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Reviews Written by
Morten Vindberg (England)

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Price: £4.08

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Powerful Vocals, 30 Nov. 2008
4 Non Blondes only recorded this one album, which was originally released in 1993. The band scored a big world-wide hit with the excellent "What's Up", but that songs was not really a good representive of the musical style of the band. Judged from this album their main musical influence comes from bands like Led Zeppelin og maybe even the Yardbirds: in other words solid blues-rock. The band's trademark was lead-vocalist Linda Perry's powerfull vocals and a generally tight sound.

Apart from the slightly funky closing track "No Place Like Home" there is no weak tracks on t he album. "Spaceman", which was another single taken the album, is the track which comes closest to the style of "What's Up" - and these two songs are my personal favourites.

Among the blues-rockers the opener "Train", "Pleasantly Blue" and "Old Mr Heffner" stand out. The acoustic "Drifting" is also really good.

After the album the band recorded songs for a few movie-soundtracks, but Perry thought that their musical direction had turned too commercial, so she decided the leave the band, which consequently decided to split-up.

Golders Green
Golders Green

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Strong Collection of Pete Ham Songs, 30 Nov. 2008
This review is from: Golders Green (Audio CD)
This longawaited second collection of Pete Ham demos comes two and a half years after the release of the first, 7 Park Avenue. I hope we don?t have to wait that long for third, because this one certainly lives up to the expectations I had in the light of 7 P.A.

What strikes me after the first listen to Golders Green is the great variety of styles that Pete throws himself into and how brilliantly he does it.

There are pop ballads like "Dawn" and "I`ll Kiss You Goodnight" - Rockers like "Richard" - Pop/rock melodies with hit potential like "Makes Me Feel Good" and "Helping Hand" - mellow folkish songs; "I"ve Waited So Long To Be Free?, "Hurry On Father" and "A Lonely Day". There are demos of well-known Badfinger tunes like "Midnight Caller" and "Without You" ( actually "If It`s Love" - before it was paired with Tom Evans` chorus ). A new new aspect which did not show very much on 7PA is the bluesy side of Pete Ham which here is represented by "Whiskey Man" and "I`m So Lonely". A few tracks are very short fragments or unfinished demos such as "Shine On" and "Pete`s Walk". "When The Feeling" and "Gonna Do It" show Pete having fun and experimenting, when recording.

One thing all tracks have in common is the great sense of melody which is characteristic for Pete`s songwriting and singing. Many tracks are greatly inspired by The Beatles but they never come off just as poor imitations of the Fab. Four`s work. Compared to 7 Park Avenue the sound quality is slightly better - a few tracks are almost in professional studio quality. The songs on Golders Greens equals those of 7PA in quality - there are no signs that the well is drying up. The overdubbing and general production is similar to that of its predecessor - you actually never really know for sure when the drums, bass or keyboards are Pete himself or if they were added later. A few tracks feature great guitar solo playing by Pete e.g. "I`m So Lonely", "Helping Hand" and "Pete`s Walk".

All in all I think Dan Matovina has done an excellent job again - we know that many of the tapes that contained these great songs were in poor condition and that it took a look of time, skill and love for Pete`s music to restore them to this highly listenable level!

Katy Lied
Katy Lied
Price: £5.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A 1975 Classic!, 30 Nov. 2008
This review is from: Katy Lied (Audio CD)
"Katy Lied" is one of Steely Dan's great classic albums ( OK, they all are!) from when they were still a real band, and not "just" the Becker/Fagen duo.

The Becker/Fagen aim for perfection is very much apparent here. Great production and playing. Inspired songwriting and dark thought-provoking lyrics.

Most tracks are incredible catchy and melodic; especially "Rose Darling" and "Everyone's Gone to the Movies" are likely to "hit" you the first time you here them.

The opening track "Black Friday" is a surprisingly heavy track ( for Dan!!) that sets the scene right from the very beginning.

Like always there is a great variation in rhytmths and styles, but this is never a problem because everything is done with great artistic skill.

My first version of the album had a slightly "woolen" sound, but on the 1999 re-mastered version the sound is perfect.

A 1975 Classic!

