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David P. Weber (North Fremantle)

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The Miracle (2011 Remaster: Deluxe Edition)
The Miracle (2011 Remaster: Deluxe Edition)
Price: £13.24

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ALMOST THEIR LAST, 2 Oct. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Queen hadn't put out new material for years. The 'Kind Of Magic' album had an epic, dark sound but was a bit confusing as its songs were tied to films. Then there was the heavily edited 'Live Magic' LP.

'The Miracle' was the first full album since 'The Works' which showed a unified commitment to new songs in their own right (if you forget that 'Keep Passing The Open Windows' was also written for a film).

Queen were said to have returned to heavy rock and the strong lead single 'I Want It All' really sounded like it. Yet the album went on to exhibit the band's devotion to exploring synthesizers.

The album cover is utterly fabulous; kitsch and cool at the same time, which is what this band were all about.

The opening song sounds like Freddie's voice exercises being tracked closely together. 'Khashoggi's Ship' is BARELY a song-- Brian May finds a new sound on his guitar and milks it while Freddie ad libs about an imaginary (or not) party on a boat owned by a notorious arms dealer.

The title track is pretty cheezy but serves up the triple vocals we know and love. 'The Invisible Man' was a surprise when it was heard on the original release date-- and 'Breakthru' provides Disney-like harmonies over a cool, washy set of chords. 'Scandal' sports a wailing riff, which is unfortunately underscored by needless electronics.

When this album was released, thecloser 'Was It All Worth It' sounded like a kiss off to the industry. What we didn't know then was that Mercury was HIV positive, and the band thought this LP could very well have been their last.

Of the extras, 'Hang On In There' is better than some songs which made the album proper. The heavy instrumental 'Chinese Torture' is too short!

Then there's the b-side, 'Stealin''. It's absolutely brilliant from beginning to end. Where else can you hear Freddie conjuring up his best Delta blues voice to exclaim "Baby, let it bleed"...? Sometimes the best Queen tracks ('I Go Crazy') were relegated to b-sides.

The same can't be said for 'Hijack My Heart', which was notable in '89 for hosting the first Taylor lead vocal for several years. It's one of the worst tracks Queen did, and is essential listening for that reason alone.

We get the highly synthesized 12 of 'Invisible Man', but not the long version of 'Breakthru', which is surely lurking out there somewhere. Are May and Taylor hanging onto a few 12 inch versions for a separate release?

The album's not as good as 'The Works' or 'Innuendo'. But it's better than 'Hot Space', and more wholesome than 'A Kind Of Magic'.

So why four stars?

Because the remaster is pretty great. And after all, it's Queen.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 21, 2012 11:43 PM BST

Price: £9.74

2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars MUSIC GREAT, REPRODUCTION POOR, 13 Sept. 2011
This review is from: Gold (Audio CD)
The music is fantastic and the selection virtually flawless.

But the songs on this double sound like mp3s.

The production on the original Traffic albums was very good.

Go and get the remasters from the late 1990s and early 2000s and you'll hear the difference.

This is a good primer for Traffic, but little else and it's not a good substitute for what's available in better formats.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 11, 2012 7:57 PM BST

Price: £12.11

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars FOR FANS OF A CERTAIN KIND OF YES, 7 Sept. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Talk (Audio CD)
Warning-- I got this thinking it was a 2009 version. Aside, from what Amazon says in the product details, there's nothing to suggest it has any relationship to that year. The dates on the case and disc are 1994, and 2002. It's crisp and clear-sounding, but it ain't no 2009 remaster.

Amazon should remove the '2009' because it is misleading.

Anyway, if you're a fan of the '90125' era of Yes, then you can plonk down for this without fear. It's Yes West, the band that pulled together in the early 1980s and released two excellent LPs under the auspices of Trevor Rabin.

Many fans of the earlier Yes don't ackowledge this version of the band, despite the presence of three founding members (Anderson, Kaye and Squire), and Alan White from the so-called Classic Lineup.

Sure, the sound is markedly different. But what would've happened to Yes if they'd gone into the 1980s relatively intact? Would they have sounded this good in the mid-1990s?

This is a matter for debate, and perhaps it is time to start a university course on this. If anyone out there is interested, and is prepared to offer enough financial reward, I would gladly offer my services to argue the 'pro' case.

Primary Colours
Primary Colours
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £9.70

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars ONCE UPON A TIME..., 5 Sept. 2011
This review is from: Primary Colours (Audio CD)
...There was a band called The Psychedelic Furs.

They did this first, and best.

