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Mark Barry "Mark Barry" (London)
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Rock And Roll Music! The Songs Of Chuck Berry
Rock And Roll Music! The Songs Of Chuck Berry
Price: £11.94

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "...Brown Eyed Handsome Man..." - Rock And Roll Music! The Songs Of Chuck Berry by VARIOUS (2017 Ace CD Remasters), 26 Feb. 2017
As I play through this cleverly compiled Ace CD compilation - I'm struck by the mastery of Chuck Berry. A fairly obvious observation you might say – but I'm talking about sideways appreciation. I've friends who have wide-ranging and eclectic tastes yet some of them cannot abide artists like say Bob Dylan or Tom Waits (I'd personally bathe their feet and offer my greying hair as a towel). Yet on hearing Bob or Tom's songs interpreted by someone else that has spotted the beauty in their melodies and words and brought those inherent things out in a new way – even those naysayers will nod in gracious acceptance of the obvious. Yep - the guy's a friggin' genius mate.

Chuck Berry is the same. Sometimes you have to have the distance of someone else's version to hear just how good the original is - and in particular - this is never truer of Chuck's fantastically evocative lyrics. The hopes – the racing pulses – the dreams – the excitement – he nails them all. And those danceable rhythms! There are reasons why so many bands - especially bar-bands and boogie merchants - choose Chuck Berry as a launch point. His songs are just such great fun - full of life - youth – in tune observations - those incredible hooky choruses – and of course the room for an budding interpreter to go off on a guitar-solo tangent or a harmonica wail. It's like his Chess stuff is the very template of all that's properly great teenage Rock 'n' Roll – the place to start playing - a first love you never forget.

This 2017 Ace Records CD brings that aural pleasure home. And while I don't agree with a few of the choices here (some out and out clunkers in my book, hence the four-star review) - "Rock And Roll Music! The Songs Of Chuck Berry" is a joyous little listen and a digital compilation I know I'm going to return to again and again - a shuffler in the car of life if ever there was one. Here are the Brown Eyed Handsome Men and their Beautiful Delilahs...

UK released 24 February 2017 (10 March 2017 in the USA) - "Rock And Roll Music! The Songs Of Chuck Berry" by VARIOUS ARTISTS on Ace CDCHD 1491 (Barcode 029667078429) is a 24-Track CD compilation of Remasters that plays out as follows (66:13 minutes):

1. Roll Over Beethoven - HELENE DIXON (1956 USA 7" single on Vik Records 45-0212, A-side)
2. Around And Around - THE SWINGING BLUES JEANS (from the November 1964 UK LP "Blue Jeans A' Swingin'" on HMV Records CLP 1802)
3. Down Bound Train - KEN COLYER'S SKIFFLE GROUP (1956 UK 7" single on Decca Jazz 45-F-J 10751, A-side)
4. Maybelline - MARTY ROBBINS (1955 USA 7" single on Columbia 4-21446, A-side)
5. Come On - IAN GOMM (March 1978 UK 7" single on Albion Records ION 1, A-side)
6. Memphis - DON COVAY (from the August 1973 UK LP "Super Dude 1" on Mercury 6338 211 - also UK 7" single on Mercury 6052 258, A-side)
7. Oh Baby Doll - THE PRETTY THINGS (from the 1966 UK LP "The Pretty Things" on Fontana TL 5239)
8. Nadine - THE BUNCH [feat members of Fairport Convention and Fotheringay with Ashley Hutchings on Lead Vocals] (from the 1972 album "Rock On" on Island ILPS 9189)
9. Little Queenie - JERRY LEE LEWIS (1956 USA 7" single on Sun 330, A-side)
10. I'm Talking About You - (BARRY &) THE REMAINS (1965 USA 7" single on Epic 9777, A-side)
11. Brown Eyed Handsome Man - BUDDY HOLLY (1963 USA 7" single Coral 62369, A-side)
12. Johnny B. Goode - JAY and THE AMERICANS (from the 1970 US LP "Wax Museum" on United Artists UAS 6719)
13. Sweet Little Sixteen - THE HOLLIES (from the 1966 UK STEREO LP "Would You Believe?" on Parlophone PCS 7008)
14. Too Much Monkey Business - ELVIS PRESLEY (from the 1968 US LP "Singer Presents Elvis Singing "Flaming Star" And Others" on RCA Victor PRS-279)
15. Almost Grown - SYNDICATE OF SOUND (from the 1966 US Mono LP "Little Girl" on Bell Records 6001)
16. No Money Down - JOHN HAMMOND (from the 1964 US STEREO LP "Big City Blues" on Vanguard VSD 79153)
17. Beautiful Delilah - THE COUNT BISHOPS (from the 1975 "Speedball" EP on Chiswick Records SW 1)
18. Havana Moon - SANTANA featuring Booker T. Jones on Lead Vocals (from the 1983 UK LP "Havana Moon" on CBS Records 25350)
19. Back In The USA - MC5 (from the 1970 US LP "Back In The USA" on Atlantic SD 8247)
20. You Can't Catch Me - SLEEPY LaBEEF (1965 USA 7" single on Columbia 4-43452, A-side)
21. Rock And Roll Music - THE BEACH BOYS (1976 USA 7" single on Brother 1354, A)
22. You Never Can Tell - JOHN PRINE (from the 1975 US LP "Common Sense" on Atlantic SD 18127)
23. Run Rudolph Run - DWIGHT YOAKAM (from the 1997 CD "Come On Christmas" on Reprise 9 466 83-2)
24. The Promised Land - DAVE EDMUNDS (from the 1972 LP "Rockpile" on Regal Zonophone SLRZ 1026 - recorded in 1968)
Tracks 1 to 4, 7, 9, 11 and 13 are in MONO - all others STEREO

The 16-page booklet is the usual Ace Records fan-pleasing wet-dream - pictures of the rare tri-centre of Ken Colyer's Skiffle Group 45 - the Jerry Lee Lewis Sun 45 - the 60ts-cool John Hammond LP sleeve for "Big City Blues" - the Ian Gomm and Count Bishops pictures sleeves and the sheet music to Buddy Holly and Jerry Lee Lewis. With two pages of pre-amble - thereafter the expert TONY ROUNCE liner notes fill in the info gaps for every entry. And the NICK ROBBINS Remasters are stunning - his expertise just gets better and better.

But I'd question some of the choices. I don't know if I need another Buddy Holly version of "Brown Eyed Handsome Man" and the dreadful cod-reggae version of "Memphis" by Don Covay is best forgotten as fast as is humanly possible while the derisory Santana/Booker T cover of "Havana Moon" may have been a hit but it sucks. Steve Gibbons and his electrifying version of "Tulane" should replace the weedy Beach Boys version of "Rock And Roll Music" and maybe Linda Ronstadt's kicking stab at "Back In The USA" instead of the MC5. And where is "No Particular Place To Go" by anybody? But these are personal choices...

Mickey Baker provides the guitar work in the rockin' opener - Helene Dixon's gravel-voiced take on "Roll Over Beethoven". Her delivery is exciting enough and went virtually head-to-head with Chuck's Chess Records original (issued only a couple of weeks apart) - but her pop cover of his R&B belter was no match. The Swinging Blue Jeans take the B-side of "Johnny B. Goode" and make a good fist of "Around And Around" for their debut British album. But things start to get really interesting in the other-worldly Skiffle shuffle of "Down Bound Train" by Ken Colyer - a genius choice. Other cool period songs include a superb version of "Maybelline" by Marty Robbins and a neck-jerking chug through "You Can't Catch Me" by Rockabilly hero Sleepy LaBeef. New Wave new-kids-on-the-block Ian Gomm and The Count Bishops can hold their heads high - Gomm sounding not unlike the smug child of Elvis Costello and Nick Lowe on his natty version of "Come On" - while The Count Bishops blast out a suitably manic British Pub Rock take of "Beautiful Delilah" - a highlight from their Chiswick Records debut EP "Speedball".

