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Matt Westwood (Reading, UK)

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Starless and Bible Black
Starless and Bible Black

3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Crimson's best, 24 Jun. 2002
I couldn't help but feel disappointed when listening to this one for the first time. Stuck half way between Larks Tongues and Red, it seems to be neither one thing nor the other and comes across as being made by a bunch of tired old men. Which is a shame because nearly 30 years later these tired old men are still belting out the finest jazz-rock with the best of them.
Sorry an'all that, but unless you are collecting everything they've ever done, give it a miss - there are scores more KC CDs, and better.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 2, 2017 11:37 AM BST

Schumann: The Complete Symphonies
Schumann: The Complete Symphonies
Offered by worldcollectabilia
Price: £9.99

4 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A bit lush, this is, 24 Jun. 2002
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Schumann had the advantage of Beethoven having come before him and could therefore pick up a few tricks. And indeed, he did a good job of work when he put these pieces together. Essential works to know about if you are studying classical music seriously, as they are important in their own right.
Beware though, although it *says* complete, this collection is *not* complete. There is (at least) one symphony which does not have an opus number which is not included here (which is why only 4 stars). But not to worry, this offering is inexpensive and of high quality, so it's a good place to start your Schumann collection off with.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 2, 2016 9:51 PM BST

Epitaph: Live in 1969
Epitaph: Live in 1969
Offered by silver-disc-uk
Price: £34.04

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some essential early moments caught, 4 Jun. 2002
This review is from: Epitaph: Live in 1969 (Audio CD)
... by the skin of their teeth, in some cases.
There are tracks by KC that existed solely on tapes made over the radio by an enthusiastic listener. These tracks are included here on this set, along with some rare and beautiful moments caught live during their early years. And let nobody kdi you otherwise - Fripp knew what he was doing with his band all along. The difficuly was getting others to share his vision.
This collection (if only it was easier to get hold of) is a worthwhile addition to a collection of KC, although newcomers will probably prefer to start with the studio offerings, as the sound quality is heaps better.

The Projekcts
The Projekcts

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly unavoidably special, 4 Jun. 2002
This review is from: The Projekcts (Audio CD)
This is what contemporarly music is really all about.
Nothing can divert Fripp from his vision, and he definitely knows where he's going and what he's about. This collection is a series of recordings from four separate concert tours, with four different subsets of the extended band which is King Crimson. And each one is completely different from the others.
Improvisation is what jazz is all about, which is why this style of music is generally lumped in with jazz, but there's so much more to it than that. You have three or four performers who are all collectively trying to make something happen - they don't know exactly what until it does. And when it does happen, you are *gone*, man ...

Offered by Media Vortex
Price: £29.99

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another masterpiece that has stood the test of time, 4 Jun. 2002
This review is from: Animals (Audio CD)
The Floyd had an awkward couple of years when they were in danger of being squeezed out of their comfortable niche by the onslaught of punk, but this LP showed that they had all the righteous anger of the most political hair-spikers and then some.
This is definitely one of their finest moments, being a reaction to complacency and corruption. You can even dance to parts of it. Almost.
Waters once more shows how his sense of irony and injustice contribute towards his being perhaps the greatest rock lyricist ever - and with the creativity of the other musicians, a surprisingly tight and coherent work resulted. I say surprisingly, because the three main pieces here are all grotesquely *long*. You'd think: long, boring, self-indulgent, but this is far from the case. In the Floyd's books, more is more ...
If you're picking up bits and pieces from their back catalogue, whatever you do, don't miss this one out. It's a cracker.

Dark Side of the Moon
Dark Side of the Moon
Offered by the_record_factory
Price: £7.95

14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best album of all time, 4 Jun. 2002
This review is from: Dark Side of the Moon (Audio CD)
Those were the days when they were called "albums". Brilliant then and brilliant now, and there is not a dud note in the entire work.
What makes it so special? From the top: Waters' lyrics. This man has to be the foremost rock poet in the entire world. Then there's the sound of Gilmour's guitar, which has a wistful quality that makes one think of, well, whatever it is that one thinks of ... Then there's Wright, of course, who contributed perhaps the most beautiful piece of music in the world (The Great Gig in the Sky). And (let's not leave him out) Mason's more than just a drummer - it was his work on the structure and production that probably welded it into the masterpiece that it is.
Practically every single one of the songs has been covered by someone or other. No folk club come-all-ye is complete without someone getting up and doing "Brain Damage". As for "Breathe", it does in fact take a different vocalist to bring out the true feeling in what's being said - take for an example the version available on Waters' "In The Flesh" live collection.
Even the punk movement, for all their posing and pi-taking, borrowed heavily from the philosophy and power of the Floyd. Look out for Jaz "Killing Joke" Coleman's "Symphonic Pink Floyd" where he has orchestrated them. Unmissable.

