1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Attacked! ...by major talent!,
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Word Up! The Ultimate Collection (Audio CD)
I can't tell you how happy I am to now possess this CD! Well, it has possessed me really!
I am not usually a review writer and I haven't written on for a long time (about music especially) and I'm sorry that I am not one of these in-depth review writers (maybe - because it's all about personal taste at the end of the day) but just that I am writing this, says it all really!
Cameo are such an underrated group and are SOOOO much more than Word Up!! Don't get me wrong I LOVE Word Up! but due to having much older siblings I was privilaged to have been familiar with Cameo's works beforehand. I am so glad I happened to see this CD recently on Amazon as I am sure it wasn't around before. I was actually trying to tidy up my Amazon 'saved for later basket' and I'd had the 'Anthology' CD in my basket for YEARS (lol) since I purchased it as a gift for my brother's birthday once and I always intended to get my own copy (at some point), especially as I by now means know all their stuff but that item has spiralled upward in price over the years! Anyway, I saw this one being advertised underneath on the page and it caught my eye as I hadn't remembered seeing it before. I checked the track listings and ESPECIALLY with the FABOULOUSLY LOW PRICE (hmmm, perhaps Cameo being underrated has advantages for my small pocket!) I was ABSOLUTELY OVER THE MOON to discover 'I've got your image' was in this collection! It's on none of the other collections, not even the now pricey Anthology!! It's a sublimely sweet (but never saccharine) jazzy number that me and the older siblings loved when I was a child and you really don't know how excited I was at the prospect of hearing that song as well as owning it, along with the other gems on this CD.
Because you just don't hear Cameo's hits played, you'd think they never had any over here (I'm talking 80s now because this is the earliest time I know, personally but I DO remember their songs being played on the radio, as a child..okay, maybe it wasn't on Capital but they were definately played on Kiss) but anyway, this is what made this purchase so very sweet! I was sooo looking forward to hearing and owning the gems that I knew and loved from my childhood ('Attack me with your love' was another favourite of mine- could you tell?) but also, the older ones that I knew I loved but had forgotten because they weren't regularly played when I was younger and I only knew them because of my older brother...AND of course, discovering and owning the DELIGHTS that I didn't actually know but I KNEW would be waiting for me!! (They were!) AND the ones that I was vaguely familiar with! (They were too!) ALL for under a fiver!!! I cannot believe it!
One of these delights was 'You're a Winner' I was so grateful to the other reviewer on this page just for having done a review for starters but also for bringing that song to my (well, everyone's) attention. When I read his review, the title didn't even really ring a bell but, as I said to him, I'd probably know it when I heard it and OMFG!!! DID I know it!!! (It may even surpass '..image'). PLUS, with this musical purchase I discovered Amazon Autorip, so *HELLO!!!* I now also have access to all their older songs from the Anthology album that I purchased years ago anyway! TOTALLY SORTED!!! (Dear Amazon, oh how I love you!)
I am a music lover, I mean real music with instruments, so this means I am going to love all sorts. I still like some of the computer music too, because I just love good music and talent but obviously, it can't beat real music and because I chose to do this review it made me think about why I love (and loved) Cameo so much. I love funk and jazzy soul/jazz funk but I really do love music across the genres. I really love me some rock, but that doesn't mean I own loads of rock albums because...well, it'd take too long to go into! If I had to pick though- and by that I mean, if someone put me in front of a firing squad and said I had pick only one type of music for the rest of my life or I'd be shot- funk is my fave. So I realised that from hearing their 80s hits (firstly), that I loved these songs so much because it's funk with an edge. It's the tight, hard-hitting beats but then there comes the groove behind it...let's not even talk about the exquisite vocals...and then comes the full blown rock guitar (in some cases), OMG...they do it all. Cameo combines everything thing I need music to do! Whether it is on one song or just as true artists. Their songs are like events, not just songs. There are other 70s soul/funk bands that did similar, these type of bands are class acts, you can't get better but I guess what it is with Cameo is that they covered all my favourite and personal musical tastes, just how I like it, from the 70s through to the 80s :)
I love the drama of the 80s tracks and the humour. They're timing is OUT OF THIS WORLD, and that includes Larry's personal and comic timing AND musical talent of course. I don't often use the word 'cool' but he manages to be cool, super-talented and hilarious all at the same time which is what is 'cool' for me. At this point, I have only listened to the CD once but they got lyrics too, the songs are well written and some are deep. Not that songs have to be mega-deep to be good (and I am a very deep person), Cameo has different aspects to them, which I throughly enjoy but they are basically fun and the depth is already there in their musical ability and how they exhibit that with (or without) the fun! Now that I actually own a CD of theirs, now I'll be able to familiarise myself with the actual songs (as opposed to my afore appreciation of them just musically) because I love music so much, I usually don't know actual songs, as in the singing, as well as I do the music (i.e. I rarely know all the lyrics to songs that I love, even) but that in now way means I don't appreciate good singing and song lyrics, because when they aren't that good, I difinately notice (even if the music is good) and it will make the whole song not as good for me, but when everything is done so well, musically, (including the singing), I am not concentrating on the lyrics as much. Whether, I am making any sense or not, I am basically saying, I'm looking forward to getting more familar with the actual song bit of their music! Which will happen through my repeat listenings!
