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Mike the Fish "Mike the Fish" (UK)

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Organic Rose Water 100ml Glass Bottle
Organic Rose Water 100ml Glass Bottle
Offered by HPCStore
Price: £5.98

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alcohol free natural rose flavour, 4 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a decent sized bottle of natural rose flavour. It smells great, works well for baking and is made without alcohol.


Monsters University [DVD]
Monsters University [DVD]
Dvd ~ John Goodman
Price: £6.99

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much better than the trailer implied & amazing extra short., 4 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Monsters University [DVD] (DVD)
I wasn't interested in this film after I saw one of the trailers. It just didn't make the film look particularly funny or appealing. However, this film works really well. It shows some background to Sully, Mike and Randall's characters, and is frequently funny. I really enjoyed it.

EXTRAS:
Film commentary
The Blue Umbrella - which to me is amazing. Quite different from PIXAR's usual animation style, and very real looking.

SNEAK PEAKS:
Frozen
Mary Poppins.


Logitech Harmony 600
Logitech Harmony 600
Offered by DOMO EXPRESS
Price: £38.90

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Has some good qualities, but look elsewhere if you want to use it out of the box, 4 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Logitech Harmony 600 (Accessory)
A decent, if complex remote control. It doesn't take very long to set the basics up, but it can take hours to fine tune missing keys, and particularly to set it up to run activities, where mulitiple devices are being used at the same time. The device is flexible, but doesn't particularly suit our Panasonic TV that won't accept direct AV channel selection, rather it has to go through a list. If devices don't trigger the correct channel, a bit of fiddling needs to be done to exit the activity, select the device, then select the channel from the list, then return to the activity.

Software to set up the remote control is no longer downloadable, so all tweaking needs to be done online.

This can be a very useful controller across a maximum of 5 devices, but it can take A LOT of time to smooth out the rough spots. Buy with caution. Avoid if you find computer software/set up frustrating or challenging.


Ultimate Collection
Ultimate Collection
Price: £7.69

4.0 out of 5 stars Get the Two Tone recordings from the first single on CD, plus the U.S. mix of It Must Be Love!, 4 April 2014
This review is from: Ultimate Collection (Audio CD)
This is an interesting, frequently pleasing, although somewhat condensed best of running at around 58 minutes. Of major interest are the Two Tone versions of The Prince and Madness. The Prince frequently turns up on CD in the UK in truncated form with an early fade. The Two Tone version of Madness has yet to turn up on CD in the UK as far as I'm aware. The album version was used on Complete Madness, The Business anthology, and on the Madness Singles Box, vol. 1. Sound quality on both is pretty decent - although I've no idea of the source - and The Prince is particularly bassy. Aside from this the rest of the tracks appear to be standard LP, rather than single versions.

Night Boat to Cairo is the standard mix, and not the remix from the Geffen "Madness" album.

The tracks from One Step Beyond have the normally harsh treble very nicely tamed.

It Must Be Love is the alternate mix from the Geffen "Madness" album!

Baggy Trousers, Embarrassment & The Return of The Los Palmas 7 appear to be the album versions, and again do not sound harsh like they did on an old copy of Absolutely.

Our House, Tomorrow's... and Madness (Is All in the Mind) appear to be the album versions.

Grey Day and Shut Up appear to be the standard versions.

The Sun and the Rain appears to be the standard version.

Michael Caine appears to be the single (i.e. it doesn't have the "I think we got it there..." spoken part after the fade.)

I have no idea about Yesterday's Men, but it's not the harmonica version. It has a running time of around 4:32

WIngs of a Dove - seems to be the standard version.

A nice warm, bassy sound to the album.


The Riddle (Expanded Edition)
The Riddle (Expanded Edition)
Price: £12.70

4.0 out of 5 stars Wow - that's sounding good!, 17 Jan. 2014
What a splendid remaster! I first got this album in December 1984 for £5.99 on vinyl, and it marked the beginning of my (semi) regular album buying as a kid. I've played it quite a few times over the years having a couple of different vinyl cuts, and various stereos too. So I've heard it a lot. It sounds REALLY good!

