-side of the single which hasn't even been cut out properly to lose the background - remaining pages have the lyrics. Inner inlay has a picture of what appears to be a stone garden bench - no caption or reference to say what this is or why it's there. Very poor. All the other comments here regarding the music I can't really add anything too - they're all accurate and will give you a good idea of the music here if you don't already know it. If you are a regular buyer of reissue cds don't expect a quality package of anything like the standard you'd expect of Ace or the higher end major label releases for your money. ***** for the great music, * for the slipshod 'packaging'.
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Men Opening Umbrellas Ahead [VINYL]
Men Opening Umbrellas Ahead [VINYL] by Vivian Stanshall (Vinyl - 2012)
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