Wish You Were Here
Wish You Were Here
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £11.89

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's cool to like this again, 4 Jun. 2002
This review is from: Wish You Were Here (Audio CD)
Those were the days when Pink Floyd were definitely uncool. It was supposed to be shameful to like them. Fortunately they are back in fashion again.
But what do we care about fashion? Fashion is for people who ain't got style. Listen to what you like to listen to, and by golly, this is a difficult album to dislike.
To show how far the Floyd have come, the title track seems now to be classified under "folk", the amount of play it gets at come-all-ye sessions at folk clubs up and down the land. And if that ain't all, Jaz "Killing Joke" Coleman has only gone and produced an LP of symphonic versions of Floyd numbers as well.
Strangely, nobody really (in 70's rock journalism, anyway) knew why the Floyd were just so popular. You can't dance to them, they didn't indulge in flash instrumental pyrotechnics (Gilmour's playing style being so laid back it's nearly horizontal), they were bewilderingly highbrow - but they were (and still are) *huge*.
Of course, with the benefit of hindsight, we all recognise now that Roger Waters is probably the greatest rock poet in existence, and Dave Gilmour possibly one of the best-loved instrumentalists, and of course dancing ain't everything after all, and let's face it, those stage shows taught the world a thing or two about large scale productions.
This one is definitely not their best offering, made as it was when the band were barely talking to each other. It suffers from a feeling of being transitional, and comes across as neither one thing nor another - almost as if they bashed this one out to fulfil obligations while they got on with what they *really* had in mind. (The truth is of course different from this.)
However, it is utterly unmissable from whatever angle you care to approach it from. Get this and get the rest.

Brain Salad Surgery
Brain Salad Surgery

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of the best, 4 Jun. 2002
This review is from: Brain Salad Surgery (Audio CD)
From their debut album to their triple live album extravaganza, ELP dismantled both rock and classical music and built from the pieces a completely new art form.
This album was made when they were at the peak of their off-beat creativity. The vinyl version was a pain, because you had to get up and turn it over half way through Karn Evil 9, but thank goodness, CD was invented.
If you like ELP you'll already have this - if you don't, then nothing I could write would persuade you to even be in the same room as it. Unless I were to point out that "Still ... you turn me on" is one of the most beautiful songs ever written, and the album is worth the money for that one track alone.

Journeys of Frodo: An Atlas of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings: Atlas of J.R.R.Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings"
Journeys of Frodo: An Atlas of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings: Atlas of J.R.R.Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings"
by Barbara Strachey
Edition: Paperback

16 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay, but no masterpiece, 4 Jun. 2002
Very much the sort of thing that anybody with an ounce of artistic talent and the patience to analyse the book blow-by-blow, but better works have since appeared.
If you're that serious a Tolkien completist, then you may consider this an essential book - if not, just wait till you're given it for your birthday or whatever - as somebody is *bound* to get it for you ...

The Atlas of Tolkien's Middle-Earth
The Atlas of Tolkien's Middle-Earth
by Karen Wynn Fonstad
Edition: Paperback

27 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A learned scientific treatise of somewhere that don't exist, 4 Jun. 2002
If you are in love with Tolkien's work and have a nodding acquaintance with the science of physical geography and geology and all that, then this is most definitely a book to get. It comes across as something that a top-flight student may create, if absolutely bored stiff with a course that's many miles beneath her.
The style, however, is not in the least tongue-in-cheek, but is a *serious* effort to place the land of middle-earth in a scientifically plausible context. And as such, it succeeds in a particularly intense way. It may be a spoiler to mention the fact that the author has established beyond a doubt that Eriador is the epicentre of a long-ago huge meteor strike, but that's the sort of direction that she comes from.
An off-beat and fascinating diversion for the understimulated intellect. Recommended.

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