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C. Wheeldon "christian_wheeldon" (Newcastle, England)
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Prince
Prince
by Matt Thorne
Edition: Paperback
Price: £4.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Getts Off the bus in 1988, 8 Aug. 2016
This review is from: Prince (Paperback)
There can be little doubt that an enormous amount of work has gone into this book but as a Prince fan I came away from reading it feeling more than a tad flat. As a portrait of Prince we get rather a lot of darkness and considerably less light. I'm sure the man wasn't perfect by any stretch of the imagination but where is the joy and where are the positive things that he brought to his friends and collaborators? Perhaps many of them wouldn't speak for fear of upsetting the man? Who knows.

My main issue with this book, however, is that Prince's post-1988 work deserves so much better than the appraisal it gets here. I was rather surprised to find that Matt Thorne doesn't seem to like the majority of Prince's output after Lovesexy. Albums such as Diamonds & Pearls and Love Symbol are given a bit of a drubbing whereas New Power Soul is afforded the status of highlight of the purple one's later career. Baffling and a tad depressing. There is much to celebrate in Prince's later work even if he stopped gracing the top 40 singles chart. It isn't all five star but the bulk of it is so much better than you might believe if you came to this book as curious and uninitiated. I come away from this wondering whether Matt Thorne is a Prince fan period or simply a fan of his '80s work and legendary aftershows. Strange but true.

I can't help thinking that the author should probably have poured his energies into a book about Prince's so-called "Imperial Phase" (1982-88) when the man was arguably at his creative peak. No wonder Mr. Thorne seems weary by the time he's given Lotusflower a panning. By the way, give Lotusflower a spin. You might just be pleasantly surprised.


George Harrison: Living in the Material World [DVD]
George Harrison: Living in the Material World [DVD]
Dvd ~ George Harrison
Price: £5.78

24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Isn't It a Pity, 9 Oct. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Despite all of the rave reviews I came away with mixed feelings about this film and I can't help but think that in some ways it is bit of a missed opportunity. As a portrait of the man it is great but it included relatively little of Harrison's music (or discussion of the music) made between 1974 and the end of his life, bar a few Traveling Wilburys tracks, Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea and Marwa Blues. What, I hear you say? ....not even a song from Cloud Nine. What does this say about the Harrison estate or Scorsese's view of his latter day music, I wonder? I found these omissions very strange, especially given the lengthy running time. No Crackerbox Palace, Your Love is Forever, When We Was Fab, This is Love, Got My Mind Set on You, Any Road, Pisces Fish. Surely the story is not complete without at least some of that music? It is good but....
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 14, 2011 8:19 PM GMT


Epsilon In Malaysian Pale
Epsilon In Malaysian Pale

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An interesting alternative to the original recording., 6 Mar. 2006
Much of the controversy surrounding this new, remastered release of Epsilon in Malaysian Pale seems to centre around the fact that a number of changes have been made to the original 1975 recording. I can totally understand those who are used to the earlier version being disappointed when they hear this. Music can often evoke strong memories of particular times and places and it can be shocking to hear your beloved albums changed, as if the past has been re-written.
I approached this new re-recording from an interesting angle in that I heard it before I managed to track down the original. My verdict is that I would rate it as an interesting alternative to the 1975 version. I'm actually inclined to say that I may even think it is better.
So: for those familiar with the original what has changed? Well: the title track has a new intro and outro. Those train sounds have been replaced by an interesting clanging metal sound, as if construction is taking place in the jungle. Much of the original mellotron work is intact and there are also some more contemporary keyboard sounds subtly applied over the top. Although the original had an appealing minimalism, this version has a lush sound, making it appropriate for the evocation of a jungle environment.
Maroubra Bay starts with the same menace as the original but the waves crash with more power. They also appear more prominently throughout the track, to great atmospheric effect. That fantastic sequencer pattern (which seemed to anticipate techno music) is softer in this version. There is also a very faint sound, like jingling bells or wind chimes over the top. The 1975 recording is more driving, whereas this has a slightly dreamy feel. As with the title track there are modern synths but they are subtly applied throughout and the essence of the original has been kept.
My verdict is that this is one of the best albums I've ever heard and fans of both ambient and electronic music will love it. If you are familar with the original don't buy this expecting the same thing as you may well be disappointed. It presents a different take, rather than a straight re-recording.
As a final point the original version deserves a re-release too because it is also a stunning record and an important piece of musical history.


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