"Run Rudolph Run" by Dwight Yoakam and "Sweet Little Sixteen" by The Hollies feel functionary at best - while John Prine does a fun piano-rolling take of "You Never Can Tell" (vocally he's not dissimilar to Chuck). But they're trumped by a genuinely exciting Syndicate Of Sound take on the brilliant "Almost Grown" - while John Hammond's seriously cool "No Money Down" may indeed be worth the price of admission alone. Music historian and genre lover Tony Rounce is right to highlight the contribution of guitarist Jerry Reid in Presley's superb version of "Too Much Monkey Business" - a throwaway song tucked away on a RCA Victor album sponsored by Singer Sowing Machines (I kid you not). 60ts acts The Pretty Things do right by "Oh Baby Doll" even if the recording is a very Kinks lo-fi - while Barry Tashlan and The Remains flick-guitar "I'm Talking About You" with real gusto (shimmy shimmy shake babe). A nice surprise is the Fairport Convention/Fotheringay pretend band 'The Bunch' who gleefully talk-and-chorus their way through "Nadine" with Ashley Hutchings hamming up the lead vocals like Bobby Boris and The Crypt-Kickers on "Monster Mash" as the English folk-girls go 'is that you' in the background.

As I said it's not all genius - but much of "Rock And Roll Music! The Songs Of Chuck Berry" is also so damn entertaining too (I suppose you could say - how can homages to his great American songs be anything else).

"...There she is again standing over by the record machine...looking like a model in a magazine..." - Jerry Lee Lewis sings in his fab treatment of "Little Queenie" - giving it some personalised JLL Boogie over there at Sun Records. "...If it's good...I'll admit it..." - the Ferriday Fireball adds later. Amen to that brother...
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 27, 2017 11:21 PM GMT


The Albums
The Albums
Price: £16.10

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "...Standing In The Road..." - The Albums by BLACKFOOT SUE (2017 7T's/Cherry Red 3CD Mini Box Set of Remasters), 23 Feb. 2017
This review is from: The Albums (Audio CD)
'7t's' is a Cherry Red label and they've been steadily feeding the needs of Seventies Rock, Pop and Glam Rock fans for some time now. Their releases are always well annotated and the Remasters ace - making available again music that many still want but can't find anywhere else.

Birmingham's BLACKFOOT SUE is such a band. Their stop-start muddled career is centred about the monster single "Standing In The Road" which peaked at a deserving No. 4 in a 10-week run during the Pan's People summer of 1972 – and a lone album that arrived as an almost afterthought in the spring of 1973. Most of us who were young then remember with affection the fantastic "Standing In The Road" - its John Kongos/Nazareth stomping Rock vibe as well as that distinctive Jam Records logo and label bag. The debut album "Nothing To Hide" arrived 20 April 1973 - way too late to sustain any momentum the two preceding singles had built up. And worse - the album didn't feature either 45 "Standing In The Road" or "Sing Don't Speak" because of the band's deliberate policy of having the two separate (the "Sing Don't Speak" follow-up single had peaked at No. 36 in December 1972 – their final chart entry). The second album "Strangers" was recorded in 1974 but shelved - eventually turning up on Import Records in the USA in 1977 (not that anyone noticed). And the final platter "Gun Running" made it to a DJM catalogue number but naught else - it too shelved as the band disintegrated.

This beautifully presented and superb-sounding 3CD Mini Box Set from 7T’s aims to bring the lot together - and does so in style. That's the good news - unfortunately it's very easy to hear why albums number 2 and 3 were shelved and why all those non-album track singles were failing - they just weren't that good as their style of music veered from this to that without recapturing the magic of those initial issues. Stylistically the officially-released "Nothing To Hide" LP is a hard-to-nail-down hybrid – Rock one moment – vocal harmonies the next. Chart Pop ends Side 1 only to have monster Atomic Rooster Guitar riffage open Side 2. It's a sort of Hollies meets Budgie meets T.Rex meets The Moody Blues mash-up of genres and voices. But the good stuff is great and along with the better cuts on those rare B-sides is worth the purchase. I just wish the rest lived up to that initial flourish. Here are the in-depth details...

UK released 27 January 2017 (3 February 2017 in the USA) - "The Albums" by BLACKFOOT SUE on 7T's/Cherry Red GLAMBOX163 (Barcode 5013929056305) is a 3CD Mini Box Set containing Three Albums and Eight Bonus Track Single-Sides - it plays out as follows:

Disc 1 "Nothing To Hide" (60:35 minutes):
1. Messiah
2. Country Home
3. Cry
4. My Oh My
5. Now We're Three
6. The Spring Of '69 [Side 2]
7. Glittery Obituary
8. On His Own
9. Too Soon
10. Gypsy Jam
Tracks 1 to 10 are their debut album "Nothing To Hide" - released 20 April 1973 in the UK on Jam Records JAL 104 (no US release). Produced by NOEL WALKER - it failed to chart.

BONUS TRACKS (all tracks non-album):
11. Standing In The Road
12. Celestial Plain
Tracks 11 and 12 are the A&B-sides of their debut UK 7" single on Jam Records JAM 13, released 2 June 1972
13. Sing Don't Speak
14. 2 B Free
Tracks 13 and 14 are the A&B-sides of their 2nd UK 7" single on Jam Records JAM 29, released 10 November 1972
15. Summer (From The Seasons Suite)
16. Morning Light
Tracks 15 and 16 are the A&B-sides of their 3rd UK 7" single on Jam Records JAM 44, released 20 April 1973
17. Get It All To Me
Track 17 is the A-side of their 4th UK 7" single on Jam Records JAM 53, released 14 September 1973
The "Nothing To Hide" album track "My Oh My" was its B-side

Disc 2 "Strangers" (38:46 minutes):
1. Care To Believe
2. Touch The Sky
3. Shoot All Strangers
4. Nostalgia Ain't (What It Used To Be)
5. Bye Bye Birmingham
6. Join Together
7. 1812
Tracks 1 to 7 are the aborted album "Strangers" recorded 1974 at CBS Studios in London, UK. It was eventually released 1977 in the USA on Import Records IMP 1007 as "Strangers".

BONUS TRACK:
8. You Need Love - Non-album Track issued as the A-side to DJM Records DJS 326, their 6th UK 7" single released 27 September 1974
(Their 5th UK 7" single was "Bye Bye Birmingham" from the aborted "Strangers" album as the A-side with the "Nothing To Hide" opener "Messiah" as it's B-side on DJM Records DJS 296 - released 8 March 1974)

Disc 3 "Gun Running" (36:41 minutes):
1. Care To Believe (Version 2)
2. Blue Eyes
3. Cruising The Highway
4. Wanted Gun
5. Moonshine
6. Taking The Fire
7. Pick me Up Put Me Down
8. Corrie
9. 4.40 Jive
Tracks 1 to 9 are their aborted 3rd album "Gun Running" recorded July 1975 in the UK. The original master tapes (minus harpsichord) were thought to be lost but have been located - this Remaster representing the first time the album is made available on CD as was intended.

BLACKFOOT SUE was:
TONY FARMER - Bass, Keyboards and Lead Vocals
DAVID FARMER - Drums and Vocals
EDDIE GOLGA - Lead Guitar, Keyboards and Vocals
ALAN JONES - Guitar and Vocals

The 20-page booklet is a gorgeous thing to look at - loads of repro 45s and all those rare Euro and Japanese picture sleeves on almost every page as well as concert posters and memorabilia montages of sheet music and trade paper reviews. Irritatingly the lyrics that were on the rear sleeve are AWOL - but other than that the PHIL HENDRICK liner notes are pleasingly thorough. JAMES BRAGG does the Remasters from original tapes and everything on here 'rocks'. The singles are the best I've ever heard them and the same applies to the albums.

