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H. Derbyshire (Greenwich, UK)

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Love At First Sting
Love At First Sting
Offered by Videomusiconline
Price: £24.00

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Teutonic rock classic, 22 Nov. 2007
This review is from: Love At First Sting (Audio CD)
The Scorpions achieved their greatest success in the UK with their epic 'Wind of Change', inspired by the fall of the Berlin Wall, but devotees of the band recognise this earlier album as perhaps their finest achievement. Singer Klaus Meine may have a German accent, but rock is a universal language which the Scorps - and their legions of fans - speak fluently.

A savage peal of guitars and the album is underway, with Meine offering a timely warning of the danger posed by 'Bad Boys Running Wild'. Faced with this threat, the listener is offered a stark choice: 'if you don't play along with their games... then you'd better get out of the way'. What would YOU do? If you can't decide, Meine's startling cry of 'Get out ze vay!' has the ring of genuine urgency.

Next track is the legendary anthem 'Rock You Like a Hurricane'. If Meine's sincerity was ever in question, his mid-chorus screech of 'Gonna rock you baby!!' leaves the listener in no doubt that he is indeed intent on showing his fortunate lady a good time. The tone set, the album proceeds with classic following classic. I would pick out Meine's moving tribute to the power of rock, 'The Same Thrill', the euphoric 'Big City Nights', and the groundbreaking power ballad 'Coming Home'. Also worthy of mention is the thought-provoking 'Crossfire', in which Meine ponders the dangers of global nuclear proliferation to the inspired backing of military drums. His question, 'Why cannot people that we made the leaders of the world/Understand that we don't wanna fight?' remains as relevant now as it was on the album's release.

The LP's totemic status, however, is confirmed by closing track 'Still Loving You'. This heart-shredding rock ballad sees Meine promising to 'try to change/The zings that killed our love' to an understated backdrop of squealing guitar pyrotechnics from the able fingers of Rudi Schenker. Meine's final cry of 'Still loving you babee!!!' confirms beyond doubt that this was a song especially close to his heart - and, after hearing it, I cannot believe that the lady in question refused to take him back. Only the most stony-hearted listener could hear to this track without feeling their eyes begin to water. And so concludes 'Love at First Sting', an album apt to leave listeners shocked, reeling, unsteady on their feet, and in some cases prone to nausea and vomiting. Such is truly the power of rock.

If I Should Fall From Grace With God (Remastered & Expanded)
If I Should Fall From Grace With God (Remastered & Expanded)
Price: £5.99

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A bruised but sparkling diamond, 22 Nov. 2007
In 1987, Shane MacGowan was a brilliant man in a hurry. The Pogues were his second group, and he was hoping not to repeat the mistakes of first combo the zesty but peripheral Nips. His big idea, to mix the Irish folk music with which he'd grown up with the punk energy that had fired his soul as a teenager, was a magnificent one. Record company wrangles, however, had stopped the group putting anything out for over a year and Shane's wholehearted commitment to the rock'n'roll lifestyle meant he was on a short fuse.

Happily, before his strength gave out he led the brilliant Pogues to produce their masterpiece If I Should Fall From Grace With God. The hiatus in the band's recording career just meant that they had amassed better songs, and constant touring to keep them in readies had made them tighter than a bluebottle's arse. Their third album benefited from an openness to other traditions (not to mention the songwriting talent of fellow Pogues Finer, Chevron and Woods) without losing the passion the Pogues had always channelled through the Irish music of MacGowan's forbears.

So - here we have blistering pop brilliance, defiant political belligerence, lurching hurdy-gurdy, sweeping romance, cosmopolitan swing, bilious nostalgia, frenetic foul-mouthed bombast, Mardi Gras mayhem and much, much more. Everyone knows the beautiful `Fairy Tale of New York', featuring the pitch-perfect Kirsty MacColl, but only arguably is it the best song on this album. You owe it to yourself to hear the rest and decide for yourself.

This expanded edition has extra tracks, including `The Irish Rover' and `The Rare Auld Mountain Dew' recorded with the Dubliners.

Policing the Crisis: Mugging, the State, and Law and Order (Critical Social Studies)
Policing the Crisis: Mugging, the State, and Law and Order (Critical Social Studies)
by Stuart Hall
Edition: Paperback
Price: £33.99

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic study of criminalisation, 2 Mar. 2007
This collaboratively authored book begins as an attempt to analyse the apparent rise in a new form of crime in Britain of the early 1970s, mugging. The authors expose the ways in which changes of operational procedure and priority on the part of the police were at least partly responsible for this phenomenon, as concern that mugging needed to be cracked down on led to more arrests as well as to more offences being classified as muggings. The coverage of the resultant court cases led to much media comment on this apparent new phenomenon, fuelling public concern which resulted in the handing down of greatly increased sentences to convicted muggers in the name of deterrence. Thus, the authors aim to demonstrate that the phenomenon was certainly fuelled and indeed, to a certain extent, created by the very institutions to which fell the task of controlling it. The authors then examine this chain of events as an instance by which a crisis of ideology within British society and late capitalism in general is managed by the authorities. Supposedly deviant groups, in this case young black males, are periodically singled out and placed at the centre of a series of moral panics which allow the state to demonstrate that it has the people's consent to maintain the status quo through an increasing reliance on a authoritarian `law'n'order' model. The book concludes with an extended and unashamedly polemical Marxist analysis of the situation of the black British as a super-exploited sub-proletariat, and attempts to lay the theoretical ground for those trying to reconfigure society for the better. Its sometimes uneven tone reflects its collaborative authorship, and the terms of the debate and the nature of the identified crisis root the book firmly in its 1970s point of origin, but there is nonetheless a great deal in this classic cultural study to provoke thought and debate into the twenty-first century.

We Are The Pipettes [VINYL]
We Are The Pipettes [VINYL]

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They are the Pipettes, 6 Aug. 2006
This is a poptastic album full of proper, catchy songs written and performed by three glamourous gals who know exactly how seriously teenage experience should be taken. Buy it - your life will be better.

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