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Vaughan "Crash" (UK)

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The Low Highway (Bonus DVD)
The Low Highway (Bonus DVD)
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £8.47

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Earle Being Earle, 16 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
My expectations for a new Steve Earle recording is that it's simply Earle being Earle. As much as he enjoys flights of fancy, love songs, and songs honoring family and friends, he equally cannot tear himself away from injustice, hardships, and acknowledgements of the frailty of our lives - and especially his own.

As an audience it's possible to become somewhat used to things simply being excellent, so much so that we can forget just how good Earle is. His consistent output is such that pre-ordering once a new disc comes up is a reflex action on my part.

This recording covers the usual canvas, from the disenfranchised to simple melodies and messages. The other musicians are used subtly, but careful attention to the backing track reveals the details nicely.

Writing "this is Earle being Earle" m ay sound like damning with faint praise, but the fact is he has defined himself long ago, and is simply plowing the furrow in ever more deliberate ways. And so consistent is his work that you could choose this, or any other of his recordings, as an introduction.

The CD comes in a Digipac that folds out into three panels. The booklet contains full lyrics. The "Special Edition" includes a "Making of" film, and a music video on a DVD. However, the real bonus is a high resolution copy of the album in 24/96.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 9, 2013 1:34 AM BST

Blue Highway
Blue Highway

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WARNING!!!, 12 Mar. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Blue Highway (Audio CD)
Just a heads up - the music on this CD is excellent, but it is THE SAME as The Official Art Vandelay Tapes: Live One, except Live One has two extra tracks.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 27, 2016 6:34 PM BST

Official Art Vandelay Tapes
Official Art Vandelay Tapes
Price: £10.91

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WARNING!!!, 12 Mar. 2013
The music on this CD is excellent - after a bit of a faltering start, it really kicks in.

My WARNING is this - this is the SAME CD as this: Blue Highway. It does, however, have two additional tracks on the end. I was gutted to find this out. I wouldn't mark it down due to the ground music, but if you have Blue Highway there is no need to have this too.

John Cage: Cheap Imitation
John Cage: Cheap Imitation
Price: £53.76

5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, 5 Mar. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
My goodness this is a nice disc. John Cage playing solo piano in a sparse, childlike manner. There's nothing cheap about it. Alright, so fidelity wise this isn't going to bother ECM aficionados. So what? If ever there were a case when the music just overcomes all obstacles.

This is not too experimental - though don't expect a melody. In fact it is very gentle and peaceful. The touch is light, and the sounds are allowed to live, burn bright, and fade away. It takes its time.

Just wonderful.

Walk, Love, Sleep
Walk, Love, Sleep
Price: £19.71

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing. Again., 5 Mar. 2013
This review is from: Walk, Love, Sleep (Audio CD)
I strongly suggest you only listen to this disc in rooms with no ceiling. Or walls. And in places where the nearest person is a good half mile away.

It can also be used to get cult leaders to abandon their hideouts.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 5, 2013 3:02 PM BST

Price: £8.54

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Decent, but not a Revelation Remastered, 19 Feb. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Macalla (Audio CD)
I couldn't make up my mind which version to buy, the original RCA release here Macalla or the remaster. But then I realized that neither costs very much and ended up getting both. I guess I'm glad I did.

The album itself is excellent, and there's nothing to add to the other reviews. On the remastering I'm not particularly impressed. There's a little more detail, but nothing that's a revelation. The new bonus remix of the opening track is, I'm afraid, a disaster. It's so tried to take a tune, to add a driving beat, and call it a remix. And the opening is very ethereal, moody. This is destroyed in the remix. I suppose it's just not for me.

On the other hand, at least the remastered version has a decent booklet, the original release is rather sparse. The only downside of the new booklet is the horrid new cover art. You can get around it somewhat because - on the back page of the new booklet - the original artwork has been included (thank goodness).

So anyway, if you're looking to buy this disc, I'd say go with whatever the cheapest option is. The newer version is okay, but the new cover art and the needless remix are really poor.

It's certainly good music though!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 20, 2016 3:24 PM GMT

Pure Mania
Pure Mania
Offered by cdvinyluk
Price: £9.99

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Remastered Release!, 19 Feb. 2013
This review is from: Pure Mania (Audio CD)
Alright, there is at least one other review of the Caption Oi! release which complains about the mastering, claiming the drums and bass sound awful. Wrong.

I owned this on vinvyl, and have three different CD releases. This is the best I've heard. In fact, this is an excellent disc.