The Ballad Of Mott: A Retrospective
The Ballad Of Mott: A Retrospective

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Compilation!, 30 Nov. 2008
Mott the Hoople was one of the most interesting British glam-rock bands of the 1970's. They started their recording career with Island Records as a progressive rock band. They released 4 fine ( though uneven ) records for Island during 1969-72, before they changed for CBS. This change combined with David Bowie producing his own "All the Young Dudes" for them gave the big breakthrough and a new profile as the rock'n rollers of glam rock.

This 2 CD collection concentrates on their CBS period, though each of their 4 Island albums are represented by one track. These 4 tracks are all good songs in their own right, but can obviously not cover the great variety of their output during that period. So go for other compilations / or the originals ( now with bonus-tracks ) if you want to research their early days.

David Bowie produced their first album "All the Young Dudes", and his touch his very apparent through-out the album. The sound is close to his own on albums like "Hunky Dory", "Ziggy Stardust" or "Alladin Sane". Only two track has been left out from that album, which along with the follow-up "Mott" was their most consistent record. Their song-writing matured during that period, and although the band was uncertain whether they would be able cope with Bowie's skill, when the recording's of "Mott" began, that self-produced album shows the band at the peak of their creativity. Only one track is missing from the album. Outstanding tracks from the album are the rockers "All the Way From Memphis" and "Honaloochie Boogie" along with the great ballads ""I Wish I Was Your Mother", "Ballad of Mott the Hoople" and "Hymn for the Dudes".

Unfortunately guitarist and songwriter Mick Ralphs was growing frustrated with Ian Hunter taking more and more of the spotlight, and he left soon after the release of "Mott". Spooky Tooth guitarist Luther Grosvenor ( Ariel Bender ) was recruited to take his place, but things never become the same again.

Their final studio album, the slightly chaotic and spotty "The Hoople", did contain some fine tracks and was a commercial succes, containing the two hit-singles "The Golden Age of Rock'n Roll" and "Roll Away the Stone"; but the spark had gone, and they spilt up in 1974.

Besides their albums the band recorded some fine singles-only tracks; all of which are included here. Hunter's ballad "Rose" is outstanding and it also became a live-favourite. The late B-side "Rest in Peace" is another song in the same category - great song!

The two 1974 A-sides "Foxy Foxy" and "Saturday Gigs" are also great; especially the autobiografical ballad "Saturday Gigs" is outstanding. This was one of the very last recordings they did, featuring guitarist Mick Ronson. A little sad they did split up after that, because the recording shows that this new line-up had the potential of creating new exciting material. On the other hand "Saturday Gigs" is a worthy final note to the career of a great band.

Great informative booklet!! Recommended!
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Treacle Toffee World: Further Adventures Into The Pop-Psych Sounds From The Apple Era 1967-1969
Treacle Toffee World: Further Adventures Into The Pop-Psych Sounds From The Apple Era 1967-1969
Price: £12.06

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Material from Grapefruit and Fire, 30 Nov. 2008
This third and final volume of Apple Music Publishing company recordings contains some real gems bound to please fans of the pop-psych era. Especially two bands on the sampler stand out, Grapefruit and Fire.

Grapefruit , led by talented songwriter Alex Young who is the elder brother of George, Angus and Malcolm, did release two fine albums on RCA, but the band only obtained modest success. Here the band is represented with three songs that easily stand up with the songs on their albums. "Trying to Make it to Monday" was an early contender for their debut single, but eventually "Dear Delilah" was considered a better choice, A lot of Easybeats sound in this one. "Castle in the Sky" is just as strong, though quite different. It's a demo of a fine ballad, recorded by the band to present to other artists - never inted fro a Grapfruit record. Third Grapfruit track is an alternate version of "This Little Man" form their first album. This version is simpler arranged and much better than the album version. Great song.

Fire, led by Dave Lambert, later of the Strawbs, are given the honour to open the CD and to supply the title track "Treacle Toffee World" This is very well deserved. "Father's Name is Dad" is probably the strongest recording on the whole sampler. The song really deserved to be a hit, and with the great title track on the B-side it's big wonder it didn't happen. Great production and a great Easybeats-inspired guitar riff - I wonder if Black Sabbath knew this song.

The other two Fire tracks are also good, though not quite as memorable.

From the other artists there is good material too, though none really stand up with the two already mentioned. Rawlings and Huckstep's two contributions are both very good, and The Iveys' "Bittersweet Adieu" will please fans of Iveys and Badfinger - The other Iveys song is not very good - pretty lightweight.