The meat and potatoes here is the singles and debut album "Nothing To Hide". The five-minute "Messiah" thinks it’s the "Boston" debut album three years before the event - all thrashing guitars and big hair Rock - even if the 'messiah takin' me higha' lyrics are a tad cringeworthy. It's a damn shame they didn't thinking of using the Funky-Rock of "Country Home" as the follow-up to "Standing In The Road" - I could hear its hooky commercialism maybe making inroads into the radio of the day (very cool guitar work). The drums and rapid acoustic guitars of "Cry" come out of your speakers with a vengeance sounding not unlike The Hollies with Alan Clarke on Lead Vocals - those voices and clever melody changes. The catchy Boogie of "My Oh My" would have to wait until September 1973 to see a 7" single outing - and then as the B-side to the brilliant "Get It All To Me" - an equally strong A-side. Over on Side 2 I've always liked the Acoustic pretty "On His Own" (a tad hissy) where the band sounds like a grown-up Monkees or Rascals. "Too Soon" opens with guitar pings and space - Blackfoot Sue sounding like Blue Oyster Cult - while "Gypsy Jam" only compounds the style confusion with treated guitars that sound like violin notes - The Flock meets Love Sculpture doing a duet to the instrumental end.

I wish I could say that the two aborted albums represent some kind of treasure trove - despite moments - mostly they don't. The lack of a distinctive Blackfoot Sue sound afflicts "Strangers" where the ridiculous 11-minute "1812" is a re-working of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture - something already done by ELO in 1970. The sappy instrumental "Summer" with its washing waves and fay prettiness is trying to go after the "Albatross" vibe and failing - far better is the jaunty chug of "Morning Light" could easily have been a cool Hollies single.

Blackfoot Sue were like Ashton, Gardner & Dyke with "The Resurrection Shuffle" or Duncan Browne with "Journey" or Matthews Southern Comfort with Joni's "Woodstock - all artists with killer singles they didn't put on their UK albums and paid the price for it. They would shorten to the name to Blackfoot for MCA and thereafter morph into the Yacht Rock act Liner and have a few hits on Atlantic Records.

To sum up - "The Albums" by BLACKFOOT SUE is not quite the magic box you would want it to be - but there's enough hear to warrant purchase. And fans of the band will love the superb presentation and best-ever audio...
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 24, 2017 9:03 AM GMT


Rebirth
Rebirth
Price: £8.08

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "...A Chance To Be A Spirit..." - Rebirth by BLONDE ON BLONDE (2017 Esoteric Recordings 'Expanded Edition' CD Remaster), 22 Feb. 2017
This review is from: Rebirth (Audio CD)
You wouldn't expect South Wales (Newport to be exact) to be a hotbed of Sixties and Seventies Prog - but BLONDE ON BLONDE and their four album catalogue would beg to differ. Their Pye Records debut LP "Contrasts" (NSPL 18288) hit the streets in 1969 - their career ending in acrimony, poor sales and an unreleased 1974 last album on Ember that even got to Test Pressing stages.

This superb 2017 CD reissue pair from England's Esoteric Recordings (part of Cherry Red) concentrates on their second and third platters - "Rebirth" from 1970 and it's follow-up "Reflections On A Life" in 1971 - both on Pye's budget label of the time - Ember Records. Each is an 'Expanded Edition' newly remastered from original Ember tapes. Here are the newborn details...

UK released 27 January 2017 (February 2017 in the USA) - "Rebirth" by BLONDE ON BLONDE on Esoteric Recordings ECLEC 2572 (Barcode 5013929467248) is an 'Expanded Edition' CD Reissue and Remaster with Three Bonus Tracks (Two Previously Unreleased) and plays out as follows (56:26 minutes):

1. Castles In The Sky
2. Broken Hours
3. Heart Without A Home
4. Time Is Passing
5. Circles
6. November [Side 2]
7. Colour Questions
8. You'll Never Know Me/Release
Tracks 1 to 8 are their 2nd studio album "Rebirth" (credited as "Re-birth" on the label) - released May 1970 in the UK on Ember Records NR 5049 (no US issue). Produced by the band - it failed to chart in the UK.

BONUS TRACKS:
9. Circles (Single Version) - Non-Album Track, B-side to "Castles In The Sky", a UK 7" single released 24 April 1970 on Ember EMB S 279
10. Castles In The Sky (Alternate Version - Previously Unreleased)
11. Time Is Passing (Alternate Version - Previously Unreleased)

BLONDE ON BLONDE was:
DAVID THOMAS - Vocals
GARETH JOHNSON - Guitars
RICHARD JOHN - Bass
LESLIE HICKS - Drums

The 20-page booklet is a pleasingly thorough affair with new liner notes from noted writer MALCOLM DOME. He interviews founder members David Thomas and Gareth Johnson for the release who give witty and honest appraisals of what was good (got to support huge bands of the day - The Who, Genesis, Deep Purple, Wishbone Ash and Graham Bond - even opening ahead of a decimated Fleetwood Mac) - and the bad (record company disinterest - a Melody Maker review that killed momentum - songs foisted on them they detested like "Castles In The Sky". You also get the lovely Esa Besalel gatefold artwork (Edward St. Maur took the photos) fully reproduced including the wildly-excited liner notes from British Rock DJ Tommy Vance (ex BBC) and the USA's equivalent John Mendelsohn (contributed to Rolling Stone and Coast Magazine) - both extolling the album's nose-down Psych-Rock approach and delivery (no pretentious 200-piece Orchestra here pal). There are photos of the "Castles In The Sky" UK 7" single in its rare Ember Records label bag (a Demo version) and the even harder-to-find picture sleeve of it that came with certain copies is repro'd on Page 14 along with other black and whites. There's even a Tour poster from 24 and 25 August 1969 that features BOB alongside such notables as Fairport Convention, The Incredible String Band, Blossom Toes, Family, Traffic and The Bonzo Dog Doodah Band (what a line-up).

BEN WISEMAN – an Audio Engineer who has done loads of superlative work with Esoteric, Universal and many other labels over the years – has taken the Ember tapes and made a damn good fist of the distinctly lo-fi recordings. The shimmering cymbals lead-in – guitars and then voices – “Broken Hours” sounds damn good and with that Psych guitar kicking in – you can so hear why collectors rate their three albums so much. A quality job done on what must have been a difficult transfer...

The "Castles In The Sky" pop single written by Eve King (John King's wife) and Paul Smith (who had penned songs for Simon Dupree And The Big Sound before they later became Gentle Giant) is given short shift by band guitarist Gareth Johnson in the liner notes where he describes it as a 'terrible song' foisted on them by BBC Producer John King and not in keeping with the band's vision. Far better is the rollicking almost Hawkwind drone of "Heart Without A Home" where Johnson gets to wig out on his axes. Vocalist David Thomas gets all 'son leaving home - wanting to be free' on the very Moody Blues "Time Is Passing" - quite possibly another single on an album that doesn't have many. Side 1 ends in a Psych collector's dream - the 'silent world keeps turning around' of "Circles" where huge drums crash and a crudely recorded fuzzed-up guitar tries to get heard (dig that wild solo). I have to say I prefer the album mix of the song to the 45 version - more punch.

There's a rather naive sound to Side 2's opener "November" - Thomas' vocals all echoed for effect - the guitar ever so slightly crude in that homemade way that makes these kind of albums a thrill for collectors who like it unpolished - all feel and passion. The 12-minute racially right-on "Colour Questions" is the album's centrepiece - a sophisticated guitar rumble and rant that feels like "Coming Your Way" from Fleetwood Mac's "Then Play On" album from the year previous. Guitarist Johnson really gets to let rip on various devices - and you can 'feel' his enjoyment. It chops and changes into acoustic/vocal passages and back into wild Prog electric - a monster that would do heavy Van Der Graaf Generator fans a solid. The near 8-minute ballad "You'll Never Know Me/Release" is probably the most sophisticated song on the album - an impressive array of chunky piano chords and clever combo vocals.

