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Zodiac master (Preston, UK)

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Hollywood Rock Festival Rio 93 ( 2cd SET)
Hollywood Rock Festival Rio 93 ( 2cd SET)
Price: £11.61

4.0 out of 5 stars Nirvana face the horrors of the arena festival show, 7 Jun. 2017
Anyone who has seen Nirvana's Live Tonight Sold Out film will know this was a pretty notable show in Nirvana's history, not least because it saw the band facing up to the horrors of a massive arena style festival concert but also because of some of the bizarre on stage events that ensued, including Kurt sporting a nifty looking dress for the encores (Dive/ Aneurysm etc).

Soundwise this boasts comfortably the best quality the Rio show has had release wise to date, though inevitably some glitches do still remain. The opening School and Drain You for example still sound fairly thin (almost certainly a problem with the original recording), but this is more than compensated for the improvement in quality for the rest of the show. Krist's bass and Dave's drums sound particularly beefy in parts and Kurt's vocals remain clear despite the chaos going on around them. Highlights include the pretty unique version of Smells Like Teen Spirit which features RHCP's Flea on trumpet and the 10 minute version of Scentless Apprentice, during which Kurt goes walkabout with his guitar and completely loses the plot, classic stuff.

Krist's comments between songs to the crowd are also highly entertaining and a welcome reminder of the fact that this band had a great sense of humour, something often forgotten in the years since Kurt's death. If you're a fan you'll definitely enjoy this album, a reminder of what an important band Nirvana were and remain.

Back In Anger (2CD)
Back In Anger (2CD)
Price: £9.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Give this album a chance and you'll love it, 1 Feb. 2017
This review is from: Back In Anger (2CD) (Audio CD)
The historical importance of this recording speaks for itself, particularly after Bowie's sad passing last year so that alone makes it an album you should hear. Like others I suspect, some of the negative reviews on here about sonic glitches/ problems on the album did make me hesitant about buying it initially but having now heard it there really is nothing to fear. The quality overall is excellent and the 'pips and squeaks' that you hear on disc 2 are only what you would probably have heard if you had tuned in to the actual live FM radio broadcast at the time. Nothing more.

What is more important for both Bowie and NIN fans is that the album contains some superb live versions of Scary Monsters and Super Creeps (with both Bowie and Trent Reznor on vocals), The Man Who Sold The World and Look Back in Anger amongst others. In particular Bowie taking lead vocals on the NIN classic Hurt will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, terrific stuff. Listen and enjoy.

Assecure PS1 1 MB Playstation 1MB Memory card PS2 compatible* LIFETIME Warranty (Single pack, Black)
Assecure PS1 1 MB Playstation 1MB Memory card PS2 compatible* LIFETIME Warranty (Single pack, Black)
Offered by ZedLabz Direct
Price: £3.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 24 Jan. 2017
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Quality item was very happy with this purchase, just as described.

The Rods
The Rods
Price: £17.31

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of THE classic hard rock debuts, 23 Jan. 2013
This review is from: The Rods (Audio CD)
When this album first emerged in 1982, it created a massive stir in the hard rock world and it is easy to see why. Even now it stands out as one of the best hard rock debuts from the period - part of the reason for this was the fantastic production from drummer Carl Canedy which made the songs sound incredibly polished and was undoubtedly ahead of it's time for that era. One listen to the likes of Power Lover, Crank it Up and the classy ballad Woman made you realise that this was a band that was seriously going places. The power and energy of each song literally leapt out at you from the speakers and the remastering on this version enhances that effect still further.

'Nothing Going on the City' was a superb full throttle cover of a song by little known band White Honey and boasted a welcome punky edge while 'Ace in the Hole' was another classic featuring the melodic vocals of bassist Gary Bordonaro. Elsewhere guitarist David Feinstein delivered some stunning guitar work on the album notably on the explosive Crank it Up and Rock Hard - clearly the man had great talent.

Live The Rods did not disappoint either and their support slot on Iron Maiden's UK tour in '82 was another stunning tour-de-force. Sadly the momentum created by all this promise quickly disintegrated with a massively disppointing second album (Wild Dogs), where the band were this time sold short by shoddy outside production and a frankly fairly average set of songs. By the time the stronger third album 'In The Raw' appeared some time later it was already too late.