Recommended for fans of the late 60's pop-pscyh sounds.

In Space
In Space
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £7.24

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Big and Great Big Star Surprise!, 30 Nov. 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: In Space (Audio CD)
It was really a big ( and great ) surprise, when I read in a magazine this Spring that Big Star had been in the studio to record a new album; now it has finally been released - the first new studio album for 30 years.

Guitarist, singer and songwriter Alex Chilton was always the key-member of Big Star, but original drummer and occasioanal singer Jody Stephens is also still there. New members are guitarist and singer Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow, bass keyboards and vocals.

I was a little anxious that the album would be a big disappointment ( reunion albums often are!!), but having heard the opening track "Dony", written and sung by Chilton, on the internet, my expectations grew. This actually sounded like Big Star. "Dony" is a typical Chilton/Big Star power-rocker with great guitar riffs.

The album continues with Jon Auer's "Lady Sweet", an absolute highlight on the album; a beautiful song with great vocals ( both lead and harmonies ) that evokes memories of "Thirteen" and "Ballad of El Goodo" from the first album.

High standards are kept with Jody Stephens' "Best Chance We've Ever Had" - fine track that really sounds like Big Star.

From here the album becomes slightly more uneven. Stephens contributes another highlight with "February's Quiet" and Stringfellow's Beach Boys inspired "Turn My Back to the Sun" is quite good.

It's not that the songs with Chilton in front are bad; they just sound less like original Big Star. "Mine Exclusively" is a funky/soul number, sounding very much like a 1960's track ("Heat Wave") - great vocals from Chilton. "Love Revolution" is another very different track; a disco/funky/dance type a track, that some will love and others probably will hate. "A Whole New Thing" is a classical Chuck Berry type rocker, and though "Hung Up With Summer" is quite a good song, it sounds somewhat underproduced like a demo.

Too sum things up a little, I would say that first half of the album is mostly great ( occasionally outstanding ) and second half uneven with a few rather weak tracks. So I cannot at all say I'm disappointed, and though this is hardly a new masterpiece, it brings hope for more great Big Star music in the future; it sure sounds like the right chemistry is there within the band.

Peel Slowly And See
Peel Slowly And See
Price: £39.99

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ultimate V.U. Box!, 8 Oct. 2008
This review is from: Peel Slowly And See (Audio CD)
This is without doubt a 5 star CD-box release - containing all 4 original V.U. albums; at a very fair price. I'm overall very satisfied with the sound; some may find the sound of "White Light / White Heat" a little hard to digest, but that was how the record was made.

Apart from one track, all of the great "lost" album "VU" is also here; but strangely enough there is only one track from the other rarities compilation "Another View".

CD 1 contains early demos of songs from the first album, and these tracks are mostly only historical interest.

The 4 other CDs each contain an original album and plenty of contemporary bonus-tracks.

I had not heard "Loaded" for several years, and both the songs and the sound qulity was a great positive surprise for me. I remembered the materal as much more uneven and the sound quality as pretty dull. The songs are great and the sound quality is fine. Actually the most "poppy" songs like "Who Loves the Sun" ( which I like a lot ), sound pretty similar to the last and underrates V.U. album "Squeeze", and a handful of the best tracks from that album would have made this release even better; even though Lou Reed is not playing on them.

I would have liked to have the original CD covers instead of these "tape" covers, and though the 86 pages book has many interesting historical facts and photos, I would have loved to have more information about each particular track; who plays the leads etc.

Liege And Lief
Liege And Lief
Price: £5.69

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Folk-Rock, 25 July 2008
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This review is from: Liege And Lief (Audio CD)
"Liege and Lief" was Fairport's first album that was almost entirely inspired by traditional British music. The band had previously released 3 albums during a relatively short period of time, and the repertoire had been a mixture of pop, rock and American and British folk.

In May 1969 after the recording of the previous album "Unhafbricking" the band had a terrible road accident which took the lives of drummer Martin Lamble and Richard Thompson's girlfriend Jeannie.

Other band-members were injured in the crash and the group were close to splitting up, but with their wounds healing up they eventually decided to continue with new members Dave Swarbrick and Dave Mattacks.

They did not want to perform their old material and needed a new direction and with inspiration from Ashley Hutchings and Sandy Denny they began digging into traditional Bristish folk music.

