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Steve A (North)

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The Virgin Years
The Virgin Years
Price: £19.99

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars so if you get this and it rekindles your interest in this great band don't forget to pick up all the RUTS ..., 27 Oct. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Virgin Years (Audio CD)
The Ruts released just one album and six singles before their untimely demise,so can Virgin (Caroline) justify a 4CD Box Set ? For fans of the band I think the answer is yes.
A quick trawl of Amazon's listings shows at least 20 albums released under the Ruts name , a confusing mix of compilations,dodgy live albums,and early demo recordings. Here you get The Crack album , all the singles A and B sides , all the radio sessions , and live recordings from three different dates during 1979 , effectively making all the other releases redundant.
The studio recordings have been remastered and to my ears sound much clearer than any previous CD releases.
Sadly Segs and Ruffy wont get royalties from this release , so if you get this and it rekindles your interest in this great band don't forget to pick up all the RUTS DC releases as well (Animal Now , Rhythm Collision Vol 1 & 2 , Live on Stage) - you wont regret it.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 16, 2015 10:09 AM GMT

Depravity (New York May 28th 1975)
Depravity (New York May 28th 1975)
Price: £11.94

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Patti Live in NYC 75, 6 Jun. 2014
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This is a remarkable CD taken from a live radio broadcast on May 28 1975 a few months before Patti's debut album Horses was issued. Previously only available as a bootleg it is issued here in a card digipak on the Applebush label. Sleeve notes are supposedly by Ivan Kral the PSG guitarist at this show so presumably he is involved in its release now.
About half of the 13 tracks would later appear on Horses and the rest are a mixture of cover versions and other stuff that was never issued officially.
To me this is the best Patti Smith live recording I have heard.The band at this stage were yet to become the "Patti Smith Group" and are still startlingly original, before producers such as Jack Douglas,Jimmy Iovine,and Todd Rundgren drained the life out of them on later studio albums. It's evocative of an exciting,naive time in music shortly before the CBGB punk scene broke big.
Pick it up now before it fades into the shadows again.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 7, 2015 9:44 AM BST

The Last Post
The Last Post
Price: £15.38

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars comical little geezer,look funny when he's 50, 9 Oct. 2007
This review is from: The Last Post (Audio CD)
Carbon/Silicon are a 'new' band featuring Mick Jones(Clash,Bad),Tony James (Gen X),Leo Williams(BAD).This is their first official album but theyve actually been releasing tracks as free downloads from their website for about 3 years now.
So this album picks 12 tracks from a stockpile of about 50 and the quality is superb.Highlights such as Magic Suitcase and Global War on Culture are given a real boost by the production.Micks vocals are high in the mix and the guitars sound great.
It's really great to hear a band sing topical songs with a sense of humour and still rock.
Mick's last 2 BAD albums Higher Power and F Punk were so awful that it seemed he'd lost the plot,but this is a great comeback.Joe Strummers solo albums were worthy and BAD produced some decent tracks but I think this is the best Clash-related release since Combat Rock.
What they should do next is give us the rest of the songs (Gangs Of England sadly missing here) on the next album,and make it a double !

Price: £5.99

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lot better than you think its going to be !, 7 Jun. 2007
This review is from: Twelve (Audio CD)
I was initially disappointed on hearing that Patti's new album would be all cover versions,surely the last artistic resort for someone whose muse has fled ?

However,on actually listening to the album it was a very pleasant surprise.The opening track , Jimi Hendrix's "Are You Experienced" is a revelation , dragging this song away from its 60s associations and bringing it bang up to date. That sets the tone for the rest of the record really with "Gimme Shelter","Teen Spirit",and "Soul Kitchen" being highlights.

There are some surprises , Tears For Fears , Paul Simon , Stevie Wonder and The Allman Bros Band not being artists you would normally align with Patti Smith.However these versions work because the songs and the interpretations are strong.I don't agree with previous reviewers who have said that the album lacks passion.

Patti Smith has always mixed cover versions with original material since Van Morrison's "Gloria" opened her first album.So my advice is to give it a listen and you won't regret it

Land [1975-2002]
Land [1975-2002]
Price: £9.24

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a must buy at this price - four quid !!!!, 3 May 2007
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This review is from: Land [1975-2002] (Audio CD)
I'm so tempted to buy this again even though I've already got it.Really at this price its got to be worth a try even if you dont know any Patti stuff at all.
Its not really a 'Best Of' album.If you want the best of Patti Smith then just buy the sublime Horses album.
But this 2 disc set is packed with classics from the 70s ,with several cuts from Horses included.Highlights are Gloria,Free Money,Because The Night,Dancing Barefoot,Piss Factory,Redondo Beach,Birdland (live) and many others.This album mixes Patti's 70s stuff with cuts from her later more subdued albums such as Gone Again,Peace and Noise,and Gung Ho, which for me don't compare well to her classic albums Horses,Easter,and Radio Ethiopia.But here you can get a taster of what all those albums sound like,plus some rare demo and live stuff.The package also includes a great booklet packed with photos and lyrics.Really for £4 you cant go wrong here,so buy it now before they put the price up !!

