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Peter Durward Harris "Pete the music fan" (Leicester England)
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All Time Greatest Hits
All Time Greatest Hits
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £16.48

4.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding songwriter sings with conviction, 19 May 2015
This review is from: All Time Greatest Hits (Audio CD)
Kris was never blessed with a great singing voice but his voice is good enough on his own songs, which he sings with a conviction and honesty sometimes (but not always) lacking in cover versions by others. In that way, he may be compared with Bob Dylan, another outstanding songwriter with vocal limitations. As somebody who regards the human voice as the most important musical instrument of all, I cannot say that Kris is one of my favorite singers, but he has just enough to make me want to listen to his music every now and again. Perhaps it is the desperation with which he sings Help me make it through the night, or his attempt to find spiritual answers in Why me lord.

So on this compilation you will find his original recordings of songs that have become classics across several different genres of music, including pop, rock, country, soul, R+B and reggae. The most successful song of all is Help me make it through the night, which has charted for several different singers. Sammi Smith was first, selling two million copies in the USA, topping the country charts and reaching the top ten in the pop charts. John Holt, a fine reggae singer, took it high up the British charts. Another popular song, For the good times, was a country hit for Ray Price and a pop hit for Perry Como. Among the other singers who have been successful with his songs are Janis Joplin (Me and Bobby McGhee), Johnny Cash (Sunday morning coming down), Waylon Jennings (The taker) and Brenda Lee (Nobody wins), but this is by no means a complete list.

This, then, is a fine collection of music by an outstanding songwriter who, despite his vocal limitations, is worth an occasional listen.


The End Of The World
The End Of The World
Price: £9.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All her music from 1957 to 1962, 9 May 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The End Of The World (Audio CD)
The first CD contains all the A and B sides of Skeeter's solo singles from 1957 to 1962, but not the earlier duets that she recorded as the harmony singer in the Davis Sisters.

The second CD contains all the tracks from Skeeter's first solo album (I'll sing for you and harmonize too), all the tracks from her album of duets with Porter Wagoner and the six answer songs that Skeeter recorded for an album that also featured original recordings by other artists, but those are omitted. (A release on Sepia records features the answer song album in its entirety, coupled with the Porter duets album.)

All very well, but five of the A sides and one of the B sides (The Devil's Doll) on CD 1 also appear as album tracks on CD 2, the A-sides being I Forgot More Than You'll Ever Know (a solo re-recording by Skeeter), Set Him Free, Am I That Easy to Forget , (I Can't Help You) I'm Falling Too and My Last Date (With You). If you play the two CDs back-to-back, you may find it irritating, but others will be happy that Jasmine did it this way.

An American reviewer is disappointed that there is nothing here that was recorded after 1962, but Jasmine stick to releasing what is in the public domain under European copyright law, and music recorded in 1963 won't enter the public domain until 2033.

This is every bit as good as I expected. I have most of the tracks elsewhere, but maybe I can dispense with one or two CDs.


The Sensational Charley Pride/Songs Of Pride…Charley That Is/In Person/Just Plain Charley
The Sensational Charley Pride/Songs Of Pride…Charley That Is/In Person/Just Plain Charley
Price: £11.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Four excellent albums, 9 May 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This double CD contains all the tracks from Charley Pride's fifth, sixth, seventh and ninth albums. His eighth album was a Best of, but the next album following the four here was called his tenth album. His first four albums have been put on another double CD, released not long after this one.

These four albums each yielded one major hit, these being The easy part's over, Let the chips fall, Kaw-Loga and I'm so afraid of losing you again. During this period, Charley also had a big hit with All I have to offer you is me, which appeared on that Best of Charley Pride compilation mentioned above. It would have been nice if that track had been included as a bonus, but let's not be greedy as there are four albums here, and if you're a Charley Pride fan, you've probably got that track anyway.

The booklet notes by John Tobler don't say as much about Charley Pride as you might expect, but they say plenty about other people and the songs. I was surprised that John Tobler omitted to mention that Carl Belew had a #12 country hit in 1965 with Crysyal chendeliers. Charley Pride covered the song and it is now the song he is best known for in Britain and many other places, I've never heard the original version, but I hope to buy some of Carl Belew's music sometime (he also recorded the original version of Am I that easy to forget).

John Tobler also suggests that the most famous version of Cotton fields might be the one by Creedence Clearwater Revival . I like their version, but the Beach Boys had a major international hit with it and I always think of their version as the definitive cover of this Leadbelly song. My favourite version is actually the French version by Petula Clark, but I've heard many great versions of Cotton fields including Charley Pride's live version featured here.