In a Hampshire farmhouse they began rehearsing material for a new album which eventually became "Liege and Lief".

The album inspired many other musicians to dig into traditional music and has now become a folk-rock classic and the album.

The original 8 tracks are all great and this new release features two bonus tracks recorded during the same sessions. "Sir Patrick Spence" was later recorded by the next Fairport line-up, here you have the opportunity to hear an early version with lead vocals by Sandy Denny singing slightly different lyrics. The arrangement may be less tight than the "Full House" version, but still a great addition to a timeless album. The other "new" track is a droning version of "Quiet Joys of Brotherhood" which Sandy later recorded several times and released on her second solo-album.

Though most of the material is traditional, there are a couple of originals written by Richard Thompson; and they both stand out. "Crazy Man Michael" ( co-written by Swarbrick ) and "Farewell Farewell" were always favourites - "Farewell Farewell" sound much better than on the original vinyl album.

An often overlooked song, "The Deserter", was actually the song that got me into the band; a great tune beautifully sung by Sandy Denny.

Keep Movin' On
Keep Movin' On

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Listening!, 20 July 2008
This review is from: Keep Movin' On (Audio CD)
"Keep Movin' on" is a compilation that ,with a few exceptions, covers the last year of Sam Cooke's recording career. The last album released in his own lifetime, the great "Ain't That Good News" is almost completely covered here; along with rarities, singles and some of his very last recordings from November 1964.

For people who only know Sam Cooke from pop-hits like "Only Sixteen", "A Wonderful World" and "You Send Me", it may sound a little odd that Cooke is often called the creator of soul-music. This wouldn't be the case if they were familar with these late Sam Cooke recordings. "Ain't That Good New" is my favourite Sam Cooke original album; and most best from songs from that album such as "Meet Me at Mary's Place", "Good Times", "The Riddle Song" and the title track are included.

Other highlight are "Shake", "That's Where it's At" ( I believe this song inspired Otis Redding to do "That's How Strong my Love is" ), and the previously unreleased "Keep Moving On"

Fine informative 26 pages booklet included!

Essential listening for fans of early soul-music - and fans of good music in general!

Sepheryn (Quicker Than a Ray of Light)
Sepheryn (Quicker Than a Ray of Light)
Offered by uniqueplace-uk
Price: £14.06

4.0 out of 5 stars Fine Music From the Early 1970's., 12 July 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Curtiss-Maldoon was a pretty obscure British duo which released two albums on Purple records during 1971-73. Both members were prolific songwriters and both albums feauture only original songs from members Dave Curtiss and Clive Maldoon.

Musically they could be compared to other early 1970's bands like Badfinger, Brinsley Schwarz and Mott the Hoople ( the rockier side ) or Honeybus ( on the softer side ). Working with people like like Steve Howe ( Yes ), Bruce Thomas ( Attractions ) and Roy Dyke ( Ashton, Gardner & Dyke ) they have been secured a (minor) place in the history of rock. Madonna's cover of one of the songs from their first album and turning it into the hit that the band never managed to achieve themselves also helps to keep their memory alive.

Madonna changed their song "Sepheryn" into "Ray of Light" and made it a top-ten hit.

On their first album from 1971 they really sound like a band with heavy support from skilled musical friends. The album is musically varied with rockers and ballads - folk, country, pop and rock in a pleasant mixture. Stand-outs are the opener "Man From Afghanistan" a Troggs/Easybeats - type of a simple rocker with a great drive.

Among the softer songs "Ibiza Beach Song" and "Sepheryn" are the most memorable - both half-acoustic tracks ala Magna Carta or Honeybus.

On a couple of the slow rock-ballads the singer might remind you of the young Ian Hunter.

4 bonus-tracks are added from their early sessions; all fine recordings which would have fitted nice into the album; especially the Gram Parsons inspired "Ah It's a Feeling" should have been included in the first place.

The approach on the second album is much softer, and the album comes out almost as a folk-album. The songs are still generally good with the first two tracks "Ballad of Lots of Road" and "You Were a Friend" as the standouts.

One bonus-track from the final days is Clive Maldoon's demo "On My Own Again" - a beatiful closing track to a very nice compilation from one the numerous acts in music history that had the potentials to make it big, but never did.

Fine booklet with a lot of information about their musical careers.

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