"Rebirth" is very much of its time and those expecting Hard Rock or Van Morrison type musings should probably dabble elsewhere. But if you like your Psych with a bit of homemade British Prog thrown in - then this muscular-sounding CD reissue is the baby out the bathwater for you...
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Vintage Violence
Vintage Violence
Price: £5.53

4.0 out of 5 stars "...Don't Want To Be Like All The Rest..." - Vintage Violence by JOHN CALE (2001 Columbia/Legacy 'Expanded Edition' CD Remaster), 22 Feb. 2017
This review is from: Vintage Violence (Audio CD)
Given that Welshman JOHN CALE had been with The Velvets for their monster March 1967 debut "The Velvet Underground And Nico" - following in November of that year with the even more challenging "White Light, White Noise" album and then having produced the definitive early Punk/Garage album - The Stooges self-titled debut "The Stooges" (a destroyer of all that comes in its path) - big things were expected of the Bass Player's debut. It would of course be the most mule-rockin', nadge-kickin' debut album ever released.

Instead we got the weedy pop-country mishmash of "Vintage Violence" - and I can remember as a kid when I first heard it thinking 'this is crap'. And he absolutely didn't have the cool in his voice that Lou Reed could so effortlessly conjure up. But time and hindsight have mellowed me - and every few years I try "Vintage" once again. And each time I think - ok - the pretty "Amsterdam" and the Beach Boys pop of "Adelaide" alongside that Country Byrds/melodious Tommy Flanders combo-sound Cale gets on the undeniably good "Ghost Story" - it's not nearly as bad as I had thought - in fact its possibly a misunderstood beast. Here are the post mortem details...

UK released 13 February 2001 (reissued 27 June 2003 and beyond) - "Vintage Violence" by JOHN CALE on Columbia/Legacy 499945 2 (Barcode 5099749994522) is an 'Expanded Edition' CD Remaster with Two Previously Unreleased Bonus Tracks that plays out as follows (44:54 minutes):

1. Hello, There
2. Gideon's Bible
3. Adelaide
4. Big White Cloud
5. Cleo
6. Please
7. Charlemange [Side 2]
8. Bring It On Up
9. Amsterdam
10. Ghost Story
11. Fairweather Friend
Tracks 1 to 11 are his debut solo LP "Vintage Violence" - released July 1970 in the USA on Columbia CS 1037 - delayed until February 1971 in the UK on CBS Records S 64256. Produced by JOHN CALE and LEWIS MERENSTEIN (recorded in 1969 the same week as "Church Of Anthrax" with Terry Riley - which wasn't issued until February 1971) - it failed to chart in either country. All songs written by John Cale - except "Fairweather Friend" which is by Garland Jeffreys.

BONUS TRACKS:
12. Fairweather Friend (Previously Unreleased Alternate Version)
13. Wall (Previously Unreleased)

The 8-page booklet has new liner notes from MARGARET MOSER - several black and white photos of the young Welshman and the usual re-issue credits (Bruce Dickenson Produced the Reissue with Project Director Paul Matheny) and there's new input from Cale himself. But in some ways it's a slight and frustrating read in what it 'doesn't' say. What was the album’s actual release date (they get the catalogue number wrong as CS 1007 when it was CS 1037) - who plays Harmonica on "Adelaide" - why CBS in England waiting until two months before the "Church Of Anthrax" release with Terry Riley in April 1971 before they released John Cale's "Vintage Violence"? Why the Phil Spector production melodrama on the overly echoed "Big White Cloud" - why even chose it as a single? And why not take this opportunity to reproduce the lyrics?

Still - what we do get for "Vintage Violence" is a gorgeous Remaster courtesy of DARCY M. PROPER - a Sony Audio Engineer who handled the Kansas CD Reissues for "Point Of Know Return" and Leftoverture". The incredible quiet and ethereal "Amsterdam" sounds beautiful and there's oomph in the jaunty 'come back again this year' opener "Hello, There" – a song that feels like it would fit nicely on the Velvets "Loaded" album.

Wikipedia lists it release date as March 1970 – it was first pictured June 1970 in Billboard but didn't appear on an actual release schedule until July – wasn't reviewed until September 1970 in Rolling Stone and is listed as released December 1970 in Martin Strong's "The Great Rock Discography". And don't get started on the delayed UK release date - February 1971 - just two months before the collaboration LP "Church Of Anthrax" with Terry Riley. I've put "Vintage Violence" as being released July 1970 in the USA - which is when Billboard gave it an official release date slot (the material was famously recorded in 1969 in the same week Cale reveals as he recorded "Church Of Anthrax" with Avant Garde artist Terry Riley who was signed to Columbia Masterworks).

Re-listening to the dreadfully coy "Cleo" and the pedal steel guitar "Please" - I hate the first and quite dig the second. He'd strung his band PENGUIN together for the sessions and their playing on "Please" and the Side 2 opener "Charlemagne" add a huge amount to the 'feel'. Having said that there’s part of me that feels much of "Vintage Violence" is firmly in the 'what was he thinking' bracket – but when you hear the undeniably brill melody of "Ghost Story" and the Jeffreys contribution "Fairweather Friend" – it’s impressive.

John Cale's "Vintage Violence" has always been a 5 out of 10 LP - a work of melodic genius - or dismissible dross - you take your pick. But worth another punt – I think so...
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Dragonfly
Dragonfly
Price: £6.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...Delicate, Tranquil and Tender..." - Dragonfly by STRAWBS (2008 A&M/UMC 'Expanded Edition' CD Remaster), 20 Feb. 2017
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Dragonfly (MP3 Download)
The first two STRAWBS albums - the self-titled "Strawbs" debut in June 1969 and its more accomplished follow up - February 1970's "Dragonfly" highlighted a band very much on the up - growing in stature with each rapid release - receiving critical acclaim and a fattening fan base - but still finding chart action elusive.

As a rarities buyer in Reckless (London) for nearly 20 years - I can count on one hand the number of times I saw Tan A&M label UK originals of either vinyl LP. Both are forgotten gems filled with music that's daring and reaching and often out-and-out beautiful. So it's with some pleasure that I come to this superb 2008 CD Remaster - expanding the original 9-track LP with 4 Bonus Tracks - giving gorgeous new audio to an LP that cries out for rediscovery. Here are the Visionary Ladies in the Lake...

UK released August 2008 - "Dragonfly" by STRAWBS on A&M Records/UMC 5302680 (Barcode 600753026809) is an 'Expanded Edition' CD Remaster with Four Bonus Tracks and plays out as follows (49:29 minutes):

1. The Weary Song
2. Dragonfly
3. I Turned My Face To The Wind
4. Josephine, For Better Or Worse
5. Another Day
6. Til The Sun Comes Shining Through [Side 2]
7. Young Again
8. The Vision Of The Lady In The Lake
9. Close Your Eyes
Tracks 1 to 9 are their 2nd studio album "Dragonfly" - released February 1970 in the UK on A&M Records AMLS 970 (no USA release). Produced by TONY VISCONTI - it failed to chart in the UK. All tracks written by Dave Cousins - except "Young Again" by Tony Hooper.

