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Mr. J. H. Cook (Luton, England)

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If You Want Blood, You've Got It
If You Want Blood, You've Got It
Price: £5.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This delivers everything anyone could want from a live album, 5 Mar. 2010
I've many live albums in my endlessly expanding record collection. "Live at Leeds" by The Who, "Stupidity" by Dr Feelgood, "Alive In America" by Steely Dan, "Babylon By Bus" by Bob Marley & The Wailers - all classics in my humble opinion, but all surpassed by the might, energy and sheer raw power of this masterpiece by AC/DC.

It pretty much leaves you breathless and I think what adds to the brilliance of this album is how "up for it" the crowd sound, it's been so well produced because as you drift off into this monsterous feast of hard, bluesy rock'n'roll, you almost feel as if you are right there and in the middle of what must've been one of the sweatiest, most exciting gigs on record. Obviously, AC/DC are a band which are much more about stunning heavy Gibson SG guitar riffs than anything else and this is what comes across in abundance, the first few tracks all start in the same key and you subconsciously assume that there won't be anything much in the next song that will differ from the last...but you couldn't be more wrong, the way Malcolm Young cuts and chops out the riff on tracks like "Hell Ain't A Bad Place To Be" and "Riff Raff" is sensational. Couple these earth shattering riffs from the Young brothers with Bon Scott's almost possessed vocals and it creates a chemical equation that equals a searing white hot furnace from hell!

It's a blistering, glittering chunk of unmissable music and it staggers me how good it sounds considering it was recorded over thirty years ago; it's so fresh, the clarity is phenomenal. I've always thought that the sign of a great live band is how they reproduce their studio tracks on stage and how precisely they execute the solos. AC/DC deliver on every level. Don't think twice...just click "add to cart," it's a classic.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 27, 2010 4:55 AM BST

The Very Best Of Steely Dan
The Very Best Of Steely Dan
Price: £6.99

14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Don't get me wrong, the music content of this CD is 100% superb but..., 19 Sept. 2009
...another "Greatest Hits" album? Why? Surely after six long years, Walter and Donald should have put another feast of new material on record - I've only had "Morph The Cat" to keep me going during the drought! There is just no need for it after the "Remastered," "The Best of 2 CD." "Showbiz Kids" AND the 4 CD box set.

I can't believe that Becker and Fagen were keen on releasing yet another "Greatest Hits" compilation, it must've been the record company's idea - to make more money presumably.

Look folks, just take my word for it, don't bother with the "Greatest Hits" stuff, if you want to get into Steely Dan, buy ALL of their studio albums first and also purchase the live album "Alive In America.". Why? Quite simply, every single one of their albums sets a musical precedent which is so advanced, slick, well arranged and incredibly fulfilling, that you'll never look back.

Steely Dan have been my favourite band for many years now, nothing touches their genius. All of their albums, particularly from 1972's "Can't Buy A Thrill" to 1980's "Gaucho" are nothing short of timeless classics. Whilst you're at it, pick up Donald Fagen's three solo albums: "The Nightfly," "Kamakiriad" and "Morph The Cat." Having listened to all of these, literally thousands of times, I still pick out certain musical arrangments that I haven't really been made aware of before. What other band in the history of music has had the ability to give their listener an experience like that?

If you're reading this thinking "I'm still not convinced," consider this: Walter Becker and Donald Fagen didn't necessarily set out to create perfection in music - even for them, that would've been almost certainly unobtainable, but what they have admitted to is attempting to compose songs and albums which their fans will want to listen to over and over again until the end of time. In my humble opinion, not only have they achieved this, they've also pretty much achieved musical perfection with their gorgeous, eclectic, unique blend of rock and jazz combined with insightful, often subtley comical lyrics.

"Can't Buy A Thrill?" How insanely ironic!
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 8, 2012 9:37 PM BST

Black Gives Way To Blue (Ltd) (Dig)
Black Gives Way To Blue (Ltd) (Dig)

9 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You MUST check Alice In Chains out when they next play live!!!, 27 Aug. 2009
I've never really overlooked Alice In Chains, when I was 17, I bought "Dirt" when it was released in 1992 and was immediately struck by how different they sounded, but as you do, being into so much different music, I never really gave Alice In Chains the full and prolonged attention that they deserve...and how that has changed these last few weeks...

I was fortunate enough to see them for the first time at this year's Sonisphere Festival in Knebworth (sadly, I never managed to see them with Layne Stayley) - man, I was blown away by how good they are. It was like reeling in the years (Steely Dan) listening to their monster riffs and haunting vocals. William DuVall has taken lead vocals and occasionally plays rhythm guitar. Somehow, he is the perfect fit and exactly the type of character Alice In Chains needed to fill Stayley's gargantuan boots, DuVall even sounds like Stayley, his towering vocals on tracks like "Man In The Box" and "Rooster" were incredible. I was blown away by them, I think they only performed one or two tracks from the new album, but they sounded really well put together and Jerry Cantrell has not steered away from the guitar work that has become almost instantly recognisable.

They were so good, that a mate of mine informed me a day later that his friend had dropped out of a gig and he had a spare ticket - "Which gig is it?" I asked..."Alice In Chains at the Scala in Kings Cross" he replied. I was there like a rat up a drainpipe. There were probably no more than 3 or 4 hundred in the crowd. Now, I've been to hundreds of gigs in my time all over London and all over the world, but believe me, this performance smashed into my top ten. It was utterly incredible. I was just feet away from Cantrell and he soared through the riffs of so many of what are now truely classic, timeless cuts including "Angry Chair," "Down In A Hole," "We Die Young, "No Excuses, "Grind" and a brilliant "Rain When I Die." These guys are the real deal; if AC/DC can replace Bon Scott as successfully as they did, there is no reason why Alice In Chains can not do the same. Alice In Chains are back with a vengeance.