But thirty years on, 'The Rods' still sounds incredibly fresh and has aged much better than many other albums from that period. A classic case of a great talent lost ultimately but this debut still holds its own as one of the very best.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 30, 2015 10:07 PM GMT

Top Cat: The Movie [DVD]
Top Cat: The Movie [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jason Harris
Price: £3.00

12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A decent update of a classic series, 21 Oct. 2012
This review is from: Top Cat: The Movie [DVD] (DVD)
Have to say some of the reviews of this film posted here so far have been ridiculously wide of the mark - although by no means a stone cold classic this big screen updating of the superb 60's TV series is certainly nowhere as bad as some would have you believe.
In fact it's a pretty decent, if flawed, attempt to take the essence of the Hanna Barbera series and bring it up to date. Not everything works but overall it does manage to capture some of the best elements of the original show. One key area where it does succeed in, for example is with Top Cat himself, which was always going to be vital for the film to work at all. Jason Harris does a pretty decent job in conjuring up both the voice and wise guy persona of the original TC, and the same can be said for the updating of his sidekicks Choo Choo and the unforgettable Benny. To those who have slated the new voices in this film, I'd suggest you check out the original series and you'll find they're a lot closer than you think.
What lets the film down though is the animation, which seems to have fallen between two stools - you can clearly see the filmmakers have tried hard to stay faithful to the two dimensional look of the original series but this approach just ends up jarring with the more modern CGI effects that are thrown in (the opening helicopter sequence demonstrates this clearly for example).
There are some nice touches elsewhere though, such as the return of TC's old canine adversary from the TV series Griswald and the presence of a suitably slimy (and loathsome) villain in Strickland.
It's also worth mentioning that my 7 old son loved the movie when he saw it in the cinema and has since become a big fan of the original TV series - always a sign that a big screen update must have done something right.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 2, 2015 3:01 PM GMT

Nevermind (20th Anniversary Deluxe Edition)
Nevermind (20th Anniversary Deluxe Edition)
Price: £17.40

5 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nevermind - loud and definitely proud!, 8 Oct. 2011
For Nirvana fans like myself this 20th anniversary remaster of one of the greatest albums of all time is definitely a big deal and I'm glad to say it doesn't disappoint.

The sound has been remastered extremely well and doesn't (as some of the frankly ludicrous reviews on this site have already suggested) detract from the original power of the record; in fact it increases it, giving greater clarity and better separation between guitar, bass and drums. Yes it sounds louder but this is Nirvana we are talking about here, a band that thrived on volume. When I first heard this album in 1991 one of the first things that hit me was the sheer force and power of tracks like Smells like Teen Spirit, In Bloom and Breed and you get that same feeling all over again with this new version.

Many fans will already have the B-sides which make up the remainder of the first disc but it's great to see the Smart studio sessions from 1990 finally get an official release on disc 2 - if you've not heard these before you definitely need to check them out as they offer a brilliant early insight into the roots of songs like In Bloom, Lithium and Breed and of course they are the only studio recordings of these songs with Chad Channing on drums.

What this re-issue also shows is that as an album Nevermind has not dated one day and you can't see that changing in another 20 years. It sounds that good. If Kurt was trying to make an album as powerful and memorable as Never Mind The Bollocks with this record (as he once suggested), you have to say he not only matched that, he probably bettered it too!
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 10, 2012 2:36 PM GMT


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nine Black Alps are back and rocking!, 25 Oct. 2009
Anyone who thought that Nine Black Alps had 'gone soft' on the last album Love/ Hate will be in for a very pleasant surprise if they get their ears around this latest offering. Quite simply Nine Black Alps are back to their thunderous hard rocking best in the style of debut lp 'Everything Is'.

The sheer power evident on some of the tracks here is breathtaking, notably on opener 'Vampire in the Sun', 'Buy Nothing' and the stunning 'Every Photograph Steals Your Soul' - songs like these remind you why you liked this band in the first place. Yes the Nirvana influence is still unmistakable, but who cares when the music sounds as good as this! It's not all about power and crashing chords either, as the more reflective 'Bay of Angels' and closing track 'Ghost in the City' amply prove. To be honest I thought a lot of the criticism of Love/ Hate was unwarranted anyway, yes it was a bit lighter in places but the album still boasted great songs regardless. But any doubts created by that album should be comfortably swept aside by this latest effort - so ignore the pathetic recent NME review of this album and check it out. One of the albums of the year so far in my book for sure.