BONUS TRACKS:
10. We'll Meet Again Sometime [Recorded at Trident Studios, London in June 1969]
11. Forever [Non-Album Track, A-side to a UK 7" single on A&M AMS 791 - released July 1970 with the LP cut "Another Day" as the B-side]
12. Another Day
13. We'll Meet Again Someday [Tracks 12 and 13 recorded for the BBC's John Peel 'Top Gear' Radio Show on 7 September 1969]

STRAWBS was:
DAVE COUSINS - Vocals, Guitars, Piano, Dulcimer, 'Chinese Piano' and Percussion
TONY HOOPER - Vocals, Acoustic and Electric Guitars, Tambourine and Percussion
RON CHESTERMAN - Double Bass
CLAIRE DENIZ - Cello

Guests:
TONY VISCONTI - Recorder on "Dragonfly" and "Young Again"
RICK WAKEMAN – Piano, PAUL BRETT - Lead Guitar and BJARNE ROSTVOLD - Drums - all on "The Vision Of The Lady In The Lake"

The 16-page booklet is a lovely thing to behold and pleasingly in-depth and a nice touch is the Tan Label for the CD aping the original English LP rarity. MARK POWELL of the quality reissue label Esoteric Recordings (part of Cherry Red UK) provides the superb new liner notes chronicling the band's history from 1968/1969 darlings of Progressive Folk with Sandy Denny before she jumped ship for Fairport Convention to the re-jiggered Strawbs on the cusp of 'a new musical rebirth' with 1971's "From The Witchwood". The rare lyric insert that came with original 1970 British LPs has its words reproduced on Pages 8 to 14 - there's a photo of the stand-alone British 45 for "Forever" (a session outtake released one week after the new line-up had recorded the 11 July 1970 Queen Elizabeth Hall gig that would become the live LP "Just Another Collection Of Antiques And Curios") as well as repro of a rare A&M Records trade advert trying to drum up interest in their 'new one'. The beautiful 'Dragonfly' painting/logo done by Roger Saunders that so elevated the artwork of the original LP crops up throughout the text - as do black and whites of Dave Cousins - all neatly wrapped up with the usual re-issue credits.

PASCHAL BYRNE and BEN WISEMAN (of Audio Archiving) did the Remaster and these hugely experienced Audio Engineers have pulled off a winner. Those slightly Psych-sounding keyboards of Rick Wakeman (before he joined the ranks of Yes and helped out David Bowie sessions in 1971) have amazing clarity on the epic 10-minute "The Vision Of The Lady In The Lake". And that loose English Folk Band 'live in the studio' feel to the Danish sessions (recorded in Copenhagen) is captured so well on tracks like "I Turn My Face To The Wall" and the gorgeous opener "The Weary Song" – Chesterman's Double Bass and Claire Deniz's Cello leaping out the speakers in all the right ways.

Musically I'm reminded of The Incredible String Band experimenting with and bending the barriers of Rock with string instruments and wondering why this superb album didn’t make The Strawbs huge. The musical lushness of "The Weary Song" and the Dulcimer beauty of "Dragonfly" that soon expands into an Acid-Folk dream are both utterly brilliant – the remaster beautifully accenting those heavily drawn string notes and percussive bell tinkles – our Dave lying awake at night waiting for those North winds to blow. The piano/string combo of "I Turned My Face To The Wind" has traces of The Moody Blues and Procol Harum in its melody and slightly sad 'mist rolled down the countryside' lyrics. And even though it's a mere 2:36 minutes long - "I Turned My Face To The Wind" manages to feel more epic than its playing time. Back to the sublime with one of Cousins' loveliest airs – the nuptials/betrothing ballad "Josephine, For Better Or Worse". The Remaster on this track is astounding – as clear as I've ever heard this song. Side A ends with "Another Day" where its jolly upbeat nature makes it the most poppy of tracks on a Folk-Rock LP - like they were aiming for a single.

Side 2 gives us the first trace of hiss with "'Til The Sun Comes Shining Through" - a split-vocal peach that floats like Nick Drake or John Martyn over on Island Records. It's hugely romantic 'my love a primrose fair' lyrics are complimented by sweet acoustic guitars and that soaring cello - Visconti making certain to accentuate the lot. "...Laughing as they run..." go the words to "Young Again" - a gorgeous Tony Hooper song that sounds like its sentiments - where simple pleasures make you and I "...young again...". The lyrics to the mammoth "The Vision Of The Lady In The Lake" take up two pages – but if I'm completely honest I've always found the noises in the background as the verses pass more intrusive than complimentary – and that drums/guitar break about six minutes in kills it for me. Others of course will view it as Prog Folk/Acid Folk at its expressive wild best (one man's poison etc). By way of melodic compensation for the indulgence that just went before – we get the 49-second "Close Your Eyes" ditty that ends Side 2 – leaving the listener panting for more (of the same).

All four of the Bonus Tracks have much to recommend – the Lindisfarne bop of the outtake "We'll Meet Again Sometime" would have been a very cool signal with its 'look upon your loveliness' vibe. An acoustic guitar opening quickly followed by Bowie Cello notes introduces the stand-alone British 45 "Forever" - a good song that is perhaps too overly busy for its own good – and stylistically too similar to The Moody Blues. But I must admit it's an amazing piece of well-produced melodrama and a huge fan rarity finally on CD. The two BBC Sessions are pleasingly well recorded – those duet vocals very clear as are the strings and acoustic guitars. But for me it's the version of "We’ll Meet Again Sometime" that feels special – stripped of that over-production – it makes you concentrate on The Hollies vocals and the 'my love reflected in your eyes' the-boy's-in-love lyrics. Very nice...

London's Psych-Folk-Rockers would have to wait until John Ford and Richard Hudson joined the line-up in June 1970 and recorded what would be November 1970's live album "Just A Collection Of Antiques And Curios" to chart in Blighty - a modest No. 27 - but a start nonetheless. July 1971 would give us "From The Witchwood" and February 1972 the breakthrough album "Grave New World" which finally saw them go Top 20 peaking at an impressive No. 11 (see separate review).

Overlooked – unfairly forgotten – a bit of a friggin' masterpiece frankly – The Strawbs' second album "Dragonfly" is all of these things. And how good is it to hear this amazing CD Remaster do that flirting moment of musical brilliance a proper solid. Big respect to all involved...


Hey Jude
Hey Jude
Offered by RevisionNet
Price: £9.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...When The Sun Shines..." - Hey Jude by THE BEATLES (2014 Apple 'The U.S. Albums' CD Album Repro - 2009 Stereo Remasters), 19 Feb. 2017
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Hey Jude (Audio CD)
*** This Review Is For The 2014 Card Repro Sleeve Reissue - Individual Album Release from "The U.S. Albums" Box Set ***

I've always held a torch for this forgotten American compilation - a stopgap between September 1969's "Abbey Road" and the wait for the 'new' and final Beatles album - "Let It Be" in May 1970. And while American fans have grown up with the 10-track "Hey Jude" retrospective as if it were the most natural thing in the world (essentially a chronological line-up of non-album singles) - British fans rarely saw 1970 UK originals because of their rarity.

The original vinyl album was US-released 26 February 1970 on Apple SW 385 – a common record in secondhand bargain bins across the USA for decades to come (some re-pressed copies titled it "The Beatles’ Again"). But in England it was initially 1970 released as an 'Export Only' LP with the super rare Parlophone CPSC 106 catalogue number (laminate sleeve as opposed to the American card issue). No one seems to know how many of these were pressed for 'Export Only' but it wasn't vast. Hence the biggest band in the world had a rarity that now clocks in at a whopping £600 in the 2018 issue of the Record Collector 'Rare Record Price Guide'. Its official UK issue to Joe Public didn't inexplicably come until the end of the decade on Apple PCS 7184 - released 21 May 1979 - nine years after the event. It was quickly deleted and that pressing has also been hard to find ever since too. Which brings us to the digital age...

"Hey Jude" and its history on CD has been the subject of countless bootlegs (some with bonus tracks) - until now. Using the 9 September 2009 Remasters - at last EMI/Capitol has reissued all of the American-configured albums in "The U.S. Albums" Box Set - released 21 January 2014. If you don't want the large and expensive Box - each has been given an individual issue too (except "The Beatles Story" which is exclusive to the Box Set). While most of the CDs in that Box Set contain the Mono and Stereo variants of their American LPs - only "Hey Jude" and "The Beatles' Story" are presented in STEREO. So what we have here is a Repro of the 10-track LP as originally released in the spring of 1970. Here are the 'Christ you know it ain't easy' details...