On the mastering - it is wrong to suggest (as I have done above) that this is a "remaster". It's not. The fact is - Pure Mania was originally released in the UK first. For it's US release the disc was mastered differently - by the band - to take some of the rougher edges off. It is this US release that we've been served up on CD ever since.

This Captain Oi! release is the original mix and master - before it was tinkered with to suit American tastes. In effect, this is more legitimate. Claims the "drums and bass" sound bad are way off the mark. This is how they were meant to be heard.

Better yet, there is a lot more detail in the music now, which is always welcome. For example, you can hear an organ for the first time in Baby Baby, and acoustic guitar on several tracks.

The disc has some bonus material, but it's nothing special. The main reason to buy this is the original sound and perhaps the booklet (which now includes all the lyrics).

All in all this is an excellent release.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 2, 2014 12:39 AM BST

Price: £11.44

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sterling, 17 Feb. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Electric (Audio CD)
I have had some time to live with this now.

There is an inevitability about Thompson, in that every recording is worthy of your time, and oozes class. His ability as a guitarist and songwriter, proven over decades, means his work comes across as almost effortless, fleet of fingers and mind almost go unnoticed, because you've just come to expect it to be excellent. As such, this new one doesn't disappoint.

Sound wise this one is pretty much "as usual", with some driving rock tunes, and acoustic numbers. For example, Sally B blasts a Hendrix like riff, while the closer leaves us with the mellow aftertaste of good whiskey.

There are two elements that are special to this release. Firstly there is Thompson's vocals, which have taken on a new quality, a deeper resonance and a slightly rougher hue. He is using melodic lines better than ever before, allowing his voice to reach both up and down in a greater range than we're used to. Check out Salford Sunday and My Enemy for examples.

Secondly he has used, sparingly but none the less telling, a female backing vocalist to great effect. Siobhan Maher Kennedy appears on five tracks, and Alison Krauss on one.

Now it may be heresy, but I have a confession to make. While I am in no doubt that the recordings of Richard and Linda Thompson are essential, the truth is I've never thought Linda was a good singer. Her voice is too toneless and flat for my liking - dare I say tuneless? Of course the songs always won through, but without exception I prefer Richard singing his own songs to when Linda took lead duties. Listening to this new recording, I think the women here are in another class altogether.

One final word on the vocals, Richards's voice is slightly more gravelly than usual. Perhaps this was because the recordings were done after extensive touring, or maybe it's simply maturation over the years. Either way, it really works for him and this release.

In watching a video online, Richard talked about writing for a trio on this one (he comically asked the interviewer "Have you heard of a Power Trio? Well, we're a wimp trio!") So it was slightly a surprise to find the songs were recorded with a quartet (five musicians seem to have been used in all).
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 17, 2013 7:10 PM GMT

Out Of The Darkness / The Island Chapel / Spiegel im Spiegel
Out Of The Darkness / The Island Chapel / Spiegel im Spiegel
Price: £14.53

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, 12 Feb. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Such shame not to see any comments on this. This disc is truly wonderful.

The main piece is a cantata by Julian Marshall, and is performed by The Schoolhouse 6 Ensemble vocal group. The words are from the poetry of Gertrud Kolmar, who died in Auschwitz. The poetry tells the tale of a woman walking the streets and is very evocative without being overbearing. The music too isn't heavy with sentimentality, without giving up any of it's power.

What follows is a nice piece by Gavin Bryars, and a fine rendition of the familiar Arvo Part piece, Spiegal Im Spiegal.

The whole thing is magical. As an added benefit, this really is a reference quality recording. Audiophiles should fall over themselves to grab a copy - it's really stunning.

I'm playing this over and over, without playing anything inbetween. Really marvellous. The extensive booklet includes all the words, and the majority of the singing is in English.

Highly recommended.

Down To The Moon
Down To The Moon
Price: £10.14

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Remastered Nightmare, 24 Jan. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Down To The Moon (Audio CD)
I've been a Vollenweider fan for some time, but had not got around to replacing my older CD releases with these 2006 masters. It was about time I did do. So buy I did.

I'm sorry, but the remastering job on this one (I have yet to listen to the others) is sadly very poor. The whole debate the "loudness wars" usually resides in the realms of rock - how it came to affect these is anyone's guess. Along with being very very loud, the nuance of the music is lost too.

The bottom line is, buy this music because it's very good. Some describe it as "new age", but I personally think it transcends that moniker. This is not non-descript music striving for atmosphere, it's multi-layered, with some excellent playing.

But for your own sanity - buy the original CD release, and not the 2006 remaster of this one, because I think the original is better sounding.

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