The Scala gig was absolutely phenomenal; I still shudder with passion every time I think about it. There is just something so differnent about Alice In Chains, is it in their chord structure and arrangements or did they just have this ability to sound effortlessly breathtaking all the time? I haven't made my mind up completely yet, but I tell you what, for me, they blow bands like Nirvana and Pearl Jam clean out of the water, they are wholesomely original and completely unpretentious. It's the crescendos in the vocal parts, the power that Stayley and Duvall drive throughout the choruses; the way Cantrell lets an evil smile cut across his face as he slowy tilts his head back letting his long blonde locks fall behind him, striking riffs which shake you to the bones. Being in the crowd that night made me feel like part of a family, it was so intimate and everyone in there was just fists in the air and going for it like it would be the last gig they'd see before they died!

As well as playing a long, captivating set which comprised mainly their well known material, they played three or four tracks from the new album and quite honestly, none of them would've sounded out of place on any of their past albums from the early 1990s...and you know what a new album means don't you? A tour...Come on Alice In Chains, get yourself out on the road and hammer the UK with your bone crunchingly spectacular performances!

I can't wait for this album to come out. They are such a huge breath of fresh air in a contemporary music scene which I don't get a lot of feeling from. Alice In Chains sort of restore you faith in humanity...ironic really when you consider that so many of their songs tackle the themes of death, loss and addiction. Isn't it strange how some of the darkest lyrics in music can drive so much positivity in you - that, surely is the trademark of great songwriters isn't it?
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 22, 2009 7:55 PM BST

Dear Boy: The Life of Keith Moon
Dear Boy: The Life of Keith Moon
by Tony Fletcher
Edition: Paperback
Price: £16.59

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Genuine, hilarious and tragic..., 2 Nov. 2007
I've read a lot of great biographies about many famous and extraordinarily talented musicians...Dear Boy by Tony Fletcher is one of the best biographies/books I've ever read. Superbly researched, the passion Fletcher has for his subject oozes from every chapter. From his working class upbringing and failed schooling in London's Wembley area, Keith Moon soared to international stardom as the drummer with enormously successful rock band THE WHO. If you think Stephen Tyler, Joe Perry and Aerosmith did a lot of drink and this; you will never read about excess quite like it. Fletcher believes that "Moon the Loon" had borderline personality disorder, haunted by the death of his cheuffeur Neil Bolland; he certainly had a sinister side with the two women that really meant something to him in his life. It's amazing to think that Keith actually got to the age of 32 before he died in central London in 1978 - but my God, he seriously "lived" those 32 years. So tragic that he died, but he could've only gone one way because of the enormous amounts of booze and drugs he consumed. Aside his compulsive partying, boozing, womanising and drug taking; one mustn't forget that he was one of, if not THE best, most unusually talented and incredible drummer that has ever lived. The Who were devastated by his demise and have never been the same without this most charasmatic and colourful of individuals - he drove the whole band. Albums like "Who's Next" and "Quadraphenia" display his talents in all their glory. I was in tears at the end of this brilliant book. Even if you don't like The Who - this is a MUST READ for sheer entertainment value.

House Of Om (Mixed By DJ Sneak)
House Of Om (Mixed By DJ Sneak)
Price: £12.98

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing., 5 Feb. 2006
I've got more than several OM compilations in my record collection and I can safely say that they are all pretty much in the "top notch groovy, cool, down tempo, almost Migs" bracket....So I don't get this DJ Sneak creation at all?! It starts out with vague promise, but tragically, it meanders monotonously in the same gear all the way to the end of the album without inspiring me or making me even grin for a second with joy. I keep wondering whether I've missed the point or not, but frankly, I've given it a lot of thought and I've come to the conclusion that this is a very poor, unimaginative album of almost backward sounds that depress you rather than fill you with the feast of great tunes that all other OM compilations have instilled within me. Very disappointed and I'd be very interested to read a review of this album that hails it as a classic, or even close...very interested!

Price: £9.24

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If you want rock, you got it!, 7 Oct. 2005
This review is from: Electric (Audio CD)
If you want hard hitting rock'n'roll with edge and spice, buy "Electric" now. "Wildflower", "King Contrary Man" and "Love Removal Machine" are just three of the many highlights. The only minor let down is the drab, unadventurous cover of Steppenwolf's "Born to be Wild" just doesn't scan or fit into the rest of this otherwise brilliant album (that's why I can't give it 5 stars). It's always dangerous covering classics...enough said I think. The Cult are a seriously good band; Ian Astbury's haunting, wailing voice and Billy Duffy's timeless, instantly memorable guitar work contribute greatly to making this album a "simply must have" for any serious rock fan or record collector...terrific stuff.

Satta Massagana
Satta Massagana

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless genius, 23 July 2004
This review is from: Satta Massagana (Audio CD)
Satta Massagana is, without question, one of the most amazing albums I've ever had the pleasure to listen to. I thought "Arise" was brilliant, but "Satta..." even surpasses this. Superb, unique harmony and tight, hard roots reggae combine to form the terrific back bone of this marvellously crafted work of art. All the tracks are wonderfully colourful and are littered with instantly memorable riffs and choruses. If you love reggae as much as I do, it is critical that you purchase this album because, quite simply, it'll be the best few quid you ever spend.

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