UK and US released 21 January 2014 - "Hey Jude" by THE BEATLES on Apple B0019710-02 (Barcode 602537643738) is a straightforward 10-track CD reissue of the 1970 American compilation LP (aka "The Beatles Again") in STEREO only and plays out as follows (33:24 minutes):

1. Can't Buy Me Love
2. I Should Have Known Better
3. Paperback Writer
4. Rain
5. Lady Madonna
6. Revolution
7. Hey Jude [Side 2]
8. Old Brown Shoe
9. Don't Let Me Down
10. The Ballad Of John And Yoko

As you can see from the photos provided below - the repro is an accurate depiction of Apple SW 385. There's an OBI strip with the 50th Anniversary logo (the Box set was issued to celebrate the British band's earth-shattering first visit to America in February 1964) and a plain white inner bag with the SW 385 catalogue number. But disappointingly there are no liner notes or booklet. But that all pales because what gets me is the 'listen'...

People raved about the 'Red' and "Blue' doubles when they were released in 1973 - the way the tracks were so brilliantly configured on each double-album - non-album single sides following choice album cuts. With "Hey Jude" you get the same feeling. The way "Paperback Writer" follows the Side 1 openers "Can't Buy Me Love" and "I Should Have Known Better" shows a line of creative growth that's staggering. The next three cleverly keep up this 'anything can happen next' momentum with the guitar-jangle of the lesser heard "Rain" - the non-album British B-side of "Paperback Writer" in June 1966. We then leap to March 1968 with the UK A-side "Lady Madonna" - Macca having fun with lyrics like 'creeping like a nun' while the boys bah-bah-bah behind some brass. The Apple side ends with the monster guitars of Lennon's stunning "Revolution" - a hundred million light years away from the mop tops that charmed everyone in 1963 and 1964 (you know it's gonna be alright).

Side 2 opens gives us the full 7:10-minute range of "Hey Jude" – a McCartney ballad that to this day astonishes with its sheer staying power (rocking John held the B-side with "Revolution"). George Harrison finally gets his moment to shine with the slightly throwaway "Old Brown Shoe" while I’ve always argued that "Don't Let Me Down" would have elevated the "Let It Be" album into immortality and is the greatest B-side ever penned. Lennon brings wit and reality to proceedings with the deceptively brilliant "The Ballad Of John And Yoko" - Macca's counter vocal so damn good - and those lyrics "...newspapers say she's gone to his head...they look like two gurus in drag..."

They were so grown up and yet so far apart (that photo on the rear sleeve) when this compilation hit the streets in a country that took them into their very souls. One of those knock-offs that works - and wouldn't John and George have loved that...
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The Fantasy Film World Of Bernard Herrmann
The Fantasy Film World Of Bernard Herrmann
Price: £5.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "...Tiny Princess..." - The Fantasy Film World of Bernard Hermann (2016 El Records CD Remasters), 17 Feb. 2017
First up - the artwork presented on Amazon differs to what I bought on El Records. The cover art of this superlative 2016 CD Reissue/Remaster is a black and white still of Kathryn Grant as Princess Parisa from "The 7th Voyage Of Sinbad" (1958) sat on the side of a plate - made 'tiny princess' by the evil spell of Torin Thatcher as Sokurah The Magician and the genius photographic-manipulation of Ray Harryhausen and his stop-gap studio boffins (techniques especially invented for the movie). But don't let that put you off this wickedly good release.

The 16-page booklet for "The Fantasy Film World Of Bernard Herrmann" on El Records ACMEM312CD (Barcode 5013929331235) is a fact-filled gem with both colour and B&W stills from the six films featured below alongside snaps of both Herrmann (conducting) and Harryhausen (painting) as well as gorgeous film posters for "7th Voyage", "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir" and "Beneath The 12-Mile Reef" (in English) and "The Day The Earth Stood Still" (in French). There are 31 tracks from six movies and a generous playing time of 79:18 minutes - all original music Remastered. The Audio ranges from superb (the first two films) to good on the rest with Mrs. Muir being the oldest. It breaks down as follows…

The 7th Voyage Of Sinbad (1958)
1. Overture/Baghdad
2. Night magic/Tiny Princess/Street Music
3. The Roc/The Nest
4. The Skeleton/The Duel With The Skeleton/The Sword

The Day The Earth Stood Still (1959)
5. Prelude/Outer Space/Radar
6. Solar Diamonds
7. Nocturne/The Flashlight/The Robot/Space Control
8. The Elevator/The Magnetic Pull/The Study/The Conference/The Jeweller/12.30
9. Finale

The Ghost And Mrs. Muir (1947)
10. Prelude
11. Local Train
12. The Ghost
13. About Ships
14. London
15. Spring Sea
16. The Home
17. The Passing Years
18. Late Sea
19. Forever

Journey To The Center Of The Earth (1959)
20. Prelude
21. Sign/Sleep/False Arrows/Grotto
22. Salt Slides/The Pool/Dead Groom/The Gun
23. The Lost City/Atlantis

Beneath The 12-Mile Reef (1953)
24. Prelude
25. Undersea
26. Homecoming
27. The Quiet Sea
28. Flirtation
29. Descending
30. The Lagoon

The Portrait Of Jennie (1948)
31. Jennie's Song

Film-music nutters of a portly vintage need only hear certain hallowed names and will go weak at their proverbial knee replacements - Ennio Morricone, John Barry and of course - the mightiest emotional-drama/terror-merchant of them all - BERNARD HERRMANN. When you think about Orson Wells and "Citizen Kane", Hitchcock's "Vertigo" and Martin Scorsese's "Taxi Driver" - that's a pretty impressive resume - and they're outside the remit of this reissue. What you do get is fabulously clear audio for those genuinely scary moments when a Terry Dactyl is making off with your girly - a skeleton with a sword wants to decapitate your Aunty Flo or a Robot with a death-ray wants to zap your sister because she's wearing too much make-up - then BH is your man.

As I listen to "The Skeleton" from Sinbad or "About Ships" from Muir or the utterly brill "Outer Space/Radar" from Earth Stood Still with that Theremin practically defining Sci-Fi Movie Sounds for generations to come - I'm amazed at how ingrained this visual music is in your subconscious (some of this is new to CD). And just when you think BH is all about the drama and sweep and nothing else – he hits you with the unexpected loveliness of "The Ghost And Mrs. Muir". I bought the DVD to "Mrs. Muir" some years back (I've a thing for Gene Tierney movies) and I'm taken aback at how the BH melodies have stayed with me all this time (it's said to be one of his personal favourites).

Playing "False Arrows" and "Grotto" and those dated but still cool special-effects scenes in "Journey To The Center Of The Earth" jump into your mind as you listen. Admittedly I've never seen either "Beneath The 12-Mile Reef" or "The Portrait Of Jennie" (the booklet has a full-page black and white still from "Jennie") - so the music is new to me. But both display that classic melodrama Herrmann seems to tap into - like someone's going to be stabbed any second now and they don't see it coming. If I was to point out a downside (if you could call it that) - I would have to say that Herrmann can be an exhausting listen at times. His music was made for maximum impact at the cinema and not really to be listened to as an isolated thing - so all that shock 'n' awe staccato string-pulling can become a tad too much after a while. But mostly – as I play trigger after song-trigger - it's been a real blast to revisit what are great childhood memories for me.

There's no getting away from it. This is a fantastic release from El Records (part of Cherry Red of the UK) and another winner in their championing of Soundtrack music by Herrmann, John Barry (his Ember years) and other film genii like Orson Wells (see also their releases supporting Avant Garde artists like Stockhausen, Edgard Varese, Charles Ives and Wally Stott etc).

"The Fantasy Film World Of Bernard Herrmann" is music that needed to be saved for posterity and El have done so with style and real care. Highly recommended...


The Classic Film Music of John Barry Volume 2 by John Barry
The Classic Film Music of John Barry Volume 2 by John Barry
Offered by Brightwell77
Price: £26.60

5.0 out of 5 stars Remakes Hit The Mark - "The Classic Film Music Of John Barry Volume Two" by THE CITY OF PRAGUE ORCHESTRA (Nic Raine), 17 Feb. 2017
As you flick through the superb 16-page booklet that accompanies "The Classic Film Music Of John Barry Volume Two" and pour over the details on each of those memorable films ("The Ipcress File", "The Quiller Memorandum" and "High Road To China" to name but a few) - you wish these were the original recordings and not 'remakes'.