In a music industry where there has been a frustrating trend to obliterate music with over compression and nasty EQ, comes this beauty, which demonstrates neither. I have read reports of a scraping noise on The Riddle - which I could not hear at the beginning, nor the end despite turning up loud, and footsteps on Wide Boy, which I also could not hear. Has the CD been corrected at some point? I have no idea. What I can tell you is that this is a worthy upgrade to the vinyl. The most impressive part to me has been hearing vocal parts, and the seperation therein, that just didn't leap out before. The last two tracks on each side seem to benefit most from the remastering, presumably due to the original LP cutting tapes being EQ'd to compensate for the greater limitations at the end of a side.

The bonus disc is a bit of a conundrum, to be honest. The sound quality is generally very good, although the 12" of The Riddle sounds a little muted, and the live stuff is limited by the quality of recording and various issues that Nik dips into in the brief inlay notes. (Oh, how I wanted to say sleeve notes.) There are six live tracks, seperated by five studio tracks. I have no issue with this myself, and bar from a notable omission of Easy, we are presented with alternate versions of the whole album, be it in remix or live form.

Three of the live tracks apparently have re-recorded vocals, although You Might sounds like a mixture to me. It does demonstrate that Nik's voice has worn remarkably well in 28 years. He was in a tough position, as his original vocal mic clearly was not very good - and he says he's allowed the better sounding vocals into the wild. It seems tape damaged limited was could be released too, although in what way (parts of a performance damaged, or actual tracks on the multis) is not clear. Roses and Know How appear to rely fairly heavily on a backing track when they were originally performed to some extent too. All the live stuff was mixed by Nik especially for this release - so thanks, Nik!

The 12" version of Don Quixote sounds superb, and without the sssssibilence that came with the vinyl, or the rougher sound as it approached the end of the side. Good mix too. I do wonder if there is some kind of minor NR or tape machine line up thing going on in places - nothing major at all though. The 12" of Wide Boy also sounds good, but is a pretty bad listening experience artistically IMHO. So Quiet sounds very nice (but there's something I'm not sure about that bothers me a little on this track.) I am wondering at the moment if it's an alternate mix - but maybe I'm not used to it without the clicks! Don't Lie sounds good - again the backing/layered vocals sounding beautifully clear.

Like many other people, I would have liked to have had the 12" version of Wild Horses, and Progress (live b-side of The Riddle single) even though it is IMHO pretty bad. There's also the 7" remix edit of Don Quixote and the 7" remix of Wide Boy MIA. The lack of completion is a little disappointing, and made moreso by how good the remaster sounds. It makes sense in terms of being a better, more cohesive listening experience with no repeated tracks across a single disc, but whichever way you look at it, it's clear Nik really did rather have nogress than progress.


At Third Man Records 6/15/2013
At Third Man Records 6/15/2013

3.0 out of 5 stars Good fun, but very clicky vinyl! Cut straight to acetate., 17 Jan. 2014
Jack Johnson live at Third Man - not just a live session, but with an audience.

Here's what's on it:

SIDE 1.
1. Banana Pancakes
2. Same Girl
3. Radiate
4. Do You Remember
5. I Got You
6. Good People

SIDE 2.
1. As I Was Saying
2. We Are Going To Be Friends
3. Home
4. Mudfootball
5. Upside Down
6. Better Together

The performance feels fairly informal and the arrangements are different enough in some cases to raise this above being a second rate greatest hits album. Definitely fun to listen to, and Jack makes some mistakes. There is one incident of strong language on side 1.

The performance was apparently recorded straight to acetate - no going back if something goes wrong - which in minor ways, it does. There is some distortion on the first track, which is presumably due to the engineers finding their way a little. During the quieter parts the vinyl sounds fine, but there is absolutely loads of quiet-ish clicking during much of the playing on side 1 which is a shame. My copy has a slight warp, and side 2 is pressed off centre.