The Horrors are fine with what they're doing but if you've heard it all before, why bother?
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 12, 2014 12:22 PM GMT

Flash Gordon [2011 Remastered Version: 2CD]
Flash Gordon [2011 Remastered Version: 2CD]
Price: £16.55

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars AWESOME REMASTERING, AGAIN, 19 Aug. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Just the latest in the excellent Queen remaster series..

It's a soundtrack and it's for Queen obsessives, and for fans of the film, which itself needs remastering and a re-release..

Crank up the volume and the three-piece instrumental Queen is unleashed! Get your friends around and re-enact the Hawkmen attack on Ajax's ship!!

The extras are slight, except for an unheard version of 'The Hero', which was the best track on the original LP, really.

Smoke Ring For My Halo
Smoke Ring For My Halo
Price: £5.99

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ONE OF THE BEST LPs OF THE YEAR, 28 Jun. 2011
This review is from: Smoke Ring For My Halo (Audio CD)
This is simply great. It's the possible next step for anyone who got into John Grant's album of last year. Different dude, different voice, different topics (generally) but his songs take you to secret places in the same way Grant did.

I note that another reviewer here said there was nothing "groundbreaking" here. That's true, in the sense that you could draw a line of influence from Vile to many other singer songwriters of, say, the early 1970s. I'd name Michael Chapman, Bill Fay, a bit of Terry Reid and a dash of Nick Drake... others will hear their own reference points.

Having said that, I have no idea whether Vile has heard any of those artists. The bottom line is this..

He sounds like himself, and there's been nothing much like 'Smoke Ring For My Halo' for many years.

Bon Iver, Bon Iver
Bon Iver, Bon Iver
Price: £8.74

5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ABSOLUTELY AWESOME, 20 Jun. 2011
This review is from: Bon Iver, Bon Iver (Audio CD)
2011 has been a banner year for music. So many established and new acts from The USA and The UK have released proper, vibrant, interesting ALBUMS that are great from beginning to end. It's the first time in many years that this has happened, and it's as if all these singers and bands are hearing what's coming out, and then trying to up the ante, and go one better...

THIS is the best album of the year so far.

For those who worried Vernon would lose his 'authenticity' by recording in a studio, fear not. This is a sumptuous, lush music that gets deep under the skin. It's only 39 minutes long, and this is a good thing, because once you hear it you just want to hear it again. The songs take you places which are mysterious and welcoming... you can imagine others listening to this at the same time, somewhere in the world, and making their own mental and emotional trips.

The LP kicks off with a song about the city which serves as my current hometown. And, surprisingly, it's GREAT! I would've preferred if he called it 'Fremantle' instead of 'Perth', because that's the suburb where he actually played, but anyway...

If anyone thinks this is a pap review, conjured up by an associate or hack to convince people to buy the album, you're wrong. It was released in Australia on the weekend and I bought it on Saturday.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 24, 2011 6:54 PM BST

The Duke: The Columbia Years (1927-1962)
The Duke: The Columbia Years (1927-1962)
Price: £29.89

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ALL YOU NEED AND MORE, 3 May 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
No clear understanding of 20th Century music is possible without spending some time with The Duke.

This is all you need, and more. The sound is brilliant, the liner notes informative, the package has been developed with care and respect, it's an EXCELLENT PRICE... it's simple awesome.

Learn why this man was the recipient of heartfelt tributes by such masters as Charles Mingus, Miles Davis and Stevie Wonder.

Sir Duke tops 'em all.

Blue Moods
Blue Moods
Price: £7.07

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars FILLS A GAP, 3 May 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Blue Moods (Audio CD)
Like 'Lift To The Scaffolds' and a few other things, this is among the Miles product that lies outside the Columbia and Warner labels.

Like everything else released under Miles' name, it's high quality. It's short, and it's cool.

It's also increasingly hard to find...

The King of Limbs
The King of Limbs
Price: £7.99

17 of 45 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars TIME FOR RADIOHEAD FANS TO JUMP SHIP, 12 April 2011
This review is from: The King of Limbs (Audio CD)
How many times can Radiohead release variations on 'Kid A' and get away with it?

A few years ago, they named an album 'Hail to The Thief'. This was a reference to the band, quite happy to rip off German electronic acts and take money off fans who were hoping they might do something as good as 'The Bends' or 'OK Computer'.

Then there was the 'Rainbows' era, which produced lots of newsprint, internet debate and hand-wringing about the way the music was distributed. Shame the band didn't produce anything worth listening to more than once.

This is not a BAD album. There's simply nothing new here. Again. Uneasy electronica with Yorke wailing over the top. An absence of guitars.

At the turn of the century, we expected more from Radiohead and we were clearly wrong to do so.

My tip is to go and listen to Cluster, Harmonia and Can, where a lot of this music happened first. Hail to the thief, indeed...
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 11, 2011 9:35 PM BST

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