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Profile for jlchurch@callnetuk.com > Reviews

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Reviews Written by
jlchurch@callnetuk.com (Slough, UK)

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The Spotlight Kid/Clear Spot
The Spotlight Kid/Clear Spot
Price: £6.38

9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rhythmically stunning, brilliant, the best value music ever., 27 April 2001
So, you've not heard any Beefheart but thought you might like to? BUY THIS! The Captain's iron fist drilled amazing tightness into the bands for these albums. It probably won't make sense for a while but suddenly, after a couple of listens, your feet and body will take control and your mind will follow. Sadly, most recent music will cease to make sense, but who said reality is kind?....


Tales Of The Dying Earth (FANTASY MASTERWORKS)
Tales Of The Dying Earth (FANTASY MASTERWORKS)
by Jack Vance
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wierd stuff, 27 April 2001
I read these decades ago, and have done again a couple of times. They're all an easy, involving read - great for trains, buses, waiting rooms. All have a nicely callous and sardonic feel, almost no pleasant characters which last very long. I think they are among Jack Vance's best little ditties. Few books attempt to get into the feeling of despair and purposelessness of the end of time on our planet, these do - but in a rather offhand way. There are a couple of somewhat similar books by William Hope Hodgson - The Nightland vols I and II which make for an interesting comparison, albeit in an older style (first published 1912).


The Glass Bead Game
The Glass Bead Game
by Hermann Hesse
Edition: Hardcover

41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't read me first, 5 Jan. 2001
This review is from: The Glass Bead Game (Hardcover)
More complex than his earlier books. Read 'Narziss & Goldmund' first, where similar themes are developed as separate characters, and this will make much more sense. The other main books: 'Damian', 'Steppenwolf', 'Siddartha', explore/describe singular ways of living rather than the deep personal conflict here - read them before or after, as you like. This is the greatest novel about the pursuit of the aesthetic life, its rewards and cost, ever written - I think.


Narcissus and Goldmund (Peter Owen Modern Classic)
Narcissus and Goldmund (Peter Owen Modern Classic)
by Hermann Hesse
Edition: Paperback

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly great, 5 Jan. 2001
You can see this as an exploration of the conflict of choices between two ways of living represented by two separate men which are later condensed into an individual character in the 'Glass Bead Game' (GTB). Or you can, provided you get to page 30, read it as almost a racy historical novel. It (mostly) explores the life of a relatively shiftless, though not always his fault, man in the turmoil of plague-ridden Europe. But it's so, so much more. Read this then begin to comprehend GTB, then life, religion, purpose... . And it's an ace read.


Argent / Ring Of Hands
Argent / Ring Of Hands
Price: £12.16

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unique and excellent 69/70 rock / pop, 24 Sept. 2000
This review is from: Argent / Ring Of Hands (Audio CD)
The first Argent album is a classic. It's a logical progession from The Zombies with strong songs and vocals but with much more complex music. Some of the highlights are: the atmospheric 'Schoolgirl', vicious 'Liar' and offbeat 'Freefall'. No other band has sounded like that album since and Argent's music quickly evolved to become more commercial. Ring of Hands is their last satisfying step on that road, it's still good stuff but doesn't quite have the originality of the first album. Despite that, some tracks, like 'Lothlorien', are outstanding.


Miss America
Miss America

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wierdly excellent, 30 July 2000
This review is from: Miss America (Audio CD)
A truly original album. Takes a bit of getting used to but if you think 'I might like this' in the first 10 minutes then you can be sure it will really grow on you. It has a fractured, Outer Limits, Joni Mitchell feel to it. The singing is impressive, the songs original and thoughtful, the music rocks.
What happened to Mary thereafter? I first heard this in the mid 80's on a demo tape and Virgin released it a year or so later. Saw her do a gig in London in about 1990 but I know of no follow up releases....


Waiting For Columbus (Live)
Waiting For Columbus (Live)
Price: £7.72

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tight, funky stuff: an excellent live album, 30 July 2000
The Amazon review got it right. This is excellent american rocking music from the late 70's. The Grateful Dead provided the best live recordings in the early 70's, this followed on in a more upbeat sort of way.
Saw them on tour with The Who and other notable bands at about this time and they stole the show - one of the best live bands of the time and this CD shows it.


BBC Sessions
BBC Sessions
Price: £21.47

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Music wasn't like this before, and-sadly-hasn't been since., 30 July 2000
This review is from: BBC Sessions (Audio CD)
I listened to the two hour long concerts which make up most of this album and taped them at the time, the tapes died ages ago. Incredibly it took the BBC 30 years to get the recordings out. It's hard to express what I felt at the time, no one had made music like this, the power was immense, you had no idea what was coming next, I didn't even know if I liked it!
The best tracks are from the two concerts rather than the sessions - the BBC screwed up - they should have released the two concerts in their entirity and put the session tracks on a third CD.
Some of this music is the most electrifying ever recorded, you may find it hard to cope with at first but I think it's the greatest recorded live rock music there is.


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