Overall, the four albums here offer a wonderful selection of music by Charley Pride, who is now getting some long-overdue attention from reissue labels.


The Definitive Collection
The Definitive Collection
Price: £10.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All the hits and much more including Old toy trains, 7 May 2015
Another reviewer doesn't think this is the definitive collection, but it's as near as you are ever likely to get on a double CD. It contains all his hits from 1963 onward. His three early American country hits are not here as they were on a different label, but two are here via re-recordings, these being You don't want my love (re-titled In the summertime) and When two worlds collide.

As a singer, his earliest successes were with novelty songs like Dang me, Do-wacka-do and Chug-a-lug. Perhaps his most memorable novelty song to my ears (though less successful than those three) was You can't roller skate in a buffalo herd.

When Roger started recording more serious songs, he really hit the jackpot. The song he is best remembered for, King of the road, describes a man who needs somewhere to sleep overnight. He hasn't got any money but he is willing to do two hours' work to pay for his bed. Another of his classic songs, England swings, describes his image of London as he saw it in the sixties. I don't think London was really as he describes it even then but it's a great song. Walking in the sunshine is another joyful song.

Contrast those songs with Last word in lonesome is me (title is self-explanatory) and Husbands and wives (about marital problems) - two very sad songs.

Having been grateful to others who recorded his songs while he was struggling, Roger did his bit for those that followed. He helped Kris Kristofferson by being the first singer to record Me and Bobby McGee (even before all the lyrics were completed), a song that has since become a country standard but also made the pop charts when covered by Janis Joplin. He also recorded Little green apples, written by Bobby Russell.

Roger had five hits on the British pop charts (King of the road - a number one hit, Engine engine number nine, Kansas city star, England swings and Little green apples). He had an even greater number of hits on the American pop charts and more still on the country charts.

One track included here that didn't chart is Old toy trains, which is a favorite Christmas song of mine. I have a huge collection of Christmas music, but this compilation is the only collection on which Roger's own version of the song appears. As such, I would have bought this to just get that track, but of course there is so much else to enjoy here too. (Oddly, I do have the original B-side, Roger's take on Silent night, on a multi-artist Christmas compilation; it's not here but I don't mind.)

So here are all the classics, some rarities and Roger's versions of songs that he wrote but others had hits with, often before Roger started hitting the charts with his own recordings. This will very likely remain the strongest Roger Miller compilation for a long time to come. A Bear Family compilation seems unlikely as they released a single CD of his music King of the road a while ago. I bought that and will keep it as it has tracks that aren't here, but this is much stronger.

Tracks

CD 1

1. Dang Me
2. Chug-a-Lug
3. Do-Wacka-Do
4. King of the Road
5. Engine Engine #9
6. One Dyin' and a Buryin'
7. It Just Happened Just That Way
8. Kansas City Star
9. England Swings
10. The Last Word In Lonesome Is Me
11. In the Summertime
12. Husbands and Wives
13. I've Been A Long Time Leavin'
14. You Can't Roller Skate in a Buffalo Herd
15. My Uncle Used to Love Me But She Died
16. Heartbreak Hotel
17. Billy Bayou
18. Train Of Life
19. Walkin' in the Sunshine
20. The Ballad of Waterhole #3 (Code of the West)
21. Old Toy Trains
22. Little Children Run and Play
23. Vance
24. By The Time I Get To Phoenix
25. Little Green Apples

CD 2

1. Swiss Cottage Place
2. Jody And The Kid
3. Where Have All the Average People Gone
4. Me and Bobby McGee
5. Darby's Castle
6. Boeing Boeing 707
7. Tall, Tall Trees
8. Half a Mind
9. When Two Worlds Collide
10. The Tom Green County Fair
11. Don't We All Have The Right
12. My Ears Should Burn (When Fools are Talked About)
13. When a House is Not a Home
14. South
15. Invitation to the Blues
16. Lovin' Her Was Easier (Than Anything I'll Ever Do Again)
17. Tomorrow Night in Baltimore
18. Rings for Sale
19. Sunny Side Of Life
20. We Found It in Each Other's Arms
21. (The Day I Jumped) From Uncle Harvey's Plane
22. Hoppy's Gone
23. River in the Rain
24. Some Hearts Get All the Breaks
25. Tolivar
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 11, 2015 9:40 AM BST


Toshiba Satellite C50D-A-133 15.6-inch Laptop (AMD E1-2100 1.0 GHz, 4 GB RAM, 500 GB HDD, Windows 8.1)
Toshiba Satellite C50D-A-133 15.6-inch Laptop (AMD E1-2100 1.0 GHz, 4 GB RAM, 500 GB HDD, Windows 8.1)
Offered by DGADGET
Price: £279.99

1.0 out of 5 stars Waste of money, 23 April 2015
I don't normally review electronics, but this is - or should I say was, because I gave up on it long ago - awful. Others have explained it better than I could, but I felt obliged to say something. Save your money for something better.