As the pages turn - it certainly looks the Sixties and Seventies part with a couple of repro film posters and iconic image silhouettes nestled alongside knowledgeable liner notes (doesn’t say who wrote them). But there is that inevitable feeling that as a collector and JB aficionado - you want the originals. But I'd argue that this is one of those cases where the interpreters have risen to the task – and you should take a chance on these new versions of old music.

Don't let re-recordings put you off this release for a second. THE CITY OF PRAGUE ORCHESTRA Conducted by Nic Raine are no strangers to the British Maestro's Soundtrack compositions and arrangements. They've done loads of JOHN BARRY work across the decades including a 6CD set in 2014 called "The Music Of JOHN BARRY The Definitive Collection" which encompassed his huge career from 1959 to 2001 (Silva Screen SILCD 1445 – Barcode 738572144524).

Soundtrack specialists Silva Screen aren’t scrimping it either here – at 78:08 minutes total playing time – you’re getting a lot of great music in new digital versions. Here are the details for Silva Screen FILMCD 169 (Barcode 5014929016924):

1. High Road To China Suite (8:10 minutes)
2. The Wrong Box Theme (2:46 minutes)
3. The Ipcress File - A Man Alone (3:59 minutes)
4. The Black Hole Suite (4:54 minutes)
5. The Appointment Theme (2:18 minutes)
6. The Scarlet Letter Love Theme (3:03 minutes)
7. Monte Walsh Theme (11:10 minutes)
8. The Knack Theme (1:46 minutes)
9. Cry The Beloved Country Theme (4:32 minutes)
10. The Dove Suite (6:28 minutes)
11. Walkabout Theme (3:47 minutes)
Mary, Queen Of Scots Suite
12. Vivre et Mourir (2:11 minutes)
13. But Not Through My Realm (4:47 minutes)
14. This Way Mary (Mary's Theme) (4:15 minutes)
15. The Quiller Memorandum - Wednesday's Child (2:31 minutes)
16. Deadfall - Romance For Guitar and Orchestra (10:52 minutes)

Highlights include his rare foray into Westerns with "Monte Walsh" which feels like "Rawhide" until it breaks out into an amazing passage of sweeping Out Of Africa type music about half way through. The "High Road To China" Suite suits the movies swashbuckling –in-the-sky adventure where drunken ace pilot Tom Selleck transports rich socialite Beth Armstrong in a search for her kidnapped father. And I cannot get enough of "The Ipcress File" – remake or not. Plus the three sections from the "Mary, Queen Of Scots" Suite are JB music that shouldn’t be lost to the mists of time or availability.

"The Classic Film Music Of John Barry Volume Two" is a very cool little CD that’s now criminally forgotten (deleted too but still cheap as chips) - and shouldn’t be. Besides - any disc celebrating this dapper British gent and his musical-score genius is good news in my books. Rec


Classic John Barry 2
Classic John Barry 2

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Remakes Hit The Mark - "The Classic Film Music Of John Barry Volume Two" by THE CITY OF PRAGUE ORCHESTRA (Nic Raine), 17 Feb. 2017
This review is from: Classic John Barry 2 (Audio CD)
As you flick through the superb 16-page booklet that accompanies "The Classic Film Music Of John Barry Volume Two" and pour over the details on each of those memorable films ("The Ipcress File", "The Quiller Memorandum" and "High Road To China" to name but a few) - you wish these were the original recordings and not 'remakes'.

As the pages turn - it certainly looks the Sixties and Seventies part with a couple of repro film posters and iconic image silhouettes nestled alongside knowledgeable liner notes (doesn’t say who wrote them). But there is that inevitable feeling that as a collector and JB aficionado - you want the originals. But I'd argue that this is one of those cases where the interpreters have risen to the task – and you should take a chance on these new versions of old music.

Don't let re-recordings put you off this release for a second. THE CITY OF PRAGUE ORCHESTRA Conducted by Nic Raine are no strangers to the British Maestro's Soundtrack compositions and arrangements. They've done loads of JOHN BARRY work across the decades including a 6CD set in 2014 called "The Music Of JOHN BARRY The Definitive Collection" which encompassed his huge career from 1959 to 2001 (Silva Screen SILCD 1445 – Barcode 738572144524).

Soundtrack specialists Silva Screen aren’t scrimping it either here – at 78:08 minutes total playing time – you’re getting a lot of great music in new digital versions. Here are the details for Silva Screen FILMCD 169 (Barcode 5014929016924):

1. High Road To China Suite (8:10 minutes)
2. The Wrong Box Theme (2:46 minutes)
3. The Ipcress File - A Man Alone (3:59 minutes)
4. The Black Hole Suite (4:54 minutes)
5. The Appointment Theme (2:18 minutes)
6. The Scarlet Letter Love Theme (3:03 minutes)
7. Monte Walsh Theme (11:10 minutes)
8. The Knack Theme (1:46 minutes)
9. Cry The Beloved Country Theme (4:32 minutes)
10. The Dove Suite (6:28 minutes)
11. Walkabout Theme (3:47 minutes)
Mary, Queen Of Scots Suite
12. Vivre et Mourir (2:11 minutes)
13. But Not Through My Realm (4:47 minutes)
14. This Way Mary (Mary's Theme) (4:15 minutes)
15. The Quiller Memorandum - Wednesday's Child (2:31 minutes)
16. Deadfall - Romance For Guitar and Orchestra (10:52 minutes)

Highlights include his rare foray into Westerns with "Monte Walsh" which feels like "Rawhide" until it breaks out into an amazing passage of sweeping Out Of Africa type music about half way through. The "High Road To China" Suite suits the movies swashbuckling –in-the-sky adventure where drunken ace pilot Tom Selleck transports rich socialite Beth Armstrong in a search for her kidnapped father. And I cannot get enough of "The Ipcress File" – remake or not. Plus the three sections from the "Mary, Queen Of Scots" Suite are JB music that shouldn’t be lost to the mists of time or availability.

"The Classic Film Music Of John Barry Volume Two" is a very cool little CD that’s now criminally forgotten (deleted but still cheap)- and shouldn’t be. And any disc celebrating this man's musical-score genius is good news in my books. Recommended...


2 Classic Albums -Remast-
2 Classic Albums -Remast-
Price: £8.62

4.0 out of 5 stars "...Big Guitar..." - Two Classic Albums Plus Singles 1957-1962 by JOHN BARRY (2016 Real Gone Music 4CD Remasters), 15 Feb. 2017
The American-based Real Gone Music is 'Rhino' under another name - one of my favourite reissue labels in the world - and throughout the 80's and 90's – acknowledged as one of the best (akin to Bear Family of Germany and Ace of England). I've reviewed RGM's 'Complete Atlantic Recordings' 2CD reissues of lesser-known label artists like Bettye Swan, Barbara Lynn and Dee Dee Warwick – carefully mastered Soul retrospectives with detailed booklets and a full-price tag to match (for UK lovers of primo 60ts and 70ts American Soul – RGM's US releases have been much-desired thirteen to eighteen pound imports).

But around 2015 and stretching now into 2017 - Real Gone Music has started-in big time on these 4-disc bulk reissues of budget material here in the UK. This is music that's 'hard to sell' for the want of better words but deserves a second-go-round - stuff like The Staple Singers secular Vee Jay albums in the early Sixties, Ella Mae Morse and her Capitol Records R&B sides from the Forties and Fifties - and this - John Barry's initial career as a UK Pop Instrumentalist with The John Barry Seven and Orchestra on Parlophone and Columbia Records (Autumn 1957 to Winter 1962) and then as a Soundtrack composer with Columbia in 1960 and 1961. It even includes a couple of straggler 45's where he was moonlighting under two pseudonyms.