Still Dangerous: Live at Tower Theatre Philadelphia 1977
Still Dangerous: Live at Tower Theatre Philadelphia 1977
Price: £12.87

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What a waste, 14 July 2009
This could have been a truly electrifying release capturing one of the world's greatest rock groups in its prime but sadly anyone expecting 'Live and Dangerous - the sequel' will be left somewhat underwhelmed.
Without doubt the potential for a great official live album from Lizzy's Bad Reputation tour in 1977 does exist, as bourne out by the previous inclusion of 'Bad Reputation' and 'Opium Trail' on the long deleted Killers Live EP and bootleg recordings of the King Biscuit Flower Hour broadcast - unfortunately this album isn't it.
As other reviewers have noted, the apparent repetition of some recordings from the original 'Live and Dangerous' album is one problem, as is the missed opportunity to include more non - 'Dangerous' material such as 'Bad Reputation' (bizarrely aviallable on download only) and 'Johnny' (a candidate from the first night's performance surely?) But the main issue for me is the sound of 'Still Dangerous'- yes it's clear enough but unfortunately it's also as weak as three day old dishwater, lacking any real punch whatsover. Yes it is a 30 year old plus recording but anyone who bought last year's 'UK Tour '75' album will instantly know what's missing here. That album literally leapt out of the speakers at you when played, whereas with this performance you'll be cranking the car stereo up to the max just to hear the thing properly.
Why this is the case is a mystery, even given the supposedly ropey quality of the second night tapes from Philadelphia. Modern digital mastering has recently been known to perform minor miracles on supposedly 'hopeless' live recordings from the past (witness the Sex Pistols - Live at the 76 club CD to see what I mean) but here you feel the producers have definitely missed a trick. Thus what could have been a thunderous example of the band at full tilt leaves you feeling pretty flat. A real pity because on the strength of the songs themselves, this would still wipe the floor with most of the competition.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 23, 2014 2:47 PM BST

Thomas And The Magic Railroad [DVD]
Thomas And The Magic Railroad [DVD]
Dvd ~ Alec Baldwin
Price: £3.75

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Hollywood makeover that works!, 31 Dec. 2008
Have to say I completely disagree with some of the unfairly negative comments posted here in the other review on this film. For those thinking this movie amounts to another Hollywood assassination of a great TV series, have no fear, it actually works surprisingly well. Mixing the model animation of the original Thomas characters with live actors was always going to be a risky venture but to the credit of both the film-makers and the cast involved the whole thing comes across as enjoyable and genuinely engaging. Alec Baldwin does a particularly good job as 'the conductor' (literally another universe away from his roles in 'Malice' and 'The Juror' for sure!) whilst Peter Fonda also deserves credit for his performance (again, a long long way from Easy Rider). Special mention should also be made of Neil Crone's superb voicing of arch baddie Diesel 10, which succeeds in coming across as a locomotive version of the Wicked Witch of the West!

Suffice to say my three old son loved this film from start to finish and take it from me - your kids will too. Sometimes Hollywood can get things right you know (!)
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 24, 2009 2:15 PM BST

The World's Insane
The World's Insane

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE forgotten heroes of the NWOBHM!, 28 Dec. 2008
This review is from: The World's Insane (Audio CD)
Perhaps more than any other band that emerged from the so called NWOBHM in the early 80's, Vardis remain the lost band from that era, a fact bourne out by the fact that incredibly, even now, the band's original albums remain unavailable on CD. This compilation is currently the closest you can get to them, which means that the band's historical legacy is woefully under served, particularly as the band's debut '100 mph' and 'Quo Vardis' were classic albums which deserve proper re-issues.

That said this album is still an excellent run through many of the group's best songs and does include the vast majority of the material from their first three albums - two glaring omissions however are the studio single versions of Let's Go and Situation Negative, both of which comfortably outshine the live versions on offer here. Given their exclusion from a previous Vardis compilation also, you do wonder if the masters may have been lost for these songs altogether.

Among the many highlights to savour here are 100 MPH, If I Were King, Too Many People, a superior synth tinged version of Silver Machine, Police Patrol and Power Underfoot. The irony behind the Vardis sound of course was that in reality it had less in common with many of the NWOBHM bands of the era and much more with the poppier glam rock sound of the early 70's (T Rex being an obvious influence, acknowledged through their cover of 'Jeepster' at the time). That, coupled with the energy of late 70s punk, gave Vardis a style all of their own, and a great one at that. Indeed the Quo Vardis lp, and its brilliant poppy ballad 'To Be With You' definitely hinted that the group could go on onto bigger things, but sadly this wasn't to be.

Check out this compilation though to enjoy one of the most underrated bands from the early 80's and the vituoso guitar playing of their frontman Steve Zodiac - a true one off who deserved far greater acclaim than he received at the time.

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