The Sixties Album
The Sixties Album
Price: £6.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great compilation, 4 Mar. 2015
This review is from: The Sixties Album (Audio CD)
Over the years, I've acquired a number of compilations of this type, but this is an interesting one. Focusing mainly on the second half of the decade but with some earlier, it includes tracks by Trini Lopez, PP Arnold, Desmond Dekker and The Aces, Buffalo Springfield, Amen Corner and Fontella Bass along with plenty of more obvious names. The compiler of this collection is obviously a fan of Gerry and the Pacemakers, having included three tracks of theirs while omitting plenty of big names altogether, but of course those omitted are well represented elsewhere.

This is a great compilation of its type.


A Beautiful Collection - Best Of Carole King
A Beautiful Collection - Best Of Carole King
Price: £5.00

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice sampling of Carole's early seventies music, 4 Mar. 2015
The release of this compilation reminded me that in all these years collecting music to listen to, the only album of Carole's own recordings that I ever got around to buying was her Christmas album. Shame on me, but I've bought this now and will buy more later. Listening to this shows some of what I've been missing out on through all these years.

The tracks here were all originally recorded in the seventies, although Carole had already established herself as a hugely successful songwriter before then, particularly co-writing with her then-husband Gerry Goffin. Following their divorce, Carole established herself as a singer of her own songs. This compilation appears to be the British response to a Broadway musical about her. The Americans released a soundtrack using the musical's cast, but I haven't heard that. I might buy it eventually, but not before I buy more of Carole's own recordings.

The big hit for Carole during the early seventies (and the only one in the UK during that period) was the double-sided single It's too late / I feel the earth move. Her other seventies hits in America are also featured here, but Carole at that time was better known for her albums and if the rest of the tracks on those albums are even close to what is here, they are certainly worth a listen. They include her own versions of songs that were hits for others including Will you love me tomorrow (Shirelles), You've got a friend (James Taylor) and Natural woman (Aretha Franklin).

This is fine collection of Carole's music, but I'll buy more of it eventually.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 6, 2015 12:43 PM GMT


First Ladies Of Country
First Ladies Of Country
Price: £7.00

12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great selection of female country music, 2 Mar. 2015
This review is from: First Ladies Of Country (Audio CD)
Not for the first time, a multi-artist double CD of country music has one side featuring mostly older music while the other mostly focuses on more recent music, rather than mixing them up. Perhaps the compilers acknowledge that many fans have a distinct preference for one or the other. I prefer the older music, but I buy compilations like this to see how the music is progressing. As such, I would not mind if the older and newer music were all jumbled up, but if most fans prefer segregation, fair enough.

The first CD mostly features the older artists, several of whom are no longer with us (Tammy, Patsy, June, Dottie and Billie Jo) but at least their music lives on. Among those, I was particularly pleased to find Dottie here. She doesn't turn up on these UK compilations as much as I'd like to see, perhaps because she never had a UK hit single, but she has long been one of my favurites. I discovered her music initially via her duets with Kenny Rogers and immediately set about hunting for her own music, particularly from her time at RCA. Country sunshine is a good example of her RCA music. Several of the other tracks on the first CD have been released countless times, and Stand by your man also appears on a 70s pop compilation released the sane day (country music fans usually know that it was a sixties recording, but it only made the UK charts in 1975 when it went all the way to number one).

The less obvious tracks on the first CD come near the end. I was a little surprised at the inclusion of Fancy (Reba McEntire), but this was a cover of one of Bobbie Gentry's songs and that may be why it was chosen; Bobbie Gentry herself is not featured. I actually have albums by several of the newer artists, but there are three that are new to me (Wonderland, Maddie and Tae, First Aid Kit). Like the other 21st century recordings here. they have a generally smoother sound than the older tracks. but that's the way that Nashville has moved in recent years.

The future of country music in America is uncertain, with the emergence of "Americana", which is not represented here. It has a different sound from modern Nashville recordings but isn't like 20th century Nashville recordings either. It seems to have elements of country rock. As things continue evolving, it will be interesting to see where the music goes.

This is a fascinating compilation combining old and new. I'll give it the benefit of the doubt and 5 stars for its mix of old and new, with plenty of classic oldies, some enjoyable newer tracks and nothing that would cause me to reach for the skip button. but is this what the British (or any other) public wants?