Visually you get a foldout 4-way card digipak with some period photos on the flaps and a 50ts High Fidelity inner bag repro'd four times beneath each see-through CD tray (this whole series has the same generic '4CD Deluxe' look inside and out). There's no booklet and no discography info either (unfortunately) - so RGM has been able to keep the retail price low – usually at under eight-quid and often cheaper from online retailers. But what you do get is a whopping 75 rare tracks in original form across 4CDs in a reasonable-looking card digipak with genuinely great Remastered Audio. You even get JB's angelic face on the spine. There's a ton of detail to get through so once more unto that crazy, crazy beat...

UK released, 2 September 2016 - "Two Classic Albums Plus Singles 1957-1962" by JOHN BARRY on Real Gone Music RGMCD236 (Barcode 5036408185129) is a 'Deluxe 4CD' Set of 75 Remastered that plays out as follows:

Disc 1 (40:07 minutes):
1. Main Title - Beat Girl
2. The Off Beat
3. I Did What You Told Me (vocals Adam Faith)
4. London Home Rock
5. Time Out
6. The Sharks
7. The Beat Girl Song (vocals Adam Faith)
8. The City 2000 AD
9. The Stripper
10. The Cave - Beat Girl - Kids Stuff [Side 2]
11. Made You (vocals Adam Faith)
12. Car Chase - Night Chase
13. Chicken
14. Blues For Beatniks
15. It's Legal (vocals Shirley Anne Field)
16. The Immediate Pleasure
17. Blondie's Strip
18. End Shot - Slaughter n Soho - Beat Girl
Tracks 1 to 18 are the album "Music From The Film 'Beat Girl'" - released October 1960 in the UK in Mono on Columbia 33SX 1225. It was called "Wild For Kicks" in the USA on later release but had no LP release. It peaked at No. 11 on the UK LP charts.

Disc 2 (40:49 minutes):
1. It Doesn't Matter Anymore
2. Sweet Talk
3. Moody River
4. There's Life In The Old Boy Yet
5. A Handful Of Songs
6. Like Waltz
7. Rodeo
8. Donna's Theme
9. Starfire
10. Baubles, Bangles And Beads
11. Zapata
12. Rum-Dee-Dum-Dee-Dah
13. Spanish Harlem
14. Man From Madrid
15. The Challenge
Tracks 1 to 15 are the album "Stringbeat" - released 1961 in the UK on Columbia 33SX 3401 (Mono) and Columbia SCX 3401 (Stereo).

16. Zip
17. Three Little Fishes
Tracks 16 and 17 are the A&B-sides of a October 1957 UK 7" single on Parlophone R 4363
18. Every Which Way
19. You've Gotta Way
Tracks 18 and 19 are the A&B-sides of a January 1958 UK 7" single on Parlophone R 4394
CREDITS:
Tracks 1 to 15 are by John Barry
Tracks 16 and 17 are by John Barry And The Seven
Tracks 18 and 19 are by The John Barry Seven

Disc 3 (44:05 minutes):
1. Big Guitar
2. Rodeo
Tracks 1 & 2 are the A&B-sides of a March 1958 UK 7" single on Parlophone R 4418
3. Pancho
4. Hideaway
Tracks 3 & 4 are the A&B-sides of a July 1958 UK 7" single on Parlophone R 4453
5. Farrago
6. Bee's Knees
Tracks 5 & 6 are the A&B-sides of a November 1958 UK 7" single on Parlophone R 4488
7. Long John
8. Snap 'N Whistle
Tracks 7 & 8 are the A&B-sides of a February 1959 UK 7" single on Parlophone R 4530
9. Little John
10. For Pete's Sake
Tracks 9 & 10 are the A&B-sides of a June 1959 UK 7" single on Parlophone R 4560
11. Twelfth Street Rag
12. Christella
Tracks 11 & 12 are the A&B-sides of a September 1959 UK 7" single on Parlophone R 4582
13. Hit And Miss
14. Rockin' Already
Tracks 13 and 14 are the A&B-sides of a February 1960 UK 7" single on Columbia 45-DB 4414
15. Beat For Beatniks
16. Big Fella
Tracks 15 and 16 are the A&B-sides of an April 1960 UK 7" single on Columbia 45-DB 4446
17. Never Let Go
18. Blueberry Hill
Tracks 17 and 18 are the A&B-sides of a June 1960 UK 7" single on Columbia 45-DB 4480
CREDITS:
Tracks 1 to 12 are by The John Barry Seven
Tracks 13 and 14 are by The John Barry Seven plus Four
Tracks 15 to 18 are by John Barry And His Orchestra

Disc 4 (37:20 minutes):
1. Walk Don't Run
2. I'm Movin' On
Tracks 1 and 2 are the A&B-sides of a September 1960 UK 7" single on Columbia 45-DB 4505
3. Black Stockings
4. Get Lost Jack Frost
Tracks 3 and 4 are the A&B-sides of a November 1960 UK 7" single on Columbia 45-DB 4554
5. The Magnificent Seven
6. Skid Row
Tracks 5 and 6 are the A&B-sides of a November 1960 UK 7" single on Columbia 45-DB 4554
7. The Menace
Track 7 is the A-side of a June 1961 UK 7" single on Columbia 45-DB 4659 (the B-side is "Rodeo" from 1957, Track 7 on Disc 2)
8. A Matter Of Who
Track 8 is the B-side of a September 1961 UK 7" single on Columbia 45-DB 4569 (the A-side is "Starfire" from the "Stringbeat" Soundtrack, Track 9 on Disc 2)
9. Rocco's Theme (Film "Rocco & His Brothers")
10. Spinneree
Tracks 9 and 10 are the A&B-sides of a September 1961 UK 7" single on Columbia 45-DB 4705 (see Credits)
11. Watch Your Step
12. Twist It
Tracks 11 and 12 are the A&B-sides of a November 1961 UK 7" single on Columbia 45-DB 4746
13. Theme From "The Roman Spring Of Mrs. Stone"
14. Tears
Tracks 13 and 14 are the A&B-sides of a February 1962 UK 7" single on Fontana H 378 (see Credits)
15. Cutty Sark
16. Lost Patrol
Tracks 15 and 16 are the A&B-sides of a March 1962 UK 7" single on Columbia 45-DB 4806
17. The James Bond Theme (from the film "Dr. No")
18. The Blacksmith Blues
Tracks 17 and 18 are the A&B-sides of a September 1962 UK 7" single on Columbia 45-DB 4898
19. The Lolly Theme (from the film "The Amourous Prawn")
20. March Of The Mandarins
Tracks 19 and 20 are the A&B-sides of a November 1962 UK 7" single on Columbia 45-DB 4941
CREDITS:
Track 1 is by The John Barry Seven - Track 2 by The John Barry Seven plus Four
Tracks 3 to 6, 8, are by The John Barry Seven
Track 7 is by John Barry And His Orchestra
Tracks 9 and 10 are by Michael Angelo and his Orchestra (Michael Angelo is a pseudonym for John Barry)
Tracks 13 and 14 are by The Gregory Strings (John Barry under another name)
Tracks 15 to 20 are by The John Barry Seven and Orchestra

Although it doesn't say it anywhere - much of these transfers are likely to be the triple EMI set "The Bee's Knees (57 to 64)" issued in 2011 with Abbey Road Remasters - because the Audio is superb. Hidden album nuggets like the unappetising title "Like Waltz" turn out to be hipster instrumentals any Mod would don a Talcum Powder tin at - while Dr. No's "James Bond Theme" is likely to make any red-blooded male slightly leery and just a bit prone to lip-trembles. I'd also forgotten how good both the Soundtrack albums are - 1960's "Beat Girl" and 1961's unfairly forgotten and overlooked "Stringbeat". Both are of the period of course - but that's part of the charm really - and dig Sally Ann Fields.

This is the kind of release you wish had better presentation because the music and the period memorabilia would be an eye-fest - but on face value - this is another superb RGM 'Deluxe 4CD' reissue and anything that highlights the mighty Bazza gets my vote...


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