Totally Wired - The Rough Trade Anthology
Totally Wired - The Rough Trade Anthology
Offered by jim-exselecky
Price: £12.99

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Value Rough Trade Fall Comp, 7 Mar. 2007
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For anyone looking for a concise summation of the Fall's Rough Trade recordings , this is a great double CD.It is drawn from the Fall albums Grotesque (8 tracks),Slates (5 tracks),Perverted by Language (9 tracks), plus 4 tracks apiece from the live albums Totales Turns and A Part of America Therein.Also contained is an unavailable elsewhere version of 'I Feel Voxish'(the original is on PBL)
So the new Fall fan has the choice of shelling out approx £40 for the above 5 albums or picking this up for a tenner.So I think thats pretty good value,especially considering all the dodgy Fall compilations which are available and that you could be tricked into buying.

The Good, The Bad & The Queen
The Good, The Bad & The Queen
Price: £4.94

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Friday Night in the Kingdom Of Doom, 25 Jan. 2007
I'v never been that big a fan of Blur , but being an old git and a big fan of the Clash I was intrigued to see what kind of music had managed to tempt Paul Simonon away from his painting and back to music.Ive had the album a few days now and it's a grower.At first listen it seems to be background mood music but each subsequent play imprints the songs into your consciousness more and more.There are no really uptempo tracks and it doesnt particularly remind me of Blur or The Clash.The topic of the songs is vague but most of them reference London and a few mention the'war'.Standout tracks for me apart from singles Kingdom Of Doom and Herculean are Behind The Sun and Green Fields.The first great album of 2007.

Gulag Orkestar
Gulag Orkestar
Price: £17.84

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brooklyn to Budapest, 30 Nov. 2006
This review is from: Gulag Orkestar (Audio CD)
According to the music press this record is by a 20 year old kid from New Mexico who went travelling in Europe, fell in love with Eastern European music , then moved to Brooklyn and learned how to play the required instruments.Don't know if I believe all of that , but ultimately it doesn't matter because the music here is fantastic.

The sound maybe Eastern European,but the sensibility is still mid atlantic and the combination of the two has produced the best album of 2006.I guarantee that one listen and you will be hooked by Zach Condon's haunting vocals.Make sure you buy the version that includes the new 'Lon Gisland' EP as a bonus disc as the additional 5 tracks are all excellent.

CD86: 48 Tracks From The Birth Of Indie Pop [2 CD Set]
CD86: 48 Tracks From The Birth Of Indie Pop [2 CD Set]
Price: £25.88

13 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Precious - and not in a good way, 16 Nov. 2006
This 2CD 48 track compilation harks back to the era of the NME cassette C86.However,its NOT an expanded reissue of that release as there are actually only 3 tracks included from the original (Primal Scream's 'Velocity Girl',The Bodines 'Therese',and the Wedding Present's 'This Boy Can Wait'.Several bands from the original are to be found here with different tracks.... The Mighty Lemon Drops,Shop Assistants,The Soup Dragons,Mighty Mighty,The Servants,The Pastels etc etc.

It seems the compiler (Bob Stanley of St Etienne) has gone for a uniformity of sound here , the sound of what it was like to be a white middle class British student in mid-80s Thatchers' Britain.This is not a good thing in case you were wondering.

Long forgotten bands from the original tape such as Stump,Bogshed,A Witness,Fuzzbox who sounded a bit different have been omitted.Which is fair enough as most of them weren't very good in the first place !

Its strange listening to this now,to realise that (Indie) music had taken a detour down a side road that merely came to a dead end.The bands on these CD's have taken the influence of early 80's post punk pioneers such as Orange Juice,Josef K,Bunnymen etc and watered it down to a twee tuneless jangly uniformity,where every singer aspires to be Edwyn Collins.

Having said that ,48 tracks for a tenner is not bad and there are some long forgotten gems to be found here amongst the dross ..... the aforementioned 'Therese' by the Bodines and 'Frans Hals' by McCarthy are personal favourites.The peerless 'Almost Prayed' by the Weather Prophets is probably the most obvious omission IMHO.

So (if) you pay your money you can take your choice.You might even be able to compile a decent cassette from the good stuff here !

Don't Try This At Home
Don't Try This At Home
Price: £10.47

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars He had an uncle who once played for Red Star Belgrade !, 19 Oct. 2006
This review is from: Don't Try This At Home (Audio CD)
I've always loved this album,originally released in 1991.It contains many of Bill's best loved songs , a mixture of the political and personal.Its a lot easier on the ear than his previous album , Workers Playtime , and it has better tunes than his later albums.

There are 3 bona fide hit singles here - Sexuality,Accident Waiting To Happen,and Neighborhood (featuring REM) , but there are many other superb tracks - Cindy Of A Thousand Lives and Gods Footballer in particular.

Now its re-released with a Bonus disc of 14 tracks , some of which are considerably different versions of tracks on the actual album , but also some new (to me anyway) songs -Bread and Circuses,Party Of God (which was a 10,000 maniacs B side), and Piccadilly Rambler (from a BBC TV play).The quality on the bonus disc doesnt dip at all and I think for 8 quid you can't go wrong here.

All together now " I've had relations with girls from many nations!!"
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 6, 2016 11:19 AM BST

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