The Nation's Favourite 70s Number Ones
The Nation's Favourite 70s Number Ones
Price: £6.99

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Overall, an outstanding selection of seventies music, 2 Mar. 2015
With 68 tracks, most of which I thoroughly enjoy listening to, I had to buy this album as soon as I looked to see what new releases were in the shops. It was a particularly good day for me as I also bought three other new releases, so I've got a busy period of reviewing this week.

Many of these tracks will be familiar to fans of 70s pop music, and not just in Britain where this compilation was released. Mainstream pop, rock, soul and disco music inevitably dominate, reflecting the tastes of record buyers at the time. I only started collecting records in 1977, but I listened to a lot of pop radio before then so I became very familiar with these songs. Along the way I had forgotten some, but in most cases I'm pleased to be reminded of them. Even so, my favourites tend to be among the tracks I've bought on albums or compilations by the individual artists, which is well over half of them. I like compilations of this type because the give me a different listening experience, plus there's always the chance that I remember I must buy a collection by an artist who I hadn't got round to buying but meant to. It's too early to say whether this particular compilation will prompt me in that way, but it's happened plenty of times before.

Meanwhile, I'll nominate a selection of my favourite tracks that are included here. Among them are Wuthering heights, I'm not in love, I hear you knocking, Spirit in the sky, Dancing queen, Don't go breaking my heart, Rock your baby, I love to love, Yes sir I can boogie, You to me are everything, So you win again, Three times a lady, Without you, If you leave me now, Don't give up on us, Vincent, Annie's song, Seasons in the sun, Stand by your man (country music fans usually know that it was a sixties recording, but it only made the UK charts in 1975 when it went all the way to number one, hence its presence here), The wonder of you, December 1963, Love grows where my Rosemary goes, Yellow river, Chanson d'amour, Tie a yellow ribbon and Amazing grace.

It is worth noting that this compilation involves two of the three major labels now existing - Sony and Warner. The other, Universal, is not involved, so if your favourite is missing, it may be owned by Universal. Also, each artist is represented by only one track, and this may be the reason for the absence of Bridge over troubled water, because Art Garfunkel is here with I only have eyes for you. I would also have preferred Boney M to be represented by Rivers of Babylon, but of course I have those missing tracks elsewhere in my collection.

This is a fantastic collection, whether you have a lot of these tracks already or not.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 19, 2015 2:19 PM GMT


I Never Promised You a Rose Garden: A Short Guide to Modern Politics, the Coalition and the General Election
I Never Promised You a Rose Garden: A Short Guide to Modern Politics, the Coalition and the General Election
by John Crace
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £10.39

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cameron, Clegg, DevoMax, the Ed Millie Band and more, 1 Mar. 2015
I rarely vote in political elections these days, having become very disillusioned with all the parties, although I did vote against the proposed change to the way we vote in the referendum. It happened during Britain's first coalition government in my lifetime and subsequent evidence suggests that, while coalitions may work in some countries, they don't seem to work in Britain. However, I've lived through single-party governments too and most of them haven't been much better.

The author therefore didn't need to convince me that British politicians are a mediocre bunch, but while reminding me of the scandals and the crises that the politicians have faced, he did so in a very entertaining way.

The author covers most of the big issues that arose between 2010 and 2014, mentioning all the key players including Boris Johnson,who has been London's mayor since 2008. He is likely to return to Parliament on May 7th, although he intends to continue as mayor until 2016. So if Cameron doesn't win the election, Boris will likely be a leadership contender. Whether he would be a good leader is an open question, but the alternatives don't appeal to me. DevoMax seems to have swung the vote England's way this time.

One issue discussed is the Scottish referendum, the result of which was closer than had once been expected, but not close enough to overturn the Act of Union, 1707. As it seems that younger people were keener on independence than older people, it may be that a future referendum will produce a different outcome, but I don't expect there to be another referendum in my lifetime In any case. English politicians got quite a scare in 2014 and might think it wise to treat the Scots with more respect in future.

Elsewhere, UKIP gets its share of coverage, but I remember that Robert Kilroy Silk (who I had quite liked when he was a TV presenter) stood for them in the European elections for the East Midlands. I voted against him, but those who voted for probably wish they hadn't, as he went AWOL after being elected. Any respect I had for him as a TV presenter vanished at that point, along with any chance that I would ever be converted to the UKIP cause.

Of course, most of the book is about Cameron, Clegg and the Ed Millie Band. I don't like any of them and the author reminded me why. Nevertheless, I found this to be a hugely entertaining book.


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