An interesting idea, and worth a listen, but sadly the overall pressing/cutting quality isn't as high as I would have liked it.


live at third man records LP
live at third man records LP

3.0 out of 5 stars Good fun, but very clicky vinyl!, 9 Jan. 2014
Jack Johnson live at Third Man - not just a live session, but with an audience.

Here's what's on it:

SIDE 1.
1. Banana Pancakes
2. Same Girl
3. Radiate
4. Do You Remember
5. I Got You
6. Good People

SIDE 2.
1. As I Was Saying
2. We Are Going To Be Friends
3. Home
4. Mudfootball
5. Upside Down
6. Better Together

The performance feels fairly informal and the arrangements are different enough in some cases to raise this above being a second rate greatest hits album. Definitely fun to listen to, and Jack makes some mistakes. There is one incident of strong language on side 1.

The performance was apparently recorded straight to acetate - no going back if something goes wrong - which in minor ways, it does. There is some distortion on the first track, which is presumably due to the engineers finding their way a little. During the quieter parts the vinyl sounds fine, but there is absolutely loads of quiet-ish clicking during much of the playing on side 1 which is a shame. My copy has a slight warp, and side 2 is pressed off centre.

An interesting idea, and worth a listen, but sadly the overall pressing/cutting quality isn't as high as I would have liked it.


Complete Madness [VINYL]
Complete Madness [VINYL]
Price: £25.84

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars RED VINYL EDITION - Sounds good, but content not quite the same as the original, 20 Dec. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Complete Madness [VINYL] (Vinyl)
Complete Madness looks great on red vinyl. For some reason it has been split across two LPs, even though it fit quite comfortably on one without stretching near to the dreaded 30 minutes a side mark (Probably about 22 mins max.) I was surprised how much I liked the sound on this, although I have no idea what the sourcing was. At some point though this album has been remastered, whether that was for the Salvo CD or especially for this vinyl, I don't know.

What I can tell you is that most of the mixes/versions are correct to the original edition of the album, notably: Cardiac Arrest, It Must Be Love, The Prince (although the ending may be longer), Los Palmas 7, and House of Fun (with the fade.) What isn't quite right is One Step Beyond, which appears as the LP version with the longer "Hey you!" intro, rather than the single version as originally appeared, which interupts the pace of the album a little. It is worth noting that the tracks from the One Step Beyond album sound a good deal less harsh than they have done in the past.

The joins between the tracks are slightly different, improving the old version of the album where the fades cut bluntly and the next track came in. This has a much smoother transition between tracks, except maybe for Los Palmas 7 which doesn't have any of the bustle sound at the beginning.

The artwork/presentation is very good, which has been a strength in general through this Let Them Eat Vinyl reissue series. The front and inner gatefold of the sleeve, while not glossy, look very nice. The rear sleeve appears to be a mixture of new type setting and scans of the pictures from the original rear sleeve, so appears a little disjointed/inconsistent on close inspection. Nothing to get worried about though.

The record labels consist of the front sleeve artwork on the first side of each disc, and the relevent track listing on the other side. Each side is cut with a good distance to spare from the end of the side - about 1.5 inches in each case. In my case the discs were pretty much flat - a little off centre on a least one side of each disc (but only a little) and generally very quiet where it mattered.

Well presented, and decent sound.


Raintown - Vinyl [VINYL]
Raintown - Vinyl [VINYL]
Price: £17.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars BLUE VINYL EDITION - Looks nice, but sound isn't very good, minimal download bonus, 20 Dec. 2013
This review is from: Raintown - Vinyl [VINYL] (Vinyl)
This is one of my favourite albums, which of itself I would rate higher than three stars. As for the actual product, this is not great. The blue vinyl is quiet - which is good as the sound level seems a little low. The tracks are not cut very close to the end of the sides, which is also a bonus. However, the top end is not reproduced very well: there's less high frequency information and it sounds smeared/fluffy in that area too. A common 2nd hand, inexpensive, black, thin vinyl copy of the album sounds much better to me. This blue pressing doesn't appear to suffer the compression and challenging top end of the Sony Legacy remaster, but it just isn't as good as it could be, and has been. There is a download voucher, for the album in mp3, but that's all you get, and some nominal artwork - but not even the sleeve notes that came with the CD edition.