You see, I love this group for all the reasons I have stated but secondly, (yes, I do remember, that there was a 'firstly' a while back, just about..I don't know if you do..lol) it was completely joyous for me revisiting the 80s hits that I knew and which they did so very well but as I mentioned, I personally love funk music in general so this excitable joy I'm experiencing is because I have now been able to hear own and discover their previous 70s music for the first time too! (Finally adding to my small but much loved collection/diet of Earth, Wind and Fire, Rick James, The Commodores, Marvin Gaye etc.) I mentioned exquisite vocals before, while I was describing their 80s stuff but I mean in general. Being as it was a bit before my time, I am not familiar with any of individual members of the group, in terms of looks or names in their 70s incarnation, but I do obviously know that Larry Blackmon wasn't the lead singer before and whoever that was singing on the old songs, obviously his voice and singing were exquisite...Larry's voice is great in a different way. No way in hell are you EVER gonna get a character like Larry Blackmon ever again (please watch or revisit the 'Single Life' video, like I did about a year ago- I hadn't actually ever seen it in full, as full videos didn't used to get played over here in the 80s, remember and I wouldn't have remembered the probably 5 seconds of it that I would've glimpsed courtesy of The Chart Show, when I was a child).
So, I know I said sorry that I am not one to do in-depth reviews, I am by nature an in-depth person (as you can see) I didn't actually intend to write so much and I have been in-depth but what I'd meant was, I don't do that song by song break down that some do or attempt to give a synopsis of the album. It sort of wouldn't apply to this type of purchase anyway (greatest hits type) and as I said, I'm new to half of the songs and have only listened to it once at this point but wanted to register my love and appreciation of this band and the music, while the mood took me to actually write a review! It's all down to personal taste and judgement anyway and often you can't tell if people are fans of the artist(s) first and music second. I am usually the opposite of that, if you couldn't tell already but either way, from what I already knew of this band and having seen the track listings, I knew it'd be highly unlikely I'd regret this particular purchase. I just love realising how this is a proper band that was able to do different types of song and do them with such class and was able to morph with the times, again, so well, that people who only know them for Word Up! would not even have a clue that they had a whole previous 70s incarnation, history and back catalogue, they were able to be fresh and new, edgy, progressive and punchy! Right up my street!
So I guess there are one or two artists out there that I am a complete 'fan' of then! They're usually slightly before before my time, is the only trouble!
P.S. My one little niggle, which I thought may happen before I bought the CD (even asked other reviewer about it) is my worry about sound quality/consistancy when it comes to greatest hits compilations and being that it is not quoted as a 'digitally remastered' compilation...this is not a moan, especially with what I knew I was getting for the price but it is something that spoils my experience of CD compilations I already have, more so due to the variance in the audio experience from one track to another and so having to adjust it! The sound quality is actually generally consistant and bearable, I just had to turn it up a bit EXCEPT unfortunately, on Single Life (album version) which sounds strangely muffled. I was able to improve it somewhat by adjusting things but it is muffled. It's a shame for me but then again, at least it's the only noticeable problem throughout the whole double CD. Others may not even notice it (I've got very sensitive and particular ears!) Sound quality is a thing that I notice but I still wouldn't knock off a star just for that, due to how happy I am with this item, maybe half a star if it was something else but I'd have knocked off a third of a star because of the sound, if I could have! Okay, okay, maybe a sixth!
P.P.S. I really love the cover photo/art! Yet another reason why I was happy with this sublime, bargain purchase before I even got it! I think it's the best of all the complilation covers, especially the boring one on the Anthology ! :)