The album artwork is pretty good, although it looks like a scan of an original sleeve with some of the typefacing tarted up. The inner sleeve looks to be newly type set, mine was very tightly stuck with static to the record on arrival making it a challenge to remove. The sleeve has a little creasing as a result, and the vinyl had a lot more friction contact with the sleeve on first go than was necessary. The labels essentially the same as the original albeit with the Demon name rather than CBS, and maybe some small text details.

If you want a pretty record, then this could be for you, if you want the album to sound good you can pick up a second hand copy of the thin black vinyl for not very much. The old black vinyl has been my preferred version for sound against the original CBS CD and the Legacy remaster. I've not compared to the Demon CD yet though, although I read somewhere it used the same mastering as the Legacy - I hope not. (What a horrible name for a record label too.)


The Hurting
The Hurting

10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not over compressed, not quite complete, no lyrics, and a glitch in the mastering that Universal don't seem to care to fix., 28 Oct. 2013
This review is from: The Hurting (Audio CD)
NOTE: THIS FOUR STAR REVIEW HAS BEEN REDUCED TO 1 STAR AS UNIVERSAL WILL NOT REPLACE A DEFECTIVE DISC.

Most people will be aware of the content - almost complete, but frustratingly a track has been omitted. Saxophones as Opiates is not present, and as mentioned the band apparently had the call on that, but how on earth did Wino make it on in that case?!

Tonally the mastering is close to the 1999 remaster but sounds a lot more open, and this version doesn't seem to have major noise reduction on it. The audio has not been compressed to the eyeballs, and the top end has not been disproportinately boosted - hooray! There is a decent amount of top end, though - and some sibilence. Sadly there is a glitch on Ideas... at around the 2:25 mark, which is not on the 1999 edition. It's frustrating that these things get through! People into the minutiae may be interested to know that the polarity is also opposite to the 1999 edition.

As a bonus the original 12" mix of Pale Shelter has a longer fade: something a little extra for the collectors - which is welcome.

Unfortunately, We Are Broken has been replaced in error by Broken Revisted.

Comparing the 7" version of Suffer The Children from vinyl to the CD, I've got to say that my first impression is that I prefer the sound of the single. I don't know what the source of the "new version" (actually older) of Change is, but my first impression suggestion it sounded a bit low rez to me. I haven't compared that track with the vinyl yet, but it sounded a bit cassettey to my ears. The longer promo version of Suffer The Children sounds inferior to the shorter version that made the single. Presumably this was sourced from the promo CD rather than the original mastertape. A little disappointing, but better than it being omitted from the collection, also demonstrates how much better the remastered single version sounds. The remix of Suffer The Children has some clicks during the intro, but on casual speaker listening didn't have anything glaring to suggest it was a definitely a needle drop. The instrumental version also has some clicking on the intro, and does - at casual listening - sound vinyl sourced.

The box is quite nicely priced for this kind of thing, but the booklets are centre stapled rather than hardback, which would have been nicer and a more deluxe touch for the main booklet. Also there is no ribbon to help pull out the discs and booklet, instead you have to fish around a bit which is likely to increase wear to both the box and the items inside. Oh, and there's no lyrics! Come on Universal - don't miss the basics!!!

Great debut album, some frustrating issues. Hope Songs... gets a super deluxe too - albeit without glitches, and with the lyrics.

PS: Get on Universal's case to replace the faulty CD. There is a Uspeak page on their website: go there and ask, but be polite!
Comment Comments (19) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 10, 2015 7:50 AM GMT


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